I'll admit it, the NHL has come further than I thought they would with this return-to-play.
While they are not in the clear just yet, the Hawks – and the rest of the Western Conference "playoff teams" are in Edmonton. As are the Eastern Conference participants in Toronto – just a mere 36 miles away from where I'm typing this blog from.
I'll have some notes below, but first, here is the team the Hawks have in Edmonton:
The cuts from camp are Reese Johnson, Chad Krys, Matt Tompkins, and an exclusion by his own accord by Brent Seabrook.
Nothing too surprising here other than one small decision to take Alec Regula over Chad Krys which won't mean much as neither had/have a chance to see the ice.
This speaks volumes as to what the Hawks think of Regula, but it's also a little odd as Krys was practicing and participating in the scrimmages – albeit as a winger – while Regula stayed with the taxi squad.
Krys is 22 (2+ years old than Regula) and just finished his first full professional season, while Regula has yet to play a pro game.
Anyway, like I said, nothing major, but thought it was worth mentioning.
I mentioned Seabrook as well; he had some really strong words when speaking to the media the other day:
"I don't think I was playing bad," Seabrook said. "I think I was playing well enough to play the games, and (Colliton) obviously saw something in me that he didn't like. I'm not going to be too worried about that. I know what I can bring to this team, I know what I can bring to the ice. I still think that I'm one of the best defensemen in this locker room, and if given the chance and given the opportunities that some guys get, then I think I would definitely be able to live up to those expectations and exceed them. I've done it my whole career. And a lot of people want to make a lot of my contract and my age, (but) if given the opportunity and feeling like a big part of the team on the ice, you'll get everything I got. And I got lots left. I got lots left."
That quote is courtesy of Mark Lazerus of The Athletic.
Wow. I sense that Seabrook might not be the biggest Colliton fan. Looking at these comments, essentially Seabrook is stating his case not just as an NHLer – but a very good NHLer still. He hints that Colliton might not see this.
So, Seabrook has stated his case and we'll see what happens next year.
Now, on to the big news of the weekend, Corey Crawford has returned!
Crawford openly stated that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Now that he's clear, he's back in action, however, is it too late?
I think it's really going to be a close call to see if Crawford will be ready for August 1st. But before that, there is a hockey game on Wednesday as well which will be interesting who is in the net for Colliton's Hawks for this exhibition game.
It seems far-fetched that Crawford would be ready for that game. If Crawford isn't deemed quite ready yet, will it be Subban? Delia? Lankinen?
My best guess? I see the most likely scenario being that Subban or Delia get the start on Wednesday while Crawford continues to practice and get up to speed in the background.
Then on Saturday, if Colliton deems Crawford "good enough" to go, he'll be in net. And by "good enough" I think that will be 80%(ish) or above will be a green light for Crow to make the start.
Connor Murphy should be good to go but didn't participate in full practice on Sunday, but Colliton claims they are going to get him "ramped up" as he returns from a groin injury.
Sounds like he will be good to go, however, if he can't I would guess that Lucas Carlsson will enter into the fold.
He isn't the only option though that I can see. I personally wouldn't do this, but I could see a scenario where Colliton elects to go with 27-year old Nick Seeler who has 102 regular-season games and 5 playoff contests under his belt.
Lastly, if you haven't had a chance to listen yet, check out Andrew Shaw's appearance on the Spittin' Chiclets podcast. The entire conversation is gold.
Shaw speaks about his time being off recovering from a concussion, his first stint in Chicago, winning cups, and more.
I'll have more as the Hawks get settled in Edmonton.
Stay safe and see ya out there!