Training camp is a big time of the year for any team, and the Blackhawks are no different. Here's a brief look at some of the news coming out of the University of Notre Dame from the first day-plus of camp.
Brad Richards looking good early
If the performance of Brad Richards is one of the big question marks entering the season, early signs look positive. The former New York Ranger has been playing beside Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad on a probable second line, and reports out of Notre Dame indicate he's looked good. Here's what Coach Q said on Richards:
"I think Brad kind of probably had a feeling and appetite, ‘Well, this could be fun playing with this guy.' I thought Brad was excellent in the second scrimmage and started trying to see some things, developing what potentially could be plays, you know, having Kaner, having that patience, drawing guys to him and then slipping it through, give and go type of thing. Could lead to a real nice line. I thought they were very dangerous, had a lot of opportunities. It was a good first day for sure."
Pardon me for getting EXTREMELY EXCITED. If this group can come together quickly, we could be talking about two potentially devastating forward lines from the beginning of the season. Can't wait to get the first real glimpse at a Kane-Richards-Saad line on Tuesday night.
What's up with the cap?
We still don't know who's getting traded for cap purposes, but the assumption remains that it will happen before the start of the season. Whether it's Johnny Oduya, Michal Rozsival or someone else, the Blackhawks need to trade a substantial salary to get under the salary cap in the next couple weeks. Oduya briefly discussed the rumors Friday:
"I know it's there — I think everybody does," Oduya said Friday during training camp at Notre Dame. "I try not to worry about it too much. I want to focus on performing and working hard. That's what I have on my mind."
That's pretty much what you'd expect to hear from a player who presumably hopes to stick around for another Stanley Cup run. We'll just have to wait and see how Stan Bowman ultimately resolves the situation.
Hossa feeling good, looking good
At 34 years old, Marian Hossa might start showing his age eventually, but apparently not yet. The back issues that have plagued him in the past aren't an issue right now, and that has to be a positive sign as the beginning of the season looms. Talk about Hossa at camp has been consistently optimistic, and that's what you want to hear from a veteran in his mid-30s.
"Last year was a great example," Hossa said Friday after participating in a practice and scrimmage on the first day of training camp. "I only missed a few games, a few of them wasn’t because of my injury. I’m glad. If I can repeat it again this year I would be really pleased.
Cam Barker talks return
"It feels great to be back," is how former first-round pick Cam Barker started his initial comments with reporters from South Bend on Friday. Barker is probably a longshot to make the team depending on who is ultimately traded for cap reasons, but he said he "feels good" about his game and it's possible he sneaks onto the roster with an impressive showing over the next week or so. Obviously nobody is rooting against the 28-year-old, but it would be something to see him suiting up again in Chicago after his departure years ago.
Teuvo says he's ready for the NHL
The 20-year-old Finnish phenom might begin next season in Rockford, but he's looking to make an impact with the big boy club this season. Teravainen says his goal "is to be with an NHL team this year," which we'll just assume means "THE ONLY TEAM I WANT TO SCORE A MILLION GOALS FOR IS CHICAGO."
"Coaches are saying where I’ll play and I’ll play there. If it’s Rockford, first line or second line playing more minutes, or playing less minutes in Chicago I don’t know," he said. "And I don’t need to know right now."
Teuvo doesn't know, and the coaching staff might not know yet, either.
Camp sure is fun, though, you guys!