Category Archives: Contract Signing

Mark Osiecki hired as assistant coach in Rockford; Ted Dent inks contract extension

By Chris Block

On Tuesday, the Chicago Blackhawks officially announced the hiring of former Ohio State University head coach Mark Osiecki to be the assistant coach for the Rockford IceHogs.

The news was first reported earlier on Tuesday by Andy Johnson of the Bucky’s 5th Quarter site.  Osiecki was hired by the Blackhawks last month.

Osiecki (Oh-SEE-kee) first spoke to Johnson from Blackhawks’ prospect camp, where Osiecki will be all this week helping assist in the practices and scrimmages.

“I’ve always wanted to step into the pro game and this was a perfect opportunity for me,” Osiecki told Johnson.

We can also confirm exclusively through a source that Osiecki will serve as the lone assistant to IceHogs head coach Ted Dent this season.  Also, Andrew Allen remains as goaltending coach.

As reported here first on TheThirdManIn.com last week, Ben Simon and Steve Poapst were let go as Rockford assistants following the season after their contracts expired and were not renewed.

Two-man benches are not an uncommon scenario in the AHL.  Ted Dent served as the only assistant under both Mike Haviland and Bill Peters from the 2006-07 season in Norfolk until 2010 when Poapst joined the staff in Peters’ last season behind the IceHogs’ bench.  Simon joined the staff in 2011 after Peters left for a job on Mike Babcock’s staff in Detroit and Dent was promoted to fill the spot Peters vacated.  In the dark days of the Blackhawks organization in the early 2000’s, Trent Yawney coached Chicago’s chief minor league affiliate Norfolk Admirals without an assistant.

–In addition to the confirmation of Dent’s new working partner, TheThirdManIn.com can also exclusively report the Chicago Blackhawks have extended the contract of Rockford’s head coach.

Ted Dent has agreed on terms of a two-year contract extension, with a club-option for a third season.  Read more »

Share

Coaching Changes: Blackhawks relieve assistants Ben Simon, Steve Poapst of their duties in Rockford

By Chris Block

In addition to the breaking news today that goaltending coach Stephane Waite is leaving the Chicago Blackhawks for the same position with the Montreal Canadiens, (this after last week when Stan Bowman said he expected Waite to stay with the Hawks) we can also confirm further coaching changes going on within the organization.

There has been a shuffling of the deck on the Rockford IceHogs coaching staff after the team failed to qualify for the AHL postseason for the third consecutive season.

Following up on some speculation we heard back in early May regarding the Rockford IceHogs coaching staff, the Chicago Blackhawks official site has removed the listing and profiles of Ben Simon and Steve Poapst, both assistant coaches for the IceHogs this past season.

We can confirm independently both Simon and Poapst have been released by the Blackhawks and are seeking new employment.

Ted Dent’s profile, as well that of goaltending coach Andrew Allen, are still listed on the Blackhawks web site.  Dent’s two-year contract expired with the conclusion of this season but it would appear he’s staying.  Dent was present in Boston at the Cup deciding Game 6 and for the parade and championship rally in Chicago on June 28th.

At this point, there has been no official word from the Blackhawks on these releases or who will be replacing the coaching roles vacated by Steve Poapst and Ben Simon. Read more »

Share

IceHogs playoff chances and scenarios; Dylan Olsen injury; notes on Drew Leblanc, Stephen Johns and more

By Chris Block

First off, a quick note:

I don’t have any shows of my own planned at the moment, but I can announce that I will be joining the HockeeNight PuckCast this Sunday night, April 21st.  We’ll be discussing the Blackhawks as they get primed for postseason; either a Rockford IceHogs post-mortem or playoff preview and if maybe even more 1960’s and 70’s northeast professional wrestling as we did last time I did the PuckCast.

–Nashville Predators’ winger Kevin Henderson will be making his NHL debut tonight against the Blackhawks at the UC.  Back in 2007, Henderson was an invitee to the Blackhawks summer prospect camp.  At that camp, Henderson skated on Jonathan Toews’ line.  The summer ’07 camp was the one just prior to Toews and Patrick Kane’s rookie seasons.

DYLAN OLSEN UPDATE

The Blackhawks 2009 first round pick suffered a foot injury on April 7th in a game against the Peoria Rivermen in Rockford.  Olsen blocked a shot off his left foot during the second period of that game and has not played since.

Olsen was back skating with the IceHogs this week and could possibly play in the regular season finale tomorrow night in Cedar Park, Texas.  Olsen has been ruled out of tonight’s game in San Antonio, however.

