Blackhawks

Blackhawks' Kruger takes center stage

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Blackhawks' Kruger takes center stage

Marcus Kruger has made a quick ascension through the Blackhawks ranks and will play second-line center tonight. And Patrick Kane, whose place hell be taking, said Kruger will do just fine there.

Kane, whos back at right wing on the top line tonight, played with Kruger a few games last season and liked what how the young Swede played.

Hes an easy forward to play with, Kane said. He kind of lets the other guys handle the puck and tries to do all the work for them. At the same time hes skilled enough where he can make plays, make saucer passes and little passes around defensemen that can get you in good position. I played with him a couple games and I like him a lot. Hell be good for those two guys (Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa).

Kane said he hasnt talked to Kruger specifically about taking over at No. 2 center but they have chatted about Krugers quick rise through the ranks.

Hes pretty happy to be up here, Kane said. Its good to see a player that young and that motivated to keep doing well and keep getting better. Hes been good on the power play, makes good plays and puts his linemates in good position to score goals. So Im happy for him.

Jamal Mayers, who played with Kruger earlier this season, also thinks hell be fine.

Hes a very smart player, Mayers said. At the beginning of the year, playing with him you felt he was just scratching the surface and his game would come. Hes getting rewarded for that. I think hell do great.

Recently retired Kris Versteeg to be honored before Blackhawks game

Recently retired Kris Versteeg to be honored before Blackhawks game

Kris Versteeg recently retired and now the Blackhawks are honoring him with the team’s “One More Shift.”

Versteeg began the season with the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, but retired in November after playing six games for the IceHogs this season.

The 33-year-old wrote an emotional letter to the Blackhawks organization after requesting his contract with Rockford be terminated.

Versteeg will be honored before Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Wild. He will join the team on the ice for the national anthem and highlights of his career will be featured in the United Center.

Versteeg won two Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks, in 2010 and 2015. He is part of the Blackhawks celebrating the 10-year anniversary of that 2010 Cup win. Brian Campbell was given the same treatment on Nov. 21.

The first 10,000 fans into the UC can get replicas of the 2010 ring.

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Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane visit recovering Chicagoland hockey player for the holidays

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USA Today

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane visit recovering Chicagoland hockey player for the holidays

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane recently surprised recovering hockey player Payton Bruns in the hospital, spreading some cheer across Chicagoland this holiday season. The players spent time with Bruns and his family talking hockey and his recovery.

“I had no clue that they were coming,” Bruns told the camera.

Bruns cited Kane as one of his favorite players, making this moment even sweeter.

You can watch the heartwarming video here.

Bruns, a senior at Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort, broke two of his vertebrae sliding into the boards while chasing down a loose puck this past September. He was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery and has since been recovering and doing physical therapy at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago.  

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