Analysis: What Does Dach Pick Mean for Blackhawks?

Analysis: What Does Dach Pick Mean for Blackhawks?

After the top two picks went as expected, the Chicago Blackhawks really got the draft started when they selected Kirby Dach with the third overall pick on Friday night.

Dach, a big forward measuring 6-foot-4 and 198 pounds, was lauded for his ability to play with a physical edge and his ability to drive to the net, and the Blackhawks are hoping that he will be able to compete at the NHL level right away next season.

The big question, of course, is what exactly the Blackhawks are getting with the selection. Dach had some strong numbers last season with the Saskatoon Blades, scoring 25 goals and dishing out 48 assists, but with the team passing on a defenseman in Bowen Byram and passing on other speedy forwards like Trevor Zegras, some fans are curious about the motivation behind drafting Dach.

In all likelihood, the Blackhawks envision Dach as the type of player who can play a facilitating role for wingers like Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane, possibly as soon as next season. He has excellent hands and is an extremely good passer, and his high assist totals at every level of hockey he’s played indicate good ice vision and a willingness to drive offense with precise passes.

That vision is backed up by several scouting reports on the forward, with ISS Hockey complimenting him on his “great combination of size, strength, and puck skills” and Future Considerations lauding his “very soft hands” around the net.

With great hands and some physical play, Dach has drawn comparisons to Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf, and he could potentially fit in well as a number two or three center in Jeremy Colliton’s system.

While there aren’t a lot of knocks on Dach’s game overall, there are questions about whether he’ll stick in the NHL to start the new season, a potential issue for a Blackhawks team that is trying to maximize the remaining windows of players like Kane and Jonathan Toews.

Bowman said that Dach will have “every opportunity” to make the NHL roster this season, but that’s far from a guarantee.

 Bowman and company will also have to answer is whether they made a mistake in not taking Byram with the third pick. The defenseman, widely considered to be the top defenseman in the draft, ended up going to the Colorado Avalanche with the fourth selection, and he will be a tremendous fit for the team’s divisional rival as he fires passes to Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and the rest of the club’s speedy forwards.

Finally, there is the question about what the selection of Dach could mean for Dylan Strome. The forward had a tremendous year in the 2018-19 campaign, but he is due for a significant pay raise, and the Blackhawks may try to flip him for other assets if Dach ends up living up to the hype afforded the third overall pick.

The answer to that query remains to be seen, but the Blackhawks clearly envision Dach filling a role that only one other center on their roster (that means Toews) currently fills. The pick could end up being a critical one for Bowman’s future in Chicago, and if it pans out, it could provide a big boost to a club desperate to get back into the postseason.

Published at Sat, 22 Jun 2019 02:41:18 +0000

Cardi B Indicted in Hookah Pipe-Hurling NYC Strip Club Fight

Cardi B Indicted in Hookah Pipe-Hurling NYC Strip Club Fight

Cardi B has been indicted on unspecified charges in connection with a fight at a New York City strip club last summer where she allegedly attacked two bartending sisters, the Queens district attorney’s office confirmed Friday.

The entire case remains sealed until the Grammy-winning rapper’s scheduled arraignment on Tuesday, but the Associated Press reports the charges include felony attempted assault and various lesser offenses. Also indicted: two friends of hers who allegedly were involved in the fray. 

The indictment comes just about two months after the “Bodak Yellow” singer declined a plea deal to an A misdemeanor — one that essentially would have gotten her off scot-free if she stayed out of trouble — in connection with the August 2018 indicent in Queens.

Surveillance video shows her picking up an ice bucket and throwing it at two sisters who were bartending, sources have told News 4. Sources have said Cardi B suspected one of the sisters was involved with her then-husband Offset.

In a previous hearing, a judge had ordered Cardi B to have no contact whatsoever with the two sisters and issued an order of protection for them. He also warned Cardi B to “please be very careful” with social media.

When he asked if all that was clear, the rapper nodded. 

Cardi B’s attorney, Jeff Kern, said in court at the time that his client has no criminal record. In the past, he has said he was “aware of no evidence that she caused anybody any harm.” 

It wasn’t immediately clear if he had an updated statement ahead of her expected arraignment on the indictment charges. Cardi B is due back in court Tuesday.

Born Belcalis Almanzar, and a former stripper herself, Cardi B was at the club in College Point because Offset was performing with his hip-hop trio Migos, according to police. She and her entourage got into an argument around 3 a.m. Aug. 29 with the two sisters, according to a source directly connected to the two alleged victims, and total chaos allegedly broke out.

