<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Sports]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.com en-us Thu, 02 Jul 2015 03:36:46 -0500 Thu, 02 Jul 2015 03:36:46 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Richards Signs 1-Year Deal With Red Wings]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 16:56:38 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-477064782.jpg

Brad Richards talked about potentially coming back to the Chicago Blackhawks this offseason, but those conversations didn’t materialize into a return engagement as the center has signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings.

The deal, which was first reported by Darren Dreger of TSN, will give the Red Wings another center as they continue to retool their roster. The Wings also signed defenseman Mike Green on Wednesday, but the team was looking for another veteran forward to add to the mix.

The deal will pay Richards $3 million next season, with potential bonuses raising the potential price up to $4 million. 

Richards scored 12 goals and dished out 25 assists for the Blackhawks in the 2014-15 season, and even though he did take a cheap 1-year contract to sign with the Hawks during the last offseason, it looks as though the Blackhawks chose to go in a different direction this time around.

During his conference call on Tuesday to discuss the Brandon Saad trade, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman seemed to indicate that Richards would be playing elsewhere next season, saying that the team “lost two centermen.” The other player that is likely off the roster is Antoine Vermette, who has been generating plenty of interest around the league in recent days.

In their place, the Blackhawks will have a wide variety of players to choose from on their current roster. The one surefire bet is Artem Anisimov, who signed a five-year contract extension with the Hawks after the team acquired him from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Marko Dano could also get a shot at a center job, along with Teuvo Teravainen and Andrew Shaw. Marcus Kruger has yet to be re-signed, but it seems likely that he will be and remain in a bottom-six forward role with the team.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Reports: Butler Re-Signs for 5 Years With Bulls ]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 14:06:19 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/183707723.jpg

The Chicago Bulls have made it abundantly clear that they want to keep Jimmy Butler as he hits restricted free agency, and on Wednesday it appears they will get their wish as the forward is finalizing a five-year deal to remain with the organization.

The deal, which was first reported as close to being done by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports and was confirmed as done by Brian Windhorst of ESPN and K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, will pay Butler $90 million, and includes an opt-out clause after the fourth year. 

Reports have been swirling for weeks about Butler’s ultimate destination, with the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly strongly in the mix, but the Bulls gave the forward a maximum qualifying offer, meaning that they would essentially match any offer that Butler was going to be given.

Butler had an opportunity to sign an extension with the Bulls before the 2014-15 season, but he rolled the dice on his ability to earn a max-contract, and the gamble paid off. Butler averaged 20 points and 5.8 rebounds per game during the season, and when Derrick Rose was out of the lineup due to injury, Butler picked up the scoring slack in a big way and helped keep the Bulls competitive. 

Now, with Fred Hoiberg and his up-tempo offense in Chicago, Butler is going to have a serious opportunity to up his productivity even more in the coming years. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Blackhawks Announce Dates for 2015 Prospect Camp]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 12:45:48 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*120/blackhawks-generic-hockey.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks are focused on improving their team via free agency and trades as the NHL free agent signing period has begun, but on Wednesday the team also has plenty of prospects that could make an impact next season. 

Those prospects will put their skills on display in July as the team announced the dates for their annual Prospect Camp. The event will take place from July 12-17, and it will be held at Johnny's IceHouse West, which is located just west of the United Center. 

Numerous prospects will be making appearances at the camp, which is open to the public. 2014 first round pick Nick Schmaltz will likely be among the participants, as will players like Ryan Hartman and Mark McNeill. There is also a real possibility that new players like Kyle Baun and Artemi Panarin will also be on the ice. 

Rosters for the camp will be announced at a later date. 

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<![CDATA[Saad a "Little Bit Shocked" by Trade to Blue Jackets]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 12:42:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/saad1.jpg

When the Chicago Blackhawks traded Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday afternoon, plenty of people were shocked by the move, and the winger himself was one of them.

“A little shocked,” Saad said in a conference call. “It’s my first time going through the process. At the same time it’s a business."

The Blackhawks were going to have a tough time making moves to clear enough salary cap space to sign Saad, who reportedly was seeking a contract that would pay him $6.5 million per season. That knowledge certainly crept into Saad’s mind, and it perhaps helped cushion the blow of the team sending him to Columbus.

“With the Blackhawks and how close they are to the cap, you knew something was going to happen with me or someone else,” he said.

For now, Saad is letting his agent focus on getting a new contract done with Columbus, and he’s also looking forward to joining a forward group that includes All-Stars like Nick Foligno and Ryan Johansen.

“It’s definitely going to be a change,” he said. “At the same time, I’ve watched Columbus in the past and they’ve had some tight playoff series where they’ve played really well.”

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<![CDATA[Hawks Sign Tikhonov to 1-Year Deal ]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 14:46:41 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/171*120/021214-ViktorTikhonov.JPG

The Chicago Blackhawks have already added one big-name Russian player to their roster this year, but on Wednesday they added another one as Viktor Tikhonov signed a one-year contract with the team.

The deal was rumored to be close, according to several reporters, and Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago was the first to break the story that the deal has been agreed upon. The team confirmed the contract on Wednesday afternoon. 

According to Elliotte Friedman from Hockey Night in Canada, the Blackhawks will pay Tikhonov $1.04 million next season. 

Tikhonov, who was a first round draft pick of the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2008 NHL Draft, has spent the last four seasons with St. Petersburg in the KHL. Over that time, he has scored 55 goals and dished out 60 assists in 182 games in the Russian league.

