Blackhawks

Hawk Talk: A night to remember, a result to grow on

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Hawk Talk: A night to remember, a result to grow on

Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010
3:24 p.m.
By Chris Boden
CSNChicago.com

"Some guys...across the board - we need more."

With that subtle (or was it?) insight at the podium Saturday night, Joel Quenneville let everyone know how he felt about the one-goal loss in the home opener that followed the one-goal loss in the road opener. Welcome to the new bar that you've set, boys.

Just as their journey to the Stanley Cup that was so magnificently celebrated was a learning process, so is what comes after all of that. The team the Blackhawks lost to Saturday night knows a little something about that. Detroit may not have dominated the team they'll now try to knock off, but they were strong enough, and, in some cases, lucky enough against a champion without two key, injured ingredients.

The "fourth" line of Dowell, Skille, and Stalberg was the Hawks' best over the sixty minutes. None of them have their names on the Cup. Who knows - maybe that's why the were so effective against a Detroit team that may have been unfamiliar with them. They got a majority of the ice time late, when Quenneville was looking to tie the game. But Jake, Jack and Vic should be supplementing, not highlighting, this team's offensive play. All three drew penalties in the loss. While the Blackhawks will probably take 25 percent accuracy on the power play over the course of the season (as they've been through these first two games), coming up empty in the six minutes they had over an eight-minute span of the third period - looking to equalize - left a bad taste. The absence of Patrick Sharp and Brian Campbell hurt, and I think we're now all starting to understand this team isn't quite the same without Campbell, no matter how you feel about his salary cap hit. Niklas Hjalmarsson misses him, too, being on the ice for
all seven of the opposition's goals thus far with varying partners.

Coming up empty added to the frustration because the eventual game-winner was so...weird. It started with John Scott's tumble that cleared a path for Valtteri Filppula. It ended with Filppula's semi-whiff on his shot, Hjalmarsson's semi-whiff on his block attempt, and the off-speed puck sneaking past Marty Turco. Scott and Turco both stood up afterwards and blamed themselves for the loss. That's nice of them, but they're hardly the only reasons. The new goalie's first two games have included some spectacular stops and a couple of exasperating shots that've slipped past him. He now has the pair of openers behind him, and can move on past those two emotional hurdles. With Quenneville indicating he sees Turco's game count being somewhere in the fifties, Corey Crawford will get his first action of the season with four games over six nights this week.

And the rest of the team can now move past the celebrations and pats on the back that the returnees have earned, and try to get back to a normal hockey routine. One couldn't help but get emotional Saturday night when the rare prize that's been so central to our sporting consciousness the past four months was given a final smooch, a twirl for all in the building to see, and a final pat on its side by Jonathan Toews as the captain skated away, and the Stanley Cup was turned back over to the NHL. Then the banner being passed from the '61 champs to the current ones, and raised to the rafters as The Madhouse roared. One last pose, one last group hug.

Now it's on to the business at hand and the challenges ahead. The opposition will treat the remaining 80 regular season games like Game 7 of the Cup Finals. As great as the party's been, the Hawks are admittedly weary of the Cup celebration questions. Now they'll have to figure out ways to prove the Cup Hangover questions will not apply to them.

Getting to know four newly-signed Blackhawks

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AP

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:

Carlsson

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.”

Kahun

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 

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.

Raddysh

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'

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AP

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.