Cardi B apparently suspected one of the sisters was having an affair with Offset and had confronted the women, ages 21 and 23, in Atlanta on June 29, the sources said. The rapper announced in December she and Offset had split up, though they have since reconciled.

Published at Fri, 21 Jun 2019 17:09:39 +0000

Family Seeks Help Identifying Vandals Targeting Their Homes

Family Seeks Help Identifying Vandals Targeting Their Homes

They say they don’t know why they’ve been targeted, but a Naperville family is ready to take action after several vandalism incidents at a pair of homes.

The Kanney family says that vandals have struck the homes and vehicles of Steve and his daughter Bella, and while they aren’t sure who is behind the incidents, they are asking for help in locating the perpetrators.

“Now they’ve come up to the house. Now they’ve crossed the line,” Steve Kanney says. “They’ve taken that step of no return.”

According to the Kanney’s, at least five incidents of vandalism have taken place so far this year. Early on the vandals were breaking car windows, but now they’ve begun to target the family’s homes, smashing windows, television sets, and other outdoor implements.

“It’s getting ridiculous,” Steve Kanney says. “There’s some things that just stink, and it’s just very inappropriate. This isn’t random.”

Bella Kanney says that she can’t figure out why anyone would target their family, and admits that she feels a great deal of anxiety about the incidents.

“It’s just confusion and anxiety. What did we do? I can’t think of one thing,” she says.

Bella says that she doesn’t believe there is security footage, but she is calling upon neighbors to offer their eyewitness accounts or surveillance footage to track down the perpetrators.

In the meantime, her father has a message for the culprits.

“When you’re targeted, and it’s time number five, enough’s enough,” he says.

Published at Fri, 21 Jun 2019 04:09:51 +0000

Ice Cube, Kevin Hart And Conan Help A Student Driver – CONAN on TBS

Ice Cube, Kevin Hart And Conan Help A Student Driver – CONAN on TBS

#CONAN Highlight: A CONAN staffer is learning the rules of the road, with a little help from Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, & Conan. Look out, fellow drivers!

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Two redevelopment proposals floated for McChesney site in Glen Ellyn

Two redevelopment proposals floated for McChesney site in Glen Ellyn

The owners of an old grocery store property in downtown Glen Ellyn are floating two different proposals to redevelop the dormant site.

The conceptual plans are highly preliminary, but indicate there’s renewed developer interest in a project at the McChesney & Miller parcel at a time when planned redevelopments and updates to the village’s comprehensive plan are converging downtown.

Developers at the Springbank Real Estate Group are considering two options, though nothing has been formally submitted to the village. One option calls for construction of a commercial-only building with an undefined mix of office, service and retail space, Village Manager Mark Franz said.

The second also would demolish the grocery store to instead make way for a mixed-use building with residential units on top floors and commercial spaces on the ground level, Franz said. The housing would be luxury apartments or perhaps condos, he said.

Village officials hope to bring both options to the plan commission for an informational meeting, an informal discussion about what could later become a request for financial incentives and zoning approvals.

A so-called pre-application meeting would allow commissioners to provide feedback on which option best aligns with downtown planning goals, Franz said.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

As part of updates to the comprehensive plan — the current version was adopted in 2001 — a draft blueprint for the downtown subarea identifies the whole McChesney & Miller block as one of three “catalyst sites,” defined in part as “vacant or underutilized parcels that can be consolidated with adjacent properties to facilitate more intense redevelopment that is in line with the community’s vision of the downtown as a vibrant, mixed use district.”

After more than 150 years in business, McChesney & Miller — known for its butcher shop and loyal customers from generations of families — closed in October 2014, leaving the downtown without a grocer.

The store is near an auto service shop, two restaurants, and a village-owned parking lot along Crescent Boulevard, a lower-lying area of the downtown.

The draft subarea plan — meant as a guide for redevelopment — suggests the McChesney property and adjacent parcels could accommodate a five-story, mixed-use structure with ground-floor retail fronting Pennsylvania Avenue, condos or apartments on the upper floors and a parking deck.

Three years ago, Springbank approached the village with such an ambitious plan, but it never got off the ground. The development team at the time proposed two buildings with about 200 apartments and retailers on the ground floor and a 120-foot-tall clock tower that would rise above the complex, reshaping the downtown’s western gateway as depicted in colorful architectural renderings.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

David Trandel, the CEO of Springbank, did not immediately return a phone message Thursday requesting comment about the latest proposals.

Developers likely would request incentives, given that the site lies in a tax increment financing district.

On June 26, the village and consultants will host a public forum at the Civic Center on the recommendations for the three downtown catalyst sites and three others along the Roosevelt Road corridor.

