Author Archives: Chris Block

Chicago start-up’s Brain-mapping Technology a potential sports Concussion Diagnosis and Treatment game-changer

Kelly Gee, founder of Vernon Hills-based Quantum InstituteKelly Gee, Founder of Quantum Institute

By Chris Block

One Chicago area man, and former hockey player, who bounced back from a dark, prolonged battle with post-concussion syndrome now hopes to revolutionize how sports-related traumatic brain injuries are diagnosed and treated.

“Concussions are a scary deal because they don’t necessarily just go away, especially when you start piling them on top of each other,” said Kelly Gee, CEO and founder of Quantum Institute, a new Vernon Hills-based startup company looking to assist sports organizations in treating athletes who suffer concussions or exhibit symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Gee’s message comes from his own experience and his crusade is a personal one.  The 31 year old former goaltender and coach in the amateur hockey ranks knows all too well the seriousness and traumatic side effects that come along with severe concussions. Read more »

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Early season story on Antti Raanta, his Opening Night injury scare, how he became a Blackhawk, what won him over, his style and much more

For those who buy or read The Committed Indian program on, or at Blackhawks home games, I have a 2-page feature running in Wednesday’s issue that hopefully you’ll find interesting.  The following is a story I did on Antti Raanta that ran in The Committed Indian back in November.  I’ve had requests to post it here, but kept forgetting to do so.  So here it is, as it ran on 11/6/13.  Raanta was recalled to the Blackhawks eleven days later, after Nikolai Khabibulin went down with a groin injury.  Stan Bowman announced today that Khabibulin underwent shoulder surgery that Bowman said would keep the veteran netminder out of action another 4-5 months.  Khabibulin will turn 41 this coming Monday.  While Bowman claimed Khabibulin “could” return this season, that timetable would put Khabibulin out until around the time of the Stanley Cup Finals.  Thus, Raanta, for the foreseeable future, is Corey Crawford’s backup and second on the Blackhawks goaltending depth chart.

 Raanta_Antti-GHAntti Raanta in action for Rockford, 10/19/13 vs Grand Rapids
photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs, Greg Hamil

By Chris Block

A long way from his home in Finland, Antti Raanta led the Rockford IceHogs onto the ice at AT&T Center in San Antonio last month.  Outside, it was just another steamy October Saturday in south Texas.  Inside, the IceHogs were opening the 2013-14 season.  And for Raanta, it was the beginning of the next stage in his pursuit of realizing his dream of becoming an NHL goaltender. Read more »

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Hawks lose 3-2 to Isles in overtime in Corey Crawford’s return

By Chris Block

The Blackhawks were able to beat winter storm Hercules out east, but on Thursday night they were not up to the task of beating the Eastern Conference’s second-worst team, the New York Islanders.

Ultimately one sloppy period and two costly mental errors cost Chicago in a 3-2 overtime loss on Long Island.  Brent Seabrook and Ben Smith notched the goals for the Blackhawks while Casey Cizikas, Thomas Vanek and Kyle Okposo scored for the home team.  Corey Crawford was solid in his crease return, but not good enough as his counterpart Evgeni Nabokov stood as the Islanders’ top performer on this evening. Read more »

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Blackhawks have their way with the Devils

By Chris Block

If there ever was a game that could exemplify the current era Chicago Blackhawks, Monday’s 5-2 victory over the visiting New Jersey Devils is just it.

The Hawks patented style of suffocating much of the opposition’s attempts at advancing the puck through the neutral zone was in full force.  And even when the Blackhawks let up temporarily and give an opponent a glimmer of hope, the Hawks are much too talented, and their opponent knows the fatal gut-punch is always potentially just around the next corner.

With the three-day Christmas break looming, the Chicago Blackhawks took to the United Center ice on Monday night to face off with a New Jersey Devils team that entered the contest with a .500 record (15-15-7).

Antti Raanta made his seventh consecutive start in the Hawks net since Corey Crawford suffered his injury during the first period of the December 8th game against the Florida Panthers.  Raanta made 10 saves against a grand total of 12 New Jersey shots on Monday in improving his overall NHL record to 8-1-2 (2.20 GAA, 91.6 sv%) and 5-1-1 as Chicago’s interim number one goalie. Read more »

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Video look-in at a recent IceHogs-Charlotte Checkers game through referee David Banfield’s helmet cam

A video look at the December 7, 2013 Rockford IceHogs – Charlotte Checkers contest through referee David Banfield’s helmet cam.

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PuckChatter~Radio, e.138, Tis the Season

By Chris Block

A Saturday matinee edition of TheThirdManIn.com’s ~ PuckChatter~Radio dropped today.

On the show, we discussed the finality and fallout from the end of the Kyle Beach era, Brandon Pirri’s demotion back to the Rockford IceHogs, the future of Nikolai Khabibulin in an Indian head sweater and a few other Blackhawks related items.

