Saturday, October 8, 2016
Alexandre Fortin making Blackhawks think long and hard about roster spot
Blackhawks in the locker room, the biggest closet for a skater currently belongs to 19-year-old Alexandre Fortin. At one end of the room, Fortin ranks third goalkeeper Corey Crawford Jersey and with Scott Darling needing larger cabinets because they have more equipment than others.
It is a temporary fix for Fortin - without skater can have a very large wardrobe for the season, much less someone who is 19. Over time, you will have to move. The only question is where?
There are two options - to another position in the room should Fortin make the cut or the final list back to the Major Junior Hockey League Quebec.
But the fact that it is a serious discussion represents one of the most remarkable for the Hawks this training camp stories. Fortin, a 6-foot, 174 pound native of Quebec, went from undrafted guest field perspective without a contract in July to reach an agreement entry-level three years and skating with the winner Hart Trophy Patrick Kane and center Artem Anisimov in the Hawks 6-1 win over the Red Wings on Tuesday.
"It's a lot of pressure to play with two very good," Fortin said. "It's stress. It's a lot of stress."
But every step of the way, Fortin has handled stress a scoring machine that has forced the Hawks to take him seriously staying. Fortin did not make the decision any easier Hawks Tuesday when he scored a goal and Richard Panik thanks to a heady cross ice pass.
"Of course I like speed. That's the one right off the bat you notice," coach Joel Quenneville said. "He has good patience and play recognition, playing with a couple of players who are definitely special ... and it was not too intimidated by their presence.
"We certainly have some difficult decisions to make true and he is one of the guys that's interesting."
But Fortin is not like a normal perspective, that can come and go Rockford Hawks whenever they want. Fortin not turn 20 until next year, so the Hawks can not send him to Rockford and would have to return to his junior team if he does not make the Blackhawks Jersey.
If they do, Fortin can not return to the Hawks to their junior team season is over.
If Fortin makes the list next week, then the Hawks have a window of 10 games to evaluate it.
If Fortin plays a tenth game, he would burn the first year of his contract, valuable time for the age of a player development Fortin. In other words, the Hawks have to quickly decide whether Fortin is ready for the NHL.
"There is much more pressure and expectations (here in minor league)," Quenneville said. "Men are stronger and bigger. In the course of a year you will get different challenges. Part of the decision will be how you will be able to handle the situation, to maintain that strength and energy dropwise. We'll put all the factors in it. "
But Fortin has made the Hawks consider all these questions that the regular season is coming, and that's pretty victory for him considering where it was just a few months ago.
"I have nothing to lose here. Only I have everything to win," Fortin said. "I play my game and good things will happen."
A lot of good things that have already gone through Fortin. The Hawks hope still occur, but they have to decide whether the time is now or in the future.