Blackhawks notes: Day 1 at Worlds, Carcillo, Balfour, Kruger, and some rumors

Here is a wrap up of how the Blackhawks fared in Day 1 of the World Championships, and other Blackhawks-related notes from the week that was:

Worlds

The Blackhawks made their presence known in the first day of the tournament in Denmark.

Canada vs. USA

Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat and Jordan Oesterle had one assist each in Team USA’s 5-4 shootout win over Team Canada in the opening round of the tournament. Team Canada got an early two goal lead in the first, courtesy of Pierre-Luc Dubois and Ryan O’Reilly. DeBrincat assisted on Anders Lee’s goal that cut the Canadians’ lead in half.

Early in the second, a pokecheck by Team USA goalie Keith Kinkaid on Team Canada captain Connor McDavid led to an odd-man rush in Canada’s zone. A shot from Oesterle was deflected by Dylan Larkin past Team Canada goalie Darcy Kuemper, tying the game at two goals a piece. Halfway through the second, the Americans took the lead, when Kane set up Johnny Gaudreau for his first of the tournament.

Seven minutes and fifty three seconds later, however, Anthony Beauvillier tied the game for Canada. Larkin took the lead for Team USA early in the third, but Colton Parayko tied it again halfway through the final frame.

After a scoreless OT frame that saw Connor Murphy on the ice for a full minute and twenty seconds on the penalty kill, Cam Atkinson won the game for Team USA in the sixth round of the shootout. Kane got denied on his lone attempt in the shootout.

Team USA will be back at it tomorrow versus Team Denmark.

Russia vs. France

There’s not much to say about this game except Russia completely dominated the French, routing them 7-0. Blackhawks prospect Maxim Shalunov and Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov scored the sixth and seventh goals for Russia in the third frame. The Russians face off against Team Austria on May 6th.

Sweden vs. Belarus, Germany vs. Denmark

Blackhawks defenseman Erik Gustafsson and newly-acquired center Dominik Kahun also took the ice today. Gustafsson played 13 minutes in Sweden’s 5-0 shellacking of Team Belarus. Kahun had almost 17 minutes of ice time and was a +1 in Team Germany’s OT loss versus Team Denmark. Sweden and Germany are back at it on May 6th as well, taking on the Czech Republic and Norway, respectively.

Carcillo’s Crusade

Yesterday, former Blackhawk Daniel Carcillo revealed in a post on Twitter that he has bequeathed his brain to the Carrick Institute after his death, so that it can be used to further study and understand “the consequences of traumatic brain injuries”.

Carcillo retired from the NHL in 2015 after nine seasons, which included two stints with the Blackhawks. Since he retired, he has been very vocal about the need for better healthcare for current and former players.

Recently, he has been calling the NHL out for not doling out enough punishment for shots to the head, as evidenced by his recent Twitter tirades concerning Washington Capitals’ forward Tom Wilson and his hit on Pittsburgh Penguins forward Zach Aston-Reese during Game 3, which broke the latter’s jaw in the process. The previous game, Wilson made the same hit on Penguin defenseman Brian Dumoulin. Wilson did not receive any consequence for the Dumoulin hit, but was hit with a three-game suspension last May 2nd for his transgression against Aston-Reese.

He has also been adamant about the league’s “complicity” in the deaths of former NHL players Steve Montador, Derek Boogard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak. All four were found to have suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a type of traumatic brain injury.

Carcillo won the Stanley Cup three straight seasons, in 2013 with Chicago, 2014 with the Los Angeles Kings and 2015 back with the Blackhawks. He led the league twice in penalty minutes.

Krugs goes to the desert

Former Blackhawk Marcus Kruger’s tough season continued yesterday, when he was traded by the Carolina Hurricanes to the Arizona Coyotes for Jordan Martinook. The Canes and the Yotes also exchanged draft picks with the trade, with Carolina sending it’s third round pick in this year’s NHL Draft to Arizona for their fourth round pick.

Carolina will also retain 10 percent of Kruger’s $3.08 million salary. Kruger is on the final year of the deal he signed with Chicago back in 2016.

This will be Kruger’s fourth team this season. He was dealt twice last off season, first by the Blackhawks to the Vegas Golden Knights, then by Vegas to the Hurricanes.

The Spider

Earl Balfour, who played for the Chicago Black Hawks during their 1960-1961 Cup season, passed away last April 27th after a battle with cancer. He was 85.

Balfour, who was known as a defensive forward and a penalty killing expert, was claimed by Chicago from the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1958. He played three seasons and some 200 plus games with the Black Hawks. After winning the Cup in 1961, he was claimed by the Boston Bruins during the off season. He never played in the NHL again, spending two seasons with the Pittsburgh Hornets of the AHL and ending his career as a journeyman through various amateur leagues.

Balfour is survived by seven of his nine children, 16 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Off-season rumors

There were a pair of rumors that emerged this week concerning the Blackhawks and their off season.

On Monday, John Jaeckel from The Rink revealed that he has heard rumblings that the Hawks are looking to extend both Nick Schmaltz and Vinnie Hinostroza. Jaeckel said that Schmaltz will be getting more money and longer term than Hinostroza.

And today, Craig Custance of The Athletic wrote that the Blackhawks are dark horse candidates in landing John Tavares. Custance relayed that a source from inside the NHL told him to “watch out” for the Blackhawks as far as the center is concerned, stating further that Stan Bowman and company are “looking to add something significant.” He also stated that he has already heard from multiple sources that Chicago is gearing up to be major players in free agency.

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