Hawks honor Troy Murray on Hockey Fights Cancer night
It's been a difficult few months for Troy Murray, but he certainly received a lift during Hockey Fights Cancer night at the United Center on Sunday.
Murray, who has been battling cancer for more than three months, took part in a pregame ceremony with 15-year-old Devin Pittges of Niles. Pittges is in remission after his fight against Osteosarcoma.
The Hawks laid a purple carpet out on the ice for Murray and Pittges to walk down. Hawks captain Jonathan Toews and San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture dropped the puck between the two, then handed their sticks to a wide-eyed and smiling Pittges.
Moments later, Murray joined John Weidemann and Caley Chelios in the WGN radio booth to do some first-period commentary.
"I'm happy to be here," said Murray, who scored 197 goals in 688 games for the Hawks over 12 seasons. "It was a great honor to be involved in that ceremonial puck drop with Devin. ... Just happy to be in the building here."
Weidemann fell right back into his familiar role with Murray, tossing him a question or two during breaks in the action.
"It was as if somebody rolled the clock back, and he and I were working together, doing play-by-play and color again," Weidemann said. "It just felt like being around my family.
"I've worked with him for 15 years. To have that suddenly taken away has been difficult at times. But him coming back to the booth like that and putting the headset on and joining us -- even for a couple of minutes -- it reinvigorated me. That's how it felt.
"I just continue to pray for him that this can be full time again and he'll beat this insidious stuff he's dealing with."
The Ottawa Senators claimed forward Adam Gaudette off waivers on Saturday. The Hawks acquired Gaudette for Matthew Highmore at the trade deadline last season.
Gaudette played in seven games for the Hawks last season, then averaged just 10.5 minutes of ice time in eight games this season. He had 2 goals and 4 assists in those 15 games.
During his brief tenure as interim coach, Derek King has given Philipp Kurashev, Dylan Strome and Mike Hardman a long look in the bottom six. Gaudette was the odd man out, so the Hawks opted to place him on waivers.
"I'm happy that he got picked up cuz I think he can play." King said. "It was just hard to get him in the lineup here. ...
"I didn't know him. It's more of that trust factor, like we talked (about before). It just wasn't there yet."
Lukas Reichel, drafted 17th overall by the Hawks in 2020, was hurt during Rockford's game Sunday night when he was hit into the sideboards. Reichel (7G, 5A in 16 games) fell headfirst into the boards. The severity of the injury is unknown. ... Tyler Johnson, who did not practice Saturday or take part in morning skate Sunday, is still recovering from a neck injury he suffered at Carolina on October 29. Coach Derek King said Johnson "isn't as far along" as the Hawks thought earlier last week. ... Brandon Hagel's 7 goals is second-best on the Hawks. He scored 9 goals in 52 games last season.