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Category: Chicago-Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks Are Big Believers In Analytics

from Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times,

Al MacIsaac first heard of analytics approximately 4,500 miles away from his spacious United Center office.

Shortly before the Blackhawks’ 2009-10 season opener in Finland, MacIsaac sat down alongside Stan and Scotty Bowman to meet a stranger in Helsinki’s grand Hotel Kamp for a brief presentation....

“It started as a project that we were going to build on,” MacIsaac told the Sun-Times this week. “Now we have analytics for everything. ... It’s evolved from that first chance meeting in 2009 to something that we feel proud of and that our staff have come to embrace.”

The term ‘analytics’ itself is mentioned nowhere in MacIsaac’s job description, and it takes quite a bit of scrolling down the Hawks’ front office directory to find Andrew Contis, the lone listed member with it in his title.

But MacIsaac will disclose there’s a whole team of employees — “young people,” he calls them — who compose the Hawks’ analytics department, collecting and analyzing data and looking for new areas to explore.

“Our ideas can’t be cascading down from the senior guys like me and Stan,” MacIsaac said. “We want ideas cascading upwards, and that comes from guys like Andrew Contis and a number of others.”

read on

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Afternoon Line- Robin Lehner

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Get Your Tickets To Watch Chicago And Philadelphia Practice In Prague

NEW YORK/TORONTO/PRAGUE (Aug. 12, 2019) – As part of the 2019 NHL Global Series™, the National Hockey League (NHL®), the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and Live Nation today announced a special opportunity for fans to attend Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers team practices from 3 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3 at O2 Arena in Prague, the day prior to the Blackhawks-Flyers 2019-20 season-opening matchup.

Tickets to Blackhawks and Flyers practices will be available for purchase beginning on Thursday, Aug. 15 at 9 a.m. CEST via Ticketmaster.cz and Ticketportal.cz. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last.

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Video- Season Preview For The Chicago Blackhawks

from Tracey Myers of NHL.com,

The Chicago Blackhawks had a busy offseason, adding key veterans at every position after missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a second consecutive season.

"The bigger difference now is we have a full roster of players who have proven they can play in the League," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said. "In the past, sometimes situations are different, and you're relying on some younger players to take that step forward and hope they can prove they're ready to be NHLers. If you look at our group now, sort of top to bottom, we have players who have proven they can play in the NHL. Now it's a matter of finding the right role for them on our team, but we've got a lot more experience."

The Blackhawks' biggest splash came July 1, when goalie Robin Lehner agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract. Lehner was 25-13-5 with a 2.13 goals-against average, .930 save percentage and six shutouts in 46 games (43 starts) for the New York Islanders and was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the top NHL goalie. He provides security for No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford, who has missed 80 games over the past two seasons because of concussions.

"Corey Crawford, in my book, he's still one of the top goalies in the League, and Robin Lehner's a Vezina finalist," Chicago goalie coach Jimmy Waite said. "It's going to be a great year and it's a big year for us. That's why we made that move. We needed to have 82 good starts on the goalies this year, because it's a big year for us."

continued

Below, watch Chicago's season preview...

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Chris Kunitz Announces His Retirement

from the Chicago Blackhawks,

Chicago Blackhawks forward Chris Kunitz announced today his retirement following 15 seasons in the National Hockey League. Kunitz will join the Blackhawks hockey operations department as player development adviser, assisting with the Blackhawks coaching staff as well as the coaching staff with Chicago's American Hockey League affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs

Kunitz, 39, appeared in 56 games with the Blackhawks during the 2018-19 season that was highlighted by skating in his 1,000th career NHL game on February 14 when the Blackhawks hosted New Jersey.

continued

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The New Look Chicago Blackhawks

from Barry Rozner of the Chicago Daily-Herald,

What everyone learned from watching Pittsburgh a couple of years ago, Vegas the last two years and the Blues two months ago is that you need to roll four lines and three sets of defense if you want to play fast.

You can't play fast through three zones with half a lineup and the Hawks' bench has been too short in too many third periods the last few years.

It's something they've been trying to change since the season ended, when new coach Jeremy Colliton talked of needing more options, being willing to play a 200-foot defensive game, being more aggressive on the forecheck and having more energy throughout the lineup, not relying on 5 or 6 goals to get it done.

Sounds remarkably like hockey.

"We have to win games in different ways," Colliton said, "and if you compare the roster now to the one we ended with -- or the one we had when I first came in November -- I think we can win in different ways."

There was quite a bit of optimism this weekend at the Blackhawks Convention, with a rebuilt defense, insurance in goal, more size and a fair amount of edge and character.

more

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Chicago/Ottawa Trade

 

added 2:53pm, Ottawa release is below.

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Buffalo/Chicago Trade

 

Buffalo Sabres release is below.

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Evening Line- Justin Bourne On Robin Lehner/New York Islanders

This is a guy who’s yet to turn 28. This is a guy who was once a highly touted young goalie who struggled with issues unrelated to the game itself. He’s worked on addressing his mental health and resulting addiction (with medication and 15-months of sobriety to date), and is finally just now, just this past season, playing clear. There’s a real possibility he could be a great – not good, great – goaltender in the league for years to come....

What seemed to happen, at least partially, is that the Islanders – most specifically Lou Lamoriello – overthought themselves out of a good goaltender who openly loved Long Island and seemed all but dying to integrate himself into the community after having already ingratiated himself to the fans. It seems like the Islanders thought that having a Russian goaltender – that being Varlamov – could help them achieve some other goals they were after (which to me don’t seem like “win-now” goals).

-Justin Bourne of The Athetic where you can read more (paid) on this topic.

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  Tags: robin+lehner

Robin Lehner Heading To Chicago

 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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