One of the biggest enticements to Tikhonov in joining the Hawks is the opportunity to play on the same roster as Artemi Panarin. Here is what Tikhonov had to say about the young star at the World Junior Championships earlier this year: 

"They should be (excited). I think honestly, he's probably the most talented kid in the KHL. He's got hands, he's got speed, he's got a shot. He can [make plays]. I know there are a lot of players there that will appreciate his style." 

Tikhonov joins a crowded competition for playing time among forwards with the Blackhawks, as prospects like Mark McNeill and Ryan Hartman will have to battle with guys like Tikhonov, Artemi Panarin and Jeremy Morin next season.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Reports: Dunleavy Signs Three-Year Deal With Bulls]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:19:27 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/175*120/Knicks+Bulls+1029001.jpg

Mike Dunleavy was a player of interest for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers as NBA free agency approached, but the veteran shooter will remain with the Chicago Bulls as he’s reportedly agreed to a three-year contract extension.

The deal, which was first reported by Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski and later confirmed by several other reports, will pay him just under $5 million per season.

The contract will keep Dunleavy with the team that he’s spent the last two seasons with. In the 2014-15 campaign, Dunleavy played a key role as head coach Tom Thibodeau frequently played him over rookie small forward Doug McDermott, and the veteran repaid the coach nicely with 9.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game for the Bulls.

While Dunleavy is staying, it wasn’t through a lack of trying from other teams. With the squad falling just short of an NBA title, LeBron James and the Cavaliers were targeting Dunleavy in free agency to fill an outside shooter’s role, similar to the one that Ray Allen did for James when he was with the Miami Heat.

With Dunleavy now under contract, the Bulls can shift their full attention to the fate of Jimmy Butler, who is reportedly mulling a five-year deal worth $90 million to stay with the Bulls.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[2015 NHL Free Agency Live Blog]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 17:05:35 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/hockey-generic-722x406.jpg

When the clock strikes noon in the East (11 a.m. in the Central Time zone), NHL free agency will officially begin, and players are free to sign with whichever team they want. The day is usually very active, with over 80 players signing new deals last year on the opening day of the free agent signing window. 

Whether it's a team like the Chicago Blackhawks (who have just $1.5 million in salary cap space but still need to add a veteran defenseman and perhaps a forward) or the Arizona Coyotes (who have to spend at least $14 million just to get to the salary cap floor), there are plenty of teams who will be active on July 1. 

5:05 p.m. - The Bruins have made another move, shipping Reilly Smith to the Florida Panthers in exchange for former Blackhawks winger Jimmy Hayes. 

5:00 p.m. - Our story on the Brad Richards signing in Detroit. [Madhouse Enforcer

4:55 p.m. - The Boston Bruins have landed a big name in free agency, as it appears that they're grabbing Matt Beleskey off the market. 

4:30 p.m. - Brad Richards has signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings, leaving the Blackhawks after one season. 

4:00 p.m. - Not a lot going on right now as teams are having their executives speak to media members, indicating that they're finished for the day. Here is one signing we missed from earlier: 

3:20 p.m. - Another former Blackhawks player could be moving on to a different team: 

3:15 p.m. - A couple of moves percolating, with Brad Richards nearing a 1-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings and Max Reinhart getting traded to the Nashville Predators: 

2:50 p.m. - The Detroit Red Wings aren't known for making splashes on the opening day of free agency, but they did that on Wednesday as they inked Mike Green to a three year contract that will pay him $6 million per season: 

2:10 p.m. - We apologize if you saw the tweet formerly in this space about a Vladimir Tarasenko offer sheet. Someone created a fake Twitter account for Blues beat writer Andy Strickland and tweeted the information. Still not exactly sure why folks do that, but we regret the error anyway. 

1:55 p.m. - Jack Eichel officially signs a three-year entry level deal with the Buffalo Sabres. Also reports out that Viktor Stalberg, the former Blackhawks winger who was recently bought out of his contract by the Nashville Predators, has signed with the New York Rangers. 

1:35 p.m. - Tons of trade rumors swirling at the moment. Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is being mentioned as a candidate, with the Rangers as a possible destination. Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell also being talked about, with Sharp connected to the Islanders and Bickell to the Bruins. Finally, the Rangers could be looking to move Keith Yandle. 

1:20 p.m. - John Moore is headed back East, signing a three-year deal with the New Jersey Devils. He recently played for the Arizona Coyotes after being dealt there in the Keith Yandle trade. 

1:10 p.m. - Zack Kassian gets shipped to the Montreal Canadiens. Still a ton of players left available on the board, but we're looking at small trades like this as things are slowing down two hours into free agency. 

12:55 p.m. - Surprising news out of New York, as Glen Sather is stepping down as the GM of the Rangers. 

12:45 p.m. - More reports out that the Blackhawks have signed Viktor Tikhonov to a one-year deal worth just under $1.5 million. We have the full story on the blog. [Madhouse Enforcer]

12:40 p.m. - Alex Burmistrov will return after a two-year stint in the KHL and has signed with the Winnipeg Jets. 

12:20 p.m. - A potential free agent target for the Blackhawks has gone elsewhere, as Barret Jackman will head to the Nashville Predators. 

12:15 p.m. - The Penguins will send Scott Harrington, Paskeri Kapanen, and a first round pick to the Maple Leafs in exchange for Phil Kessel, Sportsnet reports. 

12:03 p.m. - Another big contract has been signed, as former Blackhawks forward Michael Frolik has signed with the Calgary Flames. 

12:00 p.m. - Monster deal emerging in the NHL as the Maple Leafs have sent Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

11:45 a.m. - The Oilers have landed Andrej Sekera with a six-year contract that will pay him over $5 million per season. Big deal there. Also gets a no-movement clause. 

