Monday, September 26, 2016
Fortin, Blackhawks come to terms
As the NHL moves away from large bruises organizations that serve to occupy many seats on game-day schools, we learned an indisputable fact: Speed kills.
The fans need look no further than Pittsburgh, champions of the Stanley Cup last year for proof.
"If you look at the Penguins through the playoffs last year ... each line was flying all the time," said Blackhawks winger Vincent Hinostroza Saturday. "They really wear teams getting pucks behind. ... Speed is a huge factor in the game today. "
The Hawks have seen a lot of this and more than 19 years, free agent Alexandre Fortin, general manager Stan Bowman therefore rewarded the native of Quebec, an entry-level three-year contract Sunday.
The 6-foot, 172 pounds winger shone every step of the way since the Hawks invited to prospects camp in July. Besides the obvious speed, Fortin also has quick hands and an uncanny knack of setting up teammates perfect scoring chances.
"He has been very consistent in every scrum," said assistant coach Mike Kitchen. "It was a threat to score on the ice. I think he did a great job.
"It must be very, very pleased with the whole situation."
There is no doubt about it.
"It is just the first step and very exciting for the future," said Fortin, who had 43 points (19G, 24A) in 54 games last season playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. "But It's incredible. I have to thank the Chicago Blackhawks. It is the first team that really believe in me, so it's great. "
Fortin was not chosen in one of the last two projects, he said Saturday he wanted to show everyone the league made a mistake by passing up.
Coaches must now decide how the action of giving the winger back and forth in the pre-season with the first opportunity Wednesday at the United Center against Pittsburgh.
If it is not the Blackhawks on the camp - which is the most likely scenario - it will be reassigned to his junior team.
Not that he is resigned to this fate.
"I mean, you're not here and say, 'Oh, I just want to come back later next year," said Fortin. "No, it's" I'm here and I want to stay here as long as possible, of course. ""