Chicago Blackhawks

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How the Chicago Blackhawks are shaping up as training camp approaches

Chicago fans were disappointed in April when the Blackhawks couldn't make it past their hated rival, the Vancouver Canucks. But even in the face of the loss, there was a lot of positive things to take away from the postseason for the Hawks.

The most important thing was the Blackhawks' performance in games 4-7 of the first series. Despite Vancouver looking like the stronger, healthier team going to the series - and they were, having cruised through the final weeks of their schedule as Chicago battled down to the very last wire in the effort to hold on to their playoff berth - and even despite the Canucks practically skating circles around t...

Evaluating the Blackhawks at Draft, and previewing Prospect Camp

The 2011 Draft was not considered particularly deep, but the Chicago Blackhawks collected a total of 11 picks by the time the weekend was through, including Phillip Danault (pictured above). Danault was the Blackhawks' second pick (26th overall). Along with a solid set of selections throughout the Draft, Chicago's depth grew even more.

Let's take a quick look at the players Chicago drafted this year, as they will be part of the Chicago prospects camp that begins on Thursday, July 7th:

Mark McNeill, C (1st round/18th overall) - big, strong, smart center with good two-way game. Most recently of Prince Albert Raiders. Strong work ethic; scored 81 points in 70 g...

Blackhawks report card, part 3: Rockford IceHogs RFAs/UFAs - who might make the NHL?

Having discussed the active Blackhawks roster over the past two days, now we look to the Rockford IceHogs - Chicago's AHL affiliate and the top of the Blackhawks depth chart, including a few collegiate, ECHL or other junior league players who might be ready to make the transition to the AHL, since that factors into NHL interests in the case of call-ups. Currently, of the 26 or so players who had time in Rockford this season, 8 are RFAs and 4 are UFAs. For part 3 of the seasonal report card, we'll look at the UFAs and RFAs, and then finish up part 4 by discussing those who will still be under contract through at least the 2011-12 season. UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS Hannu Toivonen, ...

Blackhawks report card, part 2: RFAs and UFAs

Yesterday, we looked at those players whose contracts extend through the 2011-12 season or beyond. Today, we're going to look at the RFAs and UFAs currently on the Blackhawks roster, and rate their chances for returning next season. Notes in parenthesis are the player's 2010-11 salary cap hit, and RFA or UFA status. EXPECT TO RETURN - THE RFAs Corey Crawford, goalie ($800K/RFA) - Corey Crawford has quietly bided his time in the Blackhawks system. Drafted 52nd overall and the Blackhawks second pick of the 2003 Draft (the same draft where Ryan Kesler was picked 23rd and Corey Perry 28th), he played two seasons for the Norfolk Admirals when the Admirals were still the Blackhawks' AHL...

Blackhawks report card, part 1: contracted players for 2011-12

The Chicago Blackhawks might have gotten into the playoffs on the grace of another team's loss, despite finishing the season with 97 points, but they finished out the season on their own terms. They went out fighting like the defending champions they were, and nearly pulled out a historical upset after coming back from an 0-3 deficit. They didn't, of course - in what was a pair of instant-classic games, the Blackhawks and the Canucks battled it out in epic games 6 and 7. Rookie goalie Corey Crawford showed off the form that showed just how badly he was overlooked for the Calder Trophy nomination this year. Crawford even out-played his counterpart on the other end of the ice, Roberto ...

Blackhawks breathe new life into their series against Vancouver

The Chicago Blackhawks went into Tuesday night's game versus the Vancouver Canucks with a goal: keep it simple, and focus on one shift at a time. By reading the most newspaper accounts, you'd think that the team already had one foot on the golf course, and a club already in hand. The season eulogies appeared to already be written. The men of four feathers, however, had other ideas. They knew everything was on the line: their season, their Cup-defending playoff run, everything. What was worse - almost not making the playoffs, or the idea of getting swept in the first round? For some reason, the Blackhawks have always done their best when backed into a corner. Perhaps it's the e...

And then there was one

The Chicago Blackhawks thought their season was over a week ago on Sunday when they came off the ice after their final regular season home game, a loss against their division rivals, the Detroit Red Wings. All they had needed out of the game was a single point, and no matter what Dallas did that night against Minnesota, it wouldn't matter -- they'd be in. But they didn't get it done, and they were at the mercy of two teams who were playing 400 miles away. Several hours later, the Stars couldn't get it done, either - couldn't win the two points to put them in the playoffs ahead of the Blackhawks - and Chicago snagged its place in the top 8 of the Western Conference by the grace of t...

Blackhawks make it into the playoffs with "blessings" from the Wild

The Minnesota Wild handed Chicago a gift on Sunday evening: a berth for the playoffs. In a turnaround from last season, the final available seed of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs was a Western Conference team, not an Eastern one -- and not only that, but it was a battle between the defending Stanley Cup champions and the Dallas Stars. The entire league had written off Minnesota's chances a week earlier; the belief was that the Stars would win out their season and steal away the 8th-spot from the Blackhawks, who had a far tougher final stretch of games to get through. The weekend race to the finish was so tight that Chicago could have finished anywhere from 4th to 9th, depending on how ...

On to the Wings and a prayer

Tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks face off against their longtime rival, the Detroit Red Wings. What has been unusual about this season is that after opening their season at home vs the Wings, the Blackhawks only saw them twice more mid-season - once in December, once in January. And now, through a fluke of this year's scheduling, three of their remaining eight games are against them, including their final game of the regular season - opening and closing the season against them. Against the Wings, the Blackhawks are 2-1 so far. The home opener was a solid game, but a 3-2 loss following a highly emotional pre-game banner-raising ceremony. In December, despite missing some key core ...

Can the Blackhawks still win, or will tonight be Coyote ugly?

A few nights ago in Dallas, the Blackhawks took their worst loss of the season, a 5-0 embarrassing shutout. The loss in and of itself wasn't embarrassing; no team will have a perfect season. No -- this game was horrific. It was only the second time the Hawks were shut out this season, in fact - but at least in their 3-0 shutout to Vancouver, it wasn't due to lack of effort, mainly a hot goalie. The Dallas loss was simply a huge mess, like watching an ECHL team attempt to keep up with an NHL one. Defensemen repeatedly got caught up-ice, leaving Stars clear for breakaways. Corey Crawford got hung out to dry, and was pulled in favor of Marty Turco, who probably should have been started ...