NHL News

Chicago Blackhawks Morning Links: Building Hockey In The State

By Colin Likas
BLOOMINGTON, IN - JANUARY 19: Detail view of the Illinois Fighting Illini logo on the warmup shirt of a player during the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Assembly Hall on January 19, 2016 in Bloomington, Indiana. Indiana defeated Illinois 103-69. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
BLOOMINGTON, IN - JANUARY 19: Detail view of the Illinois Fighting Illini logo on the warmup shirt of a player during the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Assembly Hall on January 19, 2016 in Bloomington, Indiana. Indiana defeated Illinois 103-69. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Perhaps the Chicago Blackhawks could have a high-major college in their own state boasting a hockey team pretty soon. That would only be good news for future endeavors.

The NHL is not great at marketing. Individual teams often do a better job at that. From the Chicago Blackhawks’ perspective, one thing that has become important is reaching out to younger athletes to get them involved in the game.

It’s not that the Blackhawks want every hockey player in Illinois to desire suiting up for Chicago. Most, if not all, have that feeling already. It’s more so that the Blackhawks/NHL executives just want the game to keep growing at younger levels so it stays relevant as those youngsters become adults.

So what’s happening with the University of Illinois conducting a study on the viability of hockey in Champaign-Urbana is important. To little surprise, it was deemed the school could host a successful D-I hockey program.

At the same time, the school’s men’s club team made a run to the American Collegiate Hockey Association national championship game, which the Illini lost Tuesday by an 8-1 margin to Adrian. Despite the score, this was an important time for something like this to happen.

The above tweet was liked nearly 750 times as of early Wednesday morning. No, it’s not a Chicago Blackhawks Twitter number, but it’s pretty impressive for a club team. It shows people in the C-U area care about college hockey.

The Blackhawks have been involved with the U of I since it decided to explore the option of gaining a D-I program. It’d be great for the future of youth hockey in the state to see Illinois’ most visible public college create something young athletes can aspire to be a part of in the future. It makes the game of hockey healthier in the U.S., ultimately benefiting the NHL as well.

Next: 5 Thoughts On 3-1 Win Over Boston

Chicago Blackhawks morning links

This is a positive thing to discuss as the Blackhawks continue to struggle. But you still came for some reading material, so let’s get to it.

— Speaking of state college success. WGN TV

— If you’re not angry, you don’t care (or something). The Athletic

— Promising defensemen is something we can get behind. Scott Powers

— David Backes is a top player? NHL.com

— Barry Trotz probably won’t be coming back to Nashville. TSN Hockey

— At least the minor league team is winning. Rockford IceHogs

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