Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A busy week in Chicago

The Blackhawks Convention is this weekend, Friday-Sunday. CSN Chicago has announced that it will be broadcasting the opening ceremonies at 5pm CT, as well as posting live updates throughout the first evening of the convention. 

As I will be attending the Convention, I will have pictures and updates throughout the weekend.

Foremost in a lot of fans' minds as the Convention looms near (aside from which players will be appearing) is: are we going to hear an announcement about who the team's goalie will be for the 2010-11 season? Antti Niemi's arbitration hearing takes place this Thursday morning, July 29th at 8am CDT - will he and the team work out a contract before the hearing? Or will the team let the arbitration hearing go on and see how the dice roll? There hasn't been any word out about what's been offered or refused, so the only thing we can assume is that each party went back and forth on this and couldn't find a mutual central ground. We'll see. 

It's a good bet that the team would like to announce who the team goalie is going to be at the Convention, no matter what happens.

Former Blackhawks and recent trades to the Atlanta Thrashers, Ben Eager and Andrew Ladd, will also be having their own arbitration hearings within the next week.

In other news, defenseman Nick Leddy, who made such a splash at the Prospects Camp earlier this month, has signed a 3-year, $2.7M contract with the Blackhawks. That's a $900K cap hit, and he's still young - 19 - so I wouldn't expect him to be in the NHL this fall.

If Leddy makes a good enough impression at training camp, he'd be more likely to start out the season in Rockford, where he could probably get re-paired with Shawn Lalonde. The two looked very promising in Prospects Camp together - perhaps one day in the future we'll be talking about "Leddy and Lalonde" the way we talk about "Keith and Seabrook" now.

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