Blackhawks

NHL Power Rankings: Sidney Crosby, Penguins getting hot

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NHL Power Rankings: Sidney Crosby, Penguins getting hot

Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to 10 games and goal-scoring streak to six, guiding the Penguins to a 7-2-2 record in their last 11 games and back into a playoff spot in the East.

Meanwhile in the West, the Ducks have strung together six consecutive wins and are now within a point of San Jose for the second spot in the Pacific Division.

Check in with CSNChicago.com for updated rankings every Monday throughout the 2015-16 campaign. Here's where we're at so far: Preseason rankings | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14 | Week 15 | Week 16 | Week 17

 

Rank Team
Last Week Record/Comment
1 1

38-9-4, 80 points: Alex Ovechkin became just the third player in NHL history to score at least 30 goals in each of his first 11 seasons. Wayne Gretzky (13 seasons) and Mike Gartner (15 seasons) are the other two.

2  

36-16-4, 76 points: Jonathan Toews tied an NHL record for most overtime goals (five) in a single season, set by Steven Stamkos in 2011-12, during a 5-4 win over Arizona. The Blackhawks have won three straight since the All-Star break, which included a 5-1 victory in Dallas.

3

31-17-3, 65 points: After recording back-to-back two-assist games last week, Anze Kopitar now has four goals and 22 assists in his last 18 games. No more contract distractions has the Kings center playing the best hockey of his career.

4
 
4

31-15-6, 68 points: Jaromir Jagr logged his 1,100th career assist in a win over the Red Wings last week, becoming the sixth player in NHL history to accomplish that feat. He's also led the Panthers to a 5-0-1 record in their last six games.

5
 

29-18-4, 62 points: Tyler Johnson had five points total in the month of January. He already has four points just two games into February as the Lightning have won 10 of their last 11 games.

6  

30-17-8, 68 points: Alex Pietrangelo will miss at least three weeks after suffering a knee injury over the weekend. That could mean Kevin Shattenkirk, who's an unrestricted free agent and likely won't return due to salary cap restraints, stays put in St. Louis rather than being dealt at the trade deadline.

7
 
8

26-18-7, 59 points: Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to 10 games — 10 goals and eight assists during that span — and stretched his goal-scoring streak to six games, helping him become the 10th-fastest player in NHL history to notch his 900th career point. He's back.

8
 
13

25-18-7, 57 points: The Ducks have rolled off six consecutive wins with four of them coming against teams currently in the playoffs, and their last three against Pacific Division opponents. David Perron has eight points (three goals, five assists) in seven games so far with Anaheim.

9   10

33-15-5, 71 points: Before a 5-1 drubbing in their own building at the hands of the Blackhawks, the Stars got back on track by winning three straight games. A tough schedule awaits, and they'll do it without Jason Spezza, who was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury: at Minnesota, at Chicago, vs. Washington, at Nashville, at St. Louis.

10
 
11

28-18-6, 62 points: After picking up five of six points last week, the Bruins are now 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. A large reason for that has been Brad Marchand, who has scored a goal in eight of his last nine contests, two of which have been game-winners.

11

 
7

27-18-6, 60 points: The Islanders cruised past the Oilers thanks to a Kyle Okposo hat trick, but not before falling to Washington (3-2) and Detroit (5-1) on the road. Good news: Johnny Boychuk is back in the lineup, which takes lots of pressure off the team's young blue line.

12
 
9

26-18-8, 60 points: Dylan Larkin added three more goals last week, giving him 18 on the season which puts him at a tie with Artemi Panarin for most among rookies. 

13
 
14

29-18-5, 63 points: The Rangers are quietly 8-5-1 since the calendar flipped to 2016, picking up a pair of wins over Minnesota and Philadelphia last week. Their possession numbers have also increased during that stretch, an encouraging sign from a team that had been near the bottom of the league in that category.

14


 
 12

27-20-4, 58 points: The Sharks are 2-2-1 in their last five games, and are barely hanging on to that second seed in the Pacific Division with the Ducks surging. The race is just heating up.

15
 
 15

24-21-9, 57 points: Jordan Staal has two goals and seven assists in his last seven games, guiding the Hurricanes to a 4-2-1 record during that stretch. Eight of their next 10 games will be at home, where they are 12-9-5 opposed to 12-12-4 on the road.

16
 
19

26-20-7, 59 points: The Devils have picked up at least a point in seven of their last eight games despite being outshot in all eight of those contests. That's been the theme all year long.

17
 
16

25-20-8, 58 points: Filip Forsberg registered three points in a 6-2 win over San Jose over the weekend, his first multipoint game since Dec. 26. Nashville's upcoming slate is going to be a challenge: vs. Washington, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida, vs. Dallas, vs. Boston, vs. Los Angeles.

18
 
20

26-24-4, 56 points: With wins over Edmonton and Carolina over the weekend, the Canadiens won back-to-back games for the first time since Nov. 27. Perhaps this is the jumpstart they've been looking for.

19
 
18

27-24-4, 58 points: A rough week for the Avalanche, who went 0-2-1 against Central Division opponents last week and were outshot by a combined 44. Let's see how they respond.

20
 
24

23-19-9, 55 points: The roller-coaster season continues for the Flyers, who are 3-1-1 in their last five games. Shayne Gostisbehere stretched his point streak to eight games, where he's compiled two goals and nine assists.

21
 
23 

24-23-6, 54 points: Erik Karlsson added four more assists during Saturday's 6-1 win over Toronto, giving him 59 points on the year. He now has 15 more points than the second-best defenseman.

22
 
17 23-20-9, 55 points: After blowing a two-goal lead in a 4-2 loss to the Rangers last week, Wild defenseman Ryan Suter told reporters, via NHL.com's Dan Rosen: "We are a very fragile team. ... We are a team that has no confidence." They followed that up with a 4-1 loss to St. Louis. Lots of questions with no answers.
23
 
21  24-22-6, 54 points: The Coyotes are 0-3-1 in their last four games, and have allowed 21 goals during that stretch. Five of their next six games will be played at home, where they have had the most success this season with a 13-10-4 record.
24

 
22

20-20-12, 52 points: The Canucks have scored just one goal in each of their last three games, and are 0-3-1 in their past four. They now have 12 overtime/shootout losses this season, by far the most of any NHL team.

25    25

21-26-6, 48 points: The Sabres have picked up at least a point in four consecutive games, in large part due to Robin Lehner, who owns a 2.17 goals against average and .939 save percentage. He's been terrific since returning to the lineup.

26
 
26

23-25-3, 49 points: The Flames returned from the All-Star break with a pair of 4-1 victories over Carolina and Vancouver, getting solid goaltending from both Jonas Hiller or Karri Ramo. But with the trade deadline approaching, they must make a decision on who stays and who goes.

27   27

21-28-5, 47 points: Joonas Korpisalo is 4-1-0 in his last five starts. Here's the amount of saves he's had in each of those games: 32, 28, 30, 37, 30.

28
 
28

23-26-3, 49 points: The Jets announced Monday afternoon that they have signed Dustin Byfuglien to a five-year contract extension that carries a cap hit of $7.6 million. It's a great deal for both sides, with Winnipeg stabilizing its defense for years to come.

29   29

21-28-5, 47 points: Connor McDavid returned from his collarbone injury with a three-point night in a win over Columbus and a two-assist game in a 7-2 win over Ottawa. The Oilers (and the hockey community) missed him.

30   30

19-23-9, 47 points: Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock: "I'm dying for somebody to score a goal." You listening, Steven Stamkos?

*Advanced stats courtesy of war-on-ice.com

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.