Tag: Columbus Blue Jackets

Patrick Kane

Kane thinks Anisimov could be ‘ideal’ fit as his center in Chicago


The Chicago Blackhawks are going to look different in quite a few ways next season, and that’s definitely true down the middle.

Of course, Jonathan Toews stands as the No. 1 center, but thinks get interesting after that. Head coach Joel Quenneville indicated that Artem Anisimov will take the second spot while Teuvo Teravainen is expected to slide from the wing to a third-line center role, as the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Boasting considerable size and a change-of-pace style compared to recent second-line centers in Chicago (he certainly won’t be confused for Brad Richards), Anisimov should make for an awfully interesting fit.

Patrick Kane indicated on Friday that he’s excited to line up with the towering pivot.

“He’s a big, smart, two-way centerman, a left-handed shot,” Kane said, according to the Sun-Times. “That’s kind of the ideal center for someone like myself. He’s also got the skill, too. He could be a really dangerous fit on our team. So I’m looking forward to the chance of playing with him, if that’s the case.”

Second City Hockey points out that the Blackhawks have been hoping to plug someone like Anisimov, 27, into that second-line spot for some time.

After the Hawks sorted through a number of options last season, eventually giving up a first-round pick to rent Antoine Vermette, Anisimov can be the big (6’4, 198 pounds) center who eats minutes and plays the two-way game that coach Joel Quenneville craves. He’s not a flashy scorer, but certainly brings a change of pace from many of the team’s other options, including [Marko] Dano.

It’s been a turbulent offseason for Chicago, but this franchise has weathered storms and changes before. Blackhawks management might just seem ahead of the curve – again – if players like Anisimov and Teravainen really take off going forward.

Trade gives Dano mentor in Hossa

Marko Dano

When the Chicago Blackhawks acquired the 20-year-old Marko Dano he found himself suddenly united with perhaps his ideal mentor.

Dano has plenty of connections to Marian Hossa, from the city they live in (Trencin, Slovakia), to the fact that the elder forward has played internationally with Dano’s father, to their similar style of play.

“But he’s at a different level,” Dano told CSN Chicago. “So I’m trying to catch him with that.”

Hossa should be willing to help him there. He reached out to Dano after the trade and they plan to meet for lunch in the near future.

“He’s a great player,” Dano said. “He’s played so many years here, so there are a lot of things I can learn from him.”

Chicago got Dano from Columbus as part of the Brandon Saad trade. He was taken with the 27th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and had 21 points in 35 contests as a rookie in 2014-15.

He’s participating in prospect camp and will have to earn his spot with Chicago. However, he’s a clear candidate to secure a third line role next season and down the road his duties might expand substantially.

Related: Dano ‘an exciting player’ for Blackhawks

Report: Blue Jackets sought to add top defenseman

Kevin Shattenkirk

If the Columbus Blue Jackets enter the 2015-16 campaign with largely the same defense as last season, it won’t be because they didn’t try to make a big change.

Per Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch:

The Blue Jackets were in on trade talks concerning Dougie Hamilton before Boston sent him to Calgary, and they’ve contacted the St. Louis Blues about Kevin Shattenkirk. The Jackets also made a contract offer to free agent Paul Martin before he signed with San Jose.

Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen plans to keep looking, but it’s worth noting that Columbus is only about $4 million below the ceiling after signing Brandon Saad and Matt Calvert, per General Fanager. That’s not to say that Columbus can’t still acquire a top defenseman, but it’s more likely that it would have to involve the other team either retaining salary or taking a contract in order to make things work.

As things stand, the Blue Jackets have one of the cheapest defenses in the league as their money has instead flowed to their forwards and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. That’s thanks in part to the fact that blueliners David Savard, Dalton Prout, Ryan Murray, and Kevin Connauton each come with a cap hit of $1.3 million or less, but all of them will be restricted free agents next summer and the raises they might demand has to also be a consideration.

So ultimately Columbus might stick with what it has and hope Murray can stay healthy as the 2012 second overall pick has run into serious injury problems early in his career.

“To me, getting him healthy would be the best addition any team has made this summer,” Kekalainen said. “It would make a huge difference for us.”

Jackets ink ‘heart and soul player’ Calvert to three-year, $6.6M deal


Columbus locked in one of its hardest-working forwards on Thursday, agreeing to a three-year, $6.6 million extension with left winger Matt Calvert.

Calvert, 25, will carry an average annual cap hit of $2.2 million on his new deal, a nice bump from the $987,500 he made on his previous one. The former WHL Brandon product earned his latest contract following a solid ’14-15 campaign, during which he scored a career-high 13 goals and 11 points in his final 18 games of the year.

“Matt Calvert is a heart and soul player, who works hard on and off the ice and is a relentless competitor at both ends of the rink,” Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said in a release.  “He’s been an important contributor to our team and we are excited that he will continue to be a part of our organization moving forward.”

The Calvert extension is the latest in what’s been a busy summer for Kekalainen. Last week, he pulled off the Brandon Saad blockbuster trade — then inked Saad to a six-year, $36 million extension. Kekalainen also inked former Bruins forward Gregory Campbell in free agency, re-signed d-men Justin Falk and Cody Goloubef, and goalie Curtis McElhinney.

Jackets’ prospect Oscar Dansk loaned to Swedish club

Montreal Canadiens v Columbus Blue Jackets

After struggling in his first professional season in North America, goaltender Oscar Dansk is heading to Sweden for the 2015-16 season.

Dansk, originally a second-round pick (31st overall) by the Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2012 NHL Draft, spent the 2014-15 season between the AHL’s Springfield Falcons and ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings.

“I got away from my game a little bit because I felt like I wasn’t playing really well, so (I) tried to find a solution,” Dansk told The Columbus Dispatch. “I maybe should have just built on my game and made it stronger. I got away from my game, which probably hurt me in the long run.”

In 21 AHL games Dansk went 7-7-5 with a 3.57 G.A.A. and a .880 save percentage. The 21-year-old was 1-8-0 while posting a 3.73 G.A.A. and a .889 save percentage in 11 games with Kalamazoo.

“He didn’t have a great season in Springfield, so there was some concern,” said Blue Jackets’ goaltending coach Ian Clark. “Sometimes he slips mentally and starts to overcompensate, but when he’s strong in his game and he’s trusting in his game, he’s a very good goaltender. We’ve got to get rid of those fluctuations where his mind flips. His core assets are real strong.”

Dansk will play next season on loan to Rogle BK, a first-division Swedish League team.

“I’m just going to work every day,” he said. “I have a schedule with fewer games over in Sweden, so I’ll have more time in practices to really nail down a few things and just take my time and not rush into things.”