Saturday, September 17, 2011
News and notes: First look at new Hawks
By Jesse Rogers
There were few complaints Saturday from the crowd at the sold out Chicago Blackhawks training camp festival. Opening day on and off the ice seemingly went off without a hitch as runners and rollerbladers completed their races outside while the Hawks got down to business inside.
Two practices and two scrimmages provided entertainment, as well as a first look at newcomers, including goalie Ray Emery and Rostislav Olesz.
Olesz didn’t do anything to stand out, but Emery probably helped his case with a solid showing, playing in both scrimmages.
Joel Quenneville isn’t prepping any line combinations or defensive pairings just yet. In fact, there were an odd number of forwards and defensemen on each team so there was plenty of mixing and matching throughout the day.
Here are some odds and ends from Day 1:
Quenneville indicated prospect Jeremy Morin is still experiencing problems associated with a concussion he suffered last season.
Morin was not on the ice for the first day of training camp, nor was he available for the NHL rookie tournament in Oshawa, Ontario last weekend.
Quenneville said Morin is day to day but there is no timetable for his return.
Ben Smith said he has no problem playing center and looks even stronger than he did during his short stint in the NHL last season. He’s switched jerseys, from 57 to 28, but it wasn’t by request.
“I actually looked on the [Hawks] web site at the end of July and that’s how I found out,” he said. “I didn’t ask why. I’ll wear whatever number they give me.”
Patrick Kane said he felt good after the first day of practice. He scored a shootout goal with one of his patented backhand, top-shelf moves. His wrist is progressing as the Hawks continue to show caution with their young superstar. He didn’t participate in the scrimmages, just the drills.
Steve Montador experienced the United Center crowd for the first time from the home perspective and was impressed.
“The national anthem is played and everyone is screaming out there,” he said. “It’s 10:30 in the morning. It was really great.”
Montador is one of several Hawks utilizing Twitter to communicate with fans.
“I’m finding my voice on it,” Montador said. “I’m not that open of a guy. I’m kind of private. We’ll see how it goes.”
Tough guy Dan Carcillo made his first appearance as a Hawk and nearly dropped the gloves.
“I got offered a few times,” he said. “I don’t know his name. It starts with a B.”
For the record, prospect Brandon Bollig was the player who got in Carcillo’s face.
The Hawks will hold two more practices and scrimmages on Sunday. They’ll be held at Johnny’s IceHouse West located at 2550 W. Madison. Practice starts at 10 a.m. and is open to the public.