Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune,
The Blackhawks have done everything right and have done it so quickly that this moment called for Dramamine. Do they have any idea of how good they are? Do they have any idea of how good they have it?
They say they do.
“I still feel like a young kid living a dream playing in the NHL,” said Toews, who at 21 has good reason to feel like a young kid. “To be blessed to be in this city, I can’t think of any better place I could have been drafted to when I was 18 years old. I never could have predicted the things that have happened in this city since then.”
He’s referring, in part, to the team’s surprising trip to the Western Conference finals last season, but he might as well have been referring to something even more surprising: how ridiculously good this team is 26 games into this season.
Watch the Chicago press conference below which is scheduled to begin around 3:00pm ET.
Or catch the NHL Hour (3-4p ET) with Gary Bettman and guest Brendan Shanahan, also below.
added 3:04pm, from the Chicago Blackhawks,
The Chicago Blackhawks have agreed today to a five-year contract extension with captain Jonathan Toews, a 13-year contract extension with alternate captain Duncan Keith and a five-year contact extension with right wing Patrick Kane.
from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,
The Blackhawks will not need to make a roster move to clear salary cap space in order to sign Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to contract extensions.
The NHL wouldn’t have allowed the Hawks to announce the new deals for the trio if the club did not have the necessary “tagging room” for the 2010-11 season.
“Certainly, Chicago—they have some difficult decisions, but you know what? They have an awesome hockey team this year.”
-Red Wings GM Ken Holland talking about the Chicago salary situation. More on this topic from Craig Custance of the Sporting News.
The Chicago Blackhawks have called a press conference on Thursday where it is expected the team will announce the signings of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith to multi-year contract extensions.
Sources tell TSN that Toews and Kane will sign identical five-year contract extensions worth about $6.3 million per season. Meanwhile Keith’s deal is worth $72 million spread over a whopping 13 years at an annual average of $5.5 million.
note 8:12pm: The text changed from the original TSN story, so I posted it here.
added 10:40pm, Bob McKenzie of TSN discusses what the Blackhawks could do with their salary cap situation.
Blue Jackets and Blackhawks went deep into the shootout last night.
Chicago finally pulled out a 4-3 victory. Watch the shootout below…
I know there is still a lot of regular-season hockey to be played, but I feel pretty comfortable saying that I expect to be spending quite a bit of time in April, May and June in the Windy City
-Craig Simpson of CBC. More from Craig on the Blackhawks.
Last season was fine, with the Hawks surprise participants in the Western Conference finals, but there’s no reason to think this couldn’t be one of those altogether too-rare dream seasons.
-Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times. More from Len on the Blackhawks.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via Faceoff.com,
• Take this to the bank: The Chicago Blackhawks will move Cam Barker’s $3-million US salary this summer because fellow defenceman Bryan Campbell and his $7 million salary is staying put.
The Blackhawks also have hugely underrated Swede Niklas Hjalmarsson playing 20 minutes a game. Barker plays 14 minutes a night and teams are always looking for power-play pointmen.
• Todd Bertuzzi is lighter than ever—he’s on the ice for optional workouts 15 minutes before the other players in Detroit—but you have to wonder whether his hands are gone. That’s what happened to his old Vancouver Canucks teammate, Markus Naslund, who lost his mitts. Bertuzzi is not in the slot like he used to be; he’s on the perimeter. He has just one goal in the last 13 games.
more Western and Eastern Coference notes…
added 10:40am, And even more from Jim at Faceoff.com.
via Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,
It was a great road trip for the Blackhawks despite Saturday night’s 2-1 loss to the Kings in a shootout, which followed Friday’s 3-0 loss at Anaheim.
The Hawks took 9 out of a possible 12 points and come back home still in first place in the Central Division.
“I thought it was a real good road trip,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “You get 9 out of 12 points in six tough buildings. At the beginning of it you would have taken that.”
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.
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