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Blackhawks agree to terms with Noel

by Chicago Blackhawks Media Relations /

The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that they have agreed to terms with forward Nathan Noel (NOHL) on a three-year contract that begins next season and runs through the 2019-20 campaign.

Noel, drafted by the Blackhawks in the fourth round (113th overall) of the 2016 National Hockey League Draft, recently completed his fourth regular season with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League where he matched a career high with 24 goals. That total finished fifth on the team. He currently has six assists during the 2017 QMJHL playoffs.

In four seasons with Saint John, the 19-year-old has recorded 208 points on 85 goals and 123 helpers in 242 career games. He set career highs in goals (24), assists (38) and points (62) during the 2014-15 campaign. He helped Team Canada to a Bronze Medal at the 2015 IIHF U-18 World Championship. He notched two assists in seven games during the tournament.

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Blackhawks relieve Dent of coaching duties

by Chicago Blackhawks Media Relations /

The Chicago Blackhawks announced today the team has relieved Ted Dent, Head Coach of the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs, of his duties.

"The Chicago Blackhawks thank Ted for all of his contributions throughout his tenure with the organization," Chicago Blackhawks Senior Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman said. "He played a major role in helping a number of players reach the NHL level with the Chicago Blackhawks, many of whom became Stanley Cup champions. We wish Ted and his family the best."

Dent posted a 221-179-33-21 record in six seasons as Head Coach of the IceHogs. Prior to being named head coach before the 2011-12 season, Dent spent the previous five seasons as an assistant coach with the IceHogs (2007-11) and Chicago's previous AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals (2006-07).

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Prospect Profile: Alexandre Fortin

by Emerald Gao / Digital Content Coordinator

Despite being passed over at last summer's NHL draft, forward Alexandre Fortin made the most of a free agent invitation to Blackhawks prospect camp and was rewarded with a pro contract by the end of training camp. The following profile was adapted from the March/April issue of Blackhawks Magazine.

Alexandre Fortin's journey from undrafted free agent to legitimate NHL prospect is a testament to patient scouting on the part of the Blackhawks, as the 19-year-old opened eyes at prospect camp last summer, earning a longer look at the rookie tournament and ultimately a contract. His numbers might not have been especially impressive on a stacked Rouyn-Noranda team that won the QMJHL title in 2015-16 and made the Memorial Cup Final, but Amateur Scout Alexandre Rouleau saw the potential for more.

"Even though his numbers are not through the roof, he does really well offensively and he does a lot of great things on the ice," Rouleau said. "He plays really fast in the neutral zone, his coach uses him in a few different places, and he can play PK or power play, so there's more to his game than just offense. He can bring energy with his speed and a lot of momentum to the game."

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Blackhawks relieve Kitchen of coaching duties

by Chicago Blackhawks Media Relations /

The Chicago Blackhawks announced today the team has relieved Assistant Coach Mike Kitchen of his duties.

"We believe this decision is best for our organization moving forward," said Blackhawks Senior Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman said. "Mike had an impact on two different Stanley Cup championship teams during his tenure in Chicago. We appreciate his many contributions and wish he and his family success in the future."

Kitchen joined the Blackhawks coaching staff as an assistant coach in July of 2010 and was on the staff for two Stanley Cup Championships (2013 and 2015).

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Verdict: Blackhawks don't need to rebuild, just redecorate

by Bob Verdi / Team Historian

As Stan Bowman assessed the weak that was, you could have landed a small plane on his lower lip. The Blackhawks' senior vice president/general manager seethed during a press briefing on Saturday at the United Center, where Game 5 was not necessary. His mood likely will linger for quite a while.

Unacceptable. Bowman used that word more than once, in case we didn't hear the first time, to describe his team's polite surrender in the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Nashville Predators. He promised significant changes and oozed anger. Perhaps Bowman intended to imply that his players, albeit belatedly, might share that emotion after being knocked down and out in four straight.

"A complete failure," continued Bowman, who sported something of a beard, obviously begun before the Blackhawks embarked on their cameo postseason appearance. He utterly dismissed 50 victories, 109 points and a Western Conference championship during the regular season as immaterial. That's probably a bit harsh, but again, he's mad. Madder than he's ever been, at least in public.

