Blackhawks

Bowman, Hawks react to Carcillo suspension

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Bowman, Hawks react to Carcillo suspension

Updated: Thursday, Jan. 5, 6:31 p.m.
PHILADELPHIA -- The NHL handed down its suspension for Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo on Wednesday night. Now the Blackhawks will have to deal with his absence for a while with suspension and also with injury.

The Blackhawks made their return to Philadelphia minus Carcillo, who was suspended seven games for his hit on Edmonton defenseman Tom Gilbert on Monday. The suspension starts today for Carcillo, who also suffered an apparent left-knee injury on that hit.

General manager Stan Bowman said the Blackhawks are still looking at options with Carcillos injury.

Obviously hes not going to play for a little bit. With injuries you have to decide, is rehab going to get it to where it needs to go or not? said Bowman, who added surgery could be another option. Were not there yet.

Coach Joel Quenneville said he saw Brendan Shanahans video explanation of the suspension and does not argue it.

Thats the way it is with it, said Quenneville. His track record probably didnt help him at all and the fact a guy got hurt, theres a fine line he has to watch and we have to be aware of as well. He plays hard and well deal with it.

This is the 10th time Carcillo has been fined or suspended in his NHL career. Hes already served two suspensions this season; his last one was a two-game hiatus after his hit on Carolina defenseman Joni Pitkanen.

Its a fast game on the ice; things happen. Neither of those plays was there intent to injure players, Bowman said. Weve seen some other suspensions where guys are trying to get back at guys, elbows to the head, those kinds of things. If those happened, wed have to focus on that. From that perspective, these things happen and thats why Brendan is a busy guy.

The league has been busy with suspensions this season; Carcillo is the latest. But the Blackhawks will deal with it.

Its tough to see that happening around the league. I know it was a counter hit, but thats the way the league looks at it, Bryan Bickell said. Its tough to see what happened to him and what happened with the suspension. But we have to look past that and move on.

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Is Crawford ready to go?

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USA TODAY

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:

Niklas Hjalmarsson 'wasn't happy' about trade, but remembers time with Blackhawks fondly

Niklas Hjalmarsson 'wasn't happy' about trade, but remembers time with Blackhawks fondly

Apparently time doesn’t heal all wounds. 

Nearly a year and a half since being traded to the Coyotes, Niklas Hjalmarsson will return to the United Center ice on Thursday playing for the visiting team.  

“It’s going to be strange coming in as the away team and being in the other locker room,” said Hjalmarsson on Wednesday. “I bet it’s going to be a lot of emotions and mixed feelings.” 

This is also the first time Hjalmarsson has been back to the city of Chicago since he was traded, a city he called his “second home.” A home where he spent parts of 10 seasons, and never really planned on leaving.

“I wasn’t happy, to be honest with you,” said Hjalmarsson of the trade to Arizona. “I was shocked. It took me a couple days to actually realize I wasn’t going to play for the Hawks anymore.”

Including the playoffs, Hjalmarsson played 751 games in the Indian head sweater. Despite that and the team’s three Stanley Cup victories, the Blackhawks shipped him off to Arizona for Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin in June of 2017.

“You kind of let it go after a while,” he said. “Now I’m just hoping all the success for the guys over here too.”

Hjalmarsson was known for his toughness, repeatedly blocking shot after shot, giving up his body, while never missing a shift. He credits his long-time teammates — Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook — for a lot of his success and identity on the blue line.

“I couldn’t have had better role models coming into a team,” he said. “I’m very thankful to have played on the same team as those guys and created a lot of success together. We’re always going to be connected with the Cups that we’ve had.”

The third championship won by that defense-trio was on United Center ice against the Lightning in 2015, but that isn’t the memory that stands out most for Hjalmarsson.

“The first Cup is always going to be pretty special,” said the 31-year old. “Even just going to the conference final (in 2009), even when we lost against Detroit that year, the year before was great memories too. The first time for me going into the playoffs and playing deep.”

The tables have turned now for both Hjalmarsson and the Blackhawks. 

The Coyotes have yet to score an even-strength goal this season, while the Blackhawks have claimed eight of a possible 10 points thus far through five games and expect to have their starting goaltender back between the pipes. 

But you won’t hear any ill-will from Hjalmarsson, he’s still rooting for the Hawks.

“I always think that Chicago deserves to have a team in the playoffs,” he said. “It’s not that I wish them not to do well. It’s the total opposite. I want them to have continued success.”