Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
via Red Wings Corner,
Chicago coach Denis Savard said that Martin Havlat, who is out of tonight’s game against the Red Wings with an injured shoulder, isn’t skating, isn’t lifting weights. His only workout right now is the bicycle. Havlat’s status won’t be determined for another week.
I have also heard he is getting a 2nd opinion on his shoulder injury, and yes, it is the same shoulder he injured last season.
from the Chicago Blackhawks,
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that Rocky Wirtz will assume the role of Chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks. Peter Wirtz has resigned his position as Vice President of the team but will retain his role as President of Bismarck Enterprises.
“My brother Peter informed me of his decision to leave his role as Vice President of the Blackhawks. While I had hoped that Peter would stay on and help in rebuilding the Chicago Blackhawks into a winning and successful franchise, I respect his decision. He has worked at my father’s side for many years and has decided, at this time, to change his focus,” Rocky Wirtz said. “Peter will continue in leading Bismarck Enterprises and has pledged his complete support and loyalty to me and to the Chicago Blackhawks.”
from the Chicago Daily-Herald,
Then Martin Havlat’s name came up and things soured.
Because when the Hawks’ go-to guy skated off the ice, bent over from the waist in obvious agony late in the third period after being sandwiched by a pair of Minnesota players in front of the Wild net, it suddenly didn’t matter that they had played so well in dropping a 1-0 decision in the season opener.
What mattered was that after the game Havlat’s right arm was in a sling and his right shoulder had already been X-rayed with results to be announced today.
from Marcie Garcia at NHL.com,
There are times when the basement of the United Center, home of the Chicago Blackhawks, can feel like a soccer pitch. While going through the doors and into the corridors outside the dressing room, sounds of squeaky gym shoes and lively shouts warn of a game in progress.
Right wing Martin Havlat, the Hawks’ big gun, is one of the aspiring soccer stars.
“It’s just a good way for us to warm up,” says the 26-year-old Czech Republic native, by far the biggest soccer fan on the team
from the Daily Southtown,
Is this the season?
Is this the season the Blackhawks become a playoff team again?
Is this the season they stay healthy? Score some power-play goals? Go to the net?
Is this the season their long-suffering fans, many of whom no longer visit the United Center, are rewarded with more than a promise of a bright future?
from Damien Cox at ESPN,
Well, the Hawks will surely hit the half-century mark without winning it all, while the Leafs were closer five years ago than they are now. The Leafs are likely to be better this season and in the immediate future, but the Hawks have a chance with Toews and Kane to be one of the game’s most talented young teams if they nurture the prospects they own.
So the answer, really, is neither team appears on schedule to win the Cup anytime soon. But if the Hawks have the right kids and a productive change in ownership direction is in the offing, they look like the better bet somewhere down the line.
read on for a comparison…
from the AP via USA TODAY,
Hundreds of mourners from the world of hockey and sports gathered Monday for funeral services for Wirtz, 77, who died Wednesday of cancer.
Befitting Wirtz’s place in Chicago’s sports landscape, those in attendance included Blackhawks greats such as Stan Mikita and Chris Chelios, as well as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, and Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch.
“I came here as a young boy, to Chicago, and to be fathered and grandfathered by Mr. Wirtz was a privilege,” said Darryl Sutter, a former Blackhawks player and coach and one of several former players who recalled Wirtz’s role as a father figure.
Listening to the Wings/Leafs game online, the Toronto announcers stated Brent Sopel was signed by Chicago today.
added 9:20pm, TSN link now available, believed to be $1.5M for 1 year.
from the Chicago Sun-Times,
Martin Havlat, their leading scorer last season, felt pain in his groin in the first period of Tuesday’s exhibition game against the Florida Panthers and skated off the ice. He didn’t return in that game and didn’t take the ice when the Hawks resumed training camp Wednesday in Bensenville.
‘‘He’s day-to-day,’’ Savard said. ‘‘I’d like to have him play Sunday in the last exhibition game [at Minnesota]. I’d like the whole team to be available then.’‘
That won’t likely happen. Rookie center Jonathan Toews, who broke an index finger in the second preseason game Sept. 19, remains doubtful for the Oct. 4 opener at Minnesota, and Tuomo Ruutu, also listed as day-to-day, is nursing a sore knee.
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