Chicago Sun-Times
with Mark Lazerus

October 2012 Archives

88kane.jpgMany things indicated that "Champs for Charity" wasn't a real hockey game. There were no power plays, there was a goalie taking a penalty shot and there was a coach fighting an opposing player.

But the atmosphere at the Allstate Arena Friday night felt like a real game. In fact, it was better than the previous two NHL All-Star games.

"I think we were all a little surprised with the turnout," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said afterward. "We never expected it to be that good. The amount of fans that showed up, the energy in the building was great all night."

Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane's contract with EHC Biel of the Swiss National League won't exactly supplement his income.

Essentially, it covers the costs of the insurance he needs for his lucrative contract with the Hawks and provides a little extra.

"It's not a crazy amount of money," Kane said Wednesday after skating at Johnny's IceHouse West. "It's about getting in shape and playing games and getting back out there and playing hockey. I'm excited about it."


Patrick Kane is headed to Europe.

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was one of the 18 players to sit in on the NHL Players' Association's collective bargaining meeting with the NHL on Thursday in Toronto.

Two days after the NHL offered a proposal touting a 50/50 split and no rollback, the NHLPA, as expected, countered, but with three different proposals. The NHL, represented by commissioner Gary Bettman, rejected all four of their offers.

It's clear that each side wants to use their proposals as a basis for negotiations. And it's clear that each side is working from completely different philosophies.

In other words, there is no end in sight for the NHL's second lockout in eight years. More game cancellations are expected soon.

Here's what Toews said via text message from Toronto:

The Blackhawks will be playing in Chicago -- or at least close to it. It just won't be at the United Center as the NHL's lockout of players persists.

Current and former Hawks will be getting together for a good cause next week. A charity game, called "Champs for Charity," is scheduled for Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

Tickets go on sale Wednesday at 5 p.m. on with funds raised benefiting the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children's hospital in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood.

Blackhawks defenseman Steve Montador couldn't find any good words to describe the current situation the league, the players, fans and those who depend on hockey in some way to make a living are in right now.

Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell broke his own news when he tweeted late Tuesday that he's headed overseas to play in Austria during the work stoppage.

"Tomorrow is the day I bring my skills overseas. #Austria," he said on his @bbick29 account.


About the blogger

Mark Lazerus was honored nationally by the Associated Press Sports Editors for three straight years at the Post-Tribune, was named one of the top three columnists in Indiana for three straight years and has won more than 20 statewide writing awards. He has covered Notre Dame for Sun-Times Media, and now covers the Blackhawks.



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