11:38 a.m. - Big news out of San Jose, as the Sharks have signed defenseman Paul Martin. The move really hurts the Pittsburgh Penguins' blue line, but it's a big get for the Sharks: 

11:35 a.m. - The Minnesota Wild continue to lock up players, as they made the Mike Reilly signing official and also announced that they've brought back Nate Prosser: 

11:27 a.m. - It looks like the Edmonton Oilers are going to be making some pretty serious additions as the team looks to ice a more competitive product next season: 

11:13 a.m. - Several moves being made already in free agency. Defenseman Matt Hunwick is headed to the Toronto Maple Leafs, while Thomas Greiss is heading to the New York Islanders. A big deal also took place in Colorado, where defenseman Francois Beauchemin has agreed to a three-year deal with the Avalanche. 

11:10 a.m. - The Blackhawks could still potentially sign Andrew Desjardins to a new contract, but there's another fourth line winger that could be on their radar: 

11:05 a.m. - The Minnesota Wild secured one of their young stars to a new deal early on in free agency: 

11:00 a.m. - Two signings announced just as free agency started: the Blackhawks make the Artem Anisimov extension official (you can read about that here), and the Vancouver Canucks signed free agent defenseman Yannick Weber to a 1-year deal worth $1.5 million. 

10:50 a.m. - Not a free agent deal, but it does appear that the number two pick in the NHL Entry Draft will be suiting up in the NHL next season: 

10:40 a.m. - Current Winnipeg Jets forward (and former Chicago Blackhawks ace penalty killer) Michael Frolik will likely be hitting the open market when free agency begins in 20 minutes. 

10:25 a.m. - The Pittsburgh Penguins have been looking for a top-six forward ever since the season ended, and they could have a very interesting one in mind via trade on this opening day of free agency: 

9:55 a.m. - Two more signings coming over the wire, as Mike Ribeiro agrees to a two-year extension to stay with the Nashville Predators: 

And goaltender Karri Ramo agrees to a one-year deal to stay with the Calgary Flames: 

9:50 a.m. - The Blackhawks made a signing early this morning as they agreed to a five-year deal with center Artem Anisimov. [Madhouse Enforcer] 

Another extension was also agreed to before the free agency window opens, as the Anaheim Ducks signed defenseman Kevin Bieksa (whom they acquired in a trade on Tuesday) to a two-year, $8 million deal. 

Of the names to keep an eye on today, one that fans should really be watching closely is winger Matt Beleskey. There is a ton of interest in the former Anaheim forward's services, and he could be the subject of a fascinating bidding war. 

Other veterans could also be on the move today, with guys like Martin St. Louis and Johnny Oduya also hitting the market. 

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<![CDATA[Anisimov Signs Five-Year Deal With Hawks]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 11:08:34 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP120309155873.jpg

It’s been less than 24 hours since the Chicago Blackhawks acquired center Artem Anisimov in a trade that sent Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets, but the team has already locked up the veteran to a long-term deal and signed him to a five-year contract.

The deal, which was first reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger and confirmed by ESPN’s Scott Powers, will pay Anisimov an average of $4.55 million per season, a slight increase over the $3.28 million cap hit that he will carry during the 2015-16 season.

Anisimov will play a key role for the Blackhawks in the future, as the team will look to finally settle the debate over who their second line center is once and for all. He scored seven goals and dished out 20 assists during the 2014-15 season while appearing in 52 games for the Blue Jackets.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Opinion: Saad Trade Not Ideal, But Good Enough ]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 06:43:43 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-476401126.jpg

Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman has had to make some tough decisions during his run at the helm of the organization, but none have incited as much second-guessing or as much vitriol as the decision to trade away Brandon Saad just one day before NHL free agency is set to begin.

On its face, the situation is a tough pill to swallow. Saad is still incredibly young, coming off of a postseason where he was one of the most dominant players on the ice for the Stanley Cup champions, and best of all, he is capable of filling numerous roles and playing in all sorts of situations because of his on-ice intellect and skill set.

Those qualities are all really hard to find in a single player, and when looking at the Hawks’ current roster, there isn’t anyone that has that kind of potential. Sure, there are players like Teuvo Teravainen with the offensive skillset, and players like Andrew Desjardins (assuming he comes back) could help fill in the gaps on the penalty kill, but when it comes to the total package, there isn’t a ready made replacement among this group.

Ultimately though, that’s not how Blackhawks fans should view this trade. Looking at it through the prism of what Saad brings to the table makes it a difficult swap to justify, but when looking at the broader picture, it quickly becomes clear what was at stake if the Blackhawks decided to run the risk of letting the situation continue.

For starters, there was the compressed time frame that the team was dealing with. Teams were allowed to begin talking to restricted free agents on Tuesday afternoon, and starting with NHL free agency’s opening on Wednesday, teams can sign players to offer sheets. That means that the Blackhawks were potentially less than 24 hours away from having Saad exposed to that kind of enticement, and it seems certain that at least one team would have pounced to try to either pry Saad away from the Blackhawks, or to cause the team to go through an even more difficult salary cap crunch in order to keep him.

In addition to the time issue, there was also the matter of fair compensation if they ended up losing Saad to free agency. Bowman said all along that the team’s goal was to re-sign Saad, but what if a team had ponied up with a contract just south of $7 million per season? There’s no way that the Blackhawks could have matched that kind of contract with their current salary cap situation, and the compensation (a first, second, and third round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft) simply would not have been enough to justify losing him.

Instead, Bowman did what any responsible executive would do: he recognized that a shift was about to happen in the market, and he made sure to cover the team by making a trade to avoid a really tough situation. Some have been critical of the haul that Bowman got for Saad, but with the way the trade bolsters the team’s center depth with Artem Anisimov and Marko Dano, and with extra wingers in Corey Tropp and Jeremy Morin that will compete hard for roster spots, the Hawks got a group of players that gives them a much surer chance of success than a smattering of draft picks.

