Blackhawks salute outgoing coach at practice
As practice came to an end at MB Ice Arena on Monday, the Blackhawks gathered around the coaching staff and started banging their sticks on the ice.
It was a salute to Barry Smith, who will no longer be on Jeremy Colliton's staff after the Hawks host the Islanders on Tuesday.
"Great guy -- very, very fun to be around," Colliton said.
The 66-year-old Smith was brought aboard to ease Colliton's transition after the Hawks fired Joel Quenneville on Nov. 6. Smith spoke to the group for about two minutes, received another group stick-tap and exchanged hugs and handshakes with the players.
"We were a little bit short-handed and he left his wife and his previous life," Colliton said. ("He) lived in a hotel for two and a half months and was a great resource for me and the staff; really appreciate that. He's been through the wars already, so for him to come back into it was very selfless of him, I thought."
Colliton added the 38-year-old Sheldon Brookbank to his staff on Jan. 4. Brookbank was a member of Colliton's staff in Rockford last season and appeared in 74 games for the Hawks from 2012-14.
Corey Crawford did not participate in any part of practice Monday. The Hawks' goaltender, who is on injured reserve with a concussion, worked with Jimmy Waite for about 30 minutes on Saturday.
"I said it two days ago not to read too much into it," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "It's going to be a process here."
Colliton, whose career ended because of concussions, said he's not about to badger Crawford or head trainer Mike Gapski every day about how his goalie is progressing.
"It doesn't help me, it doesn't help him and minute to minute, it doesn't matter," Colliton said. "It's over time -- how does he feel, is he getting better?
"Did I talk to him today? Yeah, I talked to him today, but I didn't ask him how he was feeling. Because day to day, it's a non issue. I just want him to be happy and over time, feel better, and then we'll see if he can play at the end of that."