LOS ANGELES — Before things quickly got out of hand, the Blackhawks’ All-Stars got to enjoy a rare moment — Bruce Boudreau’s entire starting lineup was Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford.
“It was cool until the first minus,” Keith joked. “It’s always been special. I’ve been fortunate enough to play in a few of these now, and each time it’s always been with several other teammates.”
Starting All-Star Games is one thing, though. For Toews, Kane and Keith, being part of the NHL 100 list was still hard to fathom and will be the lingering memory from the weekend in Los Angeles.
“Just those two hours of conversations with 100 of the best players to ever play the game,” Kane said. “Sometimes throughout that whole process, you wonder why you’re even there. I remember sitting there with [Keith], and I was like, ‘I kind of feel out of place here.’ And he was saying the same thing. . . . Friday night was definitely a thing I’ll take with me.”
Maple Leafs rookie phenom Auston Matthews, the top pick in the NHL draft this past June, said he grew up watching Kane, a fellow American.
“That just means I’m getting old, right?” Kane said. “Special player. Some of the stuff he does on the ice, he’s very tricky, really good at stripping pucks and obviously has had a tremendous start to his career. Fun player to watch. It’s cool when you hear things like that, especially from players that are big-time players in the league now.”
Matthews is tied with Alex Ovechkin for fourth in the league with 23 goals.
The Hawks recalled rookie defenseman Gustav Forsling from Rockford on Sunday and put Michal Rozsival on injured reserve, retroactive to Jan. 25, when he suffered an injury in practice. Coach Joel Quenneville said Rozsival isn’t expected to miss much time. Forsling, 20, had a goal and three assists in 32 games with the Hawks earlier this season.
One of the most attractive aspects of Las Vegas as an expansion target was the dearth of major pro sports there. But commissioner Gary Bettman said the Oakland Raiders’ possible move to Las Vegas isn’t a concern.
“We’re not focused on the Raiders,” Bettman said. “We’ll see if they ever ultimately wind up there. The thing that is true is the Vegas Golden Knights are alive and well and going to be there. There’s no speculation. It’s not contingent; there aren’t a whole bunch of other things that have to happen. This team is there for the community and will be there very shortly.”
As for the possible sale of the Carolina Hurricanes — which has gotten hopes up in hockey-starved Quebec City — Bettman insisted relocation wasn’t on the table.
“The franchise is not moving,” Bettman said. “I hope that was definitive enough.”
The NBA is putting ads on jerseys starting next season, but Bettman — who once said his league wouldn’t be the first to do it — said there are no plans to do so in the NHL.
“It would take an unusual circumstance, which I would define as a lot of money that I’m having trouble comprehending right now, for us to even think about it,” Bettman said. “We think what we have is special. . . . We’re not looking to put advertising on our sweaters.”
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