Ultimately, this trade was one that enabled Bowman to make the best of a tough situation. The Blackhawks were caught in a really difficult spot thanks to the tanking Canadian dollar (which suppressed the salary cap and made contract extensions for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews more difficult to work around) and the fact that Saad had such a huge postseason (which also further compressed the amount of time the team had to negotiate with him).

Those factors led us to where we are now, with Saad sent away to the Eastern Conference and the Hawks looking at addressing the questions that are now facing their roster. The situation is far from ideal, and anyone suggesting that Saad will be easy to replace is either delusional or way too eager to sugarcoat things, but the fact remains that Bowman was put in a difficult position, and he ended up making more of it than could have been reasonably expected.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Where the Saad Trade Leaves the Hawks]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 06:23:06 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-476629820.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks threw fans for a bit of a loop on Tuesday afternoon as they agreed to a trade that sent winger Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a package of four players and a draft pick.

Now that the shock has begun to subside and NHL free agency is set to begin, there are several questions that Blackhawks fans will need answered in the coming weeks and months. To help out with some of the big ones, we’ll ask a very simple question: Where are the Blackhawks at in four key areas now that Saad is no longer in the picture?

Lineup:

The Blackhawks couldn’t have assumed that they would get Brad Richards and/or Antoine Vermette back now that free agency is starting, but that doesn’t appear to be as big a concern now as their center depth has been greatly improved via this trade. Artem Anisimov (who is close to agreeing to a new deal with the Blackhawks) will provide a very flexible option at the position, with the ability to play second or third line minutes.

The Hawks will also have a decision to make as to which player will slot in as the fourth center (assuming that the team re-signs Marcus Kruger). There are several candidates for the job, with Teuvo Teravainen, Andrew Shaw, and Marko Dano serving as the main contenders.

The other question the Hawks will have to answer is which winger will end up pairing up with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa on the top line. It’s going to be hard to replace Saad’s two-way ability on that line, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see Joel Quenneville try to shake things up by having a speedy player alongside them, so if Teravainen or Dano loses out on a center position, you could see them get a shot. There’s always a chance that someone like Shaw or Patrick Kane could fill that role as well.

Prospect Depth:

Adding Dano and Corey Tropp to the mix gives the Blackhawks some excellent depth at the forward position, and it adds to an already well-stocked cupboard of talent. Guys like Ryan Hartman and Mark McNeill will both get a shot to make the roster next season, but they’ll now have to compete for playing time with the new guys from Columbus.

Jeremy Morin adds an interesting wrinkle to that mix, and so does the arrival of Russian forward Artemi Panarin, who dazzled scouts and could very well be a surprisingly big part of the Hawks’ rotation next year.

Cap Space:

With Dano, Tropp, Morin, and Anisimov all on the roster, the Blackhawks now have 18 players under contract and just $1.5 million worth of cap space to work with. Adding a new contract extension to Kruger will likely push them over the salary cap ceiling, and throwing in contracts for at least two new defensemen will cause the number to rise as well, but with the ability to carry a maximum of $7.1 million over the cap ceiling for the rest of the offseason, expect Stan Bowman to get creative with the limited space that he has.

What’s Next:

The Blackhawks are going to mainly be in the market for one thing now: a cheap veteran defenseman to help replace the stabilizing presence of Johnny Oduya on the back end. The blue liner is all but gone from the team, and they’ll have to find someone to fill in the gap as guys like Trevor van Riemsdyk, David Rundblad, and Stephen Johns take their time developing.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Saad Traded to Blue Jackets ]]> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:26:25 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/saad1.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks have said all along that their intention was to re-sign Brandon Saad to a new contract, but the team has changed course and opted to trade the winger to the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

The deal will also send forward Alex Broadhurst and defenseman Michael Paliotta to the Blue Jackets. In return, the Blackhawks will get center Artem Anisimov, center Marko Dano, winger Jeremy Morin, forward Corey Tropp, and a fourth round draft pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. 

"Our plan all along was to re-sign Brandon," Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said of his attempts to sign Saad to a long-term contract extension. "I don't think we came close on a contract." 

Saad, who was drafted by the Blackhawks in the second round of the 2011 Draft, blossomed into a star with the team during the postseason, scoring eight goals and dishing out three assists as the Hawks won their third Stanley Cup in six seasons. 

In the return, GM Stan Bowman acquired a player who could potentially play second or third line center for the Hawks next season, with Anisimov coming into the fold with one year remaining on a contract that will pay him $3.28 million. The center played in 52 games for the Blue Jackets last seaosn, scoring seven goals and racking up 20 assists. 

The Hawks also got a young center in Dano, who will turn 21 years old later this year. He had eight goals and 13 assists in 35 games with the Blue Jackets during the 2014-15 season. 

Morin also makes a return to the Blackhawks, as the winger was traded to Columbus last season. 

While the trade comes as a shock to Blackhawks fans, a report out from Bob McKenzie of TSN could help shine some light on why the Blackhawks decided to make the move: 

If a team had sent in an offer sheet of $6.5 million when free agency opens on Wednesday, the Blackhawks would have been faced with an interesting choice: match the deal and be forced to trade away even more players than they had already anticipated dealing, or decline to match the trade and get the signing team's first, second, and third round draft picks in the 2016 NHL Draft. 

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<![CDATA[Report: Nordstrom Given Qualifying Offer by Hawks ]]> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:11:15 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/joakim+nordstrom42.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks have plenty of questions as to which players will be in their opening night lineup in October, but a couple of answers have emerged as the team issued qualifying offers to several of their restricted free agents.

Players like Brandon Saad and Marcus Kruger were no-brainers to receive qualifying offers, which allow the Blackhawks to match any offer that they’d receive from another team, but some of their other prospects in the minors were more questionable.

According to ESPN Chicago’s Scott Powers, forwards Dennis Rasmussen and Joakim Nordstrom both received qualifying offers from the Blackhawks, but Matt Carey did not and will enter unrestricted free agency on Wednesday morning.

There are still two players whose fates are unclear, as goaltender Mac Carruth and defenseman Viktor Svedberg both will hit restricted free agency on Wednesday if they were qualified by the Hawks.

Even if the players aren't qualified, that doesn't mean that they would be prevented from signing with the Blackhawks. The qualifying offer allows the Blackhawks the right to match a contract offer given to the player by another team. 

If the players are not under contract by 11 a.m. on Wednesday, other teams can offer them contracts as NHL free agency begins. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Scott Darling Gets Stanley Cup Pride Inked]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 11:44:10 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/scott+darling+tattoo.jpg

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling now has his Stanley Cup and Chicago pride in ink, and apparently the tattooed remembrance was a family affair.

Darling got an epic black and white tattoo featuring the Stanley Cup with the Chicago skyline and  “Stanley Cup Champs 2015” written on it.

The tattoo was done by Michael Figueroa at Spider Tattooz in Sycamore.

"As a Blackhawks fan it's pretty unreal," Figueroa said. "Like it's hard to describe because it actually happened."

And the artist wasn't the only one excited about the tattoo. 

"We’ve been tattooing for over 30 years and done a lot of rock bands, football players and such,” said the shop’s owner Spider Kramer. “But to actually have a Stanley Cup champion in here getting tattooed is pretty awesome.”

Figueroa said Darling’s dad also got some commemorative ink at the shop, but his tattoo was a surprise for his family.

"That right there was a huge honor," he said. "I just thought it was really cool that he would want to permanently mark his skin with his son, you know, holding the Stanley Cup."

Kramer said Darling’s father revealed his tattoo in Lemont Monday as his son brought the Cup to his hometown for the first time since the team’s win.

The tattoo recreated a photo of Darling in his jersey holding the Cup in celebration after the exciting victory.

Both tattoos were done by Figueroa and took about four hours to complete.  



Photo Credit: Spider Tattooz]]>
<![CDATA[Scott Darling Brings Stanley Cup to Hometown]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 18:24:25 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/scott+darling+with+cup.jpg

Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling brought the Stanley Cup home on Monday.

The Lemont native brought the trophy to the Lemont Park District for an hour and a half in the afternoon. 

"We do a lot of great stuff, we go to Wrigley Field, meet Mumford & Sons, but today was my lucky day, sharing the Cup with my hometown, with all my friends and family," Darling said.

Residents of Lemont were equally excited to see the Cup and meet Darling, who is the first Chicago-area native to play for his hometown hockey team and win a Stanley Cup champion.

"Ten months ago he was on a smaller team, and now he's with the Blackhawks and is a Stanley Cup champion," Lemont Mayor Brian Reaves said.

The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup for the third time in six years on June 15, defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0.

"I was a Hawks fan my whole life," Darling said. "To see it come full circle like this is incredible."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Saad, Hawks Far Apart in Negotiations]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 18:05:28 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-476401126.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks have been adamant all along that they want to re-sign restricted free agent Brandon Saad to a new contract, but according to a new report, the two sides may not be as close as one would hope.

According to Jay Zawaski of 670 the Score, the two sides are still far apart on terms of a new deal. The Blackhawks are looking for a deal in the range of $2.8 million per season for two years according to Zawaski, while Saad’s camp is looking for a longer-term deal in the $4 million per season range.

There is a sense of urgency on the part of the Blackhawks to get a deal done before Wednesday, as that marks the beginning of NHL free agency. If Saad gets to that point without a contract, another team will likely swoop in and offer him a sizable offer sheet. Some connected reporters have suggested that a deal for Saad could climb above $5 million per season, and while that’s still a number that the Blackhawks could match, it would likely require more painful salary cap cuts than they would have liked to make.

Saad isn’t the only player that is going to hit restricted free agency on Wednesday, adding another wrinkle to the story. Marcus Kruger will also be available for an offer sheet on Wednesday, and if the Blackhawks have to pony up big money for Saad, then Kruger could be in play for other organizations, much like Antti Niemi was in 2010 when the Hawks were forced to match an offer sheet on Niklas Hjalmarsson.

If Saad gets an offer sheet for above $5.05 million, then the Blackhawks would get a first, second and third round draft pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft if they declined to match. That is huge at this point, as it still appears likely that the winger will end up back with Chicago one way or another.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Former Hawks Among Seven Inducted Into Hall of Fame ]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 16:13:48 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/housley+hay.jpg

The Hockey Hall of Fame announced its 2015 induction class on Monday, and one of the names will be familiar to Chicago Blackhawks fans. Former Hawk Bill Hay was inducted as part of the Builder’s Category.

Hay, who spent eight seasons with the Blackhawks during the late 1950’s and a good part of the 1960’s, was lauded for his work as the President of Hockey Canada, and he was also recognized for his role as Chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

“Being recognized by my hockey peers is truly a great honour,” Hay said in a statement. “Seeing the game — and the Hockey Hall of Fame — become truly international has been a tremendously rewarding experience.”

Joining Hay in this year’s class in the Builder Category was Peter Karmanos, Jr. He was the owner of the Carolina Hurricanes when they won the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Five players were also inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, with former Blackhawks player Phil Housley joining the group. 

