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Morning Bag Skate: 12-25-18

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Our daily look at Blackhawks news and the happenings around the hockey world.

San Jose Sharks v Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks are off until Thursday when they host the Wild at the United Center. The World Junior Championship begins Wednesday in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia.

The IceHogs return from their Christmas break Wednesday against the Wild in Iowa.

Elsewhere in Chicago sports, the Bulls look to win three straight games for the first time this season when they host the Timberwolves on Wednesday.

BLACKHAWKS

After tumultuous start to season, Murphy is hosting his family for Christmas. On deck? “Christmas Vacation” (Chicago Tribune)

4 keys to Blackhawks getting back on winning track (Chicago Sun-Times)

Boqvist will play for Sweden at World Juniors (SCH)

Barratt makes U.S.’ World Juniors team (SCH)

Manning not demanding a trade, but is certainly open to one (The Athletic)

CENTRAL DIVISION

Finding the right second-line combination could be key to unlocking success for the Avs (The Athletic)

NHL

Golden Knights activate Pacioretty from IR, assign Pirri to AHL (Knights On Ice)

Lightning are one of deepest teams in NHL’s modern stats era (Raw Charge)

Off the charts: The Radim Simek experience (Fear The Fin)

HOCKEY WORLD

Gray Wolves, a senior hockey club, have found frozen fountain of youth (ESPN)

3 players to watch on each team at World juniors (Sportsnet)

World juniors preview: Team Canada (The Athletic)

World juniors preview: Team USA (The Athletic)

World juniors preview: European prospects to watch (The Athletic)

CHL notebook: Raiders’ dominance among first-half surprises (Sportsnet)

A look at NHL players not participating at World juniors (Sportsnet)