Monthly Archives: August 2011

Lindbloom: The Nature of the Beast

“Maggie” – photo credit: SI Vault

“Who killed Davey Moore,
Why an’ what’s the reason for?
“Not us,” says the angry crowd,
Whose screams filled the arena loud.
It’s too bad he died that night
But we just like to see a good fight.
We didn’t mean for him t’ meet his death,
We just meant to see some sweat,
There ain’t nothing wrong in that.
It wasn’t us that made him fall.
No, you can’t blame us at all.” – Bob Dylan

By Rich Lindbloom

The recent deaths of Bob Probert. Derek Boogaard and Rick Rypien have stirred a hornet’s nest in the minds and hearts of hockey fans and critics. Hockey’s numerous detractors are quick to point out the accumulative effects of getting pummeled by an opponent leads to serious brain damage. They claim it is barbaric for modern day hockey to tolerate fighting to appease the blood thirsty fans who are packing the modern day equivalent of the Roman Coliseum.

Ian Brown had an excellent article on NHL enforcers last week that was a great read. Even more interesting than the article, were the numerous replies elicited by his piece. I read over 50 of the replies, finding the majority of them condemned fighting in the NHL. One dad said the “goon” aspect of hockey is why he has steered his son into other sports. Another response to the article stated, “the relatively violence free, international hockey grows in popularity and is a joy to watch.” Someone else decried that it seemed like every team has one dummy (Domi – in his words) on the team. Read more »

Share

Prospect Tourney in Oshawa Takes Shape

Johan Mattsson, Aug 9, 2011, Lake Placid, NY – Yahoo.ca

-
In ten days, about 24 of the Blackhawks top prospects will arrive in Oshawa, Ontario to compete in the annual Toronto Maple Leafs Rookie Invitational Tournament.

The Leafs, Blackhawks, Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins will participate in the four-day, round-robin points-based tournament.  The same four competed against one another last September when the exhibition was staged in London, Ontario.  Chicago has been invited for the second consecutive year, having replaced the Boston Bruins, the only change in the foursome since 2009.

Toronto announced its roster way back on August 9.  Ottawa and Pittsburgh did so on Tuesday.  Click the links to preview their squads…. Read more »

Share

TTMI~Radio, e.87, Sixty-five minutes Talkin’ Blackhawks with Al Cimaglia

A special-express caffeine-fueled edition of TTMI~Radio this week.  Only thirteen more of these to go now….

Al Cimaglia of Sirius/XM Home Ice and HockeyIndependent.com joined for sixty-five minutes of Hawk Talk.  We did this show two hours earlier and quicker than usual since I had to be out the door for a fantasy football draft tonight.  Great show though, covering a bevy of topics.

After running down all the recent pertinent news, Al and I listen to comments Patrick Kane made to a Toronto radio station last week and give our take on the Hawks’ superstar right winger’s new destination date of recovery.

We also take a look at controversial comments recently made by Mike Cammalleri and the now-retired Dave Scatchard.  Is the NHL’s current concussion care policy good enough? Should their be greater concerns, as Cammalleri hints, at the artificial enhancements players are using to compete and endure the NHL grind and is the current drug testing policy doing the job?

Also, we analyze Marcus Kruger‘s place on this year’s Blackhawks; Jimmy Hayes given the opportunity to train in Lugano over a recent 1st round pick; IceHogs’ roster concerns; what we would have paid Chris Campoli to stay and answers to emails on why two of the greatest goaltenders of all-time, Dominik Hasek and Ed Belfour, were sent packing by Chicago in the early to mid-90s.

All this and probably more I’m forgetting.

TTMI~Radio, e.87 ~ Monday August 29, 2011
original air 6pm Cen ~ Uppers & Downers, Talkin’ Hawks w/Al Cimaglia

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Right-Click Here to Download the mp3

Our entire show archives are up at BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn
SUBSCRIBE to the show via ITUNES here

Show returns next Tuesday, September 6th at 8pm central when we’re scheduled to be joined by John and Bob of the currently vacationing FifthFeather.com.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

Share

Contingency insurance: Previewing potential 2011-12 Blackhawks call ups

photo: HockeyBroad.com

By Brad Gardner

All thirty NHL teams are optimistic at this time of summer, but the one thing we can all be sure of is that everything will not go according to plan. Injuries have their way of piling up, players may not live up to expectations, or teams may find that progress made during the summer in one area has left them with a hole elsewhere in the game plan. One of the Blackhawks organization’s responses to the unpredictable nature of the NHL season has been keeping their AHL affiliate within arms reach, roughly 90 miles west on I-90 in Rockford, Illinois. The Third Man In takes an admittedly early look at some possible mid-season scenarios and introduces the prospects who may be expected to answer the call.

So you need a top six forward…

Safe bet: Jeremy Morin is the easy answer here after a solid nine game trial last season. Coming back from a concussion, though, he’ll get back into the swing of things with the IceHogs to start the season. His best asset may be his goal-scoring ability, but he showed as a rookie that he was willing to play any role to stay in the Chicago line-up. The 20-year-old winger is the organization’s best bet if the power play is in need of new life – his cheetah-quick release would be a dangerous weapon with a set-up guy like Kane feeding him the puck. Read more »

Share

Kruger NHLPA top rookie, Kane causes stir, Rankings

Brad Gardner’s latest ranking of the top 20 Blackhawks prospects is up now at HockeysFuture.com

This was yesterday’s huge news story.  When Patrick Kane says he’ll be ready for opening night, would that not logically then indicate he’ll also be healthy and able to participate in some training camp activity, even a preseason game or two?  Kane went on a Toronto radio station Tuesday and was non-committal on the status of his recovery from wrist surgery.  Still, Kane is confident he’ll be good in time for the season opener.  I know its August, but to me this is a lot of unnecessary commotion over what will likely amount to a week of missed camp.   It was obvious from the moment that interview concluded this would blow up.  Whatever Kane does is going to be news.  He’s that big a star.  However, it is amazing Kane would be so cloudy on his state of return just 24 hours after his general manager was emphatic Kane is fine and on schedule for the start of training camp.  And that’s why this blew up.  Kane used to live in Stan Bowman’s basement and he is a franchise player, you’d figure these guys would be on the same page.  I wouldn’t put any heat on Kane for this.  Its his body and the team’s timeline seemed convenient to begin with. But this is a fuss over what could simply amount to seven days.  Still, is appears the Hawks shifted into damage control last night.

Marcus Kruger will be in Toronto on Tuesday, August 30 to be one of 27 NHL rookies presented in the NHLPA’s 2011 Rookie Showcase.  Kruger and his six Blackhawks teammates wrap up the week of practice sessions in Lugano, Switzerland on Sunday.  He’ll then head straight to Toronto.  Tuesday is mostly a media showcase, interview and photography session.

–It was pointed out to me that Lugano head coach Barry Smith is still technically employed by the Hawks as a European talent adviser.  Smith was a pro scout with the Hawks last year.  He was Scotty Bowman’s assistant while with the Red Wings.

–New Blackhawk Andrew Brunette turns 38 today…. Roland “Alain” Daigle is 57. This Three Rivers, Quebec native spent six seasons (74-80) on right wing with the Blackhawks.  They drafted him 34th overall in ’74.  He retired in 1984 after stops in Europe and the AHL.  The Hawks were the only NHL team he ever played for…. They share the day Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (24)….

–Former prospect and Hawks’ 2005 6th round pick Joe Charlebois has signed with the Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL).

–I’ll have much more tonight/tomorrow morning.

–We have a podcast scheduled for Monday night at 6pm with Al Cimaglia.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

Share

Mikita talks cancer, Bergevin on new Personalities, Dent on IceHogs, 3rd jersey axed, notes on Berard, Campoli and a Sutter


Stan Mikita
feeling good in spite of cancer battle  [Brian Hedger, NHL.com]

Mikita meets his doctors in ten days to find out where he’s at with his Stage 1 oral cancer.

“I’m looking for very favorable comments from him (the doctor),” Mikita told Hedger.  “The treatments went well.  It wasn’t really bad for me.  It’s been coming along real well.”

–More from Hedger’s Blackhawks’ notebook – Stuff on Marian Hossa’s math, Patrick Kane’s on-time wrist recovery and David Bolland loving Daniel Carcillo.

Video of Mikita speaking to media at Monday’s Blackhawks Alumni golf event at Medinah Country Club.  [CSN Chicago]  Comments from an antsy Bolland and Stan Bowman as well in that clip.

