Blackhawks

Duncan Keith enjoys skills-competition afternoon with son

Duncan Keith enjoys skills-competition afternoon with son

LOS ANGELES – Colton Keith walked a few steps ahead of Duncan Keith as they entered the locker room, the 3 1/2-year-old carrying his dad's stick and wearing his gloves. For the elder Keith, this is his fourth All-Star appearance. But having his son with him makes this one that much more special.

"He's only three but he has all the teams memorized pretty good already," Keith said. "It's special to have him here, to share this with him. It's special for me to see the fun that he's having and get him to see everyone."

Keith said his son was excited for the entire All-Star weekend, from staying at the same hotel with fellow Blackhawks all-stars Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Corey Crawford to calling Toews "Sir Toes" and joining his dad on the ice for Saturday's skills competition.

"He gets what's going on, maybe not to the full extent but he enjoys coming to the games," Keith said. "The happiest I see him is when he's banging on the glass in warmups and he's already skating on his own. I know he loves it, loves being around it."

Keith said his son's favorite moment was meeting Brent Burns during the Saturday's festivities. Burns was happy to oblige.

"I just know how special that is from last year, doing that with my son," Burns said. "That's what it's about. It's allowing these guys to get in there and get a piece of our life. That's all you want as a father, to allow them to get into that life a little bit. It's just special. It's something he'll be able to carry on for the rest of his life."

As for Colton's favorite player? Nope, it's not dad. It's Marian Hossa.

"One of his first words was horses, so Hossa was there," Keith said. "I'll take that, though. That's not a bad guy to try to emulate."

Blackhawks 'mutually agree to part ways' with assistant coach Don Granato

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks 'mutually agree to part ways' with assistant coach Don Granato

The Blackhawks announced Wednesday that they have mutually agreed to part ways with assistant coach Don Granato. He was hired on June 15, 2017 and spent two seasons with the team.

“We appreciate Don’s contributions to the Blackhawks organization while on the staff,” head coach Jeremy Colliton said in a statement. “We wish him well in the future as he pursues other opportunities.”

The move allows Colliton to handpick his second assistant coach with Sheldon Brookbank remaining on the staff. The responsibilities between Brookbank and Granato were shared this season, but that's likely to change going into next season to a more traditional structure of one assistant coach handling the forwards and power play and the other the defensemen and penalty kill.

One potential candidate to fill the vacant position could be Derek King, who was on Colliton's staff with the Rockford IceHogs and served as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season after Colliton got promoted to Chicago. King is viewed as a player's coach and is well-respected within the organization.

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Hawks Talk Podcast: Evaluating Blackhawks defensemen prospects with Mark Eaton

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AP

Hawks Talk Podcast: Evaluating Blackhawks defensemen prospects with Mark Eaton

On the latest edition of the Hawks Talk Podcast, Blackhawks director of player development Mark Eaton joins the show to evaluate the organization’s top defensemen prospects and where each of them is at in their developments. Which ones could make the NHL jump next season?

Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis offer their takeaways from the Eaton interview and outlook the Blackhawks blue line group as a whole.

1:00 – Eaton on Henri Jokiharju’s development

3:30 – Adam Boqvist’s growth in North America

6:50 – Evaluating Nicolas Beaudin’s progression

8:15 – Surprised about Ian Mitchell’s decision to return to college?

10:55 – Assessing Chad Krys in college and AHL

13:10 – Challenge between stressing defensive side of game but not taking away from who the player is

15:55 – Which defensemen prospects could be in NHL next season?

18:25 – The message Erik Gustafsson’s breakout season sends to prospects

21:15 – Takeaways from Eaton interview

31:25 – Reviewing Blackhawks defensemen contracts

33:35 – Thoughts on Gustav Forsling

35:20 – The challenge for Blackhawks defense this offseason

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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