Chicago Sun-Times

July 2012 Archives

BY BEN MEYER-ABBOTT
bmeyer-abbott@suntimes.com
@BMACST

A season largely spent in the American Hockey League with the Rockford IceHogs bookended by serious injuries wasn't the type of year Ben Smith envisioned after he burst onto the scene for the Hawks in the 2011 playoffs.

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While preaching shared responsibilities, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville revealed some of his plans for his hand-picked coaching staff for the coming season.

"Jamie [Kompon] may have the power play and [Mike Kitchen] may get the [penalty kill], but we'll all have some input," Quenneville said during the Hawks convention at the Hilton Chicago.

The idea that Kompon, who was named Mike Haviland's replacement last week, will handle the power play may be disconcerting for some Hawks fans, especially with the power play's ineffectiveness being a spark for change and internal conflict last season.

The Hawks had the No. 26 power play last season and Haviland eventually was made the scapegoat for it, among other things.

While preaching shared responsibilities, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville revealed some of his plans for his hand-picked coaching staff for the coming season.

"Jamie [Kompon] may have the power play and [Mike Kitchen] may get the [penalty kill], but we'll all have some input," Quenneville said during the Hawks convention at the Hilton Chicago.

The idea that Kompon, who was named Mike Haviland's replacement last week, may be disconcerting for some Hawks fans, especially with the power play's ineffectiveness being a spark for change and internal conflict last season.

The Hawks had the No. 26 power play last season and Haviland eventually was made the scapegoat for it, among other things.

By Ben Meyer-Abbott
bmeyer-abbott@suntimes.com
Twitter
: @BMACST

Patrick Kane said Friday he was embarrassed by the photos that emerged after a party-filled weekend less than two weeks after the Blackhawks were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

By Ben Meyer-Abbott
bmeyer-abbott@suntimes.com
Twitter:
@BMACST

Blackhawks winger Viktor Stalberg tweeted Friday morning he was alright after his car was struck while waiting at a traffic stop.

"Just got run into by a car at a stoplight #fridaythe13th," Stalberg tweeted.

Stalberg followed that tweet with another two minutes later letting everyone know he wasn't hurt: "And yes i was in my car too and I'm fine, my car not so much!"

"Stop it right there."

Eddie Olczyk, a former Blackhawks forward and current television analyst for Comcast Sportsnet and NBC, is one of three inductees named to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

In another bit of good news about the health of Marian Hossa, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he expects to see his star winger next Friday at the team's annual convention in downtown Chicago.

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Blackahwks star Jonathan Toews has taken an active role in the team's courting of free agents.

Toews told the Winnipeg Sun's Ken Wiebe during a charity golf tournament in his hometown that he has sent texts to some players as part of the Hawks' recruiting efforts.

The Hawks may have missed out on winger Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter, but the courting of hard-nosed wing Shane Doan has just begun with the Phoenix Coyotes' future still in flux.

The Blackhawks have added some experience to their front office. Pierre Gauthier, the former general manager of the Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and Anaheim Ducks, will be the Hawks' new director of player personnel.

Let the Wild rumpus start.

Forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter -- by far the two most coveted free agents this summer -- signed 13-year contracts, worth a reported $98 million each with the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday ending days of speculation and reports of where they might end up. As some thought, the American duo opted for a dual package.

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After weeks of mulling over his decision, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced Monday that Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres' suspension for his illegal shoulder-to-head hit on Blackhawks star Marian Hossa has been reduced by four games.

It wasn't a major splash at all, but the Blackhawks added a defenseman with their first move during free agency on Sunday, signing veteran Sheldon Brookbank to a two-year deal.

As soon as free agency began on Sunday, the rumblings began about the Blackhawks having interest in the services of future Hall-of-Fame goalie Martin Brodeur.

A source confirmed that the Hawks have some interest in Brodeur, who has become available with the New Jersey Devils having financial issues. The Hawks are said to prefer a one-year deal for Brodeur, if anything.

Pierre Lebrun of TSN and ESPN has reported that the Hawks have reached out to Brodeur's camp. Brodeur recently hired agent Pat Brisson.

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About the blogger

Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan. 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. Follow him on Twitter:@adamjahns

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