May 132011

Current ESPN and TSN hockey analyst Matthew Barnaby was arrested on Friday in Amherst, New York, just outside of Buffalo.

Barnaby is charged with four criminal counts and aggravated mischief, according to a Buffalo News report.  Police were called to a residence at 6:15pm eastern tonight.  Barnaby had already left the scene by the time police arrived but was arrested a short time later.

Barnaby will spend tonight in jail and is scheduled to be arraigned Saturday on charges of criminal mischief, criminal trespass, harassment, criminal contempt and aggravated harrassment.

Two women were involved in the alleged incident.  The exact location of the incident has so far been kept off the record to protect the identities of the two victims.  Amherst Police told that they found “serious” damage to the property and Barnaby continued to harass the two women by phone after he left the scene.  The report stated the women were uninjured.

Barnaby spent one season with the Blackhawks, playing in all 82 games in the 2005-06 season.  He scored 8 goals and 20 assists while also posting a team-leading 178 penalty minutes during a Hawks’ 65 point season.

He’s most know for his seven seasons in the Buffalo Sabres organization (92-99), followed by three in Pittsburgh, parts of two in Tampa Bay, three with the NY Rangers and a brief stint in Colorado after a late season trade from New York in 2004.

Then on July 2, 2004, Barnaby inked a 3-year $5.4 million contract with the Chicago Blackhawks despite the fact a 2004-05 NHL work stoppage was a foregone conclusion and pending uncertainty of an expected salary cap, the first of its kind in the NHL.  The Hawks also signed Curtis Brown that day and Jassen Cullimore (4 years, $10M) a few weeks later.  Cullimore had just won a Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay.  Interesting fact, all three of those contracts would eventually be bought out.  Barnaby and Brown agreed to buyouts after just one season.  Cullimore was traded to Montreal where the Canadiens immediately negotiated a buyout of his deal.  (Montreal did this because it actually cost them less than it would have to keep Sergei Samsonov under contract.  But Chicago wanted him, or at least was desperate enough to give Samsonov a try, so that’s how that came about).  The Hawks carried a $456,000 cap hit from 2006-10 for the Brown buyout and $443,000 for four seasons due to the Barnaby buyout.

After accepting the Hawks’ $2.4M buyout, Barnaby signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Stars for $625,000 and was introduced to the Dallas media at a press conference along with new Stars; Darryl Sydor, Jaroslav Modry, Jeff Halpern and Eric Lindros.

Post-concussion syndrome ended Barnaby’s career after that one season in Dallas.  He retired in July of 2007 at the age of 34.

Barnaby is the current ESPN hockey analyst alongside Barry Melrose.  He amassed 2,562 penalty minutes and 300 points (113+187) in 832 regular season games.

An ESPN spokesperson, when asked for comment by USA Today, said “We just learned of this so it would be inappropriate for us to comment.”

Curtis Brown finally sold his former Chicago residence last October, for 160,000 less (1.4M) than he paid for it in 2004.  Craig Adams rented the Lakeview home while he was a Blackhawk.  Brown first put the house on the market in 2007 for $1.79M.

Barnaby update – 11:15a.m. 5/14/11:

The Buffalo News has just posted a report (with a photo of Barnaby leaving the courthouse this morning) on this morning’s arraignment included with more details of Friday’s incident.

Barnaby plead not-guilty to all counts.  There was no physical altercation between Barnaby and the two women, Barnaby’s ex-wife and another women, believed to be a non-relative friend of his ex-wife.  The court issued a strict no-contact order against Barnaby which prohibits Barnaby from having any contact with the two women, even through a third-party.

The criminal mischief count is a felony charge that could carry a prison term of up to four years if convicted.

— In other news, former Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard passed away Friday.  He was 28.

According to reports, Boogaard was found dead early Friday evening by relatives at his homein Minneapolis.  No other details were made available.  The news broke late Friday night.

Update:  10:30a.m. 05/14/11

The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office said they won’t have a cause of death today.

Two very good stories on Boogaard and the little known right now on his passing are up now.  Both are written by Mike Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.  Russo is the paper’s Wild reporter and covered Boogaard’s five seasons with the Wild.  He was also a friend of Boogaard.  In early March while in New York covering Wild games, Russo was an in-studio guest on NHL Live and mentioned he was going out for coffee with Boogaard after his show appearance.

Here are Russo’s stories

Personal blog:

NY Rangers statement:

Minnesota Wild statement:

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman released this statement:

The news that we have lost someone so young and so strong leaves everyone in the National Hockey League stunned and saddened. The NHL family sends its deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Derek Boogaard, to those who played and worked with him and to everyone who enjoyed watching him compete.

Boogaard played his final game on December 9, 2010 for the Rangers in a game at Ottawa.  Boogaard suffered a serious concussion in a fight with Senators defenseman Matt Carkner at 17:29 of the first period. Boogaard never skated another shift.

You can watch the fight here.

Boogaard always claimed he suffered the concussion not from the big right hand Carkner connected on but when his head hit the ice.  Marian Gaborik was one of Boogaard’s closest friends in hockey.

