Blackhawks

Blackhawks' Toews on Kane situation: You stay together as a team

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Blackhawks' Toews on Kane situation: You stay together as a team

Jonathan Toews wasn’t asked about Patrick Kane specifically. But the Blackhawks captain, speaking to a Winnipeg radio station on Thursday afternoon, did talk of how the he and the team deal with off-ice issues.

Toews was about eight minutes into an interview on TSN 1290 on Thursday when he was asked about a “situation that’s been developing with one of your star teammates.” Toews was asked, “when something like that happens during the offseason, does your focus, as far as dealing with teammates andmedia, change?”

[REPORT: Friend of alleged victim subpoenaed in investigation of Blackhawks' Patrick Kane]

Toews had a lengthy response:

“Yeah, you just have to have confidence that things like that will resolve themselves over time and for the time being, you stay together as a team, you support your teammate or teammates who are maybe going through a rough patch. We saw it last year with some rumors that spread around social media about several guys in our locker room. It’s not the first time we’ve seen situations like that. Eventually you deal with it internally, you stay together as a team and you’re confident as individuals and as a group. Everyone kind of stays together and at the end of the day, we always say to each other, what is said and done in the locker room is the only thing that matters. We don’t let anything going on on the outside affect the way we do our job and the way we come to work together as a team. I get a lot of the credit because I have a ‘C’ on my sweater, but we have a great group of guys who understand what it takes to be a leader, what it takes to be a part of a good team. Clearly that’s more than just what happens on the ice; there are always a lot of things being said, things going on off the ice. But no matter what, we do a good job of sticking together.”

Kane is under investigation for an alleged rape that may have occurred at his home in Buffalo. Kane has not been charged.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?

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: