Saturday news & notes: David Toews, Tourney starts tonight, Ex-hawks in limbo & former IceHogs’ enforcer now fireman


Blackhawks acquired the rights to Jonathan Toews’ younger brother on Friday.

David Toews arrives via the New York Islanders in exchange for future considerations.

It should be noted that David Toews did not have a pro contract with the Islanders and so far the Blackhawks have not tendered him one either.

David Toews is turning pro after completing his amateur career in the Western Hockey League this past spring.  He has joined Blackhawks’ prospects in Oshawa this weekend for the four-day round-robin rookie tournament.  Like his brother, David is a centerman.

“Stan Bowman called me and wanted me to know that they weren’t trying to do Johnny any favors,” David Toews told the Free Press.  “(Bowman) said he liked me as a player and they’re pretty familiar with me because I’ve been training in Chicago all summer.”

David Toews, 21, was drafted by the Islanders in 2008, 66th overall in the third round.  He followed in his older brother’s footsteps attending North Dakota for two years but struggled for ice time and left following his sophomore season.  Toews joined the Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) last season and as an overager scored 20 goals and 28 assists in 60 regular season games. 

While a member of the Islanders’ organization last fall, Toews did not get to participate in training camp because Isles’ doctors had diagnosed him with a torn labrum in his shoulder.  Later it was determined the injury was not a tear and he reported to Brandon.  So, technically this will be David Toews’ first professional training camp.

He’s known for having a nice wrist shot and straight-line speed.  When I saw him play for North Dakota two years ago, his overall skating was just average.  David is smaller than his brother – listed in most places at 5-11, though that might be a stretch.

–Twenty-three Blackhawks prospects are set to begin the three-game rookie tournament in Oshawa starting today.  The games take place at General Motors Centre in Oshawa, which is about an hour northeast of downtown Toronto in light traffic.  Toronto, Ottawa and Pittsburgh are the other organizations involved and the Blackhawks will play those teams in that order.  The Maple Leafs serve as tournament host.  Chicago is represented by 24 players in all, one being free agent invite Neil Manning, who is a 20 year old defenseman on the Vancouver Giants (WHL).

We’ll have full coverage of Chicago’s three games and we have a correspondent in Oshawa.

Here’s the Blackhawks’ player chart.  Line combos are guesstimates.

Jeremy Morin  -  Chris DiDomenico  -  Jimmy Hayes

Phillip Danault  -  Peter Leblanc  -  Mark McNeil

Rob Flick  -  David Gilbert  -  Ludvig Rensfeldt

Brandon Saad  -  Andrew Shaw  -  Philippe Paradis

Paul Zanette  -  Byron Froese  -  David Toews

Joe Lavin  -  Dylan Olsen

Ryan Stanton  -  Shawn Lalonde

Simon Danis-Pepin  -  Ben Youds

Neil Manning

Mac Carruth

Johan Mattsson

Goaltender Kent Simpson is missing this weekend but is still scheduled to be at Blackhawks’ main camp next week.  On August 26, the Everett Herald reported Simpson had minor arthroscopic knee surgery some time after Chicago’s July prospect camp.  He’s been limited to light skating in Everett’s training camp.

Paul Zanette led the NCAA in goals per game last season (29g, 35gp) at Niagara.  He had 11 goals in 36 games in his junior season.  Zanette was teammates his freshman and sophomore years with goaltender Juliano Pagliero, who attended Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp in 2009.

Leblanc, Zanette and Youds are under AHL contracts to Rockford.  As noted before, Shaw and Flick are as well.  Leblanc was originally drafted by the Hawks but for the second-straight season since graduating from New Hampshire Leblanc, Chicago has passed on giving the center an NHL contract.

In this crop alone, there are nine players who have played or who are full-time centers (DiDomenico, Leblanc, McNeil, Danault, Flick, Gilbert, Shaw, Froese, Toews). Paradis has done it some as well.

This is a big weekend for DiDomenico.  For Saad as well after declining an invite to Team USA’s World Junior evaluation camp.  McNeil didn’t do much to speak of at July’s camp, so you’re looking for a little something more from him here as well.  I think the key things are what you see out of Morin, Olsen, Stanton, Lalonde and Hayes.  If they stand out as the best Hawks’ products here, then the everything else is your gravy.

–Patrick Kane had the cast on his left wrist removed at the end of August.  He’s now wearing a splint.  According to Kane that comes off September 15th, the day before training camp opens.  He says he’ll be good to go for 3 to 4 preseason games.  We’ll see.  Kane made these comments about two weeks after saying his target was opening night, October 7th.

–Former IceHogs’ enforcer Ryan Flinn became a Surprise, Arizona firefighter last month.

