Blackhawks

NBCSN unveils Willy Wonka-style sweepstakes for Stanley Cup Playoffs

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NBCSN unveils Willy Wonka-style sweepstakes for Stanley Cup Playoffs

By Sarah Langs

Do you have the golden ticket? What about the perfect bracket?

No, we aren’t in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, and yes, March Madness is over.

But NBC Sports is combining two fan favorites — chocolate and bracketology — for a Stanley Cup Playoffs sweepstakes.

NBC Sports will give away chocolate bars named with a nod to Willy Wonka, “Lord Stanley’s Cup Diddly-Umptious Bracket Bars.”

Wonka would approve of the flavoring decisions, as there are four options: sea salt, almond, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. 

In the wrapper of each bar will be either a completed playoff bracket or an instant win “Silver Ticket.”

[SHOP: Get the latest Blackhawks gear here]

With 32,768 unique bracket possibilities, there will be just one perfect bracket winner. The chocolate-eating fan with the perfect bracket at the end of the playoffs will win a trip for two to the 2016 NHL All Star Weekend & get to spend time with the Stanley Cup. In other words, that’s Charlie’s lucky ticket.

Brackets that have the correct winning team, without the perfect entire bracket, will receive $25 gift cards to the NHL.com online shop.

Four chocolate bars won’t feature any sort of bracketology at all. Those instant winning bars will instead have a “Silver Ticket,” good for a trip to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final and again, time with the Cup.

Fans who want to request a bar can tweet at NBC Sports using the hashtag “#BracketBar.”

So start eating chocolate and crossing your fingers. You could win big time.

Recently retired Kris Versteeg to be honored before Blackhawks game

Recently retired Kris Versteeg to be honored before Blackhawks game

Kris Versteeg recently retired and now the Blackhawks are honoring him with the team’s “One More Shift.”

Versteeg began the season with the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, but retired in November after playing six games for the IceHogs this season.

The 33-year-old wrote an emotional letter to the Blackhawks organization after requesting his contract with Rockford be terminated.

Versteeg will be honored before Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Wild. He will join the team on the ice for the national anthem and highlights of his career will be featured in the United Center.

Versteeg won two Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks, in 2010 and 2015. He is part of the Blackhawks celebrating the 10-year anniversary of that 2010 Cup win. Brian Campbell was given the same treatment on Nov. 21.

The first 10,000 fans into the UC can get replicas of the 2010 ring.

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Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane visit recovering Chicagoland hockey player for the holidays

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USA Today

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane visit recovering Chicagoland hockey player for the holidays

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane recently surprised recovering hockey player Payton Bruns in the hospital, spreading some cheer across Chicagoland this holiday season. The players spent time with Bruns and his family talking hockey and his recovery.

“I had no clue that they were coming,” Bruns told the camera.

Bruns cited Kane as one of his favorite players, making this moment even sweeter.

You can watch the heartwarming video here.

Bruns, a senior at Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort, broke two of his vertebrae sliding into the boards while chasing down a loose puck this past September. He was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery and has since been recovering and doing physical therapy at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago.  

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