Chicago Blackhawks News, Rumors, Injuries & Recruiting
Second City Hockey: What's next for Carl Dahlstrom, Gustav Forsling, Slater Koekkoek with Blackhawks?
One preeminent issue plaguing the Blackhawks is their defensive depth chart. During the course of the 2018-19 season, the Blackhawks gave up the second most goals at 5-on-5, led the NHL in scoring chances and high-danger chances against and finished with the worst penalty kill success rate (72.7-percent). All of the onus should not fall on the defensemen's shoulders, since the forwards' forechecking, defensive zone coverage and neutral zone positioning affected those aforementioned statistics.
Nonetheless, it is clear there needs to be personnel changes on the blue line if the Hawks are to get back to the playoffs.
Second City Hockey: Blackhawks prospect Artur Kayumov, Loko Yaroslavl win MHL's Kharlamov Cup
Blackhawks prospect Artur Kayumov and Loko Yaroslavl defeated Avto 1-0 in Game 7 of Russia's Junior Hockey League (MHL) Final to win the Kharlamov Cup on Wednesday at Yekaterinburg Sports Palace in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
Kayumov scored two goals with five assists in 11 playoff games after joining the team following Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's second-round exit in five games to SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL's Gagarin Cup playoffs. The 21-year-old winger tallied two goals and six points in 11 KHL playoff games with Lokomotiv.
Here's a goal from Game 6 in the MHL Final.
Kayumov was one of the KHL's most productive young players during the regular season with five goals and 13 points in 46 games.
Fansided: Why the Blackhawks Should Extend Brendan Perlini
Brendan Perlini was drafted 12th overall by the Arizona Coyotes in 2014 for a reason. The potential is there, it just has to be tapped into and unleashed. Perlini has a track record of scoring. During his OHL career, Perlini scored an impressive 188 points (93G, 95A) in 217 games.
Perlini was progressing fairly well during his time with the Arizona Coyotes. In his 1st season, he had 21 points (14G, 7A) in 57 games with a -4 +- rating. In his 2nd season, he increased his totals across the board, with 30 points (17G, 13A) in 74 games with a -2 +- rating.
Fansided: Chicago Blackhawks 2018-19 Season Player Grades: Chris Kunitz
The summer of 2018 was an off-season of hope for the Chicago Blackhawks. General manager Stan Bowman had traded inactive Marian Hossa to the Arizona Coyotes, thus shedding his $5.275 million hit against the team's salary cap. By doing so, he opened up the possibility of obtaining sorely needed defensive help, offensive depth, and a reliable backup goalie. What materialized was severely underwhelming in the form of Brandon Manning, Chris Kunitz, and Cam Ward.
Manning was who we thought he was, and was eventually shipped to Edmonton for forward Drake Caggiula.
CSN Chicago: Reports: Blackhawks among finalists for a pair of international forwards
The Blackhawks are always active in the overseas market. Over the last few years, Dominik Kahun, David Kampf, Michal Kempny, Jacob Nilsson, Artemi Panarin and Jan Rutta are among the notable Chicago signings that have come from there.
And they continue to be an attractive destination.
The Blackhawks have reportedly expressed interest in 24-year-old Russian winger Ilya Mikheyev and 26-year-old Swedish forward Anton Wedin, and the feeling is mutual.
Of the 30 NHL teams that have checked in on Mikheyev, TSN's Darren Dreger reported on Tuesday that the Blackhawks are among the finalists -- although it appears the Toronto Maple Leafs could be the frontrunners.
Second City Hockey: Blackhawks interested in Russian winger Ilya Mikheyev, per report
The Blackhawks are among the final three NHL teams trying to sign Russian right wing Ilya Mikheyev, reports Igor Eronko of Sport-Express. The Golden Knights and Maple Leafs are also pursuing the 24-year-old. Mikheyev's decision is expected to be made this weekend.
Mikheyev scored 23 goals and 45 points in 62 KHL games in his fifth season with Avangard Omsk. The 6-foot-2, 194-pounder added four goals and 11 points in 13 playoff games as Avangard fell in four games to CSKA Moscow and Blackhawks prospect Max Shalunov in the Gagarin Cup Final.
Second City Hockey: Blackhawks' Brendan Perlini finally meets Fire's Bastian Schweinsteiger
Blackhawks winger Brendan Perlini, who is English, and a supporter for Manchester United -- one of Chicago Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger's former teams -- missed out on meeting the German legend at the United Center in March.
Schweinsteiger has developed a friendship this year with Blackhawks winger Dominik Kahun, who won silver in hockey for Germany at the 2018 Winter Olympics, and has attended a few home games, but Perlini wasn't able to meet with him.
Schweinsteiger extended an offer for Perlini to attend a Fire game in a story by Scott Powers of The Athletic, and Perlini took him up on his offer last weekend at Seat Geek Stadium in Bridgeview.
