Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Chicago Blackhawks,
The Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to terms with defenseman Michal Rozsival on a one-year contract.
Rozsival, 34, recorded 13 points (G, 12A), 34 penalty minutes and a +8 plus/minus rating in 54 regular-season games with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2011-12. The Vlasim, Czech Republic, native helped Phoenix reach the 2012 Western Conference Final for the first time in franchise history, posting two PIM, 31 hits and 28 blocked shots in 15 games.
Jonathan Toews visited Port aux Basques (southwestern tip of Newfoundland) and skated with some hockey kids.
Video via CBC,
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
The Chicago Blackhawks' experiences with the Stanley Cup -- Patrick Kane stuck on a ladder in Buffalo, Jonathan Toews having a Manitoba lake named after him, Duncan Keith and the trophy in front of the picturesque backdrop of Penticton, B.C. -- seem like distant memories.
It's been two straight seasons of losing in the first round, of failing to live up to expectations, of overtime heartache since Kane knew before the rest of the world that the puck went in and the Blackhawks were Stanley Cup champions. Yet here they are again ready to enter a season with high expectations and Cup aspirations -- only now the pressure to win may be at a heightened level because of the recent disappointments.
"We know expectations to win are high and getting back to being a champion is the ultimate goal," coach Joel Quenneville told NHL.com. "We're all looking forward to winning and we all know the ramifications if we don't. We welcome that challenge and let's go."
So says Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls when asked by ESPN Chicago who his top 3 Chicago athletes are at the one minute mark of this video…
from Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago,
For management and coaches—let alone players—the annual Chicago Blackhawks fan convention could someday be a contentious place to be. Two first-round playoff exits after their Stanley Cup victory don’t have fans completely boiling over, but another sub-par year might change things next July.
Coach Joel Quenneville sounds like he’s going to try his best to bring the Hawks back to an elite level.
“Two years ago [in 2011] we exited [the season] with a lot of disappointment. I thought we exited this year with anger,” Quenneville said Friday. “As a staff and players we should all have that in the back of our mind when we begin [next season].”
That statement sums up what could be a different Quenneville come training camp and beyond. If anger is his emotion of the day, then practices and accountability for in-game failures might be different.
from Brian Hedger at NHL.com,
Meeting with reporters in person for the first time since a hit by Coyotes forward Raffi Torres in Game 3 of the series, Hossa said he’s been working out hard off the ice for about a month and showing no symptoms.
“Lots of time has passed by and that helped me,” Hossa said Friday afternoon at a media function prior to the start of the Hawks’ annual fan convention this weekend at the Chicago Hilton. “I didn’t have to rush anything and that was most important thing. After (it was decided) that I couldn’t fly home to Slovakia, I just basically didn’t do anything. I just relaxed and (at) some point I decided to try to do something, start working out. Things right now are on a level where I want to be and I’m happy where I am so far.”
However, Hossa hasn’t gotten back on the ice.
“I’m going to take my time and first do everything at the gym, cardio, and the time will come soon when I step on the ice and start doing things on the ice,” he said. “The way I feel right now, I feel I will be ready for (training) camp. No (symptoms) right now. It could be different on the ice, when I get my first hit or somebody just (pushes) me ... but so far without the contact I can do everything at a high level.”
via Ben Meyer-Abbott of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Patrick Kane said Friday he was embarrassed by the photos that emerged after a party-filled weekend less than two weeks after the Blackhawks were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The pictures—which appeared to show an intoxicated Kane in Madison, Wis., including one in which it appeared he was passed out at a bar—were published in an article on Deadspin.com and the Hawks star winger has kept out of the media since the story broke.
“It was embarrassing,” Kane said before participating in the opening ceremonies of the Blackhawks’ annual convention. “That’s the first thing I can say. From all the pictures that came out, everything, from the Hawks organization, to my family, to myself personally, it’s embarrassing. I try to pride myself on being involved with the fans and taking pictures when they’re asked for because I know I was a little kid one day that really looked up to stars like myself and try to give them that on behalf. But like I said, hopefully it’s something I can learn and mature from. It’s still part of my maturation process and something I’m still trying to get better at and the biggest thing, it was embarrassing.”
from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,
The Chicago Blackhawks have been trying to attract a few big names in free agency this summer, with captain Jonathan Toews playing a part in the pitch….
“I’m not going to lie, there have been a few text messages sent here and there to guys that I know,” Toews said Tuesday morning before participating in the Rumble at the Ridge at Pine Ridge Golf Course. “It’s been different than other years because we have been in the mix to look for another player. I’d love to be able to influence a guy like that (Doan) to come to Chicago. We know Chicago is a great place to play and that we’re going to have a good team this year, so hopefully that entices somebody to want to come play for us.
“We still have some time to see what happens here.”
The Blackhawks might also be one of the teams Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo could be moved to.
“It’s pretty interesting, we all know the pressure he’s always been under in Vancouver and that he’s looking for a fresh start,” said Toews…
from Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune,
I hope Stan Bowman is lying about this. I hope he’s just doing what smart, truth-challenged general managers do.
Because I really don’t want to think that the Blackhawks GM actually believes that “for the most part we know what our roster is going to be with some minor tweaks here and there,’’ as he said Tuesday in advance of Friday’s NHL draft.
I mean, “minor tweaks here and there’’? Excuse me, but when you’re coming off your second straight first-round playoff loss after winning a Stanley Cup with Dale Tallon’s roster, there’s nothing minor.
There’s especially nothing minor about not having a legitimate No. 2 center. Again.
It’s not Patrick Kane, no matter how stridently Bowman defends his misguided stance.
“I don’t think there is any dysfunction. I don’t see any. I just don’t. People can say what they want. But I think people communicate well. Our record is not that bad. Obviously, we want to go farther in the playoffs, but to have 100-and-some points with a nine-game losing streak, I think is pretty good.”
-Rocky Wirtz, owner of the Chicago Blackhawks.
“There is never a complacent, easy day at the United Center for us. There is a lot at stake here. I impart that on Stan on a regular basis, and he understands that. But I like the way we go about making our decisions.”
-John McDonough, president of the Chicago Blackhawks.
More on Chicago’s off-season from Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times.
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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