By Chris Block
Michal Rozsival hopes to be an everyday player again in Chicago. [Mark Lazerus, Sun-Times] Rozsival is expected to make his season debut Saturday in Nashville.
–Blackhawks have added Mike Sullivan to the player development staff. He most recently had been John Tortorella’s assistant for seven seasons. TTMI story here.
–If you haven’t, check in with our new Fantasy Hockey guru Lane Myer.
–Our detailed recap of Rockford’s 3-2 opening night loss to Milwaukee. Following up on the response to the paragraphs on T.J. Brennan, his $600,000 one-way deal is the reason the Islanders wanted him included in the deal. Brennan wasn’t going to make the Isles with Leddy and Boychuk around and the Isles didn’t want to spend that money on him as a player in Bridgeport.
In Brennan, Peter Regin and Drew LeBlanc alone, Stan Bowman has $1.825M in guaranteed NHL salary in Rockford right now. He had substantially more than that in the past when Steve Montador and Rostislav Olesz were stashed away in the AHL. The Hawks minor league team has become akin to a money pit since 2011. You get the impression the Hawks have no plans for Brennan.
–Other notes reported from practice: Marian Hossa sat out practice today but will play Wednesday vs the Flames. Kris Versteeg could start skating this weekend and Joel Quenneville is disgusted with his third line so far.
–I’ll be doing some random Hawks’ recaps this season. My first is tomorrow. I’ll also have a game later this month when the Hawks face the Ducks. I doubt if there’ll be another IceHogs recap before the game at Rochester on the 22nd. I’m traveling all week to concerts and Vegas activities into next week, so it’ll be tough.
–Fredrik Olofsson has committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha. The Swedish forward was taken 98th overall by the Hawks in the 4th round of last summer’s draft, a pick Stan Bowman acquired when he sent Dave Bolland to Toronto on June 30, 2013. Olofsson will play this season with the Chicago Steel (USHL) then go to Omaha next year.
–Scott Powers has a transcribed Q&A with Ted Dent talking about a lot of things, including what Joel Quenneville told him he wanted to see Teuvo Teravainen work on in Rockford. [ESPNChicago.com]
Meanwhile, Teuvo says his being in Rockford “Is what it is.”
This from Elliotte Friedmans’ 30 Thoughts last week. [Sportsnet.ca]
Stan Bowman, asked if the plan is to recall Teuvo Teravainen only when he’s ready to stay for good: “If I was to write a script that’s the way it would go, but sometimes you have to adjust on the fly. It’s not the end of the world if he comes up for two weeks in November.”
Friedman also wrote that at least four other teams were in on Leddy; Calgary, Colorado, San Jose and Winnipeg. It’s no surprise Bowman would rather send Leddy to the Eastern Conference. But, it would be interesting to know what he turned down from those Western clubs in favor of the Islanders’ offer. It’s an old, conventional hockey mindset, though I’m not sure in this day and age that it makes much of a difference to trade talented players out of your conference. Besides, you’re the Blackhawks. Nick Leddy may become a 25-mintute per night top pair guy, but it’s not like Leddy, by himself, is every going to come back to haunt you. I have no idea whether he did or not, but the mindset should always be to take the best deal. Ville Pokka for Nick Leddy is a tough sell. Especially considering defense was already a position Bowman has plenty of depth at. You could look at the deal being better than a draft pick because Pokka is farther along and has some potential. But a right shot blue liner is hardly a need and there were four guys already (Rundblad, van Riemsdyk, Clendening and Johns) vying for essentially two potential spots that figure to open over the next two seasons. Bowman commented on the October 8th Blackhawks Insider podcast that in dealing a young defenseman you always want a young defenseman back. When he dealt Dylan Olsen to Florida with Jimmy Hayes last November, Bowman got a return of Kris Versteeg and a minor league forward, Philippe Lefebvre. So, either this is a new philosophy or Pokka is making up for that one.
–Rockford begins a 4-game road trip in Glen Falls, NY on Thursday where they’ll face off with the Adirondack Flames. One player the IceHogs won’t see Thursday is Trevor Gillies. The AHL suspended him 12 games on Tuesday for slamming William Carrier’s head into the ice at the end of a fight between the two on Friday. Carrier plays for the Rochester Americans, who the IceHogs will wrap the road trip with on Wed Oct 22nd. Video of the Trevor Gillies incident. Carrier had his helmet on, so it’s not quite as brutal as it sounds. It was completely out of bounds, still, and the suspension was just.
A look at Ryan Johansen’s new 3-year $12.0M deal & nasty negotiation with Columbus [The Hockey News, Ken Campbell]
Kyle Beach had his try-out deal with the Salzburg Red Bulls extended through October.
Akim Aliu agreed to a 25-game tryout contract with Rochester (AHL). The IceHogs visit Rochester on Oct 22. So much potential wasted there.
Jared Nightingale, last year’s IceHogs’ captain, signed with the Toledo Walleye (ECHL) last week.
Theo Peckham turned up with the Witchita Thunder (ECHL). Wichita is one of the seven teams that joined the ECHL just last week after the CHL folded. Peckham’s coach in Wichita is Kevin McClelland, who won four cups with the Edmonton Oilers in the 80’s.
Story on the Edmonton Oilers’ 1st home game, 35 years ago Monday [Edmonton Journal] Of course, the Oilers, and Wayne Gretzky, made their NHL debuts at Chicago Stadium on October 10, 1979. Gretzky’s first point was an assist on a Kevin Lowe tally in the first period. The Hawks won that game 4-2, but then proceeded to lose every game they played against the Oilers until 1992. Or something like that. It’s not like it’s a sore spot from my childhood or anything.
Here’s a page and 4-part gallery dedicated to old Chicago Stadium. I know others like me feel like we basically grew up in that building. Those pictures are always fun to look at. If you’ve ever wondered, the Chicago Coliseum (the third and final one) that the Hawks played in before the Stadium from 1926-1929, used to sit on Wabash, just south of 14th Place, or behind the 1464 S Michigan condo building and Old St. Mary’s Catholic school and church. Coliseum Park sits across the street from the former Coliseum lot. The Coliseum had a seating capacity of 6,000 back then. Fred Kohler used the Coliseum for major wrestling events in the 50s and early 60s before the promoter sold his territory to Dick the Bruiser, and unwittingly, Verne Gagne, who Kohler hated for splitting off from him to form the AWA. Gagne, an amateur star turned pro was arguably Kohler’s biggest star. Kohler was a pioneer in wrestling as his Wrestling from the Marigold, staged at the Marigold Gardens on Grace Street at Broadway and Halsted (building still stands behind an IHOP) broadcasted weekly shows on the DuMont Network. It’s hard to explain how popular wrestling to the mainstream was in those days. Thus, Kohler was able to regularly book most of the biggest stars of that era including Gagne, Gorgeous George, Lou Thesz, Buddy Rogers and Edouard Carpentier. Fred Kohler’s NWA office was in the Metropolitan Building at 134 N. LaSalle, across the street from City Hall. I believe the Coliseum’s last tenant was a NBA team, the Chicago Packers that would eventually relocate to become the Baltimore Bullets and today are the Washington Wizards. The building was mostly demolished in the early 80s but part of the building’s façade, at the front Wabash entrance, stood until the late 90s. Since there’s no historical marker over there, a lot of people assume the old Coliseum stood in today’s Coliseum Park location when it actually was across the street to the east.
I don’t know what solicited all of that but perhaps it had something to do with the fact I frequent a few establishments in that Coliseum area and I’m feeling like I could use a thirsty beverage right now.
Speaking of…. Chris Pronger is joining the NHL Dept of Player Safety. [Nick Cotsonika, Yahoo]
—Colin Fraser, who inked a 1-yr deal with St. Louis in the off season, is with the Chicago Wolves. He’ll likely be there all season. Fraser has a two-way deal.
—Brent Sopel signed a 1-yr AHL deal to play for the Chicago Wolves. Jake Chelios, 23, inked a 1-year deal with the Wolves in June. The defenseman spent time with the Toledo Walleye after he turned pro last spring. He finished the season with the Wolves.
—Dean Chelios is playing for the Blackhawks’ ECHL affiliate, Indy Fuel.
—Mac Carruth picked up the win in Indy’s second preseason game in Anchorage, Alaska. Carruth stopped 31 shots in a 3-1 victory. Then over the weekend, Indy acquired goaltender Cody Reichard from the Orlando Solar Bears. Reichard spent time with three ECHL teams last year as well as the AHL’s Iowa Wild.
–Indy Fuel open the ECHL season on Friday vs Fort Wayne Komets. The Fuel went 3-0 in preseason action.
–For your reference: All 30 Opening Night NHL rosters
UFC announcer Mike Goldberg had a rough debut as NFL play-by-play caller for FOX on Sunday, to say the least. Goldberg made several glaring mistakes in his call of the Vikings-Lions game, then took to Twitter to respond to his critics. His profanity laced tirades at those Tweeters got Goldberg fired from his part-time NFL on FOX gig today. He was scheduled to do another Vikings game this coming weekend but has now been replaced. Goldberg once served as the Minnesota Wild play-by-play announcer and spent time in Detroit as well. FOX is also the broadcast partner of UFC, but it’s unclear if this will affect Goldberg’s ability to call UFC events on FOX or FoxSports1.
A lot of people are talking about the dismal attendance for the Panthers-Sens game in South Florida yesterday, but I like to focus on the positives.
Stick tap here to our old friend and contributor Dieter Kurtenbach for finding this. It’s some kind of special. Video features a 41-year old Ed Belfour, who was about to begin his final NHL season. This cast of characters led by Jacques Martin finished over .500 but missed the playoffs. This was also Olli Jokinen’s last great season. Joe Nieuwendyk and Ed Belfour both retired with this team, as it was each’s final Opening night promo video, sadly.