Morning Bag Skate: Blackhawks enter Stanley Cup playoffs as favorites

Our daily look at Blackhawks news and the happenings around the hockey world.

The Chicago Blackhawks will begin the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs as the betting favorites.

According to Bovada, the Hawks have 4/1 odds to win their fourth championship in eight years. Chicago is the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and will face the Nashville Predators in Game 1 on Thursday at United Center in Chicago.


**Hawks-Predators first-round schedule (SCH)

**Hawks listed as Stanley Cup betting favorite (SCH)

**Who should be on Hawks’ fourth line in playoffs? (SCH)

**Hawks rookies braced for first playoffs (Chicago Sun Times)

**Bowman named to USA Hockey management team for 2017 Worlds (SCH)

**Panarin earns max bonuses, costing Hawks millions in cap space (SCH)


**Blues-Wild first-round schedule (Hockey Wilderness)

**Preds are fully capable of defeating Hawks (On The Forecheck)

**Moy signs 2-year ELC with Preds after senior season at Harvard (On The Forecheck)

**Hanzal trade made Wild a legitimate Cup threat (Hockey Wilderness)

**Soucy signs 2-year ELC with Wild after senior season at Minnesota Duluth (Hockey Wilderness)

**Stars fire defensive coach James Patrick (Defending Big D)

**Jets' Ehlers, Morrissey, Trouba to play at worlds; Laine will not (theScore)

**Jets have had extension talks with Cheveldayoff, none with Maurice (PHT)


**Stanley Cup playoff schedule, matchups (SBN)

**Canucks fire Desjardins as head coach (Nucks Misconduct)

**Kings fire Sutter and Lombardi, name Blake GM and Robitaille president (Jewels From The Crown)

**Panthers name Tallon general manager again (Litter Box Cats)

**Bruins sign McAvoy to 3-year ELC (Stanley Cup of Chowder)

**Sabres’ Eichel finished 0.01 points away from $2M bonus (SBN)

**Bylsma expects to be Sabres coach next season (PHT)

**Ducks-Flames series heats up as Treliving rips Murray’s ‘asinine’ remarks (PHT)

**Canadiens' Alexei Emelin out for Game 1 (theScore)

**Bruins GM: Carlo out for Game 1, Krug unlikely (theScore)

**Sens GM: Erik Karlsson, Zack Smith will play in Game 1 (theScore)

**Capitals' Holtby takes home William M. Jennings Trophy (theScore)

**Air Force goalie Starrett signs with Oilers (SBNCH)


**Berenson retires after 33 seasons as Michigan’s coach (SBNCH)

**Who will replace Berenson at Michigan? (SBNCH)