Blackhawks

Alumni Game Preview: Murray Bannerman back in the crease

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Alumni Game Preview: Murray Bannerman back in the crease

Comcast SportsNet will air the Stadium Series Alumni Game at TCF Bank Stadium on Feb. 20 between the Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild/North Stars. To get you ready for the game, read more about these former Blackhawks below.

Murray Bannerman will return to the crease for the Blackhawks during the Stadium Series Alumni Game, which will surely reignite plenty of "BAAANNERMAN!" impressions from the memorable call by Pat Foley during the 1985 Norris Division finals against the North Stars.

Drafted by Vancouver in 1977, it wasn't until six years later that he'd make a name for himself in the NHL with the Blackhawks.

[MORE: Alumni Game Preview: Chris Chelios returns in Blackhawks uniform]

Bannerman served as the backup to Tony Esposito, who will coach along with Foley over the weekend, in his first season in Chicago, then took control during the 1982 playoffs when he led the Blackhawks past the North Stars.

He ranks sixth in franchise history with 116 wins, and also recorded 20 postseason wins.

Check out the full rosters below.

Blackhawks Minnesota
D Adrian Aucoin D Fred Barrett (North Stars)
G Murray Bannerman G Don Beaupre (North Stars)
D Ed Belfour F Brian Bellows (North Stars)
F Dave Christian D Brad Bombardir (Wild)
F Denis Cyr F Neal Broten (North Stars)
F Eric Daze F Andrew Brunette (Wild)
F Reggie Kerr F Jack Carlson (North Stars)
D Steve Konroyd D Jon Casey (North Stars)
F Cliff Koroll F Dino Ciccarelli (North Stars)
F Dave Mackey F Jim Dowd (Wild)
F Peter Marsh D Curt Giles (North Stars)
F Grant Mulvey D Craig Hartsburg (North Stars)
F Troy Murray F Darby Hendrickson (Wild)
F Brian Noonan F Antti Laaksonen (Wild)
D Jack O'Callahan D Reed Larson (North Stars)
F Eddie Olczyk F Dennis Maruk (North Stars)
F Jeremy Roenick D Brad Maxwell (North Stars)
D Phil Russell F Basil McRae (North Stars)
F Denis Savard G Gilles Meloche (North Stars)
F Reid Simpson F Mike Modano (North Stars)
G Jimmy Waite F Richard Park (Wild)
  F Steve Payne (North Stars)
  F Willi Plett (North Stars)
  D Gordie Roberts (North Stars)
  F Bobby Smith (North Stars)
  F Wes Walz (Wild)
  F Tom Younghans (North Stars)

Check back for more alumni player profiles leading up to the game.

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Is Crawford ready to go?

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USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Is Crawford ready to go?

Jimmy Greenfield, Connor McKnight, and Matt Spiegel join Kap on the panel to discuss Corey Crawford back on the ice for the first time in 10 months. The Bears have good news when it comes to Khalil Mack, who injured his ankle against the Dolphins.

Plus, Fred Hoiberg announces that Jabari Parker is coming off the bench for the season opener.

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below:

Niklas Hjalmarsson 'wasn't happy' about trade, but remembers time with Blackhawks fondly

Niklas Hjalmarsson 'wasn't happy' about trade, but remembers time with Blackhawks fondly

Apparently time doesn’t heal all wounds. 

Nearly a year and a half since being traded to the Coyotes, Niklas Hjalmarsson will return to the United Center ice on Thursday playing for the visiting team.  

“It’s going to be strange coming in as the away team and being in the other locker room,” said Hjalmarsson on Wednesday. “I bet it’s going to be a lot of emotions and mixed feelings.” 

This is also the first time Hjalmarsson has been back to the city of Chicago since he was traded, a city he called his “second home.” A home where he spent parts of 10 seasons, and never really planned on leaving.

“I wasn’t happy, to be honest with you,” said Hjalmarsson of the trade to Arizona. “I was shocked. It took me a couple days to actually realize I wasn’t going to play for the Hawks anymore.”

Including the playoffs, Hjalmarsson played 751 games in the Indian head sweater. Despite that and the team’s three Stanley Cup victories, the Blackhawks shipped him off to Arizona for Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin in June of 2017.

“You kind of let it go after a while,” he said. “Now I’m just hoping all the success for the guys over here too.”

Hjalmarsson was known for his toughness, repeatedly blocking shot after shot, giving up his body, while never missing a shift. He credits his long-time teammates — Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook — for a lot of his success and identity on the blue line.

“I couldn’t have had better role models coming into a team,” he said. “I’m very thankful to have played on the same team as those guys and created a lot of success together. We’re always going to be connected with the Cups that we’ve had.”

The third championship won by that defense-trio was on United Center ice against the Lightning in 2015, but that isn’t the memory that stands out most for Hjalmarsson.

“The first Cup is always going to be pretty special,” said the 31-year old. “Even just going to the conference final (in 2009), even when we lost against Detroit that year, the year before was great memories too. The first time for me going into the playoffs and playing deep.”

The tables have turned now for both Hjalmarsson and the Blackhawks. 

The Coyotes have yet to score an even-strength goal this season, while the Blackhawks have claimed eight of a possible 10 points thus far through five games and expect to have their starting goaltender back between the pipes. 

But you won’t hear any ill-will from Hjalmarsson, he’s still rooting for the Hawks.

“I always think that Chicago deserves to have a team in the playoffs,” he said. “It’s not that I wish them not to do well. It’s the total opposite. I want them to have continued success.”