Hawk Talk: All quiet so far on trade deadline day

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Hawk Talk: All quiet so far on trade deadline day

Monday, Feb. 28, 2011
Posted: 9:54 a.m. Updated: 11:45 a.m.
By Chris Boden
CSNChicago.com

Four hours prior to the NHL's 2 p.m. (Chicago time) trade deadline, it's not a big surprise things have gone slowly around the league. We're for the most part, standing still with teams bottle-necked in Hillside on the inbound Ike for the move or two that'll open things up. Save for Radek Dvorak moving from Florida for Niclas Bergfors & Patrick Rismiller, nothing's happened since St. Louis shipped Brad Boyes to Buffalo last night. But every year, the action picks up over these final hours.

Stan Bowman continues working the phones with an even more urgent need for a defenseman after Jordan Hendry went down with a lower body injury last night. Joel Quenneville said more details should be known today. After needing help from two people to get off the ice, the eye test tells you it's an injury that needs weeks more than days to heal. With Nick Boynton gone and John Scott the only player on the present roster who's played defense before, other teams know they can hike up the price to do business. The GM has said he isn't interested in dealing anyone off the current roster, leaving the Hawks with between 1-12 and 2 million of salary cap space to add to their roster, prorated to about a quarter-season of any player's salary.

Atlanta's Mark Stuart appears to be off the potential acquisition list after the Thrashers recently acquired him from Boston. TSN's Bob McKenzie reports this morning he's on the verge of signing a three-year extension. Save for Colorado (Matt Hunwick?) and Edmonton (Ladislav Smid?) don't expect anyone from the West to help the Hawks out, particularly with just about everyone else still in contention. While the Blues now appear to be sellers, you wouldn't think they'd want to help a division rival's cause. From that standpoint, options have dwindled, at least until some more dominoes start to fall today.

We'll keep you updated throughout the day as things happen, yours truly here in Chicago, and Tracey Myers in Minnesota. Bowman is expected to remain unavailable to the media until he arrives at the Xcel Energy Center prior to tonight's game with the Wild.
Trade Winds? Not Even a Gentle Breeze

Approaching two hours ahead of the NHL trade deadline, Dale Tallon and the Florida Panthers have been the only busy team. It hasn't been the Booths and Weisses who've been sent packing, but Radek Dvorak and Dennis Wideman, and both went to fellow Eastern Conference teams (Atlanta and Washington, respectively). While that may be great if Stan Bowman would want to go back and get Marty Reasoner to help up the middle and on the penalty kill, defensive help remains elusive at this point. He and the Blackhawks are up against many other contenders seeking the same thing, with more salary cap space, and perhaps with more to offer besides minor leaguers and draft picks, or at least high draft picks. Thus far, nibbles haven't turned to bites. The longer it goes, the more likely it is that something will open up, but a couple of more deals would have to happen first.

Bowman said prior to Jordan Hendry's injury last night he'd be confident with his present team going forward, based on the progress they've been making, but the blue line got even thinner since. At this point, however, no one else in the West has gotten better, either, in hat's been a quiet countdown to 2 p.m. so far.

Chris Boden is the host of Blackhawks Pre and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet.

Blackhawks fire assistant coach Mike Kitchen

Blackhawks fire assistant coach Mike Kitchen

When Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman addressed the media on Saturday, he said that there would be change. That started on Monday when assistant coach Mike Kitchen was fired.

The move came five days after the Blackhawks were swept out of the first round by the Nashville Predators. Bowman said in a statement that, “we believe this decision is best for our organization moving forward. Mike had an impact on two different Stanley Cup championship teams during his tenure in Chicago. We appreciate his many contributions and wish he and his family success in the future.”

Kitchen has been a member of coach Joel Quenneville’s staff since 2010. The two go back to their playing days, however, when they were teammates with the Colorado Rockies and also the New Jersey Devils. Kitchen was Quenneville’s assistant when the two were with the St. Louis Blues and when Quenneville was fired as Blues coach midway through the 2003-04 season, Kitchen was promoted to head coach.

As part of the Blackhawks’ staff Kitchen’s focus on special teams, mainly the penalty kill. That kill finished the regular season 24th overall in the league, although that has to come with an asterisk. The penalty kill started the 2016-17 season so poorly that it was never going to get too far out of the basement. It did get stronger as the season wore on, and it was fourth overall during the Blackhawks’ short stay in the playoffs.

Which Blackhawks will be participating in 2017 IIHF World Championships?

Which Blackhawks will be participating in 2017 IIHF World Championships?

The Blackhawks' season ended much sooner than expected after being swept in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Nashville Predators.

But for some players, their hockey season may not be finished yet.

The IIHF World Championships begin May 5, and an early postseason exit gives several Blackhawks an opportunity to play in the tournament.

With the National Hockey League saying it will not participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics, players may be more inclined to join given the uncertainty of when they'll be able to represent their countries again — if ever, for some.

Here's an update on which Blackhawks players could be participating:

— Patrick Kane said Saturday he's taking the weekend to mull over Team USA's offer, and will make a final decision in the next "day or two."

— Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews each declined their invites from Team Canada, electing to use a lengthy offseason to recharge and focus on training for the 2017-18 NHL season.

— Corey Crawford and Nick Schmaltz said they have not been contacted by their respective countries, but both said they would consider going if they are.

— Artemi Panarin has reportedly already accepted Team Russia's offer to play.

— Niklas Hjalmarsson said he's "thinking about" Team Sweden's offer after the NHL's decision not to attend the 2018 Winter Olympics. "Who knows when I'll ever get a chance to play for my country again, so that might be factor," he said.

— Marcus Kruger said he's talking with Team Sweden officials, and has expressed interest in going.

— Marian Hossa said he informed Team Slovakia that he will not be playing: "Let the young guys play."

— Richard Panik will not be participating either, saying he doesn't want to risk injury as he seeks a new contract.