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Blackhawks remain “hopeful” that Corey Crawford will join team for the Stanley Cup Qualifiers

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The NHL restart is fast approaching, and the Chicago Blackhawks have a goaltending dilemma on their hands.

Corey Crawford, their starting netminder, has been deemed “unfit to play” since the start of training camp, and there hasn’t been a positive update about his status in some time.

What stands out with the four goalies currently at camp with the team (Malcolm Subban, Collin Delia, Kevin Lankinen and Matt Tomkins), it’s clear that they don’t have a reliable, veteran option in net to fill the void left by Crawford’s absence. If they have any shot at upsetting the Edmonton Oilers, they will need Crawford between the pipes. Despite the lack of updates, the Blackhawks front office remains optimistic that he will be ready in time for the start of the season.

“I think we’ll be able to give you a better idea when we get closer to the weekend. But that’s something we’re still shooting for. I don’t have any definitive comments right now, but we’re still hoping that’s the case.” Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said about Crawford’s availability.

“At this point nothing’s been ruled out…We still have a fair amount of time until Aug. 1 and the first game. We’re not thinking that far ahead right now. We’re really kind of here day to day. Like we said at the outset, right now Corey’s not here, so we’re focused on the other four goalies. If and when Corey’s ready, then we’ll have that conversation. But I think it’s best to stick with where we are today, and not jump too far ahead.”

The 35-year old has posted a 16-20-3 record, 2.77 goals-against average, and a 91.7 save percentage in 40 games this season.

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Injured Jets stars Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine to see specialists after Game 1 injuries

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As if Saturday night wasn’t rough enough for the Winnipeg Jets.

Aside from a disastrous 4-1 loss to the Calgary Flames in Game 1 of their Stanley Cup qualifying series, the team announced that both their star forwards Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine are seeing specialists to determine the extent of their injuries.

Scheifele left Saturday’s game early in the first period after sustaining a leg injury in a collision with Matthew Tkachuk. Jets head coach Paul Maurice has since accused the feisty Flames forward of intentionally injuring Scheifele.

“He could have cut his Achilles. He could have ended the man’s career. It’s an absolutely filthy, disgusting hit,”  said Maurice.

Laine sustained a hand injury in the third while colliding with Flames captain Mark Giordano and forward Sam Bennett.

Game 2 of the series takes place on Monday at 2:30pm/ET.

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Leafs legend Eddie Shack passes away at 83

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Some sad news coming out of the hockey world.

Hockey legend and Toronto Maple Leafs icon Eddie Shack has passed away at the age of 83 following a lengthy battle with throat cancer.

Known by fans for his big mustache and even bigger personality, Shack played nine of the his 17 NHL seasons with the Leafs franchise. During his career, which spanned from 1958-1975, he won four Stanley Cups (including scoring the cup clinching goal with Toronto in 1963), and was selected to three NHL All-Star games.

“The Entertainer” amassed 239 goals, 226 assists and 1439 penalty minutes in 1047 career NHL games.

He will be greatly missed by everybody in the hockey community.

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Coyotes promote Steve Sullivan to interim GM after John Chayka “quit” on team

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Things have gotten messy in Arizona.

With the resumption of the NHL season fast approaching, the Arizona Coyotes announced that GM John Chayka has left the team, and got himself out of the remaining four years on his contract.

We don’t know the exact details to this point, but rumours have suggested the new ownership team didn’t get along with the young general manager. They went over Chayka’s head, and started contract negotiations with pending UFA Taylor Hall without him present at meetings. On top of that, Chayka was apparently given permission to seek another job opportunity, but the team refused to part ways with him when a rumored job offer came onto his desk.

Regardless, the relationship between Chakya and new ownership appears to have ended in a nasty divorce, as emphasized by a nasty statement put out by the team on Sunday.

“The club is disappointed in Chayka’s actions and his timing as the Coyotes prepare to enter the NHL’s hub city of Edmonton, where the team will begin post-season play for the first time since 2012. Chayka has chosen to quit on a strong and competitive team, a dedicated staff, and the Arizona Coyotes fans, the greatest fans in the NHL”

As a result, the Coyotes have decided to promote former NHLer Steve Sullivan to their interim general manager role. He had served under Chayka as an Assistant GM for several seasons leading up to this point. They aren’t committed to him long-term, but will give him every opportunity to prove himself to be a permanent part of their front office.

“The club is moving forward and has named Steve Sullivan as interim general manager. He has the full support of the entire organization including team ownership, executive leadership, players, and coaches.”

The Coyotes are set to face the Nashville Predators in the NHL’s qualifying round beginning on August 2nd at 2pm/ET.

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