Blackhawks

Blackhawks trade Marcus Kruger to Vegas Golden Knights

Blackhawks trade Marcus Kruger to Vegas Golden Knights

Marcus Kruger’s name has been tied to trade possibilities for several weeks now. While he wasn’t sent to the Vegas Golden Knights at the expansion draft, it was expected he would be dealt to the NHL’s newest team eventually to help alleviate the Blackhawks’ cap issues.

On Sunday, he was.

The Blackhawks sent Kruger to Vegas for future considerations. It was another cap move for a team that signed several players, including Patrick Sharp, on Saturday. A team can spend 10 percent over the cap from now until the day the regular season begins. It’s expected the Blackhawks will put Marian Hossa on long-term injured reserve once the season begins, which would also give them more wiggle room at that time.

As for now, the Blackhawks had to make more tough moves. Cash-wise, they rid themselves of Kruger’s $3.08 million cap hit for this and next season. Personnel-wise they lose another center center – Dennis Rasmussen, who was not given a qualifying offer last week, is gone, too. Kruger was also a reliable penalty killer. He had been steadily improving in faceoffs, peaking in the 2013-14 season when he won 56.7 percent of his draws. But after missing the second half of the 2015-16 season with a broken wrist, his faceoff numbers fell below 50 percent.

“We thank Marcus for his many contributions to our team—most notably, two Stanley Cup Championships,” Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. “His work ethic, reliability and strength as a two-way player made him a valuable member of the organization. We wish him the best with Vegas.”

Patrick Kane makes NHL history, hits 1,000-point milestone with Blackhawks

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USA Today

Patrick Kane makes NHL history, hits 1,000-point milestone with Blackhawks

Patrick Kane made history in Chicago on Sunday by becoming the 90th NHL player ever to reach the 1,000-point mark.

Kane needed one point against the Winnipeg Jets to notch 1,000 for his career and did just that by recording an assist on Brandon Saad's goal in the third period to extend his point streak to 10 games.

By joining the 1,000-point club, Kane is now part of some elite company:

— Kane is the seventh active NHL player to hit the 1,000-point milestone, joining Eric Staal (1,008), Evgeni Malkin (1,051), Patrick Marleau (1,183), Sidney Crosby (1,239), Alex Ovechkin (1,258) and Joe Thornton (1,497),

— Kane is the fourth player in Blackhawks history to accomplish the 1,000-point feat, joining Denis Savard (1,096), Bobby Hull (1,153) and Stan Mikita (1,497). 

— Kane is the 55th player in NHL history to record 1,000 points before his 1,000th game. It took him 953.

— Kane is the 10th American-born player to score 1,000 points, joining Pat Lafontaine (1,013), Brian Leetch (1,028), Doug Weight (1,033), Joe Mullen (1,063), Keith Tkachuk (1,065), Jeremy Roenick (1,216), Phil Housley (1,232), Mike Modano (1,374) and Brett Hull (1,391).

Kane is on pace to crack 100 points for the third time in his NHL career and is showing no signs of slowing down at age 31. It’s fun for Chicago to think about where he’ll finish when his career is all said and done, especially if he continues to perform at an elite level for years to come.

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Jonathan Toews leading the way for bounce-back Blackhawks

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USA Today

Jonathan Toews leading the way for bounce-back Blackhawks

Patrick Kane is the one a hair away from 1,000 career points, but Saturday night it seemed liked Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was the one hungry for a major milestone. 

Toews sits at 798 career points after a four-point outing (two goals, two assists) in the Hawks' 6-2 win in Toronto over the Maple Leafs, giving Chicago their fourth straight win and a perfect three-game road trip through Eastern Canada with the first two wins coming against the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens. 

After a mostly up-and-down season, the Hawks are now three games above .500 (23-20-6) and four points out of a Wild Card spot with two games at home (Sunday and Tuesday) before heading to the All-Star break. 

"We take it one game at a time and I think we're doing a great job of focusing on the task at hand and whatever situation we find ourselves in, we're playing good hockey," Toews said. "It's fun. I think we're playing a complete game right now. We're showing each other what our potential really is if we play the right way and we're getting the results for our hard work."

The Blackhawks captain has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in a five-game point streak. After a slow start to the season, the 2010 Conn Smythe trophy winner is performing beyond a point-a-game pace since Nov. 2. 

Toews scored five-hole on Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen at 5:32 of the first period, then scored on a wraparound at 3:19 of the second. He later assisted on Dominik Kubalik's goal to put the Hawks up 5-1 at 10:58 of the second and set up Kubalik's marker at 17:42 of the second to give Chicago a 6-2 lead and the final score.

"Not a whole lot of leads you feel comfortable with against this team," Toews said following the contest. "They're pretty explosive offensively, so I think all five guys were pretty cognizant of who you're playing against and just making sure we're trying to frustrate them, take away their ability to create and our offense kind of came from that."

The captain's assist on Kubalik's second goal of the game was one of the most impressive plays of the season across the league. Toews backhanded the puck towards the net from the right wall and Kubalik hit it in cleanly with his blade in mid-air in front of the net past Andersen.

"I (thought) it was maybe a foot or two lower, like on the ice," Toews said of his impressive pass from the boards. "It was probably more my intention, but just kind of floated one in there and as they say, you can't give a good player a bad pass, I tried my best on that one and he still found a way to get a stick on it."

Toews seems to have Andersen's number. He's scored 10 goals on the goalie in his career, including five during the regular season and five across seven days in the 2015 Western Conference final.

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.