Housley played in 137 games for the Blackhawks near the end of his career, scoring 21 goals and dishing out 47 assists in those contests. He appeared in five playoff games for the team during the 2001-02 season, notching an assist in his limited action. 

"I am absolutely elated to be entering the Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2015," he said. "One glance at the legends who have already been enshrined proves that this really is the ultimate honour for a hockey player." 

Chris Pronger, Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Federov and Angela Ruggiero were also inducted as part of this year's class of players. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Oduya Could Explore Free Agency ]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:04:59 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/ducks+blackhawks+getty.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks have some tough decisions to make this offseason as they look to reshape their roster following another Stanley Cup championship, but the organization’s plans likely won’t include Johnny Oduya.

That’s because the defenseman, who joined the team after a trade in February 2012, has said that he will explore free agency, according to Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago. Oduya, who is 34 years old, has won two championships with the organization, but with a looming salary cap crunch for the Blackhawks and only one more really good opportunity to cash in for the defenseman, he’s opting to explore his options this offseason.

Oduya earned just over $3 million per season with the Blackhawks after inking a contract extension before the 2012-13 season, but with several teams already interested in his services, he could stand to make more in free agency this offseason.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rundblad Re-Signs With Blackhawks for Two Years ]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:47:37 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/david+rundblad+getty.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks don’t have a lot of salary cap space to work with this offseason, but they’ve elected to use some of it to retain an asset as they agreed to a two-year contract with defenseman David Rundblad.

Rundblad, who was acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes in a trade in 2014, will be paid $1 million per season over the next two seasons, according to a report from Elliotte Friedman, who originally broke the story this afternoon. 

Over two seasons with the Blackhawks, Rundblad has played in 54 regular season games, scoring three goals and dishing out 11 assists during that stretch. He appeared in five playoff games for the Hawks in 2015 as the team won its third Stanley Cup championship in six seasons.

With Rundblad’s signing, the Blackhawks now have 14 players under contract for next season and have approximately $7.1 million to work with as they make moves ahead of the free agency period, which begins Wednesday.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Blackhawks Still OK Even as Sharp Remains on Roster]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 12:22:40 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-4786582041.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks went into the NHL Entry Draft with everyone assuming that the team would move big ticket players like Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell in order to create some salary cap space for next season, but GM Stan Bowman didn’t move either player as the team only made one minor trade while they were in south Florida.

The lack of moves means that the Blackhawks are still sitting with just $8.1 million in cap space, at least seven players to sign, and guys like Brandon Saad and Marcus Kruger still looking at potentially becoming restricted free agents on Wednesday.

Needless to say, the lack of moves has some Blackhawks fans angry. Why would Bowman leave the draft without moving anybody, especially with free agency looming later this week and a couple of players that teams will likely target with offer sheets?

To answer that question, we’re going to put on our General Manager cap and see what exactly the Blackhawks can do to extricate themselves from this situation.

For starters, the Blackhawks do have enough cap room to get Kruger and Saad under contract before free agency even starts. If one was to assume that Kruger would get $2.5 million and Saad to take a bridge deal worth $4 million, that would leave the Blackhawks with $1.6 million in cap space, with which they would have to sign at least two more forwards and three defensemen.

Of course, anyone with a working calculator can see that there isn’t enough money there to sign five different players, even if they were to all sign NHL-minimum deals to play with the Hawks. That’s where the Collective Bargaining Agreement comes into play.

According to the CBA, a team does not have to be salary cap compliant until the day that the NHL season starts. Until that date, a team can exceed the cap by a maximum of 10 percent, which would mean that the Blackhawks can go over the cap by $7.14 million until the season actually begins.

With that added flexibility, the Blackhawks can make a few moves in order to tie up loose ends and set their roster for the coming year. It is safe to assume that one of the three defensemen that Bowman will have on the NHL roster is Trevor van Riemsdyk, so his $925,000 cap hit brings the total salary cap available down to $675,000.

One of the forwards that the Blackhawks will have on their roster opening night is Artemi Panarin, whose cap hit of $812,500 would leave the Hawks in the red by just over $100,000. Throwing in a couple more contracts just to fill out roster spots (we’ll choose Mark McNeill and his $863,000 cap hit, and add in Ville Pokka ($925,000) and Stephen Johns ($800,000) to round out the roster), and the Blackhawks would exceed the salary cap by $2.73 million with 20 players under contract.

Of course, it’s highly unlikely that the Blackhawks are going to want to ice a roster with that kind of inexperience on the blue line, so for kicks and giggles, we’ll say that they acquire at least one veteran defenseman at a cap hit of around $2 million. That would mean that they would likely keep Pokka in the minors for the time being, and would also mean that their cap overage would go up to around $3.9 million.

The Blackhawks will not want to ice a bare minimum lineup, so odds are they would add some more depth here and there (and there’s always a possibility that a guy like Brad Richards would come back for a pretty cheap contract), but no matter what the outcome is, this exercise was designed to show one thing: the Blackhawks are not doomed just because Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell are still on the roster.

The salary cap system works to allow the team more time to find suitable trade partners for both players, and after this already weak free agent pool dries up in the middle of July, teams are going to still be willing to part with assets in order to acquire proven veterans like Sharp and Bickell.

With that being the case, and with teams looking to even just get to the salary cap floor, there are still plenty of options available for Bowman, and just because he “struck out” at the draft does not mean that it is time to panic by any stretch.

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<![CDATA[Report: Butler Wants Out of Chicago]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 11:06:47 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/183707723.jpg

The Chicago Bulls have made it abundantly clear that they intend to bring back versatile scorer Jimmy Butler next season, but according to a new report out Sunday night, he may not be as eager to return to the Windy City.

