Blackhawks

Blackhawks trade Ryan Hartman to Predators in first deadline deal

Blackhawks trade Ryan Hartman to Predators in first deadline deal

It's no secret that the Blackhawks were going to be sellers ahead of Monday's trade deadline, but maybe not to the degree Chicago anticipated.

The Blackhawks made their first deadline deal of the day, trading Ryan Hartman and a fifth-round pick in 2018 to the Nashville Predators in exchange for forward prospect Victor Ejdsell, a first-round pick in 2018 and fourth-rounder in 2018.

"It’s a good opportunity for him, going to a team with a chance to win and going as far as they did last year, I’m sure they’re excited about getting a guy like Hartsy," Joel Quenneville said. "He gives you some competitiveness, and certainly from our point of view, you wish him well and you thank him for what he did for us.

"It’s part of our business. I think it would’ve been tough for him leaving Chicago, but at the same time, he’s got to be excited about the chance where he’s going."

Hartman has 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) in 57 games this season, and is coming off a campaign in which he scored 19 goals and totaled 31 points in his first full-time season in the NHL. He is a pending restricted free agent, and could command up to $2 million per year.

Ejdsell was reportedly on the Blackhawks' radar last summer but he ended up signing a two-year entry-level deal with the Predators. He's a 23-year-old, big-bodied forward at 6-foot-5, 214 pounds, that is a natural center but can also play wing.

He led the Swedish Allvenskan in points (57) during the 2016-17 season in 50 games with Bofors IK, and was named the league's MVP. He also had four goals and three assists in 10 playoff games.

Ejdsell continued his development in the Swedish Hockey League, where he has 30 points (17 goals, 13 assists) in 44 games with HV71 this season. 

The Blackhawks also traded Tommy Wingels to the Boston Bruins for a conditional fifth-round pick in 2019. It becomes a fourth-rounder if the Bruins advance past the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs or if Wingels re-signs.

The Blackhawks have eight draft picks in 2018: two first-rounders, two third-rounders and each in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh.

Monday night, Hartman tweeted his reaction to the trade:

Recently retired Kris Versteeg to be honored before Blackhawks game

Recently retired Kris Versteeg to be honored before Blackhawks game

Kris Versteeg recently retired and now the Blackhawks are honoring him with the team’s “One More Shift.”

Versteeg began the season with the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, but retired in November after playing six games for the IceHogs this season.

The 33-year-old wrote an emotional letter to the Blackhawks organization after requesting his contract with Rockford be terminated.

Versteeg will be honored before Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Wild. He will join the team on the ice for the national anthem and highlights of his career will be featured in the United Center.

Versteeg won two Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks, in 2010 and 2015. He is part of the Blackhawks celebrating the 10-year anniversary of that 2010 Cup win. Brian Campbell was given the same treatment on Nov. 21.

The first 10,000 fans into the UC can get replicas of the 2010 ring.

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Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane visit recovering Chicagoland hockey player for the holidays

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USA Today

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane visit recovering Chicagoland hockey player for the holidays

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane recently surprised recovering hockey player Payton Bruns in the hospital, spreading some cheer across Chicagoland this holiday season. The players spent time with Bruns and his family talking hockey and his recovery.

“I had no clue that they were coming,” Bruns told the camera.

Bruns cited Kane as one of his favorite players, making this moment even sweeter.

You can watch the heartwarming video here.

Bruns, a senior at Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort, broke two of his vertebrae sliding into the boards while chasing down a loose puck this past September. He was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery and has since been recovering and doing physical therapy at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago.  

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