It’s Friday, so let’s take a quick jaunt through the news items from the last days, then get the hell out of here for the weekend, eh?
Report: Blackhawks adding assistant coach Derek Plante
According to a report from Brad Elliott Schlossman, a college hockey reporter for the Grand Forks Herald, the Chicago Blackhawks will be adding Derek Plante as an assistant coach.
Two assistant jobs have opened in the NCHC this week. Mark Stuart left Colorado College for the Edmonton Oilers. Derek Plante is leaving Minnesota Duluth for the Chicago Blackhawks.— Brad Elliott Schlossman (@SchlossmanGF) July 29, 2022
As the tweet mentioned, Plante’s most recent coaching job was as an associate for the University of Minnesota-Duluth — Plante’s alma mater. Plante, 51, is a Minnesota native who played in 450 NHL games across eight seasons, mostly with the Buffalo Sabres but he did have a 17-game stint with the Blackhawks during the 1999-2000 season.
After playing in a handful of international leagues, Plante went to UMD as an associate head coach in 2010, and returned to the Blackhawks organization in 2015 as a developmental coach. Plante went back to UMD in the summer of 2020 before this reported return to Chicago.
Free-agent signings Mrazek, Domi speak with media
Two of the Blackhawks’ two free-agent signings addressed the Chicago media for the first time this week, starting with goaltender Petr Mrazek on Wednesday.
There wasn’t much else to report from Mrazek’s media session. As Ben Pope wrote in the Sun-Times on Thursday, Mrazek has had rebound performances in his career before. But the 2018-19 Carolina Hurricanes — when and where Mrazek revived his career after a few subpar seasons with the Detroit Red Wings — were a franchise on the ascendency at that time. The 2022-23 Blackhawks are ... not. But If Mrazek can pull off another rebound season, he could be a worthy deadline flip for picks and prospects.
Max Domi’s turn to answer questions arrived on Thursday. First, Domi offered rave reviews on new Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson:
Max Domi: "As soon as [the Blackhawks] hired Luke Richardson as their head coach, I got on the phone with my agent and told him, 'I want to go to Chicago.'"— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) July 28, 2022
Domi was also asked about his kerfuffle with Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy from the end of the 2021 season:
Max Domi said he saw Connor Murphy (whom he unsuccessfully tried to fight last year) last week: "We're actually really good buddies. He knows when my switch goes like that. ... I love him to death."— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) July 28, 2022
Toews talks to The Athletic
Before those two players talked to the media, though, Jonathan Toews sat down for an exclusive interview with Mark Lazerus of The Athletic, resulting in a lengthy article that raised eyebrows in several segments of the internet.
I get tone can sometimes be lost in print, but a lot of aggregators are framing the interview irresponsibly. He's not bitching and moaning. He's being honest. Isn't that what we're always saying we want from athletes?— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) July 27, 2022
Anyway, that Sox loss was pretty rough.
The full article is available here and despite a few select sentences and quotes from Toews that were slapped across internet headlines as (poorly) aggregated content, the angle from this perspective seemed to be that Toews is wholly aware of the situation that he and the Blackhawks are heading into next season and, though he’s understandably not thrilled with it, he’s looking forward to getting back on the ice again, not far removed from missing an entire season.
Read the article and decide for yourself. But any of the waves made by this article felt like the result of cherry-picked quotes designed to elicit a reaction.
(Clothing) line change
And, finally, the entire NHL’s on-ice product could look different in a few years, according to the report below from ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski: