The Blackhawks opened up the season with four games against Eastern Conference competition, all in six days, playing the first two at home. The first eight games the Blackhawks played were against teams who had made the playoffs the season before, including the defending champions and the defending runner-ups. Their season-opener was to be against the two-time defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Then, the ‘Hawks would see a familiar face in Artemi Panarin when they faced the Blue Jackets. They would face the Maple Leafs and the Canadiens up in Canada. They would then go on to finally play against Western Conference teams, playing against the Wild, the Predators, the Blues, and the Oilers. Today, however, we will just be looking at the first game, when the Blackhawks hosted Pittsburgh on October 5.
In a year of inconsistency, Jordan Oesterle was a bright spot on the Blackhawks’ defense, even if it was only for a short while.
According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the Blackhawks are expected to trade Hossa’s contract, along with winger Vinnie Hinostroza and defenseman Jordan Oesterle, to the Arizona Coyotes. This would free up $5.275 million in cap hit for each of the next three seasons from Hossa’s contract. Hinostroza was set to have a cap hit of $1.5 million for the next two seasons.
Former Blackhawks assistant captain Steve Smith stepped down from being the assistant coach of the Carolina Hurricanes to being the assistant coach of the Buffalo Sabres.
Forward Patrick Maroon was signed on Tuesday to a one-year deal worth $1.75 million. Maroon grew up in the St. Louis area, playing for the St. Louis Bandits of the North American Hockey League (a top-level junior league in the United States).