Blackhawks

Campbell having fun with Versteeg, Tallon in Florida

824573.png

Campbell having fun with Versteeg, Tallon in Florida

Its been a whirlwind year for Brian Campbell.

The former Blackhawks defenseman became a former Blackhawk around this time in 2011, when he was traded to the Florida Panthers. Since then Campbell set career-best numbers in assists (49) and points (53) and helped the Panthers get to their first postseason since the 1999-2000 season.

Oh, and things have gone well off the ice, too. Campbell got married three weeks ago and still calls Chicago his summer home.

Its been busy but its been a good summer, said Campbell, who was playing in Denis Savards charity golf event on Monday. Its always nice to get back, enjoy the summer here.

And Campbell enjoyed his first season with the Panthers. Reunited with former Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon, Campbell was part of Floridas hockey rejuvenation that almost got them to the second round of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

We havent made the playoffs in so long, so it was tough before that to be a proud Panther fan. But its coming now, Campbell said. Its something to be proud of. Hockey is fun there. Dales made it a great place to play and you enjoy coming to the rink every day.

The Panthers have something off which to build this season, and theyre keeping their group together. Kris Versteeg, another former Blackhawk, signed a four-year deal with them Monday morning, avoiding arbitration. The Panthers have gotten a taste of the postseason again, and want to repeat it a few more times.

Obviously our goal is to make the playoffs and go from there. But we may not surprise as many teams coming into this year, Campbell said. But its exciting. Its nice to play down in South Florida and enjoy all the aspects that come with the environment down there.

Now there just has to be hockey this season. Campbell remembers the lockout all too well. And count him among the many who dont want to see it repeated.

You never want to (lose playing time), he said. For a lot of us players, weve already lost one year. It took a while to build things back up. But the good thing is, (the two sides) are communicating and staying positive. Its probably going to come down to a deadline. Hopefully we can meet that deadline.

Blackhawks release 2018-19 schedule

blackhawks_usa_today.jpg
USA TODAY

Blackhawks release 2018-19 schedule

Uncap those markers and start circling your calendars, Blackhawks fans. The 2018-19 season is officially out.

The Blackhawks will kick off their 91st campaign in franchise history with a road contest against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. The home opener is set for Oct. 7, with an Original Six matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 6 p.m.

The Blackhawks have 14 back-to-back games, and the longest road trip of the season is three, which takes place five times over the course of the season; the longest homestand is four games, from Dec. 12-18.

The biggest highlight of the season will be the Original Six Winter Classic Showdown between the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins on Jan. 1 at Notre Dame Stadium. It will be the sixth outdoor appearance for Chicago, and fourth in the Winter Classic.

The Blackhawks will also square off with the defending champion Washington Capitals on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m., and welcome them to Chicago on Jan. 20, set for NBC's Game of the Week at 11:30 a.m.

Here's a look at the full schedule:

Chicago Bears Training Camp: Veteran and rookie report dates

6-8trubiskyqbs.jpg
USA Today

Chicago Bears Training Camp: Veteran and rookie report dates

Chicago Bears training camp is right around the corner with the first practice (non-padded) scheduled for July 21. 

Bears veterans and rookies will report a few days ahead of that first session to acclimate themselves to their new (for some) surroundings. Rookies report on July 16, with veterans coming three days later on July 19.

All eyes will be on QB Mitch Trubisky and the potentially high-flying offense under coach Matt Nagy. Training camp will take on extra importance because of the plethora of new faces on the roster and coaching staff as well as the installation of a completely new offensive scheme. It's critical that Trubisky builds chemistry with wide receivers Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller and Kevin White, all of whom he's never thrown a regular-season pass to. Add Trey Burton to that mix and a lot of miscues should be expected in the preseason.

The rookie class is led by linebacker Roquan Smith, who remains unsigned. With less than 30 days until rookies are required to report, a greater sense of urgency -- even if it's not quite a panic -- is certainly creeping in. Assuming he's signed in time, Smith should earn a starting role early in training camp and ascend to one of the defense's top all-around players. 

The Bears have higher-than-usual expectations heading into the 2018 season making fans eager for summer practices to get underway.