Blackhawks

Blackhawks' Hossa returns to practice

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Blackhawks' Hossa returns to practice

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011
Posted: 12:58 p.m. Updated: 3:14 p.m.

By TraceyMyers
CSNChicago.com BlackhawksInsiderFollow @TraMyersCSN
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Marian Hossa is still working through losing a good friend earlier this month. But seeing his baby girl born a few days later has been the saving grace.

Its the best thing that could happen for a person, Hossa said of his daughters birth, which came two days after friend Pavol Demitra was killed in the Lokomotiv plane crash. I lost my friend in the accident and (her birth) made it easier to go through a rough time.

Hockey could have the same good-feeling affect.

Hossa practiced for the first time this preseason on Wednesday, as the Chicago Blackhawks right wing took a few extra days to get through his up-and-down emotional start to September.

Physically, Hossa has never felt better. He said he got away from hockey the first two months of the offseason and relaxed Now Im more hungry, he said. He also got more time to train.

Hossa attended Demitras memorial, which was right before camp began. He asked the Blackhawks if he could take a few more days to deal with everything so he could enter camp focused.

And while Hossa said he needs a day or two to keep up with the guys, coach Joel Quenneville saw otherwise.

Boy, did you notice him on the ice, Quenneville said. The practice picks up; he looked like he was in mid-season form out there. He didnt miss a beat.

Hossa will still have a lot on his mind for some time. Hell always remember the loss of Demitra, and will find a way to honor him this season. But first-time fatherhood is soothing the pain of a friends loss. Hockey should help him move on, too.

Im glad to be here and think about something positive, Hossa said. My teammates welcomed me and Im looking forward to training camp.

Thursday players

Quenneville will go with Alex Salak and Ray Emery again Thursday in Pittsburgh, with Salak starting. Some veterans will play, but Thursdays game will once again feature younger players.

Patrick Kane and Hossa, however, are doubtful for Thursdays game, as well as the next two after that. Quenneville said the two are more likely to play the final three preseason games.

Briefly

Patrick Sharp watched practice on Wednesday. Quenneville said Sharp feels way better today.

The Blackhawks assigned Phillip Danault and Mark McNeill to their respective training camps on Wednesday. The roster now stands at 52.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

NHL to potentially discuss emergency goalie rules at general managers meetings

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USA Today

NHL to potentially discuss emergency goalie rules at general managers meetings

The NHL general managers meetings are set to begin next week and one of the topics on the docket to be discussed may be emergency backup goalie (EBUG) procedures. The recent interest in reevaluating EBUG rules come after 42-year-old David Ayres suited up to play for the Carolina Hurricanes in their 6-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs this past weekend.

The issue of EBUGs comes up so rarely that NHL GMs don’t typically give it much thought. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly spoke about EBUGs this Tuesday during the Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets game.

“It's something we've given some consideration to over the years. As recently as last year, we discussed [it] with the general managers. It happens very, very rarely, but when it happens, it obviously raises everybody's attention to the issue and whether there are fixes that need to be made to that particular issue,” he explained. “We have to work with the [NHL] Players' Association. Who's a player? Who's not a player? What qualifies all of that? But obviously we want what's best for the game, and we want to make sure people aren't putting themselves in danger by playing goal in a National Hockey League game. ... So that's obviously something we have to continue to work through."

Currently, the 2019-20 NHL official rules state, “if both listed goalkeepers are incapacitated, that team shall be entitled to dress and play any available goalkeeper who is eligible."

Ayres drives the Zamboni at the Mattamy Athletic Center in Toronto and frequently practices with the Leafs. Ayres stepped in the net after Hurricanes goalies James Reimer and Petr Mrazek were both injured. He made eight saves and is the oldest goalie in NHL history to make his regular season debut.

The Blackhawks had their own instance of needing an EBUG in 2018 against the Winnipeg Jets. Scott Foster, a then-36-year-old accountant stepped in the net at the United Center after Corey Crawford and Collin Delia were sidelined by injury. Foster saved all seven shots on goal, making him the first EBUG to make a save and a hometown hero in Chicago. 

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How Blackhawks are trying to stay upbeat despite roster subtractions

How Blackhawks are trying to stay upbeat despite roster subtractions

ST. LOUIS — The NHL trade deadline is a unique time of year for fans because it serves as a chance to get a read on what the management group feels about your respective team's current state.

There are the buyers who feel they're good enough to make a deep postseason run, the sellers who admit they're looking more towards the future and the ones who stand pat because they're somewhere in between. But to what degree is telling as well.

For example, the Columbus Blue Jackets went for it all last season by acquiring Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel and two other players in exchange for a roster player, three prospects and seven draft picks that included a pair of first- and second-rounders, fully knowing all four players could walk away for nothing in the summer. And they did.

Last season, the Blackhawks stood pat. They didn’t have many assets to sell, but they were knocking on the door of a playoff spot and decided to let it ride.

This season was a different story.

Erik Gustafsson and Robin Lehner were traded in separate deals for asset management purposes, and intentionally or not, the message was sent that the Blackhawks weren't good enough to keep the group together for a legitimate playoff push. Despite how deflating the roster subtractions could make them feel, the Blackhawks are trying to maintain a positive attitude for the remainder of the season.

"No letdown, no taking any steps back," Jonathan Toews said before Tuesday’s 6-5 loss to the Blues. "Stay on your routine, stay on your commitment, keeping that upbeat feel in the locker room and going out there having fun, working hard and putting your best foot forward [for] a win and getting two points every night, so that's all we can do."  

Head coach Jeremy Colliton commended his group for how they reacted to the outside distractions leading up to the trade deadline. He expects them to respond after it.

"It's our job to compete at the highest level," Colliton said. "I give the guys credit, those two games before the deadline we responded really well to the uncertainty. Pulling a player at the last second and they played hard, and that's what we expect going forward. The team-first priorities at all times and sticking together and playing to the end no matter what. If we do that, we'll get our results and let's see what happens."

It would take a miraculous run for the Blackhawks to make the playoffs at this point after falling below .500 based on points percentage following Tuesday's loss to the Blues. But they're not waving the white flag just yet, even though it would psychologically be easy to pack it in.

"You always want to be in the hunt and just fighting for a playoff spot," Patrick Kane said. "Obviously we'd have to go on a pretty big run to make the playoffs this year, but just take it a game at a time here. We've been playing pretty well as a team to be honest with you. I know the results haven't been there, but we've been playing pretty good, we've been playing some tough teams. I think if we continue on this turn we're probably going to get better results down the stretch."  

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