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  1. The Instigator |Episode 21 Winter Classic Rerun: Same Teams Every Year The Winter Classic is set to play on New Years Day. A great tribute to how hockey began, outside, but…why in the world do we have to watch the same teams each year. This years matchup is the Chicago Blackhawks versus the Boston Bruins at historic Notre Dame Stadium. Sounds epic right, not so much, the problem is this is the 4th time for the Blackhawks and 3rd time for the Bruins in the Winter Classic. Yes I know they are big television markets but seriously NHL give us some variety and give us some change. I have a plan to make the Winter Classic an amazing showcase of the entire NHL, and an amazing New Years television production. PODCAST
  2. The Chicago Blackhawks have participated in the most NHL outdoor games with five appearances including it’s 4th straight in as many years. The Blackhawks showcased two very bold black jerseys in their first 2 appearances in 2009 and 2014. For the last 3 outdoor showings, the Hawks have featured sleek white jerseys in 2015, 2016 and 2017. If you’re a Hawks fan that loves collecting all their jerseys, this post is dedicated for you! Chicago Blackhawks 2009 Winter Classic Worn on January 1st, 2009 in Wrigley Field – Chicago, Illinois This jersey was a great first choice to use for an outdoor game for the Hawks. The jersey used for this Winter Classic date with the Detroit Red Wings was the throwback retro uniform Chicago used in the ‘Original Six’ days during the 1936-37 NHL season. This particular jersey design is very bold for a classic uniform as the engraved “Blackhawks Chicago” circled around the vintage Hawks logo show a sense of branding, honour and pride about it. The black base combined with the red and beige stripes add to the boldness of this uniform plus it suits the iconic center logo very well. Chicago Blackhawks 2014 Stadium Series Worn on March 1st, 2014 in Soldier Field – Chicago, Illinois The Blackhawks 2014 NHL Stadium Series jersey is the reintroduction of Chicago’s first alternate jersey that debuted in 1996. Eventually, they were retired after 2011. Three years later, the Hawks brought back the black alternates with very subtle changes to match with the Stadium Series theme. These NHL Stadium Series uniforms utilize colors within the teams’ existing color palates. Each jersey features chrome-treated logo designs that are unique to the NHL Stadium Series and inspired from the chrome details in the NHL shield, bringing a dynamic and modern perspective to conventional team identities. The chrome crest was developed using new technology that fuses print and embroidery and allows logos to be displayed as a high-resolution image incorporated into the crest. This technology also reduces the weight of the crest, resulting in a lightweight jersey to help improve athlete performance. Numbering on the back of the jersey is enlarged and sleeve numbers are angled to improve visibility in outdoor venues. Overall, this is a great jersey, especially for the young fans. Not too many jerseys based from old school designs blend in very well with any new school tweaking but this uniform was done just right. Chicago Blackhawks 2015 Winter Classic Worn on January 1st, 2015 in Nationals Park – Washington, D.C. Inspired by the 1957 jersey worn by the Chicago Blackhawks, the white Winter Classic jersey features a lace-up collar and secondary logos on each sleeve; the secondary logos overlap the top two stripes on the sleeve rather than the traditional shoulder placement. The vintage logo in the 1957 jersey will not used. Instead, the current logo will be used to add a dash of modern to it even though the current logo has been used since 1964. Another detail about the jersey is on the inside portion of the neck it inscribes “2015 NHL Winter Classic” in white letters. Besides that small detail and the placement of the secondary logos, this sweater looks just like the current road jerseys used today. Chicago Blackhawks 2016 Stadium Series Worn on February 21st, 2016 in TCF Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, Minnesota The white NHL Stadium Series jersey pays homage to Chicago, featuring four, six-pointed red stars on the white collar, which are derived from the City of Chicago’s flag and were incorporated as a symbol of regional fan pride. Additionally, the black shoulder yoke serves as a visual representation of the city’s nickname, the “City of Big Shoulders.” The team’s secondary logos overlap the top three stripes on the sleeve rather than the traditional shoulder placement. The stripes, letters and numbers were purposely made bigger to match the Stadium Series theme plus it improves visibility in outdoor venues. Chicago Blackhawks 2017 Winter Classic Worn on January 2nd, 2017 in Busch Stadium – St. Louis, Missouri Very similar to the 2015 Winter Classic sweater, the 2017 Winter Classic jersey was also inspired by the 1957 original. This time they used the vintage logo instead of the current one plus the secondary logo is more modern than the one used in 2015. This sweater is not only inspired by the 1957 originals, it was also inspired by the playing era of legends Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull. The uniform stands as an homage to the legends of the past while preserving the classic aesthetic of the franchise by using details from uniforms of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Just like all of the other white uniforms used in the outdoor games, the Hawks once again used single-layer black lettering because black is the perfect contrasting colour to the white body of the uniform. THE 2016/17 NHL OUTDOOR JERSEY CLASS – ALL ABOUT LEGACY
