Dale Weise looking to make a 'good impression' with Blackhawks


Dale Weise looking to make a 'good impression' with Blackhawks

BOSTON – Dale Weise sounded like a guy who was ready to suit up for the Blackhawks the moment they traded for him.

Unfortunately visa issues kept him from doing that, and the nearly week long wait to join his new team wasn’t fun. Once he finally got in on Thursday, however, all that was forgotten.

“I’m just happy to jump into a game right now,” Weise said. “You want to come in and make a good impression. I’m not trying to do anything special. This team’s at the top of the league for a reason and I’m just trying to come in and do what I can to help this team win.”

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Weise is one of two forwards the Blackhawks acquired to help bolster their roster depth. While Weise started on the fourth line on Thursday, he ended up on the third line with Teuvo Teravainen and Tomas Fleischmann, who also came here through the trade with the Montreal Canadiens. One figures he’ll get an extended look with that group, considering his familiarity with Fleischmann in Montreal.

“He’s just such a smart player. He’s got really underrated skill. I’m more of a shooter, he’s more of a passer, so it’s a good combination,” Weise said of Fleischmann, who got two games in before Weise got here. “Obviously he got here quicker than I did, so I had a couple questions. We just briefly talked about it. He just said get excited: this is a fun team to play on. They play fast. I think that’s perfect for my style.”

Weise left a tempestuous situation in Montreal. All started well for the Canadiens this season – they got off to a 9-0-0 record – but then things started going wrong. Carey Price got hurt and the Canadiens began to struggle, and they never got themselves out of the tailspin. Weise figured he would be dealt at the deadline, but hearing the trade talk wasn’t easy.

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“I’ve never been in a situation like that before where my contract was expiring and there was trade rumors. I’d never really been a part of that. That was different for me,” Weise said. “The team was struggling. It was frustrating. I kind of saw it coming toward the end, so I kind of got prepared for that and I got traded to Chicago and there’s no other place I’d rather go.”

It took a little time for Weise to get here but he still has more than enough regular-season games to adjust. The Blackhawks need some players to bring more to their third and fourth lines. Weise is hoping to provide that.

“This is the best team in the league right now,” Weise said. “I’m just excited to see what I can bring.”

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?


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.