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Sunday, July 17, 2011
Hawks convention news and notes

By Jesse Rogers

News, notes, whispers and quotes from this weekend's Chicago Blackhawks Fan convention:

Jonathan Toews

The Hawks captain is about to rev up his offseason workout.

“I haven’t been on the ice at all. Mostly been just taking care of myself,” Toews said. “That’s the idea. You want to get off the ice and kind of just miss the game a little bit and eventually you’ll be ready to get back. This is the longest summer I’ve had since my rookie year when we missed the playoffs.”

Duncan Keith

The former Norris Trophy winner is newly married and looking to get back to the elite level which won him the award for best defenseman in the NHL in 2010. He says he’s been getting plenty of rest.

“I know what I’m capable of,” Keith said. “I’m just looking forward to the start of the year. I want to start it the way I finished last year.”

Marcus Kruger

Marcus Kruger
Marcus Kruger benefitted from playing time last season, but he's still young.

The rookie Swede has put on weight entering his first full year in North America.

“[I’m] just trying to do everything I can to be in shape for training camp,” he said. “I can see myself as a player who can play on the third line if they need me.”

John Scott

Scott was often criticized for his lack of foot speed and has made a commitment to improve his skating this offseason.

“I struggled a little bit last year because I was worried about fighting so much,” Scott said. “I didn’t really focus on my game as much as I should of.”

Scott says he’s challenged all the newcomers to fights at one time or another but hasn’t fought any of them. He’s looking forward to playing alongside Dan Carcillo.

“I can take care of the big boys, he can take care of the middle boys.” Scott joked. “I think we’ll be set.”

Patrick Sharp

Sharp says he only thinks of his Game 7 overtime chance on the power play against Vancouver when people ask him about it. It’s not keeping him up at night.

“Right when I was shooting the puck I knew he was going to make the save,” Sharp recalls. “I haven’t thought about it at all.”

He’s aware of the conversation about which position he should play: wing or center.

“I don’t put much stock in line combinations in July,” Sharp said.

Patrick Kane

Appearing with a cast on his left wrist but looking in good shape, Kane explained his apparent weight gain.

“People think I’m 165, 170. I’m up over 180, 185,” he said. “I’ve been there since last year.”

Rockford whispers

• The IceHogs have been without a coach since Bill Peters left to take an assistant’s job with the Detroit Red Wings earlier this month. It appears to be assistant coach Ted Dent’s job to lose though the Hawks have not made any official announcement.

• Word at the convention confirms what most thought after this offseason's roster makeover: Former first-round pick Kyle Beach needs more maturing before getting a shot at the NHL -- and he knows it.

Funniest moment

With all the panels and question and answer sessions at the convention there were plenty of entertaining moments but none better than when Eddie Olczyk dumped a pitcher of cold water over Denis Savard’s head after Savard intimated that Olczyk was cheap with his money.

Final word

Joel Quenneville sums up the offseason changes while reiterating the team’s shortcomings last year.

“The one area we feel needed to get stronger was being harder to play against,” he said. “We addressed that this summer.”