  3. 1- Did he purposely do it? I guess we will never know, but popular opinion, including mine says he did it on purpose. Now I don’t think that he thought I am going to hurt this guy, but I do think he was seeking revenge. 2- How will this affect the Blackhawks in the final weeks leading up to the Stanley Cup Playoffs? This may just help the Blackhawks. Keith logs a ton of minutes and this will give him some much-needed rest. Missing the first playoff game will hurt, but the Blackhawks are way to strong of a team to have this one game put them behind the eight-ball. 3- Was the decision for six games the same penalty he would have received if this had happened in December? NO! This would have been a minimum of 10 games if it was any other time of the year. The NHL does not want this type of play to tarnish their reputation, nor do they want players getting hurt this way. The Playoffs played a huge role in this punishment. 4- What if the roles were reversed and Coyle would have hit Keith like that? Would the suspension be the same? Keith is a superstar in the NHL. The NHL wants and needs their stars playing. I think it would have probably been 10 games at least. 5- How much was his repeat offender status taken into account? I have to say I don’t think it played much of a role. The time of year overrides this factor. 6- Why does Keith continue to fly off the handle like this? He is a competitor that has a short fuse. It will be interest to see if this changes his game. My guess is it will not. 7- Will this punishment change Keith? Hard to tell he has been punished before so it obviously has not sunk in. Keith did explain “It was obviously a reaction and one that I need to be disciplined for.” He went on to say “Obviously there’s a limit and I have to know that. I will.” 8- How do you think his teammates felt about this play? It is instant reaction to defend your teammate, but the Blackhawks players and management were quiet on this matter. 9- Did the Dennis Wideman situation influence Keith’s decision to not appeal this suspension? Possibly, I don’t think the Blackhawks or Keith were willing to take any chances with the appeal process, and the length of time it can take. 10-Did Charlie Coyle actions provoke Duncan Keith’s reaction/retaliation? It looks as though Coyle did high stick Keith earlier in the play. Hard to say, but I believe it was just a reaction to getting dumped. INSIDE EDGE HOCKEY NEWS * Photo Credit - USAToday Sports Images
  4. WINNIPEG TRADES LADD AND LOSE LITTLE Winnipeg, Manitoba – Last night the Winnipeg Jets finally made the trade that was quite possibly the worst kept secret in the entire National Hockey League. Andrew Ladd was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks. Andrew Ladd was the face of the Winnipeg Jets so why would the Jets trade him away to Chicago of all places a team in the same division. Well this move makes a lot of sense for both teams and it was a win- win situation for both parties. Andrew Ladd is a great hockey player we all know that Ladd has hoisted the Stanley Cup twice once in Carolina in 2006 and 2010 in Chicago, however Ladd was traded to Atlanta before he even got his day with the camp along with Dustin Byfuglien. Ladd then came with the franchise from Atlanta to Winnipeg and became the biggest name in Winnipeg hockey history, ok maybe second behind Teemu. Ladd brought the Jets back to life and the team did well under Ladd as the team captain, but in the salary cap era no player is off the books. Winnipeg is known for being a budget team, they try to stay under the cap by a large margin and for the most part it has done well for the Jets faithful but with Ladd and Byfuglien both wanting big deals north of 7 million it was clear that one player was going to be moved and it was Ladd once Byfuglien signed his 5 year contract. But the Winnipeg Jets didn’t lose this trade by any stretch of the imagination, this was a good trade for Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Jets organization. The Jets got Marko Dano in return as well as a first round draft pick and a conditional third rounder in 2018. The condition is if the Hawks hoist the Stanley Cup again then Winnipeg gets a third rounder, if the Hawks don’t win the cup that third