Blackhawks Trade Bolland and Frolik, Resign Bickell

When the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, they had a few weeks to enjoy the victory before the draft. This time the Blackhawks had less than a week to begin the offseason and get to work after winning the Cup. Six days after bringing a championship to Chicago, the Blackhawks were busy at the NHL Draft on Sunday.

The Blackhawks started the day drafting Chicago native Ryan Hartman with the 30th pick in the draft. A lot of people were excited that Hartman is a local kid, but the Blackhawks drafted him because of his skill and not where he was from. Then the Blackhawks, who started the day with five picks total, drafted seven more players after a few trades.

Dave Bolland was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for three draft picks. Soon after Michael Frolik was traded to the Winnipeg Jets for two picks. This opened the door for the Blackhawks to keep Bryan Bickell in Chicago for another four years. Continue reading

Blackhawks Learn How Valuable Marian Hossa is the Hard Way

Blackhawks fans began to panic just after 7 p.m. Chicago time on Monday night.

Slowly tweets started coming in that Marian Hossa was a late scratch for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. Whether you were at home on a computer or standing in a bar reading your cellphone, the surprising news began to sink in. If you weren’t around technology the announcers on NBC Sports Network let 4 million know Hossa’s status. NBC analyst Mike Milbury probably thought in his head that Hossa is a disinterested Slovakian like the rest of his European counterparts. Continue reading

Give Stan Bowman Credit

Last season left a bad taste in my mouth. Not because how the Blackhawks lost to the Coyotes. Not because the future of Marian Hossa was in jeopardy after Raffi Torres tried to end his career. The upsetting part was the impatience from Blackhawks fans about general manager Stan Bowman.

People questioned him not signing a big free agent the summer before. Fans were mad that he stayed loyal to Corey Crawford between the pipes. While Blackhawks fans blasted Bowman and wanted him gone, I knew he was the right guy for the job and wanted to give him more time. Continue reading

Five Best Chicago-Boston Playoff Games Since 1986

Wednesday night produced an amazing hockey game between the Blackhawks and Bruins. Game 1 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final set the bar for the rest of this highly anticipated series. Chicago and Boston are two major cities and have passionate sports fans. Their teams don’t often play each other in the playoffs but when they do their have been some classics. Last night’s game inspired me to rank the best Chicago vs. Boston playoff games since January 1986. I ranked five games based on the entertainment of the game, the long term significance and milestones in the game. I also took into account the round where the game occurred with the final round being the most important. There might be a little Chicago bias on the list. Just a little.

1. Chicago Bears 46, New England Patriots 10, January 26, 1986

All the games are up for debate other than this one. Despite the blowout score this is one of the most important games in Chicago sports history. It capped off a season for the best defense in NFL history. If the Bears didn’t lose to the Dolphins in the 1985 regular season, it would’ve been the best team ever. The team not only dominated on the field but represented a hard-working, blue-collar city. If I could go back in time I would want to be alive and remember this season.  Continue reading

Adversity Needed to Make Stanley Cup Finals

The Blackhawks and Bruins barley got here. Both teams were in danger of being eliminated earlier than expected.

Boston was about to blow a 3-1 series lead against division foe Toronto in the first round. The Leafs led Game 7 4-1 with under 11 minutes to go and 4-2 with under 90 seconds remaining. The Bruins shocked the hockey world with two quick goals and won in overtime. Since then they are 8-1 in the playoffs with their only loss coming in overtime.

Chicago trailed bitter rivals Detroit 3-1 in the second round. The Blackhawks lost three straight for the first time all season and couldn’t solve Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard. The Blackhawks bounced back in Game 5 and entered the third period of Game 6 trailing by a goal. An inspired three-goal burst in the final period forced a Game 7 where the Blackhawks won in overtime. The Hawks went on to win the Western Conference in five. Continue reading