Blackhawks

Quenneville comes away from prospect camp impressed

724994.png

Quenneville comes away from prospect camp impressed

Coach Joel Quenneville watched the first three days of Blackhawks prospect camp from the stands, and he likes what he sees. From Brandon Saad, who could be a roster member this season, to Tervo Tevainan who represents the future, the Blackhawks young stars are rising.

Its been two days of some unbelievable, competitive practices, Quenneville said on Wednesday. You have to commend them for how theyve worked and competed.

The future for the Blackhawks looks like its in good shape. And in the case of Saad, for whom Quenneville had very high praise he looks like hes ready to play. He can maybe not just make our team, he can do more than that -- its very good.

But its the present thats still the bigger concern. Free agency began nearly two weeks ago, and other than acquiring defenseman Sheldon Brookbank the Blackhawks have been very quiet. Yes, theyve had interest in several players who chose to go elsewhere or stay put, namely Zach Parise (to Minnesota) and Martin Brodeur (remaining in New Jersey).

Shane Doan is the Blackhawks latest interest, but theyre not alone on him. Yes, theres been talk, but not much action from the Blackhawks camp. But Quenneville said the team is looking at its options.

It would be great to add a player like (Doan) to our team. But thats part of the process and were still looking at things, Quenneville said. I have a lot of confidence and trust in our team. We exited our season with an appetite, disappointed with the way things ended and we want to improve. You see whats out there, where hes at, and a number of teams will be interested.

And so the looking continues. Meanwhile, Quenneville said Marian Hossa is doing fine after suffering his season-ending concussion via Raffi Torres in the postseason. Hossa will be attending the Blackhawks convention next week.

Quenneville is also real close to selecting an assistant coach, although he wasnt willing to divulge how many finalists there were for the job.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: What else can the Blackhawks do this summer?

screen_shot_2018-03-09_at_3.44.30_pm.png
USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: What else can the Blackhawks do this summer?

On the latest edition of the Hawks Talk Podcast, Charlie Roumeliotis is joined by Scott Powers of The Athletic to discuss Stan Bowman's comments following the Marian Hossa trade and debate whether they're finished making moves this summer.

They also provide their thoughts on the Blackhawks' top prospects and which players have caught their attention as development camp winds down.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Cubs first round pick Nico Hoerner makes unexpected visit to Wrigley Field

hoerner-604_640x360_1248892483700.jpg
USA TODAY

Cubs first round pick Nico Hoerner makes unexpected visit to Wrigley Field

There is nothing quite like visiting Wrigley Field for the first time, and for Cubs 2018 first round draft pick Nico Hoerner, his first visit to his future home park was special despite the circumstances being less than ideal. 

The 21-year-old shortstop drafted out of Stanford will miss the rest of the season due to a left elbow injury, which was examined by Cubs team doctors Thursday morning. It was concluded Hoerner suffered an injury to a ligament in his left elbow, but would not require surgery. 

But after finding out his season was likely done, he figured he'd at least stick around for the Thursday night Cubs game against the Cardinals. 

"I had no idea this was going to happen today," Said Hoerner. "I flew in from the Quad Cities this morning, saw the doctor and said [to the Cubs] 'Hey can I come to the field?" 

Hoerner was able to spend time with the Cubs during batting practice this afternoon, mentioning the conversations he had with the players, in particular, Anthony Rizzo who made a lasting mark on the young Cub prospect. 

"Rizzo pulled me over and introduced me to the group. He actually clumped everyone into guys who were drafted in the first round and guys who weren't." 

Hoerner also got the chance to speak with Cubs hitting coach Chili Davis, who seemed to have struck a chord with the shortstop. Hoerner said the conversation was 'refreshing' and focused less about what he needed to do with his swing and more about competing with the pitcher. 

As for the future for Hoerner, he'll start rehabbing in Arizona and focus on getting right for the start of next season. It wasn't clear if the Cubs planned on trying to get their top pick back on the field in 2018, but Hoerner looked impressive during his short time in the Cubs minor leagues. 

Slashing 327/.450/.571 in 60 professional at-bats, Hoerner was showing he belonged in this league, having just recently being promoted to the Cubs Low-A South Bend Cubs. But he only managed four games before injuring a ligament in his left elbow. But Hoerner seemed in good spirits, showing a resiliency that exemplifies his future ballclub. 

"It's always a work in progress. Just like everybody, I'm working to get better."