Blackhawks to institute 'fan initiatives'

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Blackhawks to institute 'fan initiatives'

As the lockout came to its merciful end late Saturday night, the focus was back on hockey, back on training camps and upcoming regular-season schedules.

And for many teams front offices, its also about mending fences with fans who were frustrated, disillusioned and downright angry with four NHL-free months. On Sunday, Blackhawks president John McDonough said the team was looking at ways to help bridge that gap again.

McDonough said the team is developing some fan initiatives, and that they will be unveiled later this week. McDonough joined general manager Stan Bowman and coach Joel Quenneville at a press conference today, opening day of the Blackhawks brief training camp.

There are some fan initiatives that will be introduced later in the week, some things were tying up right now. (Executive vice president Jay Blunk) and his group have been working on it for weeks and we think its a very good plan, said McDonough, who didnt divulge details past that.

Several other NHL teams have already installed fan incentives. The Pittsburgh Penguins are offering free select concession items and half off all merchandise at their first four home games. Bruins fans can get free vouchers for various concession, as well as 25 percent off team merchandise 30 percent for season ticket-holders during January home games.

McDonough said the waiting list for season tickets rose by 250. He added that the Blackhawks werent overwhelmed by fan anger during the lockout. But, for those who are upset, were going to do whatever we can to win them back.

The Blackhawks fan base likely didnt take too big of a hit, season ticket wait-list boost aside. But there are hurt feelings nonetheless from the lockout, and the team hopes to ease some of that angst this week.

Its important to us to make sure that we give our fan base a real purpose. Its based on a commitment of consistent excellent and doing everything we can to put a winning team on the ice. But there are certainly other things well be doing later this week to announce a further fan commitment.

Blackhawks announce plans for NHL Draft Fan Fest

Blackhawks announce plans for NHL Draft Fan Fest

With exactly a month to go until Chicago hosts the 2017 NHL Draft for the first time ever, the Blackhawks and league announced Wednesday their plans for Fan Fest held outside the United Center on June 23 and 24.

A handful of Blackhawks players and alumni will be in attendance and made available for photo opportunities, as will the Stanley Cup. Fans will also be able to explore the NHL Centennial Fan Arena, "a 53-foot museum truck with an innovative interior featuring more than 1,000 square feet of interactive digital displays, original video content, one-of-a-kind historical memorabilia, unique photo moments and a social media wall," according to the press release.

A full list of activities, special guest appearances and schedule will be posted at a later date.

Friday's events will run from 3 to 9 p.m. while Saturday's festivites will go from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Parking Lot C, north of the United Center.

Additional passes for the weekend will be made available to the public starting June 9. For more information, visit chicagoblackhawks.com/fanfest.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Vinnie Hinostroza talks rookie season and new wrinkle to offseason training

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Vinnie Hinostroza talks rookie season and new wrinkle to offseason training

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, forward Vinnie Hinostroza joins Pat Boyle and evaluates his rookie season, tells us how he has added MMA and Ju-jitsu to his offseason training and is he going to room with Ryan Hartman next season?

Plus, Tracey Myers joins Pat to discuss Patrick Kane’s first interview this offseason, the latest on the Blackhawks coaching moves and tournament fall-out for Artemi Panarin, Marcus Kruger and Alex DeBrincat.

Listen to the latest episode of the Hawks Talk Podcast below.