Chicago Blackhawks: Trevor van Riemsdyk

Hawks' van Riemsdyk undergoes successful surgery

November, 20, 2014
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Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk underwent successful surgery to repair a left patella fracture at North Memorial Hospital on Thursday and is expected to return in 3-4 months, the team announced.

“The procedure went very well and I anticipate a full recovery in three to four months,” Blackhawks head team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement.

Van Riemsdyk, 23, suffered the injury when he was hit in the left leg by a shot against the Dallas Stars on Sunday. He has one assist and a plus/minus of zero in 18 games. He has averaged 13:32 of ice time. He was placed on the long-term injured reserve on Monday.

Van Riemsdyk suffered a left ankle injury at the University of New Hampshire last season and missed the team's final 15 games. He signed a two-year deal with the Blackhawks on March 24.

The Blackhawks recalled defenseman Adam Clendening from the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL to replace van Riemsdyk on Tuesday.

Van Riemsdyk's injury impacts Hawks' defensive depth

November, 19, 2014
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks' greatest concern entering the season was their defenseman depth.

The Blackhawks lost a dependable defenseman when they traded Nick Leddy in order to get under the salary cap before the season. It left them with two unproven young defensemen in Trevor van Riemsdyk and David Rundblad and an aging veteran in Michal Rozsival.

Van Riemsdyk exceeded the organization’s expectations to start the season and his play as of late made it easier for the Blackhawks to move on from losing Leddy. With van Riemsdyk’s success, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was able to rotate between Rundblad and Rozsival as his sixth defenseman and create stability throughout the pairings.

Now, with van Riemsdyk out for 3-4 months with a fractured patella, the Blackhawks have some question marks again on the defensive end. Rozsival and Rundblad haven’t appeared in the same game this season, and Adam Clendening, who was recalled on Tuesday, has never played an NHL game.

Quenneville didn’t sound concerned about it Wednesday.

“Whoever plays we want them to be consistent, get involved in the attack, defend,” Quenneville said. “A game like last game, Rozsival ended up [on the ice more] with five [defensemen], gets to be used a little bit more. In those situations, make sure whoever your partner is play the right way that we play as a team and contribute as best you can defensively and offensively.

“We’ll let it work itself out. Their play will dictate how much and how it evolves.”

Quenneville also doesn’t want to lean more on defensemen Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson than he already has.

“I hope not,” Quenneville said. “It’s not the plan. Kind of like we want to make sure those guys get ice time. There’s going to be getting some important shifts as well when you go on the road and you don’t have the matchup going into faceoffs.”

Rozsival, 36, is likely to carry a larger work load as he did last game when van Riemsdyk was injured. Rozsival played a season-high 19:55 against the Dallas Stars on Sunday. He’s averaged 16:42 in nine games this season.

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Blackhawks make five roster moves

November, 17, 2014
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The Chicago Blackhawks recalled defenseman Stephen Johns and goaltender Antti Raanta from the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL and reassigned goaltender Scott Darling and forward Joakim Nordstrom on Monday.

The Blackhawks also placed defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk on long-term injury reserve. Van Riemsdyk suffered a lower-body injury against the Dallas Stars on Sunday. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he would be out for awhile.

According to a source, the Blackhawks’ roster moves Monday may be temporary and could be followed up by other moves in the next day or two before the team leaves for a six-game road trip on Wednesday.

Quenneville said Sunday the plan was for Raanta to return to the Blackhawks after starting one game for the IceHogs. Quenneville wanted to get Raanta some action before the road trip. He hadn’t played since Oct. 25. He made 33 saves on 35 shots in the IceHogs’ 3-2 win over the Texas Stars on Sunday.

Johns has five assists and is a plus-5 in 16 games this season. He is in his first full professional season after spending the previous four years at Notre Dame. He was selected by the Blackhawks in the second round of the 2010 draft.

Nordstrom was recalled on Saturday and had 12:15 of ice time for the Blackhawks on Sunday. He has five goals and three assists in 14 games for the IceHogs this season.