Some interesting thoughts from Niklas Hjalmarsson this week in a piece by Brian Hedger for NHL.com.  Hjalmarsson knows his role is defense, but says he’s shooting for more than 20 points in 2011-12.  That would mean at least doubling (3 goals, 7 assists) his point totals of last season.

Fernando Pisani gave Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal an update on his status this week.  Here’s an excerpt:

“Going to camp (without a contract) isn’t a situation I want to be in. I’ll hang tough and see what happens in the next couple of weeks or so,” said Pisani, who has had his nose pressed up against the NHL glass for months, but nobody will let him in, or sign him.

“You never know what’ll happen in the summer. Early on, there were a lot of trades and action, but there hasn’t been much activity the last two or three weeks,” he said.

Pisani talked to the Blackhawks after free agency started, but they told him they weren’t sure what they were doing.

“They weren’t sure if they were going to get rid of some guys to open up some (salary) cap space or what,” he said. “I’m going to keep training.”

Here’s a pic of Pisani in his Hawks gear, and an Oilers’ jersey inside out.

Ryan Johnson, to ESPNChicago.com’s Jesse Rogers on not being re-signed…

“Do you wonder, yeah,” Johnson told ESPN Chicago. “Where are you going to get answers?  There are no answers for you.  So I trained like I always do and weigh your options and get ready to go to a fresh place.”

“In this game if you try to read into things or understand things you’ll spend a lot of useless time,” continued Johnson. “I have no idea what went into the decision, but in this business you have to move on and prepare yourself and be excited for the next opportunity.”

Johnson will be in Red Wings’ training camp on a tryout basis.

Marty Turco sighting Wednesday in Sault Ste. Marie.  He recently told ESPNChicago he’s not ready to retire just yet.

Chris Campoli still does not have a contract.  The story’s the same with him.  Supposedly he’s talking to five or six teams.

Jonathan Toews talks headshots, respect and the Winnipeg Jets. [Postmedia]

Former Blackhawk coach Lorne Molleken talks recent deaths of Wade Belak, Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Brad McCrimmon.  Molleken had links to all four in different ways.  [Globe & Mail]

Two-time Blackhawks’ defenseman Bryan Muir spent some time in Russia during his career and tells CBC he often worried about flying on old Russian planes.

Another former Hawk, Matt Ellison, who played with Igor Korolev, says he’s never experienced any “white-knuckled” flights while playing in the KHL.  Ellison admits though he’s flown on planes similar to the one Lokomotiv was flying when it crashed, and says “they’re not the nicest planes.”

–Ryan Duncan signed an AHL contract with the Portland (Maine) Pirates, the Phoenix Coyotes affiliate.  Duncan is the 2007 Hobey Baker Award winner and former teammate of Jonathan Toews at North Dakota.  Duncan is small, listed at 5-8 and 175 pounds by Portland, but is more likely in the 5-6 to 5-7 range.  Undrafted, Duncan spent the past two seasons post-graduation with Salzburg in the Swiss elite league posting 65 goals and 148 points in 146 games overall with the Red Bulls.

–Kyle Wellwood got $700,000 guaranteed from the Winnipeg Jets this week.  According to reports and CapGeek.com listings, Wellwood received a one-way deal, meaning he’ll make $700k even should he clear waivers and be sent to the AHL.  In the Jets’ case, that would be St. John’s, New Foundland.

Daily Herald online is now a pay site.  20 bucks per month.  That’s not a good sign.

–In the coming weeks we’ll debut a new feature or two.

–Our past two radio shows with Al Cimaglia and John of the Fifth Feather have been two of our most well-received.  A lot of response to what we had to say about how the NHL should handle concussions and their drug testing policy.

–TTMI~Radio on Monday we have Mike Peck.  We have a major guest scheduled for October.  In a couple weeks Sam Fels we’ll be our guest and John Hoven of MayorsManor.com we’ll join me on Sept 26 to talk all things LA Kings hockey.  Some time soon we’ll have a mailbag show as well talking Blackhawks’ history.

–You can now get to our website, TheThirdManIn.com, by typing PuckChatter.com or PuckChatter.net.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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2 Responses to Saturday news & notes: David Toews, Tourney starts tonight, Ex-hawks in limbo & former IceHogs’ enforcer now fireman

  1. Dum Dum Alouwishes

    Seriously. Daily Herald now charging $20 / mo for access to online version (also with print version) … yeh, because WHERE ELSE can we get Blackhawks news…

    Living in the 20thy century is sO, LIKE, 2002…

  2. I always wondered what the offspring of John Krasinski and Judge Reinhold would look like…

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