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September 2010 Archives

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The names of the Blackhawks are finally engraved on the Stanley Cup. But it had to be fixed -- Kris Versteeg's name was spelled incorrectly.

The "s" and the "t" in his last name were out of order. So, the Cup originally had "Kris Vertseeg" instead of "Kris Versteeg."

Above is a picture of the misspelling on the Cup. It has been fixed -- and Versteeg, now a Toronto Maple Leaf, is grateful.

"It's kind of funny. I may never be one of the biggest names in the game but now it'll go down in history as one of the misspells on the Stanley Cup so I'll take it," Versteeg told the Toronto Star.

"It's just a perfect example of my life. Just something crazy and quirky that's always happening to me."

If you look closely at more recent pictures you can tell that Versteeg's name was clearly fixed.

Toying with the Blackhawks lines ...

Like everyone else, I'm interested in seeing what line combos Joel Quenneville rolls out for the Hawks come the season opener Oct. 7 in Colorado.

The defense pairings are set: Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson-Brian Campbell, Jordan Hendry-Nick Boynton/John Scott. The only thing the Hawks have to find is a replacement for Brent Sopel on the PK.

But there are so many possibilities up front. Here is my first take, with Jack Skille, Jake Dowell, Viktor Stalberg, Bryan Bickell, Fernando Pisani and Ryan Potulny making the team:

seabrook.jpgDefenseman Brent Seabrook is in the final year of his second contract with the Blackhawks. So it's time for the Hawks to start looking at keeping him around.

Hawks coach Joel Quenneville made it official Thursday. Goalie Cristobal Huet won't be at training camp.

Asked if Huet was going to be at camp on Thursday, Quenneville simply said "No."

The Hawks' plan is go with new starter Marty Turco and longtime prospect Corey Crawford as the backup. Hannu Toivonen also will get a chance, competing for time this preseason.

Huet has a cap hit of more than $5 million and that simply doesn't work for the Hawks, who made several salary cap-driven moves this summer (as everyone knows). Huet is expected to be loaned to the Swiss League.

''Nothing is finalized yet," Hawks GM Stan Bowman said earlier this month about the potential deal. "I don't have any new news to report. It's looking like that's a possibility. Hopefully it will work out for him and for us, but it's not finalized yet. It's ongoing. We're trying to get it wrapped up."

The Hawks would still pay Huet if he is loaned to Europe, but he would be off their books. Huet played in the Swiss League before coming to the NHL.

jq.jpgAs expected, the Blackhawks have extended the contract of coach Joel Quenneville, who was about to enter the final year of his original contract.

Hawks president John McDonough told me last week that the Hawks -- in particular general manager Stan Bowman -- were in the "discussion phase" with Quenneville regarding his new deal.

I'll keep this short because there really isn't too much to say. This is just an update from my previous post.

The Ilya Kovalchuk contract saga has ended, and the NHL and the NHLPA have reached an agreement, ending any investigations associated with cap circumvention.

That would include Marian Hossa's 12-year, $63.3 million deal with the Hawks. The long-term contracts of Roberto Luongo, Marc Savard and Chris Pronger also are good.

mh.jpgUPDATED at 5:30 p.m.:
Marian Hossa's 12-year, $63.3 million deal continues to be a hot topic as the Ilya Kovalchuk contract saga continues. But Hawks GM Stan Bowman said he believes Hossa's deal -- which is already in its second year and was previously approved by the league -- is copacetic with the collective bargaining agreement.

According to the New York Post, the NHL will re-open a formal investigation into Hossa's front-loaded deal if the NHL Players' Association does NOT accept guidelines restricting future multi-year deals.

The league also will move to reject Ilya Kovalchuk's blockbuster deal with the New Jersey Devils and de-register Roberto Luongo's long-term contract with the Vancouver Canucks. Luongo's deal starts this coming season.

But, there have already been multiple reports disputing the NY Post report.

Bowman was asked about Hossa's deal earlier this week at the United Center.

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Former Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi officially became the newest member of the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

Niemi signed a one-year deal for $2 million, which is $750,000 less than his arbitration award that the Hawks walked away from.

Niemi will compete with fellow Finnish goalie Antero Niittymaki, who signed a two-year deal with the Sharks on July 1, for the top spot. It should be a familiar position for Niemi, who usurped Cristobal Huet for the Hawks' No. 1 job in net.

Here are some of the highlights from Niemi's conference call Thursday with Sharks GM Doug Wilson:

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About the blogger

Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan hailing from the Far Northwest Side. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times since 2005, covering the Hawks since 2009. He's also helped cover the Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools.

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

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