Darling returns to Rockford after backing up Blackhawks starter Corey Crawford on Sunday. Darling is 5-2-0 with a 1.83 goals-against average and .935 save percentage in the AHL this season and is 2-1-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average and .933 save percentage in the NHL this season.

Van Riemsdyk not heartbroken over lost goal

November, 11, 2014
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CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville didn’t feel too bad for rookie defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk after he had his first NHL goal taken away from him.

“He’ll score,” Quenneville said Tuesday. “I’m not worried about him scoring his first one.”

Van Riemsdyk was originally credited with his first career goal when the puck he shot from the perimeter appeared to find its way untouched through traffic and into the San Jose Sharks’ net Sunday. Van Riemsdyk and Quenneville thought there was a possibility the puck went off a teammate. The NHL confirmed that Monday when they changed the scoring and gave Kris Versteeg the goal.

“I had a feeling even right away when it first happened it hit someone,” van Riemsdyk said Tuesday. “I wasn’t sure who. Ended up hitting Steeger there. That’s good for him. He was right in front of the net. He earned it. I think he took a pretty good cross-check because when I looked up he was down on his knees. It was a cool moment to have my first goal, but just got to stick with it. Just happy we won last game.”

So what happens of the commemorative puck now?

“I don’t know,” van Riemsdyk said. “I think take the tape off it and use it there in practice, I guess.”

The goal does still carry some significance for van Riemsdyk. It was his first NHL career point.

“That’s still pretty cool to get off all those zeroes there for points,” van Riemsdyk said. “Like I said, it was just exciting to be a part of that goal and get the team going and get a big win.”

Trevor van Riemsdyk takes advantage of increased opportunity

November, 9, 2014
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CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks rookie defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk may have his first career NHL goal ultimately taken away from him.

Van Riemsdyk wasn’t sure whether the puck he shot went off a teammate before finding its way into the net during the first period on Sunday. And Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville believed it may have been Kris Versteeg’s goal. The goal was awarded to van Riemsdyk during the game, but it will likely be reviewed again.

[+] EnlargeBlackhawks
Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY SportsRookie Trevor van Riemsdyk has a lot of fans on the Blackhawks. "His poise, I think, sticks out first and foremost out on the ice there," Duncan Keith said of his teammate.
Regardless of whether van Riemsdyk scored his first NHL goal on Sunday, it was a significant game in his young NHL career.

Looking to shake up the Blackhawks’ defenseman pairings, Quenneville promoted van Riemsdyk to play alongside Duncan Keith against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. Van Riemsdyk held his own while facing some of the league’s top forwards and helped the Blackhawks to a 5-2 win.

“Today, I thought he did fine,” Quenneville said. “His reads and his thought process are high end. Got a nice element offensively to it, as well. It’s a different challenge –- puck-area strengths, guys have IQs offensively and they can strip you and they can read you. So, it’s a different challenge.

"It’ll be something we’ll see how he handles it going forward. But that was a big test and a good challenge, and I thought he did all right.”

Quenneville has rarely split up Keith and Brent Seabrook in the past, especially in the regular season. But with Seabrook coming off a subpar game against the Washington Capitals on Friday and the Blackhawks struggling to find some consistency, Quenenville felt a change was needed. He placed Seabrook with David Rundblad on the third pairing. Seabrook’s 17:13 of ice time was the lowest of his season.

“We’re not happy with the results we’ve had so far,” Quenneville said. “We’ve tried a lot of forward-line combinations. I think that was the result of the games prior to this [having] led to doing something different.”

Keith felt comfortable playing with van Riemsdyk. Like a lot of the Blackhawks, Keith has been impressed how quickly van Riemsdyk has adapted to the NHL.

“His poise, I think, sticks out first and foremost out on the ice there,” Keith said. “He’s very poised for such a young guy playing in his first season in the league. Made a lot of good plays. I think the way he plays adds to the way we want to play as a team -- hang on to puck, and make plays when it’s there.”

Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford also has gained confidence in van Riemsdyk.

“I think he’s shown he can make plays and he can find the open guy,” Crawford said. “He’s played really well up to date. He looks like he’s got a lot of confidence for a rookie. We need him to keep playing like that.”

Van Riemsdyk is far from feeling satisfied after 15 games.

