Blackhawks

Hossa, Iginla pleased with Morrison

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Hossa, Iginla pleased with Morrison

KANATA, Ontario The Blackhawks added some great experience when they acquired veteran center Brendan Morrison on Friday night. And forward Marian Hossa said it can only help the Blackhawks in their playoff quest.

Hossa, who could very well have Morrison as his center on that second line, said the former Calgary Flames forward should give the Blackhawks a boost at center.

(Having another veteran) is huge, especially toward the playoffs and the end of the season, Hossa said prior to the NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday. To have a guy like that in the middle will definitely help. He has lots of experience, can pass the puck. Hes very speedy so you never know. It could be fun.

The Blackhawks were fine at center as far as numbers, but Hossa said in terms of experience, another was needed.

(Patrick Kane) is more comfortable on the right wing. On second line (Marcus Kruger) did a good job, but we need more experience going to be stronger, he said.

Morrisons centered some good players in recent seasons, including Jarome Iginla. The Flames wing said Morrison is a crafty player who will help the Blackhawks.

Hes a great team guy. Hes seen a lot, hes been on a lot of good teams, hes a very unselfish player and hes a popular guy in the locker room, Iginla said. Hes been fighting a few injuries but hes very smart. Hell find ways to be effective.

Morrison was the first Blackhawks move but it probably wont be the last. General manager Stan Bowman reiterated on Friday night that hes still looking for a defenseman before the trade deadline, which is Feb. 27. Hossa is encouraged by Bowmans quest for the necessary moves.

Its nice to see, Hossa said. And I knew Stan was up to something.

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: