Cleat Geeks

The Blackhawks Backhand

 

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The Blackhawks’ season came to an end on Monday night in St. Louis, with a Game 7 loss in the first round series against the Blues.

andrewshaw-26997811Andrew Shaw wants to remain with the Blackhawks. Coach Quenneville called Shaw “irreplaceable” and wants him back too. “I don’t have an answer for you right now,” general manager Stan Bowman said Wednesday as the Hawks cleared out their lockers at the United Center. “We certainly like what Andrew brings to the table. There are just some things that have yet to be determined in terms of what’s the salary cap going to be. We’ll get that number over the next two months and once we get that, we’ll make it work and put a team together that fits and is competitive. Certainly, we’d like to try and do what we can to bring him here.” Shaw helped the Blackhawks win two Stanley Cups and he’s coming off a solid season with 14 goals and 20 assists. He is a restricted free agent. “(If) you look at the cap, you have to wait to see what it goes up (to) and what other scenarios go on,” Shaw said. “I feel (Quenneville and Bowman) both want me back, they both respect me as a player, they like what I bring. It’s the business of hockey. It sucks. I want to be back here. Hopefully both parties can make it work.” With Shaw restricted, the team can submit a qualifying offer of a one-year deal worth $2.5 million, which would seem to be out of their price range. “I’ve been treated very well and I’m fortunate to win a couple (of) Cups here,” Shaw said. “I want to be a part of that and help win more.”

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Andrew Ladd is an unrestricted free agent and he is in line for a big payday following the expiration of his contract that paid him $4.5 million per season. The payday might come from another team, but Ladd said he would consider returning to the Blackhawks at a discount. “I’m at the point in my career where I can make decisions based on being in a good situation and at the end of the day, I don’t think it’s all about money for me,” Ladd, said. “It’s about being in a good place for my family and being on a team that’s going to contend every year. You’d be crazy not to want to be a part of this group, this organization and we’ll see what happens.”

Assistant coach Kevin Dineen has surfaced as a possible candidate for head coaching vacancies, but Quenneville said he anticipates his entire staff to return. “I like our staff in all areas,” Quenneville said. “(We’re) very fortunate with the group we have around us and … you’re looking at special teams, goalies, I think they did a really good job.”

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Center Marcus Kruger said his left wrist, which he dislocated and had surgery on, is “really close” to being 100 percent. But, he did admit that, “it might never be as good as it was.” Rookie winger Artemi Panarin said he will play for Russia in the world championships.

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