The show typically veered off the tracks as well in various off-topic stories including the “only” two things Block hates these days, his dog freezing to the ice in the frigid Chicago weather and the recent California expedition.  Also, Block tries, and fails to identify common hand tools and his father’s response to it, and our “Pud of the week” award is dealt out as well.

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 **The Hawks acquisition of goaltender Jason LaBarbera was announced just minutes after we finished recording this show.  Thus, it is not discussed here.

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One-on-one interview with Joakim Nordstrom

Nordstrom_Joakim_Photo_IceHogs_GregHamil_2013Nov09vsIowaJoakim Nordstrom battles for position with Iowa’s Tyler Graovac Nov 9th
photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs, Greg Hamil

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By Chris Block

Joakim Nordstrom returned the Rockford IceHogs lineup on Saturday in Charlotte after being reassigned by the Blackhawks the previous day.

Nordstrom, 21, posted a goal and an assist in the IceHogs 5-3 victory at Time Warner Cable Arena on Saturday night.  He was also a stunning plus-4 in the game.  Overall this season with the IceHogs, Nordstrom has skated in 16 contests, notching 6 goals and 2 assists to go with a plus-4 (plus/minus) rating.  Modest offensive numbers, though the Swede is scoring at a 20.0% shooting percentage (6/29). Read more »

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Beach searching for consistency, One more chance

BeachKyle_Photo_IceHogs_GregHamil_2013Nov30_2Teammates celebrate Kyle Beach’s 1st of 3 goals Nov 30th
Photo credit: Rockford IceHogs, Greg Hamil

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“It’s day to day.  This is Kyle’s fifth year here – or parts of five seasons.  It’s just him being a true professional in the way he conducts himself on and off the ice.  And when he crosses the line, then he’s not going to play, and he knows that.  And that’s why he hasn’t played the last (four games).” – IceHogs head coach Ted Dent

By Chris Block

No one in the Blackhawks organization knows Kyle Beach better than Ted Dent.  The current Rockford bench boss was an assistant when Beach first dipped his toes into the professional ranks at the end of his junior seasons in 2009 and 2010.  Dent was there when Beach and Akim Aliu’s off-ice antics got the duo banished from the IceHogs during a playoff series after an incident in a Milwaukee hotel in 2009.  Dent was an assistant working directly with the forwards in Beach’s first full pro season in 2010-11, and became Rockford’s head coach in the summer of 2011.

So when the word came in late October that Beach’s hockey excursion to Sweden had come to an end, and the Blackhawks 2008 1st round pick would be returning to the IceHogs roster, I asked Dent what he was expecting from Beach once he did return to the team. Read more »

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Exclusive interview with Kyle Beach, plus Ted Dent talks Beach’s absence from the IceHogs lineup

BeachKyle_IceHogs_GregHamil_2013_Nov30Kyle Beach being announced Nov 30th’s 1st star of the game
photo credit: Rockford IceHogs, Greg Hamil

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By Chris Block

After being sat out four consecutive Rockford IceHogs games due to what head coach Ted Dent called “conduct” violations, Chicago Blackhawks 2008 first-round draft pick Kyle Beach returned to the lineup on Saturday night in grand fashion.

Not only did Beach register the first hat-trick of his 175-game professional career, but he also contributed in every special teams situation in leading the IceHogs to a much-needed 4-3 victory over their rival Chicago Wolves after Rockford suffered a 7-1 shellacking in Rosemont the previous night.

Following Saturday night’s game, we had an opportunity to sit down for an exclusive one-on-one interview with the often beleaguered former 1st round draft pick. Read more »

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PuckChatter~Radio, e.137; The Hjalmarsson Dance

By Chris Block

PuckChatter~Radio pulled off 2 shows in 6 days with another brand new episode on Tuesday night. dissecting the Kris Versteeg trade and the reasons why Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen were the players to go the other way.

We covered the official announcement of the retirement of former Blackhawk defenseman Adrian Aucoin, and the details of how he was since hired to the Blackhawks player development staff.  Aucoin’s retirement, new job as well as the accurate depiction of his Hawks career was covered on this site exactly one month ago.

Then, we give an in-person account of the exclusive Chicago Blackhawks/Banner Collective/Blackhawks TV – launch party for the One Goal II book and 17 Seconds film commemorating the 2013 Stanley Cup Champions that was held at The Wit hotel in downtown Chicago on Monday night – what it was, exclusive details and impressions of this event, film and book.

Also, we hit a couple listener emails, talked the Horseshoe Casino on a random November Saturday afternoon, Blackhawks-Predators, Block’s niece having poor in-game hockey etiquette, and bacon – Yeah, of course We want bacon!

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Full TTMI/PuckChatter~Radio Archive – Show feed
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ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com
PuckChatter@gmail.com
Twitter.com/ChrisBlock

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