Chicago Blackhawks

Blackhawks' Campbell could return vs. Panthers

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Blackhawks' Campbell could return vs. Panthers

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Posted: 3:53 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Defenseman Brian Campbell was feeling the usual rust and other not-quite-there feelings when he came out after practicing on Tuesday.

I havent skated too much so Im a little winded. The timings a little off, but overall I felt pretty good, said Campbell, who could play Wednesday after dealing with a foot injury sustained March 8 against Florida.

Im not going to say 100 percent (about Wednesday). If I can play Ill play, he said. Ill just see how it is in the morning and go from there.

READ: Blackhawks hopeful Sharp can make quick return

Campbells return was a welcome sign for the Blackhawks, who were already without Dave Bolland (concussion) and now have lost Patrick Sharp (left knee). Campbell said he was tripped up in the Florida game when he was injured. He started in the Blackhawks shootout loss to the Washington Capitals on March 13, but could only play half the game.

I thought it was going to be pretty good but just couldnt go with how I felt, he said. I left my teammates in a tough spot and I was disappointed that way. I had to give it some time to rest and get back.

Its lingering, its going to be around, Campbell said of his injury. I just have to deal with it.

Defensive mindset

With the Blackhawks down a couple of forwards, they will have to get back to the hard-hat mentality that got them through their December games without Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane.

And staying strong defensively is going to be key.

At this time of the year, going into the playoffs, thats the type of hockey necessary for winning teams, Quenneville said. When we think we want to outscore teams is when we get ourselves in a lot of trouble. We got carried away being up three goals and loosened our defensive game a bit. We have to tighten that up.

CSN, Blackhawks team up with 'Save of a Lifetime'

Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook will be paired again. The duo, who were separated for a while, were back together as the Phoenix game progressed on Sunday.

Its going to be a tough matchup game in and out and they thrive on that. Thats what made them so successful as a partnership and theyre looking forward to the challenge, Quenneville said.

No change in Bolland

Dave Bollands status has not changed as the center has shown just some progress from the concussion he sustained in Tampa on March 9. Quenneville said he talked with Bolland on Tuesday about it.

Its probably frustrating and disappointing that he cant really say exactly when hes going to get on the ice or give us an idea of when to expect him back, Quenneville said. We see some signs of encouragement in his case, but right now we just wait and see.

Hendry talks

Jordan Hendry had successful surgery last week to repair to the torn ACL he suffered against the Phoenix Coyotes on Feb. 27. Hendry said he knew immediately that something was wrong that night.

I hurt my knee in college once, and I knew when (Phoenix captain Shane) Doan hit me I knew what it was, he said. I think I knew right before I hit the ice that I was hurt. Think I knew it wasnt good. I just kind of lay on the ice and felt the pain.

Hendry cant do much with the knee right now, until the swelling goes down and mobility returns. Hendry is an unrestricted free agent this summer, but said hes not looking that far ahead.

Im focused on now, he said. Im just get ready for the next step. The last time I had this I bounced back and had a great season, so Im not worried about that.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Could Hobey Baker winner Will Butcher be an option for Blackhawks?

Could Hobey Baker winner Will Butcher be an option for Blackhawks?

The calendar is quickly approaching August and a majority of the NHL's top free agents have already signed new deals or found new homes. But there's one marquee player who has suddenly shaken loose, and will surely draw heavy interest across the league.

That would be 22-year-old defenseman Will Butcher, who informed the Colorado Avalanche that he will hit the open market and become an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 15.

Butcher, a 2013 fifth-round draft pick, was named the recipient of the 2017 Hobey Baker Award, annually given to college hockey's top player, after scoring seven goals and 30 assists in 43 games during his senior campaign while helping Denver University capture its first national title since 2005. It's the second straight year NCAA's top player has elected not to sign with the club that drafted him, with Jimmy Vesey doing the same last year when he signed with the New York Rangers instead of the Nashville Predators.

So could Butcher be a real option for the Blackhawks? There's certainly a reason for both sides to be intrigued by a potential match. 

With Brian Campbell, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya no longer in the picture, the Blackhawks could use a young, NHL-ready blue liner with top-four potential and Butcher provides just that.

He's a 5-foot-10, 186-pound puck-moving defenseman with high offensive upside but also plays a solid two-way game and is responsible in his own end. He carries a left-handed shot, quarterbacked Denver's No. 1 power play unit and possesses strong leadership skills after serving as the team's captain for two years.

While he is certainly no sure thing, Butcher would be as close to pro ready as any prospect in Chicago's system and could factor into the cards as soon as this season. It also doesn't hurt that he shared the same blue line at Denver as Blackhawks prospect Blake Hillman, who drew great reviews from Joel Quenneville at prospect camp.

The good news for the cap-crunched Blackhawks is that the maximum allowable salary for an entry-level contract is $925,000, so that eliminates the possibility of getting into a bidding war with other teams. Signing and performance bonuses can still be included, but that's the least of their worries if they can land a player of Butcher's caliber.

His decision will really come down to best fit and opportunity to play and win, and the Blackhawks can offer all of the above.

Niklas Hjalmarsson says goodbye to Chicago in emotional Instagram post

Niklas Hjalmarsson says goodbye to Chicago in emotional Instagram post

Niklas Hjalmarsson has called Chicago home ever since he was drafted by the Blackhawks in 2005. But now it's time for a new chapter.

After being traded to the Arizona Coyotes in June, the former Blackhawks defenseman officially said goodbye to the city he spent a decade in and helped bring three Stanley Cups to with an emotional Instagram post that perfectly sums up his time here:

One marriage. Two kids. Three rings. 

Hjalmarsson will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Blackhawks fans.