“I think I’m still getting more and more comfortable,” said van Riemsdyk, whose older brother James van Riemsdyk scored for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday. “I feel pretty much settled now. But you don’t want to get too comfortable. You still want to play with that edge. I would have liked to play a little better tonight at the end of the game, a couple mistakes there, but glad we got the victory.”

Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 5, Sharks 2

November, 9, 2014
Nov 9
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CHICAGO – Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday at the United Center:
How it happened: The Blackhawks put themselves in a comfortable position by scoring the game’s first three goals. Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk tallied his first career NHL goal. That was followed by goals by defensemen Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson, which put the Blackhawks up 3-0 in the first period. Sharks forward Joe Pavelski trimmed that lead to one by scoring at the net in the first period and on a power play in the second period. The Sharks were pushing for the game-tying goal until Bryan Bickell scored with 4:42 remaining in the game to put the Hawks ahead 4-2. Jonathan Toews added an empty-net goal for the Blackhawks. Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi made 32 saves on 36 shots. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford stopped 32 of 34 shots.

What it means: The Blackhawks snapped a three-game home losing streak. The Blackhawks looked like they were traveling down the same path as their latest game. They built a 2-0 lead on the Washington Capitals on Friday and lost 3-2 at home. The Blackhawks prevented that Sunday. They especially stepped up in the third period. The Blackhawks were due for the four even-strength goals they scored. They came into the game with a 5.0 shooting percentage in 5-on-5 situations. The Blackhawks improved to 8-6-1 on the season. The Sharks, who were coming off a win Saturday over the Dallas Stars, dropped to 8-6-2. Crawford held an opponent to two goals or fewer for the seventh time this season.

Player of the game: Van Riemsdyk scored his first career NHL goal and was also promoted to the Blackhawks’ top pairing with Duncan Keith.

Stat of the game: The Blackhawks scored three goals within a 2:34 stretch of the first period.

What’s next: The Blackhawks continue their three-game home stand with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.

Q&A with Rockford IceHogs coach Ted Dent

October, 10, 2014
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ROCKFORD, Ill. -- The Rockford IceHogs open their 2014-15 season Saturday. Leading up to it, Ted Dent, who is entering his fourth season as the IceHogs’ head coach, recently took some time to talk about his team, its place within the Chicago Blackhawks' organization, his thoughts on advanced statistics and more.

Q: How have the defensemen who maybe thought they had a chance in camp to make the NHL roster taken to being sent to Rockford?

A: Well, I think you always want to go to the NHL training camp with hopes of making the team. You have to set the bar high. For first-year players, guys like [Stephen] Johns, I think deep down he probably knew he was going to end up in Rockford with the depth that Chicago has. Played for us at the end of last year and just has to settle in here and get his game ready and to a level that Chicago feels comfortable with. So when the time does come, they can get a call-up.

Q: Were you surprised Trevor van Riemsdyk is in Chicago and not in Rockford?

A: We didn’t even see van Riemsdyk skate last year because he showed up here and was hurt. Met him in person, but never saw him on the ice. He had a really good tournament in London. The first day of training camp Joel asked me who was good in London. It was the first question he asked me. I said on defense it was van Riemsdyk and forward it was [Phillip] Danault. Those were the two guys that stood out for me in London. He kept going and building confidence. He’s done real well.

Q: How specific do you and the Blackhawks get with Teuvo Teravainen's development?

A: I talked to Joel and sort of just wanted to know what Joel told Teuvo, so I was on the same page. I talked to Teuvo briefly this morning, just so we’re all on the same page now and we have an understanding of what Joel wants him to improve on and how he wants him to play. I know Joel talked about a more north-and-south game, moving ahead, and he’s a centerman as well, so staying in the middle of the ice and presenting your stick and being an option for the defensemen on breakouts and things like that. That’s something that will be ongoing and teaching it as much as we can on the ice and reinforce it with video.

Q: What sense have you gotten from Teravainen since being assigned to Rockford?

A: You know he’s a little bit of a tough read with the language and everything else. But he seemed fine. He didn’t seem any different than he did last year when he came to us. You know he knows some of the guys. He spent some time in Chicago this summer. I know he hung out with [Adam] Clendening a little bit. That should help us.

