Five Things: Bryan Bickell makes presence felt in Blackhawks return


Five Things: Bryan Bickell makes presence felt in Blackhawks return

The Blackhawks needed to get back on track, needed to start finding chemistry in their lines and, most important, needed two points.

They did all of that on Sunday in their 3-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. It was a game that featured a little bit of everything and one off which the Blackhawks could build. So before we call it an early night – thank you for the afternoon game, NHL schedulers – let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ victory over Winnipeg.

[MORE: Patrick Kane sets Blackhawks point-streak record in win over Jets]

1. Kane sets a new record. It was a pass, but not the pass you’d expect from Kane, that gave him a franchise-best, 22-game point streak on Sunday. But in a game when the Blackhawks were obviously doing everything they could to help Kane keep that point streak going, it’s not about style points. Bryan Bickell, who’s back with the Blackhawks, enjoyed being here for this one. “To see him get it with 80 seconds left was nice,” Bickell said. “I’ve been watching on highlights; he’s a special player. It’s fun to watch.”

2. Hope Trevor Daley is OK. When you see a stretcher come onto the ice for a player, you just kind of hold your breath and hope for the best. Daley, who was falling forward when he took a knee to his head in the second period, ultimately didn’t need that stretcher. How Daley is going forward remains to be seen. Coach Joel Quenneville should know tomorrow, so for now we’ll take Daley going off under his own power as a good sign.

3. Bickell is back. Bickell said prior to the game that he didn’t play his most physical during his month-long stint in Rockford, fearing an injury could hurt his chances of returning to the Blackhawks. He saved a big hit for his first game back, however, leveling former teammate Dustin Byfuglien late in the first period. Said Kane, “That was awesome. We all like Big Buff over here, but I think that's something we're missing a little bit from our team game. It kind of set the tone for the game.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

4. Teravainen gets back on the score sheet. Teravainen said he’s still trying to find his game, but he could get a boost of confidence from his game-winning goal, his first goal since Nov. 4 (against the St. Louis Blues). Teravainen is back on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. It didn’t work previously in part because Teravainen looked hesitant, like he needed to pass to his veteran line mates more than necessary. He needs to shoot when he can; he saw on Sunday that can work.

5. Kruger no goal, no problem. Marcus Kruger almost had his first goal of the season but it was disallowed, ruled that it went in with a distinct kicking motion. Quenneville had no problem with that – “it looked incidental but the follow through was the part that… made it easier for them.” The Blackhawks shrugged it off, with Hossa scoring late in the first period to get that early 1-0 lead.

Getting to know four newly-signed Blackhawks


Getting to know four newly-signed Blackhawks

The Blackhawks announced Monday that they have officially agreed to terms with forward Dominik Kahun, defensemen Lucas Carlsson and Darren Raddysh and goaltender Kevin Lankinen on entry-level contracts.

Kahun ($925,000 cap hit), Lankinen ($925,000) and Raddysh ($730,000) each signed two-year deals that run through the 2019-20 season while Carlsson's is a three-year deal that runs through the 2020-21 campaign and carries a cap hit of $792,500.

So who are these guys? Let's meet them:


Drafted in the fourth round (No. 110 overall) by the Blackhawks in 2016, Carlsson set a career-high with 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 44 games this season with Brynäs IF of the Swedish Hockey League. He was tied for fourth among all blue liners with seven goals.

Carlsson, 20, doesn't have major upside, but he's a reliable, well-rounded defenseman and that's what drew the attention of Blackhawks vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley.

“When he’s on the ice, he makes things happen," Kelley told Scott Powers of The Athletic last summer. "I think what impressed the Sweden under-20 coach was Lucas’ ability to challenge in all three zones. He’s an active defensively. Offensively, he challenges. He keeps plays alive.”


The 22-year-old forward spent the last four seasons with EHC München of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, Germany's top professional hockey league, where he established career highs in assists (29), points (41) and tied a personal best with 12 goals, leading Munchen to their third straight championship in 2018 after recording four goals and 10 assists in 17 playoff contests.

He raised eyebrows at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, where he compiled five points (two goals, three assists) in seven games and won 55.4 percent of his faceoffs (41 of 74), helping Germany capture a silver medal.

“He has made an enormous step this year, has become much more stable and mature," German national team coach Marco Sturm said after the Olympics. "I am sure that he would grab it in the NHL,” Sturm told the Hamburger Morgenpost.

Most recently, Kahun had a goal and two assists in seven games for Germany during the IIHF Men's World Championship. He's 5-foot-11, 176 pounds whose known to be a solid two-way player and can play center but may need some time to adjust to the smaller ice surface and NHL style of speed and physicality.


Lankinen is 23 years old and coming off a season in which he was in the discussion for the Urpo Ylönen trophy, annually awarded to the top goaltender of the Finnish Elite League, after registering a league-best 1.33 goals against average and .946 save percentage in 15 games with HIFK.

He missed a large portion of the season because of an injury, but it didn't stop him from turning in a strong postseason, guiding his team to a bronze medal after posting a 1.99 GAA and .936 save percentage in 13 playoff games. The year before that, he led the league with seven shutouts in 42 games, backstopping his team to a silver medal.

This is a low-risk, medium-sized reward signing for the Blackhawks, who could use some more young goaltending depth in the pipeline, especially given how this season unfolded with the big club.


The Blackhawks signed Raddysh to a one-year AHL contract last June, and he turned it into an NHL one after a strong season with the Rockford IceHogs.

Raddysh, 22, accumulated 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in 66 regular-season games with the IceHogs, and has appeared in each of the team's playoff games en route to the Western Conference Final.

Last season Raddysh was named the OHL's top defenseman after scoring 16 goals and 65 assists for 81 points in 62 games for the Erie Otters, where he was teammates with current Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat. He's the Otters' all-time leader in assists (143) and points (184) among defensemen.

Raddysh might be nothing more than a depth defenseman, but his development is worth monitoring because the offensive production is there and that's something the Blackhawks lacked this past season from their back end.

Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa: 'I will not play hockey anymore'


Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa: 'I will not play hockey anymore'

Days after putting his Gold Coast condo on the market, Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa revealed to a Slovakian newspaper that he is moving back to his hometown country and doesn't plan on returning to the NHL.

"I will not play hockey anymore," said Hossa, who missed the entire 2017-18 campaign due to a progressive skin disorder and the side effects of the medications involved to treat it. "I have a valid contract with Chicago for the next three years, but I have only one health and it does not allow me to return."

Because he has three years left on a deal that carries a $5.275 million cap hit, Hossa is not expected to sign his retirement papers until the contract is completed or else it would result in salary cap consequences.

The news is not surprising, but it officially allows the Blackhawks to move on without him in the fold roster-wise and toy around with some options this summer.

The first is stashing his contract on long-term injured reserve, as they did last season when they utilized the in-season preference.

The second, which Hossa wondered could happen, is finding a trade partner that would absorb the remainder of his contract, usually done by lower payroll teams aiming to reach the cap floor.

And it wouldn't be difficult trying to find a buyer, considering Hossa's actual salary is $1 million per year over the next three seasons. Hossa, of course, has a no movement clause but it's likely he would waive it given his status at this point.

The good news for Chicago is, the three-time Stanley Cup winner didn't rule out joining the Blackhawks organization in some capacity after his contract expires in 2020-21, whether it's in a front office role or as a team ambassador.

In 19 NHL seasons, Hossa accumulated 525 goals and 609 assists for 1,134 points in 1,309 regular-season games, and added 149 points (52 goals, 97 assists) in 205 postseason contests. He's one of 45 players in league history to net at least 500 goals in his career.