Blackhawks

Patrick Kane does best Denis Savard impression with highlight-reel goal in Blackhawks win

Patrick Kane does best Denis Savard impression with highlight-reel goal in Blackhawks win

Patrick Kane has scored so many clutch goals in his National Hockey League career that the list has reached a point where it's too long to count.

He's also become a YouTube sensation, known for his nifty puck-handling skills and ridiculous shootout moves.

He added another one to both categories in Sunday's 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens, and did so on the same play.

On a night the Blackhawks honored Denis Savard in their launching of "One More Shift" — an ode that recognizes past alumni and allows them to skate on the ice one more time — the reigning Hart Trophy winner did his best impression of the Hall of Famer by scoring an early goal-of-the-year candidate.

Late in the second period of a tie game, Kane undressed a Canadiens defender in front of the net with a smooth toe drag, drew a penalty, and, while trying to fend off a different defender, fired an off-balance shot that whizzed past Chicago native Al Montoya's glove and ignited a sold-out United Center crowd of 21,762.

"That had the wow factor all over it," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Off that original play and then all of a sudden he makes a play with a guy draped all over him, makes a great shot falling to the ice. It was a spectacular play by a great player. Fun to watch."

It was vintage Patrick Kane, who showed incredible improvisational instincts.

“I just tried to make a play, got tripped up, at that point you’re just throwing (it at) the net hoping something happens,” Kane said. “I got lucky there. Nice to see it go in.”

It left Montoya in awe, too.

"There’s not many guys that can make that play," he said. "He’s one of two and (Pavel) Datsyuk is already gone. Heck of a goal.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The goal turned out to be the game-winner, the 46th of Kane's career in that category, passing Bobby Hull and tying Savard for fourth-most in franchise history. 

Even Savard, who coached Kane during his rookie season in 2007-08, has become numb to the special things Kane does and can do on the ice.

"That's what he is, that's what he does," Savard said during the second intermission. "He's the type of player that's going to score big goals on big stages. Not cause it's my stage tonight (laughs) because it's his stage all the time, but the fact we're playing the Montreal Canadiens, it's a big game for him in his mind obviously and he's going to try to be the best player that he can be out there.

"Pretty special goal. We've seen that many times. It's not the first one and they're tough to get, tough to do, and especially how he did it, it was pretty special."

It never gets old to his teammates either, including the 37-year-old Marian Hossa who's been around long enough to see some great ones.

"It was so beautiful," Hossa said. "Obviously he showed his quick hands, went through the two guys, saw the goalie coming, quick flip to the top shelf. Not many guys can do it."

Kane continued his dominance at home this season, where he has five goals and nine assists in 11 games compared to four points in five road games.

He's giving Chicago fans their money's worth, especially when he scores goals like the one he did Sunday.

Asked where it ranks among his top goals scored, Kane had to think hard about it.

And still, he wasn't quite sure.

"You know what, I think ... I don't know," he said, before admitting: "That was a different one, that's for sure. I don't know if I've scored going to the ground like that. Pretty cool for sure."

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.