Blackhawks

Blackhawks' Toews to miss two weeks

350293.jpg

Blackhawks' Toews to miss two weeks

Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010
1:18 p.m. Updated 2:33 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

The Chicago Blackhawks have already dealt with several key injuries this season. Now theyre going to have to move forward without their captain for the next two weeks.

Jonathan Toews will be out two weeks with what looked to be a right shoulder injury, coach Joel Quenneville said on Wednesday morning. Toews was hurt he was checked near the boards by St. Louis forward Matt DAgostini in the Blackhawks 3-1 loss to St. Louis on Tuesday night.

The Blackhawks play seven games in the next two weeks.

Its a situation thats become all too familiar for the Blackhawks, who had their full roster again for all of 13 minutes on Tuesday before Toews was hurt. And for the most part, the Blackhawks handled their recent injury situation (minus Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane) well. They went 6-3-1 the 10 games Hossa was gone, and Kane was out for eight of those.

Nevertheless, losing Toews and everything he brings is difficult.

No matter who (is out) you have to do it, Quenneville said. Weve lost some key guys and weve got some pretty big games in a recent stretch here at home. Its up to us to find ways. Weve got a lot of guys who absorb quality time and take leadership responsibilities. Certainly Johnnys a big piece and a key guy.

Toews impact speaks for itself. On the ice hes averaging 20:30 of ice time per game, tops among Blackhawks forwards. Hes key in every situation, be it full strength or on special teams, and is always a set-up or scoring threat.

You look at the makeup of your lines, special teams, theres ice time there and whos going to take that up. You dont want to change too much, Quenneville said. Our (power play) without Kane and Hossa was pretty good. The (penalty kill) is something we have to get better at anyway. Its an opportunity to find our way to get through it. Jonnys 5 on 5 minutes are valuable as well. Theres a good opportunity there. A lot of times, being responsible gets the job done.

The Blackhawks also have to disperse leadership responsibilities throughout the room. As John Scott observed after Tuesdays loss, Toews is our captain, our rock out there. Quenneville said another player will be wearing an A tomorrow when the Blackhawks host the San Jose Sharks.

During their latest injury rash, other Blackhawks stepped up. Their checking line supplied offense on top of its usual task. They got goals from players not known specifically for that. The team solidified defensively and played simple team hockey instead of putting the onus on one or two guys to carry the entire load.

The Blackhawks have gotten through this before. Theyll have to do it again.

Everybody deals with injuries and you have to move on. If you cant youre not going to be very successful, said defenseman Brian Campbell, who missed the first month of the season with a sprained MCL. Weve had to do that with other guys throughout the year. You have to keep rolling no matter who is or isnt with you. Thats the sign of a good hockey club: good teams win no matter what happens.

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

NHL Draft Profile: D Adam Boqvist

NHL Draft Profile: D Adam Boqvist

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Adam Boqvist

Position: Defenseman
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 168 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"Boqvist is a finesse defenseman who is very skilled, possesses excellent vision and tons of talent. He is fun to watch and full of surprises on the ice. He often plays bigger than his size and skated in his first games with Sweden's Senior National Team in April."

NHL player comparable: Erik Karlsson

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks would love to have Karlsson, who is probably being traded out of Ottawa this summer. Every team would love to have him. But that's not realistic for Chicago. So what if they drafted his potential mini me?

Boqvist is electric with the puck and has drawn comparisons to the Swedish defenseman as a best-case scenario.

There are two concerns, though. One is that he may need some time to develop at just 17 years old and his defense a work in progress. The second is that he's sustained head injuries over the course of his young career, which adds a little bit of risk to the equation.

If he can stay healthy and his development isn't rushed, there's major upside here. But are the Blackhawks willing to be patient? We're not so sure.

Should the Blackhawks explore bringing back Artemi Panarin?

artemi_panarin_usa_today.jpg
USA TODAY

Should the Blackhawks explore bringing back Artemi Panarin?

Here's an interesting development as we approach the NHL Draft: Artemi Panarin has informed the Blue Jackets that he's not ready to consider an extension "at this time" and because of that, Columbus is testing the market for the Russian winger, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen responded to the report shortly after in a statement released by the team:

"Artemi is an elite National Hockey League player. Our position has been that we want him to be a Blue Jacket for many years and that has not changed. He has a year left on his contract, so there is plenty of time to work towards that end. Should anything change moving forward, we will address it at that time and any decision we make will be in the best interest of our club.”

Ironically, Panarin was traded to Columbus on the afternoon of last year's draft as part of a blockbuster package that sent Brandon Saad back to Chicago. It shook up the hockey world, and has the potential to do so again.

Panarin is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2019, but is free to sign an extension with Columbus on July 1. Clearly, that doesn't seem to be in the cards right now and it's why the Blue Jackets have to put out feelers. They can't risk losing him for nothing.

On the flip side, Panarin has every right to test the open market. He has one year left on his contract that carries a $6 million cap hit. He's due for a hefty raise, will be 27 years old next summer — the prime of his hockey career — and will certainly be looking for a long-term deal after accepting a bridge contract with the Blackhawks.

Speaking of whom, should his former team explore bringing him back to Chicago now that he's on the market?

Every general manager should and will do their due diligence and call for an asking price, Stan Bowman included. Those conversations might start with Alex DeBrincat or Nick Schmaltz, and if that's the case, you say thanks but no thanks and move on. 

The Blackhawks have the Nos. 8 and 27 picks in this year's draft as possible ammunition, but the Blue Jackets are ready to take that next step. They were up 2-0 in their first-round series before losing four straight to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals. It's unlikely they'd be looking to center a potential deal around draft picks. 

The only way you even consider it from the Blackhawks perspective is if Panarin is guaranteed to sign a long-term extension at a price you're comfortable with, but that's one of the main reasons why they traded him in the first place. 

To cap it all off, trading for Panarin wouldn't even address the Blackhawks' biggest need and that's a Top 4 defenseman. Those don't grow on trees. The Blackhawks will have the cap space to sign a player like James van Riemsdyk to patch up their top 6. You can't say the same for the free-agent blue line group.

So while it may certainly be fun for Blackhawks fans to come up with possible trade scenarios to get Panarin back in an Indianhead sweater, it just doesn't make great sense for a variety of reasons.