Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Chicago Daily-Herald,
It’s the question most Hawks fans are asking: Is the team going to be run differently with Rocky Wirtz in the big chair?
The answer is… it sure seems that way.
The fact that Rocky Wirtz recognized Pulford’s presence in the United Center gave the perception to the outside world that he was still making all the decisions was a critical moment in the recent history of the franchise.
According to a source close to Rocky Wirtz, physically removing Pulford from the building and moving his office across town was a symbolic move made to show Hawks fans that change is coming.
from Mike Chen’s Hockey Blog,
A long time ago (about, oh 15 years) in a galaxy far, far away (Chicago Stadium), the Chicago Blackhawks were considered one of the NHL’s best franchises. From the early-to-mid 90’s, going into Chicago meant a unique mix of speed, grit, and skill, led by a wide mix of players from Jeremy Roenick to Chris Chelios to Denis Savard to Steve Larmer; later on, that mix included Bernie Nicholls, Tony Amonte, and Gary Suter.
For about half of the 90’s, the Hawks were scary good, and the roar at Chicago Stadium let everyone know that they should fear making a trip into the Windy City.
From Lacy J. Banks at the Chicago Sun-Times,
While Blackhawks coach Denis Savard is ‘‘quite concerned’’ about injuries sidelining Martin Havlat (right shoulder) and Rene Bourque (groin), there are three significant reasons why Savard is happy and why his team is off to a 3-2 start.
First, Robert Lang has opened the season with a bang, leading the teams in scoring with three goals and two assists.
Second, rookies Patrick Kane (four assists) and Jonathan Toews (one goal, two assists) have each made an immediate impact.
Third, the Blackhawks have better depth, especially on defense, with the contributions of such newcomers as Kevyn Adams and Yanic Perreault.
from the Chicago Tribune,
While not quite official, it’s appearing more and more likely Blackhawks winger Martin Havlat will not require surgery on his injured right shoulder.
The team has the opinion of four doctors and awaits a fifth and final one before making a final decision, but coach Denis Savard said he expects his star forward back in a matter of weeks, not months.
From Barry Rozner at the Daily Herald,
The dominoes are starting to fall.
The housecleaning on West Madison began with the departure of Peter Wirtz last week and continued with the removal of Bob Pulford on Thursday, one of the most important moves the Blackhawks have made in years.
At this rate, new Hawks owner Rocky Wirtz will have home games on TV and a first-class hockey operations department by Christmas.
OK, that’s a stretch, but he’s moving fast and you have to give him time to clear up the more complicated matters.
In case you missed the first NHL goal from Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Great goal and looking forward to more of the same…
via the Blackhawks,
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that Bob Pulford has been named Vice President of Wirtz Corporation.
Bob Pulford has served the Chicago Blackhawks, the National Hockey League and the game of hockey for the better part of six decades. As a Hall of Fame player, a coach, and an executive, his passion for hockey, its players and its fans have made him a giant in the game.
Bob will transition from Senior Vice President of the Chicago Blackhawks to Vice President of Wirtz Corporation. In his new role, Pulford will serve as the Blackhawks liaison on NHL affairs. He will also continue in his role as Alternate Governor to the National Hockey League.
from the Chicago Sun-Times,
The future begins tonight, when Toews plays his first NHL game against the San Jose Sharks at the United Center.
Hawks coach Denis Savard sees unlimited possibilities for Toews, 19 and only a season removed from college hockey at North Dakota.
‘‘He’ll play in every situation—power play, penalty kill, four-on-four—and he’ll be good at it,’’ Savard said. ‘‘He is our future. He’s going to make a difference. I’m not concerned about that.’‘
from the Chicago Daily-Herald,
If the Blackhawks are fortunate enough to catch a break—and it’s still a huge “if”—they will be without top scorer Martin Havlat for the next 4-6 weeks.
But if the news is bad later this week after Havlat has several more doctors examine his injured right shoulder, he could be lost to the Hawks for the rest of the season.
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Will the Hawks be better? Sure, but marginally. They aren’t playoff-bound just yet.
Will they be more interesting? Absolutely—and by a lot. This is a team worth watching, even if those watchers won’t see enough victories to put it in the playoffs. Optimistically, I see an 82-point season, which is notably up from the 71 of last season, which was up from the 65 of the year before, which was up from the 59 in the last season before the NHL lockout. Progress will be made, however slowly.
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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