Blackhawks

Patrick Kane, Blackhawks stay quiet as investigation continues

kane-hawks-insider-0917.png

Patrick Kane, Blackhawks stay quiet as investigation continues

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Patrick Kane looked down at the piece of paper and uttered the measured words, the first he’d said publicly since he went under investigation for an alleged rape more than a month earlier.

“This has been an incredibly difficult time for many people. I cannot apologize enough for the distraction this has caused my family, my teammates, this incredible organization and of course, our fans. While I have too much respect for the legal process to comment on an ongoing matter, I am confident that once all the facts are brought to light, I will be absolved (of any wrongdoing)."

While the investigation continues back in Kane’s hometown of Buffalo, N.Y., the right wing will participate in training camp this weekend at Notre Dame, Blackhawks president John McDonough said on Thursday. 

Past his statement, Kane didn’t say much. He and other Blackhawks who spoke on Thursday said they were going to respect the legal process and not address questions regarding the investigation or the ramifications it could have on Kane and the team.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

As far as Kane being here, McDonough addressed that in his own statement:

“The Chicago Blackhawks organization prides itself in trying to make calculated and deliberate decisions based on information we have at the present time. We recognize that Patrick Kane is dealing with a very serious situation. Based on our discussions with his legal representatives who are very close to this matter, we have decided to have Patrick join us for training camp here at the University of Notre Dame. Furthermore, we have the utmost respect for the legal process and will have no further comment on this issue at this time.”

Still, there’s undoubtedly going to be a shadow cast over this camp for as long as the investigation continues. Asked if he thought about not reporting to camp, out of respect to the ongoing legal process, Kane said, “with my respect, the Blackhawks’ respect and what’s going on, I can’t comment on that.”

Any questions Kane did answer were solely related to the upcoming season. He said he’s been working out back in his Buffalo-area home and is physically ready to start the season.

[MORE: Eddie O trusts Blackhawks made right decision bringing Kane to camp]

“Through the summer I did what I normally do: work out in  my basement and followed the Blackhawks’ program,” Kane said. “I feel like I’m in really good shape heading into camp.”

The Blackhawks already had plenty of questions entering this camp, mainly which players will fill the roles left vacant from trades this past summer. They still have to deal with questions regarding Kane’s investigation, even if they’re not asked in a public forum.

“I will say this hasn’t been an easy situation for any of us to deal with. It’s been a challenging summer. This is weighed on all of us,” McDonough said. “We’re doing the best we can within the framework of what we can talk about today. I know people in this room understand that, that there’s an ongoing legal investigation. And out of respect to that, I will give you that.”

Getting to know four newly-signed Blackhawks

dominik_kahun_ap.jpg
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'

marian_hossa_ap.jpg
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.