Coach Joel Quenneville watched the first three days of Blackhawks prospect camp from the stands, and he likes what he sees. From Brandon Saad, who could be a roster member this season, to Tervo Tevainan who represents the future, the Blackhawks young stars are rising.
Its been two days of some unbelievable, competitive practices, Quenneville said on Wednesday. You have to commend them for how theyve worked and competed.
The future for the Blackhawks looks like its in good shape. And in the case of Saad, for whom Quenneville had very high praise he looks like hes ready to play. He can maybe not just make our team, he can do more than that -- its very good.
But its the present thats still the bigger concern. Free agency began nearly two weeks ago, and other than acquiring defenseman Sheldon Brookbank the Blackhawks have been very quiet. Yes, theyve had interest in several players who chose to go elsewhere or stay put, namely Zach Parise (to Minnesota) and Martin Brodeur (remaining in New Jersey).
Shane Doan is the Blackhawks latest interest, but theyre not alone on him. Yes, theres been talk, but not much action from the Blackhawks camp. But Quenneville said the team is looking at its options.
It would be great to add a player like (Doan) to our team. But thats part of the process and were still looking at things, Quenneville said. I have a lot of confidence and trust in our team. We exited our season with an appetite, disappointed with the way things ended and we want to improve. You see whats out there, where hes at, and a number of teams will be interested.
And so the looking continues. Meanwhile, Quenneville said Marian Hossa is doing fine after suffering his season-ending concussion via Raffi Torres in the postseason. Hossa will be attending the Blackhawks convention next week.
Quenneville is also real close to selecting an assistant coach, although he wasnt willing to divulge how many finalists there were for the job.