Hawks Headlines: Versteeg Eager to Bounce Back After Tough Year

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In this edition of Hawks Headlines, we put a bow on the Chicago Blackhawks’ training camp stint in South Bend, examine which athlete surprised Patrick Kane with his knowledge about the Hawks, and how Nick Leddy and Johnny Oduya are trying to tune out distractions as trade rumors swirl.

-Kris Versteeg had a really rough finish to the 2013-14 season, and it’s the knowledge that he left something to be desired that is driving him as he returns to the Hawks this year. [Daily Herald]

-Antti Raanta signed a two-year contract extension to remain with the Blackhawks over the offseason, and after a rough finish last year he’s looking to show some progress in the new campaign. [CSN Chicago]

-According to Scott Powers, Ben Smith is going to get the first crack at the penalty killing spot vacated by the departed Michal Handzus. [ESPN Chicago]

-Patrick Kane recently shot a commercial for McDonald’s, and he was surprised when Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James talked hockey with him on the set. [Chicago Sun-Times]

-We’ve discussed this over the weekend, but Chris Kuc had a nice piece about how Brad Richards is fitting in with his new Blackhawks teammates. [Chicago Tribune]

-Nick Leddy and Johnny Oduya have both been subjected to trade rumors as the Blackhawks look to get under the NHL’s salary cap, but despite those distractions the duo is trying to just focus on hockey as camp opens. [ESPN Chicago]

-If you’re looking to subscribe to the Committed Indian newsletter this season, you can do so at this link (shameless plug alert: I occasionally write for them). [Real Fans Program]

-Finally, one of the more interesting storylines of the preseason is going to be seeing how San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns plays after switching back to the blue line following a stint at forward last year. [NHL.com

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