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Five Questions With…

Five Questions: Blackhawks CEO on Winter Classic

Tuesday, 12.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Chicago Blackhawks president and CEO John McDonough:

John McDonough walked through the doors at United Center as president of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2007 with big dreams, big aspirations. He wanted to not just turn around the Blackhawks from their moribund days, he wanted to turn them into a well-recognized and highly respected global brand.

McDonough has seen his dreams become reality.

The Blackhawks hosted the 2009 NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field. That was their welcome back, their return to relevance. They won the Stanley Cup in 2010; it was their first championship since 1961. They won it again in 2013, and they're favored to do so again in 2015. They hosted a Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at Soldier Field last season.

On New Year's Day their brand will be back on the national stage in the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Nationals Park. The Blackhawks will be the visitors against the Washington Capitals.

McDonough spoke to NHL.com on Monday about Chicago's involvement in the Winter Classic, what it gains, tangible or intangible, from being in the game, and how the organization can continue to build the Blackhawks brand based on being involved in yet another major NHL event.

Here are Five Questions with … John McDonough:

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Five Questions: GM Nill preaches patience with Stars

Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill comes from the Detroit Red Wings' school of team-building, so patience in development is basically in his DNA. No team waits on prospects quite the way the Red Wings do, and it typically works out for them.

Nill, who worked alongside Detroit general manager Ken Holland for 19 years, has needed every bit of his patience this season because after overachieving to reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, the Stars have struggled, particularly in their own end.

Dallas (11-13-5) is sixth in the Central Division with 27 points and last in the NHL in goals-against per game (3.52).

"We were fortunate to make some moves last season that probably put us ahead of what anybody really thought, and now it all has to come together," Nill told NHL.com. "That's what takes time. Other than [Jason] Spezza and a few others, it's a very young core, and that's why we have to be very patient, let it come together. It's easy to say, 'Well, it's not coming together, we need to make another change,' but you've gotta let things gel on their own a little bit too."

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Five Questions: Hartley on Giordano, Flames' success

Tuesday, 12.09.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley has fun joking around about his team giving him heart palpitations and gray hairs this season because of their slow starts and strong finishes in games. He doesn't joke about his expectations.

"We're on a mission here," Hartley told NHL.com.

The Flames' mission is to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They're carving out their path.

Calgary, picked by many to jostle with the Edmonton Oilers between sixth and seventh place in the Pacific Division, is third in the division with 36 points through 28 games entering their game Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.

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Five Questions: Stevens on TV gig, Brodeur and more

Tuesday, 12.02.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Scott Stevens isn't sure if he's starting down a new career path or biding time before his next opportunity with a team, but the Hall of Fame defenseman is looking forward to finding out how it works on the other side of the hockey business.

Stevens, who spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils following 22 seasons as a player, is getting his first taste of being a television analyst with NHL Network this week.

He appeared on NHL Live on Monday and will be back Tuesday. He will rejoin NHL Network to be part of its coverage of the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals at Nationals Park on New Year's Day.

"I love hockey and I watch hockey," Stevens said. "It's fun to talk about hockey. That's what I've been doing my whole life."

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Five Questions: Lidstrom discusses life after hockey

Tuesday, 11.18.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom:

NEW YORK -- Barely noticed in the crowd, future Hall of Fame defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom went to get a hot dog with his wife Annika after the first period of the Detroit Red Wings game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 5.

It's not often Lidstrom can walk around without being stopped for an autograph or picture, selfie or otherwise, but there he was with his wife, nobody getting in the way of them and their dinner.

Lidstrom, not surprisingly, was smiling as they walked around like any other couple at the Garden. Of course, they are not any other couple. He is not any other fan.

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Five Questions: Bylsma enjoying studying the game

Tuesday, 11.11.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma:

With time on his hands this season, former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma has gone back to being a student of the game. His classroom is his living room. His desk is his couch. His teachers are the coaches and players in the NHL.

"I have done a scout on 27 teams to this point," Bylsma said. "I haven't gotten every team yet, but I'm coaching my son's team and I've been other places where it's just not possible to sit down and watch all of the games that are going on for that two days or three days. So I haven't watched every game, but I usually record two games a night and watch a game so I can watch the other games the next morning at some point in time to see what's happening."

Bylsma is studying to stay up to date on what's happening in the NHL in case his phone rings with his next job offer. He's ready for that to happen. But he's also studying as a way to learn more about nuances of the game that he never had time to dissect when he was coaching.

"There are some analytic aspects of the game that I'm looking at and delving into what the numbers mean, what the analytics mean," Bylsma said. "There are certain aspects of how some teams play that I want to dissect and breakdown."

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Five Questions: Hitchcock on special teams, goalies

Monday, 11.03.2014 / 11:55 PM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock:

NEW YORK -- The St. Louis Blues carry a five-game winning streak into Prudential Center on Tuesday because they're finding ways to win the hard way despite a below-par penalty kill and injuries to some key forwards.

"That's what it's about," Blues captain David Backes said. "Plugging holes and getting guys to step up with bigger responsibilities. We're gutting it out and getting back to our roots in how we play and how we have success, and that's playing in their end, mucking and grinding, and finding ways to get dirty goals."

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Five Questions: Canucks' Daniel Sedin on resurgence

Tuesday, 10.28.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Vancouver Canucks left wing Daniel Sedin:

What a difference an offseason makes.

The Vancouver Canucks changed almost everything around Daniel and Henrik Sedin this past summer, bringing in a new president (Trevor Linden), a new general manager (Jim Benning), a new coach (Willie Desjardins), a new system, and a new linemate for the twins (Radim Vrbata).

The difference has been noticeable on the ice as the early returns in Vancouver, particularly for the twins, have been favorable.

Daniel Sedin leads the Canucks with 11 points on two goals and nine assists. Henrik Sedin and Vrbata each have 10 points as the line has combined for 11 goals and 31 points.

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Five Questions: Stars' Spezza talks move to Dallas

Tuesday, 10.21.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Dallas Stars center Jason Spezza:

One of the biggest differences in Jason Spezza's daily routine in Dallas compared what he used to do in Ottawa is also one of the most private.

Spezza, who is in his first season with the Dallas Stars after 11 seasons with the Ottawa Senators, listens to more sports talk radio while alone in his car now than he ever did in Canada's capital city. The reason is simple, and obvious: He doesn't hear his name nearly as often anymore.

"I listen to (Dallas) Cowboys talk on my way to the rink," Spezza said. "It's refreshing, I can tell you that."


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Five Questions: Blue Jackets' Richards on big picture

Tuesday, 10.14.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards:

Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards won't get carried away. Not after two games, even though the Blue Jackets mostly were dominant in winning both. Not with the Dallas Stars in town looking for their first win Tuesday at Nationwide Arena.

"Right now we're only two games into an 82-game schedule so there's still obviously a lot ahead of us and we've got to continue to get better," Richards said. "Buffalo was a better 60-minute game; the Rangers at times were better than us in that game Saturday. We have to get better."

Richards, though, isn't shying away from Columbus' early success as a talking point for his team and what it might be capable of this season.

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic