The Stanley Cup came to Ryan Field at Northwestern University on Saturday when the Chicago Blackhawks were honored prior to the Wildcats' game against Eastern Illinois.
Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz (a 1975 graduate of Northwestern), president and CEO John McDonough and executive vice president Jay Blunk served as honorary captains and joined the teams at midfield for the coin toss. Jim Cornelison, who sings "The Star-Spangled Banner" before every Blackhawks home game, performed the national anthem.
"I don't expect him to miss more than one or two exhibition games," general manager Jim Benning told the Vancouver Sun on Friday. "He for sure is going to be ready [for the start of the regular season]. He is chomping at the bit now. He is bugging me to get back at it right now. He had the operation (Tuesday) and later that day was hobbling around on crutches. There is no way that he is going to sit around idly. He is ready to get going."
Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Kristers Gudlevskis has appeared in one regular-season NHL game during his career. But after spending last season with the Syracuse Crunch, the Lightning's American Hockey League affiliate, Gudlevskis could be the backup goalie with Tampa Bay to start the season.
"I think I always have a chance no matter who is here and who is not here," Gudlevskis told the Tampa Tribune on Friday. "The main thing is to just work hard. This organization is really fair, and if you prove yourself you are going to get the chance anyway."
Tomas Jurco knows he has more to give offensively, and the young Detroit Red Wings forward hopes to show that this season under first-year NHL coach Jeff Blashill.
Jurco, who was a point-per-game player in 32 games in the American Hockey League in 2013-14 (13 goals, 19 assists) with Grand Rapids and had eight goals in 36 games for the Red Wings, was limited to three goals and 18 points in 63 games in his first full NHL season. He had a goal and an assist in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games as the Red Wings lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference First Round.
"Providing more offense is the main thing for me," Jurco told the Red Wings website. "I've been working hard all summer, to get stronger, faster, so I think it's going to help me. I'm excited and hopefully I'm going to have a good season."
Shane Doan is entering his 20th season in the NHL and the final season of a four-year contract, but the Arizona Coyotes captain isn't quite sure this will be his final season.
"I think I'm playing," Doan told the Arizona Republic on Wednesday. "At the same time, I mean, if I'm terrible, I don't want to be a nuisance to anybody. But if I can show I can play, then I want to be playing.
"I think this is going to be a big year to let me know more. As your contract winds down and my career obviously at the same time, you're getting older and you recognize I've got to do some things here if I want to keep playing. I want to prove as much to myself as anybody that I can keep playing."
Well, for me this one's concerning, the way we performed. Because three games in, playing a desperate team on the road, I was expecting something else than this. Right now, I'm just disappointed. The other games, I thought we did some things that you can build off your game. There wasn't a lot accomplished in tonight's game.
— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards after a 4-2 loss to the Sabres on Monday dropped Columbus to 0-3-0
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