Blackhawks

Word on the Street: Ballparks get a thumbs down

Word on the Street: Ballparks get a thumbs down

Friday, Sept. 23, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Health violations at Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular

The Cubs and White Sox didnt have a very successful season, and neither did their concession stands. Health inspectors at both stadiums discovered dozens of violations from incorrect storage temperatures to mold and hygienic issues. Teams officials say they will work with the vendors to get their standards back up to par in preparation for next season. (ChicagoTribune)

Ontario fan throws banana at Simmonds

In what is being described by the NHL as a stupid and ignorant racist act, at least one fan in Ontario threw a banana at Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds in last nights shootout against the Red Wings. Simmonds still managed to score the Flyers' only shootout goal despite being rattled by the incident.

Simmonds is going about the problem in a classy manner, shaking off the issue and dealing with any racism quietly. (ProHockeyTalk)

Buehrle pitching in the NL?

Impending free agent Mark Buehrle has discussed his uncertainty concerning a future with the White Sox and mentioned a desire to pitch for the National League. A Missouri native, Buehrle has gotten the attention of his hometown Cardinals. The Cards appear set for starters in 2012, but it is thought they may find space if the opportunity presents itself. (HardballTalk)

Thome will get a statue

During a touching pregame tribute, the Cleveland Indians unveiled plans to erect a bronze statue of Thome, the team's career home run leader, beyond the wall in center field. The post will be classic Thome, pointing his bat toward the pitcher. An emotional Thome was genuinely surprised and moved by the gesture. It appears likely Thome will retire following the season, and even if he chooses to play, likely won't be back with the Indians, who acquired him from the Minnesota Twins after the July 31 trade deadline. (yahoo.com)

Modanos officially retired

Mike Modano officially announced his retirement in a press conference this afternoon. A ceremony took place, highlighting Modanos best career moments and transformation to an NHL elite two-way center.

The Stars presented Modano with a one-day contract where he wore the number 9 one last time. The crowd gave him a standing ovation, thanking him for a great 21 years. (ProHockeyTalk)

Kobe gets offer from Italy

Kobe Bryant has a big decision to make. Virtus Bologna contacted the Lakers agent last night, offering 4 different contract options to play in Italy. Bryants received a 6.7 million offer, along with one-month, two-month, and per-game options equaling out to nearly 800,000 per game.

There is an NBA out clause in case differences are settled before his contract would end. Now itll just depend on money, location, and injury risks for Kobe. (ProBasketballTalk)

Niklas Hjalmarsson 'wasn't happy' about trade, but remembers time with Blackhawks fondly

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AP

Niklas Hjalmarsson 'wasn't happy' about trade, but remembers time with Blackhawks fondly

Apparently time doesn’t heal all wounds. 

Nearly a year and a half since being traded to the Coyotes, Niklas Hjalmarsson will return to the United Center ice on Thursday playing for the visiting team.  

“It’s going to be strange coming in as the away team and being in the other locker room,” said Hjalmarsson on Wednesday. “I bet it’s going to be a lot of emotions and mixed feelings.” 

This is also the first time Hjalmarsson has been back to the city of Chicago since he was traded, a city he called his “second home.” A home where he spent parts of 10 seasons, and never really planned on leaving.

“I wasn’t happy, to be honest with you,” said Hjalmarsson of the trade to Arizona. “I was shocked. It took me a couple days to actually realize I wasn’t going to play for the Hawks anymore.”

Including the playoffs, Hjalmarsson played 751 games in the Indian head sweater. Despite that and the team’s three Stanley Cup victories, the Blackhawks shipped him off to Arizona for Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin in June of 2017.

“You kind of let it go after a while,” he said. “Now I’m just hoping all the success for the guys over here too.”

Hjalmarsson was known for his toughness, repeatedly blocking shot after shot, giving up his body, while never missing a shift. He credits his long-time teammates — Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook — for a lot of his success and identity on the blue line.

“I couldn’t have had better role models coming into a team,” he said. “I’m very thankful to have played on the same team as those guys and created a lot of success together. We’re always going to be connected with the Cups that we’ve had.”

The third championship won by that defense-trio was on United Center ice against the Lightning in 2015, but that isn’t the memory that stands out most for Hjalmarsson.

“The first Cup is always going to be pretty special,” said the 31-year old. “Even just going to the conference final (in 2009), even when we lost against Detroit that year, the year before was great memories too. The first time for me going into the playoffs and playing deep.”

The tables have turned now for both Hjalmarsson and the Blackhawks. 

The Coyotes have yet to score an even-strength goal this season, while the Blackhawks have claimed eight of a possible 10 points thus far through five games and expect to have their starting goaltender back between the pipes. 

But you won’t hear any ill-will from Hjalmarsson, he’s still rooting for the Hawks.

“I always think that Chicago deserves to have a team in the playoffs,” he said. “It’s not that I wish them not to do well. It’s the total opposite. I want them to have continued success.”

Under Center Podcast: What will we learn about the Bears against the Patriots?

Under Center Podcast: What will we learn about the Bears against the Patriots?

On this week's Under Center podcast, JJ Stankevitz and John “Moon” Mullin look at how Bill Belichick and New England will attack Matt Nagy and the Bears on Sunday, and if Mitch Trubisky can get to the point where he can reliably lead a late-game scoring drive like Tom Brady is so good at doing.

You can listen to the whole thing here, or in the embedded player below: