Monthly Archives: July 2011

Sharp talks contract extension, new Hawk numbers, Keenan coaching rumor, Sopel chooses Siberia and more


–Patrick Sharp
talks contract from Thunder Bay, rehabbing his injured knee.

On negotiations with the Blackhawks on a new contract extension, Sharp said there was nothing new to report.  “I like Chicago.  I want to stay there,” Sharp told TBNewswire.com.  “I’m pretty sure they’d like to keep me as well.  We’ll see how things play out.”

–According to the Blackhawks’ roster page at ChicagoBlackhawks.com, Ben Smith has changed his number from #57 to #28…. Alexander Salak will wear #53…. Sami Lepisto does not have a number at this point… In case you missed numbers on the other new Hawks; Steve Montador is #5… Sean O’Donnell is #6… Daniel Carcillo is #13… Andrew Brunette is #15… and Jamal Mayers is #22. Read more »

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TTMI~Radio, e.86, Sunshine SuperStan, Parts 1&2

This one…..

First, let’s apologize to our live streamers who thought we were going on live at 7 central tonight.  Obviously, that didn’t happen.  This is another reason why I have to get off BTR.  Our friend, one-time writer and regular podcast guest Dieter Kurtenbach is now a sports reporter at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.  A major development in a story Dieter is covering, the overheating death of a high school football player, came down just before we were about to go live.  So we pushed the show back an hour.  Due to the news story, Dieter couldn’t join us until 9:15, or 75 minutes into the show.  The way BTR works, because I had already gone live, there was no turning back or pausing until Dieter was available.

So the first part of the show is just me flying solo.  I know, I’d rather not listen to it either.  I gave the run down on the Ray Emery training camp invite, IceHogs changes, Kyle Beach’s next step, Campoli vs Lepisto and probably a list of other topics I can’t recall at the moment.

Part two is my hour-long talk with Dieter Kurtenbach on his questions regarding Stan Bowman’s contradictory maneuverings, Patrick Kane’s story, the Frolik, Campoli and Montador contracts or non-contract, Ben Smith’s future and much more.  We also discuss the buzz in South Florida about the Panthers, a team Dieter is now covering for the Sun-Sentinel.

Part One:

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Part Two:

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Full show unclipped: (Sound quality is better on this for some reason)

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Dieter jumps in at 1:14:00.

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Thursday night Internet radio

TheThirdManIn~Radio returns Thursday night, still on BlogTalkRadio, live at a special time of 8pm eastern/7pm central.

Dieter Kurtenbach will join me to discuss all the latest actions, comings and goings in the world of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Since its been a couple of weeks since we’ve been on we haven’t had a chance to discuss Michael Frolik’s new contract nor Chris Campoli’s abrupt dismissal.  We’ll discuss Patrick Kane’s wrist injury and rank the peculiar nature of the back story.  And we’ll outline the Hawks’ cap status and what Stan Bowman could have in mind down the line, how he did and a few unrestricted free agents he passed up on.

Getting current, we’ll talk Blackhawks’ goaltending, Ray Emery and how one person’s departure has been severely overlooked.

We’ll take a look at the state of the Blackhawks defense, present and future; this year’s most important Blackhawk, team chemistry, Ted Dent, Kyle Beach and possibly a few listener emails.

The Florida Panthers are Dieter’s new team by a relocation of his own and he’ll give us a read on Panthers fever in South Florida.  And we’ll also peer into the curious case of Brandon Saad.

All this and more on tomorrow night’s (probably today by the time most of you read this) TTMI~Radio.  ITunes users can subscribe or download our shows here.

TheThirdManIn@sbcglobal.net

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Cullimore to Germany, Saad declines invite, Hawks cap position


Jassen Cullimore
will skate in Germany this season.

On Monday, Cullimore signed with the Iserlohn Roosters of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL).  Cullimore will join the team for training camp next month.  The Roosters’ season begins on September 16.  He joins goaltender Manny Legace and former Rockford IceHogs’ defenseman Prestin Ryan on the Iserlohn team.  Iserlohn [IEC] missed the playoffs last season and finished 12th out of 14 DEL teams.  Cullimore turns 39 in December.

While re-signing Cullimore was never a sure-thing, this does leave an important hole on the IceHogs’ defense.

Right now their top five is Ryan Stanton, Brian Connelly, Joe Lavin, Dylan Olsen and Shawn Lalonde.  With the exception of Stanton, Rockford’s defense, as currently constructed, is at best modest in their responsibilities south of the offensive blue line.  Simon Danis-Pepin is in the mix as well, but his skating was still barely AHL-level in April.  Rockford will need a veteran shut-down defenseman.  Connelly can now be considered a vet on the offensive side, but he can’t mind Lalonde in the defensive zone and you really shouldn’t count on Olsen to do that just yet, at least to start the season.  Read more »

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Campoli comments on Chicago; Lapointe, Bell, Broadhurst and other news and notes


Chris Campoli
this past Thursday on his stay in Chicago

I have nothing but great things to say about it.  It didn’t work out contract wise with them, but they’re a first-class organization.  The fans were unbelievable.  The city is absolutely amazing.  I really enjoyed being there and I was very fortunate to be able join the team when I did.”  [Fan 590 Toronto]

He wasn’t asked at all about the failed negotiations with the Blackhawks.  This also a day after the Hawks officially cut Campoli loose on the UFA market.  The Chicago comments came as Campoli was asked to summarize or compare each place he’s played thus far in the NHL.  Simply a waste of time, a terrible interview.

Martin Lapointe, who’s served as a pro scout for the past two seasons, is no longer listed in that, or any other capacity on the Blackhawks official web site.

In case you hadn’t heard…. Read more »

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Lindbloom: Snap, Crackle, Pop

“The girls love the boys with the cars that go boom!”

By Rich Lindbloom

While driving my son to skating practice recently, we passed a store that specialized in the sale of fancy rims for cars. Greg half jokingly said, “Dad, want to get some sweet rims for the Honda Odyssey?” I laughed and said, “Are you saying you want to pimp the van out?” It was then that he let me in on a little insight. Apparently, on most of the cars you see with the shiny chrome rims, the car is worth less than the rims. I’m not sure but he was probably insinuating the Odyssey, (which now has over 140,000 miles on it), needs a new look or needs to be traded in; preferably for a 2011 Camaro. However, as is the case with most of the cars I’ve owned in my life, all I require of them is that get me from point A to point B. Read more »

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TTMI~Radio, e.85, Two Years Gone

TheThirdManIn~Radio returns this week to celebrate our show’s 2-year anniversary.  We covered all of the major Blackhawks news topics of the past few weeks.

Click the player below to listen here in your browser.

Or, right-click here to download the MP3 file.

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BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn – Entire show archive
SUBSCRIBE to TTMI~Radio on ITUNES

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Radio Monday night

TheThirdManIn~Radio returns tomorrow night (July11) at 8pm central over at BlogTalkRadio.com.  Scout’s honor.

We’ll be discussing everything – All recent Blackhawks events including but not limited to Daniel Carcillo, the ins and outs of the Brian Campbell trade, if the Hawks have improved, Rockford IceHogs changes, Dale Tallon’s summer in-depth and finally give our impressions of the past week’s Blackhawks’ Prospect Camp.

ITunes users can subscribe, download our shows and listen here.

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Hawks trade rumor, Rocky Wirtz says team still losing money

Tim Sassone this afternoon on Twitter hinted of “whispers” he’s hearing out of Montreal on a potential trade involving the Blackhawks and Canadiens.  Sassone suggested Habs’ winger, and former Chicago Blackhawk, Travis Moen could be part of the deal.  Moen skated for the Hawks in the season prior to the 2004-05 lockout and was then dealt by GM Dale Tallon to Anaheim for Swedish utility forward Michael Holmqvist.  In all, Moen was a part of the Blackhawks organization for three years, playing in Norfolk in 02-03 and 04-05.

Sassone also intimated one “or more” of the Blackhawks restricted free agents would be headed to the Canadiens as part of the rumored talks.  My guess is the player would be Viktor Stalberg, who in college at the University of Vermont was nicknamed the “Swedish Rocket.”

Moen, 29, would give the Hawks some added size (6-2, 216) and grit they’re missing with Troy Brouwer and Tomas Kopecky now gone.  Andrew Brunnette has a great knack for the puck around the net but he’s not overly big (6-1, 215) and he’s not a banger.  Jamal Mayers may not play much if he even makes the team.  Daniel Carcillo is not big and doesn’t intimidate anyone, just annoys them.  John Scott is pushed further and further away from the ice with each Stan Bowman move, despite the GM’s comments of wanting to get Scott more ice time.  Sean O’Donnell (as a part-timer) and Steve Montador have addressed the team’s need for muscle and toughness on the blue line, but it’s still a work in progress at forward.

Travis Moen is entering the final year of a 3-year contract and has a cap hit of $1.5M.  The expiring deal fits in mold Stan Bowman is setting with his free agent transactions, save Montador.  Chicago is wisely apprehensive to committing any more long-term dollars in looking ahead to the next collective bargaining agreement.  Patrick Sharp will get his, but outside of him I can’t see the Hawks taking another big contract on without moving one they already have or another of today’s RFAs.

As far as the Blackhawks are concerned, Stalberg would be a nice luxury to have as a fourth liner.  With his speed and modest skill, Stalberg gives the Hawks a threat on that line.  There aren’t many teams who can throw the kind of speed Stalberg has on their fourth lines, and since coaches typically match fourth lines against the other, having Stalberg’s size (6-3, 210) and wheels would give the Hawks an advantage against most other teams in that respect.  And Stalberg has enough skill to fill in on scoring lines when injuries warrant or Joel Quenneville is treating his line up card like a Rubik’s cube.

Moen has never been a scorer (career high is 11 goals, with ANA in 2006-07), but is a tough, consistent forechecker and best utilized in a checking line role.  He won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007 in that checking role with Rob Niedermayer and Samuel Pahlsson.

There are still moves to be made and free agents to sign, and Moen is at this point just an interesting rumor, so we won’t get into where he’d fit in the Hawks’ line up.  But, again, (I guess I am doing it anyway) he’s best in that third line checking role, which would mean breaking up the Bolland-Frolik-Bickell trio Bowman was been so fond of.  Possibly moving Bickell up to a scoring line, with Brunette being the other scoring line left winger if Sharp’s staying at center.  If there’s another plan in store for center and Sharp is making a permanent home at left win, then Moen or Bickell drop to the fourth line and one or more of the July 1st acquisitions would be in the press box or sent packing.  Regardless, Moen could be a nice depth acquisition, with an affordable expiring contract.

– In other news, Chris Kuc has a Q&A up today with the Blackhawks ChairmanRocky Wirtz has been elected to the NHL Board of Directors.  Just in time for a CBA overhaul.  Rocky also tells Kuc that his team is still losing money.

Before anyone freaks about over the chairman’s claim (he also did this last year), the team is still reimbursing years of loans from Wirtz Corp.  In the interview Wirtz claimed it would take another four years before the team could operate on its own in the black.  Even then, with the NHL economy and national television rights fees locked in for the next ten years, and also money his team spends, it’s doubtful they’ll ever turn huge profits.

Rocky Wirtz also talks to Kuc about raising ticket prices, looking back at bad deals and signing Cristobal Huet’s paycheck.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Free Agent Frenzy Live Chat

After the jump Read more »

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