Blackhawks

Blackhawks prep for time without Duncan Keith

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Blackhawks prep for time without Duncan Keith

The Blackhawks don’t know Duncan Keith’s suspension fate yet but they’re planning to at least be without him on Friday against the Winnipeg Jets.

Keith will have a phone hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety on Friday afternoon for his match penalty in Tuesday’s game. He is suspended indefinitely until that hearing and ruling. Defensive pairings reflected that on Thursday. Trevor van Riemsdyk was with Niklas Hjalmarsson, Viktor Svedberg paired with Brent Seabrook and Erik Gustafsson paired with Michal Rozsival.

Coach Joel Quenneville said he spoke to Keith “briefly,” about the incident. Keith declined to talk following practice.

[MORE HAWKS: Duncan Keith could be suspended into playoffs]

“His competitiveness is what makes him a great player,” Quenneville said of Keith. “And I just think [it’s about] being smart and knowing your limitations, or I guess the limit, is what we have to do.”

The Blackhawks will also be without Marian Hossa, who is sick and will not make the trip to Winnipeg. Artem Anisimov, who has missed the last two games with a lower-body injury and Brent Seabrook, who was ill the last game, are expected to play vs. the Jets. Scott Darling will start.

For now the Blackhawks move on without Keith, who missed 10 games earlier this season when he had knee surgery. The Blackhawks went 5-4-1 during Keith’s absence in the fall.

[SHOP: Get your Blackhawks gear right here]

“We have seven [defensemen] who are ready to play. We’ve been moving guys in and out recently on the back end, pairs have been changing in games,” Quenneville said. “It’ll be a good chance for some guys to get good ice time and more quality.”

In other news, Corey Crawford could be back on the ice this weekend. Crawford has been out for more than two weeks with an upper-body injury. He’s been listed as day-to-day the entire time.

“Spoke to him a while ago. He’s really progressed well here. We expect him on the ice this weekend and go from there,” Quenneville said. “Good progress the last day or so, and I was encouraged.”

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

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USA TODAY

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here:

Blackhawks ban four ejected fans from future home games

Blackhawks ban four ejected fans from future home games

The Blackhawks have banned the four fans — who were ejected from Saturday's game against the Washington Capitals for their racist remarks towards Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly — from future home games.

On Monday, a Blackhawks spokesperson released this statement:

We have contacted the select individuals involved in the incident on Saturday to notify them that they are no longer welcome at our home games. Racist comments and other inappropriate behavior are not tolerated by the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks also wanted to remind fans that they can alert security at the United Center by texting the following to 69050: UCASSIST <SPACE> followed by the seating section, row and a brief description of the issue.