The Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus (along with various Chicago media) tweeted quite a bit from the beginning of the Blackhawks Fan Convention as players and personnel were available to the media. It was a reunion of sorts as two former players returned to field questions. Patrick Sharp returns to the place where he saw much success, saying that he had some of his “best years” playing for Joel Quenneville in Chicago. Lazerus tweets that Quenneville could use Sharp with Jonathan Toews, and to expect the veteran winger to see top six minutes, which may not thrill some fans. Brandon Saad confirmed that he would be on a line with Toews, which was the belief of many after Stan Bowman swung a deal to re-acquire the forward. The Athletic’s Scott Powers tweeted video of different interviews which included Quenneville, Patrick Kane talking about the Panarin trade, and Sharp’s return to Chicago.
- Several hockey analysts are “tapping the brakes” when declaring Blackhawks prospect as the next big thing. The Hockey News’ Jared Clinton and Chicago SportsNet’s Tracey Myers both covered this, with Clinton adding onto Myers’ analysis. First, the salary cap limits who the Hawks can add to the roster, and the only player as of now who can shuffle to the AHL without passing through waivers is Nick Schmaltz. Should Marian Hossa go onto the LTIR, more than enough money would be available for many in Rockford to go onto the roster. Second, head coach Joel Quenneville isn’t exactly one to hand out ice time to kids. Clinton notes that DeBrincat is only 19, and the only players under 21 to see significant ice time during Quenneville’s tenure were Kane and Toews. Of course, Clinton notes, Toews was the captain and Kane was a budding superstar. Further, Clinton writes that Schmaltz, considered one of Chicago’s best prospects, struggled to stay in the lineup last season, showing that cracking the NHL lineup and then staying on it is far more difficult than it appears. Realistically, Clinton believes that the Hawks have the luxury to “over-season” players and allow them time to grow into a role–something that DeBrincat may very well do.