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Trevor van Riemsdyk joins brother in NHL

October, 9, 2014
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DALLAS -- Frans van Riemsdyk never set out to have two sons in the NHL.

It just happened.

[+] Enlargevan Riemsdyk
AP Photo/Carlos OsorioTrevor van Riemsdyk will join his brother James in the NHL when he debuts Thursday night in Dallas.
Trevor van Riemsdyk, 23, will become the second son of Frans and Allison van Riemsdyk to play in the NHL when he makes his debut for the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday. Their eldest son, James van Riemsdyk, 25, plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs and has been in the NHL since 2009.

"It's sort of extraordinary at least from our perspective," Frans said in a phone interview on Thursday. "That was never part of a sort of plan. It happened. It's sort of a dream come true. We're a hockey family. We all love hockey. It's just a wonderful thing to be passionate about. To see it get to this level is extraordinary. We feel very honored and privileged that we're even in this situation with the potential to have two sons who can make nice careers in the NHL."

James, a forward, and Trevor, a defenseman, grew up in New Jersey, played for Christian Brothers Academy and went on to play for the University of New Hampshire.

James' ticket to the NHL came when he was selected No. 2 overall in the 2007 draft. Trevor didn't develop as quickly and was never drafted. His NHL opportunity came when he signed with the Blackhawks in March after his junior season at New Hampshire. He also had other NHL teams after him.

The Blackhawks were excited about adding Trevor to their defenseman fold, but no one ever thought he would be in the mix for an NHL spot this early in his career. He played well for the Blackhawks' rookie team in London, Ontario, in September, and Rockford IceHogs coach Ted Dent let Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville know Trevor stood out during the tournament.

As each day of training camp passed, Quenneville liked more and more what he saw out of Trevor. Other highly-touted defenseman prospects were sent down to the AHL and Trevor continued to stick around. Finally, Quenneville saw enough to place Trevor on the team's season-opening roster and start him alongside Niklas Hjalmarsson against the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

"It's a good surprise," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said earlier this week. "We were hoping Trevor would fit into our plans at some point. We didn't put a timetable on it. He's come in and played very well. But hat's off to him. He's a great story. He didn't probably get as much attention as some of the other guys who've been here, so that's a great story for Trevor."

Trevor was still in awe of his situation after participating in the team's morning skate at American Airlines Center on Thursday.

"Yeah, I don't think it's really fully hit me yet [that] this is it and that I'm going to be playing in a game here," Trevor said. "It's crazy to think where I was just a little bit ago. I'm just going to try to make the most of it.

"Definitely excited to get it started tonight. A little nervous, I'm not going to lie. But just got to keep it simple like I've been doing. I'm sure once I get bumped around once or twice out there I'll get right back into it. It'll be fun."

James and Trevor have exchanged a number of texts over the past few weeks. Trevor often looks to his older brother for guidance. Frans said he's been careful not to put pressure on Trevor since camp started.

[+] EnlargeJames VanRiemsdyk
Claus Andersen/Getty ImagesOlder brother James van Riemsdyk was drafted
No. 2 overall in 2007 by the Philadelphia Flyers and now plays with the Maple Leafs.
"He hasn't been calling every day [with updates]," Frans said. "We're certainly trying to give him a lot of room. I can't imagine the pressure the kids are under and they don't need their parents breathing down their necks every moment."

Frans is confident Trevor won't be too overwhelmed playing his first NHL game. It's just not in Trevor's personality.

"He's a very calm person, which I think reflects in his play," Frans said. "He's very poised, very calm. He sort of goes about his business. He's always been that way. He doesn't get too high or too low. He's very even tempered. He's a bit on the shy side from that. When it comes to competing, you see his drive come to the surface."

Frans attended James' season-opening game in Toronto on Wednesday, but he couldn't make it to Dallas for Trevor's first game on Thursday. He plans to make the trip to Chicago for the Blackhawks' home opener on Saturday if Trevor is in the lineup.

