Blackhawks

Scott Darling pays homage to Cubs in stunning Winter Classic goalie mask

Scott Darling pays homage to Cubs in stunning Winter Classic goalie mask

Scott Darling is a man of his word.

Last month, the Blackhawks goalie congratulated the Cubs on winning the World Series and teased his Winter Classic mask:

Friday afternoon, Darling showed the world what he meant:

This is all kinds of awesome. 

First of all, the artwork is breathtaking (especially the baseball seams), but the homage to Harry Caray, Anthony Rizzo and even the marquee with "World Series Champions" plastered across it make this possibly the greatest goalie mask in Chicago history. (Yes, even better than the Wayne's World one.)

Darling is a Lemont, Ill., native, so he could understand the magnitude of the Cubs winning it all as much as any other athlete in Chicago.

This is especially amazing given it will be a troll job on the Cardinals as the Blackhawks-Blues Winter Classic will take place in Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Jan. 2.

Chad Krys signs with Blackhawks, but joins a crowded blue line group

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AP

Chad Krys signs with Blackhawks, but joins a crowded blue line group

After three seasons in college, Chad Krys has decided to turn pro. The 20-year-old defenseman agreed to terms with the Blackhawks on a three-year, entry-level contract that runs through the 2021-22 season and carries an $853,333 cap hit.

Krys will report to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League, where he will finish out the season. His deal kicks in next year, where he can earn up to $132,500 in performance bonuses and $82,500 the following season, according to puckpedia.com.

A second-round pick (No. 45 overall) in 2016, Krys accumulated 58 points (20 goals, 38 assists) in 105 games at Boston University. He served as an alternate captain during his junior season, and scored a career-high eight goals in 30 games.

In July, Krys said he felt like returning to college was best for his development in the bigger picture.

"I mean, look if I could play in the NHL right now I'd love to," Krys said at Blackhawks development camp. "But for me I think it's important that I'm taking the right steps. I want to make that jump when I feel like I'm going to be able to play in the NHL. My two years at BU has really benefitted me. Going back there and playing a lot and take it year by year. There's a lot of defensemen in this organization and we'll see what happens. I want to keep getting better, but for right now I'm just kind of focused on this year, and we'll decide what's going on after this."

Nicolas Beaudin, Adam Boqvist, Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell are known to be the Big Four defensemen prospects that the Blackhawks are high on, and the blue line in Rockford is crowded, too. So Krys has his work cut out for him.

But getting a head start with the IceHogs and making a strong early impression — perhaps even in the Calder Cup playoffs — could help serve as a nice building block going into next season.

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Hawks Talk Podcast: Are you hoping for miraculous playoff push or more concerned with draft order?

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Are you hoping for miraculous playoff push or more concerned with draft order?

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis discuss what the weekend vs. Colorado meant and whether fans are looking ahead to the NHL Draft or still holding out hope for a miraculous playoff push.

The guys also weigh in on the power play struggles, why John Hayden hasn't been able to crack the lineup, where Drake Caggiula could fit back in and which defensemen prospects could be in Chicago next season.

0:55 - What weekend against Colorado meant 

3:23 - Looking at the remaining schedule for Blackhawks

6:33 - How did the Blackhawks get here?

8:50 - Power play struggles continue

11:42 - Are John Hayden's days in Chicago numbered?

13:50 - Thoughts on Dylan Sikura's recent play

16:44 - Where does Drake Caggiula fit back in?

18:07 - Brandon Saad's reemergence

22:48 - Are you hoping for a miraculous playoff push or more concerned about draft order?

25:43 - Which defensemen prospects could be in Chicago next season?

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

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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