CHICAGO – In many ways, Tuesday night is the start of a new era, even if the game doesn’t count in the regular season standings.
That’s because the Blackhawks will take the ice for the first time officially under their current rebuild under new general manager Kyle Davidson. While the team has been thinking this way since the end of last season, their first exhibition game against the Blues will feature a number of new players who’ll make up some of the team’s roster when the regular season begins in a few weeks.
It’s the first of six exhibition games for the team with four contests coming over the next six days, including one on the road against the Red Wings on Wednesday night. It will be one of two played at the United Center with the next one on Saturday against Detroit. Sunday’s contest against the Wild that’s being played in Milwaukee is considered a home game for the Blackhawks.
They’ll have road exhibition games against Minnesota (October 6th) and St. Louis (October 8th) before starting the regular season against the reigning Stanley Cup champion Avalanche on Wednesday, October 12th in Denver.
Tuesday will not only mark the first game for a few members of the Blackhawks but also Luke Richardson, who will serve as a head coach for the first time in the NHL. He will have veterans Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Seth Jones, and Connor Murphy on the ice for the contest while also playing a few prospects.
That includes the team’s top draft pick, defenseman Kevin Korchinski, who was in the defensive pairing during the mornign skate.
“I think we want to see steps in our structure and ‘D-Zone,’ playing really fast and killing some plays and transitioning that into some offense. Same thing in the neutral zone,” said Richardson of his goals for the preseason opener. “Naturally we’re going to create offense with some of the guys that we have and if we can turn pucks over early in both the ‘D-Zone’ and neutral zone, that will give us an advantage in outmanned situations on the roster which obviously creates offense.”
Larry Hawley has a preview of the first exhibition game from WGN News Now in the video above.