Hawks set to showcase skills

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Hawks set to showcase skills

OTTAWA, Ontario Patrick Kane was struggling to come up with a strategy for the breakaway challenge, to which he was named just before he talked to the media on Friday night. He even took to Twitter to ask followers for suggestions.

Im going to have to put some things together, Kane said. Hopefully Ill put on a show.

Whether he figures it out or gets some good ideas from his 90,000-plus tweeps, chances are Kane will put on that show.

Kane will participate in three events and fellow Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa will go in the NHL All-Star Skills competition on Saturday night. Kane is also in the skills challenge relay (for passing accuracy) and the elimination shootout). Hossa will be in the fastest skater and accuracy shooting challenges.

The Blackhawks plan to have fun with it all.

Ill try to do my best and hopefully I dont pull anything, Hossa said with a laugh. Ill try to warm up pretty good.

For Kane, Saturdays skills competition is just about as fun as the game itself. Its a chance to be creative, throw in some trickery and ad-lib on the ice, if you will.

When I was a kid I always wanted (the players) to do something fancy, Kane said. Its a good event to try to get fans out of their seats. I think Im going to put more show into it and do some cool things.

Kane will probably pull something out of the bag of tricks for his events. Perhaps that shootout move against the Minnesota Wild that became a highlight-reel favorite?

Maybe well see that one, Kane said. Hopefully the fans like what I do. Its definitely a nerve-wracking event, probably the most. Id love to win it.

Kevin Dineen to stay on Blackhawks' staff as Avalanche hire Jared Bednar

Kevin Dineen to stay on Blackhawks' staff as Avalanche hire Jared Bednar

The Blackhawks' coaching staff will be intact for the 2016-17 season.

Two weeks after Patrick Roy abruptly resigned as head coach, the Colorado Avalanche officially picked Jared Bednar to be his replacement over Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen, who was among the favorites for the coaching vacancy.

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Bednar has no National Hockey League coaching experience, but did guide the Columbus Blue Jackets' American Hockey League affiliate to a 15-2 postseason record last season en route to the franchise's first Calder Cup championship.

Retaining Dineen is good news for the Blackhawks, who start training camp next month, but it goes without saying that Dineen is certainly deserving of a second crack at a head coaching position in the near future.

Dineen, Mike Kitchen and head coach Joel Quenneville will enter their third season together after helping the Blackhawks capture a Stanley Cup in their first year as a group in 2015.

Jonathan Toews named Team Canada alternate captain for World Cup of Hockey

Jonathan Toews named Team Canada alternate captain for World Cup of Hockey

Jonathan Toews was named alternate captain of Team Canada on Thursday for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.

Sidney Crosby was named Team Canada’s captain. Crosby, who claimed his second Stanley Cup in June, was also Team Canada’s captain en route to the gold medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

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Toews, who has been the Blackhawks’ captain since the 2008-09 season, was also alternate captain of Canada’s 2014 Olympic squad. Shea Weber of the Montreal Canadiens will serve as Team Canada’s other alternate captain.

Duncan Keith won't play for Team Canada in World Cup of Hockey

Duncan Keith won't play for Team Canada in World Cup of Hockey

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.