Blackhawks

Blackhawks: Weather could be perfect for Stadium Series game

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Blackhawks: Weather could be perfect for Stadium Series game

MINNEAPOLIS – Corey Crawford was watching the Seattle Seahawks-Minnesota Vikings NFC wild card game in early January, the one in which temperatures, with wind chill, reached a frigid minus-25.

“I was hoping it wouldn’t be the same temperature,” Crawford said with a smile. “That would’ve been tough.”

No, the Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild won’t have to face blistering-cold conditions during their Stadium Series game at TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon. In fact, the conditions may be as good as any outdoor game in which the Blackhawks have played. According to weather.com, the forecast for Sunday’s 2:30 p.m. puck drop is mostly cloudy with a high of 35 degrees.

The Blackhawks played in a warmer Winter Classic in Washington, D.C., in January 2015 – sun glare was also an issue. Their outdoor game in Soldier Field looked like a life-size version of a snow globe. Crawford said that Stadium Series game in Chicago was brisk.

“The one in Chicago we had, that was pretty cold when the play wasn’t going,” he said. “The feet and hands were starting to get a little chilly. So hopefully it stays around the same temperature as it was today.”

Strangely enough, Crawford said the swirling snow that night at Soldier Field didn’t cause him any problems picking up the puck. The only shot that got by him that night was when teammate Brent Seabrook inadvertently put one past him.

“When it snowed in Chicago, I thought it would be harder to see the puck. It actually helped a little bit. The puck stood out a little more, the light shining down against the snow,” Crawford said. “The hardest thing was the depth from over the boards, because you’re so used to having the stands. It’s weird at first with the depth without the seats there.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Players said the ice was in pretty good condition during Saturday’s practices. It was cloudy during those sessions – the Blackhawks practiced late morning, with the Wild following at 1 p.m. – so there was no sun glare. Basically, conditions were as good as you could get for an outdoor game. Players wouldn’t mind seeing the same on Sunday.

At the very least, it won't be NFC wild-card game cold.

“It’d be perfect if it was 30 degrees, maybe a little bit of snowfall for the TV and cloudy so there’s no glare,” Patrick Kane said. “It is what it is when you get out there; you deal with it as you go. I don’t think we’re too worried about it.”

Blackhawks deal Michael Kempny to Capitals for conditional third-round pick

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks deal Michael Kempny to Capitals for conditional third-round pick

The Blackhawks dealt defenseman Michael Kempny to the Washington Capitals for a third-round pick. Kempny had seven points in 31 games this season.

Kempny, 27, recorded 15 points in 81 career games for the Blackhawks. He tallied an assist in Saturday's 7-1 victory over the Capitals.

Kempny signed a one-year extension through the end of this season back in May.

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.

Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.

"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.

"What was said this time around crossed the line."

The Capitals released a statement about the incident:

"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."

The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.

Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.

"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."

The Capitals released the full interview.