Blackhawks' Patrick Kane named 2016 Hart Trophy finalist

Blackhawks' Patrick Kane named 2016 Hart Trophy finalist

Patrick Kane was named a 2016 Hart Trophy finalist, annually awarded to the player judged most valuable to his team in the National Hockey League, the league announced Saturday. Dallas' Jamie Benn and Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby were also named finalists.

Kane is looking to become the fifth player in franchise history to win the award and join Max Bentley (1945-46), Al Rollins (1953-54), Bobby Hull (1964-65, 1965-66) and Stan Mikita (1966-67, 1967-68) as the only others to win it in a Blackhawks uniform. He's also looking to make history by seeking to become the first U.S.-born player to win the Hart Trophy.

Earlier this year, Kane became the first American-born player to win the Art Ross Trophy after leading the league with 106 points during the regular season.

He scored 46 goals and 60 assists in 82 regular-season games this season, both of which set a career high. 

The highlight of Kane's season came at the beginning of the campaign when he registered at least a point in 26 consecutive games, which broke a Blackhawks record — previously held by Bobby Hull (19) — and set a new record for most by an American-born player — previously set by Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (18).

On Friday, Kane was also named a Ted Lindsay Award finalist, given annually to the NHL's most outstanding player that is voted on by his peers.

The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 22 at the 2016 NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

Blackhawks make it official: Corey Crawford is back

Blackhawks make it official: Corey Crawford is back

He’s back.

Corey Crawford was officially activated from injured reserve on Thursday and will start in goal for the first time since Dec. 23, 2017 when the Blackhawks host the Arizona Coyotes.

"It’s exciting," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I’m sure he’s looking forward to it and we’re all excited about it as well. It’ll be a fun situation for the guys, seeing him back in the net as well. So we’re looking for everyone to be excited about tonight’s game."

The two-time Stanley Cup champion was medically cleared to practice from his concussion on Oct. 1, but the Blackhawks wanted to give Crawford as much time as he needed to get his conditioning and puck-tracking skills up to game speed before putting him into game action.

"It feels good to be back to myself," Crawford said on Wednesday. "I'm feeling good, I'm feeling clear. It was a pretty long process. ... Practices have been great, been getting timing a little bit more and getting up to speed and reading shots and all that, so it'll be nice to finally get in one."

To make room for Crawford on the 23-man roster, the Blackhawks have assigned forward Luke Johnson to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League. Brandon Saad, who wore a white healthy scratch jersey all week at practice, will take his spot in the lineup.

For now, the Blackhawks will hang on to Anton Forsberg and carry three goaltenders as insurance as they get ready to start a seven-games-in-11-days stretch.

Crawford was 16-9-2 with a 2.27 goals against average, .929 save percentage and two shutouts in 28 games last season. The Blackhawks were 17-30-8 without him and finished last in the Central Division.

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Is Crawford ready to go?


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: