Blackhawks

Blackhawks quiet on the trade front

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Blackhawks quiet on the trade front

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman talked about the progress of some prospects during this weeks camp, how Brandon Saad has great potential this season, how Adam Clendening is among the top young defensemen in the system and how Teuvo Teravainen is going to be a special player.
But along the trade front, the talk has diminished.
It was a quiet week around the NHL in terms of trades. And while Bowman said that theres still talk going on, its not as frantic as 10 days ago.
Weve had discussions but a lot of teams are doing camps like we are. Teams across the league are focusing on this, Bowman said as the Blackhawks camp wrapped up on Friday. This is an important event for us and were dedicating a lot of time on it. There are still discussions, but its not like it was probably 10 days ago.
So now with camps ending, the talk will probably pick up again. There are still a few players who could be on the move this summer, from free agents like Shane Doan to those currently with contracts like Rick Nash, Bobby Ryan and Roberto Luongo. The Blackhawks are one of several teams who are interested in Doan, who could still re-sign with the Phoenix Coyotes if their ownership situation gets more settled.
Bowman said the Blackhawks have inquired about several players.
Weve talked to a number of players and were going to continue to do that. Any time we can improve our team, were going to look at it, be it free agency or trade, he said. But weve got a lot of good players here. Some of the kids may be ready to take the next step. Im not saying were not going to do anything else, but we do have a good group here.
Bowman reiterated the need to draft and develop well, and that helped the Blackhawks last season when they got key contributions from recent draftees such as Saad and Andrew Shaw. Saad, who played some center during Fridays scrimmage, is expected to push for a spot on the roster this fall. Shaw is expected to play a bigger role. Clendening, Bowman said, is probably the one (prospect) defenseman who has the most potential to make a jump. Its good for him to look at this year as a learning year, but also one he can make an impact for us.
Will the Blackhawks add anyone else this summer? Talk was quiet this week. But theres a lot of summer left. And with camps finishing, there should be more talking again.
Were in a good position, relative to some teams, he said. Weve got a good group of players, some of them already under contract and some of them are young and you can push them down if you have to. Its going to be a competitive camp even right now, without adding new players.

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

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USA TODAY

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.”