Good day Blackhawks fans and happy Hockey is Back Time! Today I roll out the debut of an occasional column I will call “The Two-Line Pass.” For those of you old enough to remember, the NHL used to have a rule called the two-line pass. Specifically, a player could not pass the puck from behind his blue line past the opposing team’s red line. Talk about restricting quick breakouts that can lead to breakaways while slowing up the game …. yawn. Thankfully, that rule was eliminated about 10 years ago.
I am going to resurrect it here to break out random thoughts stuck in my mind. Yes, these thoughts will all be in two lines. So here we go:
- What was your favorite moment of the Kris Versteeg era: his 2010 Stanley Cup parade rap, or his “interpretive dance” at Devin Setoguchi’s wedding? Warning: you cannot unsee this video.
- Speaking of Versteeg, who else did a jump for joy when the Blackhawks re-signed Marcus Kruger? Versteeg hadn’t even hung up with his new team in Carolina when the Kruger re-signing was announced.
- How quickly is Marko Dano making everyone forget about that Brandon Saad guy? Dano is playing on a line with Toews and Hossa early in camp, and the early returns are jaw dropping.
- Today, Michal Rozsival was re-signed for another year to solidify the back end. Regardless of his age or decreasing speed, is there a better experienced warrior coming in at a miniscule $600,000 cap hit?
- The NHL has apparently instructed each team to have three preseason games in which three-on-three overtime is played, even if the games aren’t tied at the end of regulation. Wait, someone in the NHL actually had a fan-friendly idea that makes sense?
- Veteran defenseman Jan Hejda has accepted a professional tryout contract (PTO) with the Blackhawks. Assuming he makes the team, who will end the year with more blocked-shot bruises – Hejda or Hjalmarsson?
- We all know Toews is a great captain and leader, however, this should put all questions to rest regarding his skill. Time to step aside Crosby….
Until next time all you hockey fans: may your passes be clean, crisp and the finishes strong!
Rick is fortunate to live off the I-90 hockey corridor where both his beloved Chicago Blackhawks and Rockford IceHogs (aka Baby Hawks) call home. Hockey has been in his blood since the early 1970’s when he saw his first Blackhawks game at the “Old Barn”. His favorite player is Keith Magnuson followed closely by Bobby Hull (old school!). When not covering the greatest sport, he enjoys watching live music and has even been known to join his beloved bands on stage for a song or two. Follow Rick on Twitter via @HawksStrength