Chicago Blackhawks Morning Links: Memorial Cup Around The Corner
By Colin Likas
Good morning, Chicago Blackhawks fans, and welcome to some information about hockey that isn’t of the NHL variety
If you’re a hockey fan, Chicago Blackhawks or otherwise, all you’re hearing about right now is the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And with good reason — it’s the premier hockey event for the premier hockey league. Even without the Blackhawks in tow, there’s still plenty of entertainment.
But maybe you just can’t bring yourself to watch the Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks square off. Maybe the Pittsburgh Penguins facing the Ottawa Senators just isn’t right for you. Well, there’s an alternative right around the corner.
The 2017 Memorial Cup event will take place beginning Friday in Windsor, Ontario. It runs through May 28 and features four teams from three Canadian junior hockey leagues. The Memorial Cup is an annual event used to decide the best squad in Canadian junior hockey, and the defending champion is the London Knights — a team that boasts alumni such at Patrick Kane.
This year, the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires will host the event, thereby earning a spot in the four-team tourney. All competing will be the OHL-champion Erie Otters, the WHL-champion Seattle Thunderbirds and the QMJHL-champion Saint John Sea Dogs.
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Interest for Blackhawks fans
Now why would I recommend a junior-level event to you over the Stanley Cup Playoffs? Well, if you’re a Blackhawks fan, there is at least one player of interest on 75 percent of the teams involved.
Seattle is the only club which does not carry a Blackhawks prospect into this event. Windsor holds forward Graham Knott. Erie is home to much-discussed Alex DeBrincat, he of three consecutive 100-plus-point seasons. And Saint John calls forwards Matthew Highmore and Nathan Noel team members.
Knott was a 2015 second-round draftee by the Blackhawks, while DeBrincat was selected in the same round a year later by Chicago. Noel was a fourth-round choice in 2016, and Highmore was signed earlier this year as an undrafted free agent out of Dartmouth.
So there’s plenty of intrigue to be had, if you’re a Blackhawks fan. Plus, you can watch even more of junior hockey’s best and brightest lace up the skates for an extended period. You don’t know how soon you might see these guys in the NHL ranks.
Here’s the Memorial Cup schedule, with games televised on NHL Network:
Friday: Saint John vs. Windsor, 6 p.m.
Saturday: Erie vs. Seattle, 2 p.m.
Sunday: Windsor vs. Seattle, 6 p.m.
Monday: Erie vs. Saint John, 6 p.m.
Tuesday: Seattle vs. Saint John, 6 p.m.
Wednesday: Windsor vs. Erie, 6 p.m.
May 25: TBD vs. TBD, 6 p.m.
May 26: TBD vs. TBD, 6 p.m.
May 28: TBD vs. TBD, 6 p.m.
Next: Blackhawks Roundtable: Young Players & Draft Picks
Chicago Blackhawks morning links
— Vote today. Chicago Blackhawks
— League may want to start taking concussions seriously. Buffalo News
— A week old, but still entertaining. Victory Views
— Who can help keep the window open? Second City Hockey
— Bridgestone Arena is a fine venue indeed. Faxes From Uncle Dale