Kane ready to go, but plans to take it slow


Kane ready to go, but plans to take it slow

Friday, Sept. 16, 2011
Posted: 1:21 p.m.

By Tracey Myers Blackhawks InsiderFollow @TraMyersCSN
Patrick Kane could play tomorrow if he needed to do so. And with his left wrist fully healed, he would love to do just that: practice and play full board, no holding back at all. Because Kane wants to take the next step in his already strong career and he wants to do it now.

Everyones been saying that to me, All right, youve done well first four years. Now take the next step, he said. Thats what I want to do.

For that hell need optimum health; hes pretty close to it. So as Kanes ready to steamroll into another season, those around him are making sure he doesnt do too much, too soon.

Kane was still sporting the splint on that wrist when he talked to the media on Friday, but its purely for precautionary purposes and improving his range of motion. Hes participated in pre-camp drills and hes taking shots again. Hell be skating in two-a-day sessions when training camp begins Saturday at the United Center.

But hell err on the side of caution with contact.

Right now its just getting (the wrist) stronger, getting range of motion back. I was happy with what the doctors said. They always saw a lot of progress, Kane said. If it was the middle of the season right now and I wanted to play, I could play.

But its not the middle of the season. We know Kane is big on preseason, big on getting that jump-start to the season. We know he loves to get in those preseason games to fine-tune things. But general manager Stan Bowman made that clear to Kane in their Thursday night talk that theres no preseason rush.

He wants to go full tilt right away, Bowman said. His injurys healed very well but were going to play it cautiously. He wants to do it all right away. Hes on a mission to have a really great season this year and hes looking forward to showing us what he can do.

Kane will have his time for greatness in the regular season. Hell be well served taking it slowly in the preseason.

Tracey Myers is's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

All eyes on Blackhawks defensemen as prospect camp opens


All eyes on Blackhawks defensemen as prospect camp opens

The second wave of Blackhawks defensemen is on the way. That's exactly where all the attention was when prospect camp opened up Monday at MB Ice Arena.

Nicolas Beaudin. Adam Boqvist. Henri Jokiharju. Ian Mitchell. Call it the Big Four. Where are they all at in their development? When will they be ready to make an NHL impact? Who's the most pro ready? 

Lots of questions. Those will slowly start to get answered and it begins now.

While there may not necessarily be an open competition among the group right away, there's certainly a desire to make a strong first impression in front of the upper brass that included Stan Bowman, John McDonough and Joel Quenneville watching on Day 1.

"Every NHL team has a lot of good defensemen prospects, so I mean obviously when you want to go out there you want to showcase yourself as best as you can," Mitchell said. "Obviously you want to be the best defenseman here so that's my goal going into this, I want to prove to everyone that I'm a good defenseman, I deserve to play at the next level. Obviously there's lots of good players here, but you're trying to all succeed."

Said Beaudin: "There's a lot of competition. There's a lot of good, young defensemen. I think you just need to be different when you play when you show what you can do."

Said Boqvist: "I'm trying to be better every day. Of course I will play in the NHL one day and win Stanley Cups, so that's my mindset."

The theme? Focus on your own game, take what you learn out of this week and apply those tools in your game when advancing your development next season. The rest will take care of itself.

Mitchell will go back to Denver for his sophomore campaign to continue his development. Beaudin is expected to return to the QMJHL with the Drummondville Voltigeurs. Boqvist signed with the OHL's London Knights, where he will look to get accustomed to the North American style of play.

For Jokiharju, the goal is different. This is his second development camp. He signed an entry-level contract in June. Making the big club is a real goal and a legitimate possibility for a Blackhawks team looking for young, impact defensemen immediately.

"I think if Henri has a really good summer of training, comes into camp, I certainly thinks he gets a good look," Blackhawks vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley told NBC Sports Chicago last month.

Jokiharju showed poise and confidence with and without the puck during drills, like someone who knows this is only the first step towards that ultimate goal.

"Yeah," Jokiharju responded when asked if the expectation is to make it to the NHL this season. "You want to set the bar high, you don't want to set the bar too low. I want to dream big and that's the dream."

That's the dream for everyone. When that happens, it's up to them. This week is a chance to set an early tone.

Former Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery dies in early morning drowning

Former Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery dies in early morning drowning

Former Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery was identified as the victim in an early morning drowning on Sunday at the Hamilton Harbour, Hamilton Police confirmed. He was 35.

According to the Hamilton Spectator, Emery and his friends jumped in the water around 6:30 a.m., but Emery never resurfaced. His body was recovered later in the afternoon.

Emery played in the NHL for 11 seasons, two of which came with the Blackhawks from 2011-13, where he served as a backup goaltender to Corey Crawford.

In 2013, he teammated up with Crawford to win the William M. Jennings Trophy, awarded to the goaltender(s) with the fewest goals against in a single season, before going on to capture his first Stanley Cup. During that season, Emery went 17-1-0 with a 1.94 goals against average, .922 save percentage and three shutouts.

The Blackhawks issued this statement following the confirmation:

The Chicago Blackhawks organization was deeply saddened to hear of Ray Emery’s passing. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. The Blackhawks will fondly remember Ray as a fierce competitor, a good teammate and a Stanley Cup champion.

The hockey community took to Twitter to offer their condolences when news began to spread: