Toews still torn about heading overseas

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Toews still torn about heading overseas

Jonathan Toews thinks about it every day -- the possibility of having to play overseas as the NHL lockout continues. And while the Blackhawks captain knows he has options, hes waiting for something to push me over the edge in that direction.

I guess, maybe if its at the point where the NHL has the nerve to cancel the season, then that would be the tipping point right there, Toews said after Wednesdays informal practice. Until then, its still an uncertainty.

Several Blackhawks have been considering overseas options for some time now. Those who have remained here have cited hopes that the NHL and NHLPA will work through their differences and get a new collective bargaining agreement in place. The two sides did meet with a federal mediator on Wednesday.

For Toews, the overseas decision is a tough one. He is certainly missing the routine hed be in during this time of year, the game schedule, the practices, all of it. And the burgeoning lockout frustration doesnt help.

A lot of us have waited patiently so far, he said. But when you constantly see the rejection and lack of negotiation, you get the ugly feeling its not going anywhere. Its a tough thing to do, to sit around and think about it even more.

But Toews is also looking at the other side of it. Hes healthy, hes still doing everything to keep in shape including all those informal practices -- and he wants to do everything he can to ensure hell have a long and healthy career. And not going through a grinding playing schedule has its benefits.

Until now I think Ive taken advantage of the time to take care of my body. I almost see this as an advantage, he said. You play so many games during the year and youre so busy, and this is a sport that takes a tremendous toll on your body. To be sitting on your butt is one thing. But to take advantage of this time off, to make yourself better and take care of your body, thats everything. Thats whats going to get you (not only) where you want to go and perform as well you want to, but to keep doing it for a long time.

Im not thinking of just this year or the next one. Im thinking further down the road than that, Toews said. Its a good thing to take care of yourself that way.

Report: Former Blackhawks winger Kris Versteeg to sign with Swiss League

Report: Former Blackhawks winger Kris Versteeg to sign with Swiss League

After struggling to find a new home this offseason as an unrestricted free agent, Kris Versteeg is expected to leave the National Hockey League and sign with SC Bern of National League A, better known as the Swiss League, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

The former Blackhawks forward, who spent five seasons in Chicago from 2007-10 and 2013-15, scored 15 goals and 23 assists in 77 games last year with the Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings.

It was his highest point total (38) in a season since 2011-12 when he tallied 54 with the Florida Panthers.

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There's no question Versteeg can contribute on the bottom-six for a contender in the NHL, but at 30 years of age and already with two Stanley Cups under his belt, perhaps he feels he can play a larger role elsewhere and will look to accomplish that overseas.

Bouncing around six different times (all via trades) certainly takes a toll, too.

In 550 career games, Versteeg has 131 goals and 182 assists across nine seasons in the NHL with the Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, Panthers, Hurricanes and Kings. 

He was drafted in the fifth round (No. 134 overall) of the 2004 draft by the Boston Bruins.

Blackhawks Marketing Department wins Golden Matrix Award

Blackhawks Marketing Department wins Golden Matrix Award

The Blackhawks organization doesn't only win on the ice.

The team announced Wednesday that their Marketing Department's #WhatsYourGoal campaign, specifically the #WhatsYourGoal: Jenny spot with Head Coach Joel Quenneville, was honored with the Golden Matrix Award for the Best Promotional Video at the 2016 Information Display Entertainment Association (IDEA) Conference for the second consecutive year. 

Additionally, the Blackhawks Game Operations Department and United Center Scoreboard Operations Department were named the NHL's Best Overall Video Display and Production for the second year in a row. These same departments also received the Golden Matrix Award for Best Overall Video Display in the NHL at the 2008 and 2009 IDEA Conferences. 

IDEA recognizes superior achievement throughout the large screen video and matrix display industry by awarding its Golden Matrix Awards (GMAs) at the annual IDEA Conference. The purpose of the GMAs is to recognize artistic and technical excellence in the programming of large screen video and matrix displays located at stadiums, arenas, racetracks, convention centers and other public assembly facilities.

Just last month, Blackhawks players Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin took home multiple awards at the NHL Awards ceremony for their impressive performances on the ice in 2016. Kane won the Hart Trophy for most valuable player, as well as the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's regular-season scoring leader and the Ted Lindsay Award as the league's most outstanding player. Panarin was named the Calder Trophy winner for top rookie in the NHL this past season.

Blackhawks to appear on NHL-high 21 nationally televised games

Blackhawks to appear on NHL-high 21 nationally televised games

The Blackhawks announced their 2016-17 regular-season national television schedule Thursday, and there will be plenty of opportunities (21, to be exact) for people across the country to catch a Chicago Blackhawks game on television this year.

The Blackhawks will be making a league-high 21 national television appearances starting with their season-opener on Wednesday, Oct. 12 when they host the St. Louis Blues at 7 p.m. on NBCSN.

Stay tuned for CSN to release the entire local television schedule, including the preseason broadcast schedule, at a later date.

Here is the full Blackhawks' national television schedule: