Jun 152011

Marc Bergevin was promoted today to Assistant General Manager in the role vacated by Kevin Cheveldayoff when he left to take the GM job in Winnipeg.

Bergevin is well-liked by virtually everyone.  He served as the team’s director of player personnel for two years, a position he moved into the day after Dale Tallon was “re-assigned.”  This will be Bergevin’s seventh year with the team.  After Denis Savard was removed from the coaching position and Joel Quenneville was hired, Bergevin was made a third assistant coach.  Prior to that he was pro scout.

“As an organization we’re fortunate to have the depth of talent available that allows us to promote from within,” Stan Bowman said of Bergevin’s promotion in a Wednesday press release.

Bergevin, who turns 46 in August, was drafted by the Hawks in 1983 (59th overall) and spent his first four full seasons with the Hawks before being sent to the New York Islanders with Gary Nylund in exchange for center Bob Bassen and defenseman Steve Konroyd on November 25, 1988.  In his 20-year playing career, Bergevin spent a year on the Island before bouncing from Hartford, Tampa Bay (2x), Detroit, St. Louis (2x), Pittsburgh (2x) and finally Vancouver.

Bergevin won’t have much time to adapt to his new role and will be under fire quickly as the period for qualifying restricted free agents is a week away and then free agency a week after that.

Just as big of news coming out Wednesday is the announcement that Scotty Bowman will be staying on as Senior Advisor.  His three-year contract was coming due and has been extended.  It was not made clear for how long.

With Bergevin moving up, Norm Maciver was promoted into the role as Director of Player Personnel.  Maciver was previously Director of player development.  MacIver had a big influence on the acquisition of Nick Leddy.

The only other change involves Kyle Davidson, who was brought on as video coach this past season, replacing Brad Aldrich.  Davidson will now serve in a new role as Hockey Administration Coordinator, which is apparently different from Ian Gentile’s role (Hockey Operations Coordinator).


— For what its worth, as of today the Blackhawks do not have a contract with an ECHL affiliate.  Last year the Hawks agreed to a one year extension to their affiliation agreement with Toledo on March 26, 2010.

The new ECHL team (Chicago Express) that will begin play out of Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates on October 2nd has yet to announce an affiliation.  I could be wrong, but I would think there would be some apprehension on the IceHogs’ end to the Hawks potentially having some prospects an hour closer to the city than Rockford.  Sure logistically it would make a lot of sense, but the IceHogs and Express would be competing for the dollars of the same far northwest suburb fan base.  The quality of the AHL product is superior to the ECHL, but most people don’t recognize the difference.  And if the Express were to have Hawks’ prospects in the fold, you can be sure a great portion of the promotional campaigns will focus on that.  For most folks, if you live within the Chicago city limits or between Allstate Arena and Sears Centre, you’re probably not going to travel the extra hour, two round trip, to see a hockey game.  Maybe once a year, but inevitably a Blackhawks’ link to the Hoffman Estates franchise could cut into the portion people who have travelled far distances to see IceHogs’ games.


Today, June 15th in Chicago Blackhawks history….

1969 – Blackhawks claimed unprotected goaltender Tony Esposito from Montreal for $25,000.00

Blackhawks birthdays….

Danny O’Shea, a center acquired in a deal that sent Doug Mohns to Minnesota in 1971; O’Shea turned 66 on Wednesday.  O’Shea essentially spent a calendar year with Chicago and was dealt to St. Louis for Christian Bordealeau and what amounted to goaltender John Garrett in 1972..

Dean McAmmond, twice a Blackhawk and originally a draft pick of Chicago in 1991, turned 38 Wednesday.

Legendary Blackhawks’ right wing Steve Larmer celebrates his 50th birthday on Thursday.


— If you listened to our interview with Mike Peck last month, you know that he is one person who is high on young defenseman Ryan Stanton.  Peck did a Q&A with Stanton for IceHogs.com & ChicagoBlackhawks.com this week.

— The 2011 Chicago Blackhawks Training Camp Festival at United Center will be Saturday September 17.

— July’s prospect camp at Johnny’s Ice House West will run from Thursday July 7 to Monday July 11.  This is a prospect camp only.  Players who’ve played in professional games under a pro contract cannot participate.

Al Cimaglia takes a look at the possibility of ‘Hawks losing another to relocated Thrasher franchise. Hockey Independent

-One thing to point out here is that former Hawks’ assistant coach John Torchetti, who left the Hawks after winning the Cup to be Craig Ramsey’s associate coach in Atlanta, is now waiting to learn of his fate under new Winnipeg (can you imagine them being called anything but the Jets?) GM Kevin Cheveldayoff.  Torchetti left the Hawks in part because of a strong professional relationship with now former Winnipeg GM Rick Dudley, but also because if something were to happen to Joel Quenneville, the belief was Mike Haviland would be the internal frontrunner ahead of Torchetti to take over.  Another point to make is that Quenneville never was given the chance to bring on an assistant of his choosing, instead inheriting Torchetti and Haviland.  With Torchetti moving on, Quenneville was able to get Mike Kitchen on to take Torchetti’s place.  Its interesting now because its possible Haviland could get the Winnipeg head coaching job and Torchetti could then find himself working for Haviland.

John Jaeckel talks potential return of 2010 Cup Champion.  HockeyBuzz

Chris Kuc watched game four of the Finals with Dave BollandChicago Tribune

Ben Smith discusses his rookie season with his hometown paper. Avon Patch

Ex-Hawk Curtis Brown has a new gig with San Jose.  More here.

