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Morning Bag Skate: 12-21-21

A daily look at hockey news around the world.

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NHL: FEB 07 Blackhawks at Stars Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This is your daily thread to talk about the latest hockey news.

BLACKHAWKS

NHL, NHLPA agree to pause season from Dec. 22 through Dec. 25 (SCH) (Sun-Times) (Tribune) (ESPN)

Derek King entering decisive 2nd phase of Blackhawks coaching tenure (Sun-Times)

Monday morning Blackhawks report: What would it take to get back into the playoff hunt? (The Athletic)

Blackhawks Bits: Slavin, Mitchell sent to Rockford; Connolly suspended four games (SCH) (Tribune)

Kurtis Gabriel will get “every opportunity” to earn steady role with Blackhawks (Sun-Times)

Blackhawks goalie prospect Drew Commesso is ready for his world juniors moment with Team USA (The Athletic)

RECAPS: Stars 4, Blackhawks 3 (SCH) (Defending Big D) (Sun-Times) (Tribune) (The Athletic)

RECAPS: Predators 3, Blackhawks 2 (SCH) (On the Forecheck) (Sun-Times) (Tribune) (The Athletic)

Olympics just one concern for Blackhawks as COVID-19 rips through NHL (Sun-Times)

Musings on Madison, Episode 73 — Live from Madison Street (SCH)

Seravalli: Blackhawks being “outside the box” leadership analysis (Daily Faceoff)

Blackhawks maintaining consistent top pair with Seth Jones, Calvin de Haan (Sun-Times)

RECAPS: Blackhawks 5, Capitals 4 (SCH) (Japers’ Rink) (Tribune) (Sun-Times)

Blackhawks reach settlement with Kyle Beach (SCH) (Tribune) (Sun-Times) (The Athletic)

How Derek King took the Blackhawks from the NHL’s worst defensive team to one of its stingiest (The Athletic)

As COVID-19 cases spike around NHL, healthy Blackhawks hope to avoid outbreak (Sun-Times)

Blackhawks hoping to finally progress past “one-and-done” offense (Sun-Times)

CENTRAL DIVISION

RECAP: Stars 7, Wild 4 (Hockey Wilderness) (Defending Big D)

Report: Predators shut down until after Christmas break (On the Forecheck)

Avalanche shut down after COVID outbreak (Mile High Hockey)

Paul Maurice resigned and that is not a mark against him (Arctic Ice Hockey)

Hurricanes-Wild postponed due to COVID-19 (NHL)

Khudobin placed on waivers by Stars (NHL)

Wheeler out weeks for Jets with knee injury (NHL)

Blues place Perron on retroactive LTIR, among other roster moves (St. Louis Game Time)

Coyotes not a threat to relocate, Bettman says (ESPN)

NHL

NHL, NHLPA postpone five games Thursday (NHL)

NHL postpones all cross-border games this week, while the Red Wings become 6th team told to shut down operations amid COVID-19 outbreaks (AP)

Lazerus: With heightened COVID-19 protocols in place, is the NHL doing enough to stop the spread? What’s next? (The Athletic)

Ontario to reduce capacity limits at sporting events (TSN)

Latest updates on the NHL and COVID-19: Postponements, protocols, the Olympics and more (ESPN)

Flames have fourth game postponed (NHL)

Bergeron, Marchand in COVID-19 protocol (NHL)

Fabbri signs 3-year contract with Red Wings (NHL)

Edler placed on injured reserve by Kings (NHL)

NHLPA raises Olympic COVID concerns: report (NHL)

Canucks hire Rutherford to oversee “new vision” (ESPN)

Coyotes pay taxes, won’t be iced out of arena (ESPN)

HOCKEY WORLD

USA-Canada women’s hockey My Why Tour game canceled (The Athletic)

NHL players discuss the Olympics — Are they still on board, or is it a risk too big to take? (The Athletic)

McDavid: Olympics’ COVID protocols “unsettling” (ESPN)

Canada announces roster for World Juniors (NHL)

Women’s hockey is finally coming to EA Sports’ NHL franchise (The Ice Garden)

Canada closing its border to unvaccinated professional, amateur athletes on Jan. 15 (TSN)