Oct 142014

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.

Florida Panthers 2006-07 Opening Night video

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.



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  3 Responses to “Odds and Saads: Whole Lotta Rosie?, Dent talks Teuvo; notes on signings, Chicago Stadium and Coliseum; great moments in Florida Panthers history and more”

  1. Chris, saw your remarks about the Chicago Coliseum. I am actually the guy who wrote a letter to Mayor Daley the 2nd when they were planning a park in the 1400 block of S. Wabash Ave. in the 90’s (as you correctly said, across the street from the former site of the Coliseum which was 1513 S. Wabash.).

    They wanted to name it South Loop Park, I suggested Coliseum Park which it’s now named. I gave a short speech at the dedication ceremony in 2000. I suggested dedicating the park on 8/26/2000 which would have been 100 years to the day after President McKinley dedicated the Coliseum but it was a few weeks earlier. Three Presidents were nominated for the presidency of the U.S. by their political parties in the Coliseum – Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding.

    In any event the last full time Coliseum tenant was the Chicago Zephyrs. They were an expansion NBA team who played the ’61-62 season at the International Amphitheater at 4200 S. Halsted as the Chicago Packers. They changed their name to the Zephyrs and it is said at that point they already knew they were going to move to Baltimore, where they became the Baltimore Bullets in ’63-64 after one season at the Coliseum. One of the Zephyr’s managers was the father of Hannah Storm who is on ESPN. The official scorer of the Packers and Zephyrs was Bob Rosenberg, who is a buddy of mine who still does the scoring for the Bulls and White Sox.

    The Coliseum hosted a number of local events like small trade shows and community gatherings after the Zephyrs left town. Dr. Martin Luther King spoke there in 1967 and Muhammed Ali also spoke there in Nation of Islam events in ’64 and “65.

    The last sports event at the Coliseum was the very first Bulls playoff game in March, 1967 vs. the St. Louis Hawks. McCormick Place had burned down in Jan. ’67 and many events were moved to the Amphitheatre including the Chicago Auto Show which booked the Amphitheatre where the Bulls played their first season 1966-67. The Bulls made the playoffs quite unexpectedly that year (they won their last 5 games in a row to squeak in) so they were scrambling for a place to play. The Coliseum owners did a quick clean up of the place and brought in portable lighting to accommodate TV crews. Jack Brickhouse announced the game on WGN and attendance was about 3,200. I have an unused ticket from the game which I bought from Bob Rosenberg.

    After the Bulls playoff game, the Coliseum was used mostly for what were then considered “counter cultural” concerts. The Doors played there, as did Cream (twice) in 1968. Jimi Hendrix played there on 12/1/68 and Grand Funk Railroad, Traffic, and a few other bands played there in the Coliseum’s waning years.

    At that point the building was 70 years old and decrepit. I had a friend who attended the Cream concert in 10/68 and he described the condition of the building as deplorable. The balcony was unstable and it wasn’t unusual for the PA announcer to ask patrons not to stomp their feet if sitting in the balcony due to safety concerns.

    On March 8, 1971 there was a closed circuit TV broadcast of the Muhammed Ali – Joe Frazier championship bout in the Coliseum. The closed circuit TV went out during the 3rd round and they couldn’t restore it. The crowd rioted when it was announced patrons would need to come back later that week (the actual bout was held in Madison Square Garden on a Monday). The patrons were upset to say the least and they started rioting inside the Coliseum. Chairs were thrown around and the place was trashed. The Chicago Fire Dept. was called in and a Fire Dept. captain was hit over the head with a chair and hospitalized. The next day the city slapped numerous fire code violations on the Coliseum and their owners, one of which was Fred Morelli, the 1st Ward Alderman who for years had a prickly relationship with the first Mayor Daley.

    One event was held as a compromise between the Coliseum and City Hall a few days later on Friday 3/12/71, a James Taylor – Carole King concert. It was the last public event held in the building.

    During the rest of the 70’s the building was used for auto and boat storage. Then in 1976 the Coliseum’s caretaker who lived on site in a small apartment in the building’s south wing was repairing a broken roof panel atop the main hall. The panel gave way and the caretaker fell about 150 to his death on the concrete floor of the main Coliseum space. After that the building was cleared. Homeless people and squatters used to sneak in in the late 70’s and one of them started a small campfire which burned part of the inside of the building.

    The Coliseum was demolished in April and May of 1982 – I have an original brick from the building which I obtained during the demo.

    The front ornamental stones remained until 1994 when they were cleared for a Buddhist community center which still stands on the former site of the Coliseum on the east side of Wabash Ave. in the 1400 – 1600 blocks roughly.

    The Blackhawks played there from their origination in 1926 to mid Dec. 1929 when they moved to the Stadium. They also played a few early games at the Coliseum in the 1931-32 season due to a dispute with Stadium ownership over rent. The very first Blackhawk playoff games were played at the Coliseum in the late 20’s.

    • Well, there you have it…. Thanks, Hofmeister. I forgot about the early rent dispute. I read in a book about the 60’s and 70s Chicago scene from Kinetic Playground to the Coliseum and it talked about how horrible shape the Coliseum was in by the late 60s. Thanks for all the info. Folks never know what they’re gonna find when they look on TTMI…

  2. The Oilers’ captain for that first game, the great Ron Chipperfield! NHLN ran that game a couple years back during a summer break.

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