All hockey fans are counting down the days till the regular season begins. With the NHL offseason moving along, we are getting closer to the start of the season on October 1st. That being said, there are some hockey events to keep in mind before the start of the NHL season.
1. Olympic Camps open this Sunday 8/25/2013: Team Canada will feature 5 Chicago Blackhawks players (Jonathon Toews, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Corey Crawford, and Patrick Sharp). Team USA will feature 3 Blackhawks (Patrick Kane, Nick Leddy, and Brandon Saad.) I was nervous and excited about these camps. The announcements on 8/23/2013 put a damper on the excitement of these camps. The NHL and Olympic teams have come out and said the NHL players will not take the ice during Olympic camps. They will have some team building off the ice.
2. Rookie Tournament in London, Ontario September 5th -8th: Four teams will compete in the NHL Rookie Tournament at the Budweiser Garden, home of the London Knights. The London Knights play in the Ontario Hockey League. The four teams are the Chicago Blackhawks, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Toronto Maple Leafs. On September 5, the Rookie Blackhawks will play the Maple Leafs. September 7, the Blackhawks will play Ottawa. To end the tournament the Blackhawks will play the Penguins. Although the Blackhawks coach for the rookie tournament has not been announced, the Blackhawks have announced their roster. Their roster includes Dylan Olsen, Mark McNeil, Phillip Dananult, and Drew LeBlanc (www.NhlBlackhawks.com). The name that stands out to me is Drew LeBlanc. Stan Bowman G.M. has said LeBlanc was almost ready to make the NHL roster. If that is the case, why is he playing in the “rookie tournament”? Drew LeBlanc is also the only Blackhawks player who played in the NHL last season.
3.Training Camp Festival September 16th: The Blackhawks will open up training camp on September 16th at the United Center. This will be first step in their quest to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions. This training camp opens up with minor questions: who will play second line center, who will play on the penalty kill and who will fill the void of traded playersThe major question is can the Blackhawks repeat as champions?
4. Preseason games September 17th: Blackhawks fans do not have to wait long for the Preseason to begin. Training festival kicks off on Sept 16th and the Preseason starts the very next day. The Blackhawks will play all eastern conference teams during their 6 game schedule. Their opponents will be the Detroit Red Wings, Washington Capitals, and the Pittsburg Penguins.
While many NHL fans hunger for the regular season to begin; there are still many appealing appetizers to tide us over until the main course is served.
What are you looking forward to the most? Let us know!
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