Kevin Dineen is back with the Blackhawks but there were times this summer you wondered if another team would take him away.
The Blackhawks’ assistant coach was a major candidate for the Colorado Avalanche head coaching job, according to the Denver Post, following Patrick Roy’s surprising departure. There were probably other inquiries, too.
“It’s always nice to go through a process of talking about the way you do your business. It’s also a reflection of where you are,” said Dineen following the Blackhawks’ White-Red scrimmage on Saturday. “No. 1, you have to get permission to do that, and the Blackhawks have been great about giving me the opportunity to go out and do that. But also, when you have success, a lot of people want to get your feedback or whatever it is.”
Dineen’s name will likely come up whenever there’s a coaching vacancy. He coached the Florida Panthers from 2011-13 and coached Team Canada women’s team to a gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Dineen will get another opportunity in the NHL but for now, life is good in Chicago.
“For me, I couldn’t be happier right here,” he said. “I have a great person and hockey mind to work with in Joel [Quenneville]. But you know, down the line, those things play their way out and we’ll see where it goes.”
Patrick Kane, Ville Pokka and Michal Kempny will join the Blackhawks’ training camp on Tuesday. The three finished up round-robin World Cup of Hockey play with their respective teams on Thursday.
Dineen said there’s a chance one of the defensemen, Pokka or Kempny, play in Wednesday night’s preseason game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“They’ll get into the swing of things here on Tuesday,” Dineen said. “So that’ll give them a good rest after a long, tough September, and we expect them to hit the ice flying.”
- Duncan Keith will skate during one of the Blackhawks’ practices on Sunday and Monday.
- Team White defeated Team Red 4-3 in Saturday’s scrimmage at the United Center. Spencer Abbott led Team White with two goals.
At the end of the day, a loss means essentially nothing for the Cubs right now.
But the Cubs also certainly don't want to hand games to their division rival as the St. Louis Cardinals make a run at the National League wild card spots.
After the Cubs clinched homefield advantage throughout the NL playoffs with the Washington Nationals' loss Friday night, they had no answer for the Cardinals in a 10-4 loss in front of 40,785 fans at Wrigley Field Saturday afternoon on national TV.
A few disturbing trends popped their heads above ground for the Cubs, including the offense's struggles at manufacturing runs, Jason Hammel getting shelled and some bullpen woes.
The Cubs had no trouble putting runners on base against Cardinals phenom Alex Reyes, but they had a tough time plating those guys, cashing in only once with a runner on third base in six tries over the first four innings.
In two of those spots, a Cubs hitter came up with only one out, but failed to bring the run home as Addison Russell struck out in the first inning and Kris Bryant popped out to shallow left in the second.
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Hammel recorded only seven outs and was tagged for six runs on six hits and a walk, watching his season ERA rise nearly 30 points to 3.83. The veteran right-hander fell to 15-10 as he attempts to make a push for one of the Cubs' final postseason roster spots.
Setup man Hector Rondon struggled in his appearance, needing 26 pitches to notch just one out, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk before handing the ball off to Felix Pena.
Of course, it's also just one game and one loss for a team with 98 victories and hopes of the World Series.
Rondon had been nearly unhittable since returning from the disabled list two weeks ago and the Cubs offense had been efficient and relentless in the past four games after Joe Maddon's meeting with the hitters earlier in the week.
Maddon also used the blowout to get regulars like Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward and Russell out of the lineup to help keep them fresh for October.
The Cubs will close out their season series with the Cardinals on another nationally-televised showdown Sunday night between Jon Lester and St. Louis ace Carlos Martinez.