round pick reverts back to Chicago. Cheveldayoff has been getting ripped by fan saying this is a bad deal but let me tell you this is not a bad deal for the Jets this is a great deal and here is why. Dano has 48 games in the National Hockey League split between both Columbus the team who drafted him and Chicago where Dano ended up in the Brendon Sadd deal last summer, now we all know that the Hawks were only after Arteim Anisimov in that deal but Columbus didn’t want Dano so Chicago picked him up and put him in the minors. Dano only has 13 games in Chicago scoring two points, that’s why Jets fans are so upset and say this is a bad deal but if you go through the expanded stats that are offered Dano was only playing 9 minutes in Chicago an average of :41 seconds per shift which is not a lot of time to prove yourself on a powerhouse. Dano can fit right into the roster in Winnipeg with a great coach in Paul Maurice who is known for his work with young players along with assistant coach Charlie Huddy. Maurice has worked his magic with this team and got them into the playoffs last year yes it will be a no playoff year for Winnipeg this year but Dano can at least get his feet wet. Winnipeg would be picking third today if the season were to end and that is a great position to be in for this young team, and they also get the 28th pick in the first round from Chicago which is also great for the Jets. Winnipeg may not be done however with the news that they have lost Bryan Little for the remainder of the regular season. Little of course was hurt in Tampa Bay on the Jets four game road trip and has a fractured vertabre in his back, so the Jets may have to move someone else to replace Little in the short term, maybe a prospect or roster player. Winnipeg fans are also hoping that the Ladd era in Winnipeg isn’t over with the fact that he is a UFA after this season chances are good that Chicago will not resign him as he more then likely is just a rental player for the stretch run with the Hawks being bitten by the injury bug, there is a slight possibility that Ladd could return. INSIDE EDGE HOCKEY NEWS * Photo Credit- USAToday Sports Images
  5. By now anyone who follows the NHL knows Chicago Blackhawk star forward Patrick Kane has been the focus of a rape investigation this summer. It's not something we've written about here at Boston Pucks, nor do I plan on having anything to say about the very serious nature of the allegations he's facing. But it's something that certainly most hockey die-hards have been keeping an eye on leading up to the start of the 2015-2016 season. Until recently nothing on-ice related to his situation had developed in regards to Patrick Kane's standing with the team. Sure, people have wondered if he'd start the season on the ice or under suspension but essentially the team and Kane have been silent on where they are at. But the chatter is now starting to leak. According to the Chicago Sun-Times there have been at least 5 teams who have contacted the Blackhawks saying they'd be willing to make a trade for the superstar forward. And what's worse; the articles source states Kane has "disrespected the team and his teammates", and that "the Hawks have run out of patience". This season Patrick Kane's new eight-year, $84 million contract kicks in. His cap hit is huge, $10.5 million per season. Neither of those figures will be a problem for a team with cap room looking to make a massive splash by trading for him but the real risk comes in the form of Patrick Kane's character. If he survives the rape investigation would another team even want him? Yes. Just like Michael Vick, Adrian Peterson, and Ben Roethlisberger of the NFL, players can serve time (or not) and come back and play. Team owners know the financial value of a 3-time Stanley Cup champion like Kane and it only takes one of the 30 owners to be willing to take a chance on Kane. That would most certainly happen. Unfortunately for Kane no matter how much on-ice success he's had helping lead Chicago to glory there is always a limit. Put bluntly; in the harsh business world that is professional sports the Chicago Blackhawks can look at Kane's on-ice performance and easily conclude they got what they wanted out of him and his personal issues aren't worth it anymore. He's far more expendable and easier to get over after winning them three Stanley Cups should they want to sever their ties. No trade would happen while the investigation is ongoing. The case could get settled, he could win or lose, or worst case do prison time. No team will take him until there is a legal conclusion. But there's no doubt he's going to be fighting hard off the ice for his on-ice livelihood and freedom. There's a good chance it won't end with him putting a #88 sweater back on in Chicago. http://BostonPucks.com is written by two life-long Bruin fans who enjoy the NHL, beer, rock music, and writing about the sport they love. Check us out for more articles and takes on everything from around the NHL.
