Seabrook out, Bolland in vs. Canucks

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Seabrook out, Bolland in vs. Canucks

Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Posted: 11:35 a.m. Updated: 12:54 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

A day after Brent Seabrook said he was sore but otherwise fine after taking a shoulder-to-head hit from RaffiTorres, the Chicago Blackhawks defenseman apparently isnt.

Seabrook is out and center Dave Bolland is in as the Blackhawks try to avoid elimination against the Vancouver Canucks tonight at the United Center. Neither Seabrook nor Bolland skated this morning with their teammates; Bollands absence was apparently just a morning off.

Joel Quenneville said John Scott could be the Blackhawks sixth defenseman tonight.

Addressing the media yesterday, Seabrook said the rest of his body was feeling the effects of that hit more than his head. But apparently the defensemans health took a turn overnight. Asked if Seabrook was sorer today, Quenneville said we dont disclose everything but sore could mean a lot of things.

WATCH: Raffi Torres' hard hit on Seabrook

Torres, who did not talk to the media again today, is in the Canucks lineup tonight.

Hes a physical, emotional player, Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. Hes going to play the same way.

Torres received no supplementary discipline besides the two-minute interference call for the Game 3 hit. Quenneville reiterated today that he felt it shouldve been a major penalty, but he did not question the lack of suspension.

Meanwhile, Bolland has been cleared and is ready to go tonight. Despite the physical nature of this series, Quenneville said Bolland will not be held back.

Watching him skate and practice we think hes been ready to play for a while. It was just a matter of getting him going and getting clearance, he said. He feels good about himself, he feels he can handle the responsibility and hes going to get some as well.

Bolland frustrated the Canucks last postseason, specifically Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

Its been the same way all year. We have a lot of guys (jabbing at) us. Its something to live with, Henrik Sedin said. You havent seen (that frustration) from us this year.

Bryan Bickell and Ryan Johnson are also in for the Blackhawks tonight. TomasKopecky is out.

Thoughts of Flyers

The Blackhawks are facing the daunting 0-3 hole in a playoff series but they look at what Philadelphia did last postseason and realize theres always a chance. The Flyers were down 3-0 to Boston in their conference semifinals last year before winning that series.

Its easy to think that it is possible, seeing it happened last year, Jonathan Toews said. Its not thinking about winning four games in a row, were thinking about winning tonight. Well see after that.

WATCH: Jeremy Roenick and Hockey Central crew preview Game 4, what do Blackhawks need to do?

Quenneville said well look at the smaller picture, play good consecutive shifts. We havent been our best this series. Weve progressed in games but there is still a level we havent gotten to yet.

No Calder for Crawford

Despite winning 33 games in 57 appearances this season, Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford was not a finalist for the Calder Trophy, awarded to the NHLs best rookie.

Crawford, however, wasnt too upset thats the least of my worries right now, he said. Still, teammates were surprised he wasnt among the top three.

He definitely deserves it, Toews said. I guess it shows there are a lot of great young players this year because he had a heck of a year. Without him, who knows if wed be this far. He stepped up, especially when we needed him.

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

Steve Larmer reflects on Blackhawks days prior to 'One More Shift'

Steve Larmer reflects on Blackhawks days prior to 'One More Shift'

Steve Larmer took the pregame spin, part of the Blackhawks’ “One More Shift” series on Friday night. High above him at the United Center hang several retired Blackhawks numbers.

As of now, Larmer’s No. 28 isn’t among them, but he’s OK with that.

“I think that really is reserved for very special people,” Larmer said.

OK, but isn’t he one of those in the Blackhawks’ history?

“Thank you, but I think that Bobby Hull and Tony Esposito and Denis Savard and Keith Magnuson and Pierre Pilote are kind of in a league of their own,” he said.

Many would say the same about Larmer, who ranks fourth in Blackhawks history with 923 points, third in goals (406) and fifth in assists (517). Over his entire NHL career Larmer played in 1,006 regular-season games, recording 1,012 points. But whether or not his number is retired by the Blackhawks, coming back for events, including Friday’s, is a treat.

