Chicago Blackhawks president John McDonough said the team would unveil its fan initiatives sometime this week. On Thursday, they did.
The team announced its Blackhawks Fan Salute program, something the team wanted to do in response to fan frustration during the lockout. During the program, the Blackhawks will:
Give away 1,000 autographed jerseys over the 99-day regular season,
award 250 autographed pucks and 100 autographed sticks signed by a current player or Blackhawks ambassador,
200-level tickets and unique experiences, such as a postgame player meet-and-greet, pre-game dinner with an ambassador in the Stadium Club, glass seats and more.
Also, all Blackhawks season ticketholders and partial-plan owners are automatically entered to win, and will also be issued gift certificates valid for merchandise at all team retail locations and United Center concession stands.
The Blackhawks are proud to offer a gesture of appreciation to our loyal and passionate fan base through this unique program, executive vice president Jay Blunk said. The entire organization has mobilized to offer Blackhawks fans a chance at connecting with our players through once-in-a-lifetime experiences at the United Center.
For more information, click here. A complete list of itemsexperiences will be available at Chicagoblackhawks.com later today. Thirty winners per game (home and away) will be announced on the website every game day, throughout the season, at noon.
Duncan Keith will not be part of the Blackhawks’ World Cup of Hockey contingent after all.
Keith will focus on improving his health rather than play for Team Canada in the tournament, which takes place next month in Toronto. The Blackhawks released a statement regarding Keith on Wednesday afternoon.
"As Duncan continues offseason rehabilitation on the right knee injury that he sustained last season, we understand his decision not to participate in next month’s World Cup of Hockey," team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in the statement. "We believe it is in his best interests to focus on getting stronger and not risk further injury."
Keith had surgery on that knee last October and was sidelined about one month.
St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will take Keith’s place.
The Colorado Avalanche are looking for a new head coach, and Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen is reportedly a "major candidate" to land the job, according to Mike Chambers and Terry Frei of The Denver Post.
Dineen, 52, has spent the last two seasons as Joel Quenneville's right-hand man, and helped guide the Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup victory in 2015.
He previously served as the head coach for the Florida Panthers, where he went 56-62-28 in two and a half seasons with the team.
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Dineen is familiar with the Colorado area as well, playing collegiate hockey at the University of Denver from 1981-83. He scored 26 goals and 23 assists in 67 games across two seasons with the Pioneers, and was named captain as a sophomore.
Because he's under contract with the Blackhawks for the 2016-17 season, the Avalanche would have to seek permission to interview Dineen, and it's possible it already happened.
The Avalanche are looking to replace Patrick Roy after he resigned on Aug. 11 due to philosophical differences with management.
Roy was 130-92-24 in three years with the Avalanche, guiding his former club to a Central Division title in his first season but missing out on the playoffs the past two years.
Patrick Sharp is back in Chicago, and spent Saturday evening at Wrigley Field taking in the Pearl Jam concert, one of his favorite bands.
The former Blackhawks forward happened to bump into another fan-favorite athlete Chicago is well familiar with: Paul Konerko of the White Sox.
Together, the two of them have helped bring four championships to the city.
Sharp couldn't resist tweeting the photo Saturday night to document the moment: