Chicago Sun-Times

January 2010 Archives

huet.jpgRALEIGH, N.C. -- And I thought this trip was a chance to a get away from winter for a few days. A snow storm has descended on Raleigh and there is about eight inches of snow on the ground.

Anyways, here are some updates for tonight's game vs. the Carolina Hurricanes:

Hawks deal with Vancouver pix

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The Blackhawks involved in the limousine pictures from Vancouver all faced the media at Thursday's morning skate.
``Obviously it's not the way we want to represent the team,'' said Patrick Kane. ``But's it's been dicussed internally with the team.''
John Madden and Kris Versteeg also said the issue was between them and the organization, and none thought it would be a distraction down the road.
Asked if he regretting being involved, Madden said: ``I think that's obvious.''
As for the night's big game against the San Jose Sharks, coach Joel Quenneville named Cristobal Huet his starter in goal and said Brent Sopel would return to the lineup after sitting out one game to let some injuries heal.

It remains to be seen whether those recent pictures of the Hawks' Patrick Kane, Kris Versteeg and John Madden enjoying the Vancouver nightlife will impact the season.

I hope not.

The Vancouver Province ran four pictures of the Blackhawks' Patrick Kane, John Madden and Kris Versteeg apparently having a good time in a limousine with some women -- which is causing quite a stir.

Road trip wasn't all work

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The Blackhawks' road trip has been a long one, but at least some of the players apparently had some fun in Vancouver. The Vancouver Province ran three pictures of Hawks' players with their shirts off in a limo with some women also involved. The players were Patrick Kane, John Madden and Kris Versteeg.

Sopel's out, Hendry's in

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Veteran defenseman Brent Sopel, who has played the last few games in pain after taking a series of hard hits and blocking numerous shots, will sit out Tuesday night's game at Edmonton with Jordan Hendry taking his place. Coach Joel Quenneville made the decision after the morning skate.
``It's for maintenance (of Sopel's injuries) and Jordan getting into the lineup,'' Quenneville said.
Sopel, who participated in the morning skate, missed most of last season after undergoing elbow surgery. He had missed only one previous game -- on Oct. 21. Hendry, usually the Hawks' lone healthy scratch, watched the last five games after playing seven in a row. While he's been up with the Hawks for all 53 games, his appearance against the Oilers will be only his 24th of the campaign.
Dave Bolland joined the Hawks in Edmonton and was also in the morning skate. Both he and Quenneville are targeting the next home game -- on Feb. 3 vs. St. Louis -- for his return to the lineup. He played in 13 early-season games before undergoing November back surgery.

The Blackhawks trained on a suburban rink in Burnaby, British Columbia, on Monday before catching a flight to Edmonton where they're expecting to be joined by center Dave Bolland. He's been recovering from back surgery but will participate in Tuesday's morning skate before the Hawks take on the struggling Edmonton Oilers. Coach Joel Quenneville and Bolland have expressed hope that Bolland can return to the lineup before the NHL breaks for the Winter Olympics on Feb. 15.
Quenneville named Cristobal Huet as his starter in goal against Edmonton in the fifth game of this eight-game road trip.
The budding feud between Hawks' winger Andrew Ladd and Vancouver's Ryan Kesler also flourished. Kesler had called Ladd ``a coward'' after Saturday's 5-1 Canucks' win. Ladd said ``everyone got a good laugh'' out of that and his teammates -- especially fellow winger Kris Versteeg -- chided him about it throughout Ladd's interview with media members.

stan.jpegA handful of reporters had the chance to talk to Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman last week in Calgary.

Most of the questions were about the March 3 trade deadline and how the Hawks would approach it.

Here are some of the highlights of the conversation:

Bad blood continues to grow between the Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks. Latest proof of that came after the Canucks' 5-1 win over the Hawks on Saturday in Vancouver when Canucks' forward Ryan Kesler called Hawks' winger Andrew Ladd ``a coward.''
Kesler's comments, originally made on a Vancouver radio station, were reported by TSN on Sunday.
According to Kesler, Ladd hit him from behind in last year's playoff series, won by the Hawks in six games. Kesler also said Ladd cross-checked him in the face when he wasn't looking. The two got into a fight in the first period of Saturday night's game, with Ladd getting the best of it.
Earlier this season Vancouver defenseman Willie Mitchell deliver a hard, but clean, hit on Hawks' captain Jonathan Toews and Toews sat out six games while recovering from a concussion.
Mitchell was on the injured list and didn't play on Saturday, the Hawks' last regular season visit to Vancouver. The teams meet one more time, on March 5 at the United Center.

goalies.jpgCALGARY, Alberta -- Here's a quick excerpt from general manager Stan Bowman's Q&A with a handful of reporters Thursday night before the Hawks faced the Flames.

Bowman said he was comfortable with the Hawks' goaltending tandem of starter Cristobal Huet and backup Antti Niemi.

Here are some quick updates from Calgary:

Antti Niemi will start Thursday against the Calgary Flames.

"Antti is playing well and he deserves a chance to play," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville told reporters. "We have a rotation going. Sometimes you might change it but I've been consistent to the scheduling. At the same time, we're on track going into this trip. We can be flexible and if we have to switch we will."

Defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson (lower-body) and Brent Sopel (upper-body) didn't practice Wednesday in Calgary.

One funny Hawks video

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interview.jpgReader Andrew Ziola of Chicago e-mailed me this video today. It's a pretty funny video of the Hawks answering questions from us -- the media.

