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Friday, September 22, 2017

Blackhawks vs. Red Wings
6-1 Win Recap

"Explosive First Night Back in the UC"

Tonight we saw the Preseason home opener versus the Detroit Red Wings. Once again in the preseason, we had an offensive explosion mainly led by the returning Brandon Saad. In his first game at the United Center back in a Blackhawks sweater, Saad led the 6-1 victory with a Hat Trick! We also saw some combinations out of the line blender that looked very promising.

The scoring of the game was started by sophomore Ryan Hartman. Patrick Sharp sent a nice pass cross-ice to Tanner Kero who let go a wrist shot, Hartman would be in front of the net and tipped it in off his skate. The ‘Hawks would also kill 4 penalties in the first period.

Brent Seabrook would add the second goal and only power play goal of the night. After Schmaltz skated around the defender he sent a perfect pass that Seabrook would slap past the netminder. The rookie DeBrincat would get on the score sheet a little over two minutes later in the game. Schmaltz skated over the blue-line dropping a pass to Panik who would find DeBrincat between the circles, he would let a wrist shot go past the stick side of Petr Mrazek. As the explosive second period continued Saad would get his first goal of the night. Jordan Oesterle sent a long pass up ice to Panik who let go of a shot, Mrazek blocked the shot but gave up a big rebound Saad would put top shelf past the sprawling netminder. While originally the play continued no one realizing the puck had gone in, the play would be later be called a goal.

Detroit would score their only goal of the night. Michael Rasmussen would poke check the puck away from Duncan Keith drive to the net, squeezing between Corey Crawford and Connor Murphy with a diving shot. Saad would score his second of the night after grabbing his own rebound and sending it past Mrazek. While not as bad as the first period the ‘Hawks killed off another three penalties in the second.

The third period would start with a goalie change, Collin Delia would come in to finish the game. Saad would finish his hat trick with help from a familiar pair. Skating down the right-hand side Panik would send a backhand pass to Oesterle, who would then backhand across the slot to Saad who would jam the puck home. Delia would finish the game perfect with 8 saves.

The Good
  • Schmaltz continues to prove he should be the second line center. Highly improving to the dot winning 78% of his draws, Schmaltz also showed his playmaking ability again adding two assists. Schmaltz also saw time on both the power play and penalty kill.
  • Saad showed a side of the game we truly have been lacking. Saad was around the net all night picking up and finishing second-chance opportunities.
  • Sharp is also looking like he has found his form again. Although time will tell if he can continue, Sharp put up two more assists and helped play the point on the top power-play unit.
  • DeBrincat looks promising, he has eyes for the puck and can shoot the puck. On the puck, he is strong but still gets bullied a bit, with some work and experience in the league he may be able to keep a roster spot. 

The Bad
  • The Penalties! This game saw in total 13 penalties while no Face-Off infractions, the new slashing rules were on display.
  • The Blackhawks players need to to be careful with the new slashing rules, although hitting the opponents stick may disrupt a play it is up to the referee's discretion.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

PreSeason: Blackhawks at Columbus - 5-2 Win Recap

"Youth Gone Wild"

by Gatekeeper

Do you hear that faint sizzle in the background? That is the Blackhawks buzz getting warmed up. Tonight the Blackhawks officially kicked off game action with their first preseason tilt, in Columbus. If you looked at the roster they sent, you might be asking yourselves one important question:

Alas, there is still hockey, and it involves players wearing Blackhawks uniforms. That's about the best I can say about it. I'm not sure why they risked Joel Quenneville having an aneurysm with this lineup, but they rolled the dice.

Forget the period by period rehash. It's the preseason:

The Good
  • The first Blackhawks goal was on a 2 man power-play by Cody Franson, and he later added an assist. I really like what Franson brings to this team. He's big, intimidating, confident, and experienced. He has a cannon for a shot and isn't shy about unleashing it. You can't say that I didn't warn you all about Franson when he's signed to an NHL deal and plays 70 games.
  • Laurent Dauphin was the second Blackhawks player to get a goal, when Tomas Jurco was able to spring the puck loose from behind the net to Dauphin, who was completely wide open. Dauphin beat Korpisalo with a kind of feeble little backhand, but it was a goal. Not only did Dauphin score, but his prowess on the penalty kill was very noticeable, blocking several shots with no regard for his safety.
  • Another impressive Blackhawks debut was from defenseman Jan Rutta. He looked comfortable and composed. He snuck in and activated on an early powerplay, and scored the third goal of the game. It wasn't a pretty goal at all, but it all looks the same on the scoreboard, I guess.
  • Nick Schmaltz was the fourth Blackhawks goal scorer, just 38 seconds after Rutta's goal. I'm not sure what Korpisalo was doing, but Schmaltz beat him cleanly with a sneaky little snipe. This kid finally grew a set of coconuts this summer and came in with a swagger that he can actually backup.
  • Vince Hinostroza threw his hat in the ring, and scored a 5th Hawks goal that actually stayed on the board. He took some silly penalties too, but with 17 total, who didn't?
  • A guy who will never get a fair shot is Matthew Highmore, but he had a pretty good prospect camp,
    tournament and was noticeable in this game, as well. He could be a very useful mammal in Rockford, this year. He tied for the team lead with 3 shots on net.
  • Anton Forsberg's composure and smooth movement really impressed me. He held the Jackets scoreless through the first two periods, until the Blackhawks lost interest. My first impressions are that he should be able to easily handle NHL talent. Thirty eight saves in your debut, on the road, is commendable. Preseason or not. We'll see what Glass and Berube show in coming games.
The Bad
  • The enforcement of of rules that already existed, but are finally being called made for a total mess of a first period. There were 7 penalties in the first period alone, and one resulted in a Blackhawks powerplay goal. there were SEVENTEEN penalties called in this game. That is WAY too much.
  • It took the Jackets until the third period to break the shutout, but they eventually did. Forsberg was late tracking a shot that went off the end boards and right to the stick of Seth Jones,
    and Jones beat him.
  • I know it's really being picky, but getting out shot 40-26 is a little much.
The Ugly
  • Lance Bouma ran his own goalie in his second shift of 2017-18. It's going to be a long season.
  • The stupid goaltender inference rule came into play again when it looked like the Hawks had scored their fourth goal of the second period. Graham Knott definitely made contact with the Columbus goalie, but it really had nothing to do with the goal. Call it a pity, makeup call.
  • Lumbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo was pretty brutal, giving up four second period goals, which should have been five. I'm not sure why they didn't replace him in the second, but it worked out in the Hawks favor. You think CBJ fans were looking to have Anton Forsberg back?
The Lineblender
Left Wing - Center - Right Wing
Dauphin - Schmaltz - Jurco
Miller - Kampf - Hayden
Bouma - Mitchell - Baun
Highmore - Knott - Hinostroza

Jokiharju - Stuart
Kempny - Rutta
Forsling - Franson


Let the Blackhawks Belly Aching Commence

by Gatekeeper

Geetings, Blackhawks and Hostile fans! First of all, I want to formally welcome you back, and thank you for joining us again. Those of you who are newer to what goes on around here, we want to thank you for taking some time to investigate our niche little website.

Tonight begins the 8th season of Puckin Hostile Blackhawks coverage, with their first pre-season game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The summer went by way too fast, but it's that time of year where it starts getting dark earlier and Blackhawks games take over our electronic devices.

