Hawks no big fans of shootouts
More and more general managers want to cut down on the number of shootouts, which would be just fine with Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville and star winger Patrick Kane.
There were several things discussed by the GMs at their meeting this week in Toronto such as expanding the present 4-on-4 overtime format from five to 10 minutes.
This season in the NHL, 40 of the first 262 games went to a shootout. Detroit GM Ken Holland even proposed five minutes of 4-on-4 and then three minutes of 3-on-3.
"I think there was an appetite in the room from all the managers and also from (commissioner Gary Bettman) to look at a way to extend overtime," Holland said. "And we're talking about possibly do we switch (ends), longer changes and do some things to try to maybe have better ice, whether it's more shoveling or something."
Quenneville, not a big fan of shootouts, would welcome a change.
"I'd rather see a game decided by playing hockey, but it's entertaining for the fans," Quenneville said. "Whether it's 3-on-3 or 4-on-4, I thought the entertainment factor before when either you got a win or it was a tie was way more entertaining than the 4-on-4 we're seeing now. Three-on-3 would probably be even more interesting."
Kane would love to see some 3-on-3 adopted.
"I think it would be cool for players to play in that and maybe show the skill of the game a little more," Kane said. "I was talking about it with by dad yesterday and we were thinking there's nothing like an overtime win for the fans. Yeah, it's probably cool for them to watch a shootout, but there would probably be more goals in a 3-on-3 overtime. Everyone loves finishing a game when a goal is scored, and that's it, the end of the game."
Handzus, Kostka to IR:
Center Michal Handzus, who missed his ninth straight game Thursday against Phoenix, was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Oct. 25 along with defenseman Michael Kostka.
Forward Alex Broadhurst was recalled from Rockford to take Handzus' roster spot but returned after the 5-4 win over Phoenix to make room for Kris Versteeg, who was acquired in a trade from Florida.
Handzus has an upper body injury that is either a wrist problem similar to the one he played through in the Stanley Cup Final, or a concussion. There have been reports of both.
"I still thought maybe he could be out a little longer here, and he could be," Joel Quenneville said following Thursday's morning skate. "We said we'd give him as much time as needed so it's not like we're going to rush him back."
The Hawks gave up two promising prospects in forward Jimmy Hayes and defenseman Dylan Olsen to get Kris Versteeg back from Florida on Thursday.
"We've seen some young players really emerge this year in Rockford, which has given us the ability to go ahead and move two really good players," general manager Stan Bowman said. "I think Jimmy and Dylan are both going to be really good NHL players and we certainly wish them well. They were great Blackhawks in their time here and I think they have a bright future ahead of them."
Bowman mentioned the names of Viktor Svedberg, Klas Dahlbeck and Adam Clendening as the young defensemen at Rockford who have developed quickly. As for the forwards, he mentioned Mark McNeill, Phillipe Danault and Alex Broadhurst as players who have impressed.
Change to prime time:
The March 1 Stadium Series game between the Hawks and Pittsburgh Penguins from Soldier Field will now air on NBC at 7 p.m. The game was originally scheduled to air on NBCSN. This marks the first time since NBC re-acquired NHL rights in 2006 that a regular-season game has been scheduled for prime time on NBC