Sharp extension; coaching changes coming?

Sharp extension; coaching changes coming?

Thursday, April 28, 2011
Posted: 7:25 p.m.

By Tracey Myers

Stan Bowman was impressed with how Corey Crawford ascended to the No. 1 goaltender job. Now the Blackhawks general manager is going to try and sign him ASAP.

Bowman said Thursday that signing Crawford is a top priority for us and hes confident that a deal will get done before arbitration becomes an issue.

Its nice to know going into next year we're going to have some stability in goal. We still have to get him signed but were confident, Bowman said as the Blackhawks conducted exit interviews. He's earned the right to be No. 1 goalie for us. The team loves playing in front of him. He has the right demeanor and approach. He's clearly a priority for us.

Bowman said hes been waiting to see Crawford emerge these past few seasons, and the rookie didnt disappoint when he did. Crawford overtook the No. 1 job during the winter months and finished with a 33-18-6 regular-season record. Bowman called Crawfords Game 7 performance against Vancouver, in which he stopped 36 of 38, dynamite.

Bowman also wants to avoid the arbitration fracas of last summer when former goaltender Antti Niemi went to it and was awarded 2.75 million in a ruling.

We're going to (approach this) aggressively; I don't expect arbitration, said Bowman, who wants to sign Crawford to a multi-year deal.

Crawford would love to stay, too.

Its exciting to play here and I really want to be here next year, Crawford said. Its important when your management has confidence in you and wants you to be part of their organization. I want to be here, too, so well try to get something done that both sides are happy with and itll be fun when it happens.

Sharp talks

The Blackhawks have to wait until July 1 to start talking, but theyd also like to get Patrick Sharp another deal. The current deal for Sharp, who scored 34 goals in the regular season, is done at the end of next season (2011-12).

Patrick's been a huge part of our success last four or five seasons. Hes certainly a guy we want to keep around, Bowman said. I suspect well start negotiations and hopefully it doesn't carry out too long. Weve been able to get our core guys to want to stay here and Im sure Sharpie's in that group as well.

Sharp joked that I'd sign right now if you guys have a contract for me, but that hes going to leave that up to the powers that be.

Ive got another year left and that's Stan's business. That's what the agents are for, he said. I'm proud to be a Blackhawk and I'd love to stay one.

Coaching moves?

There are several NHL coaching vacancies right now; does Blackhawks assistant coach Mike Haviland factor in any of them? Of all of them, the least surprising scenario would be Haviland possibly going to Florida, where former Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon now is.

Coach Joel Quenneville said hed be supportive if Haviland does go elsewhere.

As a guy who was in that position before and as a coach, you always want to try, if there's an opportunity, to move ahead, he said. We'd wish him well in that area because there are opportunities. We'll see what happens.


Patrick Kane and Sharp went through their respective injuries this season; Kane suffered a high-ankle sprain on Dec. 5 and Sharp a left knee injury on March 20.

Kane admitted Thursday that he may have hurried back on his.

It felt better down the stretch. But its one of those things, at the time you want to get back as quick as possible, he said. Looking back I probably couldve taken a little more time off and rest it up a bit to be better for the rest of the season. But its tough to say. At the time you want to be back in the lineup.

Sharp said his knee improved as the postseason progressed.

It was fine to be honest with you, he said. It was a little difficult playing the last three regular-season games. It was not where I liked it to be. But it got better as it went on so it was no issue, no excuse.

Tracey Myers is's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Patrick Kane receives the championship belt from Jonathan Toews after getting to 1K


Patrick Kane receives the championship belt from Jonathan Toews after getting to 1K

Patrick Kane added a special milestone onto the Blackhawks' fifth-straight win, scoring the 1,000th point of his NHL career.

Kane was emotional after the overall awesome night capped off by his amazing feat. Jonathan Toews made sure that Kane received the "championship belt" that the Blackhawks give to the team's top player after every win. Toews called it a  "no brainer" of a decision. 

Kane was overjoyed and emotional speaking tp his teammates, stating, "that was absolutely unreal, obviously getting 1,000 points but having you guys come on the ice there and share it with me was a great moment."

Obviously the big focus on the night was Kaner's amazing career achievement but even he wanted to make sure the overall team success doesn't go unnoticed. Kane knows how confident the team is right now and wants to keep the wins going. 

