Blackhawks notes: Max Domi’s reunion tour continues against Hurricanes

Domi faced one former team, the Blue Jackets, right before the Christmas break, then traveled Monday to Raleigh, North Carolina, for dinner with some old Hurricanes teammates.

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Blackhawks forward Max Domi skates with the puck.

Blackhawks forward Max Domi has been a busy man lately.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

RALEIGH, N.C. — Blackhawks forward Max Domi played 53 games for the Blue Jackets and a combined 33 regular-season and playoff games with the Hurricanes last season.

So with Hawks matchups against the Jackets and Hurricanes coincidentally bookending the Christmas break, Domi has been a busy man lately.

‘‘It’s always fun playing against your old teams,’’ Domi said Tuesday. ‘‘It was certainly fun to see all my buddies in Columbus. I had a lot of great friends there. I got to spend some time with a few of the training staff, too, which is always a great time.

‘‘And then I went to dinner last night [in Raleigh] with a few of the boys. [The Hurricanes are] one of the best teams in the league every year for a reason.’’

Dec. 27 is a tricky day around the NHL because the holiday moratorium on team activities lasts through Dec. 26, but the schedule is packed the next day.

The Hawks couldn’t travel Monday night — ahead of the game Tuesday — as they typically would. Instead, they flew out of Chicago at 6 a.m. Tuesday, then took a bus directly from the Raleigh-Durham airport to PNC Arena for their 11:30 a.m. morning skate.

Domi and a few Hawks teammates avoided that chaos by flying commercial Monday. And coach Luke Richardson spent Christmas itself in North Carolina with old junior-hockey teammate (and former Hawks draft pick) Mike Dagenais.

Before traveling Monday, however, Domi had a big family gathering in Chicago, which he joked about last week.

‘‘I’m pretty excited [for Christmas], actually,’’ he said Thursday. ‘‘My whole family’s here. I was in Columbus for two years, so I didn’t get many visitors. All of a sudden, I’m in a nice city, so my whole family wants to come. I don’t know if it’s me or the city.’’

That wasn’t received with laughter by many Jackets fans and Columbus residents on social media, though, which perplexed Domi.

‘‘I’m not sure why I took so much heat for that,’’ he said Tuesday, chuckling in retrospect. ‘‘It was a little bit random. I guess people can’t take a joke.

‘‘It got spun out of proportion a little bit. It was a joke. It’s about my family, too; it had nothing to do with how I feel about Columbus. I don’t really care anymore. People can spin things however they want. The boys in Columbus asked me about it [Friday], and I explained to them what I meant. They said, ‘Yeah, that’s what we figured.’ I have nothing but great things to say about Columbus and all the people I met there.’’

With the Hawks’ second meeting against the Jackets coming up Saturday in Columbus, it’ll be interesting to see — and hear — how Domi is received at Nationwide Arena.

De Haan’s fortunes

Popular ex-Hawks defenseman Calvin de Haan, now with the Hurricanes, wasn’t thrilled to be a healthy scratch during the teams’ first meeting Nov. 14. But his fortunes changed immediately after that.

Tuesday marked his 19th consecutive game in the Hurricanes’ lineup. He had notched four points and averaged 13 minutes, 35 seconds of ice time in his last six games before the break.

‘‘It’s tough to rotate guys in and out,’’ Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. ‘‘But Calvin has been steady. We had him here before, so we know what we’re getting there. He is what he is, and he has been good for us.’’

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