It's back to Chicago for Blackhawks
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- After a strange, almost surreal start to Blackhawks training camp Thursday, things seemed to get back to normal during the next three days at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
Thursday, of course, was when one of the more uncomfortable news conferences in recent team history took place with:
• Patrick Kane saying he "appreciates the question" but not answering many of them and …
• John McDonough giving a state of the franchise after Kane's awkward presser, then fielding some tough questions and letting reporters know that he "is anything but tone deaf" as to what is going on with Kane.
Then the Hawks hit the ice for three days and it was business as usual in front of thousands of their adoring fans.
Kane said Sunday that he felt like he "got better every day and feel like I'm trying some things out there to try and get back to where I feel comfortable. But overall I thought it was a fun weekend."
The team attended the Notre Dame-Georgia Tech game Saturday, which was one of -- if not the first -- time Kane was out in public since the allegations of sexual assault at his New York home were reported.
So was he nervous about it?
"Not really," Kane said. "I think when you're there with the organization, all your teammates, it doesn't even cross your mind of being outside in the public. It seemed like the support was good here all weekend."
The next test to see how fans will react will be Monday night at the United Center when the Hawks play a 7 p.m. scrimmage during their Training Camp Festival. Gates open at 5 p.m.
As for any rust Kane showed from not being on a rink much before this weekend, coach Joel Quenneville isn't worried.
"He's a special player that I don't think it'll take him too long," Quenneville said. "I think that his friendliness with the puck is probably not as good as we've seen it. But I saw some growth in that every day he was on the ice."
Put up your dukes:
Andrew Shaw and Garret Ross got into a lengthy fight during Sunday's second scrimmage. Asked about it afterward, Joel Quenneville said the only thing he minded was how long it went.
"I'd rather I was on the ice breaking it up," Quenneville said.
Vote of confidence?
Joel Quenneville's eyes lit up when he was asked what he thought about Daniel Paille's play.
"Like the way he skates," Quenneville said with a bit more enthusiasm than usual.
Paille, in camp on a professional tryout basis, scored in the second scrimmage Sunday. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound winger played in 71 games for the Boston Bruins last season, scoring 6 goals.
Defenseman Kirill Gotovets was hit with a slap shot during the second scrimmage and didn't return. He said it took seven stitches to close the wound just below his nose. … Marko Dano continued to impress while skating with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. Dano, the 20-year-old who came to the Hawks as part of the Brandon Saad trade, scored twice Sunday. That gave him 5 goals in his team's last two scrimmages. …
Bartlett's Vincent Hinostroza showed off his speed and vision in the first scrimmage when he took a puck behind the net and zipped it out to Brent Seabrook at the point. Seabrook buried the shot to give their team a 2-0 lead. … The Hawks released goalie Brandon Hope.