Panthers regroup after Gerard Gallant firing

Panthers regroup after Gerard Gallant firing

You always hear players, when asked about an opponent, say something like, “we can’t worry about them. We have to worry about ourselves.”

The Florida Panthers are feeling that to the ninth degree right now, considering the upheaval they faced last weekend.

When head coach Gerard Gallant was fired following the Panthers’ loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday night, it was a surprise to many. General manager Tom Rowe will serve as interim head coach, beginning tonight when the Panthers face the Blackhawks. Panthers players, speaking for the first time about it on Tuesday morning, said they’ll move forward.

“You have to take in stride, obviously, but we have to come together as a group and play well on the ice,” Keith Yandle said. “All of us liking [Gallant] as much as we did, it’s tough to see a guy go. It’s tough to see anyone go. But we know Tom’s going to come in and help us out and lead us to lots of victories.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Rowe said he talked with the Panthers’ leadership group on Monday and had “a real good meeting” with the team on Tuesday. He wouldn’t talk about what was said in either meeting but said he was transparent with the Panthers.

“When you have professional athletes, if you don’t give them an explanation on why certain things happen it just shows a sign of ignorance,” Rowe said. “This is a tremendous locker room with really good people. They’re all good family guys and that’s how you have to operate. If you think you’re not going to communicate then you’re not going to last very long in this business. You won’t have success.”

Photos surfaced late Sunday night of Gallant waiting for a taxi outside of PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., following his dismissal. Rowe said those images are misleading.

“I know how it looked; didn’t look great. That was not how it went down,” Rowe said. “We’d been talking for 30-35 minutes, I actually ordered a car service to pick him up. It was bad how it all happened; it didn’t look good. But I’ll tell you right now we respect him, like him and Gerard and I had a good relationship. Did we agree on everything? No. Nobody ever agrees on everything. But we had good, honest discussions.”

Former Blackhawks Stanley Cup champion Brandon Bollig announces retirement


Former Blackhawks Stanley Cup champion Brandon Bollig announces retirement

A former Blackhawks Stanley Cup champion has decided to hang up the skates.

Brandon Bollig officially announced his retirement in an Instagram post after five seasons in the NHL, three of which came in Chicago.

"Thank you to the game of Ice Hockey for the wonderful experience, countless memories and valuable lessons," Bollig wrote. "You’ve made me the person I am today and I’ll be forever grateful. I have officially retired."

Bollig signed with the Blackhawks as an undrafted free agent in 2010, but didn't make his team debut until the 2011-12 campaign. In three seasons in Chicago, he accumulated 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 125 games and 201 penalty minutes. He also appeared in 24 playoff contests, where he recorded a goal and an assist, and was a part of the 2013 championship-winning team.

Bollig was traded for a third-round pick in the summer of 2014 to the Calgary Flames, where he spent his final two seasons in the league. He signed a one-year, two-way contract with the San Jose Sharks for the 2017-18 season, but never received a call-up and was later traded to the Nashville Predators organization.

Bollig was known for being an agitator and great teammate, sticking up for them on the ice whenever the chance presented itself. But he was also known for being a jokester.

So let's never forget the time he tried to imitate Patrick Kane's viral stickhandling video and send him off into the sunset by reliving it:

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Blackhawks prospects Evan Barratt, Ian Mitchell nominated for Hobey Baker Award


Blackhawks prospects Evan Barratt, Ian Mitchell nominated for Hobey Baker Award

A pair of 2017 Blackhawks draft picks are up for college hockey's most prestigious honor.

Penn State forward Evan Barratt and Denver defenseman Ian Mitchell are among the 81 players nominated for the Hobey Baker Award, which is annually given to the most outstanding player in Division-1 men's hockey.

Barratt, a third-round selection (No. 90 overall), is tied for second in the nation with 30 points and fourth with 13 goals through only 19 games. He appeared in seven games for Team USA during the 2019 World Juniors, where he scored a goal and ranked second on the team with 25 shots on goal.

Mitchell, a second-round selection (No. 57 overall), leads all Denver defensemen with 18 points and ranks fifth on the team with 0.83 points per game. Two of his three goals this season have been game-winners. Like Barratt, Mitchell also represented his country for the World Juniors. He had three points (one goal, three assists), a plus-6 rating and averaged 15:42 of ice time for Canada.

The Phase 1 fan voting period is officially open and will run through Sunday, March 10. The Top-10 finalists will be announced on March 20. From then until March 31, Phase II voting will be open to determine the Hobey Hat Trick, which will be announced on April 4. 

The winner will be revealed on April 12 during the NCAA Frozen Four Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. Fans can cast their vote at .

Dylan Sikura was named one of 10 finalists last season, and was the first Blackhawks prospect to do so since Tyler Motte in 2016.

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