  6. The 2014 NHL Entry Draft kicks off Friday night in Philadelphia and along with the excitement surrounding the new crop of young stars, comes the excitement of wheeling and dealing that is likely to occur in the coming weeks. Among the teams that early on look as though could be busy this off-season is the Chicago Blackhawks. It seems kind of interesting that the Hawks would want to make many moves after coming just a goal a way from punching their ticket to their second Stanley Cup finals in two years. This past week growing rumours about the future of Ottawa Senators star centre Jason Spezza started to heat up and according to many sources it seems as though the Blackhawks are among the teams that are showing the most desire for the 31 year old. The Hawks are looking to shake some things up, and since Bryan Murray and the Senators are hoping to get a similar type of return for Spezza that they gave up to acquire Bobby Ryan (a roster player, a prospect, and a high draft pick) it seems as though the Hawks would be forced to shake things up. In saying this Murray has made it clear that he would be interested in a one-for-one deal, obviously meaning that a high-end top six forward would be coming back the other way, something the Hawks have in abundance. Though obviously names such as Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane would not be on that list; and well get to that later. Names such as Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa could enter that discussion, Sharp especially. Despite having a fantastic regular season (leading Chicago in scoring with 34 goals and 78 points) Sharp failed to show up for the Hawks in the playoffs, recording just five goals in 19 games, and could give reason for the Hawks to ship him. Also for Chicago a deal for Spezza that includes Sharp would free up $900,000 in cap space as Sharp is currently making $5.9 million while Spezza is under contract for $5 million. For Chicago that ability to free up some salary is huge as TSN Insider Bob McKenzie reported this week that negotiations between Toews and Kane on signing contract extensions have begun. The two superstars apparently gave Chicago their initial asking prices to sign with the club; they will become unrestricted free agents following the 2014-15 season. According to early reports both players are looking to make in the ballpark of $12 million dollars a year, figures that would make them amongst the highest paid players in the league. Bob McKenzie @TSNBobMcKenzie · 23h It's believed Kane-Toews initial ask of CHI on extension is around $12M/yr each. They'll end up lower but still could be $10M+ AAV players. If Chicago is serious in signing the two, which they obviously will be, they will need to free up some cap space, while still filling out their roster. As it stand now, according to capgeek.com the Hawks would have just six of their current forwards, three defensemen, and just Corey Crawford under contract for the 2015-16 season, while having allocated just over $50 million on just these players. So, of course the Hawks would have to be selective in how they go about signing and filling out their roster. Young players such as Marcus Kruger and Brandon Saad will likely both demand pay increases as they continue to develop so Chicago management will have to decide where to find those extra dollars. Other rumours have suggested that the cap could rise to as high as $75 million in the coming years which would come as a huge relief to the Hawks moving forward. In other Chicago news as free agency approaches, TSN and ESPN Insider Pierre LeBrun has reported that the Hawks are also among a number of teams who have shown interest in soon-to-be free agent Paul Stastny. Pierre LeBrun @Real_ESPNLeBrun · 19h Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks among many teams to have reached out to Stastny camp, latest in Rumblings blog: http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/31597/rumblings-kesler-watch-stastny-market … The 28 year-old Stastny is coming off a season where he put up a very respectable 60 points in 71 games. What makes this deal again all the more interesting for Chicago is the fact that Stastny’s agent, Matt Keator, made it clear this week that his client is not looking to make any less than he made last season, which was a hefty $6.6 million. So, once again the issue will be how exactly will the Hawks make room to accommodate Stastny’s contract if they are as serious about signing him as they appear to be. Despite coming so close to playing for their second consecutive Stanley Cup it seems as though the Hawks are looking to vamp up their squad. Though most eyes will be on the draft stage this week, it should also be an interesting next few days in the boardroom as well. Follow me on Twitter: @Craig_Hagerman
