Burish's idea develops into Champs for Charity game

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Burish's idea develops into Champs for Charity game

Adam Burish had an idea.

The former Blackhawks winger was missing hockey a lot, missing his 2010 Stanley Cup champion teammates more. For Burish, it was simple: nothing going on right now, so why not get a bunch of players together, including 2010 Cup teammates, play a game and do it for charity?

On Oct. 26, that idea is slated to come to fruition.

Most of the 2010 Blackhawks and other players around the league, including Bobby Ryan, Ryan Suter and Jack Johnson, will play in the Champs for Charity exhibition game on Oct. 26 at AllState Arena. Proceeds from the game will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana.

It was an idea that Blackhawks players past and present embraced immediately.

You want to be a part of it, said former Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell, who still lives in Chicago in the offseason. For us, its great to be able to be involved with it. Its great of Adam to start it up and lift it off. When Adam has an idea, its always first class. It wont be a legit game with hitting and everything, but its nice to get out there for the cause.

So far, currentpast Blackhawks slated to play are Burish, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Andrew Ladd, Ben Eager, Brian Campbell, Dave Bolland, Jake Dowell, James Wisniewski, John Madden, Troy Brouwer and Kris Versteeg.

Patrick Kane was originally not on the roster, as he was set to sign with a European team. But between the charity game and the hope that NHLNHLPA negotiations will yield a new deal, Kane decided to stay and play in the Oct. 26 exhibition.

When Burish first had the idea, he sent out a mass email to about 25 fellow players. He said he got responses from 10-12 of them in the first hour, so he got on the phone with agent Bill Zito and set the game wheels in motion.

I told Zito, All these guys are in. Lets work on this. They all wanted to help out, have a good game, and it all came together pretty quick, Burish said. We get the best of both worlds: we give back to a good cause and get a game with your best buddies together. Its a no-brainer.

Players were ready to play and give to the great cause.

As busy as we are during the regular season, traveling all over the place, we dont get to do as much hands-on charity work as wed like in Chicago. So playing this game would be a good opportunity to do that, Toews said. Well go out there, have some fun and give the fans what they want.

Ducks winger Ryan was added to the roster late Wednesday. Others slated to play are Al Montoya, Mike Brown, Alex Goligoski, Tom Gilbert, Ville Leino and Jared Boll.

Tickets range from 10, 15, 30 and 60 levels. There are also 100 500 VIP tickets, which include a glass seat, an event jersey, and a pregame meet-and-greet with the players from 6 to 6:45 p.m. All tickets can be purchased now through www.ticketmaster.com.

It was an idea that took shape quickly. And its developing into a game that will bring back 2010 Cup memories, help those who need it and provide that hockey fix.

We want to give fans who are starving for hockey something fun to watch, Burish said. People are going to be excited watching this game. The Ronald McDonald House (charities) are doing this first class. Its going to be as close to a hockey game as is going on anywhere close by. So people can be excited bout that.

Bears QB Mike Glennon makes his role emphatically clear: ‘This year is my year’

Bears QB Mike Glennon makes his role emphatically clear: ‘This year is my year’

Mike Glennon stuck to an emphatic mantra during his first meeting with the media since the Bears drafted Mitch Trubisky last month: “This year is my year.”

It wasn’t a surprising line — what else was he supposed to say? — but it was telling in the sense that Glennon didn’t appear to be rattled by the presence of Trubisky, the franchise’s presumptive quarterback of the future. Unofficially, Glennon said some version of that line a dozen times in just over 10 minutes. 

“They brought me here to be the quarterback this year and nothing has changed,” Glennon said. “So in my mind, I have to go out and play well, and I know that, and that’s basically the bottom line.”

Will Glennon work with Trubisky, the No. 2 overall pick and presumptive quarterback of the future? Yes. But is that his main focus? No. The job of developing Trubisky falls on offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone, not the guy who the Bears committed tens of millions of dollars to to play quarterback. 

Glennon said general manager Ryan Pace called him about 10 minutes after Roger Goodell announced Trubisky’s name in Philadelphia April 27 to reassure him that he would still be the Bears’ starting quarterback in 2017. Like most everyone — including Trubisky — Glennon was surprised the Bears made the pick, but the 27-year-old said he quickly re-trained his attention back on preparing for the upcoming season. 

“I’m not worried about the future,” Glennon said. “I’m not worried about the past. I’m worried about the present and right now this is my team and that’s where my focus is.”

Glennon’s three-year, $45 million deal is structured so the Bears could cut him after the 2017 season and absorb only a $2.5 million cap hit, $500,000 more than the team took on when Jay Cutler was released in March. His contract was set up that way before the Bears snuck into Chapel Hill, N.C. for a surreptitious dinner and workout with Trubisky — he’s a bridge quarterback with an opportunity to show he’s greater than that label. 

“Even if I were to (look in hindsight) I would still have came here,” Glennon said. “Like I said, this is my year. There are no guarantees in the NFL. The majority of guys in the NFL are playing year-to-year. I’m here to prove myself that I can me the quarterback this year and going forward. But right now my focus is on winning games this year.”

“… I can only say it so many times, this year has been fully communicated that it's my year,” Glennon said. “I’m not going to worry about the future. As long as I play well, it will all work out.’ 

In wake of first-round playoff sweep, Patrick Kane talks about the Blackhawks' 'reality check'

In wake of first-round playoff sweep, Patrick Kane talks about the Blackhawks' 'reality check'

It’s been just over a month since the Blackhawks were eliminated from the playoffs in swift fashion. And as Patrick Kane told WGN Radio on Tuesday morning, the bitter taste hasn’t gone away.

“I think a lot of us didn’t figure we’d be in the situation we’re in right now,” Kane told Steve Cochran and Dave Eanet on Tuesday. “All of us can work this offseason to get better. It’s a long time to wait to get back to that opportunity to play in the playoffs again, so we’ll have a sour taste in our mouth for a while.”

The Nashville Predators, who made quick work of the Blackhawks in the first round, eliminated the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night to earn the first Stanley Cup Final appearance in franchise history. Kane told WGN he’s been watching the playoffs and said Nashville “has a pretty good system going.”

“They come at you, they play aggressive. I don’t think any of us would be a big fan of the way they defend in the neutral zone, just sitting back and playing that 1-3-1. But at the same time they come at you,” said Kane, who added that the Blackhawks “weren’t even close in that (first-round) series.”

“Maybe we had a chance in Game 3 when we were up 2-0, but it was a clean sweep and that’s probably how it should’ve been,” he said. “So now it’s time to regroup.”

When the Blackhawks had their wrap-up media session on April 22, general manager Stan Bowman was asked if some players, having won three Stanley Cups since 2010, had lost some of the hunger. Bowman didn’t buy that and neither did Kane.

“Four sounds a lot better than three, right?” he said. “It’s a long time away and a lot of work, but sometimes you go through those situations and you realize you won three Cups and it’s almost like you’re going to be there again. That’s where the reality check is for us now, realizing how hard it is to get back in that situation, how hard it is to win a Cup or go deep in this league. There’s a lot of work to be done.”