Second City Hockey: Blackhawks prospect Philipp Kurashev to play for Switzerland at 2019 IIHF World Championship
Blackhawks center prospect Philipp Kurashev will play for Switzerland at the World Championship, which runs from May 10-26 in Slovakia.
Auch Philipp Kurashev ist heute beim ersten Training der Nati in Genf mit auf dem Eis - er hat die Freigabe der Chicago Blackhawks erhalten und bestreitet ab sofort die WM-Vorbereitung. pic.twitter.com/QZ9nVn5RsS-- Swiss Ice Hockey (@SwissIceHockey) April 23, 2019
Kurashev, 19, scored a career-high 29 goals and 65 points and won 52.9 percent of his faceoffs in 59 regular-season QMJHL games with the Quebec Remparts.
Second City Hockey: Adam Boqvist's first OHL season was a success, but what's next?
Adam Boqvist finished his first Ontario Hockey League season on a hell of a run.
He scored 10 goals in 11 playoff games to share the lead among all players through two rounds, to be exact.
Before we get there, let's rewind about 10 months to when the Blackhawks selected the Swedish defenseman with the eighth overall pick at the 2018 NHL Draft. He was advertised as a dynamic offensive player with room to grow in his own end, and a commitment was soon made with the OHL's London Knights to serve as Boqvist's first North American landing spot.
Second City Hockey: Exploring the Blackhawks options for Brent Seabrook's contract
Before we get into this discussion, let's preface it with the context that too often goes ignored on this topic.
He's played 1,082 games in the NHL and all of them were in Chicago, beginning in the 2005-06 season when the Blackhawks existence was slightly more than a rumor. He steadily developed into an excellent NHL defenseman who was vital to each of the three Stanley Cups won by the Hawks. His pairing with Duncan Keith gave Chicago a top defensive pairing for the better part of a decade and his No. 7 should be hanging from the United Center rafters as soon as he's retired.
Second City Hockey: What are the Blackhawks' plans for Anton Forsberg?
At the start of this season, with Corey Crawford yet to return from his concussion, Cam Ward and Anton Forsberg were the two active goalies in Chicago, with Collin Delia manning the net in Rockford. But Ward started the first five games and then Crawford returned, prompting Forsberg to be placed on waivers -- which he cleared -- before spending the rest of the season in the AHL.
When Crawford was injured again in December, Delia was the one summoned to Chicago, not Forsberg.
CSN Chicago: Blackhawks 2018-19 season grades: Front office
If we're evaluating Stan Bowman's moves as a whole, we have to go back to July 1 when the 2018-19 season really started.
On that day, the Blackhawks announced three signings: Chris Kunitz (one year, $1 million), Brandon Manning (two years, $2.25 million cap hit) and Cam Ward (one year, $3 million). Not exactly splashy additions after missing the playoffs for the first time in 10 years -- although, to be fair, it wasn't a great market to throw money around.
Eleven days later, the Blackhawks traded Marian Hossa and his $5.275 million cap hit to the Arizona Coyotes in a seven-player deal that included top-nine winger Vinnie Hinostroza.
Second City Hockey: Blackhawks' Max Shalunov, CSKA Moscow win KHL's Gagarin Cup
Blackhawks winger Max Shalunov and CSKA Moscow defeated Avangard Omsk 3-2 in overtime to complete a four-game sweep and capture the KHL's Gagarin Cup on Friday in Omsk, Russia.
CSKA Moscow rallied from a two-goal deficit and Maxim Mamin scored the Cup-winning goal off a feed from former Blackhawks defenseman Klas Dahlbeck, who had two assists in the series. Former Blackhawks goalie prospect Lars Johansson suited up for CSKA, but didn't play.
Former Blackhawks defenseman Cody Franson had a goal and an assist in the series, with his goal giving Avangard a 2-0 lead in Game 4 before CSKA's comeback.
Second City Hockey: Blackhawks sign Jacob Nilsson to 1-year contract extension
The Blackhawks signed forward Jacob Nilsson to a one-year contract extension worth $700,000 on Friday afternoon.
Nilsson, 25, did not record a point in two games with the Blackhawks this past season. The 5-foot-10, 181-pounder scored 15 goals and 17 assists in 61 AHL games for the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL and was named the team's most valuable player.
The Blackhawks signed him to a one-year deal worth $925,000 on May 31, 2018, after he racked up 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) for Mora IK in the Swedish Hockey League.
Fansided: Rockford IceHogs Sign 2-Time Stanley Cup Champ Kris Versteeg
Kris Versteeg had an interesting year, to say the least. He spent the past season splitting time in both the KHL and the SHL. Versteeg started the season in the KHL with Omsk Avangard, where he played 11 games and posted 5 points (3G, 2A). He would then contract shingles and was granted his release from the team. However, this is when his luck began to change for the better.
Versteeg would sign with Vaxjo HC of the SHL, where he had much better results. He boosted his offensive output to slightly under 1ppg, as he tallied 11 points (4G, 7A) through 12 regular season games.