Blackhawks

Blackhawks acquire defenseman Calvin de Haan from Carolina in four-player trade

Blackhawks acquire defenseman Calvin de Haan from Carolina in four-player trade

In an attempt to further shore up their blue line, the Blackhawks announced Monday that they have acquired defenseman Calvin de Haan and forward prospect Aleksi Saarela from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for goaltender Anton Forsberg and defenseman Gustav Forsling. 

De Haan has three years remaining on his contract that carries a $4.55 million cap hit. He becomes the third-highest paid defenseman on the Blackhawks in terms of cap hit behind Duncan Keith ($5.538 million) and Brent Seabrook ($6.875 million); newly-acquired Olli Maatta ($4.083 million) and Connor Murphy ($3.85 million) aren't far behind.

De Haan registered 14 points (one goal, 13 assists) and averaged 18:31 of ice time in 74 regular-season games in his first season with the Hurricanes, and added one goal in 12 postseason contests. He's 28 years old, is a left-handed shot and was known to be a puck-mover when he was drafted in the first round (No. 12 overall) in 2009 but has grown into more of a defensive specialist in the NHL.

De Haan logged 147:22 of ice time on the penalty kill last season, according to Natural Stat Trick, which ranked third among Hurricanes defensemen. He also recorded 106 blocked shots and 187 hits, which ranked fourth and second on the team, respectively. He's someone who might be better suited on the third pairing, but can certainly play a top-four role.

Between the Maatta and de Haan acquisitions, two defensive-minded blue liners, the Blackhawks aren't messing around when they say they're looking to clean things up in their own end. Both of these players address that — or at least the Blackhawks are hoping it does.

The primary concern for de Haan is his health. He underwent right shoulder surgery in May and his recovery time was put at four-to-six months, meaning he may not be ready for the start of training camp in September or possibly the season opener on Oct. 4 in Prague. But if the Blackhawks felt like that injury was a long-term issue, they wouldn't have traded for his services.

The other part of the deal involved Saarela, a 22-year-old versatile forward who set a career high in all three scoring categories — goals (30), assists (24) and points (54) — in 69 regular-season games with the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League. He also compiled 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 17 Calder Cup Playoff games, and skated in one Stanley Cup Playoff game for the Hurricanes.

Saarela has one more year left on his entry-level deal that carries a cap hit of $753,333, and is likely to start the season with the Rockford IceHogs. He is the older brother of Antti Saarela, who was drafted by the Blackhawks in the fourth round (No. 123 overall) of the 2019 NHL Draft.

The Blackhawks had 11 restricted free agents at the end of the season and a crowded roster put them in a spot where they couldn't re-sign everybody. Forsberg, who was jumped on the Blackhawks' goaltending depth chart by Collin Delia, and Forsling, who's struggled to become a fixture on the Blackhawks blue line in part due to injuries, were two players whose roles were likely going to diminish. Tuesday is the deadline for teams to extend qualifying offers.

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Blackhawks' Patrick Kane issues statement against racism

Blackhawks' Patrick Kane issues statement against racism

On Friday, Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane authored a Twitter thread against racism composed of four tweets that read as follows:

"Racism and injustice in our country must end.  

"As a white male in this society, I will never truly understand. But I want to help in this fight for change - and I know I cannot do that in silence. 

"I’m here to listen and to educate myself – but most importantly, to act. While I have so much more to learn and do, I was inspired by @jahmal_cole words, ‘What’s something simple I can do that will have a positive impact on my block?’

"Today, I’m contributing to Chicago’s own @mbmhmc (My Block, My Hood, My City) and @ASPChicago (All Stars Project of Chicago) and encourage others to learn more about the many inspirational and impactful organizations serving the black community.

"You may have seen this video already, but I think it’s important to share. It helped me begin to better understand systemic racism and open my eyes to the problems many may not be aware of."

Kane linked the following video, titled "Systemic Racism Explained", in his final tweet:

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Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews and Malcolm Subban participate in event for local youth

Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews and Malcolm Subban participate in event for local youth

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and goalie Malcolm Subban participated in a By the Hand Club event for Kids in the Austin neighborhood on Chicago's West Side Thursday. 

Per ChicagoBears.com, the event was coordinated by Bears outside linebacker Sam Acho. Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and receiver Allen Robinson also took part in the function, along with Cubs players Jason Heyward and Jason Kipnis and the Bulls' Ryan Arcidiacono and Max Strus. 

The pro athletes spoke with children and representatives from the By the Hand Club, BUILD and the Westside Health Authority. Chicago police officers also joined to help form "healing circles." 

The group then took a bus tour of the neighborhood led by Alderman Emma Mitts and a youth leader from the By the Hand Club. Congressman Danny Davis also spoke to the group. 

The By the Hand Club for Kids is an after-school program whose mission is "helping children who live in under-resourced neighborhoods have an abundant life."

BUILD — Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership — an organization focusing on gang intervention, violence prevention and youth development, strives "to engage at-risk youth in schools and on the streets to help them realize their potential and contribute to our communities."



The Westside Health Authority provides services, promotes wellness and development, and encourages and enables growth, engagement and positive change. Its mission is "to use the capacity of local residents to improve the health and well-being of the community."

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