The Runner Sports

Chicago Blackhawks Week In Review: June 18-25, 2017

It was an unexpectedly wild week for the Chicago Blackhawks organization. Sure, we all expected some shake ups as the 2017 NHL Draft moved closer and closer, but there were some crazy moments that have left this Blackhawks writer a bit rattled.

Marian Hossa Will Miss the 2017-18 Season

Waking up on Tuesday morning, no one could have expected to see the news that veteran forward and future Hall-of-Famer Marian Hossa won’t play for the Chicago Blackhawks — or anyone else for that matter — in the upcoming season.

Sadly, Hossa is suffering from a skin disorder caused by an allergic reaction to his own equipment. The allergy had been kept under wraps, but according to the man himself, “Due to severe side effects associated with those medications, playing hockey is not possible…during the upcoming 2017-18 season.”

It’s a disheartening moment, especially considering that it involves a class act, a fantastic player, and one who could have easily made an impact for a few more years despite his age.

Hossa was instrumental in the Blackhawks’ three Stanley Cup Championships since coming to the team in 2009.

Farewell Artemi Panarin, Welcome Back Brandon Saad

Friday morning, hours before the 2017 NHL Draft began at Chicago’s United Center, 2016 Calder Trophy winner, Artemi Panarin, was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets for former-Blackhawk Brandon Saad.

More specifically, Chicago sent Panarin, Tyler Motte, and a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft to Columbus for Saad, goaltender Anton Forsberg, and a 2018 fifth-round pick.

Saad, who was traded away back in 2015, returns to Chicago after the sudden loss of Marian Hossa. The team will expect his offense to make up for Hossa’s absence.

The Blackhawks lose Panarin but gain Saad, who was a phenomenal linemate for Jonathan Toews. Toews hasn’t had the level of offensive success since Saad left, and Hawks fans will hope that success returns this season.

Saad finished the 2016-17 season with a very respectable 24 goals and 29 assists in 82 games. In five playoff games this year, he had a goal and two assists.

Artemi Panarin’s point production (31G and 43A last season) will be missed but Saad’s return will certainly be celebrated.

Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes

In another Friday morning trade, star defenseman Nicklas Hjalmarsson was traded from the Chicago Blackhawks to the Arizona Coyotes for defenseman Connor Murphy and forward Laurent Dauphin.

The 30-year-old Hjalmarsson spent 10 years with the Blackhawks after being acquired in the 2005 draft. Like Hossa, he was an integral member in Chicago’s last three Stanley Cups and will certainly be missed.

In return, the Blackhawks gain Connor Murphy, a 6’4”, 212-pound physical defenseman. He has clear potential, enough that the Coyotes handed the now 24-year-old a six-year contract worth $23.1 million.

With five years left on that contract, Chicago will hope that Murphy is a solid, cost-effective replacement for the older Hjalmarsson.

Chicago Blackhawks Host The NHL Entry Draft

As if all of the aforementioned moves didn’t make the Chicago Blackhawks’ week hectic enough, the team played host to the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, where it also ended up with nine picks throughout seven rounds.

Chicago went mostly defense with its picks, including its first-round pick in Henri Jokiharju. You can find a pick-by-pick recap here.

Tyler Berry

Tyler Berry

Tyler is a digital marketing coordinator moonlighting as a sports writer. He is an avid Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers and Chicago White Sox fan, and has followed the Blackhawks even before Kane and Toews were drafted.
Tyler Berry