Hawks notes: call-ups, flu, skate event


Hawks notes: call-ups, flu, skate event

Some random musings and notes from Day 2 of Blackhawks camp:

Three more Rockford players came to camp on Monday: forwards Brandon Saad and Brandon Pirri and defenseman Ryan Stanton. Neither Saad nor Pirri were on one of the four Blackhawks lines Monday while Stanton formed a fourth defensive pair with Michal Rozsival.

Coach Joel Quenneville saw Stanton in Rockford this fallearly winter and likes what hes seen.

I really enjoyed the way hes played this year. Hes stable and adds depth back there, brings consistency on the back end, he said. Hes got some experience, got some physicality. Every game, you knew what he was going to do.

Hes very close to playing up here; hes seeing our system and learning from that as well, Quenneville continued. A lot of guys are going to get a chance to play. Hes earned it.

Getting the call

But the Rockford call-ups havent ended. Late Monday, forward Jimmy Hayes was recalled and will likely be at Tuesdays practice. Hayes has 17 points and a plus-2 rating in 37 games with the IceHogs this season.

Hayes may have been recalled due to the absence of Marcus Kruger, who missed Mondays practice with the flu. Quenneville said he wasnt sure if Kruger will return Tuesday. The flu has been bad this winter it was near epidemic in the Chicago area last week and Quenneville said its something the staff will watch.

Ive seen it happen and it can cause major disruptions, Quenneville said about flu bugs going through a locker room. Were aware of how bad it is this year. Well make sure, with a 48-game season, that were on top of it.

Alumni skate

The Blackhawk Alumni Association will host Skate with the Greats on Feb. 1 at Soldier Field. Blackhawk greats Bobby Hull and Tony Esposito will sign autographs. Blackhawk alumni taking shifts on the ice include Cliff Koroll, Eric Daze, Phil Russell, Brian Noonan, Al Secord, Grant Mulvey, Reggie Kerry, Dave Mackey and Peter Marsh. Player list is subject to change.

Tickets, 100 for adults and 50 for kids 12 or younger, provide attendees with a 30-minute skate and 30-minute autograph session. There will be four sessions, each limited to 125 registrants. Fans will be able to request their preferred session when they order tickets. Proceeds will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.

The session schedule follows:

SESSION 1: 7:30-8 p.m. On ice, 8:30-9 p.m. autograph session
SESSION 2: 7:30-8 p.m. Autograph session, 8:30-9 p.m. on ice
SESSION 3: 8-8:30 p.m. On ice, 9-9:30 p.m. autograph session
SESSION 4: 8-8:30 p.m. Autograph session, 9-9:30 p.m. on ice

To buy tickets, go to www.RonaldHouseChicago.orgskatewiththegreats.

Heading to the UC

The Blackhawks will practice at the United Center for the first time on Tuesday, starting at 11 a.m.

PHOTOS: Blackhawks hit the road sporting Cubs attire

PHOTOS: Blackhawks hit the road sporting Cubs attire

The Blackhawks hit the road on Thursday, and they did so in style.

In support of the Cubs participating in the World Series for the first time since 1945, each member of the Blackhawks sported a Cubs jersey and World Series hat as they hopped onto the plane and traveled to New Jersey.

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It may not have been as whacky as Joe Maddon's themed road trips, but it's still a perfect excuse for breaking the dress code just this once.

Check out the photos below:

Together again: Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane reunite on top line vs. Devils

Together again: Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane reunite on top line vs. Devils

When coach Joel Quenneville has put Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane together it’s usually been during the postseason.

It’s rare when it happens in the regular season and when it does, it seems like an in-case-of-emergency move. But in this case, it may be more of a get-the-captain’s-production-going move.

The Blackhawks made a few more line changes on Thursday, including combining Toews and Kane, as they prepared for Friday night’s game at the New Jersey Devils. Marian Hossa moved to right wing on the second line with Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov. Marcus Kruger and Nick Schmaltz flip-flopped as third- and fourth-line centers. Tyler Motte and Ryan Hartman were the third-line wings while Dennis Rasmussen and Jordin Tootoo were on the fourth line.

Coach Joel Quenneville said the line changes, including Kane’s move to the first line, were because the Blackhawks continue to look for balance. To a point, that’s true; the Blackhawks still haven’t come close to getting that four-line rotation with which they’ve found so much success. But considering how successful the Toews and Kane combination has been for each, you’d have to think it’s to help bolster Toews’ point totals. Toews has just two assists through the first seven games.

“Right now I think Jonny, his production isn’t where you look at his play – we still always like the way he plays, he’s so useful in so any different ways,” Quenneville said. “I think maybe we get more balance on both lines. We’ve been trying a number of different looks in our top two groups there. over seven games we still need to be better in a lot of ways. hopefully we can find it.”

Still, if you can get your top players producing points, it’s worth a try. And Kane and Toews, regardless of how long they’ve been apart, usually click immediately upon reuniting.

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“Yeah, I guess change can be good in this sense. We can probably produce a little bit more offense and have the puck a little bit more throughout the game,” Kane said. “I’ve played with Jonny a bunch before. Obviously, not as much lately. But I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be a fun way to play hockey. Obviously he’s one of the best players in the game, and probably in my mind, the easiest player to play with. It’ll be fun to get back out there with him and try to create something, try to produce and have some fun with it.”

As for that usual second line of Panarin, Anisimov and Kane, remember: as we’ve seen before, it can be put together again fast.

“They get a lot of shifts and a lot of looks. It’s not like we’re too far away from going back to it at any time. It’s always close and available,” Quenneville said. “Maybe we get more balance and a little more scoring across the board.”


- Defenseman Gustav Forsling (upper body) did not skate on Thursday and will not travel to New Jersey. Quenneville is still hoping Forsling can play on Sunday vs. the Los Angeles Kings.

- Forward Andrew Desjardins (lower body) continues to improve. Quenneville said Desjardins could be skating in the next day or so.

- Corey Crawford will start vs. the Devils.