  7. WHY RAISE KANE? The media and many fans are expressing shock and worry about the “wild” behavior of 23-year-old Chicago Blackhawk, Patrick Kane. Kane had been seen during the off season, carousing in various nightspots, block parties, limos and taxis. How could a renowned athlete in the baleful public eye behave so reckless? This is unprecedented irresponsibility by a sport professional. Right? I think not. Did you ever hear of pitcher David Wells? Wells, a fine pitcher, was also famous for his love affair with alcohol and loose women. He once pitched a perfect game while admittedly “half-drunk.” How could the Boston Red Sox have collapsed so horrifically last September? Since then, many stories from the players themselves have surfaced describing the gorging of booze, food and video game playing in the clubhouse. Then there was Green Bay Packer All-Pro Fuzzy Thurston who bragged that BEFORE the famous Ice-Bowl game, he downed about 10 vodkas to stay warm. It's been publicized that Ben Roethlisberger elevates his game when injured, but his performance while drunk has not been properly evaluated. NBA star Ron Artest once confessed that he drank during the intermission of his games. Beer loving major league baseball player Steve Bilko, was a pioneer of sorts. Bilko started a tradition of filling a bathtub with ice, beer and hot water, thus inventing the first beer sauna. Bilko sat in the beer “cloud,” continually inhaling multiple servings of “steam delivered” brew and also pouring many others “down the hatch.” NBA player Ricky Davis is quite an imbiber too. Once while in Graceland the day before one of his best games of his career, he drank 19 bottles of tequila and almost set fire to the Elvis Memorial. The great Babe Ruth was known for unparalleled pitching, hitting, drinking, smoking, eating and reportedly hired hookers by the bushel. He once ate seventeen hot dogs before a game and proceeded to belt a ball five hundred feet. Master batting champ, Wade Boggs could also hit the sauce. He reportedly once consumed sixty-four beers on a long airplane flight, and that it was not the first or only time that he “locked lips” with multiple cold ones. Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Donovan once was quoted as admitting, "We didn’t have steroids. If I wanted to get pumped up, I drank a case of beer.” The legendary golfer John Daily, is rumored to confessing that he consumed a fifth of Jack Daniels every day when he was Patrick Kane’s tender age. It was also reported that he had to be removed from a British Airways plane by security for harassing an attendant while inebriated. The two-time British Open winner has been in various alcohol addiction programs and gone through marriages like bananas...in bunches! He once had his swing coach quit because he thought that J.D’s primary objective was to get sloshed. Perhaps the greatest athlete-drunk of all time was the professional wrestler Andre Roussimoff. Andre, known in the day as "The Eighth Wonder of the World," was also the first wrestler inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame. But, Roussimoff will mostly remembered more for his astounding drinking feats than his ring performance. Many dubbed him “The Greatest Drunk on Earth” after he swallowed 119 twelve-ounce of beers in just under six hours!! As to not be noted as a one-time fluke, Andre also downed 156 sixteen-ounce beers at one sitting on an episode of Legends of Wrestling. Afterwards he reportedly drank 127 beers in a lounge before collapsing in the hotel lobby. Athletes do not have an exclusive on excess by any means. The great Winston Churchill was well known for enjoying a “spot” several times a day, leading to his great quote from a confrontation with a woman at a party. A woman named Mrs. Braddock once called him out saying “You are drunk Sir Winston, you are disgustingly drunk. ‘Yes, Mrs. Braddock, I am drunk. But you, Mrs. Braddock are ugly, and disgustingly fat. But tomorrow morning, I, Winston Churchill will be sober.” Most of the above noted revelers were well past Patrick Kane’s tender age but with a distinct advantage over the Blackhawk star forward. They performed their legendary carousing before the age of cyber space. That’s right, no hand held devices with which to take photos and video. How many other athletes, celebrities and world leaders would have become “famous” if they were surrounded with IPhone carrying witnesses? In fact, how many of us could have received some unwelcome notoriety if our adventures as 23-year-olds had gone “viral?” So the next time you see a photo or video of a hard partying Patrick Kane or any other young athlete, remember this before you express your dismay, disbelief or disgust. As we once did, his actions do not necessarily indicate that he’s out of out of control…rather he’s just acting his age!! Patrick, when it comes to your detractors, think of this! Someday there might be a statue of you outside the United Center, but be assured that a statue will never be erected for your critics.