According to a report from the L.A. Daily News, Butler wants to head out west to play for the Los Angeles Lakers:

“Chicago forward Jimmy Butler hopes to take his talents elsewhere and take advantage of the new television deal after his career year coincided with Tom Thibodeau’s firing and Derrick Rose’s chemistry issues. Althought Butler wants to sign a one-year deal with the Lakers, according to a league source familiar with his thinking, the Bulls are expected to match any offer for the restricted free agent.”

It had been assumed that the Bulls would give Butler a huge contract this offseason after the forward had a breakout season, but ever since the team was eliminated by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the NBA Playoffs, rumors have swirled that Butler wanted a shorter term deal so that he could cash in after just a year or two as the league’s salary cap skyrockets thanks to a massive new television contract with Turner Sports and ESPN.

After Butler rolled the dice and declined to sign a new contract extension with the Bulls last season, he was rewarded with the best season of his career. He averaged 20 points and nearly six assists per game with the Bulls, and he continued to improve on the defensive end of the floor as he attracted the attention of numerous NBA teams that could him to an offer sheet this offseason.

The Lakers have been rumored to be the frontrunners to snatch Butler away from the Bulls, and his reported strife with Rose has only made those rumors gain steam. The two reportedly butted heads over who should be doing the bulk of the scoring during the postseason, with things coming to a head during the final throes of the Cleveland series.

Even if the Lakers sign Butler to a new contract, the Bulls have the right to simply match the deal and hold onto the star forward.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Darling to Bring the Cup to Lemont Monday]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 08:54:44 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-477284604.jpg

Chicago Blackhawk and Illinois-native Scott Darling is scheduled to bring the Stanley Cup to his hometown Monday.

The Cup will make an appearance at the Lemont Park District, located at 16028 W. 127th St. in Lemont, from 2-3:30 p.m.

Darling became the first Chicago-area native to play for his hometown hockey team and win a Stanley Cup Championship.

“I was a Hawks fan my whole life,” the goaltender said. “To see it come full circle like this is incredible.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins' Stanton Out With Fracture in Hand]]> Sun, 28 Jun 2015 01:59:21 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-478685206.jpg

The Miami Marlins will be without the services of Giancarlo Stanton for the foreseeable future due to a fracture in his left hand.

Stanton suffered the injury during Friday's loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The slugger grimaced following a strikeout in the ninth inning, and trainers checked his hand in the dugout afterwards.

Stanton is expected to miss four to six weeks with surgery pending. Miami has brought up Cole Gillespie to take Stanton's place on the roster. Ichiro Suzuki figures to be the main beneficiary in terms of playing time.

Stanton currently paces Major League Baseball in home runs and figured to be a lock for participation in the Home Run Derby. The outfielder was also one of the leading vote-getters for starting gig in the All-Star Game itself. But both of those events would now seem to be out of reach for the injured star.

The Marlins gave Stanton a 13-year $325 million contract in the off-season, which represented a major commitment and risk by the team. Stanton is one of the best players in the game, but has struggled to play a full season in his MLB career.

Miami now may turn into sellers and move pieces such as Dan Haren and Mat Latos. Both pitchers are set to be free agents, and the team is 15 games under .500. A playoff appearance is unlikely without Stanton's bat to help an already quiet offense.

The Marlins will take on the Dodgers again on Saturday as they look to end a five-game losing streak.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hawks Trade Raanta to Rangers ]]> Sat, 27 Jun 2015 14:31:54 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-450677413.jpg

Chicago Blackhawks waited until the NHL Entry Draft was over to consummate a trade on Saturday, but they did exactly that as they sent goaltender Antti Raanta to the New York Rangers in exchange for forward Ryan Haggerty.

The Rangers, who traded back-up goaltender Cam Talbot to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, found their man in the 26-year old Raanta.

With the Blackhawks, Raanta had a 20-8-5 record and started in 29 games. Raanta had a 1.89 goals against average and a 7-4-1 record in 14 games during the 2014-15 season.

As for Haggerty, the forward played with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack last season, scoring 15 goals and dishing out 18 assists. He played previously for RPI in NCAA hockey action, picking up 47 goals and 37 assists in three seasons with the team.

The move is the first of many for the Blackhawks, as they will still need to shed contracts and salary in order to re-sign Marcus Kruger and Brandon Saad this offseason.

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<![CDATA[Blackhawks Select 7 on Day 2 of NHL Draft]]> Sat, 27 Jun 2015 13:11:42 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-4786582041.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks were unable to trade back into the first round of the NHL Entry Draft after sending their first round pick to Arizona in the Antoine Vermette trade, but even without that selection they still added several new pieces to their farm system on Saturday in south Florida. 

Here is a breakdown of the players that the Blackhawks brought into the organization: 

Pick 54: Graham Knott, LW, Niagara IceDogs

Knott, who scored 25 goals and dished out 18 assists for the IceDogs during the 2014-15 season, is a big-bodied winger that was ranked #57 by NHL Central Scouting heading into the draft. According to the website Elite Prospects, Knott prefers to keep his game near the front of the net, and he has an accurate shot to go along with his physicality.

Pick 91: Dennis Gilbert, D, Chicago Steel

Born in Williamsville, New York, Gilbert is committed to attending the University of Notre Dame this fall, where he will follow in the footsteps of Hawks prospects like Stephen Johns. In 59 games with the Steel last season, Gilbert scored four goals and added 23 assists, racking up 89 penalty minutes in the process. He was ranked #58 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

Pick 121: Ryan Shea, D, Boston College

The Massachusetts native is committed to attending Northeastern University, and he had a solid season while playing at Boston College High School in 2014-15. He scored six goals and dished out 29 assists for the team in just 22 games. He was ranked as the #155 skater by NHL Central Scouting this year.

