Category Archives: Blackhawks Alumni

Crawford talks at Draft; Mike Keenan Roast, Hossa at Worlds

Calgary Sun writer Eric Francis has the scoop on the Corey Crawford negotiations.  In Francis’s Sunday Sun column, he noted Crawford’s agent, Gilles Lupien, said he and the Blackhawks are planning to hold the negotiations face-to-face at the NHL Draft June 24-25 in St. Paul.

“The Chicago Blackhawks have identified rookie goalie Corey Crawford as their top priority to re-sign past next season, and Crawford is amenable to it.  His agent, Gilles Lupien, said they spoke three weeks ago and agreed they’ll hammer out a deal face-to-face at the draft where he’ll table three possible deals ranging from two to four years in length.”

If true, one would wonder why the lack of urgency, specifically on the Blackhawks’ side?  This approach is similar to how Stan Bowman handled the Antti Niemi negotiations.

First off, aside from Cristobal Huet, who the Blackhawks still won’t be able to afford on their cap next season barring a major cap cut, the Blackhawks don’t have a single goaltender under contract currently for next season.

Marty Turco is an unrestricted free agent and a possible return is very much in doubt.  Hannu Toivonen is a UFA but if he returns it will be to start in Rockford.  Alexander Salak, the 24 year old Czech acquired in February from the Panthers along with Michael Frolik, is a restricted free agent.  Salak has never played in the NHL and while he ranked as one of the best netminders in Sweden this year, he was an average goaltender in Rochester (AHL) in 2009-10 and the arrival of Jacob Markstrom chased Salak back to Europe.  While Salak’s resume is not too different from Crawford’s pre 2010-11, he’s still unproven and if the Hawks are aiming to be Cup contenders next year, would they really put themselves in a position to have an unproven commodity within an injury of pinning their season on Salak?  Sure, they got lucky with Niemi and Crawford was phenomenal this year despite never asserting himself in five minor league seasons prior to getting his chance.  Going to that well three consecutive years though may not be the smartest thing to do. Read more »

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Steve Ludzik chats with Steve Larmer and former Blackhawks coach Orval Tessier

Orval Tessier, the only Blackhawks’ coach to ever win the Jack Adams Trophy for NHL coach of the year, sits down with his former players Steve Ludzik and Steve Larmer for a fun chat.

Recently Larmer and Ludzik drove up to their old coach’s Cornwall, Ontario home to reminiscence about their time together when Tessier coached against them in junior, when he coached the two in minors in Moncton and more in his days behind the Blackhawks’ bench.

Its a great video in which Ludzik and Larmer pay tribute to the coach they credit as giving them their big breaks in professional hockey.

Tessier also discusses his coaching philosophies and the infamous “heart transplant” comment, directed at his team, he made during 1983 Campbell Conference Finals which made headlines across Canada and in Chicago. The Oilers swept the Hawks 4-0 that series and outscored them 16-6 in the first two games in Edmonton. After Game 2, Tessier was overhead by a reporter when making the comment and you could imagine it was national news the following morning. While a lot of people think that incident led to Tessier’s dismissal, he actually continued coaching the team for the next year and a half. It was actually the first round loss to Minnesota the following year and a poor first half of the 1984-85 season that got Tessier the axe. In the ’83 series, down 2 games to none, the Hawks lost a much more competitive game when the series shifted to the Stadium, 3-2. Game four was a heck of a game, but Chicago still lost 6-3, ending their season.

For those of you who were with us back in August when Ludzy joined us on TTMI~Radio, much of what’s discussed in the video will sound familiar. If not, I urge you to go back and check it out when you have an opportunity. Ludzik is a terrific character and a great, no-nonsense interview. Ludzy is a lot of fun and tells it like it is.

Check out this video and more with Ludzik at Ludzy.com

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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