–Assistant general manager Marc Bergevin in an interview on a Toronto radio station Monday, talked about this summer’s roster shakeup, the addition of what Bergevin termed, “personality” to the team’s core roster.

“We felt we are skilled enough to get us into the playoffs.  We just need the character to get us through the playoffs,” Bergevin explained.

“And that’s what we had when we did win.  Then we lost guys like Ladd, Byfuglien, and Versteeg and Sopel.   Guys who were warriors, that did the little things to make the other team accountable.  They made the other team realize ‘this is going to be a battle tonight.’   That’s what it takes to win a Stanley Cup.

“You can’t win with twelve skilled forwards and six skilled defensemen, because there is dirty work that needs to be done and there are only certain players that are willing to do that.” he concluded. Read more »

Share

Training camp begins now, in Switzerland, for Hjalmarsson, Scott and five other Blackhawks


Training camp begins almost a month early this week, and overseas, for a handful of Chicago Blackhawks players.

The Blackhawks have sent seven of their own over to Switzerland this week to participate in the final preseason preparations for Swiss NLA club HC Lugano’s upcoming season.

Niklas Hjalmarsson
Viktor Stalberg
John Scott
Marcus Kruger
Dylan Olsen
Jeremy Morin
Jimmy Hayes

The players will spend a week in Switzerland training with Lugano.

How did this all come about? Read more »

Share

Campoli keeps hope alive, Makarov release, Salak, Hawks Swedish net prospect and more

As a follow up to Igor Makarov signing with St. Petersburg (KHL), it appears the Blackhawks did execute a contractual release of the one-remaining year on his entry-level deal.  That means Makarov is off the 50-man roster.  In the Russian interview we cited in Friday’s story, Makarov said the Hawks released him and that claim now lines up.  His name has now been removed from the team’s web site.

–All remaining regular season Blackhawks tickets go on sale Monday morning at 10am central via Ticketmaster.  Standing room is now $27.  First seven rows of the top level will cost $72 or $90 (60-72 if your seats are behind netting) depending on the opponent.  To sit eleven rows off the ice on the weekend or against an Original Six or rivalry opponent now costs you $200.  And you thought trading Brian Campbell would save us money….

–Free agent Chris Campoli says he has “a few irons in the fire.” [Toronto Star]

“There is interest,’ Campoli told the Star.  “I have to stay positive.” Read more »

Share

Igor Makarov chooses Russia, KHL


On Wednesday, Sports Daily in Russia reported SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL in Russia had signed Blackhawks prospect Igor Makarov to a new three-year contract.

This move comes with one year remaining on Makarov’s existing two-year NHL agreement with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Makarov, who will turn 24 next month, was a Blackhawks 2nd round pick (#33 overall) in the 2006 draft out of Russia’s tier-2 professional league.  While he attended some summer prospect and fall training camps in Chicago, Makarov did not make his official North American hockey debut until last season.

In 68 games with Rockford in 2010-11, Makarov posted 11 goals and 13 assists.

SKA is currently in Switzerland competing in a preseason tournament.  Makarov is now in St. Petersburg and will join his teammates after they return for a practice this coming Monday.  An official announcement of Makarov’s signing will probably come from SKA then. Read more »

Share

AHL, Rockford IceHogs release 2011-12 schedule


The American Hockey League was finally able to release their 2011-12 regular season schedule on Thursday, exactly fifty days prior to the league’s official opener, October 7th.

Rockford will open its season on Saturday night, October 8th versus the Grand Rapids Griffins at the formerly-named MetroCentre, now the BMO Harris Bank Center.

The next day the IceHogs play their first road game at Peoria.  That October 9th contest against the Rivermen begins a four-game road trip continuing with two games in Abbotsford on Oct 14 and 16.  After five days off, the IceHogs make their first trip to Allstate Arena in Rosemont for the ’11-12 seasons’ initial meeting with the Chicago Wolves, brand new affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks.

In all, the IceHogs and Wolves meet twelve times during the new campaign.  In a weird twist, the Hogs-Wolves season series will be complete by Feb 26th.  The rivals will meet on back-to-back days on three separate occasions: Oct 21-22, Jan 20-21 and Feb 10-11 (both of these games are in Rockford). Read more »

Share