Myers: Blackhawks set first preseason lineup

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Myers: Blackhawks set first preseason lineup

Monday, Sept. 19, 2011
Posted: 5:22 p.m. Updated: 5:26 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com Blackhawks InsiderFollow @TraMyersCSN
Brothers Jonathan and David Toews will be teammates and Ray Emery and Alex Salak will split time in goal when the Chicago Blackhawks open their preseason schedule against the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday night in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Other forwards scheduled to play Tuesday are Viktor Stalberg, Rostislav Olesz, Marcus Kruger, Ben Smith, Brandon Saad, Mark McNeill, Jamal Mayers, Kyle Beach, Jimmy Hayes and Phillip Danault.

The Blackhawks will also send seven defensemen: Steve Montador, Nick Leddy, John Scott, Sami Lepisto, Ryan Stanton, Brian Fahey and Joe Lavin.

Well have a young lineup tomorrow, coach Joel Quenneville said Monday. Itll be nice to see these guys play in an NHL game.

Game time is 8 p.m. CST and will be streamed live on chicagoblackhawks.com in the Chicago area.

Bolland messing with Toews

Dave Bolland was back to being a pest on Monday, aggravating Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews in their afternoon scrimmage. Bolland hooked Toews a few times during the second half of their scrimmage.

He caught my hand pretty good off the draw and he kept messing with me, so I gave him a whack, Toews said.

Bolland said he was having some fun.

I think we all know how Tazer is so its always fun playing around with him, he said. Everyones getting ready for the real games now against some other teams.

Olesz shines

Rostislav Olesz had two good scrimmages on Monday, lined up mainly with Andrew Brunette and Toews. Olesz had a goal and two assists in the two games.

He had his best day today, Quenneville said. He was more comfortable, had good pace.

Toews agreed.

Hes a solid skater, has good hands and hes one of those strong, skilled European players who doesnt have too many holes in his game, he said. He can play on the power play and PK, play defensively, too, because hes strong and quick. Its not difficult to play with him.

Roster trimmed

The Blackhawks assigned forwards Mirko Hoefflin and Ludvig Rensfeldt, as well as goaltenders Mac Carruth, Johan Mattsson and Kent Simpson to their respective junior clubs on Monday afternoon.

The team roster now stands at 54 active players.

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

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: How do Friday's blockbuster deals impact the Blackhawks going forward

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: How do Friday's blockbuster deals impact the Blackhawks going forward

On the latest edition of the Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Tracey Myers and Charlie Roumeliotis break down the Blackhawks' blockbuster deals involving Niklas Hjalmarsson being dealt to Arizona and re-acquiring Brandon Saad from Columbus in exchange for Artemi Panarin.

They also discuss what it means for the team going forward, and whether it's a precursor to bigger deals to come.

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

In Saad’s case, re-acquiring Blackhawks alumni is beneficial

In Saad’s case, re-acquiring Blackhawks alumni is beneficial

* “Don’t look to the past anymore. It’s great to think you can recapture the magic with former players but years go by and times change.”

The sentences you see above were written by yours truly after the Blackhawks were unceremoniously eliminated from the first round in April. And for the most part, I stand by the message. The Blackhawks kept going back to their alumni well for solutions but, for the most part, it wasn’t working. But there’s always an exception to the rule, always one asterisk that can be applied in every situation (as we’ve done here).

In this case, that exception is Brandon Saad.

This isn’t someone who played with the Blackhawks five or more years ago. This isn’t a player who’s in his 30s. This isn’t a player who’s at the end of his career. This is a player in his prime, a 24-year-old who has a whole lot of game remaining and a whole lot of familiarity with this group, especially captain Jonathan Toews.

By the way, anyone else struck by the irony that the same Saad deal that the Blackhawks couldn’t afford two years ago is now one that fits perfectly, and will be really beneficial in two seasons when they don’t have to worry about trying to re-sign Artemi Panarin, who will be an unrestricted free agent?

Anyway, back to revisiting the past. General manager Stan Bowman admitted that he was hoping to bring Saad back into the fold at some point, although talks for this particular deal didn’t heat up until the past few days.

“Certainly it was a tough move a couple of years ago to have to make that trade [of Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2015]," Bowman said. “Today my conversation had a much different tone. Brandon’s coming back and that chemistry is there right away and intensity and the way he plays. His all-around game is second to none.”

Saad said he wondered if he’d end up with the Blackhawks again at some point in his career.

“The day I was traded I talked with Stan and you part ways, but it’s a small league and there are always opportunities. It was definitely a thought in my mind possibly ending up in Chicago,” he said. “I didn’t think it’d happen this soon but that’s just the way it happened. It’s exciting to be back somewhere I’m comfortable, somewhere I know and an organization that’s had success.”

Yes, the Blackhawks went back to their alumni well. But instead of getting an aging veteran they’ve reacquired a kid in his prime. Every situation can come with an asterisk. This is one exception that will turn out well for the Blackhawks.