Limited travel has had Blackhawks missing some cities

  • Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane, seen here in a 2019 game against the Buffalo Sabres, said of all the cities the Hawks haven't traveled to this year due to COVID protocols, Buffalo is the one he misses the most.

    Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane, seen here in a 2019 game against the Buffalo Sabres, said of all the cities the Hawks haven't traveled to this year due to COVID protocols, Buffalo is the one he misses the most. AP File Photo

  • Blackhawks goalie Collin Delia has had limited ice time this season and his future with the team remains uncertain.

    Blackhawks goalie Collin Delia has had limited ice time this season and his future with the team remains uncertain. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 4/24/2021 5:56 PM

Second of 2 parts

With the Blackhawks only playing the other seven teams in their division, it meant no trips to New York, California, Las Vegas, St. Louis, Washington, Minnesota and Canada.

 

All 56 games were played in eight cities.

So, @kevin_carew from Twitter asked: With this strange season and schedule, which team are you most disappointed you can't face?

Patrick Kane: "Buffalo. It's cool that it's once a year to go back there, playing in front of my family and friends back at home. Last year we missed that game because of the season being cut short, and I've been injured a couple times and missed that game. It's always special to go back there when I get the chance."

Dylan Strome: I'd say Vegas. I tell a lot of my family back home if they've never been to a game in Vegas they should try and get to one. It's a pretty electric crowd. It's some things you don't see at other arenas. It's pretty crazy in there. And obviously it's fun to go to Vegas for anyone. The atmosphere is awesome with how many Hawks fans that are there and how loud the arena is for them."

Calvin de Haan: "I guess I'll go with Ottawa because that's my hometown. ... It's always nice to go home and play in front of friends and maybe have dinner with mom and dad before the game and stuff like that."

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Connor Murphy: "Sometimes you look forward to playing in certain cities, getting the experience of (playing in) Madison Square Garden or playing in a lot of the Canadian markets. (They) have some historic buildings like we have here. Those are just cities that are definitely exciting."

Duncan Keith: You miss the energy in the different buildings. It's always nice getting on the road for myself, playing back in the Western Canadian cities with a lot family and friends at those games. It's nice to be in California, too, but there's really no team or building in particular. You just miss the regular season when you're traveling and being able to go to restaurants and just feel the energy from different cities.

Q: Which restricted free agents are likely to be extended next off-season?

-- Bob Millikan, Indianapolis

A: Let me preface this by saying it feels like the Hawks do their best to sign any RFAs that show promise. Extensions will almost certainly be offered to Pius Suter, Brandon Hagel, Alex Nylander, Adam Gaudette, Josh Dickinson and defenseman Riley Stillman.

I would let David Kampf walk. He's a bulldog but too one-dimensional. Jeremy Colliton loves him, though, so it wouldn't surprise me if he's given an inexpensive two-year deal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Nikita Zadorov, who has arbitration rights, will be an interesting one. Though it appears the Hawks didn't do well in the Brandon Saad trade, it seems likely Zadorov will be extended. I wouldn't break the bank on a guy who's been error-prone. He carries a $3.2 million cap hit.

Anton Lindholm, also acquired in the Saad trade, could be on his way out.

Q: What are the plans for Collin Delia? Does he get at least another start before the end of the season?

-- Gabriella Smith, Graham, Washington

A: Of all the Hawks, Delia is getting the shortest end of the stick. Because all teams are forced to carry three goalies, Delia has been in no man's land most of the season, playing in two NHL games and four AHL games on a conditioning stint.

My guess is that if the Hawks fall out of the playoff picture, they will give Delia one or two more starts. He is signed through next season.

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