This afternoon, the American Hockey League announced the new division alignments for both the Western and Eastern Conferences. The IceHogs are affected by the realignment as the Charlotte Checkers leave the Midwest Division after just one season and the Grand Rapids Griffins slide in.
Last year, Pittsburgh native Brandon Saad slid into the second round of the 2011 Draft — and into a Chicago Blackhawks jersey. This has been seen as the steal of that draft.
This year in Pittsburgh, Saad helped the Blackhawks welcome another player who slid down the draft and into the team’s lap, center Teuvo Teravainen.
On Monday morning, the Blackhawks announced that the team had re-signed forwards Brandon Bollig and Ben Smith to two-year contracts and goaltender Carter Hutton to a one-year deal.
According to Tim Wharnsby of CBC, the Blackhawks placed goaltender Alexander Salak on waivers today.
The Blackhawks released their preseason schedule earlier today.
|TUE SEP 25||
|AT PHILADELPHIA FLYERS||WELLS FARGO CENTER||6 PM|
|FRI SEP 28||
|VS. DETROIT RED WINGS||UNITED CENTER||7:30 PM|
|SAT SEPT. 29||
|AT DETROIT RED WINGS||JOE LOUIS ARENA||6 PM|
|SUN SEP 30||Penguins||VS. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS||UNITED CENTER||6 PM|
|FRI OCT 5||Penguins||AT PITTSBURGH PENGUINS||CONSOL ENERGY CENTER||6 PM|
|SAT OCT 6||Flyers||VS. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS||UNITED CENTER||7:30 PM|
Home games are in bold.
Of course, the real question is if we’ll be seeing any of these games. The current collective bargaining agreement expires on September 15. This means that, if the league and the NHLPA can’t come to an agreement before then, we might just see another lockout. If a lockout does occur, these preseason games will be the first casualties.
Keep your fingers crossed.
I was upset when Colin Fraser left Chicago.
Not because he was anything special when he was here (the “best” thing about his hockey playing was his face’s ability to absorb fists) — but because he was shipped off to the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers! For a draft pick! Now the Oilers are poised to be one of the most exciting teams in the league in the next couple of years, but two years ago, it was like sending someone to Columbus.
The Blackhawks’ front office might as well have texted him “LOL BYE” when it it happened. Hell, they probably did, the bastards.
So off Fraser went for a lackluster season in Edmonton, which got him traded to the Los Angeles Kings — a trade that almost didn’t happen because Fraser had a broken ankle that needed surgery. The Kings, however, took a chance on Fraser and let him stay in LA.
Now Fraser is the lynchpin of the Kings’ fourth line — a line that coach Darryl Sutter named after him — and is hoisting the Stanley Cup for the second time. Who would’ve thought that about a guy who didn’t even play in one game during the Stanley Cup Final two years ago?
So congratulations to you, Fraser. Hope you, Carli, and little Calder get to enjoy this night.
And maybe next year, the Blackhawks can get their heads out of their asses and get back to winning the Stanley Cup again.
We all have that one friend who does not know how to smile in front of cameras. I mean, in front of you, they might be able to laugh and joke and look fine. But when the camera turns on, they always manage to look odd or, well, downright creepy.
For the Blackhawks, that friend is Jonathan Toews.
Don’t act like you don’t believe Hammer has a meatball throne, or Bolly has a chair made of the bones of his vanquished enemies.
It’s still his birthday for a half-hour in Chicago, so it counts!
Dave Bolland was born on June 5, 1986. He’s been death glaring ever since.
Finally, make sure you stop by DaveBolland.com and The Dave Bolland Foundation. Maybe you can even drop a few dollars, if you’re so inclined. The video after the jump is from his foundation’s kickoff party. See Bolland as you’ve never seen him before — cleaned up and in a suit!
Sami Lepisto has signed a one-year contract with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL — a team you may remember as the team involved in the aircraft tragedy that cost the lives of most of its players, some prospects, and the coaching staff last year. As sad as I am to see Sami go, rebuilding the Lokomotiv team in honor of all its fallen players is an awesome thing to do and I’m really glad to see he’s involved. While skeptics might see this as a bench-warmer fleeing the bench, I really believe that he was a reliable and steady defenseman who deserved more playing time than he got. Sure, he wasn’t stellar and he didn’t stand out on the ice very often — but that wasn’t his role. He did well in his role as the stay-at-home defenseman and the Blackhawks played better with him in the lineup in all of the 26 regular-season games where he saw ice time.
The original news, which spread like wildfire over Twitter, appeared in an article posted by Finnish channel MTV3 (original in Finnish). The article points out that Lepisto will be joining the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Curtis Sanford during Lokomotiv’s return to the KHL next season. Former NHLers Staffan Kronwall, Viktor Kozlov, and Vitaly Vishnevsky have also signed on with the club.