Of course, the Blackhawks are focused on the present and trying to re-capture their Stanley Cup glory of 2010. But with one eye on the future, should the Hawks be quick to act on signing defenseman Nick Leddy to a long-term contract extension?
Tab Bamford at Yardbarker.com believes it would be wise to lock up the 21-year-old, puck-moving blue liner now.
First and foremost, Bamford points out that Leddy's 34 assists in 2011-12 were in the top-15 of NHL defenseman. He also points out that Leddy's numbers in his first full season -- in which he was 20 for most of it -- were as good or better than former Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith, who was 22 in his first season. Here's the comparison:
Leddy was actually far superior to Keith as a playmaker, their plusminus is nearly even and Leddy delivered more hits despite blocking far less shots.
In the article, Bamford realizes that critics will point out Leddy's turnover issues and poor positioning in front of his own goal at times.
However, he's got interesting reasons why the same issues weren't raised for Keith: less fans at the United Center during a far different era for the Hawks and less of an impact of social media with Facebook limited to colleges and Twitter not in existence. This meant less analysis on every goal of every game from a greater amount of fans.
Do you agree with Bamford? Should the Blackhawks lock up the young and talented Leddy?
Former Blackhawks forward Dave Bolland will be honored with “One More Shift” on the ice at United Center this Friday prior to Hawks matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Bolland will stand with the team during the National Anthem and skate on ice in full gear. Along with time on ice, the United Center will also honor Bolland by showcasing his career highlights throughout the arena.
The Blackhawks will be celebrating the 10 year anniversary of their 2010 Stanley Cup win at five games this season, coinciding with “One More Shift” nights to honor individual players. The United Center Atrium doors will open at 4pm, giving fans a chance to look at the interactive photo opportunities and historical items on display. Bolland will participate in a Q&A in the atrium at 6:30 p.m. before he hits the ice.
Dave Bolland was drafted by the Blackhawks in 2004 and spent ten seasons of his NHL career in Chicago. Bolland played with the team during two Stanley Cup championships, scoring the game-winning goal in the final minute of Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals against the Bruins. Bolland played in all 22 playoff games in 2010, garnering 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) which shared fifth among Blackhawks skaters in the postseason. Bolland recorded his best season of his career during the 2008-09 campaign with the Blackhawks, skating in a career-high 81 regular-season games and recording career highs in goals (19), assists (28) and points (47).
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The Bears expect to activate Akiem Hicks off injured reserve as soon as they can — which would be for their Week 15 game against the Green Bay Packers — according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
The NFL requires players placed on injured reserve to spend eight weeks on it before they can be activated. While losing Hicks for half the season certainly presents a significant challenge to the Bears’ defense, that he does not need surgery and is expected to return in 2019 is at least a silver lining.
The Bears officially placed Hicks on injured reserve Tuesday and promoted offensive lineman Alex Bars from their practice squad.
While Hicks won’t be on the field for a while, he will be present around Halas Hall and Soldier Field as the Bears, defensive line coach Jay Rodgers said.
“He’s going to be with us throughout the gameplanning, he’s going to be with us on game day, he’s going to be on the sidelines, all those kinds of things,” Rodgers said. “You’re going to feel the presence of him on the sideline and everything we do from here to whenever that is.”