Pick 151: Radovan Bondra, LW, Slovakia

The Blackhawks continued to load up on bulky wingers with their selection of Bondra, who stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs 215 pounds. He will have to work on his physical game, according to some scouts, but with his skilled hands and scoring touch, he could be a nice sleeper for the Hawks.

Pick 164: Roy Radke, W, Barrie (OHL)

He played mainly third line minutes for Barrie during the season according to Elite Prospects, but the Geneva, Illinois product has plenty of room to grow and plenty of reason for optimism. In a limited sample size this spring, Radke managed to score four goals in nine playoff games for the Colts. He is a defensively responsible player as well, which is always something the Hawks look for in forwards who would likely inhabit bottom six minutes.

Pick 181: Joni Tuulola, D, Finland

The defenseman had five goals and five assists in 32 games for HPK this season in the Finland-based Liiga.

Pick 211: John Dahlstrom, LW, Sweden 

The final pick in the draft, Dahlstrom had a solid season for Frolunda in the Swedish SuperElit league, scoring 20 goals and adding 15 assists in 28 games. 

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<![CDATA[NHL Prospect Wants to be a Blackhawk]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 22:43:45 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000013039241_1200x675_472189507547.jpg Since 2010, the Blackhawks, who do not have a first round pick in the NHL draft, have selected four players from Illinois. NBC Chicago's Peggy Kusinski caught up with Mt. Prospect's Christian Fisher, who would love to join that list.]]> <![CDATA[Stanley Cup to Make Second Show in Pride Parade]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 20:19:22 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/stanley_cup_pride_032.jpg

Lord Stanley's Cup will make a second appearance in Chicago's gay pride parade on Sunday.

Blackhawks representatives, Ice Crew and the Stanley Cup will be carried on WGN Radio's float, according to a press release issued late Friday.

The Windy City Times, citing sources, reported before the official announcement that planning for the Cup's appearance had been going on for two weeks -- even before the Chicago Blackhawks secured the championship on June 15.

"Having The Cup at the parade is important because it shows the Blackhawks continued support of the LGBT community," team president Andrew Sobotka told ChicagoPride.com. "It's also important to have The Cup there because it's an exciting time for the city, and it should be celebrated by everyone."

Former Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel showed off the Stanley Cup during the 2010 pride parade

Sunday's event -- the 46th annual -- steps off at noon Sunday and is expected to draw more than one million people to the city's Uptown and Lakeview neighborhoods.



Photo Credit: Meredith Gregory]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Versteeg On Trade Block for Blackhawks]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 15:39:10 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-477286846.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks are still shopping Patrick Sharp aggressively as the NHL Entry Draft approaches, and according to one report, there are two other players that are joining him on the trade block.

Those players are Bryan Bickell and Kris Versteeg, according to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports in Canada. Bickell was rumored to be on the block earlier this week by Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune, but Lavoie also says that the Hawks are looking to move Versteeg in order to help clear some salary cap room for next season:

The Blackhawks are being forced to make some tough decisions this season as contract extensions for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews kick in. Those contracts, as well as the new contract that the team ultimately wants to sign Brandon Saad to, will mean that several members of the Stanley Cup championship roster will have to hit the road in search of greener pastures.

According to a report from Steve Zipay at Newsday, Versteeg nixed a trade to the Montreal Canadiens, but another report from Pierre LeBrun refuted that with a pretty reliable source: Versteeg himself: 

According to Kuc, two of the teams in hot pursuit of Sharp at this time are the Penguins and the Canadiens, with the Rangers also having expressed interest. Other teams like the Stars, Capitals, and Panthers have been mentioned as potential destinations.

Sharp’s cap hit of $5.9 million for the next two seasons is one that the Blackhawks desperately need to unload off of their books, and with the salary cap only going up to $71.4 million for the coming year, they will have to make a few more tweaks as well before the new year begins.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mike Reilly Chooses Wild Over Blackhawks ]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 13:04:42 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-117314143.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks are trying to get creative as they look to bolster their blue line depth for next season, but one of their potential scenarios went up in smoke on Friday as free agent defenseman Mike Reilly reportedly agreed to terms with the Minnesota Wild.

The deal, which was first reported by Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, means that the Wild get a player that was highly sought after when he opted not to sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier this summer. The Blackhawks were one of a select few finalists for his services, with the Pittsburgh Penguins also making a late push.

Reilly scored six goals and dished out 36 assists in his final season at the University of Minnesota, and after careful consideration the Minnesota-native opted to stay in the state to play for the Wild.

The decision leaves the Blackhawks looking at other options as they look to potentially replace both Johnny Oduya and Michal Rozsival on their blue line.

Players like Stephen Johns and Trevor van Riemsdyk will be leaned upon heavily, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the team take other steps to bolster the group, with free agent signings and the possible return in a Patrick Sharp trade (Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune reported that the Hawks could be looking for a defenseman in a Sharp swap) also helping out.

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<![CDATA[Portis Apologizes for Rose, Gasol Tweets ]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 12:55:55 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/draftpick22.jpg

Thursday night may have been a dream for new Chicago Bulls forward Bobby Portis as he was selected with the 22nd overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, but as he’s finding out the hard way, fame and notoriety come with a price.

Back in 2011, Portis sent out a couple of tweets from his Twitter account bashing Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol, both of whom will be teammates of his with the Bulls next season.

Here is a screengrab of his tweet about Rose:

On Friday, Portis tweeted out an apology for his remarks:

If there’s a lesson to be learned from this situation, it’s that things written on the internet aren’t written in pencil with the capability of being easily erased. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>