by Vince Maranto on 09/28/11 at 12:30 PM ET
The Hawks made more roster cuts in the last couple of days.They have assigned forwards Kyle Beach, Jimmy Hayes, and Peter LeBlanc, and defensemen Brian Connelly and Joe Lavin to the Rockford Ice Hogs. (I have tickets for a couple of games in October and November and I’m really looking forward to seeing a lot of these guys in person)
The Hawks training camp roster now stands at 33 active players, which includes 21 forwards, 9 defensemen and three goaltenders. As always, the full roster can be found at chicagoblackhawks.com. Among those still around is Brandon Saad, the kid I’ve been talking about all of camp. After the first time I saw him play, I wrote that he had the potential to be “a dark horse” that seems to emerge during most training camps. Apparently Coach Q agrees, saying, “If he keeps playing that way every day we’ll probably be talking about him the next day. This is not something we envisioned. But every training camp there’s someone who gets your attention and captures it, makes you look at the case differently. He’s done that.”
For those who aren’t familiar with him, Saad is an 18 year old Pittsburgh area native. He was the Hawks second round (43rd overall) pick in the 2012 Draft.
The other big talk of the last few days in camp is the notion of switching Kaner to center. Kane played the center role on a line with Andrew Brunette and Marian Hossa.on the wings during practice the other day. When asked about the situation, Kane had these comments.
“We’ll see if it works or not, but I’m going to do my best there and see what happens.I’ve played center for a lot of my life and obviously I’m pretty comfortable on the wing, but it’s pre-season so might as well try it and see if it works. Anything you can put your mind to, especially defensively, you can do, but I think my defense has definitely developed over the past three years and I feel pretty confident in my own end.”
The main concern for his switch would be his size. As I have reported since the Blackhawks Convention this past summer. he has put on a little over 15 pounds, mostly upper body. Also, we’ll have to see how he does on face-offs. I listened to Coach Q comment on the possible switch and besides face-off issue, he was also concerned about Kane’s play low in his own end. He thought Kane’s defensive play against the bigger, stronger centers around the league would be his true test. We’ll see, as they say.
The Hawks will continue the pr-eseason tonight against the Red Wings. The game will be played at 7:30 (Central) and will be televised on Versus as well as CSN-Chicago. We will finally see both Kane and Hossa tonight as they make their pre-season game debuts..
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