Blackhawks

Brian Campbell praises leadership of former Blackhawks teammates

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Brian Campbell praises leadership of former Blackhawks teammates

Jonathan Toews had some time to get an early start on his golf game with Brian Campbell when the Blackhawks had more than a week off after sweeping the Minnesota Wild in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

But Campbell said that the Chicago captain's head was somewhere else. Toews couldn't stop thinking about winning more Stanley Cups.

"All he said to me was 'I just want to keep winning championships,'" Campbell told CSN's David Kaplan on Monday's edition of SportsTalk Live. "When a guy comes up and says that, I'm just like sitting back — and Johnny is a lot younger than me — and I'm just like 'Man, this guy is one of the true, true best leaders out there.' So I just feel like every day he competes. In the summer time, he gets ready and he wants to win at every stake.

"So for me, I feel like he's the greatest captain I've ever played for. And me being an older guy, I look up to him and I look up to how he prepares himself and trains, and I want to be like him. There's a lot of kids that want to be like him, but I want to be just as good as him and see what it takes to get there."

[MORE: Stanley Cup Final feeling never gets old for Blackhawks]

The praise for his former teammates continued, with Campbell calling Duncan Keith the best defenseman in the NHL right now. Rightfully so, as Keith is arguably playing some of his best hockey. His postseason play has him listed with the third best odds to win the Conn Smythe — with Toews and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tyler Johnson ahead of him, according to Sportsbook.com.

There's a reason Joel Quenneville plays Keith more than any other defenseman on the Blackhawks.

"He thrives with it," said Campbell of Keith's minutes. "But he's one of the best conditioned athletes in the league. His legs just don't get tired."

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The Blackhawks overcame their toughest challenge against a Ducks team that pushed them to seven games. But will the Lightning be a bigger challenge than Anaheim?

"I feel like Chicago is a better team than Anaheim," Campbell said. "It always gets harder, it doesn't matter. So, Tampa, I feel like they can come in and they're going to surprise them a bit with their speed. I feel like the odd man rushes, you'll see that a little bit more.

"So I think there's going to be a little bit of a surprise in the fact that Chicago is going to have to know that they're playing a little bit of a different team."

See what else Campbell had to say in the video above.

Blackhawks release 2018-19 schedule

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks release 2018-19 schedule

Uncap those markers and start circling your calendars, Blackhawks fans. The 2018-19 season is officially out.

The Blackhawks will kick off their 91st campaign in franchise history with a road contest against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. The home opener is set for Oct. 7, with an Original Six matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 6 p.m.

The Blackhawks have 14 back-to-back games, and the longest road trip of the season is three, which takes place five times over the course of the season; the longest homestand is four games, from Dec. 12-18.

The biggest highlight of the season will be the Original Six Winter Classic Showdown between the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins on Jan. 1 at Notre Dame Stadium. It will be the sixth outdoor appearance for Chicago, and fourth in the Winter Classic.

The Blackhawks will also square off with the defending champion Washington Capitals on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m., and welcome them to Chicago on Jan. 20, set for NBC's Game of the Week at 11:30 a.m.

Here's a look at the full schedule:

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman: 'We expect Corey to be back'

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman: 'We expect Corey to be back'

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said that the team expects goalie Corey Crawford to be back next season around training camp. Bowman also mentioned that Crawford might speak about his status himself during the Blackhawks Convention.

“What I said at the end of the year was still the case now, which is we expect Corey to be back,” Bowman said in a Thursday afternoon conference call. “We don’t have any reason to think that’s not going to happen.”

According to Bowman, Blackhawks players, including Crawford, already have their eyes set on next season.

“At this point in the summer, all the players are preparing for next season,” Bowman said. “Corey’s in that same preparation mode.”

Crawford is nursing what has been labeled an upper-body injury by the team. The two-time Stanley Cup winner was put on the shelf for the rest of the season back in late December, and he has not seen the ice since he skated in a February practice.

“Nothing has changed,” Bowman said. “We expect him to be back and ready to go in training camp.”

The Blackhawks have chosen to keep any groundbreaking news with Crawford under wraps, which the organization has done with other player injuries in the past. Bowman spoke about his vagueness in this situation.

“We’ve never gone into specifics about injuries,” Bowman said. “I realize this probably gets more attention because he’s our starting goalie and he won the Stanley Cup.”

Fans will have to take a wait-and-see approach, because it is unlikely that there will be a significant update regarding Crawford’s health before the season gets closer to its start.

Last season, Crawford only appeared in 28 games, posting a record of 16-9 with 782 saves before going down for the rest of the year.