Hello Chicago Blackhawks fans and welcome to the offseason! The second round of the NHL playoffs is underway and so far the playoffs have NOT disappointed. Sure, it would be fun if the Blackhawks were still playing, but at least our anxiety levels are taking a break. I know, we would all probably like to have some of that stimulation and nail biting and screaming on TV right now; but such is life.
Instead, let’s catch up on some of the latest Blackhawks news and rumors, focused specifically on the front row of the 2021-22 season.
Kane returns first
Patrick Kane is still there! For the second year in a row, the superstar winger was voted the league’s best stickhandler by his teammates. Indeed, according to the NHL Players Association annual survey, Kane received 57.3% of the vote. Connor McDavid came in second, but with just 22.8% of the vote.
My own THW teammate Brook LoFurno mentioned in our last Blackhawks joke show that Kane is also famous for being one of the best passers. Sure enough, the 33-year-old came second in that department with 15.6% of the vote. Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers took first place with 17.7% and Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitols came in third with 15.4%.
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This is not a biased poll! The players are in the trenches night after night; they know what they are talking about. It’s safe to say that Kaner is still among the best in the league, and he’s not slowing down. We can’t wait to see his stickhandling and passing skills for years to come.
The Stromes welcome a new puppy
Dylan Strome and his family have a new golden retriever puppy named Benny! This is especially good news, as their former dog Wrigley died of postoperative complications in April. It turns out that Benny comes from the same father as Wrigley, and the Stromes are looking forward to him to help ease their grief over their beloved first pet.
There’s nothing quite like good puppy content! I’m sure Benny will keep the Stromes on their toes in the months to come.
Welcome baby Archie from DeBrincat!
Well, we all know Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat is a competitive guy. Sure enough, he had to outdo his best friend Strome last Wednesday with the announcement of his baby boy, Archie. But Strome was one of the first to welcome this new addition to the DeBrincat family.
It’s phenomenal to see Baby Archie and Mama Lyndsey doing well! But did you notice the legend of Strome at the top? “Are we now officially #DadLine?”
It is true that Kane, Strome and DeBrincat have been a dynamic top line and a highlight of this dismal 2021-22 season. Kane welcomed his son in November 2020, and Strome became a dad to a daughter in March 2021. Now DeBrincat is also a proud dad.
But will they really be the dad line next season that Strome is referring to? Of the three, Strome’s future looks the least uncertain. He is a restricted free agent this summer. Will the Blackhawks re-sign him? Will Kane choose to stay? Won’t DeBrincat be traded by GM Kyle Davidson to the highest bidder to rebuild picks and prospects?
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The future is unclear. But for now, the Blackhawks front line can live vicariously on their recent success together and the community of their young families.
That’s it for this edition of Blackhawks News & Rumours! Keep it here at The Hockey Writers for all the latest news, updates and analysis throughout the offseason.
Gail Kauchak has covered the Chicago Blackhawks as a content writer since 2014. She’s previously written for Fanside’s Blackhawk Up and has been on The Hockey Writer’s team since 2017. It’s not always easy to balance the responsibility of living with her passion, but Gail does it better to make it happen. Quote to follow: “Follow your dreams and good things will happen.” Wait, maybe it’s “Good things happen when you shoot the puck!” You had the idea.