Flurry of news today from the Blackhawks
First of all, let me just express my disappointment in the fact that the Blackhawks' losing streak has continued this week with a 4-3 OT loss on Tuesday in Montreal and a 2-1 loss last night against Dallas at the UC. It's just incredibly frustrating when a team constantly finds ways to lose every night. Again, the injuries have obviously been devastating, but this team is still good enough to avoid a 7 game winless streak. I guess my SCH Hawks Player Of The Game award would go to Duncan Keith, who logged an incredibly 34 minutes of ice time in Montreal, and Robert Lang, who picked up a goal against Dallas. The Hawks play Minnesota on Friday at home, a game which will be a sell-out, so let's just hope this team can somehow get a win.
There was plenty of news announced by the Blackhawks today. First off, Brent Sopel has been re-signed to a 3 year deal worth $7 million. I'm a fan of this deal, as Sopel has proved to be an outstanding pickup by Dale Tallon. He has 10 points and is a +10 in 33 games this season, and has been a steady force on the blue-line for the Hawks, providing some veteran leadership for the young kids there. Good move to get him wrapped up.
Also, the Hawks' official site reports that Duncan Keith has been selected to the All-Star Game this year, his first appearance in just his 3rd NHL season. Congratulations to Duncan. I have been a critic of him in the past and definitely during certain points this season, but lately he has shown amazing endurance to play around 30 minutes a night and go up against the scoring line of the opposition, and he is getting better with every game. He has certainly earned this honor.
And here's a bit of news that should have every Blackhawks fan dancing in the streets: Magnus Johansson is GONE! (thanks to reader RajBindersLabido for pointing this out as well in his diary) He was traded today to the Panthers in exchange for a "late round draft choice", but it's irrelevant what the 'Hawks received in return, the main point is that he is finally off this roster for good and we will not be forced to watch his horrid defense in a Hawks uniform again. Oh, and by the way: the Panthers have Jassen Cullimore and Johansson playing on their blue-line tonight in Atlanta. Yikes.
And for the last tidbit of news, Troy Brouwer has been returned to Rockford. My guess is that one of the injured Hawk players may be ready to come off IR and play tomorrow against the Wild. Brouwer has good size and has been scoring well in Rockford, but I feel he didn't make an immediate impact when brought up here. He needs to play the way Jack Skille and Kris Versteeg have since getting their opportunity, and instead he has looked a little tentative. I would expect to see him again before the season is through.