"We're incredibly proud of what he's accomplished so far," Frans said. "Obviously it's a great treat to have two sons playing for Original Six franchises. It's a huge thrill."

By the way, there is one more Van Riemsdyk son.

"We have a younger son who finished up in high school, playing junior hockey, trying to follow his own route, his path," Frans said. "He's committed to New Hampshire. We'll see what the future holds."

Kyle Cumiskey, Trevor van Riemsdyk make Blackhawks roster

October, 7, 2014
Oct 7
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Defensemen Kyle Cumiskey and Trevor van Riemsdyk have made the Chicago Blackhawks' season-opening roster, coach Joel Quenneville said on Tuesday.

Quenneville said he was told the Blackhawks were under the $69 million salary cap with his current roster of 23 players, including 13 forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders.

"I think I got the word that we're definitely under, not a lot of room, though," Quenneville said.

Cumiskey and van Riemsdyk were longshots to make the team at the start of training camp. Blackhawks prospects Adam Clendening, Klas Dahlbeck and Stephen Johns were considered to be the front-runners for any defenseman openings.

The Blackhawks signed Cumiskey to a one-year contract in July. He played the last two seasons in Sweden after playing 132 NHL games from 2006-2011.

"Kyle gives us some speed," Quenneville said. "He's played a little bit in the league. He's got some exposure to it. Being away in Europe the last year or two, it's a different ice, getting reacquainted with the situational plays. But he has a great asset with his quickness and his speed."

Cumiskey hadn't been told whether he was going to make the team when he spoke with the media after practice.

"It would be very exciting," Cumiskey said. "I've had a rough couple years here. I've been looking forward to getting a chance to be back in the NHL. It would be a very special moment for me, for sure."

Van Riemsdyk was even less likely to make the team than Cumiskey. Van Riemsdyk signed with the Blackhawks as a college free agent in March after playing three seasons at the University of New Hampshire.

"Trevor is a young kid who really surprised us as far as how poised he was with his reads, his positioning, his patience and play recognition with the puck," Quenneville said. "So he had a good start, had an excellent training camp, is getting rewarded based on well he played in camp. Can he sustain that, what he showed us before? That's a big step for us and him as well. But he shows he's a pretty smart customer and cool in a lot of situations. We're looking forward to seeing him play."

Defensemen ready to fill Leddy's skates

October, 5, 2014
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CHICAGO -- Kyle Cumiskey, David Rundblad and Trevor van Riemsdyk all understood what it meant for them when the Chicago Blackhawks traded defenseman Nick Leddy over the weekend.

Leddy had locked down a defenseman spot in the Blackhawks lineup for much of the last four seasons, and that spot was opened again when he was dealt to the New York Islanders on Saturday.

Cumiskey, Rundblad and van Riemsdyk now have a chance to fill that void as all three defensemen were still on the team’s active roster as of Sunday afternoon. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Sunday he could begin the season with eight defensemen.

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Hawks banking on others replacing Leddy

October, 4, 2014
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The good news for the Chicago Blackhawks today is they’re finally under the salary cap. It's something they've been waiting awhile for.

The bad news is they’re now without one of their top defensemen.

Whether the Blackhawks made the right move in trading defenseman Nick Leddy to the New York Islanders for prospects on Saturday will ultimately be determined by how this season unfolds.

If the Blackhawks are successful and make another run at a Stanley Cup, the trade will be forgotten. If the Blackhawks fail in that quest and their defensemen are a reason for that, the Leddy trade and other moves by Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman will go into question.

The Blackhawks had to trade someone before the season began because they exceeded the salary cap when they signed center Brad Richards to a one-year, $2 million contract in July.

Basically, the Blackhawks swapped Leddy for Richards in the end. But there were other moves that led to the Blackhawks going over the cap and Leddy being the player dealt.

The first move was Bowman signing defenseman Michal Rozsival to a two-year contract extension after the 2013 season. Rozsival has a $2.2 million cap hit. He played a key role on their 2013 Stanley Cup championship team, but he hasn’t been able to maintain that consistency. He was a healthy scratch in the playoffs last season and looked a few steps slow during the Blackhawks’ preseason game Wednesday. He also had a modified no-trade clause, according to capgeek.com.