“It’s nerve-wracking and it’s going to be fun,” Larmer said prior to his spin on the ice. “It’s really quite an honor and a surprise to me to be able to do this and I just, it’s a great organization and they’ve always been great to me. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Larmer put together a stellar career. Many believe it deserves a retired number here – and maybe more. Blackhawks play-by-play man Pat Foley, when accepting the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in November of 2014, spoke immediately on how Larmer should be in the hall, too.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

“I’ve been fortunate enough to call Blackhawks hockey for over a third of the games they’ve ever played and I’ve never seen a better two-way player come through here,” Foley said that day about Larmer. “When Steve Larmer left Chicago and went to New York, it’s no coincidence that shortly thereafter, they won the Stanley Cup.”

Larmer laughed when reminded of Foley’s speech.

“Well, Pat’s a good friend,” Larmer said with a smile. “He’s always been a good friend. For the last 35 years, since the early 1980s when he was doing radio and TV back then and we all traveled together and hung out together and it was one good group. It’s fun. I mean, Pat’s always been a big supporter and a really good friend.”

Larmer would’ve loved to have hoisted the Stanley Cup during his time with the Blackhawks. Coming as close as they did in 1992 stayed with him for a bit – and it hurt.

“That stung deeply. Because you’re starting to get older and you’re thinking, ‘oh my God, that was it, that was the chance and it’s freaking gone,’ right? It’s never going to happen again,” Larmer recalled. “I’m not one of those guys who happened along and all of a sudden you’re on a team and you win like the Edmonton Oilers in the 1980s. We lost out to the team that always won, right? It was disappointing that way. But when you get to that point and you have that run, then we lost to Pittsburgh, that stuck with me for a year in a half. I couldn’t let it go. It was always in the back of my mind. You’re out there playing and you’re sitting on the bench and still thinking about that.”

So when Larmer got another chance with the New York Rangers – he was dealt there in a three-way deal involving the Rangers, Blackhawks and Hartford Whalers – it meant everything.

“The neat thing about going to New York is it gave me another chance to play with some great players and have that opportunity to win and finally get over that hump,” he said. “It was a neat city to win in and to be able to play with guys like Mark Messier and Leach and all those players was a lot of fun.”

Larmer put up fantastic numbers in his career. He got to hoist a Cup near the end of his career. His number should be in the rafters to commemorate that great career.

What a flat salary cap in 2017-18 could mean for Blackhawks

What a flat salary cap in 2017-18 could mean for Blackhawks

For the first time since the 2009-10 season, the NHL's salary cap could stay flat next year, reports ESPN's Craig Custance.

Commissioner Gary Bettman revealed at the latest NHL's Board of Governors meeting that the projected ceiling for the 2017-18 campaign could be an increase between zero and $2 million, which isn't exactly encouraging considering the projection at this time of year is normally an optimistic one.

That means the salary cap may be closer to — or at — the $73 million it's at right now.

In the last four years, the cap has increased by $4.3 million in 2013-14, $4.7 million in 2014-15, $2.4 million in 2015-16 and $1.6 million in 2016-17. The number continues to descend, and it affects big-budget teams like the Blackhawks the most.

It makes it especially difficult for the Blackhawks to navigate because they own two of the highest paid players in the league in Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, both of whom carry a $10.5 million cap hit through 2022-23. It's a great problem to have, though.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

According to capfriendly.com, Chicago currently has $60.6 million tied up to 14 players — eight forwards, five defensemen and one goaltender — next season. If the cap stays the same, that means the Blackhawks must fill out the rest of their roster with fewer than $13 million to work with and still have to sign Artemi Panarin to a long-term extension.

And they may need to move salary to do it, with the potential cap overages crunching things even more.

On the open market, Panarin would probably be able to earn Vladimir Tarasenko money — a seven-year deal that carries a $7.5 million cap hit — but if he prefers to remain in Chicago, the contract would likely be in the range of Johnny Gaudreau's six-year deal with an annual average value of $6.75 million.

With the expansion draft looming, the Blackhawks know they're going to lose a player to Las Vegas in the offseason. The two likely candidates, as it stands, are Marcus Kruger and Trevor van Riemsdyk, and the former would free up $3 million in cap space while the latter $825,000.

If that won't get the job done, the Blackhawks may be forced to part ways with a core player such as Brent Seabrook and his eight-year, $55 million contract, although he has a full no-movement clause until 2021-22 and it would be very hard to imagine since you're trying to maximize your current championship window.

Anything is possible, however, after seeing promising young guys like Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw shipped out of Chicago due to a tight budget.

It's a challenge general manager Stan Bowman has certainly already been thinking about, and a stagnant salary cap doesn't make things any easier.