Blackhawks

Cue Chelsea Dagger, Blackhawks' 2013 schedule has arrived

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Cue Chelsea Dagger, Blackhawks' 2013 schedule has arrived

The lockout has come to its merciful end. And with the Memo of Understanding finally being completed and signed by the NHL and NHLPA, the focus finally shifts to training camps and regular-season schedules.

READ: Hawks hit the ice Sunday as training camp opens

The Chicago Blackhawks will play 10 of their first 12 games on the road before enjoying a seven-game homestand, as team schedules were finally released on Saturday. The schedules came out a few minutes after both sides agreed upon a Memo of Understanding regarding the new collective bargaining agreement. The league said it would wait until the MOU was complete and signed before releasing all the information.

PHOTOS:A look inside the Hawks' first 10 games

Now the fun begins. Training camps will open on Sunday, albeit later in the day because it took so long Saturday to complete the MOU. The Blackhawks will have a little less than six days to prepare for their season opener against the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, which will be a 2 p.m. start on Jan. 19.

RELATED: Pack your bags, Hawks hitting the road

Other highlights of the Blackhawks schedule include:

The home opener against the St. Louis Blues on Jan. 22 and their next home game against the Red Wings, on Jan. 27.

An early visit to play the Phoenix Coyotes, the team that eliminated the Blackhawks in the Western Conference quarterfinals, on Jan. 20. But this game will be without Phoenix forward Raffi Torres, who will still be serving his suspension for injuring Marian Hossa last April.

A six-game road trip -- with games at Minnesota, Vancouver and San Jose, among others -- while the Disney ice show is in the United Center.

A seven-game homestand immediately following that six-game road trip. The Blackhawks will play San Jose twice and host the hated Vancouver Canucks once on this stand.

With trying to squeeze 48 games into a condensed amount of time, the Blackhawks will face all Western Conference opponents.

DateOpponentTimeTVJANUARYSat, Jan. 19at Los Angeles2:00 p.m.NBCSun., Jan. 20at Phoenix9:00 p.m.NBCSNTue., Jan. 22St. Louis7:30 p.m.CSNThu., Jan. 24at Dallas7:30 p.m.Sat., Jan 26at Columbus6:00 p.mSun., Jan. 27Detroit6:00 p.m.Wed., Jan. 30at Minnesota7:00 p.m.NBCSNFEBRUARYFri., Feb. 1at Vancouver9:00 p.m.Sat., Feb. 2at Calgary9:00 p.m.Tue., Feb. 5at San Jose9:30 p.m.Thu., Feb. 7at Phoenix8:00 p.m.Sun, Feb. 10at Nashville7:00 p.m.Tue., Feb. 12Anaheim7:30 p.m.Fri., Feb. 15San Jose7:30 p.m.Sun., Feb. 17Los Angeles12:30 p.m.NBCTue., Feb. 19Vancouver7:30 p.m.Fri, Feb. 22San Jose7:30 p.m.Sun., Feb. 24Columbus6:00 p.m.Mon., Feb. 25Edmonton7:30 p.m.Thu., Feb. 28at St. Louis7:00 p.m.MARCHFri., March 1Columbus7:30 p.m.Sun., March 3at Detroit11:30 a.m.NBCTue., March 5Minnesota7:30 p.m.Wed. March 6Colorado7:00 p.m.NBCSNFri. March 8at Colorado8:00 p.m.Sun., March 10Edmonton6:00 p.m.Thu., March 14at Columbus6:00 p.m.Sat., March 16at Dallas7:00 p.m.Mon., March 18at Colorado8:00 p.m.Wed., March 20at Anaheim9:00 p.m.Mon., March 25Los Angeles7:00 p.m.NBCSNTue., March 26Calgary7:30 p.m.Fri., March 29Anaheim7:30 p.m.Sun., March 31at Detroit11:30 a.m.NBCAPRILMon., April 1Nashville7:30 p.m.Thu., April 4St. Louis7:30 p.m.Sat., April 6at Nashville2:00 p.m.Sun., April 7Nashville6:00 p.m.Tue., April 9at Minnesota7:00 p.m.NBCSNFri., April 12Detroit7:30 p.m.Sun., April 14at St. Louis11:30 a.m.NBCMon., April 15Dallas7:00 p.m.NBCSNFri., April 19Nashville7:30 p.m.Sat., April 20Phoenix7:30 p.m.Mon., April 22at Vancouver9:00 p.m.Wed., April 24at Edmonton8:30 p.m.Fri., April 26Calgary7:30 p.m.Sat., April 27at St. Louis7:00 p.m.All game times Central

