Morning Bag Skate: Quarterfinals begin at World Championship

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

Five Chicago Blackhawks will play in the quarterfinal round at the World Championship, which begins Thursday.

Forward Nick Schmaltz and defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk (Team USA) will play Finland in Cologne, Germany. Winger Artemi Panarin (Russia) draw blue liner Michal Kempny (Czech Republic) while center Marcus Kruger (Sweden) will face Switzerland in Paris.


**Eight most important Hawks to extend championship window (SCH)

**Why the Hawks championship window may already be over (SCH)

**Why the Hawks championship window runs through 2019 (SCH)


**Forsberg is ‘Mr. Clutch’ for Preds (The Tennessean)

**Wild must shoot for a star in Niederreiter trade (Hockey Wilderness)

**Wild must be smart, creative to make cap space (Hockey Wilderness)

**Wild owner Craig Leipold 'not satisfied where we are' (Star Tribune)

**Wild GM on expansion, trade decisions, Niederreiter/Granlund talks (Star Tribune)

**Expansion draft looms over Wild's offseason moves (Star Tribune)


**NHL’s top 17 UFAs of 2017: Latest rumors, reports (Sportsnet)

**RECAP: Sens dominate Penguins in Game 3, take 2-1 series lead (Silver Seven)

**Ducks-Predators series illustrating why both teams are sweet on Swedes (OC Register)

**Matching Predators’ energy will be critical in Game 4 (OC Register)

**Ducks sign 2016 draft pick Mahura (PHT)

**Sharks assistant Boughner ‘definitely ready’ to become NHL head coach (PHT)

**4 Capitals could prove enticing to Vegas in expansion draft (Washington Post)


**KHL thinking of dropping five teams to save costs (Sportsnet)