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game preview

5 Keys: Blackhawks at Predators, Game 4

Nashville looking for sweep; Chicago could use seven defensemen in quest to extend series

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent


8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports 3, SN360, FS-TN, CSN-CH

Nashville leads best-of-7 series 3-0

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Patrick Kane ready to lead Blackhawks in Game 4

Forward out to help Chicago keep season alive against Predators on Thursday

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / Director of Editorial

NASHVILLE -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has one goal in the Western Conference First Round series against the Nashville Predators.

The fact that his one goal, in the second period of Game 3 on Monday, is half of Chicago's total in the series is little consolation to Kane. He knows he has to give more, produce more, for the Blackhawks to stay alive after losing the first three games of the best-of-7 series.

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Buzz: No more margin for error for Blackhawks in Game 4

by Emerald Gao / Digital Content Coordinator

How does a team like the Blackhawks respond when their margin of error has shrunk down to nothing, when plans A, B and C have been swallowed up in a 3-0 series deficit to a Nashville team that not only has all the answers but has shown its work?

Game 4, which takes place Thursday evening inside a hostile Bridgestone Arena that will again be aggressively daubed with canary yellow, will provide an answer that could have long-term impact whether the Blackhawks win or lose.

Win, and the team goes back to Chicago with an opportunity to make things right with the home crowd, which was last seen expressing their displeasure throughout the last half of Game 2.

Lose, and the team goes back to Chicago to face another long summer.

"The pressure is on them" seems to be the prevailing attitude in the Blackhawks' locker room, but that's not to say there isn't also an enormous amount of pressure on the Western Conference's top seed entering a do-or-die Game 4.

If Wednesday's practice was any indication, Head Coach Joel Quenneville will most likely run the same forward groupings on Thursday, although he may make a change on the back end after Michal Kempny took veteran Johnny Oduya's spot in practice on Wednesday. If Kempny does make the lineup for Game 4, it would mark the 26-year-old's Stanley Cup Playoffs debut, one that comes with a heavy load given what's at stake.

Video: Coach Q on possibility of Kempny playing in Game 4

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Blackhawks recall three from Rockford

by Chicago Blackhawks Media Relations /

The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that they have recalled forwards Kyle Baun (BAWN) and Tyler Motte (MAHT), and defenseman Erik Gustafsson (GUHS-tahf-suhn) from the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs.

Baun, 24, paced the IceHogs in scoring with a career-high 34 points (14G, 20A) in 74 games this season. The second year pro tallied 14 goals which ranked second on the club and shared the team lead with five power-play markers. Baun has appeared in five games with the Blackhawks over parts of two seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16) after signing with the team on March 26, 2015.

Motte, 22, split time between Rockford and Chicago during his rookie campaign. In 33 games with the Blackhawks, he recorded four goals and three assists. The St. Clair, Michigan, native finished the season with Rockford where he compiled 10 goals and six assists in 43 games. He previously collected 105 points (50G, 55A) across three seasons at the University of Michigan (2013-16). Motte was Chicago's fourth round selection (121st overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Gustafsson, 25, was recently named Rockford's top defenseman after pacing the club's blueliners in assists (25) and sharing the lead in points (30) among defensemen. The Nynashamn, Sweden, native spent the majority of the 2015-16 campaign with the Blackhawks where he amassed 14 helpers in 41 appearances. Gustafsson has registered 41 points (8G, 33A) in 95 career games with the IceHogs (2015-16 and 2016-17). He was signed by Chicago as a free agent on April 30, 2015.

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Between the Dots: Preds take 3-0 series chokehold

by Bob Verdi / Team Historian

NASHVILLE ­-- A gala atmosphere engulfed Bridgestone Arena. A few red sweaters were seen in the sellout crowd. Very few. The other 17,000 or so customers were outfitted with LED wristbands -- LED standing for, as we all know, light emitting diode. Carrie Underwood (Mrs. Mike Fisher) sang the national anthem. And of course, when live music didn't supply entertainment, an old favorite outside of Illinois blasted through the roof.

"The Night Chicago Died."

It was also the night Chicago scored. Unfortunately for the shocked and dismayed Blackhawks, when Monday night turned to Tuesday morning, they absorbed an excruciating defeat. Moments after being stoned by Corey Crawford, who was extremely good, Kevin Fiala scored at 16:44 of overtime to provide the rallying Nashville Predators a 3-2 victory and a 3-0 chokehold in this First Round playoff series.

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