One time Blackhawks’ bench boss and former Minnesota North Star, Craig Hartsburg is the new associate coach under Brent Sutter in Calgary.

Gain one Hawk bloodline, lose another.  Jim Playfair resigned from his post as head coach of Flames’ AHL affiliate Abbotsford to take an associate coach position on the Phoenix Coyotes’ bench alongside Dave Tippett.

Ex-Hawks staying put…..

Jack Skille agreed to a new two-year pact to stay with Dale Tallon in south Florida.  Skille will make $1.65M guaranteed over two years.  In all last season, Skille played in 62 games, scoring 8 goals and 19 points.  He missed a month (12 games; Feb 25-Mar 19) with a high right ankle sprain suffered in a Feb 23 5-1 loss to former Panthers’ goaltender at Ottawa.  A game, for Ottawa, that also ended a 10-game home losing streak.

Tallon also locked up journeyman minor league center Mark Cullen for another season.  Cullen is the younger brother (by almost two years exactly) of Minnesota Wild center Matt Cullen.  The younger Cullen came through the Hawks’ organization twice.  He was first brought in by Tallon for the 2005-06 season, playing 29 games with Chicago but excelling in 54 games (29g, 39a) with the Hawks minor league affiliate at the time, Norfolk Admirals.  Cullen moved on but returned in 2009-10 and played in 62 games with Rockford, scoring 21 goals and 32 assists for the IceHogs.  Coming up in 2011-12, Cullen will by paid at a rate of $150,000 in the AHL and $600,000 if he spends time with the Panthers according to numbers provided by CapGeek.com.  Mark is expected to be in Rochester next season providing offense and veteran leadership.

Craig Adams, 34, re-upped with Pittsburgh for another two years at an average of $675,000 per season.  Adams’ numbers don’t show it, but he played very well in a period called upon to skate well above his usual fourth liner level with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal all out of the Pens’ line up.  Adams posted totals of 4 goals and 11 helpers in 80 games this past season.

Former Hawks’ draft choice Chris Porter signed a new deal with the St. Louis Blues.  Porter was Jonathan Toews’ captain at North Dakota.  Mostly due to an injury beleaguered Blues’ line up, Porter appeared in 45 games with the Blues this season, collecting 3 goals and 7 points.  Blackhawks fans would recall Porter mostly for a third period fight with Jeremy Morin at the United Center on November 30, in a game the Hawks won 7-5.  Morin and Porter had fought a few weeks prior to then when both were in Rockford and Peoria respectively in a crazy game in Rockford on November 9.  Porter and Morin were both given game misconducts in that one for getting into secondary altercation after the first period had ended.  Porter agreed to a new 1-year deal with the Blues, which will pay him $105,000 in the AHL and $600,000 in the NHL according to numbers listed at CapGeek.com.

Remember also, Kyle Hagel signed a one year, two-way deal with the Blues for 2011-12.  Hagel was with the IceHogs on an AHL contract this past season and thus was free to sign with any NHL team once his AHL season ended.  The IceHogs will miss Hagel’s on and off-ice energy, commitment and toughness.

Ivan Vishnevskiy, 23, also appears to have made one decision much easier for Stan Bowman.  The Russian defenseman signed with Mytishchi Moscow of the Russian Kontinental Hockey League on May 17.  If you translate that linked page to English, it reads like the author is intimating that Vishnevskiy didn’t get a chance in Chicago because he was Russian.  I don’t know Russian and maybe if someone who reads this does can say if that’s a fair translation.

Former Rockford IceHogs’ defenseman (08-09) Danny Groulx jumped KHL teams on May 10 moving from “Torpedo” Nizhny Novgorod to Dynamo Minsk (Belaurus).  Groulx moved on to Worcester for the 09-10 season after posting 6 goals and 34 assists in 77 games in Rockford in ’08-09.  With Worcester he improved his totals to 14 goals and 52 assists, which got him noticed in Russia.

A one-time Hawk draft pick, long-since gone, Igor Radulov, will move from Vityaz to Salavat Yulaev Ufa, signing for this coming season.  Igor will be 29 by the start of the next season.  Ufa is the team Igor’s younger brother (of four years) Alexander Radulov skates for along with Oleg Tverdovskiy, Viktor Kozlov, Oleg Saprikin and Happy Petr Schastlivy.  Igor was best known for potting five goals in seven games on his first Blackhawks callup.  Igor split the dismal lame duck 03-04 season between Chicago and Norfolk and didn’t have much success in either venue.  He then started off the 04-05 NHL lockout season in Norfolk with no points in 16 contests and defected back to Russia for the remainder of that season.  He’s never returned to North American hockey.  Igor was the Blackhawks 3rd round pick in 2000, the same draft that started off with Mike Smith picking Mikhail Yakubov and Pavel Vorobiev at the 10th and 11th picks, and then Sweden’s Jonas Nordqvist in the second round.  The 2000 draft was one of the worst in franchise history.  Not that the 2000 draft produced much after the first round.  There were some decent players picked in later rounds; Travis Moen, Matt Lombardi, John-Michael Liles) but after the 2nd round the only stars coming from that draft were Lubomir Visnovskiy (#118, 4thrd) and Henrik Lundqvist (#205, 7thrd).  Reto Von Arx is a name Hawks fans would remember.  It was that kind of draft.

We’ll have more tomorrow.



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