James O'Brien

Colorado Avalanche v Anaheim Ducks

Chicago releases Jan Hejda from tryout

Saturday featured quite a few instances in which teams cut their training camp rosters down to size, and the Chicago Blackhawks were no exception.

The standout name was Jan Hejda, who was released from professional tryout contract. Forward Tanner Kero also couldn’t make the grade, yet he’ll just go the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.

Hejda, 37, enjoyed a better outlook when he initially received that PTO back on Sept. 12.

Since then, Chicago bolstered its lineup with full contracts (re-signing Michal Rozsival) and added a PTO defenseman with arguably more in the tank in Lubomir Visnovsky.

At his advanced age, it’s anyone’s guess if Hejda lands with another NHL team or if he’ll need to settle for a job in the AHL or overseas.

If nothing else, the thick resume he brought to Chicago helps his chances of finding work somewhere else.

As CSNChicago.com’s Tracey Myers notes, the Blackhawks’ training camp roster is now down to 36 players.

Bolts’ Paquette day-to-day, X-ray comes up negative

Cedric Paquette

Once you shake off the naivete that comes with sometimes getting a little too excited about results, following pre-season sports is often about crossing your fingers when it comes to injuries.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are doing that right now when it comes to pest Cedric Paquette, who was shaken up after blocking a shot during Saturday’s 6-3 loss to the Dallas Stars.

So far, it’s a wait-and-see situation, although there are a few notes to consider.

The good: Paquette was walking around after the contest, according to the Tampa Bay Times’ Greg Auman.

The bad: It’s concerning enough to at least call for an X-ray, Auman notes:

Paquette isn’t a make-or-break player for the Lightning, but you might be surprised how much of a difference a nuisance of a forward (with a dash of skill) can make.

Update: Sounds like they dodged a bullet.

Kings announce cuts, including BizNasty from his PTO

Paul Bissonnette, Jay Rosehill

The Los Angeles Kings reduced their training camp roster to 34 players on Saturday, kicking 18 out of the mix. The biggest name, at least from a “social media impact” standpoint was Paul Bissonnette, aka “BizNasty.”

Here is the full list, via the Kings:

Assigned to Ontario (AHL):

Justin Auger – RW
Patrik Bartosak – G
Jonny Brodzinski – C
Nic Dowd – C
Nick Ebert – D
Kevin Gravel – D
Adrian Kempe – LW
Maxim Kitsyn – LW
Zachary Leslie – D
Alex Lintuniemi – D
Kurtis MacDermid – D
Alex Roach – D
Scott Sabourin – RW
Valentin Zykov – RW

Released from Pro Tryout:

Sean Backman – RW
Paul Bissonnette – LW
Ryan Horvat – LW
Kevin Raine – D

It sounds like Bissonnette and other PTO options may also play in the AHL:

The biggest pros from a hypothetical call-up would be 1) wacky tweets and 2) glorious fight photos like this post’s main image.


Ryan Reaves, Paul Bissonnette
Via AP
Paul Bissonnette, Mike Rupp
Via AP
Via AP

(Tough to top that main image, though.)

Patrick Kane tries to focus on hockey

Patrick Kane

Even with all that’s happened off the ice during the last week in particular, Patrick Kane is trying to keep his mind on hockey.

That was his message heading into Saturday’s preseason game for the Chicago Blackhawks, as outlets such as CSNChicago.com report.

“Especially after the past couple of days, right now, I’m just trying to focus on the game tonight, coming out in practice today and trying to get better, focus on that. But I don’t really have anything to say about what transpired over the past, whatever it’s been, 72 hours,” Kane said. “My focus is here on the game tonight and I guess I’ll also congratulate the Chicago Cubs on clinching a playoff spot.”

The 26-year-old did take a moment to thank fans, the Blackhawks organization, his family and girlfriend during this time, noting that “everyone’s kind of stuck with me through the whole thing.”

For more from Kane’s point of view, check out the full CSNChicago.com article.

Catch up on Kane’s situation

NHL confirms that his playing status hasn’t changed

Both sides on evidence tampering allegations

Lawyer for Kane’s accuser removes himself from the case

Report: Blackhawks sign Seabrook to big eight-year extension

Brent Seabrook

The Chicago Blackhawks have reportedly signed defenseman Brent Seabrook to an eight-year extension worth approximately $55 million ($6.875 million per season), according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun’s updated terms.

Update: The Blackhawks confirmed the signing of an eight-year extension. As with most NHL teams, they didn’t share the exact cap hit, total cost or other details of the contract, so keep in mind that these numbers may serve as close estimates.

Sportnet’s Elliotte Friedman originally broke the news of the extension. He provided more contract details, which are especially relevant to those who are a little concerned about Seabrook, 30, declining toward the middle of this deal.

The rugged yet offensively useful defenseman is currently in the final year of a deal that nets a $5.8 million cap hit, so he gets a solid raise and the security that comes with a lengthy extension.

One would assume that he may only have one or two short-term deals left in him once this extension runs out, especially considering his physical style.

The cap situation will probably be tight for the Blackhawks in 2016-17, but they’ve (reasonably) taken an approach where they lock up core players and then let supporting cast details work themselves out. Seabrook might not be as obvious a member of the team’s “nucleus,” yet he’s been a big part of their successes over the years.

He got rewarded for that on Saturday, at least according to Friedman.

Again, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman must really hope that the cap rises a little faster in 2016-17 and beyond: