Blackhawks

Christian Ehrhoff ready for a fresh start with Blackhawks

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Christian Ehrhoff ready for a fresh start with Blackhawks

When the Blackhawks acquired Christian Ehrhoff for Rob Scuderi on Friday, it seemed an odd transaction.

Both defensemen had had their great moments in previous years but had struggled lately, and both had been waived and sent to the minors recently.

But the trade was about a fresh start for each player. Now with the Blackhawks, Ehrhoff hopes he can recapture his game.

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“For me it’s just another chance and hopefully a better fit for me here,” Ehrhoff said after his first Blackhawks practice on Saturday.

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said the trade was about giving each player the chance he wasn’t getting with his previous club.

“It's probably just a style fit. It's one of those trades that's probably best suited for both teams. Ehrhoff just wasn't a fit in Los Angeles, just like Rob didn't work out here,” Bowman said. “I think it’s a chance for both guys to have an opportunity to play in a system that probably plays totheir strengths. So we're hopeful that's going to give us some nice depth on the blue line.”

Coach Joel Quenneville agreed.

“We like our D to join and get involved in the attack and he’s got that part of his game,” Quenneville said. “He can shoot the puck and defensively we’ll see how that goes, but we think he can help us in ways. [He’ll] get a chance to get going here, maybe not tomorrow but expect him this week.”

[MORE: Trade benefits Teuvo Teravainen, Blackhawks' third and fourth lines]

Ehrhoff didn’t want to talk about why things didn’t work out in Los Angeles – “I kind of put it behind me and I’m looking forward not to get a good start here with the Blackhawks,” he said. How much Ehrhoff plays is uncertain, but he’s happy to be getting the opportunity.

“When you play the Blackhawks, [it’s] very up-tempo, a fast skating team,” he said. “That’s something hopefully I can add to.”

BRIEFLY

  • Corey Crawford will start against the Washington Capitals.

  • Marian Hossa is expected to start skating on Monday, said Quenneville, who added Hossa (lower body) could return for the Blackhawks’ game vs. Detroit on March 6.

  • Viktor Svedberg was reassigned to the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday afternoon.

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.