Blackhawks

Blackhawks to see familiar faces against Devils

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USA Today

Blackhawks to see familiar faces against Devils

The Blackhawks will be looking to keep the momentum going Monday at the United Center against the New Jersey Devils after winning three of their past four games.

As determined as they might be to put a red ribbon on a good stretch before the Christmas break, Chicago won't be able to help but notice some familiar faces out on the ice and across the bench.

Forward John Quenneville, acquired by the Blackhawks for John Hayden on June 22, will make his debut for Chicago and Hayden will play his 13th game with New Jersey this season, but his first contest against the Hawks since the trade.

Quenneville, a cousin of former Hawks coach Joel Quenneville, had 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in 19 games with the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL this season and five points (two goals, three assists) in 33 games with the Devils from 2016-2019. The 23-year-old was selected at No. 30 overall by New Jersey in the 2014 NHL Draft.

"I'm just trying to stick in the NHL," Quenneville said. "I think I've got the skillset and the ability to do it. 

"I went to a new team this year and went through a little bit of growing pains to try to switch to a new squad and now I've found a way to have success and get my game going again."

Hayden, 24, has one assist in 12 games with the Devils and had 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in 113 games with Chicago from 2017-2019. He was drafted by the Blackhawks in the third round (74th overall) in 2013. 

"A lot of great memories," Hayden said of playing with the Hawks. "Definitely the teammates... it was just a special few seasons. I remember joining a week after I played [with] Harvard. Joining the team for the final push and then the playoff round against Nashville.

"A lot of good people in this organization. I have nothing but good memories from here. I still talk to my former teammates and it'll be fun tonight."

Hawks defenseman Adam Boqvist will play against his brother Jesper, a center for the Devils, for the first time at the NHL level. Adam was selected at No. 8 overall in the 2018 NHL Draft by Chicago and Jesper at No. 36 overall by New Jersey in 2017. 

The two were usually on the same team, with their dad coaching, but saw plenty of competition against one another in the family's basement.

"I had kind of a tough time down there, Adam said. "But he's two years older than me so he's been growing a little bit more muscle than me, but I hope I can take him down one day down there."

Jesper, 21 (two years older than Adam), confirmed the battle tales. 

"I always won, probably," Jesper said. "And he got pissed."

Jesper has enjoyed watching what Adam's been able to do in 13 games with Chicago. "A lot of fun, for sure." The older brother said. "And you're proud too. [I] have seen him since I was two. It's a lot of fun and just proud of him."

No. 3 vs. No. 1

No. 1 overall pick of the 2019 NHL Draft Jack Hughes and 2019's No. 3 pick, Kirby Dach, will faceoff for the second time on Monday. In their first NHL meeting on Dec. 6, Dach scored in the fifth round of the shootout and Corey Crawford stopped Hughes' attempt in the same round to give the Hawks a 2-1 win at the United Center.

Injury update

Brent Seabrook is still undergoing evaluation and Andrew Shaw is still dealing with concussion symptoms.

How COVID-19 crisis could impact Blackhawks, NHL's salary cap

How COVID-19 crisis could impact Blackhawks, NHL's salary cap

On March 4, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told general managers that the projected salary cap for the 2020-21 season is expected to be in the range of $84 million and $88.2 million. That's roughly a $2.5 million to $6.7 million increase after it went up only $2 million last season.

But eight days later, the NHL put its season on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's unclear if or when hockey will even resume at this point. Because of the uncertainty and the risk of the league potentially losing $1 billion in hockey-related revenue, there's legitimate concern about what the ceiling could look like after we get through this, and not just for next season.

Could the NHL's salary cap stay the same? Might it even go down to help ease the escrow pain for players? Anything is possible, but it would require both the NHL and NHLPA to come to an agreement on what that artificial number could look like.

If the salary cap remains flat, the Blackhawks would be one of the many teams that would find themselves in an extremely tough position. And they better start preparing for that scenario.

As of right now, the Blackhawks' projected cap hit for next season is $74.1 million, according to Cap Friendly. That number factors in the three players on long-term injured reserve (Calvin de Haan, Brent Seabrook and Andrew Shaw) but also includes the current players on the roster, which comes out to 26 total, so cuts obviously must be made to get down to the maximum of 23.

But what that number doesn't include is the potential performance bonus overages and the fact the Blackhawks don't have a goaltender signed beyond this season other than Collin Delia, which doesn't leave much room for free agent signings elsewhere. Heck, taking care of their own guys is going to be a major challenge.

The Blackhawks have nine pending restricted free agents, which most notably includes Drake Caggiula, Dominik Kubalik and Dylan Strome. Corey Crawford is their highest-profile unrestricted free agent. Those are four key pieces the Blackhawks must try to squeeze in under the cap if the priority is to bring all of them back, and — loosely projecting — gives them around $9-10 million to do so.

You have to wonder if it makes more sense for everyone involved to agree on one-year deals and revisit things the following year after more clarity is provided on the NHL's financial situation, especially with Seattle preparing for league entry and the U.S. television deal set to expire after the 2021-22 season.

For now, the Blackhawks and the rest of the NHL are waiting to see what the next steps are. But the financial ramifications will be significant, and it's something every team must now navigate through. 

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

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.

2010 Hawks Rewind: 3 things we noticed in Blackhawks' Game 2 win over Sharks

2010 Hawks Rewind: 3 things we noticed in Blackhawks' Game 2 win over Sharks

In honor of the 10-year anniversary of the 2010 Stanley Cup team, NBC Sports Chicago is re-airing each of the Blackhawks' 16 postseason wins from the run that ended a 49-year championship drought. You can join the conversation using #HawksRewind on social media.

After stealing Game 1 in San Jose, the Blackhawks took care of business in Game 2 by beating the Sharks 4-2 to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Final. Here are three things we noticed in the win:

1. Building a cushion

You knew the Sharks were going to come out hungry after losing Game 1 in their own building, and the Blackhawks certainly matched that intensity. 

After Andrew Ladd broke the scoreless tie at the 12:48 mark of the first period, Dustin Byfuglien and Jonathan Toews followed suit in the second to put the Blackhawks in front 3-0. It was crucial for the visiting team not to give the Sharks any momentum, and it wasn't until 31:08 into the game that the home team finally got on the board.

2. A make-up game on special teams?

The Blackhawks had zero power plays in Game 1, so they didn't get a chance of testing a Sharks team that had the fifth-ranked penalty kill percentage (85.0) in the regular season. But that changed in Game 2.

The Sharks racked up 22 total penalty minutes and committed six minor penalties, two of which came with 18 seconds left in the game that saw two Blackhawks get sent off as well. The Blackhawks committed only one minor penalty in the previous 59:42.

Both teams converted on the power play once, but the Blackhawks staying out of the box for the majority of the game certainly played a role in preventing the Sharks from getting within striking distance or taking control early.

3. Duncan Keith's strong performance

He didn't garner as much attention as others, but Keith was solid for the Blackhawks in Game 2. He recorded two assists, six shot attempts (three on goal), four blocked shots and led all skaters with 30:21 of ice time. No other skater logged more than 27:56.

Keith was pointless in his first five postseason games, but had nine points (one goal, eight assists) in his next nine.

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

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.