If you would like to share any hockey videos with "Inside the Hawks" send them my way at ajahns@suntimes.com ... and let everyone enjoy them.

hossa2.jpgOTTAWA -- Marian Hossa faces the Ottawa Senators for the first time as a Blackhawk Tuesday night at Scotiabank Place.

Hossa spent the first seven years of his career with Senators before being traded to the Atlanta Thrashers for Dany Heatley before the 2005-06 season.

The Blackhawks departed for their season-long eight-game road trip with coach Joel Quenneville in no mood to change a good thing. He'll start Cristobal Huet in goal Saturday at Columbus. Huet earned his fourth shutout of the season in Thursday's home game against the Blue Jackets.
Defenseman Cam Barker has ``good chance'' to play at Columbus, Quenneville said. Barker has missed the last five games with an upper body injury.
The Hawks were 4-1-1 on their six-game circus trip in November but this one will be more challenging.
``We're going east, then west, then back to the east,'' said Huet. ``But we're in good condition and that shouldn't affect us. We don't get tired of each other. There's good team building going on when we're on the road.''

Groin injury sidelined Hossa

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Players rarely indicate the nature of their injuries, but Marian Hossa was pretty clear about what kept him out of Sunday's game against Anaheim. He wanted to nip a groin injury in the bud and apparently did. He was to return to the lineup for Thursday's home game against Columbus.
``At Minnesota (on Saturday) I was getting tight and more tired,'' said Hossa after Thursday's morning skate. ``I thought it was a good idea to take a break and give it time to heal.''
Cam Barker, though, wasn't ready to return to the lineup. He was to miss his fifth straight game because of what the club only refers to as an upper body injury. Barker said the problem isn't in his head, negating a concussion. He participated in the morning skate, his third straight day on the ice.
``I'm almost ready. I'll be back in the next couple games or so,'' Barker said.

The Blackhawks announced Thursday that senior vice president Jay Blunk received a contract extension. It comes just days after team president John McDonough was rewarded one from Hawks chairman Rocky Wirtz.

"Jay deserves a tremendous amount of credit for what has gone on with the Blackhawks business operations over the past two years," McDonough said in a statement. "He has brought that area to a higher level and will continue to use his innovative and aggressive style to make us better and stronger. I am proud to have the opportunity to work with Jay as we continue to build an elite organization."

Check back for more.

hossa.jpg

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Wednesday that forward Marian Hossa will play Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Hossa sat out Sunday's loss to the Anaheim Ducks with a lower-body injury. It was the first time he missed a game since returning from shoulder surgery on Nov. 25.

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With an eight-year deal in hand and another solid season in the works, Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell figures he's going to be in Chicago for a while.

So why not give back?

Bolland is back on the ice

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The Blackhawks had good health news Tuesday when center Dave Bolland skated for the first time since undergoing back surgery. Both Bolland and coach Joel Quenneville expected that Bolland would return to the lineup just before the break for the Winter Olympics in February. Cam Barker, who missed the last four games with an upper body injury, and Marian Hossa, who missed the last game with a lower body injury, both participated in the workout in which skating was optional and Quenneville said a decision on their availability for Thursday's home game against Columbus would be made after Wednesday full squad workout.

mcd.jpg

Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz rewarded team president John McDonough Monday with a contract extension for his role in reviving the franchise.

Under McDonough, "everyone is working together as one team," Wirtz told the Sun-Times. "He has great empathy for fans, with press, with players and for sponsors. You put all those things together, and he understands that. I've enjoyed working with him."

Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa was scratched from the lineup Sunday against the Anaheim Ducks. It was the first time he has missed a game since sitting out the first 22 of the season with a shoulder injury.

Jack Skille, the Hawks first-round pick in 2005, took his spot on the second line with Patrick Sharp and Andrew Ladd. Skille was recalled from Rockford Sunday morning.

Defenseman Cam Barker was also scratched again. He is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Antti Niemi will be in goal tonight when the Blackhawks visit the Boston Bruins. Niemi was between the pipes for a 5-2 home win over Anaheim on Sunday. He also won a home game from the Bruins in a 5-4 shootout on Dec. 18 and has played well on the road with wins at Pittsburgh, Vancouver and Detroit. Cam Barker, nursing an upper body injury, will miss his second straight game.

Niklas Hjalmarsson, who caught a puck in the head while sitting on the bench against New Jersey last week, will return to the Blackhawks' lineup for tonight's game against the Minnesota Wild at the United Center. The Hawks will still be down a defenseman, however, as Cam Barker will sit out. Coach Joel Quenneville said he has an upper body injury. Barker struggled off the ice after taking a hit behind the Hawks' net in Sunday's victory over Anaheim. Cristobal Huet will start in goal tonight.

Kane is NHL's third star

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Patrick Kane was named the NHL's third star for December after hetting 20 points in 15 games. Vancouver's Henrik Sedin (25 points in 15 games) was selected the league's No. 1 star for the month and Phoenix goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov was No. 2 after compiling an 8-2-3 record and 1.82 goals-against average. Kane had points in 13 of 15 games as the Hawks went on an 11-4-0 run in December.

Patrick Kane was named to Team USA for February's Winter Olympics in Vancouver on Friday while teammate Dustin Byfuglien, also part of the preliminary roster for Team USA, wasn't among the 23 players selected. Kane becomes the six Hawk to be named to an Olympic roster. Earlier Marian Hossa and Tomas Kopecky were picked to represent Slovakia and Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook were chosen to play for Canada.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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