A few quick notes from Thursday afternoon.
First, the Chicago Blackhawks will reportedly be playing a neutral-site game in October. According to Dario Melendez, the sports director for WISN 12 in Wisconsin, the Blackhawks will face the Minnesota Wild in October at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.
Melendez’s initial report was from May, with Thursday’s tweet confirming the Blackhawks’ opponent:
Michael Russo of The Athletic confirmed that report and offered another detail:
Fiserv Forum is the home of the Milwaukee Bucks and Marquette University’s basketball teams, with a capacity of 15,178 for hockey games, per the stadium’s Wikipedia page. The AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals do not play at this stadium, though: they play at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.
Considering how often Cubs fans — and White Sox fans last year — take over Milwaukee Brewers games at American Family Field when either Chicago team crosses state lines, it’ll probably end up feeling like a home game for Chicago regardless of which team had that designation.
Milwaukee was once considered a potential destination for NHL expansion, with former Blackhawks broadcaster Lloyd Pettit and his wife, Jane Pettit, spearheading the effort in the 1990s. It ultimately failed, though, with the Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning being created from those expansion talks.
Reports of a rejected trade offer for Alex DeBrincat
DeBrincat’s name figures to be the talk of all trade circles leading up to next weekend’s NHL Draft, and Thursday saw Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman report some specifics on what teams are placing on the table.
While appearing on Under Review on NHL Network Radio, Friedman said that he thought there was one team that made a “pretty big offer” for DeBrincat.
Here are the specifics from Friedman:
At least a couple of first-rounders, one of which would have been pretty high, and I heard Chicago wasn’t willing to do that. So, I’m very curious to see what it’s going to take to get DeBrincat out of there.
The audio version of what Friedman said is available in this tweet from @CMBollin.
The ongoing discussions around DeBrincat feel similar to what the Blackhawks did with Brandon Hagel at the 2022 trade deadline. It doesn’t seem like the team is necessarily looking to move DeBrincat, but they’re also willing to listen to any offers teams have — GM Kyle Davidson said as much on Wednesday. If Chicago gets an offer they deem worthy, they’ll make it happen. But it doesn’t appear that the team would be upset if it didn’t happen, either.
For comparison’s sake, just keep in mind that Brandon Hagel’s trade resulted in a pair of first-round picks that’ll probably be in the high 20s and two NHL-ready players.
And Hagel didn’t have a pair of 40-goal seasons in the NHL.