Blackhawks

Hossa, Kane to be teammates at All Star Game

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Hossa, Kane to be teammates at All Star Game

OTTAWA, Ontario Marian Hossa had just one hope entering the All-Star draft. And he got it.

I got picked before Kaner, Hossa said of Patrick Kane. So thats a big win for me.

Hossa and Kane were selected fourth and 12th, respectively, by Team Zdeno Chara at the 2012 NHL All-Star Draft on Thursday night. The Blackhawks forwards will be teammates through this weekend, too, and theyll be joined by former Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell, who was Team Charas 11th pick.

So, for at least one night, a few of the 2010 Cup winners will be together again.

Yeah, I know when I was drafted (last year) I tried to put those things together, guys like (Martin) Havlat, (Dustin Byfuglien), (Jonathan) Toews, all those guys, Kane said. This year it worked out that all three of us ended up on the same team.

So will Hossa and Kane be on the same line together? Hey, its the All-Star Game. They could play some together but things could get switched around quite a bit. Either way, the players are going to enjoy it.

Im just looking forward to it, Hossa said. Being together on a team is awesome. And Soupys there, too.

The second-annual player draft yielded very few surprises. Team captain Daniel Alfredsson picked all of his Ottawa Senators teammates, the Sedin twins were kept together and away from the Boston players chosen by Team Chara -- and Chara chose fellow Slovak and friend Hossa.

The selection process was new to Hossa and Campbell, who were not part of last years festivities. Campbell said its been a while since hed been through something like that.

It kind of brings you back to the outdoor rink kind of thing, the playground, Campbell said. It was good.

Hossa found it interesting.

I didnt know what to think about it but it was fun, especially when it comes down to a few players. They were getting really nervous, Hossa said. Overall it was a good show.

TEAM CHARA

1. Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit
2. Tim Thomas, Boston
3. Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh
4. Marian Hossa, Blackhawks
5. Kimmo Timonen, Philadephia
6. Corey Perry, Anaheim
7. Carey Price, Montreal
8. Phil Kessel, Toronto
9. Ryan Suter, Nashville
10. Jimmy Howard, Detroit
11. Brian Campbell, Florida
12. Patrick Kane, Blackhawks
13. Dion Pfaneuf, Toronto
14. Jarome Iginla, Calgary
15. Dennis Wideman, Washington
16. Marian Gaborik, N.Y. Rangers
17. Jordan Eberle, Edmonton
18. Tyler Seguin, Boston
19. Jamie Benn, Dallas

TEAM ALFREDSSON:

1. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa
2. Jason Spezza, Ottawa
3. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles
4. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia
5. Kris LeTang, Pittsburgh
6. Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay
7. Brian Elliott, St. Louis
8. Shea Weber, Nashville
9. Daniel Sedin, Vancouver
10. Dan Girardi, N.Y. Rangers
11. Keith Yandle, Phoenix
12. Milan Michalek, Ottawa
13. Henrik Sedin, Vancouver
14. James Neal, Pittsburgh
15. Alex Edler, Vancouver
16. John Tavares, N.Y. Islanders
17. Scott Hartnell, Philadelphia
18. Jason Pominville, Buffalo
19. Logan Couture, San Jose

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks return to action against Islanders

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Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks return to action against Islanders

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the New York Islanders tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Erik Gustafsson's season debut.

The Blackhawks recalled one of their top defensive prospects on Jan. 9 but haven't been able to get him some game action yet. All signs point to that changing tonight.

He skated on a pairing with Brent Seabrook during Friday's practice, and was even placed on the second power play unit during special teams drills. Joel Quenneville was excited about the possibility of finally getting Gustafsson into the lineup.

"Good option, good opportunity," Quenneville said. "We’re not for sure but certainly he’s been around, he’s eager to go. I look forward to seeing what he can do."

2. Anthony Duclair's promotion.

He hasn't been in Chicago for very long but Duclair is quickly working his way up the lineup. The newly-acquired Blackhawk registered an assist in his team debut last Friday in a 2-1 victory over Winnipeg, and was put on a power play unit as well.

On Friday, Duclair was promoted to the top line with Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews and continued getting reps on the second power-play unit. Let's see if the 22-year-old can take advantage of that opportunity in a top-six role.

3. Mathew Barzal.

Three rookies will be named finalists for the Calder Trophy at the end of the season. Barzal is a lock to be one of them.

He not only leads all rookies with 48 points, but he ranks 15th in the entire league in the scoring race and is the only first-year player averaging at least a point per game. 

The 20-year-old center has been sensational and he already has two five-point games in his young professional career. To put that into perspective, Patrick Kane recorded his first NHL five-point effort two weeks ago against the Ottawa Senators.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Are Blackhawks a playoff team even with Corey Crawford?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Are Blackhawks a playoff team even with Corey Crawford?

Seth Gruen and US99’s Stylz & Roman join Luke Stuckmeyer on the panel.  Joel Quenneville says he expects and hopes Corey Crawford can return this season?  Will he come back?  And are they a playoff team even if Crawford returns?

Plus the Bulls extend Zach LaVine’s minutes, a preview of Sunday’s championship game and will Jake Arrieta eventually end up back with the Cubs?