Ice Breakers: Chicago is in no rush to hire the next general manager; Kravtsov’s draw intensifies

Welcome to the regular season edition of Ice Breakers, our regular feature on where we will carry news and information from across the National Hockey League.

Let’s break the ice:

> Chicago Blackhawks in no rush to hire GM replacement Stan bowman, who resigned last week following Chicago’s cover-up of the sexual assault on player Kyle Beach at the hands of then video coach Brad Aldrich during the 2010 Stanley Cup race.

In fact, sources claim the Blackhawks haven’t contacted a single candidate to begin the interview process, in the week since the team CEO Danny wirtz announced the findings of the Jenner & Block report.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see the interim CEO Kyle davidson maintain the role for the remainder of the season. Davidson, 33, has had no shortage of internal support and self-confidence, who has held nearly every front office role in the 11 years he has spent climbing the ladder, starting when he was joined the team for the first time as an intern.

Davidson called for head coach to be fired Jeremy Colliton during the weekend. Davidson is the one who has made and answered calls with other managers over the past week in an attempt to rock the roster, looking to move forward Dylan strome, Adam gaudette and others.

It just might be Davidson who gets the longest look in the Blackhawks’ quest for new leadership in hockey operations when all is said and done.

> While Aldrich’s name was X’d out of the Stanley Cup, other hockey organizations have distanced themselves from the scandal. For example, we are told a banner celebrating the Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Al mac isaacChicago’s Cup contributions have been withdrawn from his hometown ice rink at Antigonish Arena in Nova Scotia.

> Keep an eye on Vitali Kravtsov, the New York Rangers’ 9th pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, who rocked NHL teams after his first KHL return game on loan with Traktor Chelyabinsk.

League sources say the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators were the two teams that expressed the most interest in Kravtsov, who turned down his assignment to AHL Hartford and forced his way back to Russia. The Rangers gave Kravtsov’s agent, Dan Milstein, permission to help find a job.

Kravtsov, 21, had two goals and an assist in his first return match, including this beauty:

> Finally, we reported a few weeks ago that the NHL and NHLPA were considering removing or reducing COVID-19 testing requirements for vaccinated and asymptomatic people.

To ensure follow-up, the NHL and NHLPA revised the protocols – effective immediately – during two meetings held on October 29 and November 3.

But asymptomatic players will continue to be tested once every 72 hours, according to the original protocol.

The NHL and NHLPA are scheduled to meet again on December 15 to discuss any further changes.

Here are the protocol updates:

Isolation after symptoms. Players will be isolated after the development of any symptoms, however minor.
Test after symptoms. And the player or staff member who shows symptoms, but tests negative, should be tested daily until symptoms improve.
Test frequency. The frequency of testing for fully vaccinated asymptomatic players will continue to be every 72 hours.
Positive test protocol. There is now a fast-track procedure for confirming a negative (false positive) test.
Early release from segregation. Recommendation that COVID-positive players who show only minor symptoms may be eligible for early release from isolation once symptoms resolve and after two negative tests performed 24 hours apart.
Exercise during isolation. Players may get moderate exercise during their period of COVID isolation if they are asymptomatic or have only minor symptoms.
Entering Canada after a positive test. Players who have tested positive for COVID will not be allowed to enter Canada until 14 days after the date of their positive test. Canadian authorities do not allow exceptions to this requirement.
Improved measures. Applicable when there are multiple COVID positive players at a club, and recommendation that POC tests be administered before the game in such circumstances.

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