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Category: Chicago-Blackhawks

Saying Goodbye To Stan Mikita

from Tracey Myers of NHL.com,

Stan Mikita fans had the opportunity to say goodbye to the Chicago Blackhawks legend on Sunday and JoAnne Schmitt-Berg didn't want to miss one minute.

The 54-year-old from Chicago was first in a long line of fans that wrapped around the United Center for public visitation of Mikita, who died Tuesday at 78.

"I'd stand in line all day long to get to say goodbye," said Schmitt-Berg, who was there at 7:20 a.m. CT, almost four hours before the doors opened at 11 a.m. "We'll miss him."

Most of those who attended the service, many wearing No. 21 jerseys, signed a poster of Mikita when they entered the United Center atrium. Mikita's casket was flanked by two vases of roses in his favorite color, yellow.

continued

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Video- Remembering Stan Mikita

via Sportsnet's YouTube Page,

 

 

added 7:07pm, below, watch Dave Stubbs of NHL.com on Stan Mikita.

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Stan Mikita Has Passed Away

via the Chicago Blackhawks,

Statement on behalf of the Mikita family

"With great sorrow, the Mikita family announces that Stan passed away on Tuesday August 7, 2018 at the age of 78. He was surrounded by his loving family whom he fiercely loved. Details of planned services will be released when they become available. We respectfully ask for privacy at this time." 

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A Look At The Chicago Blackhawks

from Tracey Myers of NHL.com,

NHL.com is providing in-depth roster, prospect and fantasy analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Chicago Blackhawks are hoping several offseason additions and the improved health of their No. 1 goaltender will help them get back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Blackhawks added to their depth at each position, signing goaltender Cam Ward, 34, (one-year contract), forward Chris Kunitz, 38, (one-year contract) and defenseman Brandon Manning, 28, (two-year contract) on July 1 after missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2007-08.

Goaltender Corey Crawford missed the second half of last season with an upper-body injury and said July 27 that he still wasn't 100 percent but hopes to be ready for training camp in September.

"Treatments are going well and we're making small steps and I'm getting a little better, so it's a process," Crawford said at the annual Blackhawks Convention. "It's been a process since I left in December. It hasn't been easy, but I'll be back. ... Right now, we're looking good. We've done a lot to get where I'm at right now, and I'm feeling good and hopefully I can get to a point soon where I can jump back on the ice."

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Morning Line- Cam Ward

"We have a lot of loyal and great fans in Carolina, but it's no secret that the attendance is always a little bit low. I'm looking forward to … playing in front of a sold-out building and passionate fans."

-Cam Ward of the Chicago Blackhawks.  More from and on Ward by John Dietz of the Chicago Daily-Herald.

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The Plan For The Chicago Blackhawks

from Barry Rozner of the Chicago Daily-Herald,

"People talk about reloading and refreshing. I want us to rewin is what I want us to do," McDonough said with a wry smile. "That message has been sent loud and clear, but with reasonable expectations.

"Our expectations this year are to be a playoff team, and then once you get in, be in a position to make a deep run.

"Stan has a lot of resources. I have a lot of faith in Stan and Joel (Quenneville), but we're all in the performance business, myself included."

It sounds as if the Hawks will hope for a good start, health from Corey Crawford, improved performance from Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad, and something from a group of young defensemen.

If that doesn't happen, the direction remains unclear, though one would suppose some form of rebuild or -- forgive the term -- reload.'

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Corey Crawford Progressing, But Not Yet At 100%

from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,

Since the end of the dismal 2017-18 season, a year of promise that was derailed by Corey Crawford’s head injury in late December, the Blackhawks have steadfastly said they expect their star goaltender to be back in time for training camp and the start of the season. General manager Stan Bowman said it. Joel Quenneville said it. And they both have reaffirmed that belief over the summer.

Crawford isn’t quite so certain.

“That’s hard to say right now, but it’s very possible,” Crawford said Friday in his first public comments since an ill-fated morning skate in Arizona on Feb. 12. “We’ve come a long way in the last couple months, and there’s a really good chance that could happen.”

Moments before he spoke on Friday, Quenneville said he expects that Crawford will be his starting goaltender on opening night.

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Will The Chicago Blackhawks Be Just Fine?

from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,

...as he prepares for the annual Blackhawks Convention this weekend at the downtown Hilton, Wirtz doesn’t sound terribly concerned about the state of the franchise. Ask him about the aging core, and he says, “I think we’re going to be fine as a team. I’m not worried about it.”

Ask him about those $10 seats on StubHub, and he’ll point out that he sold more than 400 standing-room-only seats for those same games and that they “certainly were more than 10 bucks.”

Ask him about the drop in ticket renewals, and he spins it as a positive that fans who have been on the waiting list since 2010 can finally get seats.

Ask him about the dramatic loss in revenue from ticket sales (and, more important, concessions and parking) after hosting only five playoff games in three years, and he’ll note that the Hawks made so much during the regular season that they’re still among the top 10 teams forced to pay into the revenue-sharing pool for the bottom 10 teams. He’ll note that Bowman still has carte blanche to spend to the $79.5  million salary cap if he sees fit. Oh, and, “We were still able to outdraw Montreal.”

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Evening Line- Jonathan Toews

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The Chicago Blackhawks Are What They Are At This Point

from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,

Bowman is “really optimistic” about the coming season, but didn’t exactly insist that he’s put together a playoff-caliber roster. He’s content with the moves he’s made, but sounded like he’s come up empty in making any bigger ones. He left the door open to a late-summer or early fall trade — once teams learn in the preseason what they have and don’t have — but acknowledged that he might not be able to make immediate use of the cap space opened up by the Hossa trade.

So here the Hawks sit — still counting on Corey Crawford to be healthy and his old self, still counting on Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad having monster bounce-back seasons, still counting on Duncan Keith to find the fountain of youth, still counting on a shaky defense to find its footing.

“We’re looking forward,” Bowman said. “We’re really optimistic about the group. We know that we have some really motivated players who have accomplished quite a bit already in their careers, but [who] haven’t had the recent success that they would like. When you’ve been there and you’ve been able to reach the ultimate, you know how great that feeling is, and you know when you’re not there, it’s not a fun time. We’re very excited to get back to the playoffs.”

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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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