May 122011

By Rich Lindbloom

The Hawks precipitous fall from the pinnacle of the hockey world left many of us searching not for Rhett Butler, but for the Anacin bottles when all was said and done. Intensifying the pain was the manner in which we were finally eliminated. Despite the efforts of “all the king’s horses and all the kings men,” the Blackhawk’s Stanley Cup defense was shot in the foot by a player who has a Doctorate in Aggravation. I’m referring of course to the villainous #14, Alexandre Burrows, from this point on referred to as the “Squirrel.” I wish there was a way to erase that memory from the recesses of my brain, but it keeps resurfacing like some inextricable nightmare. Furthermore, no doubt we’ll have to watch highlights of that special moment in Vancouver Playoff history the rest of this post season. Excuse me while I head to the vomitorium.

To backtrack a moment, let me try to explain Alexandre’s new nickname. My wife, the Belgium babe, has an incredible soft spot in her heart for animals. Usually we’re fostering a litter of puppies or kittens for the Humane Society. There have been some exceptions – most notably a raccoon named Rocky who drove me banana’s for about three months. I could tell you a lot of Rocky stories, but this one is about three squirrels we tried to raise that fell out of some God forsaken tree in front of our house. What really bugs me is that it seems half of Homewood calls our house when they get an injured or seemingly abandoned bunny or whatever. I can only pray that I answer the phone when they call so I can say, “No she isn’t home and don’t ever call here again!” But back to the squirrels… Continue reading »

May 102011

Blackhawks 2011 Summer Critical Date Calendar

May 15

Gold & Bronze Medal Games IIHF World Championships in Slovakia.  Marcus Kruger is representing Blackhawks on Team Sweden as is Michael Frolik for the Czech Republic.  Ex-Hawks Andrew Ladd (CAN), Mathis Olimb (Norway), Tuomo Ruutu (Finland), Jack Skille (USA) also involved in playoff elimination round beginning May 11th.  Marian Hossa did play in the tournament but his team, Slovakia, the host country, was eliminated in the qualifying round.

June 15 – 30

League-wide moratorium on new player contracts: Meaning a team cannot re-sign any of their own free agents, restricted or unrestricted, during this period.

Buy-Out Period (June 15-30) *Clubs with salary arbitration cases [July 20 – Aug 4] have a second opportunity to buy-out contracts. Deadline in those cases is 48 hours after the Club’s last salary arbitration award or settlement.

June 24-25

NHL Entry Draft – St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center

June 27

Deadline for clubs to make qualifying offers to their restricted free agents.  Qualifying offers must be received by this date.  Players, however, cannot accept those Qualifying Offers officially until July 1.  Players have until July 15th to accept their QO.  Any impending RFA who does not receive a Qualifying Offer can become an unrestricted free agent if their Club also does not opt for Club-Elected arbitration. Continue reading »

May 092011

On this week’s show I fly solo and dig into our reader and listener emails.

Among the topics discussed:

– Chances of Andrew Ladd return
– Stan Bowman wants more John Scott minutes
– Putting contract talks with Crawford off until Draft
– Troy Brouwer’s worth
– Kyle Beach’s chances, expectations and comparisons
– Michael Frolik’s redemption
– Dale Tallon: the talent evaluator
– Hawks’ MVP
– Marian Hossa cap sore potential
– Kyle Hagel
– Hjalmarsson really trade bait?
– Stan’s #1 off season priority
– A Brian Campbell trade?
– Hence Ben Smith, next IceHog to emerge?
– Rene Bourque
– IIHF World Championships and much more

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We’ll do email every week this summer on just about any topic you’d want to discuss.  You can send those to mailbag @
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The show returns next week and all summer long.

May 042011

Calgary Sun writer Eric Francis has the scoop on the Corey Crawford negotiations.  In Francis’s Sunday Sun column, he noted Crawford’s agent, Gilles Lupien, said he and the Blackhawks are planning to hold the negotiations face-to-face at the NHL Draft June 24-25 in St. Paul.

“The Chicago Blackhawks have identified rookie goalie Corey Crawford as their top priority to re-sign past next season, and Crawford is amenable to it.  His agent, Gilles Lupien, said they spoke three weeks ago and agreed they’ll hammer out a deal face-to-face at the draft where he’ll table three possible deals ranging from two to four years in length.”

If true, one would wonder why the lack of urgency, specifically on the Blackhawks’ side?  This approach is similar to how Stan Bowman handled the Antti Niemi negotiations.

First off, aside from Cristobal Huet, who the Blackhawks still won’t be able to afford on their cap next season barring a major cap cut, the Blackhawks don’t have a single goaltender under contract currently for next season.