The second move was Bowman trading for defenseman David Rundblad last season. Rundblad was a player Bowman had wanted for some time, and he jumped at the opportunity to trade a second-round pick for him and another prospect. Rundlbad’s cap hit is only $785,000, but his acquisition meant Bowman was planning on Rundblad being another top-six defenseman. Leddy became more expendable when Rundlbad was added.

Leddy wasn’t the perfect defenseman. That was seen when Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville drastically cut his minutes and made him a healthy scratch in the playoffs the last two seasons. But he was a reliable defenseman. He carried the puck as well as any of the Blackhawks defensemen, contributed on the power play and anchored that third defensive pairing while often having to deal with a rotating partner.

The Blackhawks now enter the season with some uncertainties about their third pairing. Rozsival will be a part of it, but he will still need days off. His age, 36, has caught up with him. He’s played in 69 regular-season games over the last two seasons.

Rundblad will also be in the mix. He has some offensive upside, but he’s yet to prove himself consistently in the NHL. He hasn’t played in more than 17 NHL games in a given season. Quenneville has to learn to trust him.

Kyle Cumiskey also looks like he’s going to get a chance on the NHL roster. Cumiskey showed a lot of offensive ability in the preseason. He can skate, gets up in plays, can handle the puck and will shoot it. He has NHL experience, having played in 132 games for the Colorado Avalanche, but he’s been in Sweden the last two years. He has a chance to fill Leddy’s shoes, but the proof will be in his play.

Trevor van Riemsdyk may also start the season in the NHL. He’s been the surprise of the camp after signing as a college free agent in March. He’s displayed an ability to make smart decisions and be defensively reliable. The question is whether he can take on the NHL this early in his career.

The Blackhawks also have a number of defenseman prospects, including Adam Clendening, Klas Dahlbeck and Stephen Johns, on the verge of the NHL. All are close to being NHL players, but may need another season in the AHL to be truly ready.

With all of their options, the Blackhawks may have enough in their pantry to get by without Leddy in their lineup. The upcoming season will reveal whether that’s fact or fiction.

5 observations from Blackhawks-Canadiens

October, 2, 2014
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CHICAGO -- Here are five observations from the Chicago Blackhawks’ 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday:

1. Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival had a game to forget. His play led to two Montreal goals within a 1:54 span in the third period. He first got beat to a loose puck by Rene Bourque at the net.
[+] EnlargeMichal Rozsival
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesWith a rough outing Wednesday, Michal Rozsival had two giveaways in a preseason loss to the Canadiens.
Bourque hit the post with a backhanded attempt but got the puck back seconds later and scored. Less than two minutes afterward, Nathan Beaulieu skated past Rozsival to the net and knocked the puck in off a pass. Rozsival had a few instances where he was knocked off or beat to the puck. He had two giveaways in the loss.

“I thought he had a real tough third period,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “I didn’t mind his first 40 minutes.”

2. There’s not much more Blackhawks forward Jeremy Morin can do to earn a regular spot in the lineup. He played in his fifth preseason game of the year and again was aggressive all over the ice. He often was around the puck and created chances for himself and his teammates. He hit Duncan Keith in the left circle for one of the Blackhawks’ best looks of the night. Morin also had six shots, including four on goal. He’s not a big body like Brandon Mashinter, but Morin has the type of toughness Quenneville is searching for on the fourth line.

3. The Blackhawks’ third line of Bryan Bickell-Andrew Shaw-Kris Versteeg had another positive outing. They had some sustained offensive possessions and were able to create a number of chances. The line combined for 16 shots, including 10 shots on goal. Shaw scored the Blackhawks’ lone goal on a breakaway. Versteeg again showed some regained quickness.

“I thought Steeger had a good game,” Quenneville said. “Shawzy had a nice goal. Bick and that line generate, and a lot of time they are in the offensive zone. They have good puck presence, good puck support and good play recognition. I thought they had a good game.”

