Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks: Recent Summer Events Recap

By Nick Rogers

Alright, fellow Chicago Blackhawks fans. We’re getting there. Whether you’ve bided your time with soccer or college football or the NFL preseason, we’re getting there. NHL training camp is nearly upon us, which means that many of the offseason storylines should be getting some updates. There’s of course the rape investigation involving Patrick Kane, which has a few new updates, and the Marcus Kruger contract saga.

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First I’ll start with the thing that’s on everyone’s minds, whether you’re a fan, media-member, player, GM or NHL exec: the Patrick Kane case. Not a lot has been uncovered in the investigation yet. There are however, the comments Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews made, during which he said: “We must stay together, you support your teammates.” This has been met with some backlash, but in retrospect is a very diplomatic response.

Imagine, theoretically, if Toews would have said something against Kane, and it turns out Kane isn’t going to be charged with a crime. That divides your dressing room and quite possibly fractures it, leaving you to choose between the two. The same could be said for the opposite. Hypothetically, say Toews trots out and completely endorses Kane, and he’s charged with a crime. Now you have a captain with a spotless reputation almost ruined by his comments. So, in hindsight, while it may have been better just to keep silent, Toews comments weren’t great, but they weren’t bad either. His main interest as captain of this hockey team is to keep his locker room as cohesive as possible.

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There has been another recent development in the Kane saga, as a grand jury is going to hear evidence in the case and then vote on whether or not the Blackhawks forward should be charged with a crime. That is something that is going to hang like a thick fog over the coming training camp.

The other Blackhawks storyline that is also gloomy, albeit for a different reason, is that Marcus Kruger is the lone key player from last season’s roster without a contract. Something that could be seen as discouraging is the fact that Joakim Nordstrom was just offered, and agreed to, a one-year deal with the ’Hawks. This leaves less room to get even a bridge deal done for Kruger, indicating that Stan Bowman is going to have to do some finagling on the financial sheet to create room. This could be done in the form of a trade, and while the cap-pocalypse hit the ’Hawks hard, they’ve gotten a fair return for what they’ve given up so far. Hopefully, at the very least, a one- or two-year bridge deal gets done for Kruger, as I don’t think many ’Hawks fans could take seeing a system-grown talent leave the franchise.

October draws ever closer, fellow Blackhawks fans, and I can’t wait for it to arrive.

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