It’s not the Chicago Blackhawks prospects camp nor is it preseason. It’s true blue, legitimate regular season hockey and it starts in the national spotlight on ESPN tonight. It’s also against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a team that once had a similar rebuilding plan at the dawn of the Cap Era. As their window is beginning to close a bit, the Blackhawks are just trying to build the foundation around their proverbial window.
But it sure seems like everyone else is more nervous before Connor Bedard‘s first game than he is.
I find that pretty simple, to be honest. You know, answer a couple questions here and it’s kind of the normal game day stuff for me. Obviously it’s a big, big thing and a dream come true and I’m super grateful for this opportunity.”
Connor Bedard on his routine and thoughts before his first NHL game
Tonight’s Roster Highlights
The next chapter of Blackhawks history pic.twitter.com/9GYQ2u0YwH
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) October 9, 2023
It’s six young players in the lineup tonight with Bedard, Kevin Korchinski, Wyatt Kaiser, Lukas Reichel, Alex Vlasic, and Cole Guttman all getting ice time. With an average age of 27.1 on the roster, Guttman is the oldest at 24. They have two teenagers in Korchinski and Bedard. The youth movement and trying to establish the new core is now underway.
Blackhawks – Penguins Look Back
How can you forget the game they beat Pittsburgh in? That game caused both fanbases to wring its colletive hands–with Blackhawks fans worried it would put them out of a real chance to get Bedard. (It didn’t). Penguins fans watched their team miss the playoffs, and wondered if this was it. (It wasn’t, along came Kyle Dubas). The teams split their meeting last season.
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Here we go. The start of the Bedard era along with Korchinski making his NHL debut against the Penguins, a team who started in a similar rebuilding spot 18 years ago. How will the youngsters look on the national stage?
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