Blackhawks

Kaplan: Dodgers trade for Hanley could trigger Dempster deal

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Kaplan: Dodgers trade for Hanley could trigger Dempster deal

While the trade of Ryan Dempster to the Atlanta Braves appears to be dead, Cubs fans have taken to Twitter to bash the Cubs right-hander for not approving a deal that would have sent him to the Braves for 22-year-old pitcher Randall Delgado.

Dempster, as is his right as a 105 man (10 years in the big leagues and the past five with the same team) can veto any deal for whatever reason he chooses and he has made it clear to the Cubs that he will accept a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers but appears to have limited interest in playing for Atlanta. If a trade with the Dodgers cannot be worked out, the Cubs could revisit talks with the Braves but that assumes that Atlanta will not have already filled their need with another deal.

One thing working in the Cubs favor in a potential deal with the Dodgers is the hole that was created when LA traded young starter Nathan Eovaldi to the Florida Marlins in a deal that brought shortstop Hanley Ramirez to Los Angeles. That has created an immediate need to fill his spot in the rotation and has rekindled talks between the Cubs and Dodgers.

Fans that are critical of Dempster for not accepting the Atlanta trade are making assumptions without knowing all of the facts. Dempster, as the parent of a seriously affected special needs child has much more on his plate when he makes a decision than someone who has a family without those issues. We dont know the other personal issues that Dempster may be dealing with on a day-to-day basis and how those affect his children and the rest of his family and his life.

I fully expect the Dodgers and Cubs to consummate a trade before the deadline that will send young pitching back to the Cubs and while the players coming back may not be as major league ready as Delgado, they will still be players that should figure in the Cubs long-term future.

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

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AP

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.

Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:

After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident:

Cue Chelsea Dagger: Blackhawks blow out Capitals to snap eight-game losing streak

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USA TODAY

Cue Chelsea Dagger: Blackhawks blow out Capitals to snap eight-game losing streak

Win one game.

That was Joel Quenneville’s message during the Blackhawks’ eight-game losing streak, which finally came to an end on Saturday night.

How about a 7-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on home ice for a streak-breaker? Now that’s more like it.

Prior to Saturday, the Blackhawks hadn’t recorded a win in February — or a win at the United Center since Jan. 12. 

Though the Blackhawks will likely miss the playoffs for the first time since Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were rookies, a blowout win over the leaders of the Metropolitan Division Capitals had to have felt great.

"It’s a nice way to get over the hump," Toews said. "Sometimes you might just win a 2-1 game or just kind of grind it out, but it was nice for us to fill the net the way we did tonight."

Added Joel Quenneville, "Certainly feels 100 times better than coming in and trying to explain how we had a lead and were unable to sustain it. The complete 60 minutes, three periods the right way, more consistency in our game, way more pace than we’ve seen recently, composure with the puck, shooting around the net. It was fun but that’s one. Let’s see how we respond to this because there’s a lot of hockey left."

The Blackhawks are 25-26-8 with 58 points, and are 11 points out the final wild card spot, currently held by the Minnesota Wild.

Among the highlights:

— Seven different Blackhawks scored: Toews, Kane, Alex DeBrincat, Brandon Saad, Artem Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz, Ryan Hartman

— The Blackhawks are 74-6-4 in the regular season in which Kane and Toews both record a goal — and 41-0-0 in their last 41 games, according to NBC Sports Chicago stats guru Chris Kamka.

— Kane registered career assist No. 500, becoming the sixth Blackhawk with 500 or more. Kane is also the seventh U.S.-born player with 300-plus goals and 500-plus assists, joining Mike Modano, Keith Tkachuk, Jeremy Roenick, Pat LaFontaine, Joe Mullen and Phil Housley, according to Kamka.

"You think about the amount of great Americans that have played the game, how many players actually play hockey in the United States... Growing up all I wanted to do was play hockey," Kane said. "That means a lot, especially when you talk about American-born players."

— DeBrincat's 22nd goal of the season has him tied for the rookie-lead with Tampa Bay Lightning's Yanni Gourde. DeBrincat and Kane also lead the Blackhawks with 22 goals.