Blackhawks

Blackhawks react to losing Robin Lehner and Erik Gustafsson at the NHL trade deadline

Blackhawks react to losing Robin Lehner and Erik Gustafsson at the NHL trade deadline

ST. LOUIS — The Blackhawks aren't accustomed to being sellers at the NHL trade deadline. For a decade, they were always the team looking for acquisitions to strengthen their chances at a Stanley Cup run.

But for the past several seasons, the Blackhawks have been on the opposite end of the spectrum. 

On Monday, they declared themselves sellers by trading defenseman Erik Gustafsson and goaltender Robin Lehner to playoff contenders in separate moves to recoup future assets. And for players, saying goodbye to teammates is never fun, especially when they're well-respected.

RELATED: Did the Blackhawks play their cards right at the deadline

Jonathan Toews gave a long answer about what Lehner and Gustafsson meant to the team, both on and off the ice.

"Losing Lenny, losing Gus, I think those two guys have meant a lot to this team in the short time they've been here," Toews said. "Lenny came in right away and sometimes you're not too sure how those strong personalities are going to fit into a locker room, especially right away. A lot of guys kind of dip their toes in the water when they come to a new team but Lenny just jumped right in. Right away, you could tell he was genuine and he cared about winning and he brought a lot of leadership to the room.

"I told him many times, too, that he helped me as a captain. I think he helped some of our veteran guys that have been here a long time kind of wake up to get back to what makes us good players and good leaders, and try and get this team going in the right direction. He brought a lot in the short time he was here. Even today you feel that absence. Wish him the best.

"Same goes for Gus. He was one of those guys that had a ton of skill and just kept getting better every single day. Obviously, he's the type of player that has a ton of upside and he's going to keep getting better as he goes along. Calgary's getting a really good player and a great teammate with him."

Patrick Kane echoed those sentiments.

"You have mixed feelings," Kane said. "Thought those two guys that we traded away were really good players for our team. It's never fun to see teammates go, so there's definitely some mixed feelings there."

That's the difficult part of the business. The Blackhawks understand that. That doesn't make it any easier to accept reality.

"You never like to see friends leave," head coach Jeremy Colliton said. "As teammates, that's tough, and both guys are very well-liked and played well for us. But at the same time, we're trying to collect assets and make the team better long-term. So, understand that."

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Toronto cancels city-wide events until June 30: here's what it means for the NHL

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USA Today

Toronto cancels city-wide events until June 30: here's what it means for the NHL

Tuesday afternoon Toronto Mayor John Tory announced the city would cancel all major city-wide events until June 30. For baseball fans hoping to start their season and basketball and hockey fans hoping to get back into the swing of theirs, the news makes it hard to envision live sports returning before July. 

What does this mean for the NHL? Well, technically the ban is for city-wide events such as parades, events, festivals, and other cultural programs, excluding the NHL. 

However, professional sports will have to contend with the province of Ontario, which banned gatherings of more than five earlier this month. 

The NHL recently reached out to arenas asking for their availability in July and August. 

The idea of finishing out the 2020 season in summer is becoming more and more likely as governments continue to grapple with the severity of COVID-19. There have been speculations about what this new schedule will look like for the NHL, including a shortened 2020-21 preseason and eliminating by-weeks and All-Star weekend. This will present its own unique challenges, including arenas in warmer climates struggling to maintain ice quality for summer games. But if more major cities follow Toronto’s lead, all we know for certain is that a return to normalcy may be longer than anticipated. 

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Which teammate would Jonathan Toews most and least want to quarantine with?

Which teammate would Jonathan Toews most and least want to quarantine with?

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews spoke with the media on Tuesday for the first time since the NHL was paused on march 12.

Toews, along with defensemen Roman Josi (Nashville Predators) and Alex Pietrangelo (St. Louis Blues) represented the Central Division on a video conference call held by the NHL.

The trio answered a variety of questions, including which teammates you'd most and least want to be quarantined with.

"I guess I'll start with the most. I'd probably say Corey Crawford," Toews answered. "He's just kind of an easy going guy. Whatever you want to do, he's down for whatever."

And for who he'd least like to be quarantined with? You could probably guess.

"And I'd say least, since I roomed with him for so long, I'd have to say Kaner (Patrick Kane). There's some ups and downs through that relationship there."

The three players were also asked what they missed the least about playing one another. Pietrangelo and Josi had interesting responses on Toews.

"Jonny's just a pain in the a** to play against. Oops, pardon my language," Pietrangelo responded. "I battled a lot with these two guys (Toews and Josi). More so Jonny because he's a forward, but we've had a lot of battles. 

"But, you know what, God, I’d welcome those battles. I think right now we miss those battles. I don’t know about you guys, but we could use a few of those battles."

"Like [Pietrangelo] said, I obviously see a lot more of Jonny, as a forward, but I mean just chasing him around in our zone, for I don't know how long, and can't take the puck away from him, trying to cross-check him," Josi answered. "Just him around the net it's not fun as a defenseman, you can't really get the puck off him. We had some really good battles against Chicago, some really good playoff series. We all miss it."

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

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