Chicago Blackhawks

Learning on the fly, Olsen already impressing Hawks

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Learning on the fly, Olsen already impressing Hawks

LOS ANGELES Dylan Olsen is making the most of his latest stint with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The defenseman is learning on the fly as any rookie would, although pairing with Duncan Keith has helped out in that process. And while hes a left-handed shot, hes also adapting again to the right side.

The Blackhawks have been happy with Olsen, who has soaking up everything in his second stint with the team this season. Coach Joel Quenneville likes what he sees thus far.

I like his size, his presence out there, Quenneville said. He has a nice shot, hes quick and strong in the puck areas and hes growing nicely with Duncs. Its been a nice pair.

Olsen is a plus-1 in his brief time with the Blackhawks this season and has a heavy shot in his repertoire. Hes also made the move to the right side, and Keith said hes done well there.

Hes physical and hes got a good stick. A left-handed shot playing the right side can be difficult with some of the angles and getting blindsided but hes been pretty good at it, Keith said. I find its a tough side to play.

Olsen has played the right some in juniors and in college so its not a complete surprise. Still, its an adjustment.

Its just moving the puck up in your zone together, watch going cross-ice instead of going up the wall. And when youre rimming pucks you have to try and stop it on your backhand, which is tougher. Just little things like that, Olsen said. But you practice on it, work on it and carry it over during the game.

Its all been a learning experience for Olsen, but so far, so good.

Its been getting better every game. I make a few mistakes but theyre going to happen, Olsen said. Ever since I paired with Duncs weve been playing well together. He communicates with me every time, helps me out. We want to keep going from here.

Jeremy Roenick thinks NBA offseason player drama 'is a joke'

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AP

Jeremy Roenick thinks NBA offseason player drama 'is a joke'

For the past decade, NBA stars have moved away from trying to beat down each other on the court and have instead looked to form superteams in an effort to maximize their chances at winning a title or building a dynasty.

There's a debate to be had whether that's good or bad for the game, but the offseason drama has gotten under the skin of one former NHL player who has seen enough.

Jeremy Roenick, former Blackhawks winger and current NHL on NBC analyst, took to Twitter to voice his opinion surrounding the drama amid the Kyrie Irving situation evolving in Cleveland, and he didn't hold back:

Do you agree or disagree?

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.