Blackhawks

What will Sheldon Brookbank's role be as Blackhawks assistant coach?

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AP

What will Sheldon Brookbank's role be as Blackhawks assistant coach?

The Blackhawks announced Friday that they have promoted Sheldon Brookbank to an assistant coach on Jeremy Colliton's staff after he had previously served in that same role for the Rockford IceHogs in the American Hockey League since the 2017-18 season.

Brookbank, 38, was a part of Colliton's staff in Rockford, where he helped lead the IceHogs to their first-ever Western Conference Finals berth last season. He also won a Stanley Cup as a player with the Blackhawks in 2013, a roster that included current members Corey Crawford, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews.

"It's always been the plan," Colliton said. "I wanted Sheldon here from the beginning. [But we] had to stabilize Rockford, it's tough to lose two guys in a short time. Anders Sörensen has been able to be around more there and now able to take a bigger role, so that allowed us to get Sheldon here."

It's unclear what Brookbank's exact role will be, but his primary responsibilities in Rockford last year included working closely with the defensemen and penalty kill unit, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him assume those same duties in Chicago. For now, it'll be a tag-team approach.

The Blackhawks now have three assistant coaches in Brookbank, Don Granato and Barry Smith, but the plan is for Smith to oversee things from afar for the remainder of the season and will be transitioned back into his role as Director of Player Evaluation.

"I think it's always been the plan that eventually he'll move back to his previous role," Colliton said. "He's been here to help with the transition, help me get accustomed to the NHL level and he's been great. But not a long-term solution."

Replacing Brookbank with the IceHogs on interim coach Derek King's staff is Sörensen, who's in his fifth season as Chicago's development coach. His previous coaching experience includes being an assistant with the Swedish Hockey League's Södertälje from 2011-13 before serving as the interim head coach in October 2013.

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SportingNews Top 50 NHL Prospects lists Boqvist at 10 and Kirby Dach at 13

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USA Today

SportingNews Top 50 NHL Prospects lists Boqvist at 10 and Kirby Dach at 13

NHL draft analyst Steve Kournianos released his list for Top 50 players in NHL pipelines for the upcoming 2019-20 season. To the delight of Blackhawks fans everywhere, Adam Boqvist and Kirby Dach were ranked at number 10 and 13 respectively.

Kournianos described 19-year-old defender Boqvist as a dominant rookie with 40 assists and 20 goals during his tenure with the London Knights. Fans speculate whether the Blackhawks will keep Boqvist on his junior squad for another year or pull him up to play with the American Hockey League Rockford Ice Hogs.

Kournianos said Dach was one of Team Canada’s top players at the World Junior Summer Showcase. The 18-year-old center is sure to be one of Canada’s main forwards during World Juniors and Dach has the flexibility to play anywhere in the Blackhawks lineup. Dach’s entry-level contract allows him up to nine NHL games this season, giving him the chance to return to the AHL or NHL after his junior season in the Western Hockey League is finished.

Both Boqvist and Dach are key player for the future of this team and it will interesting to watch the Hawks develop these younger players.

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Blackhawks Talk Podcast: An inside look at the Blackhawks Hockey Ops department with Senior VP Al MacIsaac

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USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: An inside look at the Blackhawks Hockey Ops department with Senior VP Al MacIsaac

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle catches up with Senior VP of Hockey Operations, Al MacIsaac. They discuss the process the Blackhawks took in transforming the roster this off-season. MacIsaac is entering his 20th year with the Blackhawks and talks about the organizational changes over the last two decades. He also weighs in on the role analytics plays in evaluating current or potential Blackhawks and he explains why the team made a commitment to make its new practice facility the “gold standard” of the NHL.

0:45 – MacIsaac on changes within the Blackhawks organization in the last 20 years

4:00 – How the Blackhawks have added great depth this summer

5:25 – A good problem to have with two good goaltenders

6:23 – How the hockey ops meeting went at the end of last season

8:45 – How much the Blackhawks use and rely on analytics

10:27 – The importance of the Blackhawks strength and conditioning programs

12:24 – The planning behind Fifth Third Arena’s development

14:40 – The dynamic between hockey ops and business ops

16:37 – Agreements and disagreements within the hockey ops group

18:32 – MacIsaac’s longtime relationship with Mark Bernard

20:27 – Looking ahead to training camp and the regular season

22:42 – Tough decisions will need to be made when the season starts

Listen here or in the embedded player below. 

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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