  8. Last night in the game between the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks, Hawks defensemen Duncan Keith delivered a vicious elbow to the face of Daniel Sedin, resulting in a concussion. This is nothing new for the Chicago Blackhawks or Keith for that matter, who has a history of retaliating with cheap shots. Warranted, Daniels earlier hit on Keith was a little late and his shoulder did ride up after initial contact with the chest of Keith that does not excuse the blatant head shot delivered by Keith. Last year in the Cup finals Aaron Rome was suspended 4 games for a hit on Nathan Horton, while it was a bit late and shoulder did contact Horton's head, it was still a hockey play. The hit last night resembled nothing of that sort. Last year the league explained that playoff games are worth double, so 4 games was really looked at as 8. If you take the same criteria into consideration and the fact that Keith's hit was far more reckless and intentional, there is no doubt whatsoever that this should be a minimum of 8 games. Unfortunately we all know how the NHL operates, and earlier today it was announced that Keith would be having his hearing with Brendan Shanahan via phone, meaning that the suspension will in all likelihood be no more than 5 games. Ridiculous. What really gets me with this whole situation is not the disgusting hit itself, but rather the way it was dealt with in an extremely unprofessional manner from the media in Chicago. If you'd like to subject yourself to repetitive, vicious face palms, here are some of my favourite gems offered up from the collection of jackasses who call themselves writers. Barry Rozner, Daily Herald: "Alain Vigneault is fortunate Roger Goodell is not the boss. If he were, the Canucks head coach might have himself a bounty of trouble after Vancouver brought its cheap-shot theater company to the United Centre Wednesday night." What? Steve Rosenbloom, Chicago Tribune: "And then Keith turned stupid. Then he became a Canuck. Then he sunk to Vancouver's gutless, cheap shot levels. He should know better. All the Hawks should. Friends don't let friends act like Canucks" Steve Konroyd, CSNChicago.com: "I'm not going to speculate as to whether Duncan Keith gets suspended or not. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't. What I do know is Daniel Sedin will think twice about hitting a guy in the head expecting nothing in return. That's hockey" It simply astonishes me that these clowns not only have jobs writing, but they actually get paid for it as well. It's also great to throw out a comment like Steve Konroyd did as to say the eye-for-an-eye mentality is ok, thus justifying what Duncan Keith did. As previously stated, there is a huge difference in the severity of the two hits and for him to say this is completely asinine. There were also many claims out of Chicago that the reason Daniel Sedin was being sent back to Vancouver to see a specialist was to increase the pending suspension the NHL is expected to hand to Keith. Or, maybe it's just a league wide protocol to ensure the utmost safety and well being of your players, unlike the Blackhawks, the Canucks don't rush their players back into games when they are clearly concussed a-la Brent Seabrook. This was the same accusation thrown out in Boston when Brad Marchand low-bridged Sami Salo earlier this year on an equally gutless play. I Myself cannot wait until the playoffs and I pray the Canucks journey takes them through Chicago and Boston again as I cannot wait to read the hypocritical spin these buffoons will come up with next. These two markets contain the most biased, ridiculous viewpoints I have ever seen in the mainstream sports media. If you keep on saying it eventually you may convince everyone it's true right? If the dream falls short again for the Canucks this year though, as much as it would make me vomit, I'd love to see a Bruins/Hawks final. These two cities deserve each other, they are like the deadbeat losers who hang out by the dumpster during class in high school, while all the other kids are busy learning. I for one know the truth, as do the majority of hockey fans. While we're on the topic of facts, the Vancouver Canucks.... those gutless, cheap shot artists. Are the only team in the NHL that has yet to have a player suspended this year. The truth is out there, As long as you don't go looking for it in Boston and Chicago. Follow us on twitter: BrowntoBure https://twitter.com/#!/BrowntoBure

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