Published at Thu, 20 Jun 2019 21:15:12 +0000

Chicago panel clears 2 white officers in black man’s death

Chicago panel clears 2 white officers in black man’s death

CHICAGO — A review board has cleared two white Chicago police officers in the fatal shooting of a black man that led to demonstrations.

Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability said in a statement Tuesday that officers Joseph Treacy and Sgt. Thomas Derouin acted “within policy” in the 2016 death of 25-year-old Joshua Beal of Indianapolis.

The shooting followed an argument between an off-duty firefighter and black motorists in a largely white neighborhood in southwest Chicago.

The board says in its report that video shows Treacy announcing himself as a police officer and Beal holding a raised weapon prior to being shot. Police have said Treacy and Derouin, who were both off duty, opened fire when Beal grabbed a gun from a car and pointed it at the officers.

Published at Wed, 19 Jun 2019 23:13:00 +0000

Suburban Team Thrilled After Extending Netting at Ballpark

Suburban Team Thrilled After Extending Netting at Ballpark

In the midst of a wide-ranging discussion in Major League Baseball about extending the safety netting at big league ballparks, a Chicago-area minor league team has already taken action.

The Kane County Cougars, a Class-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks playing their games at Northwestern Medicine Field in Geneva, decided to extend the protective netting at their home ballpark earlier this year. That decision came before a series of highly-publicized incidents in which fans were injured by flying baseballs, and the team said that plenty of research and thought went into the decision.

“We did years of research, and this year we decided to do it,” team General Manager Curtis Haug said. “If you sit here long enough, (the netting) becomes invisible.”

The Cougars have already done what numerous clubs are currently pondering doing. The team extended netting all the way from the area behind home plate to the foul poles in both left and right field, and the club isn’t looking back.

“The bottom line is it provides fans a better fan experience,” Haug said. “It gets rid of the poles that were there, and it gives them peace of mind.”

Earlier this week, the Chicago White Sox announced that they will add new netting to Guaranteed Rate Field in the wake of several fans being seriously hurt by foul balls. All teams were required to extend netting to the end of each dugout beginning last season, but the White Sox decision to take netting even further is a first among big league ballclubs.

After the announcement, Cougars’ executives are applauding the decision despite some controversy over its implementation.

“I think it’s great. You got guys who are bigger, faster, and stronger and hitting balls harder, so it just makes sense to have something to protect the fans,” Haug said.

Haug said that he’s gotten mostly positive feedback on the new netting from fans, and also from players who no longer have to worry about a scorching line drive off of their bats potentially injuring fans in the stands.

“It’s the best thing we have done in a long time,” he said.

The team said that the extended netting cost approximately $80,000, and Haug said that the new net is stronger, and thinner, than previous iterations of the material.

Published at Wed, 19 Jun 2019 23:29:22 +0000

Man charged with $279K Aurora business theft surrenders, settles lawsuit

Man charged with $279K Aurora business theft surrenders, settles lawsuit

A DeKalb man accused of stealing $279,000 from a family business in Aurora in 2013 is free on bond after surrendering to authorities last week and has reached a settlement in a lawsuit against him.

Michael J. Leali, 57, of the 100 block of Holly Drive, is charged with felony theft of more than $100,000 but less than $500,000. He is accused of writing 136 checks to himself while working as the comptroller of the Area Construction Trades from Aug. 14, 2013 through Jan. 22, 2014, according to Aurora police and Kane County court records.

Aurora police have said Leali admitted the theft was because of a gambling addiction.

Leali turned himself in to authorities June 13, posted bond and was released the same day, according to the sheriff’s office.

If convicted, he faces a sentence ranging from probation to up to 15 years in prison, along with restitution. He is next due in court July 24.

Leali’s defense attorney, Liam Dixon, wants the charge dismissed on grounds it was filed after the three-year statute of limitations for felony theft had expired.

“It is questionable as to the timing of the charges and I plan to file a motion regarding that,” Dixon said.

Leali’s former employer, which also goes by the name of Metal Deck Supply, sued Leali in early 2019 in arguing its insurance company covered $250,000 of the $279,000 loss but that he was still responsible for $67,500.

The company argued auditors hired to determine damages billed the company $38,500. The $38,500, plus the $29,000 in losses not covered by insurance, make up the $67,500 total, according to the suit.

The two sides were due in Kane County court Tuesday, but the suit was dismissed last week “with prejudice,” meaning it cannot be refiled again. According to court records, the two sides reached a settlement.

John Chitkowski, an attorney representing the business, did not return a phone message regarding the settlement. Craig Mielke, who defended Leali in the lawsuit, had no comment this week and had no comment on the lawsuit when contacted in late May.