As we begin this 8th season of Hostile coverage, we want to keep the podcast and content momentum from this past year. Last season was our best, by far, and we have more to give you. As you will see, we will have a few new contributors providing recaps. The Fatrick Twins and I cannot thank them enough for volunteering to help us take the load off. We have big plans for 2016-17, so stay tuned.

That being said, there are the usual training camp minutia stories, but there are a few early surprise developments. Hidden behind the fluff of the Tour De Debrincat, there are some actual real stories about how this team might shake out opening night. The fact of the matter is that no one can know, for sure, what the team will look like. Just last week, everyone had Michal Rozsival penned in for the 7th or 8th defense spot. As little as that spot may mean to this team, the fact that Rozsival has not passed his physical means that an additional player that we had not counted on will now make the team. This is just one instance. An injury to, say, Daniel Carcillo once opened the door for a rookie named Brandon Saad to play more, and look where we are years later. These are a few items to keep an eye out for:

As I just mentioned, Michal Rozsival did not pass his training camp physical, and it has been reported that he is still experiencing side effects from the Nick Ritchie sucker punch late last season. We hassle Rozsival a lot, but no one wants to see a player have to hang it up because of concussion issues. We all hope he can work through this, and I look forward to the day he formally becomes an assistant somewhere in the organization. That said, this development helps the team add some more talented depth on the blue line to open the season. Michal Rozsival is "ok" for about 15-20 games, but he was not at the point in his career where he would have been able to log long stretches of minutes.

Who replaces him? You have to think that there are a few spots nailed down already. Duncan Keith, Connor Murphy, and Brent Seabrook are slam dunks. Unless something drastic happens, Michal Kempny and Gustav Forsling will probably open the season in Chicago, as well. This leaves one, probably two, slots open. I'm thoroughly convinced that Cody Franson is essentially already signed to and NHL deal, pending the LTIR cap space from Marian Hossa and, now, Michael Rozsival. When you break it all down, this leaves a couple of big question marks on defense. Who will be the 7th defenseman, and will they carry 8? Based on the make up of the training camp roster, Jan Rutta is my early pick to get the 7th spot with Jordan Oesterle on his heels, and a possible Mark Stuart formal contact as my dark horse. With youth being so prevalent on the forward lines, I honestly don't think that Joel Quenneville and Ulf Samuelsson want to toy with a lot of inexperienced defensemen. Otherwise, I feel like that even if they have a good camp, players like Luc Snuggerud, Robin Press, Robin Norell, Carl Dahlstrom, Victor Svedberg, Erik Gustafsson, Ville Pokka, and Darren Raddysh are already pencilled in for Rockford. If the choice were up to me, and they have the LTIR cap room to play with, this is how I break it down:

Keith - Murphy
Kempny - Seabrook
Franson - Forsling
Oesterle - Rutta

This way they have several options, without sacrificing the development of youth. If they choose to carry only 7 defensemen, I think Rutta hangs. Oesterle will have to go through waivers, along with Pokka and Svedberg, but I really don't think that they brought Rutta in to play in Rockford. Rutta is 2 years older and bigger than Oesterle, as well as being right handed. The Blackhawks also only have Rutta for this season, while Oesterle is signed through next season, as well. The only two factors that weigh in Jordan Oesterle's favor are that he's cheaper and Rutta is waiver exempt, so he can be sent down without being exposed to waivers. This decision will come down to the preference of the coaching staff, because I cannot see either pulling away in this race based on a handful of pre-season games.

The second underlying story is the insertion of Nick Schmaltz into the second line center spot previously held by Artem Anisimov. Granted, assuming that this won't change tomorrow, is just naive, but clearly Joel Quenneville is using this as a tryout for Schmaltz to upgrade that second pivot. The adjustment is no knock on Anisimov, because he has been more than any of us might have originally imagined. He has his limitations, though, and these limitations work both for and against the other skillsets on that line. Anisimov is big and lumbering, which worked out well in front of the net when you had perimeter players like Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane dancing around. On the other hand, you aren't going to see Anisimov leading many rushes up the ice, and he is almost useless at the faceoff dot. So much so that Craig Tabita at Puckbase.com shared a model called "Net Shots Post-Faceoff", where they measured the shots-for and shots-against for the ten seconds following a faceoff, and Anisimov was the worst in the entire league.

I'm not saying that the Blackhawks didn't do well with Anisimov, nor will I say that they even NEED an upgrade. I'm just pointing out possible justification for this early camp Nick Schmaltz tryout. Schmaltz is younger, cheaper, faster, and has much more offensive upside. By all accounts, the organization has been grooming him to be the second line center of the future. The final factor stacked against Anisimov is the 4 years remaining on his contract at $4.5 million per season. He DOES have a full no movement clause that recently kicked in, but they can be waived. Anisimov can certainly make a perfectly fine third line center, but at his salary he becomes a potential target for a future salary dump. Even if he sticks with the team for the entire season, you have to investigate clearing that space. You can find much cheaper options on your third line.

Schmaltz brings that play maker element into the top 6, which is probably what they ideally see for the future. Schmaltz sticking, however, keeps this line primarily as a perimeter line, which was a big problem last April against the Predators. Maybe Patrick Sharp can provide more presence in the slot, maybe he can't.

The last piece of business is the recently resurfaced rumor regarding Matt Duchene. Yes, it has been reported that Bowman probably inquired. He would be stupid not to inquire. Most likely, this conversation stopped at "What is your asking price?", and there is probably a less than 10% chance that anything will actually happen. For arguments sake, If they can make a reasonable deal for Matt Duchene they need to pull the trigger right now (or the day after the season begins). Duchene is a legit top 6 all-star caliber player that can play wing or center. Not only is he versatile, but he also brings something they have struggled mightily with which are top 10 faceoff numbers. I certainly realize that the Blackhawks have a tight cap, and Duchene is a $6 million player. If you can find a way to get Anisimov to waive his NMC, that knocks $4.5 million right off the top. You have Hossa's LTIR space, and Bowman would be sure to have to package one, if not both, of Forsling and Debrincat who combine for roughly $1.5 Million. I'm no math whiz, but by my lizard brain calculations, those 3 players equal $6 million without Hossa's LTIR taken into account. You'll have to replace at least one of those spots with a Rockford player, but that is still less than $1 million.

Again, I see this as a highly unlikely scenario, but not completely impossible. This move would make them better to-mor-row, and their ever so slight remaining cup window is this season, and maybe next season. Their cup window won't be three years down the road when Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are quickly approaching their mid 30s, while Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford are officially hitting their late 30s. Worry about the future, in the future. Just don't run to Vegas and bet on this happening.

Enjoy the game tonight, and look for the season's first game recap shortly thereafter.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Blackhawks: Champs of Suplex City

The Blackhawks wrapped up their annual rookie summer trip to northern Michigan, last night, with an exciting overtime win in the championship game of the Traverse City tournament. There is certainly some over inflated interest in this, so called, tournament but hockey in early September is few and far between. Let us call this event what it really is, a prospect showcase. This is an excuse for teams to showcase their prospects and see them perform against actual opponents. Most of these players will be in juniors, college, or the minors for a majority of the season, but there are a few that will see NHL time this year. By "few" I mean 3-5 per team, or roughly 40 of the 200 plus players. Each team not only has their prospects, but a few free agent invitees, which can dilute the waters a little, as well. This parade was one step above the summer prospect camp that we saw in early July. At least a healthy portion of these players will be playing for Rockford this season, for new coach Jeremy Colliton, so this was a great opportunity for him to get to know his team.

The young Blackhawks started off really slow, against the Rangers on Friday, giving up 3 goals in the first half of the game. Goalie Collin Delia fell victim to some deflections and sloppy play. The Blackhawks came back furiously in the third period, but simply ran out of time to complete the comeback. The final score read 3-2, with Blackhawks goals from Alex Debrincat and defenseman Calle Dahlstrom. Despite the final score, the young Blackhawks team out shot the Rangers 30-26. This game also featured a rumored Blackhawks free college agent target, Neal Pionk.

On Saturday, the Blackhawks fared a little better. Goalie Matt Tomkins got the start in net and fared a little better than his netminding partner the day before. It still took a comeback by the Blackhawks squad to squeak out a 4-3 win, but it was a win nonetheless. The Hawks got goals from free agent invitee Mike Cramarossa, Darren Raddysh, Calle Dahlstrom and the game winner by Alex Debrincat, with under five minutes remaining in regulation. Tomkins stopped 23 of 26 shots en route to an important win, which set the Blackhawks up for a chance at the Championship game on Tuesday.

Taking Sunday off turned out to be a very good thing for this Blackhawks rookie squad, as they came out Monday evening and took a lead 37 seconds into the game, and never looked back. Head Coach Jeremy Colliton went back to Collin Delia in net, and it turned out to be the right move. The Blackhawks ran out to a 3-0 lead before the Hurricanes team was able to beat Delia, and up 7-1 before they were able to beat Delia again. Working with a huge lead had to be comforting to the California native, and the Hawks cruised to a decisive 9-2 thrashing. Defenseman Luc Snuggerud was the big point producer in this contest, scoring 2 goals and adding 3 assists. Alex Debrincat extended his goal scoring streak to 3 games with his tally 37 seconds into the first period. He was otherwise held under check. The Hurricanes had prime chances to stay in the game with eight powerplays, but were only able to capitalize on one in the second period. Delia finished with 26 saves, and the Blackhawks put themselves into the Championship game Tuesday night.

For the third time in four games, the Blackhawks rookies started out less than desirable. Just 5 minutes into the game, they were already chasing a 2-0 Blue Jackets lead, and weren't showing any signs of life, either. In fact, the Hawks didn't register their first shot on net until after the halfway point of the first period. Once the young Hawks finally broke the ice, they controlled the action. Radovan Bondra opened the Hawks scoring with a real nice shot from the slot, just over five minutes into the second period, which clearly had the CBJ rookies on their heels. In stepped Alex Debrincat, once again, with 31 seconds remaining in the second period. He caught a lackadaisical Jackets defenseman by surprise, stripped the puck and sniped the Columbus goaltender Kulbakov over the blocker, tying the game. The third period went scoreless and the Championship was headed to overtime. In overtime, Debrincat took advantage of a crazy bounce, off a Luc Snuggerud shot, that missed the net but hit the end boards, popped up in the air and right back out in front of the net. Debrincat was in the right place at the right time and swatted it out of mid air to clinch the championship. Impressive for this class of rookies, and for brand new Rockford head coach Jeremy Colliton.

A few notes on the weekend:
  • Alex Debrincat, yes I know. He finally showed what everyone had been waiting for these last 14 months, the ability to produce outside of just the OHL. He amassed 5 goals in four games, including the game winner Tuesday night. Granted, 90 percent, or more, of these guys will not be in the NHL this season. This level of competition was certainly higher than the kids he was bum slaying for the last 2 seasons so, promising, yes. He still has a while to go, though. Lets see him produce in an actual NHL training camp before we raise number 12 into the United Center rafters. This is a positive step, for certain. The collective meatballs will drone on for the next week about a bunch of unreal expectations, so just sit back and listen to them waste their time and energy. He is still better off starting in the AHL, and I stand by this. None of that means anything negative, either. Let the damn kid develop. If you listen to his quotes after the game, he specifically mentions, "Rockford could be pretty good this year, but we’ll see what happens". I believe that it has already been conveyed to him that unless he has an insane training camp, which is unlikely, he will start in Rockford, as he should. Let him settle in under the radar and re-evaluate what you have after he gets his feet wet in the professional pool. If this is me being a hater, then so be it. I don't care.
  • Since the meatballs are more than willing to crawl up and nest in Debrincat's crotch, they should be cupping Luc Snuggerud's manhood equally, as well. But he's not the golden child, so there is no Snuggerwagon. He was just as successful this past weekend as Debrincat, he was just doing so from a different position. Does this mean he should be an early season favorite for the Norris Trophy? No. This means that the Blackhawks have yet another defensive prospect in the system that could add depth, and might develop into a nice NHL player. He is going to Rockford, as he should, where they can develop him further and let him log big minutes. Notice a pattern? DON'T RUSH KIDS FOR THE SAKE OF UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS! He could turn out to be a fine player, and I really hope he does.
  • I brought this up the other night, but all this stupid Debrincat-mania is burying the lead on so many other stories, like the young goalies. Matt Tomkins and Collin Delia had great weekends. Tomkins went 2-0 with an .884 save percentage, while Delia went 1-1 with a .907 save percentage. They both showed that, with JF Berube and Jeff Glass, the Blackhawks organization actually addressed a huge need this summer acquiring some depth in net. Some of this might have just been dumb luck, since the Washington Capitals were reportedly eyeing Delia pretty seriously, and Tomkins was the last remaining feasible goaltending prospect that they still held the rights for. Wouter Peeters is still years away, and Ivan Nalimov is banished somewhere in Siberia.
  • Two other stories that developed were that of David Kampf and Calle Dahlstrom. Both players I mentioned as "under the radar" players to watch, just a week ago. Kampf took hold of the center spot next to Debrincat, and never relinquished it. He looks like a good player that could turn into a Kruger type with some more offensive upside, even if only in the AHL. Dahlstrom has had a contentious Blackhawks career thus far, but showed improved foot speed and a knack for creating a little offense on the other end. I'm a big fan of his size, so I hope to see him in an expanded role this coming season for Rockford. I hope the change in Rockford's staff and the addition of Ulf Samuelsson really bring him along, because this team needs size on defense and Brent Seabrook won't be around forever.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast
Episode 89

In this Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 89 (the Sam Gagner episode) Gatekeeper, is actually able to round up two of the other three clowns for reunion gig. Fatrick, and Norton reconvene to light that Blackhawks fire, once again.

The topics discussed include:
-Gate invades Canada, and lives to talk about it
-NHL 18 and their top rankings
-Blackhawks legend Pierre Pilote passes away
-The Blackhawks rookies play in the Championship game in Traverse City
-A few stories emerge from Traverse City but people are still fixated on Alex Debrincat
-The Hawks training camp roster released and there are a few surprise PTOs
-Will Butcher signs in NJ (much to the dismay of Aaron Goldschmidt)
-Listener/Reader questions.
-As usual, many inappropriate joke and references

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link: iTunes

You can find the Shoutcast on Google Play Music here:

You can listen to the episode on Stitcher here:

Get the Shoutcast directly though Soundcloud here:

For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at:

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Blackhawks Under the Radar

As we fly through the summer, and get within that 20 day window of hockey activities, the Blackhawks universe has more questions than anyone can remember in this era. It is very well possible that there will be open competitions for several forward spots, and possibly as many as three spots on defense. Hell, Stan Bowman might have said otherwise, but the spot behind Corey Crawford isn't as nailed down as he wanted us to think, in June. We have all seen the articles about the big name young players, but there are a few "under the radar" players that could turn into this year's "out of left field" name. It is more likely that these names could never amount into anything, but what else do we have to discuss in late August? Deep dive time:

David "Mein" KƤmpf
With all the action this summer it has been, sort of, forgotten that the Blackhawks signed this Czech center to a deal "way back" in May. At first glance, this move seems a little like the Martin Lundberg signing, two years ago, until you look a little deeper. This signing could have a little more substance than originally perceived. Kampf is considerably younger (22) and slightly taller (6'2") than Lundberg (25 when signed, and 6'0"). He was a former assistant captain on the Czech U18 team, which could show that he has some leadership qualities, as well as confidence and added responsibilities from his former coaches. Kampf was also a team mate of other Blackhawks signee, Jan Rutta in the Czech league. With other Czech players Michal Kempny and Michal Rozival on the roster, Kampf could conceivably sneak in as that fourth line center if Joel Quenneville decides that Nick Schmaltz is better suited with Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov to start the season. Theoretically, Tanner Kero would move up to the third line which would open a spot for a more defensibly responsible, and possibly versatile, player on that fourth line. This also brings me to my next player...but first, here are some Kampf highlights:

Laurent Dauphin
Dauphin was, what seemed to be, a "throw in" for the Hjalmarsson/Murphy deal, but he was thought of pretty highly in his draft year, reportedly, by this very Blackhawks front office. He was a high second round pick (39th overall), in 2013. Also, a player that held a captain's letter with his amateur team, Dauphin has has a little more scoring ability than Kampf did, but is rumored to be a little weak on the puck. While junior stats can certainly be deceiving, 75 points in the QMJHL and back to back 10+ goal seasons in the AHL as a 20 and 21 year old are nothing to dismiss. If I had to guess, based on scouting reports, I would give the edge to Kampf for a 4th line role. Dauphin has a little more offense to his game, which Quenneville doesn't seem to be as worried about in his fourth liners. By all reports, Dauphin sounds like a more "Phillip Danault" type player, while Kampf seems more like a "Marcus Kruger" type. Neither is bad, they just fit in different spots of the line-up. After a nice little breakout season last year, Tanner Kero seems to have the edge over both players at this point in time, but that can change pretty quick. Here are some World Junior Highlights of Laurent Dauphin:

Ville Pokka
Pokka has been the brunt of many jokes here at Puckin Hostile, but the Blackhawks are keeping him around for something. The knock on him is that his skating is just not up to NHL standards, and he may be a bit of an adventure in his own end of the ice. One thing that is not questionable, though, is his ability to create offense. He was voted the Rockford Icehogs best defenseman in 2015-16, and played in the World Cup of Hockey for the Finnish team last summer. He undoubtedly has a great shot that he loves to use, and can be an asset on the offensive side of the ice. You can't completely overlook those assets but, then again, TJ Brennan am I right? Where will Ville Pokka fall in Blackhawks lore? My impression is that he's gone the way of the way of Morin and McNeill, but he could have worked on his skating and have a breakout camp. Let us be reminded that this kid is still only 23 years old. If that were to happen, everyone wins. It is certainly true that Gustav Forsling has leapt over him on the depth chart, but that doesn't mean a mid-season call up is out of the question. Hell, if nothing else, the Blackhawks could showcase him for a team that needs some more offense cost effective from their defense.

Carl (Calle) Dahlstrom
I certainly have my reservations about Dahlstrom's skating ability, but he is still only 22 years old and he's a big guy. One attribute the Blackhawks lack in their system is defensemen with size, and something the Blackhawks seem to love are Swedish defensemen. Dahlstrom checks both boxes at 6'4" and 230 lbs. If he could actually lose the Frankenstein boots, he has some physical assets that are rare. Some of the reasons that the Blackhawks Michal Rozsival is that he has size, physicality and can make a pass. His mobility, or lack thereof, sure isn't the reason. In 2015, Chris Block went into depth about the disconnect between Dahlstrom and the Hockey ops staff, and I fully trust he was right. We are now two years down the road, though, and Dahlstrom has hung around like a good soldier. Hung around to play 70 AHL games last season. There have also been changes in the organization and another big (at the time), tough (often dirty) Swedish former NHL defenseman was added to the coaching staff, in Ulf Samuelsson. I think you see where I'm going with this. If he plays his cards right, Dahlstrom could gain favor and get a legit shot on the depth chart. Of course, this might only be solid minutes in Rockford, but it wasn't all that long ago that another fairly immobile defenseman with size named Viktor Svedberg saw 27 games with the Blackhawks. That was with a more decorated group around him. If you look at Dahlstrom's stats last year in Rockford, they look paltry, but you have to also remember that the team was in total disarray. The golden pony, Gustav Forsling, only had 8 points in 30 games. So, keep an eye out, and have an open mind. The Blackhawks need some surprises this year, if they want to compete at that high level.

Robin Press/Robin Norell
Press was the most experienced defenseman in Blackhawks prospect camp, in July. Aaron from Blackhawk Up, Mario from Second City Hockey and I noticed the bigger Press and he did nothing to hurt his stock. He has above average size, and looks comfortable with the puck on his stick thanks to the fact that he is a converted forward. He won't get manhandled too often just based on his size alone. His biggest asset might be that he is right handed. That is something that not only the Blackhawks covet. Press is on an AHL deal, but that can easily be converted.

Norell is a smaller Swedish defenseman but, again, a Swedish defenseman. He is actually the smallest of the Swedish triumvirate (Dahlstrom, Press, and Norell) from the 2013 draft, but don't sleep on him. He could also sneak in some playing time this season, because all bets are off, thanks to the uncertainty of the depth chart and Quenneville's seemingly unpredictable magic 8-ball. Like Dahlstrom, he played over 60 games in the AHL, so he's not entirely inexperienced.

Jean-Francois Berube
I've mentioned his name a couple of times, and I believe he's still a good goalie with pro potential. Berube did take a strange path to the Blackhawks, though. He was drafted by the LA Kings in the 4th round of the 2009 draft, was claimed off waivers by the Islanders in 2015, was drafted by the Vegas Golden Knights in June and then signed with the Blackhawks July 1st. At the time Islanders claimed him, he was coming off a 37-9-4 regular season with a 2.18 GAA and a .913 sv%, along with a Calder Cup championship. Sound a lot like another goalie in the Blackhawks system, just one year later, eh? The Islanders are basically where goalies go to die, but he still had decent numbers in 2015-16 between the AHL and NHL despite getting injured in late November and being on IR for a good portion of the season. The tire fire Islanders extended him for 16/17, and he was thrown to the wolves as part of a stupid 3 headed goalie monster with Thomas Greiss and Jaroslav Halak which, like the Islanders arena problems, went badly. Alas, though, one bad season does not a goalie make, right? He has a fresh start, in a new organization, with a new goalie coach. I really see him having a good season, and possibly pushing Anton Forsberg for the backup job. Both goalies are on 2 year deals with very little salary difference ($50,000), and both would have to go through waivers to get to Rockford. Don't be surprised if the race is closer than the organization wanted you to think after the Panarin/Saad trade. Atdding Berube to the mix was a sneaky good move by Stan Bowman. At the very worst, Berube is a solid number 3 that can log a lot minutes in Rockford and usher in Matt Tomkins and Collin Delia.

Notice who his first NHL game was against, and who the first highlight includes.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Gatekeeper Invades "The Biscuit"
and Previews The 2017 Blackhawks

I had the pleasure of returning the favor to William "Animal Mother" Bartrum, last night, as we talked about Heavy Metal, Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey, our mutual dislike of the Penguins, reminding the Blues fans that they have never won the cup, how the Puckin Hostile Shoutcast sound board came to be, what happened to the Blackhawks against the #PERDS, my predictions for 2017-2018 season, and much more on The Biscuit Podcast.

You can find the episode at all of these locations:

iTunes Link

Google Play Music

Buzzsprout Player

Stitcher Player:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast
Episode 88

In this Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 88 (the "player who shall not be named" episode) Gatekeeper is running solo but joined by multiple time returning guest and www.hockeybuzz.com writer Double J, John Jaeckel, as well as first time guest but long time friend of the site from The 312 Podcast Matt Zawaski.

The topics discussed include:
-Ric Flair falls ill
-Potential T-Shirt campaign
-Gate fleeces the Aurora Blackhawks store, and so does Fatrick, apparently
-Listen to The Biscuit podcast this week, if you can actually tolerate Gate twice this week.
-Edzo announces that he has Cancer
-Hawks signed Collin Delia, and you know who was on this first
-Defensive issues, and prospects are injured
-Everyone hates Corey Crawford (except us)
-Will Butcher chronicles continue
-Stupid top 10/20 lists
-Listener/Reader questions.
-Much less inappropriate jokes than usual...until Fatrick shows up

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link: iTunes

You can find the Shoutcast on Google Play Music here:

You can listen to the episode on Stitcher here:

Get the Shoutcast directly though Soundcloud here:

For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at:

Friday, July 28, 2017

Blackhawks Sign Hostile Favorite
Goalie Collin Delia

The Blackhawks announced this morning that they had finalized a deal to bring former Merrimack junior goalie Collin Delia in to the Blackhawks organization and goalie fold. As one might expect, I was absolutely delighted to hear this, because I have been singing the song of Delia for about 12 months. Last summer, when he was coming off a visit to the Ducks prospect camp, he caught my goalie eye. Even though he went back to Merrimack for his Junior season, he attended Capitals camp this summer, as well, and was invited back to Blackhawks camp. Seeing a free agent two years in a row, in the same team's camp is rare. NHL organizations were taking a long hard look at this California kid, and with the house cleaning the Blackhawks performed this spring/summer another solid goalie in the pipeline is never a bad problem to have.

Ever since I saw Delia play during the prospect camp of 2016, I was intrigued with his style and very calm demeanor. He was coming off an injury plagued sophomore season, that saw his stats dip, after an impressive freshman nine game look the season before. Even though he didn't miss much time, his goals against went up by over a goal a game and his save percentage went down by .050, as a result. Just watching Delia play, though, it was hard to not be impressed. He has decent size at 6'2" and roughly 200lbs, but he's no physical giant like Scott Darling. The first thing that really caught my eye, though, was his smooth fluid movement sliding side to side. Look, it's not easy to master sliding side to side on ice without some little imperfections, but Delia looked to have his weight distribution locked in. He makes it look so simple, which takes exceptional bio-mechanics to accomplish. Not only does he move very smooth, but his natural reflexes were on display both this year and last, more specifically, his glove hand. Delia has a low compact stance, which allows him to explode in any direction quick and efficiently, and he's also very flexible. He came back this summer healthier, and better overall, after getting back on track with a very respectable 2.15 goals against average and .927 save percentage, while being named Hockey East Third Team All-Star and the league’s Stop It Goaltending Champion. It is easy to see why Blackhawks goalie specialists Jimmy Waite, and Peter Aubry were licking their lips. He came into prospect camp and stole the spotlight from camp vet and former draft pick Matt Tomkins, which led GM Stan Bowman to personally pull Delia aside to acknowledge his great week at camp.

With Friday's signing, the Blackhawks now have six goalies under their umbrella in one fashion or another. Delia will, most likely, attend the Traverse City Rookie tournament with the Blackhawks rookies, later this summer. He will also attend the pro training camp in September, when all but Corey Crawford's starting job could be up for grabs. Goalie Matt Tomkins signed an AHL deal just before prospect camp, but with JF Berube and Jeff Glass signed to NHL deals, Tomkins looks to be all but Indy bound. This leaves Delia on the cusp of Rockford and Indy. Anything can happen, and given Jeff Glass' age, Delia could push for a backup spot in Rockford with strong training camps.

Peripherally, I am still not sold on Anton Forsberg as Crawford's backup, and JF Berube could surprise people, as well. Most likely, the depth will play out with Crawford/Forsberg in Chicago, with Berube/Glass in Rockford and Delia/Tomkins in Indy. Don't be surprised of you see Berube and/or Delia make some waves and force the Blackhawks to make some more complicated decisions, though.

Here are some videos I took last week, at prospect camp, of Delia and his stats:

Goalie Collin Delia finishes with a first big glove save #Blackhawks @collindelia @fire_cycle

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Goalie Collin Delia finishes with a second big glove save #Blackhawks @collindelia @fire_cycle

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Collin Delia with the windmill glove. #Blackhawks @collindelia @fire_cycle

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Delia makes a nice save with the blocker. #Blackhawks

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast
Episode 87

In this Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 87 (the Sidney Crosby of episodes) Gatekeeper is running solo but joined by returning guest and www.BlackhawkUp.com writer Aaron Goldschmidt as well as first time guest www.SecondCityHockey.com writer Mario Tirabassi for three more hours of Blackhawks hockey talk.

The topics discussed include:
-Couple of new reviews.
-Fatrick doesn't even make it to the starting line, and neither do the other two Puckin clowns.
-Brian Campbell retires.
-Johnny Oduya finds a new home
-Blackhawks prospect camp comes and goes. The Blackhawks blogging "wolfpack" spent a lot of quality time together, and spend a good deal of time on camp.
-Team Delia,and #DealForDeals.
-Blackhawks convention also came and went.
-Listener/Reader questions.
-Much less inappropriate jokes than usual.

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link: iTunes

Get the Shoutcast directly though Soundcloud here:

For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at:

Friday, July 21, 2017

Puckin Hostile 2017 Blackhawks
Prospect Camp Wrap-up

The Blackhawks wrapped up their annual post draft summer prospect and development camp early Friday afternoon. The organization changed their focus from a large group of free agent try outs, to a majority of Blackhawks draftees with a handful of mostly local free agents. This is actually a good adjustment for a few reasons. First of all, you don't "muddy the water" with a bunch of player that will probably amount to very little, if nothing at all, in the NHL. Second, the Hawks get more time and space to actually focus on their own assets. Last, and sometimes overlooked, you don't have some dumb, desperate free agent trying to make a name for himself by destroying your prized players in the open ice. It doesn't happen often but every once in a while you get a situation like Cam Barker blowing up Teuvo Teravainen and injuring him. No one needs that when the team is in such a state of transition.

Monday through Thursday the two teams of prospects spent most of their time doing drills, and sprinkled in a little 4-vs-4 scrimmaging. This was just enough to give us a little taste of what these players had at a very basic level. It is true that none of these drills can truly gauge what a player will do in the NHL, against actually adult players, but it did give us a good idea of what raw talent they may have.

The Blackhawks trotted out a few of their golden show ponies, as they do every year, and paraded them in front of the media. High former draft picks like Alex Debrincat and Graham Knott were on hand as well as this year's first round pick Henri Jokiharju. Naturally, the mainstream media spend the week leading up to the camp slobbering all over these players, which turned out to be some time wasted, but this is nothing new.

Unfortunately, last year's bell of the ball, Alexandre Fortin, was recovering from recent sports hernia surgery, so he was not available to participate in on ice activities. I, for one, was looking forward to seeing more of him, after he stormed through camp last year like a bat out of hell and earned himself an NHL contract. I guess we'll have to wait until September to see more of him, but word on the street is that he added about 20 pound since last summer. That could be very dangerous to other prospects looking for a shot, if he carries that weight well and it doesn't slow him down.

The question this year was just who would stand out and, possibly, earn themselves a spot with the NHL club this October. Spoiler Alert; none of them did. This is not a bad thing, though. Rarely do players in these camps stand out so vividly that they force the team's hand. This camp is for assessing future talent, which is something everyone should remember. FUTURE TALENT, not current.

Enough of me yammering on, let's get to the players. First of all, I'll give you the bad news...

  • Alex Debrincat - The first thing I have to express strongly is that I do NOT hate Alex Debrincat. I do NOT want him to fail. I do NOT want him to be a bust. I hope this kid develops into a really good top 6 forward someday. SOMEDAY! At this moment in time, Alex Debrincat is not ready to play in the NHL. Period. Make up excuses all you'd like. The reason I have been so adamant about this kid is the relentless media horseshit we've all been fed by the shovel load about his bum slaying stats in the OHL against kids. He does not have the raw skill to step off the OHL ice and into the NHL. That's the bottom line.

    First of all, you're probably all aware that he's a really short player. He might be 5'6"/5'7" and it "reported" to weigh in the area of 160 pounds. You can rattle off names like Martin St. Louis, Jeff Skinner, Tyler Johnson and Tyler Ennis but he's not as fast as ANY of these guys, nor does he had the lower body strength, yet. He needs to improve his foot speed, or he's going to have an incredibly hard time against much bigger NHL adults. We watched him play 1-on-1, 2-on-1, 2-on-2, 3-on-2, 3-on-3, and 4-on-4. In none of those drills did he stand out. In fact, he struggled against any players that had size or knew how to use a proper gap against him. He would get frustrated, lose the puck, and spend the remaining time unsuccessfully trying to get the puck back. He certainly scored a couple of times, but not anything close to the complete domination that we were all told we were going to see.

    "In those drill you're not going to see his true talent for finding soft spots in the defense". This is something else we've all been fed, right? Friday, they played a full 5-on-5 game situation. He was no more noticeable than the free agent invitees. He didn't pull an end to end Teuvo Teravainen play from a few years ago. He didn't hang out in the slot and snipe lasers from the top of the circle. He was AVERAGE. Like it or not, that's the truth. Accept it, or you're going to be sadly disappointed. Unless he miraculously finds top end foot speed in two months, he needs to probably spend most of the next season in Rockford working on separation speed against pro players. Stop slapping unrealistic expectations on 19 year old players who aren't ready. Let him develop and ease him in. You're only setting him up for failure and yourself for immense disappointment. Haven't we learned by now???
  • Graham Knott - I'll be the first to admit that I rarely know much about these prospects the night they are drafted. I need to see them on the ice, in their element, to know what they bring. Knott puzzled me from the first time I saw him, and puzzles me to this day. He is certainly big, which may be what the Hawks saw. As of the last, THREE prospect camps, he has shown only that. He should change his name to Graham Nott. I certainly like big players. Ones that can actually play, though. I really liked John Hayden in prospect camp. Radovan Bondra was great 2 years ago. Matheson Iacopelli, and Beau Starrett had a nice camp this year. I'm completely baffled as to what the Blackhawks saw, or want from Knott, though. He's not even slightly quick. He's not overly strong. He doesn't shoot exceptionally hard or accurately. He doesn't even get his shot off relatively fast. He is big, slow and lumbering. Just a guy. They played him at center in the scrimmage, so maybe they want him to be the next Dennis Rasmussen. Even that is quite a reach. I'd expect a little more out of a player that was drafted 54th overall.

    Maybe he develops into something handy, but at the moment, he's JUST a big dude, which isn't going to earn you an NHL job.

    ...unless you can fight. Then it gets you in the All-Star game.

You can poke your head out from under the covers, because now I'm going to give you the good news (and prove to you that I'm not all doom and gloom)...

  • Dylan Sikura - This kid is something else. Most of us have heard that he had a nice season at Northeastern University in New England, but he delivered the payload, and more. This all from a SIXTH round pick. He came into camp and backed up his reputation from the moment he stepped on the ice, and never let off the gas. He was scoring goals, using his speed, and looking like a high round draft pick. I will be utterly shocked if he doesn't place high for the Hobey Baker this year. The Blackhawks need to sign him to a contract the second his college season ends, too, because he's got the tools to be a valuable player. If you don't believe me, look at this play during the scrimmage from our boy Aaron at Blackhawk Up. Sikura doesn't score on the play, but that is only because of a great effort by Matt Tomkins. The moves and skill are exciting as hell.
  • Collin Delia - OK, Egregious goalie fanboy time. You all know I'm a goalie, and I pay close attention to the position. I'm a goalie geek, and this kind of camp might be the best opportunity for me to see the raw skills of young goalies. This also especially important right now, with the turnover of the depth in the organization. That said, I saw this free agent kid play last summer, and didn't know a damn thing about him. Immediately, I really liked what I saw. He had really compact stance, and a quick glove. He was smooth side to side, and didn't over slide the play. He was calm, and relaxed most of the time. Just a good looking player. He went back and played his Junior year at Merrimack and played very well. These were all reasons I was stoked to hear he was coming back this summer. He did not disappoint me at all, and he actually made me look like I might know something (Thanks Collin, I owe you a $20).

    From the moment he stepped on the ice, he was the best goalie in camp. He looked better and even more composed than last year. His glove looked better and he was very loose. I don't often get excited about goalies in prospect camp, because in a butterfly style world most goalies looks very similar. If the Blackhawks don't scoop him up (and they definitely should) some team will snatch him up and you'll hear his name again. This is a player you take a chance on. I'm standing by my word.
  • Tim Soderlund - Scott Powers gave us a little taste of the Tim Soderlund show before he ever stepped on the ice for the Blackhawks, and Soderlund showed everyone that attended what Scotty was talking about. He is a smallish player, which scares me right out of the chute, but he has something Debrincat doesn't have; speed. Granted, he is a couple of inches taller but not much. Another trait Soderlund has is that he goes hard to the net, no matter who is in his way. He plays the puck tough in the corners and he can dish the puck, as well. He's a well rounded player. Keep your eyes on this guy, because he will be in the mix shortly, until they have to throw him in to get out from under Seabrook's deal.
  • Mathias From - Not a guy that received a lot of mainstream attention, but he reminded me a little of Phillip Danault, even though From is a wing. He has very deceptive speed and whizzed by defensemen more than a couple of times on 1-on-1 drills. The place where is lacks is finishing. In camp and in his stats, you don't see many goals out of him. This doesn't mean he can't turn into a bottom 6 bulldog of a forechecker and speedy defensive specialist. He has the size, at 6'1" 190. He is worth keeping an eye out for.
  • Jack Ramsey - I didn't have anything worth noting last summer with Ramsey, but he definitely gave us all a show this week. He was named the best player on the winning white team, in Friday's scrimmage, and was very noticeable mostly because of his size. Did I mention that he had 2 goals in that scrimmage?

    The first thing, though, that caught my eye was his quick, accurate shot. Monday, In a couple of drills, he sent some laser beam, one timers over the goalie's blockers. This continued the entire week. Now don't get me wrong, Ramsey is a SEVENTH round draft pick (208th overall). He has a combined ONE goal and TEN points in his entire two year, 67 game college career, but he was on fire this week. Might be the best hockey he has played in his entire life. Good for him.
  • Chad Krys - I had heard about his disappointing season this last year, which left him off the USA U-18 roster, so I wasn't expecting much. The only thing I can imagine is that he was injured, because Krys looked like a really nice player in this camp. Not many defensemen stood out, but Krys showed his great skating off the entire week. If he has a bounce back year at Boston University, there could be a lot of attention paid next summer. Luckily the Blackhawks have the option of letting him marinate in college and don't need to rush him along.

These are just a few of the highlights, but players like Iacopelli, Will Pelletier, Matthew Highmore, Roy Radke, Henri Jokiharju and Matt Tomkins all had a nice week, as well. Feel free to take a look at my notes below. If you have any more inquiries, please email me at PuckinHostile@gmail.com.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Blackhawks Prospect/Development Camp
Rosters and Schedule Released

The Blackhawks released their roster and schedule for next week's prospect/development camp, this morning. Here are a few notes to keep in mind:
  • Alexandre Fortin, Fredrik Olofsson and Jakub Galvas are listed as "injured" and are listed for off ice activities only.
  • Only six free agent invitees on the rosters (seven if you include Roy Radke). This is down quite a bit from the past camps.
  • Former Merrimack goalie, and Hostile favorite, Collin Delia is not listed as a free agent but actually is.
  • Two of the seven free agent invitees (Joey Keane, Brogan Rafferty) are from Chicago area (Homer Glen/Dundee).
  • Three of the seven free agent invitees are goalies (Collin Delia, Kyle Keyser, Hayden Lavigne).
  • Rockford's Will Pelletier (24) is the oldest and free agent invitee Joey Keane is the youngest (18 on 7/2).
  • Those hoping to see actual scrimmages any day other than Friday will be disappointed, which means If you plan to go Friday, it'll be a madhouse unless you get there early
  • Unless you are a big fan of drills, Monday through Thursday will be a wasted trip for you. Plan accordingly.
  • This camp has truly gone from a prospect search to a organizational development camp. Less hockey and free agents; more training and prospects from the organization.
  • No Russian prospects are attending

Check out the group rosters and schedule for the week, below:


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

2017-18 Chicago Blackhawks
Salary Cap Hits

This will be a running ticker throughout the season. Roster members are only estimated until the season begins.

by Gatekeeper

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast
Episode 86

In this Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 86 (the Teuvo Teravainen memorial episode) Gatekeeper, and Norton are joined by another www.BlackhawkUp.com writer Aaron Goldschmidt for 3 1/2 hours of actual hockey talk.

But first make sure you let this guy know that one doesn't put ketchup on eggs:

The topics discussed include:
-Fatrick doesn't even make it to the starting line, so Norton wears two Fatrick hats
-We have a hard time finding much we don't all agree on
-Screw that prima donna Ilya Kovalchuk
-More on the Blackhawks Panarin and Hjalmarsson trades
-We completely gloss over the Marcus Kruger trade, just to chafe Fatrick's behind
-Don't forget the draft
-Free agency opens with a Blackhawks whimper
-The rest of the NHL does their free agency thing
-Listener/Reader questions
-And of course, as always, an abundance of extremely inappropriate references and jokes in incredibly bad taste

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link: iTunes

Get the Shoutcast directly though Soundcloud here:

For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at:

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Chicago Blackhawks
2017 Free Agent Ticker

Here is your running ticker of Blackhawks signings or transactions. We will provide a more comprehensive recap after the festivities wrap up.

Blackhawks Trades

Blackhawks Free Agent Signings
  • Blackhawks sign wing Patrick Sharp for one year at $800,000, with reported bonuses.
  • Blackhawks sign center/forward Tommy Wingels for one year.
  • Blackhawks sign goalie Jean-Francois Berube for two years at a reported $750,000 per.
  • Blackhawks sign defenseman Jordan Oesterle for two years at a reported $650,000 per.
  • Blackhawks sign center Lance Bouma for one year.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Chicago Blackhawks
2017 Entry Draft Ticker

Here is your running ticker of Blackhawks picks and transactions. We will provide a more comprehensive recap after the festivities wrap up.

Blackhawks Trades
  • The Blackhawks traded defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes for defenseman Connor Murphy and Forward Laurent Dauphin.
  • Blackhawks traded Artemi Panarin, Tyler Motte and their 2017 6th-Round pick to Columbus for Wing Brandon Saad, Goalie Anton Forsberg, and their 2018 5th-Round pick
  • Blackhawks acquired a 2017 fourth-round pick (No. 112) from the Vancouver Canucks for a 2017 fifth-round pick (No. 135) and a 2017 sixth-round pick (No. 181)

Blackhawks Draft Picks

Player Twitter Accounts

Special short Post Trades / Post 1st Round Friday night bonus Shoutcast:

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast
Episode 84

In this Puckin Hostile Shoutcast Episode 84 (the Marian Hossa memorial episode) Gatekeeper, Fatrick, and Norton are joined by long time friend of the site, www.BlackhawkUp.com big dog, and former fellow southwest sider Keith Schultz.

The topics discussed include:
-The NHL falling ass backwards into the successful expansion coverage
-The NHL awards
-The expansion draft came and went
-Blackhawks exposed/protected list
-Marian Hossa will miss the season and is likely retiring
-Some big trades throughout the NHL
-Much Blackhawks speculation
-Listener/Reader questions
-And of course, as always, an abundance of extremely inappropriate references and jokes in incredibly bad taste

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link: iTunes

Get the Shoutcast directly though Soundcloud here:

For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at:

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Truth and Lies:
The Marian Hossa Saga

by Gatekeeper

The Blackhawks, and the entire NHL, have had a pretty eventful couple of days this week. Unless you are living in "Fatrick's basement terror", you probably expected some Blackhawks moves, but none of us were really ready for what was reported late Tuesday night by Elliotte Friedman, then confirmed by the team early Wednesday morning. As originally reported by John Jaeckel as early as June 10th (but not confirmed by team sources) and followed up shortly thereafter by Jay Zawaski, The team announced that Marian Hossa would miss the entire 2017-18 season to deal with complication relating to a skin disorder that he has been undergoing treatment for. According to the team and their staff, Hossa has been dealing with this disorder for a while, but the treatment can only go on so long before it becomes not only ineffective but detrimental. It was also released that his hockey equipment actually makes the skin condition worse, which was impeding treatment. Anyone who has played a sport that requires this kind of equipment can attest to the fact that it can sometimes rub your skin raw, without any skin disorders.

Anyhow, I have to be completely honest; I have taken Hossa for granted during his time in Chicago. We all probably have. The guy is a slam dunk Hall of Famer, a crucial ingredient to the three cups, and one of the great gentleman in the game. It is perfectly alright to admit that you took him for granted. He flies under the radar while the flashier players hold the spotlight, but he just does everything well. When I got a Hossa jersey from my wonderful FiancƩe this Christmas, I seriously contemplated trading it in for a Crawford or Panarin. As I sat and thought about this conundrum, it occurred to me that what I was contemplating was utter lunacy. Marian Hossa might be one of the most under rated players in Hawks, and maybe NHL, history. I hung onto the jersey, and I'm so grateful that I did. He is arm in arm with Jonathan Toews as the Blackhawks player that I would want my son to model himself after, which is why I was elated that my little guy got a Hossa jersey for his birthday, to go with his Toews one jersey. Hossa is a player that you don't truly miss or appreciate until he's not here. We are all going to find that out in about four months.

The follow-up around the Assholenet was not unexpected, but stupid nonetheless. Most Blackhawks fans were sentimental and sad. Outside of the Hawks fan base, there were all kinds of conspiracy theorists crying foul. Accusations that the Blackhawks were circumventing the salary cap with Hossa's impending long term injured reserve status. This is a fair point on the surface, until you actually break it down. Hossa is coming off a resurgence where he scored 26 goals, which goes to show that he is still a very effective player in this league. He is a perfect mentor to the new generation of players coming up. He is a great ambassador of the game and franchise. His cap hit is manageable based on his production. More importantly, he will only cost the Blackhawks $1 million in actual dollars for the next four seasons. Finally, the Blackhawks are just a worse team without him. The LTIR is the only advantage, but is that $5 million overage allowance worth losing a player the quality and stature of Marian Hossa?

Unequivocally NO!

If I'm Stan Bowman, I want Hossa to stick it out for another season or two, to usher in the next generation. There will be enough turnover and turmoil this summer on the Blackhawks roster. Another loss, especially of this magnitude, is terribly painful.

That won't stop the snarky Twitter WebMD experts and NHL conspiracy theorists, though.

The part of this story that a lot of people don't quite understand is that Marian Hossa is not recovering and coming back. He is done playing hockey! This is an unofficial retirement from the NHL. The only reason he won't officially retire is that the Blackhawks cap recapture penalties (roughly $4 million a season) would be crippling. Folks, this is not a "take one season off" thing. We have seen Marian Hossa play his last hockey game. These same sources that had this information also unanimously called it a retirement. When Jay Zawaski flat out asked his "guy" if there was a chance Hossa would return, this is the response he got:

This is from a source close to the team and Hossa. Believe it, people. The Marian Hossa era is over.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Blackhawks Sign Czech Defenseman
More Moves to Come

by Gatekeeper

The Blackhawks announced early yesterday morning that they had signed 6'3" 200 lb Czech defenseman Jan Rutta, which had be speculated by John Jaeckel as far back as May 19th. Financial terms to the deal have not yet been announced.

It appears as though this signing finally signals the exit of noted lightning rod Trevor van Riemsdyk from the Blackhawks. I want to, again, clarify what I have said all along about van Riemsdyk. He's a fine 5-6 defenseman and could even fill in elsewhere, in a pinch. My contention has always been that Joel Quenneville miscast him and set him up to fail, thus making him look a lot worse to the naked eye. In no scenario should Trevor van Riemsdyk have been in the Blackhawks top 4.

I digress, though; van Riemsdyk looks to be headed to the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft, which should be a great opportunity for him. If reports are true, the Golden Knights will acquire Marcus Kruger in a trade with the understanding that the Blackhawks will expose van Riemsdyk for the Golden Knights to select in the expansion draft. These moves will save the Blackhawks just under $4 million in cap room, which will still leave them roughly $500K over last year's threshold, not including Rutta's contract.

As far as Rutta goes, the contract is an entry level contract but, since he's 26 the deal can only be for one year and cannot exceed $925,000. Even though the terms have not been announced, but I would expect them to be in the area of Michal Kempny's incentive laden $700,000 last season.

Rutta is actually a bigger, slightly older and hopefully better version of van Riemsdyk and retains something that the Blackhawks have coveted for quite a while, which is that he is a right handed shooter. They currently only have Brent Seabrook, the corpse of Michal Rozsival, and van Riemsdyk as righties with any kind of NHL experience. Pending UFA Ville Pokka, Robin Press, and Jake Ryczek are the only right handed defenseman in the entire system, so if the Blackhawks are going to sign some more, I'd bet on some more right handers.

In other news, There have been no official announcements on the team site, yet, but several outlets have reported that the Blackhawks have also hired former NHL defenseman and AHL Charlotte Checkers coach Ulf Samuelsson to fill Mike Kitchen's vacant spot on the coaching staff. Brian Hedger also tweeted that the Blackhawks are in the process of hiring Wisconsin associate coach Don Granato for an organizational position, as well.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Puckin Hostile Shoutcast
Episode 83

The team is back in 83rd Puckin Hostile Shoutcast (the Vernon Fiddler episode) Gatekeeper, Fatrick, Bryan, and Norton. The dream team comes back from their month long hiatus on this Slayer day (6/6) firing and slinging insults.

The topics discussed include:
-We're back from the old tired graveyard like a fax machine or a 56K modem
-Gate is back from Cancun, and another great In Flames show
-Fatrick is back from his catfishing expedition
-Norton's mouth is running like his hair is on fire
-TOOL is #BetterThatPearlJam
-ESPN Dumps almost their entire hockey department
-Sweden wins the IIHF World Championships
-Screw Ilya Kovalchuk right in the butt
-Rockford gets a new head coach
-Blackhawks trade Scott Darling away
-Blackhawks sign David "Mein" Kampf
-Blackhawks targeting other FA college and European players
-Deal and expansion draft speculation
-Listener/Reader questions
-And of course, as always, an abundance of extremely inappropriate references, jag-douchery, and jokes in incredibly bad taste

You can find the episode on iTunes by following this link: iTunes

Get the Shoutcast directly though Soundcloud here:

For all your custom jersey needs visit Black and Tan Sports at:

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Report from Hostile Headquarters

by Gatekeeper

Greetings, Hostile faithful.

I just wanted to raise from the (almost) dead and give everyone an update on the site, podcast, and such.

After our (too short) May hiatus, we're coming back to you this next Tuesday night with Shoutcast episode 83. Please send your questions in to @HawksShoutcast on the Twitterz or PuckinHostile at Gmail. The more the better, because there isn't anything going on in Blackhawks land at the moment. We plan on dragging you all through the summer kicking and screaming with all the usual nonsense and ass-hattery, but we also want to hear from you. If you have a segment idea, let us know. I'd like to do some new things this summer. Do you want to hear more of something? Less of something? Would you like us to reach out to a particular guest? Let us know. We are not above anything, in fact, we are probably beneath just about everyone and everything.

I'd like to take advantage of the time, this summer, to possibly try and do a remote podcast somewhere with the local Hostile members. We could invite some of the listeners to sit down, chat, and talk Blackhawks. I really think it would be a fun way to meet some of you and put some voices/faces with the names. Mullets Sportsbar in Homer Glen is usually our default spot, but I'm really open to anything reasonable and central. Again, offer your input, because we are absolute dullards.

For the NHL entry draft, here in Chicago, Fatrick and I will be there for the first night. We might even get the big guy out for day two, but don't hold your breath. We can't afford to lose the readership/listenership. I will hopefully be there for both days, and all 7 rounds. If you're going to be there, let me know. I'd love to shake the hands of our "fives of fans", and personally thank you for your loyalty.

We will, of course, also be covering all the usual summer Hawks events like the expansion draft, free agency and prospect camp, as per usual. I plan on getting out to personally see the baby Hawks at prospect camp for at least a couple of days.

Finally, I have been bringing this up on the past few Shoutcasts, but we could really use some help with recaps this next season. Ken Kallembach has offered to jump in and take some, but we can never have enough good people helping out. Even five games taken off our schedules helps.

Thanks again for your support. If you could do one thing for us, please spread the word. Our traffic and downloads have been growing by leaps and bounds, and it's all because of your continued support. Please, share our site and podcast with your friends and family. Even torture your enemies with Fatrick's inappropriate jokes, or Norton's conversations with his parents.

That said, We will be in your ears, offending your brain again next Wednesday.


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