Blackhawks

Ted Lindsay, former Blackhawk and NHL icon, dies at 93

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AP

Ted Lindsay, former Blackhawk and NHL icon, dies at 93

Ted Lindsay, an NHL icon and former Blackhawk, died Monday at the age of 93.

Nicknamed "Terrible Ted" because of his tough and dirty style of play, Lindsay won four Stanley Cups, played in 11 straight All-Star Games and was a four-time 30-goal scorer in the NHL. He spent 14 of his 17 seasons in Detroit and three in Chicago, where he accumulated 129 points (44 goals, 79 assists) in 206 games.

Lindsay came out of a four-year retirement to play in his 17th and final season in 1964-65 with the Red Wings. He finished his career with 851 points (379 goals, 472 assists) in 1,068 games, and was named one of the 100 NHL's greatest players in 2017.

The Lester B. Pearson Award, annually awarded to the most outstanding player in the regular season as judged by members of the NHL Players Association, was renamed the Ted Lindsay Award in 2009-10. Patrick Kane won the award in 2015-16 following an MVP season.

The Blackhawks released this statement:

The Chicago Blackhawks organization joins the Detroit Red Wings and entire National Hockey League community in mourning the loss of Hockey Hall of Famer, Ted Lindsay. As Ted suited up for both the Red Wings and Blackhawks, his illustrious playing career contributed greatly to a rivalry that has stood the test of time. The game lost an icon today, and his contributions to the sport far exceed his stellar play on the ice. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the Lindsay family and all who mourn Ted’s passing. 

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman released this statement on Monday:

The National Hockey League mourns the passing and celebrates the incomparable life of the legendary Ted Lindsay. One of the game’s fiercest competitors during his 17-season NHL career, he was among its most beloved ambassadors throughout the more than five decades of service to hockey that followed his retirement. In Detroit, he was a civic icon.

What Lindsay lacked in physical stature, he possessed in intensity, desire and will to win. He played 1,068 NHL games for the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, scoring 379 goals with 472 assists and 1,808 penalty minutes. He appeared in 11 All-Star Games and was named a First-Team All-Star eight times. He won the Art Ross Trophy as the League’s scoring leader in 1950 and, as a driving force on the dynastic Red Wings teams of the 1950s – including as the left wing on the famed Production Line – he won the Stanley Cup four times.

Named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966, he had his No. 7 retired by the Red Wings in 1991 and was named one of the NHL’s Top 100 Players during the League’s Centennial Celebration in 2017. As influential off the ice as he was on the ice, Lindsay was instrumental in the formation of the NHL Players’ Association. In 2010, NHL players displayed their reverence for him by renaming their annual award for the most outstanding player the Ted Lindsay Award.

There was no one quite like Ted Lindsay. We send our condolences to Ted’s children Blake, Lynn and Meredith, his stepdaughter Leslie, his six grandchildren and his three great grandchildren and join them in marveling at his incredible life.

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Why fixing penalty kill is crucial for Blackhawks in 2019-20

Why fixing penalty kill is crucial for Blackhawks in 2019-20

Just how important is special teams in the NHL?

Of the 16 teams that qualified for the postseason, 14 clubs had at least one special teams unit that was ranked in the top half of the league and 12 teams had at least one unit ranked in the top 10.

The Blackhawks finished the season with the 15th-ranked power play and 31st-ranked penalty kill. The Blackhawks' 72.7 percent kill rate is the lowest the league has seen in 30 years.

“The penalty kill is something that clearly has to be better," GM Stan Bowman said. "That was a big disappointment this year, no question about that. So we have to devote some resources to that. Some of it might be players, if we get some players that have that kind of experience or have a history. Part of it is tactically can we find ways to be better. We have a lot of time now to study it and put a lot of our focus on that.”

Jeremy Colliton did not rule out getting external help to improve the PK.

“We’re going to look at everything, for sure," he said. "We’re going to look at obviously tactically and we’re going to look at the personnel and how we’re using guys and try to put them in the best situation we can. And maybe that’s new, different guys who weren’t getting the opportunity. Or maybe that’s someone from outside.”

The Blackhawks did manage to fix their power play issues this past season. When Colliton became head coach on Nov. 6, the Blackhawks power play was near the bottom of the league. By December, the man advantage was dead last, cashing in on fewer than 12 percent of their power plays.

Colliton made Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome and Erik Gustafsson his top power play unit and from Dec. 20 till the end of February they were the league's best unit, converting on 35.2 percent of their power plays.  

Gustafsson’s addition to the power play was a major factor in the unit's improvement.

"A big part of our power play progression and transformation from being at the bottom to being in the top group," Bowman said of Gustafsson. "I was really pleased with that and we're going to need him next year for sure.”

If the Blackhawks penalty kill can make strides like the power play did, Colliton’s crew will likely be playing at this time next season.

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Recapping breakout OHL season for Blackhawks top prospect Adam Boqvist

Recapping breakout OHL season for Blackhawks top prospect Adam Boqvist

The London Knights set high expectations for themselves going into the 2018-19 OHL campaign. They always do. Their roster is usually loaded with top NHL prospects and this season was no different.

After finishing No. 1 in the Western Conference with 99 points, the Knights looked poised to go on a deep run. They got off to a roaring start in the playoffs by sweeping the Windsor Spitfires (4-0) and kicked off the second round by winning three straight against the Guelph Storm. But then, for the first time all season, the Knights lost four in a row to squander a 3-0 series lead and were eliminated just like that. It was a disappointing finish for a team with Memorial Cup aspirations.

One of the bright spots of the postseason was Blackhawks prospect Adam Boqvist. He was tied for first among all skaters with 10 goals through two rounds; no other defenseman had more than six. And he finished with 13 points in 11 games for a points-per-game average of 1.18.

To summarize his season: Boqvist scored one goal in his first 15 games. From that point on, he finished with 29 goals and 60 points in 50 games, including playoffs. He became an offensive driving force.

It's unclear what his future holds, but with Evan Bouchard expected to turn pro and secure a full-time roster spot on the Edmonton Oilers next season, returning to London would put Boqvist in a position where he could be the No. 1 defenseman in all situations.

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