Tonight, Rockford will go with the following defense pairs: Ryan Stanton-Adam Clendening, Klas Dahlbeck-Steve Montador, Joe Lavin-Shawn Lalonde.

ROCKFORD ICEHOGS – It all comes down to this…

The Rockford IceHogs (40-31-2-1, .561, 83 points) wrap up their regular season this weekend with two games in the Lone Star State.

Tonight, Rockford will visit the San Antonio Rampage (29-36-2-7, .453).  The Rampage (14th in the west) are the AHL affiliate to the Florida Panthers. Read more »

Share

IceHogs release Lebda, Sign Four; Karlsson Visa Issue Delays Debut; How Carter Hutton’s season stacks up; more Rockford news and notes

By Chris Block

On Friday, the Rockford IceHogs officially released defenseman Brett Lebda from his second professional try-out contract with the club.

Lebda had been a healthy scratch in 5 of Rockford’s last 8 contests.  The Buffalo Grove native and member of the 2008 Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings had appeared in 27 games for the IceHogs, posting 11 assists to go with a minus-12 plus/minus rating, worst on the team.

The IceHogs would have had to sign Lebda to a standard-player contract by February 17th or release him.

Lebda has never before played overseas but back in October he told us he had interest from a few teams in Europe and he would reconsider those if nothing presented itself after the NHL lockout ended.

MCARDLE SIGNS CONTRACT

Just three games into his PTO, Kenndal McArdle agreed to a contract with the Rockford IceHogs for the remainder of this season on Wednesday.

The Florida Panthers’ 2005 first round (#20th overall) draft pick has one assist in the three games since joining the IceHogs.  He was also involved in the brawl with Grand Rapids last Saturday, getting ejected for a Third Man In violation.

McArdle played 9 games in the NHL last season with Winnipeg.  So far he’s taking the spot on Martin St. Pierre’s left wing that was vacated by Brandon Saad. Read more »

Share

IceHogs re-sign Svendsen, Farjestad gets Salak; Notes on private prospect mini-camp, Haviland and Team USA

By Chris Block

Word is the NHL is releasing its 2012-13 regular season schedule on Thursday.

–Rockford IceHogs re-signed forward Brandon Svendsen to an AHL contract for the 2012-13 season on Tuesday.

The 5-10, 176 pound Svendsen appeared in 39 games with the IceHogs last season after joining the team on January 10th.  The Minnesota native posted 4 goals and 10 assists for Rockford.  Two of Svendsen’s goals were game-winners and his tally with 43 seconds left in regulation in the season finale on April 14th sent that game to overtime.

Svendsen was signed to a professional try-out contract on January 10th and made his IceHogs debut in Rosemont for a Wednesday matinee game against the Chicago Wolves.

At the time, Jimmy Hayes, Andrew Shaw and Ben Smith were all on recall with the Blackhawks.  Other IceHogs forwards Rostislav Olesz and Kyle Beach were each sidelined with shoulder injuries, creating an opening for Svendsen. Read more »

Share

Hawks re-sign three, part ways with Salak; plus notes on Hawks draft and goaltending, Ed Belfour and Jimmy Waite

By Chris Block

Blackhawks announced they’ve re-signed three restricted free agents today.

Ben Smith, Brandon Bollig and goaltender Carter Hutton all inked new deals.

According to reports, Smith and Bollig each signed two-year contracts.

Bollig’s first year is a two-way deal.  He’ll be paid at a rate of $575,000 in the NHL and $105,000 if he plays in the AHL.  His second year is a one-way contract paying him $575,000.

Ben Smith is also on a two-way contract for 2012-13.  Smith will reportedly earn $550,000 when he’s playing at the NHL level and $105,000 in the minors.  In 2013-14, Smith has a guaranteed contract for $575,000.

Carter Hutton agreed to a one-year, two-way contract.

–On Friday, the Blackhawks placed goaltender Alexander Salak on waivers.  The rest of the league has apparently passed on Salak.  Today it was announced the Blackhawks and Salak agreed to an outright release. Read more »

Share

Report: Blackhawks re-sign Jamal Mayers

By Chris Block

RDS’s Renaud Lavoie is reporting the Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to terms with forward Jamal Mayers on a one-year contract extension.

The deal is said to be valued at $600,000 with Mayers receiving $50,000 of it up front as a signing bonus.  Those numbers are a slight raise from the $550,000 Mayers made in 2011-12 (the signing bonus on that deal was $25k).