4. Blackhawks defenseman Kyle Cumiskey and Trevor van Riemsdyk are keeping themselves in the roster conversation. Cumiskey had a few defensive miscues, along with Rozsival, but Cumiskey was especially sharp offensively. He got involved in rushes and nearly helped the Blackhawks to a few goals. Van Riemsdyk again showed a solid overall game. He played with Johnny Oduya. It will all depend on whom the Blackhawks trade to get under the salary cap, but both players could still be in the mix for roster spots. Quenneville said he’d like to have his roster finalized by Sunday.

5. The Blackhawks’ power play is a work in progress. After just starting to work on it the last few days, the Blackhawks were 0-for-4 on the power play on Wednesday. They had one shot on goal in 5:14 of power-play time. As in the past, the Blackhawks failed to shoot the puck enough for Quenneville’s liking.

Quenneville did take some positives from it.

“I thought we did some good things beside not shooting it,” he said. “We practiced it this week, so it’s a start. I think there’s some positive things tonight. Hopefully we can get better off of it and get some production to reflect it.

“It’s early in the preseason, and we just practiced it for the first time going into today’s game. We’ll look to get a little confidence going into the regular season.”

Young defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk making an impression with Hawks

September, 29, 2014
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7:54
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van RiemsdykAP Photo/Carlos OsorioDefenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk is still in the running for a spot on the Blackhawks' roster.

CHICAGO -- NHL teams were in line waiting for Trevor van Riemsdyk when he became eligible to sign earlier this year.

Alexander Schall, van Riemsdyk’s agent, took numerous phone calls from teams interested in the University of New Hampshire defenseman after his team’s season ended in March. Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman’s sales pitch went above and beyond everyone else's.

"He chose the Blackhawks over I would say multiple NHL offers because of the efforts of both [player recruitment director] Ron Anderson and Stan Bowman, who got personally involved in talking with Trevor about coming to the Blackhawks," Schall said by phone Monday. "He was the only general manager to get personally involved before the very end. He got involved in a deeper level. He sat down with Trevor, and that meant a lot to him.

"In our opinion, every organization has a lot of great players. We decided it made sense to focus on the quality of the organization. We were really impressed with the quality of the Blackhawks."

Bowman was able to convince van Riemsdyk the Blackhawks were a perfect fit for his versatile defenseman's game. Six months later, van Riemsdyk is proving just how good of a fit they are, as he's made it through a few rounds of roster cuts and is one of a handful of prospects still competing to be on the NHL roster.

"I think every camp there is always a surprise or two," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after practice Monday. "That's definitely one area where we're very pleased. I'm going to say surprised; I've never seen him play before. We like how he's played in the games. He was steady in [training camp at] Notre Dame and had a real good London [Ontario] tournament and played two excellent games against NHL competition. But it's still early in measuring him and seeing where he could go. But we'll look a little bit longer because we like what we saw."

After roster cuts Monday, Van Riemsdyk and Kyle Cumiskey were the only two defensemen on the team's NHL roster who didn't play for the Blackhawks last season. The Blackhawks return seven defensemen from 2013-14.

The Blackhawks do still have to get under the salary cap before the season, so that could open a spot or two for someone like van Riemsdyk. He said Monday he was trying to stay in the moment and not allow his mind to wander to his NHL chances.

"I'm trying not to think too far ahead like that," said van Riemsdyk, who has been texting with his brother, Toronto Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk, throughout the preseason. "I know it's cliché and everything, but just one day at a time. Have a good practice here today, and come back tomorrow and do the same thing and see where it goes from there. Try not to think too far ahead right now and just stay within myself and play my game.

"I tried to not come in with too much expectation. There's a lot of good players in this organization, whether it be up with the Hawks or down in Rockford. I knew it would be a challenging start here, but I just wanted to play my game, show them what I can do and let them make the decision. I try not to worry too much about the stuff I can't control. All I can control is how I'm playing. It's been going pretty good so far. Hopefully, I can keep it up."

One person who isn't surprised the 23-year-old van Riemsdyk is making such an early impact with the Blackhawks is New Hampshire coach Dick Umile. Umile is entering his 25th season at the school and coached both van Riemsdyk brothers.