[RELATED: Patrick Kane makes NHL history]

"It's been fun here for a long time," stated Kane, and with 1,000 career points and No. 88 hopefully a Chicago Blackhawk for the rest of his career, it will be fun for much, much longer.

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4 Takeaways: Patrick Kane gets to 1K, Blackhawks win fifth straight


4 Takeaways: Patrick Kane gets to 1K, Blackhawks win fifth straight

The Blackhawks won their fifth straight game, 5-2 against the Winnipeg Jets, and Patrick Kane reached 1,000 career points on Sunday. Here are four takeaways:

Kane 1K Watch ends

He did it. Patrick Kane stepped onto the United Center ice with 999 points, one shy of the monumental milestone shared by the greatest players to skate in the NHL and left Sunday's game among them.

With 5:46 remaining in the third period, Kane passed the puck from behind the net to Ryan Carpenter, who was in front, and Carpenter passed it to Brandon Saad, who scored to put the Hawks up 4-1. Kane was credited with a secondary assist on the goal and his 1,000th NHL point

"That was special," Kane said of reaching the milestone. "Obviously nice to get it out of the way and move on and start the next portion of my career here.

"What a moment, obviously, with everyone coming onto the ice and sharing that moment with me. You see some faces in that pile that have been a big part of a lot of those points, whether it’s been Tazer or Duncs or DeBrincat recently, Saader to finish it off I think was pretty cool.

"I kind of felt bad for him there all the other guys on the ice came to me and he was kind of pulled into the corner even though he was the one that scored.

"Great play all around, Gus to keep it in, Carpy making the heads-up pass to Saader backdoor to finish it. Nice to get it out of the way, nice to move on. As far as everyone coming onto the ice and sharing that with me is something I’ll never forget."

Saad may have been "pulled into the corner" because he was the one who retrieved the puck for Kane.

Kane became the 90th player to reach 1,000 points in NHL history. Brian Propp is ahead of Kane at #89 (1,004). Kane has the fourth most points in Blackhawks history behind Denis Savard (1,096), Bobby Hull (1,153) and Stan Mikita (1,467).

The dynamic winger got #999 on Saturday after passing the puck to Saad, who sniped it over Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen’s stick to give the Hawks a 3-0 lead at 11:02 of the first period in a 6-2 Hawks win in Toronto.

Hawks keep streakin

The Blackhawks extended their winning streak to five games with their win over the Jets, who they jumped over in the Western Conference standings to come within three points of a Wild Card spot. 

Chicago wrapped up a perfect three-game road trip through Eastern Canada on Saturday after beating the Maple Leafs 6-2 in Toronto. The Hawks beat the Canadiens 4-1 in Montreal on Wednesday and the Senators 3-2 in Ottawa on Tuesday. 

They began the streak by winning 4-2 against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday Jan. 11.

Dominik Kubalik scored on the Jets' empty net for the 5-2 final score. It was the rookie's 21st goal of the season. Toews assisted on the play, bringing him to 799 career points. 

The Blackhawks have one game left: Tuesday vs. Joel Quenneville's Florida Panthers before the All-Star break.

Right on, Robin

Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner once again got the job done. Lehner made 19 saves on the Jets' 20 shots in the second period, including nine when the Blackhawks were killing off a four-minute double-minor penalty. He finished the game with 36 saves on 38 shots.

"We're finally starting to full buy-in to the system," Lehner said. "Full effort level, doing the right things at the right times. 15 games ago, we started playing good with leads, playing different, not backing up, just keep going at it. We did the same thing today in the third. Not just backing up that whole period, we went after them.

"Everyone's just doing their job, and we're starting to feel [that] doing those things gets you rewarded, and everyone just keeps doing it. We're doing well but we've just got to keep doing it because every point is crucial."


Drake Caggiula, who has four points in his past three games, had trouble staying out of the penalty box on Sunday. Caggiula took an interference penalty in the first period after putting a hit on Adam Lowry that knocked him out of the game, a second interference infraction tagged with unsportsmanlike conduct and a trip in the second period. The Hawks were able to kill off all eight minutes of his penalties.

"Well, I didn't love that he took four penalties no question," Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton said. "The first one he's just playing hard. I think there was a bunch of hits like that tonight. The unsportsmanlike is one you don't like. Other than that it's kind of like tough circumstances.

"But he plays hard for the team, he's been playing well. He pays the price for the team and we want him to play on the edge. As long as he can I don't think this is going to be a pattern for him."

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