Blackhawks: Marko Dano wants to replicate Marian Hossa's game


Blackhawks: Marko Dano wants to replicate Marian Hossa's game

Marko Dano described his style of play after his first practice session on Sunday.

“I like to play a hard game and Marian Hossa plays kind of the (same) style of game as me. But he’s at a different level,” Dano said of his fellow Slovakian, with a smile. “So I’m trying to catch him with that.”

Hossa and Dano reside in the same city in Slovakia (Trencin), and an 18-year-old Hossa played hockey with Dano’s father, Jozef. Otherwise, Dano’s been watching the Blackhawks right wing from afar. So to know he’ll be playing on the same team as Hossa come this fall is a thrill for the young forward.

[MORE: Patrick Sharp sad to leave Blackhawks, but looking forward to Stars]

Dano, who the Blackhawks acquired in the seven-player deal that sent Brandon Saad to Columbus, is participating in prospect camp this week in Chicago. For Dano, it’s a chance to get acclimated to Chicago as well as the Blackhawks’ staff and players, some of which will be vying for jobs in the fall. But there’s no doubt he’s ready for the season and the chance to show the Blackhawks what he can do.

The trade came as a surprise to Dano, who comes here with Columbus teammate Artem Anisimov. The two played together some with the Blue Jackets, and just having that familiar face in the locker room should help the 20-year-old Dano.

“I'm a young guy so I'm glad there's a couple guys who I know, a couple guys who got traded with me. So I'm not starting from zero here,” Dano said. “[Anisimov] is a big guy, a responsible center, so it was fun playing with him.”

As much as the Blackhawks look for Anisimov to solve their second-line center issues, they’re just as thrilled to see what Dano can provide. He had a solid rookie season, recording eight goals and 13 assists in 35 games for the Blue Jackets. He’ll be another right wing for the club, although he’s fine with playing the left side, too.

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And for a young right wing who’s looking to hone his two-way game, there aren’t many better examples to follow than Hossa. Dano got a text from Hossa not long after Dano was traded here, and the two will get together for lunch soon.

“He’s a great player,” Dano said. “He’s played so many years here, so there are a lot of things I can learn from him.”

Dano has much to learn but he’s with a group that will teach him plenty. He was surprised when he was traded here last month. But to get a chance to improve his game, and to do it with Hossa and the Blackhawks, is going to be a treat for the young forward.

“It’s a great feeling for me to be a part of an organization that’s playing for a Cup [almost] every year,” Dano said. “Every player wants to win the Cup, and with this team there’s a bigger chance for me to raise the Cup above my head.”

Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns


Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Charlie Roumeliotis and Slavko Bekovic provide their thoughts on the Blackhawks’ 3-0-2 start.

They also discuss Brandon Saad’s demotion and whether it could serve as a wake-up call, Corey Crawford’s potential return on Thursday vs. Arizona and what could happen with Anton Forsberg because of it, and address the power play concerns.

The guys wrap up the podcast by making a few bold predictions going forward.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate us and write a review!

10 years with 'Coach Q' anything but ordinary

10 years with 'Coach Q' anything but ordinary

Over the last 10 years, the words “ordinary” and "OK" have taken on a new meaning to Blackhawks players and fans alike. 

That’s “Coach Q” speak. 

A language where “ordinary” means awful and “just OK” means you were a non-factor. The good news is the last 10 seasons under Joel Quenneville have been anything but ordinary at the United Center. 

On Oct. 16th, 2008, the Blackhawks let go of fan-favorite Denis Savard after a 1-2-1 start to the season and named Quenneville as head coach in his place. Quenneville coached the Colorado Avalanche the previous season, but after another disappointing exit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the two mutually parted ways. He had originally planned to stay away from the bench for at least a season, but the Blackhawks triumvirate of Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough and then-GM Dale Tallon brought Quenneville on as a scout and then handed him the keys to the car shortly after.

“Dale’s obligation is to put together a winning team,” said McDonough at Quenneville’s introductory press conference. “At this point, Joel is the coach of that team.”

It was an emotional day at the Blackhawks offices. Savard – a Blackhawks legend on the ice and a coach the players held in high regard – was let go just as things started to turn upwards for the organization. The end of the 2007-2008 season saw the Blackhawks once again miss out on the playoffs, but the fans began to flock to the United Center once more, and the hype train around the young team built around Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane was gaining steam.

“Moving forward, if we want to be a championship-caliber organization, we have to make tough decisions,” said Tallon. “This was the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make.” 

Savard was 65-66-16 in parts of three seasons as head coach of the Blackhawks. Meanwhile, Quenneville had compiled eight 95+ point seasons behind the bench for the Blues and Avalanche in his 11 years as a head coach.

“We felt the experience and the track record of Joel would be a balance that we needed with a young, inexperienced team,” said Tallon. "Joel brings us a wealth of experience and a winning track record that will have an immediate and lasting impact."

The gamble paid off for the Blackhawks in a major way. Once Quenneville took over, the team got to the sought-after next level. 

They finished the 08-09 season with 104 points, third-most in the NHL’s Western Conference, had a franchise-record setting 9-game win streak in the month of December and returned to the playoffs for the first time since the 2001-2002 season. The “young and inexperienced” Blackhawks took the league by storm, dropping the Calgary Flames in the first round of the playoffs in six games before taking down the rival Canucks in the next round.

They ultimately lost out to the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Finals, but the bar was now set for the organization. From then on, the Blackhawks were Stanley Cup contenders. 

Quenneville currently ranks 2nd in franchise history with 449 wins, trailing only Billy Reay’s 516. 

But most importantly, Quenneville’s 76 playoff wins rank at the top in the organization’s long and storied history, and those three Stanley Cups that he’s raised over his head were anything but “ordinary.”