"To be quite honest with you, you just don't know how valuable he is until he plays for you, how skilled he is, what he does with the puck with any kind of pressure on him," Umile said by phone Monday. "He’s very clever, great composure. He's very, very skilled. He understands the game. He's got a lot of his brother in him even though he's a defenseman and the brother is a forward. They have great awareness on the ice."

Umile's lone regret is not being able to coach van Riemsdyk for all of last season. Van Riemsdyk broke his left ankle in January and sat out the rest of the way. Schall said he wasn't sure if the injury affected van Riemsdyk's NHL stock because a lot of teams were still interested in him.

Van Riemsdyk spent the summer strengthening his ankle and getting his game back into form. He thought participating in the Blackhawks' prospects camp in July and playing for their rookie team in September were helpful to his current success.

Van Riemsdyk has had to take a longer route to the NHL because he went undrafted and didn't catch scouts' eyes until he flourished at New Hampshire. Schall said over the years he's learned not to underestimate van Riemsdyk.

"To an extent, it's surprising [what he's doing with the Blackhawks], but Trevor has been surprising me since he was 14 years old," Schall said. "He was such a physical late developer. Just at every level, 'OK, it looks like Trevor isn't going to continue,' and then he would not only step up, but he would thrive. That's why I say he doesn't surprise me anymore."

Remaining players' chances with Hawks

September, 27, 2014
Sep 27
3:20
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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The Chicago Blackhawks cut their NHL roster to 36 players after their preseason game Friday. The Blackhawks still have to get under the salary cap. Assuming they clear enough room to add a couple more players, here’s a look at who is remaining on the their roster outside of the players who have already locked up spots and their chances of making the team:

FORWARDS

Teuvo Teravainen: The slight knock Teravainen took from Cam Barker on the final day of training camp at Notre Dame was a setback to his chances of making the NHL roster out of the preseason. Teravainen sat out the first three preseason games due to the injury and will play in his first game Sunday. He could still make an impact, but he would have had a better shot if he could have impressed in practices and games over the last week. As one source recently said, “He can play in the NHL now. He’s always elevated his game when playing with better players.” But based on the roster, Teravainen is probably going to start the season with the Rockford IceHogs. If he doesn’t have a permanent spot with the Blackhawks, he’s better off playing in every game in the AHL.

Brandon Mashinter: Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville wants a physical presence to replace Brandon Bollig in the lineup. Mashinter is one of three players competing for that spot. Mashinter is the one mentioned most among the three as of now. He’s played in one preseason game so far and had 13 shifts, 7:37 of ice time, three hits and one shot on goal. Mashinter would have go to through waivers if assigned to Rockford.

Cody Bass: Bass is in the same boat as Mashinter. Bass has played in two preseason games. He’s averaged 13.5 shifts and 8:27 of ice time. He is a plus-1, has four hits and three penalties, which included two fights. He has to go through waivers if assigned to the AHL.

Pierre-Cedric Labrie: Labrie is in competition with Bass and Mashinter. Labrie has played two games and averaged 15 shift and 11:13 of ice time. He has three shots on goal, five hits and two penalties, including one for fighting. He also requires to go through waivers if assigned to the AHL.

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Hawks' Danault impresses at rookie tourney

September, 16, 2014
Sep 16
5:25
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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Nearly everyone on the Chicago Blackhawks rookie tournament team displayed some positives and negatives throughout their recent games in London, Ontario.

That was expected considering it was the first real competition most of the players had experienced since April.

The one exception was Blackhawks forward prospect Phillip Danault.

Coming off a so-so first professional season, Danault began his second season on a high note. He set up two goals in the Blackhawks’ first game against the Toronto Maple Leafs rookie team and scored a goal in the second game against the Ottawa Senators rookie team.

Blackhawks rookie team coach Ted Dent, who also coaches Danault for the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, came away impressed by Danault’s play, especially his skating, puck play and offensive zone positioning.

“He had a really good week, the whole tournament,” Dent said Tuesday. “He played well, was very assertive. You could tell he was going after it hard, really wanted to make an impression. He did a good job.

“That’s a good sign. He was over in Sweden in August training there for 7-8 days. Really focused on coming back and getting off to a good start, very encouraging.”

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