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Morning Bag Skate: 12-31-21

A daily look at hockey news around the world.

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Chicago Blackhawks Victory Parade And Rally Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

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

BLACKHAWKS

Dominik Kubalik enters crucial second part of Blackhawks’ season rejuvenated by family time (Sun-Times)

Blackhawks refreshing penalty kill after poor December results (Sun-Times)

Ranking the Blackhawks’ 20 best goals of the 2021 calendar year (The Athletic)

Kirby Dach pressuring himself to finally live up to his potential (Sun-Times)

Blackhawks Bits: Tyler Johnson on ice for first time since surgery (SCH)

Blackhawks prospect Landon Slaggert taking ties to family and Indiana to the world stage with Team USA (The Athletic)

Kirby Dach, a year removed from wrist surgery, is struggling to score and win faceoffs for the Blackhawks. But the former No. 3 pick says “there’s a lot left on the table” to raise his game.” (Tribune)

Blackhawks final game of 2021 postponed (SCH)

Blackhawks Bits: Fleury added to COVID protocol; de Haan removed (SCH) (Sun-Times) (Tribune)

Lawsuit dismissed against Blackhawks by alleged sexual assault victim (Sun-Times) (Tribune)

What’s the next step in Kirby Dach’s development? (The Athletic)

Blackhawks Tuesday game vs. Columbus postponed; NHL brings back taxi squads (SCH) (Sun-Times)

A Blackhawks Christmas Wish List (SCH)

As Blackhawks offense still flounders, Kane and Toews try to find the finish (The Athletic)

Analytics point to Blackhawks’ Brandon Hagel being among the NHL’s top all-around players (The Athletic)

Rescheduling games in February creates logistical puzzle for Blackhawks, rest of NHL (Sun-Times)

CENTRAL DIVISION

RECAP: Blue Jackets 4, Predators 3 (On the Forecheck)

The Blues will be healthy for the Winter Classic (St. Louis Game Time)

Wild sign coach Dean Evason to contract extension (Hockey Wilderness)

NHL postpones Stars-Coyotes game Sunday (NHL)

Jonas Brodin enters COVID protocol (Hockey Wilderness)

With 8 players in COVID protocol, NHL delays return to ice for Stars (Defending Big D)

The NHL needs to hold strong on COVID protocols (Arctic Ice Hockey)

Blues place four players on COVID-19 protocol list (St. Louis Game Time)

Who can take Eriksson Ek’s spot on the roster? (Hockey Wilderness)

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

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

RECAP: Panthers 9, Lightning 3 (NHL)

RECAP: Hurricanes 4, Canadiens 0 (NHL)

RECAP: Islanders 4, Sabres 1 (NHL)

RECAP: Flames 6, Kraken 4 (NHL)

RECAP: Kings 2, Canucks 1 (NHL)

Lacquette is 1st Indigenous woman scout in NHL (ESPN)

Pacioretty out indefinitely after surgery (NHL)

NHL, NHLPA modify COVID-19 protocol (NHL)

NHL postpones Red Wings-Islanders, 9 others (NHL)

US forfeits WJC game after COVID issues (NHL)

NHL eyeing new CDC guidance as it prepares to resume after a 6-day break (Tribune)

Tanev out for season for Karken with ACL injury (NHL)

NHL postpones 3 more games, total up to 70 (NHL)

Penguins’ Malkin, Rust take full contact (NHL)

Panthers’ Barkov expected back Wednesday (NHL)

NHL allows taxi squads; 3 more games PPD (NHL)

Rask could sign with Bruins, play in 3 weeks (NHL)

NHL players will not play at 2022 Olympics (NHL)

NHL starts break with 50 games postponed (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)

HOCKEY WORLD

IIHF cancels rest of World Juniors (ESPN)

OHL to reinstate Canadiens top pick Mallioux (ESPN)

The hockey world reacts to the cancellation of U18 Worlds (The Ice Garden)

WJC roundup: Germany, Russia, Finland win (NHL)

Jared Keeso’s road to “Letterkenny”: How an ex-junior hockey “grinder” became a streaming star (The Athletic)

Travel to a land where it’s always 2004 and meet the people who refuse to let EA Sports NHL ‘04 die (The Athletic)

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