The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, but there’s one aspect of their game that the Calgary Flames don’t want to emulate.
During the 2015 playoffs, Chicago leaned heavily on defensemen Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Johnny Oduya. In early May Michal Rozsival suffered an ankle injury and that led to the Blackhawks using their top-four defensemen even more extensively as no other blueliners averaged more than 10 minutes per contest.
That worked out, but it was also a big burden on those four players. Calgary had a group that, when healthy, could similarly carry that kind of load in T.J. Brodie, Mark Giordano, Dennis Wideman, and Kris Russell, but after acquiring Dougie Hamilton over the summer, Calgary won’t have to resort to that. The Flames should be able to use all three pairings with confidence, which has the potential to pay off as the campaign progresses.
“When we throw a defenseman on the ice, he will be 100% rested because part of our style is go, go, go,” Flames coach Bob Hartley told the Calgary Sun.
The main question now is what the Flames’ defensive pairings will look like as Hamilton potentially throws a wrench in their old setup. It’s a good problem for Hartley to have and he’ll deal with it by trying a lot of different combinations over the preseason.
Here’s the latest in the Patrick Kane investigation: a woman who was with his alleged rape victim is scheduled to appear before a grand jury on Sept. 8, WGRZ’s Scott Levin reports.
Update: It turns out that multiple people have been subpoenaed. According to Levin, every person who was at Kane’s Hamburg home during the night of the alleged incident may appear before a grand jury.
The 26-year-old has not been charged with a crime at this time.
There are still legal factors that are up in the air; former Erie County district attorney Frank Clark told WGRZ that the process involving this grand jury may develop over weeks or perhaps months. In other words, it’s plausible that the investigation will stretch out well into the 2015-16 season.
Even with some developments, this post regarding Kane’s future provides a good rundown of what may happen.
Also, Jonathan Toews discussed Kane’s situation earlier this week.
(H/T to CSNChicago.com)
Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was recently on TSN 1290 in Winnipeg when the subject of Patrick Kane came up — sort of. Kane was the topic being referenced but neither the interviewer or Toews used his name in this particular exchange.
In the interest of giving what Toews said proper context, here is the full transcription of the question and answer, per the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc:
If you have difficulty reading it in that format, here is it again:
Host: “Jonathan, I do want to ask you one question about being the captain of the Blackhawks. Obviously, most people are aware of a situation that has been developing regarding one of your star teammates. Obviously, I won’t ask you to comment on anything like that but when something like that happens during the offseason does your focus as far as dealing with your teammates as well as the media change going into training camp as the captain of the team?”
Toews: “I think you just have to have confidence that things like that will resolve themselves over time. For the time being, you stay together as a team. You support your teammate … uh, teammate, teammates that are maybe going through a rough patch. You saw it last year with some rumors that spread around through social media about several guys in the locker room. It’s not the first time we’ve seen situations like that and eventually you deal with it internally and you stay together as a team and you’re confidence as individuals and as a group that everyone kind of stays together. At the end of the day we always say to each other that what is said and what is done within the locker room is the only thing that matters. We don’t let anything going on on the outside affect the way we do our jobs and the way we come to work together as a team. Again, I get a lot of credit because I have the ‘C’ on my sweater but I think we have a great group of guys who understand what it takes to be a leader, what it takes to be a part of a good team. Clearly it’s more than just what happens on the ice. There’s always a lot of things being said and things going on off the ice but no matter hwat, we do a good job of sticking together.”
Kane is under police investigation for allegedly raping a woman. He hasn’t been charged with a crime at this time.
A recent Chicago Sun-Times report suggested that the organization feels “disrespected” by Kane and that other teams have inquired about his availability. However, the Blackhawks have not asked him to waive his no-trade clause.
Related: Hawks’ biggest question: What happens with Patrick Kane?