Blackhawks

The moment Dale Tallon knew Blackhawks would draft Patrick Kane No. 1 overall in 2007

The moment Dale Tallon knew Blackhawks would draft Patrick Kane No. 1 overall in 2007

Ever since Dale Tallon made him the first pick of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Patrick Kane has dazzled Blackhawks fans for 12 seasons.

But imagine a world where Kane went second to the Philadelphia Flyers or third to the Phoenix Coyotes. Or a world where Jakub Voracek’s No. 93 was displayed widely across the city of Chicago instead of Kane’s No. 88.

Tallon, the former Blackhawks general manager and current Florida Panthers GM, was on the NHL Executive Suite podcast on Wednesday and shared the story of exactly when he knew that Kane would be the Blackhawks’ selection:

“Patrick Kane ... it was, I remember Rick Dudley and I going to watch him play in a game in London against Plymouth. Patrick got hammered. A big, hard hit from Jared Boll, who was a big, hard-nosed kid that played in Plymouth. And he got hammered right in front of us. We were sitting right there in the corner. And he picked himself up and brushed himself off and I think he got two goals and two assists after that. We looked at each other and said, ‘That’s our guy.’

"After we had won the lottery, there was discussion whether it would be [James] van Riemsdyk or [Kyle] Turris or [Jakub] Voracek or those guys and we kept that going. We didn’t tell anybody what we were doing but I remember we looked at each other in that particular game, we said ‘that’s our guy’ because he wasn’t afraid to go with the tall trees. He wasn’t a very big guy, but he played in traffic. He wasn’t afraid. That was the one thing that people said: ‘Well how could you draft a guy that small first overall?’ But it was the size of his heart that was more important.”

Tallon and the Blackhawks made the correct choice. Kane immediately burst onto the scene in the NHL, won the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie, and eventually went on to help the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cups. van Riemsdyk and Turris went second and third, respectively, and both have had fine careers. And still, Kane has more career points than both of them combined.

Voracek went seventh in that year’s draft to the Columbus Blue Jackets. After a few seasons with Columbus, he was traded to the Flyers and eventually prospered into an NHL All-Star. Voracek’s name was linked to the Blackhawks leading up to the draft, but according to Tallon, they were just trying to keep people off their scent. Once they won the lottery, they knew their man:

“His talent was ... no other guy in that draft had his talent. It was just a matter about his size. That was the only drawback. I mean, I liked Kyle Turris and van Riemsdyk and all those players. As a matter of fact, I was flying to Halifax from Chicago and I was changing planes in Ottawa and when I landed in Ottawa to change planes, my phone had blown up because we had won the lottery.

"And so I was going to Halifax. Voracek was playing in Halifax. And so I went there and as I landed in Halifax, people wanted me to come home and not go. I said ‘I’m gonna keep going’ because I want people to think we might draft that guy.’ I wanted to leave doubt right ‘til the end. And so I went to Halifax and we thought that Voracek was going to be our pick. And I like him, and I think he’s a great player, but after a lot of deliberation and hard work and scouting and watching a lot of game ... it was Patrick Kane that was the logical choice for us.”

And it’s been “Showtime” in Chicago ever since. And as the Blackhawks prepare for their next potential franchise-altering draft selection next month, they’re hoping the pick is more on the Kane-spectrum than the Turris-spectrum.

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Ottawa Senators announce five more members test positive for COVID-19

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USA Today

Ottawa Senators announce five more members test positive for COVID-19

It has been announced five more members of the Ottawa Senators have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the organization’s total confirmed cases to six. The Senators were the first team in the NHL to have a confirmed case, which had been reported on March 17. On April 1, it had been announced that all six members of the Senators have since recovered from COVID-19.

This news comes on the heels of TSN color analyst Gord Wilson testing positive for COVID-19 last week. On March 26 it was announced a player for the Colorado Avalanche had tested positive for COVID-19 as well. The identities of the Senators members and Avalanche player with COVID-19 are currently anonymous. 

The Blackhawks were scheduled to host the Senators on the day after the league halted the season. The Senators were coming off a three-game road trip in San Jose, Anaheim and Los Angeles.

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2010 Hawks Rewind: 3 things we noticed in Blackhawks' Game 6 win over Canucks

2010 Hawks Rewind: 3 things we noticed in Blackhawks' Game 6 win over Canucks

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 failing to close out the series at home in Game 5, the Blackhawks took care of business in Vancouver by eliminating the Canucks following a 5-1 win in Game 6 to advance to the Western Conference Final for the second straight season. Here are three things we noticed in the win:

1. Contributions all around

The 2010 Blackhawks had ridiculous depth. And they flexed their muscles in Game 6 after three of the four lines contributed on the scoresheet. 

Five different Blackhawks scored in the win (Troy Brouwer, Dave Bolland, Dustin Byfuglien, Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg) and three others recorded an assist (Brian Campbell, Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp). Byfuglien and Kane each had multi-point outings.

2. Dave Bolland ices the game

After a scoreless first period, the Blackhawks scored two goals in a 36-second span in the opening minutes of the second period to take a 2-0 lead. The next goal was going to be a crucial one as the game went on.

With 1:03 left in the period, the Canucks were awarded a power play. It was a prime opportunity to get themselves back in the game and generate momentum. But that did not happen thanks to The Rat.

Bolland, who was a pest all series long, disrupted Pavol Demitra's pass at the point, caught the puck in his hand, dropped it on the ice, fought off Demitra twice and snuck a shot past Robert Luongo to put the Blackhawks up 3-0.

The Canucks never recovered.

3. Containing the Sedin twins

Big-time players make big-time plays in the biggest moments. The Blackhawks are a perfect example of that. Can you think of a better big-game player than Patrick Kane? Jonathan Toews? Duncan Keith? The core together?

The Canucks, at home, had the advantage of drawing favorable defensive matchups. But Henrik and Daniel Sedin went up against Bolland's line, which contained both of them.

At even strength, the Sedins had 15 shot attempts for and six against and seven scoring chances for and four against, according to Natural Stat Trick. But they gave up two goals and scored zero.

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