Mayers turns 38 in October. Read more »

Share

News/notes: Mac Carruth turning pro, upcoming shows

By Chris Block

A few news items tonight but first a couple plugs…

–Our PuckChatter~Radio podcast returns this Tuesday night, May 29th at 8pm central.  We’ll focus on our listener emails on the Blackhawks, IceHogs and prospects.  You can listen live that night at this link.  If you have a question or commentary you would like to contribute, send those to PuckChatter@gmail.com by Tuesday afternoon at the latest.

If you haven’t listened to our interview with Stephen Nelson from this past Tuesday night, I’d urge you to do so.  If you’re interested in the Blackhawks top prospects in Rockford especially this was a great show.  We’ve got a ton of feedback on the interview already, in particular Nelson’s candid account of Ben Smith’s relationship with Jimmy Newcomer, the 19-year old cancer-stricken Rockford area boy who sadly passed away a few weeks ago.  We’ll have more on Ben Smith this coming Tuesday night.

–I’ll be a guest on Hockeenight.com’s PuckCast on Sunday night, June 10th to preview the 2012 NHL Draft taking place June 22-23 in Pittsburgh at the CONSOL Energy Center.  That’s shaping up to what could be a pretty active weekend for the Blackhawks.

Carruth going pro

Several outlets are now reporting the Chicago Blackhawks have signed goaltender Mac Carruth to a three-year entry level contract.  Carruth was selected 191st overall by the Blackhawks in the seventh round of the 2010 Entry Draft.

RDS reporter Renaud Lavoie was first to report Carruth signed to a three-year deal with an NHL cap hit (under the current collective bargaining agreement) of $525,000 per season.  Lavoie has been first to report many prospects signing entry levels in the past.  The contract would be a two-way deal, so he’d make far less, in the neighborhood of $67,000 per while in the AHL or ECHL.  The Blackhawks needed to sign Carruth or he would have been eligible to for Draft re-entry. He can still return to junior hockey for one more season, be it with Portland or should a trade be worked out with another club.

While this deal has not been officially confirmed nor announced by the Blackhawks it should be shortly.  CapGeek.com has different, unconfirmed numbers on Carruth’s deal at this point.  Announcement or not, all signs point to Carruth leaving the Portland Winterhawks major junior organization in the WHL for pro hockey in the Blackhawks’ system. Read more »

Share

Blackhawks sign Pete Leblanc to 1-yr deal, IceHogs wrap their season this weekend, tons of news and notes

By Chris Block

On Friday, the Chicago Blackhawks announced they have reached terms on a 1-year contract with center Pete Leblanc.  It will be a two-way (NHL/AHL) agreement.

Leblanc was originally the Blackhawks 7th round selection (186th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.  After spending four years at the University of New Hampshire, Leblanc turned pro with the Rockford IceHogs.

The Hamilton, Ontario native has spent the past two seasons with the Rockford IceHogs on AHL contracts as the Blackhawks had elected not to offer Leblanc an NHL contract until now.

In 70 games this season, Leblanc has posted 23 goals and 20 assists for the IceHogs.  Since being a healthy scratch for three consecutive games in early November, Leblanc has scored all 23 of his goals over the most recent 61 contests.

He is currently tied for the team lead in goals scored (23) with Brandon Pirri.  And Leblanc is second on the team in overall points, trailing Pirri by twelve points, with 43.  Leblanc has a plus/minus rating of plus-2.  It was Leblanc’s elevated level of play that caused veteran Brett McLean to slip down the IceHogs depth chart and even to the wing on the fourth line before McLean opted to play out the rest of the season in Switzerland. Read more »

Share

Story on Carter Hutton signing by Blackhawks

By Chris Block

On Friday, the Blackhawks officially signed Rockford IceHogs goaltender Carter Hutton to a one-year, two-way contract.  The deal is for the remainder of this season.  Hutton was immediately then reassigned to the IceHogs by the Blackhawks.

With the IceHogs, Hutton has a record of 10-8-0-2 and owns a 2.93 goals against average and .902 save percentage.  His 21 starts and 10 wins lead the IceHogs.  With the exception of one period of relief of Alec Richards during a late October call up while Alexander Salak was away tending to the birth of his first child, all of Hutton’s numbers have been accumulated since his recall on December 3rd.

In 9 starts in the month of January, Hutton went 7-1-0-1 posting a 1.86 GAA and .934 save percentage.

Hutton signed a one-year AHL contract with the IceHogs on August 1st.

Unlike the situation last season with Garnet Exelby, who had signed a professional try-out contract with Rockford, Read more »

Share