Marty Turco is an unrestricted free agent and a possible return is very much in doubt.  Hannu Toivonen is a UFA but if he returns it will be to start in Rockford.  Alexander Salak, the 24 year old Czech acquired in February from the Panthers along with Michael Frolik, is a restricted free agent.  Salak has never played in the NHL and while he ranked as one of the best netminders in Sweden this year, he was an average goaltender in Rochester (AHL) in 2009-10 and the arrival of Jacob Markstrom chased Salak back to Europe.  While Salak’s resume is not too different from Crawford’s pre 2010-11, he’s still unproven and if the Hawks are aiming to be Cup contenders next year, would they really put themselves in a position to have an unproven commodity within an injury of pinning their season on Salak?  Sure, they got lucky with Niemi and Crawford was phenomenal this year despite never asserting himself in five minor league seasons prior to getting his chance.  Going to that well three consecutive years though may not be the smartest thing to do. Continue reading »

May 032011

TheThirdManIn~Radio returned last night as did a couple of our more popular guests.

Mike Peck, the play-by-play voice of the Rockford IceHogs joined us for the first half hour to recap the IceHogs’ season.  Peck sees the IceHogs more than just about anyone not a coach of the team and discussed the progress of Kyle Beach, Brandon Pirri, Shawn Lalonde, Rob Klinkhammer, Igor Makarov, Brian Connelly and more.  We also got his early observations of the Hawks’ next crop of prospects Philippe Paradis, David Gilbert and Jimmy Hayes and which veteran defenseman, in his mind, has the greater odds of returning to Rockford.

Al Cimaglia of Sirius/XM Radio and was along for the Peck discussion as well.  We then moved on to talk Hawks-Canucks fallout; whether the series proved the Hawks were anything more than what they showed for the previous 82 games and a few players who are very unlikely to return next season.  Al and I also went further into explaining why the Hawks top players, like Duncan Keith, cannot be relied on so mightily again next season.  We also debate if the Hawks should re-sign Troy Brouwer, who Stan Bowman seems to love and who he didn’t sound too enthused about last week when the name was brought up.

For the final twenty minutes or so, Superstar and go more in-depth into Duncan Keith’s comments and season confessional post-Game 5; why he shouldn’t have said what he did and the misguided comparisons some have drawn.

It’s a John Scott free podcast.  A solid 90 minutes.  Hope you enjoy.  Thanks to everyone as always for listening.

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The show returns next Monday night, May 9th at 8pm central.  If we don’t have a special guest we’ll dig into player evaluations and recap losing entirely too much of our money at Arlington Park over the weekend.

May 022011

It appears Norwegian prospect Mathis Olimb‘s stay in the Chicago Blackhawks’ organization will be a short one.

On Friday, Olimb signed a two-year contract with the Frolunda Indians of the Swedish Elite League (Elitserien).  Olimb was scheduled to become a restricted free agent on July 1, having completed the one-year agreement he signed with the Blackhawks back on June 17, 2010.

Olimb returns to Frolunda after having spent the 2009-10 season with the Indians.  In 55 games with Frolunda in ’09-10, Olimb collected 9 goals and 34 points and another goal and four points in seven postseason contests.  Collectively, Olimb was a +1 performer in those 62 games.

After nearly two months on the sidelines in recovering from off season shoulder surgery, Mathis Olimb amassed 10 goals and 22 assists in 59 games as a Rockford IceHog.  Olimb was also a plus-8 and finished with a respectable, yet unspectacular 9.62% shooting percentage.

At five-foot ten and 175 pounds, Olimb figured as a long-shot to be re-signed by the Blackhawks.  At 25, he doesn’t have too much room left to grow and for his size, he doesn’t figure into the score sheet enough to expend a spot on the 50-man roster.

Other notable players with North American experience, signed to Frolunda for 2011-12 are Joel Lundqvist (Dallas Stars), PJ Axelsson (Boston Bruins) and Christian Backman (Blues, Rangers, Blue Jackets).

Olimb is currently playing in the IIHF World Championship tournament as a member of Team Norway.  His younger brother Ken-Andre Olimb is also competing for Norway.


In news shared with us by Mike Peck on our TTMI podcast Monday night, Kyle Hagel, the gritty Princeton University graduate who spent 2010-11 with the IceHogs on an AHL-contract, signed a two-way contract with the St. Louis Blues over the weekend.

In some respects, Hagel was the heart and soul of the Rockford IceHogs this past season.  His effort and passion both on and off the ice made him a favorite in many fans, teammates and scout’s eyes.

Hagel posted 5 goals and 8 assists (-11 plus/minus) in 77 games with the IceHogs.  But those numbers come in primarily fourth line duty.  Towards the end of the season Hagel moved up to the third line.  He’s versatile enough to play both center and the wing.  Hagel’s 245 penalty minutes ranked 5th in the AHL and second among AHL rookies.  His 31 regular season fights led the IceHogs’ team by a wide margin and ranked amongst the top in the American League.  Hagel had come into his own by the end of the season on a line with Evan Brophey and Igor Makarov, which was a key energy unit and focal point in the IceHogs’ late season turnaround.

The loss leaves Rockford with Brandon Bollig as the prime candidate to fill Hagel’s roll.  Bollig himself had a hard time getting into the line up in 2010-11, primarily due to Hagel’s performance, but also because Bollig didn’t show much offensively and took a lot of bad penalties when he did get into the lineup.