Published at Wed, 19 Jun 2019 15:41:56 +0000

White Sox to Extend Netting at Guaranteed Rate Field

White Sox to Extend Netting at Guaranteed Rate Field

The Chicago White Sox are planning to extend the protective netting at Guaranteed Rate Field this season, officials revealed Tuesday. 

According to team, the Sox and Illinois Sports Facilities Authority plan to extend the netting down the lines to each foul pole later this summer. 

“Leadership of both groups have agreed to make the changes as soon as possible this season,” the team said in a release. “Exact details and timing of the project will be announced at a later date.” 

Major League Baseball mandated extended netting during the 2017 season after a line drive off the bat of New York Yankees infielder Todd Frazier struck a young fan at Yankee Stadium. At all 30 stadiums, netting currently extends to the end of both dugouts. 

No other ballpark, however, extends netting as far as the outfield foul poles. 

“I think it’s great,” said White Sox first baseman Yonder Alonso. “Obviously the fans are going to enjoy, but number one comes with health and people need to be careful out there… We have to make sure to protect everybody.” 

Both players and executives have been calling on Major League Baseball to extend the netting following numerous incidents and injuries in the stands. 

Most recently, a foul ball off the bat of Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. struck a young fan at a game against the Houston Astros on May 29. 

“Right now, I want to put a net around the whole stadium,” an emotional Almora said after the game.

After learning of the White Sox announcement, Almora called the decision a “positive step in the sport.” 

“I don’t think anybody should go home with bumps or bruises or even worse,” he said Tuesday. 

Cubs teammate Jon Lester added he would also like to see netting extended at other ballparks. 

“When one team does it then you know you can get kind of the herding effect and the rest of the people usually follow,” he said.  

At the time of the Houston incident, the league said it was at least considering other options moving forward.

“Clubs have significantly expanded netting and their inventory of protected seats in recent years,” the league said in a statement. “With [the May 29] event in mind, we will continue our efforts on this important issue.”

Published at Tue, 18 Jun 2019 21:15:28 +0000

“The idea is to create a community”: Arlington Heights eases way for southern town center on Algonquin

“The idea is to create a community”: Arlington Heights eases way for southern town center on Algonquin

With an eye toward creating a town center at the southern gateway of Arlington Heights — whose density would mirror that of the village’s downtown — village trustees Monday agreed to loosen zoning standards that could help pave the way.

The so-called overlay district, approved on a 8-0 vote, covers 17 acres on the southeast corner of Arlington Heights and Algonquin roads that the village and a developer envision for a mixed-use area of multifamily homes, entertainment, restaurants, offices and possibly a hotel.

It could still take years for the development to come to fruition, but the loosened zoning rules — allowing taller buildings, requiring less parking and calling for more pedestrian-friendly features — is one step in the process.

“It’s a long process,” said Jeffrey Bernstein, principal and co-president of Bradford Allen, a Chicago-based commercial real estate firm that owns several properties on the corner and is working with a master developer. “The idea is to create a community there.”

Bradford Allen acquired its first building on the corner in 2006 — a five-floor office building and drive-through bank — then bought a shuttered Applebee’s restaurant and Cash for Gold business. In March, the company closed on the purchase of the former five-story Daily Herald office complex.

While Bradford Allen doesn’t own Guitar Center or a nearby one-story, 150,000-square-foot office complex — both of which are included in the overlay — the company has reached out to the owners. Still, Bernstein says he believes there’s at least enough “critical mass” to begin working on actual development plans, ahead of making a formal submission to the village.

While not revealing specifics after the village board meeting Monday, Bernstein said his concept is for a town center development that emphasizes walkability, where residents could walk out their doors and go downstairs to shop and dine.

“It’s not your traditional strip center,” he said.

The less restrictive zoning rules approved by the village board include building heights up to 200 feet — downtown Arlington Heights allows up to 140 feet — and sidewalks that would be set back 8 to 10 feet from the curb instead of right next to the major arterial streets. The new rules also call for 1.5 parking spaces per one-bedroom unit, and one space per studio unit, though village code otherwise requires two parking spaces per residential unit.

“We feel this is a good approach when it comes to density,” said Charles Witherington-Perkins, the village’s director of planning and community development.

He added that the village has retained two consultants: one to do a traffic study and recommend traffic-calming elements that could be installed, and the other that is working on an economic study to see what tools could be available, such as a tax increment financing district, where property taxes above a certain point go into development rather than to local governments, or special service area, in which an extra property tax would be levied, to help facilitate the development.

Published at Tue, 18 Jun 2019 12:23:29 +0000