Cleat Geeks

The Blackhawks Backhand



Welcome to 2016, Captain! Jonathan Toews has finally joined Twitter after years of staying away from social media (@jonathantoews). Toews said his primary motivation for signing up was to help draw attention to causes he is passionate about and giving the fans a greater glimpse into his personal life. “It’s nice to establish that connection with fans and people who are interested in knowing your life, your interests and everything you’re trying to do off the ice,” Toews said. “Going forward I’m excited to see what develops in that area.”


Things went from bad to worse for the Blackhawks in the NHL Stadium Series game against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. Michal Rozsival was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for interference. He is the first player to be booted in an NHL regular-season game played outdoors. Late in the second period, Rozsival lined up Wild forward Jason Zucker for a big hit. Zucker was trying to corral a puck in midair before losing control of it and just as he picked his head up, Rozsival’s shoulder was already into him. Zucker hit the ice hard. He remained down for several minutes while receiving attention from the team’s medical staff. Zucker eventually got to his feet and was carted to the locker room. The referees deliberated for quite some time before officially deciding to send Rozsival to the locker room early. Zucker did not return for the third period and the Wild went on to win the game 6-1. Rozsival will not face supplemental discipline from the NHL for the hit.


Last Thursday, the Blackhawks visited President Obama at the White House to celebrate their 2015 Stanley Cup championship. It’s the third time in six years the team has visited Obama and he hopes to see the Blackhawks again before his term is up. He even joked that he was their good luck charm. “It is always fun to have the Stanley Cup here,” Obama said. “It truly is the best trophy in sports. I’ll admit I was hoping you’d give me a day with it this time around. Before I was president, I just want to point out … the Blackhawks had gone almost half a century without seeing this thing. Now you’ve got the hat trick. So I think it’s pretty clear the kind of luck I’ve brought to this team.” Obama pointed out that seven players participated in all three championships, but he paid tribute to two “unsung heroes” on the team, backup goaltender Scott Darling and now retired defenseman Kimmo Timonen.

Obama praised Timonen for his great career and overcoming blood clots before joining the Blackhawks last season. Darling was praised for his act of kindness to a homeless man during a recent Hawks road game. “A champion reached out to help somebody who could use a hand — even though he didn’t have to, even though nobody was looking, even though he wasn’t asking anybody for credit.” Obama said. “I like to think that reflects something about our city, about Chicago. It’s a very American thing to do.” Hawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz presented Obama with a permanent parking pass to the United Center and Obama joked that he might sell it on eBay. Captain Jonathan Toews is among the seven players who have been honored three times. “The fact we’ve been able to come here three times while President Obama has been in office is a pretty cool thing.” Toews said. “He might have a point that there’s a connection to Chicago and he has something to do with our success. We’re happy to be here again.”


The Blackhawks reassigned forward Vincent Hinostroza to Rockford on Monday, putting an end to his second stint with the team this season. Hinostroza was recalled after Marian Hossa suffered an apparent leg injury on February 13th. He has played in three games since then, seven total for the season, but has not recorded a point. The Blackhawks haven’t recalled another forward yet, which could be because Hossa is nearing a return from his injury. Coach Quenneville gave Hossa a timetable of two weeks to get back with the team.

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