While there’s been plenty of Chicago Blackhawks news off the ice, the last 24 hours have also produced plenty of on-ice happenings with the team.
Prior to the press conference that confirmed Kyle Davidson’s new position as general manager, the biggest news on Tuesday was the imminent return of Jonathan Toews, who’s been activated from concussion protocol. Fellow center Tyler Johnson and defensemen Riley Stillman and Calvin de Haan could also be back in the lineup for Thursday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers:
Toews has been cleared from concussion protocol, King says. It’s just a matter of how he feels.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) March 1, 2022
The probability of those players returning led to some new looks for the Blackhawks power-play units during Wednesday’s practice:
Here’s how things could look during 5-on-5 play for Thursday’s return to the ice against Edmonton:
#Blackhawks lines and pairings at practice:— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) March 2, 2022
de Haan-S. Jones
*Borgstrom rotating in and out of fourth line with Kurashev
After practice, the focus shifted away from the ice again, with Patrick Kane answering questions regarding his future in Chicago now that the GM is in place. The word “rebuild” was mentioned during Davidson’s Tuesday presser, so Kane was asked about how his long-term plans would be affected by a potential rebuild in Chicago.
Here’s the full quote from Kane, as transcribed by the Sun-Times’ Ben Pope:
“I think so. There’s probably a lot of time to determine that’s going to happen in that game, but let’s be honest, I love Chicago. I love the city, I love the fans, and the organization has been amazing to me and my family. There’s really not much to [not] like here. But there’s always business decisions. I know in the game of hockey, there’s not many guys that play their whole career with one team. It would be a privilege and an honor to do that. But we’ll see how it all plays out.”
For video of Kane’s full response, Phillip Thompson of the Chicago Tribune has that covered:
“I think there’s always business decisions. … There’s not many guys that play their whole career with one team. So it would be a privilege and an honor to do that. But I guess we’ll see how it all plays out.”—Patrick Kane on staying with the Blackhawks through a rebuild pic.twitter.com/raCNTRbaIe— Phillip Thompson (@_phil_thompson) March 2, 2022
Speaking of long-term situations with the team, interim head coach Derek King was asked if he’d had any conversations with Davidson regarding King’s Blackhawks future. The short answer was “no,” but here’s the long answer:
King on Davidson: "He’s honest. He doesn’t hold back. He tells it how it is. He knows what needs to be done... Sometimes you’re going to hear what you probably don’t want to hear, but it’s the truth. That’s the way he operates. You know what you’re getting. There’s no phoniness."— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) March 2, 2022
Thursday’s game is Niklas Hjalmarsson Heritage Night, with Kane offering this remembrance of perhaps the 2010s most underrated defensive-minded blue-liner:
Patrick Kane on Niklas Hjalmarsson, whose Legacy Night is tomorrow:— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) March 2, 2022
"You'd be like, 'Oh, Hammer is done. He's done after this one.'
And then you'd see him out there again next shift."