When Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman went to Minnesota for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, he made some very noticeable moves on that first night. Forward Troy Brouwer was dealt. So was defenseman Brian Campbell.They were shakeups that jolted a roster and cleared cap space, although the final results didn't lead to the Blackhawks going on a long playoff run in 2011-12.So now it's Pittsburgh, and the 2012 draft. It could be another draft featuring big trades and moves; and if the right deal is there for the Blackhawks, Bowman said he'll do what's necessary to execute it."If there are deals to be made, we're not hesitant to do that," Bowman said on a conference call Tuesday. "But it has to be a right fit. There have been a lot of discussions the last couple of weeks, and there will be even more heading into this Friday. But it's not an objective to make a certain number of moves."Still, there are some free agents out there that will be highly coveted and high priced. Names like Zach Parise, Ryan Suter are among them. So is Jordan Staal, but Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero told the Post-Gazette today he wants to re-sign his young center. Bowman wouldn't talk about specific players but said if it improves the Blackhawks, he'll explore that avenue."When dealing with the free-agent market you're dealing with other teams, and the terms and money amounts go pretty high. But that's not necessarily a deterrent," Bowman said. "It may lead to other moves made to accommodate that, but that's not a bad thing either because you're dealing from a position of strength."The Blackhawks made their bold moves at the 2011 draft, but they didn't translate into immediate success. Yes, the Blackhawks acquired forward Phillip Danault with the pick they got from the Brouwer deal. And they relieved a lot of cap space when moving Campbell to Florida. But the two players they got for Campbell haven't panned out Rostislav Olesz is in the minors and goaltender Alex Salak was officially released on Monday. And attempts to bolster the Blackhawks' depth at defense in Campbell's wake didn't work out so well.As for the 2012-13 roster, it's just about full. They have re-signed several players recently, including Jamal Mayers, Johnny Oduya, Ben Smith, Brandon Bollig and Carter Hutton. While other teams definitely need to fill holes, Bowman said, "we know for the most part where our roster's going to be, with some minor tweaks here and there."So the Blackhawks could either go with this roster, with some tweaking, or make some moves that could mean getting a big free agent but parting with some salary (and even picks) to do it.The Blackhawks aren't happy with two first-round playoff losses. They still have that Stanley Cup victory fresh in their minds and want to have that taste again soon.Whatever transpires, it could start Friday in Pittsburgh.
The Bulls season has gotten off to a rocky start, losing their first three games of the campaign. Part of that can be attributed to injuries to star Lauri Markkanen, and things just got a whole lot worse.
Point guard Kris Dunn will miss the next four to six weeks with an MCL sprain in his left knee.
Kris Dunn will miss the next 4-6 weeks with a knee sprain.— Mark Strotman (@markstrot) October 23, 2018
Punches just keep coming for #Bulls. Hoiberg said Kris Dunn had an MRI after last nights game that revealed a moderate sprain in his left knee. He’s expected to miss next 4-6wks. Happened in 2nd quarter on a layup.— Kelly Crull (@Kelly_Crull) October 23, 2018
Dunn played in his first game against the Mavericks on Monday night after missing the first two games for the birth of his son. Dunn scored nine points with seven assists and four rebounds.
Cam Payne has been filled in for Dunn in the first two games and will be tabbed to do so for the next month or so
While the notion of a "good loss" is more coachspeak than anything of real substance, it looks like NFL media agree.
After a close loss to the Patriots -- about three feet close, to be exact -- Power Rankings makers aren't blaming the Bears too much. In fact, shoutout to our mothership, Big NBC Sports, for actually *raising* the Bears in their latest rankings. Thanks guys!
Here's what they're saying:
Ours: #17, down 4 -
You can do worse than barely losing to the Patriots, but what on earth has happened to Chicago's defense?
NBCSports: #10, up 1 -
Bears went toe-to-toe with the Patriots and made it to the later rounds before taking one on the chin. No shame in that.
NFL.com: #11, N/A -
The opportunities were there for the Bears, who took it to the Patriots in the first half Sunday. The second half was a different story, as Chicago was stuck in catch-up mode.
Washington Post: #16, down 1 -
The Bears came up a yard shy of a tying TD on the Hail Mary against the Patriots. This was a far less egregious loss than falling to Brock Osweiler and the Dolphins a week earlier. But it was still a loss.
ESPN: #13, down 1 -
Need more from: RB Jordan Howard. Howard is averaging only 3.46 yards per rush, which ranks 41st out of 47 qualifying running backs. Bears running backs as a whole rank 30th with 1.45 yards after contact per rush, and Mitchell Trubisky has led the team in rushing in two of the past three games.
Sports Illustrated: #18, N/A -
The Bears were 3-1 before starting a four-game tour of the AFC East. They need to take care of business against the Jets and Bills to keep pace in a tough NFC North.
Sporting News: #16, down 1 -
Mitchell Trubisky and the offense have become a fun, unpredictable and mostly explosive roller-coaster ride, but the defense is showing it has plenty of leaks behind Khalil Mack.
FanSided: #17, down 2 -
Mitchell Trubisky and those special teams were a disaster on Sunday.
Bleacher Report: #15, N/A -
The problem is the Bears also have five tough divisional games remaining, including two with the Vikings. A date with the Rams also looms. However, if the Bears take care of business in the first four games mentioned, they will need to go just 3-3 in their remaining six matchups to go 10-6 and (presumably) make the playoffs.