Lance Bouma's second chance has meant steady work with Blackhawks

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USA TODAY

Lance Bouma's second chance has meant steady work with Blackhawks

Lance Bouma took his place at fourth-line left wing as the Blackhawks rolled their forward rushes on Tuesday morning. As the Blackhawks have tinkered with their trios, Bouma, whose final two seasons with the Calgary Flames were filled with uncertainty, has found a consistent role in this lineup.

“Obviously I was brought here for a reason,” Bouma said. “Things didn’t go the way I wanted them to in Calgary. To come here to Chicago and have that role, it’s been a lot of fun so far.”

The Blackhawks knew what they wanted from Bouma and his fellow fourth liners: some physical play, some energy and if there are any scoring opportunities, bonus. It’s a second chance for Bouma, whose contract was terminated by the Flames on June 30.

“I think it’s definitely a motivator knowing that you get in that situation where all of a sudden, ‘OK, I have to almost start over again and I have to prove to a new team that I belong in this league and I can play,’” coach Joel Quenneville said on Tuesday. “There are always circumstances where teams make decisions like that. We’ve been a part of it. And moving forward as a player, you’ve gotta look at it as a fresh opportunity. It’s an opportunity to get back to playing your game.”

After recording 16 goals and 18 assists in the 2014-15 season, Bouma signed a three-year, $6.6 million deal with the Flames. The next two seasons didn’t go as planned as Bouma dealt with injuries, inconsistent play and healthy scratches. So getting that call from the Blackhawks was a huge lift.

“I was just looking forward to a fresh start and something new,” he said. “I just was ready to come into camp and have a great season and it’s been great so far.”

[MORE: Eddie Olczyk expected to return to broadcasting booth this week

Tommy Wingels, who has centered the Blackhawks’ fourth line the last several games – and will again vs. St. Louis on Wednesday – said Bouma looks “refreshed” this season.

“Obviously whether it’s a team doesn’t want to bring you back or it’s a trade or buyout, there’s certainly something that deep down gets you going,” Wingels said. “I think it was a good summer for him mentally to come to a new organization, come to a new group of guys and re-establish his game. It’s tough when you’re with the same coaches, same team for so long; maybe what you do gets taken for granted. He looks good and he’s skating really well and I think he moves really well for a big man. He’s strong on the pucks and he’s a good asset for us.

Bouma isn’t here to be a top-six player. He’s not here to fulfill a contract that he no longer has. The Blackhawks needed depth, energy and a physical presence and in brining that, Bouma has earned steady work.  

“We knew the player coming in that we wanted him to play that style and he’s done a good job of it, too,” Quenneville said of Bouma. “So it’s something we were looking for in our needs and it fit perfectly."

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Nick Schmaltz isn’t the only one returning; guess who is back in the booth?!

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Nick Schmaltz isn’t the only one returning; guess who is back in the booth?!

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Tracey Myers and Pat Boyle discuss Nick Schmaltz returning to the Blackhawks line-up on Wednesday night and which player is looking forward most to his return?

They also weigh in on Corey Crawford’s incredible start to the season and why he’s the major reason why the Hawks begin the week in first place in the Central.

They also discuss who is the biggest Hawks rivalry right now, which new defenseman has impressed the most and how is Connor Murphy dealing with being a healthy scratch at times this season?

Plus, they discuss someone other than Nick Schmaltz returning to work on Wednesday night.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below: