Chicago Blackhawks tracker

Sep. 27: After their first night in Europe, head coach Joel Quenneville became tougher with his Blackhawks. The practice was more intense with much skating, skating and skating involved for his players around noon. The team headed to the shopping mall Sihlcity later for the reception.

Sep. 26: The Hawk has landed. At 15:50 local time, the Chicago team and its entourage landed at Zurich airport with their charter plane and had its first practice two hours later at Kunsteisbahn Oerlikon, the rink beside Hallenstadion. Check out this story for the first reactions and photos.

Sep. 26: The Blackhawks celebrated their first victory last night before heading directly to the airport for their charter flight to Zurich. Patrick Kane scored two goals in the 4-3 victory against the Minnesota Wild and rookie Rob Klinkenhammer, who was recalled from the farm team the day before, deflected in Brent Seabrook’s shot with 5:20 left in the third period for the game-winning goal. Colin Fraser also scored while Tomas Kopecky had two assists. Cristobal Huet had 16 saves.

Sep. 25: The Blackhawks claimed Czech winger Radek Smolenak off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Smolanek played his first NHL games last season. He ranked third on the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals with 24 goals, fifth with 49 points and sixth with 25 assists – all career highs – in 71 games last season during his third professional campaign.

Sep. 25: After some injuries, the Chicago Blackhawks recalled forwards Bryan Bickell and Rob Klinkhammer, who had been sent down to the AHL affiliate Rockford on Wednesday. The Hawks put defenceman Richard Petit and forward Danny Bois on waivers. The roster now stands at 28 active players, which includes 17 forwards, eight defencemen and three goaltenders.

Sep. 24: The Chicago Blackhawks lost their second pre-season game against the Washington Capitals. Mike Knuble and Alexander Ovechkin scored two goals each in Washington’s 6-2 victory on home ice. Troy Brouwer and Patrick Sharp scored in power play for the Hawks. Corey Crawford was in the net for the whole game and had 24 saves.

Sep. 23: The Chicago Blackhawks have confirmed that Scotty Bowman, the club’s Senior Advisor of Hockey Operations, will accompany the team to the Victoria Cup in Zurich (September 28, 29) and to the NHL Premiere in Helsinki. Bowman is the only man in the history of the NHL to lead three different teams to the Stanley Cup; Montreal (1973, 1976-79), Pittsburgh (1992) and Detroit (1997-98, 2002) for a total of nine Stanley Cups.

Bowman, who started his NHL coaching career with the St. Louis Blues 1967 at the age of 34, was coaching in the historic 1975 New Year’s Eve game when his Montreal Canadiens played CSKA Moscow to a 3-3 tie, generally considered as the best club hockey game ever. Bowman’s international resume also includes coaching Team Canada at the inaugural 1976 Canada Cup and the 1979 NHL vs. Soviet Union Challenge Cup in New York.

Scotty’s son, Stan, was named the ninth General Manager in Blackhawks’ history on July 14, 2009 when he replaced Dale Tallon.

Sep. 23: The Chicago Blackhawks have assigned forwards Bryan Bickell, Mark Cullen and Rob Klinkhammer and defencemen Daryl Boyle and Brian Connelly to AHL’s Rockford IceHogs. In addition, the Blackhawks have assigned left wing Kyle Beach and defenceman Shawn Lalonde to their junior clubs.

Sep. 22: Forward Adam Burish injured his right knee Sunday night when he was checked into the boards in the pre-season game against the Minnesota Wild. An exam on Monday revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He will undergo surgery soon and be sidelined for six to eight months. Dave Bolland, skated on Sunday but has still not practised with the team. Kris Versteeg is injured as well, having left the game on Friday with an upper-body injury.

Sep. 21: The Chicago Blackhawks lost their second pre-season game at the Minnesota Wild, 3-0. Martin Havlat scored two goals against his former team, also the third goal was scored by a Czech, Petr Sykora. The Blackhawks scratched their youngsters Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews for the Wild game. Antti Niemi (12 saves, 1 goal against) in the first two periods and Corey Crawford (2 saves, 2 goals against) in the third shared ice time in the net. Both are fighting for the backup position behind Cristobal Huet.

Sep. 20: The Chicago Blackhawks have established a preseason franchise record tonight by hosting a capacity crowd of 19,734 fans for their game against the Washington Capitals. Prior to Saturday’s contest, the previous preseason record was set on September 23, 2008 when Chicago hosted 18,752 fans for its matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blackhawks lost the game 3-2 in overtime coming from a 2-0 lead with goals from Patrick Sharp and Jack Skille. Cristobal Huet had 27 saves.

Sep. 19: The Blackhawks made another cut and have now 36 players in their camp: 21 forwards, 12 defencemen and three goalkeepers. The following players were assigned to the AHL affiliate Rockford IceHogs: goalkeepers Joe Fallon and Alec Richards; defencemen Michael Brennan, Jonathan Carlsson, Simon Danis-Pepin and David Phillips; and forwards Akim Aliu, Dan Bertram, Nathan Davis, Bryan Ewing, Adam Hobson, Bracken Kearns, Peter MacArthur and Derek Nesbitt.

Sep. 18: Dave Bolland had his first ice practice on Thursday but will miss the first preseason game on Saturday due to a sore back.

Sep. 17: The Blackhawks trimmed their roster to 50 players on Wednesday – 29 forwards, 16 defencemen and five goalkeepers. Forwards Justin Hodgman, Matt Keith and Maxime Tanguay, defencemen Joe Charlebois and Jean-Claude Sawyer, and goalie Joe Palmer were assigned to the AHL affiliate Rockford IceHogs. Forwards Byron Froese and David Gilbert, and defenceman Teigan Zahn were sent to their junior clubs.

Sep. 16: The Blackhawks will be the last NHL team to hold a pre-season game when they play host to the Washington Capitals on Saturday. Chicago will play two games each (home and away) against the Capitals and against the Minnesota Wild before leaving for Europe.

Sep. 15: The first days in the Blackhawks camp featured scrimmages between three teams in black, red and white. Tomas Kopecky scored the first goal of the camp on Sunday.

Sep. 13: While Tomas Kopecky is practising, the other Detroit acquisition Marian Hossa is not yet ready for the ice. According to GM Stan Bowman, Hossa’s rehab is progressing and his debut is expected in late November.

Sep. 13: Dave Bolland missed the first days of practice due to a lower-body injury but he’s expected to return this week.

Sep. 13: Cristobal Huet won’t have to share ice time with Nikolai Khabibulin anymore after the Russian’s departure to Edmonton. Now the Frenchman can wear his favourite number 39 which was used by Khabibulin. Antti Niemi and Corey Crawford are battling for the number-two position.

Sep. 13: The Blackhawks camp roster includes players born in countries that are seldom connected to the NHL. Akim Aliu was born in Nigeria but his family moved to Kyiv, Ukraine, shortly after his birth and later to Canada, where he started to play hockey. Also on the list is David Phillips, a British national team defenceman who signed with the AHL affiliate Rockford IceHogs after one year with the Belfast Giants. There hasn’t been a British-trained NHL player – but dozens were born in the United Kingdom and raised in Canada from Joe Hall (1917) to current Minnesota forward Owen Nolan.

Sep. 13: The Chicago Blackhawks opened their NHL camp on Sunday. It is being held at Johnny's Ice House and the United Center before it closes on Sept. 25. 59 players were invited, 19 of them were on last year’s roster.

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