Trevor Daley picked up his pace as he chased Patrick Kane on a breakaway attempt in Sunday’s scrimmage. He got his stick on the puck at the last minute, poking it away from Kane and denying the scoring chance.
“Good thing I don’t have to worry about that anymore. He’s on my side,” Daley said with a laugh afterward.
After facing the Blackhawks for his entire NHL career, Daley is now one of them. It’s been a fairly smooth transition so far for the defenseman, who played 11 seasons in Dallas before coming here in the trade that sent Patrick Sharp to the Stars. The adjustments continued on Monday night, when Daley participated in the Blackhawks’ training camp festival at the United Center.
Still, there are changes, and that’s to be expected.
“It’s a bit of a difference,” said Daley. “I’ve known one way my whole career. Just coming in, it’s a new environment, all new people, new ways. I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”
Daley talked over the summer about knowing a trade could happen at some point. And even though he was joining the Blackhawks, who had just won their third Stanley Cup in the last six seasons, it wasn’t easy saying goodbye to the only pro organization he’s known. Daley said he talked with Jason Spezza, who spent his entire career with the Ottawa Senators before he was traded to Dallas in the summer of 2014.
“When the trade happened, he was one of the first guys I talked to. [He told me] what to expect and how it is,” Daley said. “The transition’s been easy. Showing up and not knowing what to expect, with the group of guys that’s up here it’s been real easy.”
Coach Joel Quenneville said Daley had a solid start at Notre Dame.
“He's around a new setting and new guys. Who knows exactly who's going to be his partner, but I think he gives us another dimension on the back end with some involvement on the attack,” he said. “Defending… we want to make sure that we're all strong in that area and I think he can help us.”
Daley worked with Brent Seabrook in the Notre Dame scrimmages. As Quenneville said, who knows who Daley’s partner will be once the season starts; but Daley said Seabrook was a huge help last weekend.
[NBC SHOP: Gear up for the 2015-16 season, Blackhawks fans!]
“It’s been great to have a guy who’s been here for a long time,” Daley said. “He’s talked to me a ton. He’s telling me a lot of things, what the coaches expect from us as defensemen. It’s been good to have a guy like that. No matter how many games you’ve played in this league, when you go to a new team, it’s a different atmosphere. Teams play different ways. So to have a guy like that, there couldn’t be a much better one to learn from.”
- Artemi Panarin, originally set to play in Monday’s scrimmage, has an upper-body injury and will be out a few days. Quenneville said Panarin will sit more for maintenance; the injury isn’t serious.
- Most of the Blackhawks’ top players, including Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Kane, Seabrook, Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson, did not play on Monday. Quenneville said a lot of the top players – asked specifically about Kane, he said, “likely” – should play against Detroit on Tuesday.
- Quenneville said Marcus Kruger, who is still at home due to a visa issue, should join the Blackhawks on Wednesday.