Category Archives: IceHogs

Kyle Beach interview; His absurd claim, intentions playing in Sweden and more

By Chris Block

Kyle Beach will make his Swedish Hockey League debut later today for the HV71 hockey club.  He will wear sweater number 8.

Beach was officially loaned to HV71 on September 29th.  He learned of the opportunity to play hockey this season in Sweden the day before in a meeting with Blackhawks officials after an IceHogs team meeting at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford.  He flew to Sweden the next day.  At the time, HV71 general manager Fredrick Stillman indicated that Beach was being taken in on a three week “try-out” agreement.  Although, Stillman was quoted as saying “the hope is it will work out well and he will remain throughout the year.”

In the video interview above, Beach gave the indication that his journey to Sweden may not be a brief one.

“I’m coming over here with an open mind,” Beach told the reporter.   “I’m just here.  I want to help this team win and get into the playoffs.” Read more »

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McNeill’s first pro goal, assist help lead Rockford to a 4-3 win in Texas

By Chris Block

Oftentimes when a good young player graduates a level there is at least a brief adjustment, or feeling out period.

And, in most cases, at some point, there are those moments or nights when you can almost witness that proverbial light bulb going off in the player’s head – when he, himself, becomes convinced his abilities do apply at that next level.  On a shift, or a moment of pure instinct, his skills take over and he leaves behind the indecisiveness and over-thinking that naturally occurs when adapting to a new environment.

Prior to game two of the IceHogs 2013-14 season on Sunday in suburban Austin, Texas, Mark McNeill had appeared in 13 games in an IceHogs sweater and was without a point.  Seven of those came at the end of his 18 year old junior season, and five more at the end of last season.  In those late season cameos, McNeill barely showed even brief flashes of the attributes that made him the 18th overall selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Read more »

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IceHogs Reckless in San Antonio

By Chris Block

The Rockford IceHogs began the 2013-14 regular season on Saturday night with a porous performance in San Antonio, Texas.

A re-stocked group of young IceHogs led by now AHL veterans Brandon Pirri, Jeremy Morin and Dylan Olsen committed one careless turnover after another in route to a 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers minor league affiliate.

The loss was also costly in that the IceHogs lost two players to injury.

Annti Raanta left the game at the 5:36 mark of the first period.  Raanta had taken an Eric Selleck 12-foot one-time attempt off the inside of his left knee at the 2:58 mark of the first.  Raanta smothered Selleck’s shot, but crumpled to the ice in obvious discomfort, favoring his left leg.  After consulting with IceHogs’ trainer D.J. Jones, Raanta opted to stay in the game.  He would stop one more San Antonio shot before deciding he couldn’t continue and Kent Simpson entered the contest with 14:24 to go in the opening period. Read more »

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Double Vision: Fromi Dances with the Hogs and Blackhawks on Saturday night

By Jon Fromi

Saturday night afforded me a rare opportunity. With the Blackhawks hosting Tampa Bay and the IceHogs kicking off their season off in Texas, it was time for a little three-way action. Namely, the Hawks, the Hogs and me.

Could I handle two games at once? Here’s how the night shook out:

6:56 p.m.-The arena in Texas is playing Buddy Holly as I pick up the feed from AHL Live. I have Comcast Sportsnet on the big screen and the Hogs on the small screen via my laptop. I like to listen to the visitors broadcast to get the local flavor-isn’t that why the internet is so great?  However, I have to get my (Mike) Peck on for at least a while tonight. Read more »

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Audio: Interview with Blackhawks 1st round draft pick and IceHogs defenseman, Dylan Olsen

Olsen_Dylan_IceHogs

By Chris Block

The Rockford IceHogs open their 2013-14 this weekend in Texas and Chicago Blackhawks 2009 1st round draft pick Dylan Olsen is looking to put a disappointing 2012-13 season behind him.

We caught up with Olsen in Rockford this past Saturday.

In this interview, Olsen discusses his goals for this season, working his way back up the ladder in the Hawks organization, being tougher to play against, an increased role in Rockford, working with new assistant coach Mark Osiecki, how he spent his summer and much more.

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If you missed our season preview chat with IceHogs coach Ted Dent, you can check that out here.

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Audio: Rockford Season Preview interview with IceHogs head coach Ted Dent

Dent_Sweden_20120821Rockford IceHogs head coach Ted Dent

By Chris Block

On Saturday, we had a chance to chat with IceHogs head coach Ted Dent about the upcoming 2013-14 American Hockey League season.

Over the course of the interview, Dent discussed how he and his coaching staff are preparing for the season, working with the Chicago Blackhawks prospects, his team’s depth at center ice and on the blue line; and first round draft picks Kyle Beach and Dylan Olsen.

We also discussed Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman recently stating publicly that the development of their top players in Rockford is more important than actual wins and losses on the ice.

Its a good, informative conversation. Check it out.

Click the play button below (Flash player required) to listen,

Or, Right-Click here to download the 18 minute interview.

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You can follow the IceHogs coach on Twitter… @TDent10

[Note: This interview was conducted on Saturday September 28th, prior to Kyle Beach being assigned to play for the HV 71 club in the Swedish Hockey League (formerly Swedish Elite League).  With HV 71, Beach will be teammates with former Chicago Wolves forwards Brett Sterling and Jason Krog.  We’ll have much more on this on Monday.]

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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 »

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A look at the non-drafted Free Agent Invitees at this week’s Blackhawks prospect camp

By Chris Block

On Monday, the Chicago Blackhawks will open their annual summer prospect camp over at Johnny’s Ice House West on Madison Street west of the United Center.

Blackhawks draft picks such as Mark McNeill, Phillip Danault, Stephen Johns, Mac Carruth, Dillon Fournier and Carl Dahlstrom among others will draw most of the attention.  However, filling out the practice groups and intra-squad scrimmages are a host of undrafted free agents from across the globe.

With 2012 first round pick Teuvo Teravainen skipping this year’s camp and 2013 first-rounder Ryan Hartman missing out while on the mend from a recent shoulder surgery, more opportunity for other less recognizable names and faces to leave an impression on Blackhawks management now exists.

In the past some of these camp invitees have gone on to earn contracts with the Blackhawks, Rockford IceHogs or other organizations in the NHL and AHL.  This year’s crop is likely to be no different.

Today we’ll be profiling some of the more interesting names attending this year’s prospect camp under invitation.

JACKSON WHISTLE, 18 – Goaltender – Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

Perhaps the most intriguing name on the list of free agent invitees at this summer’s prospect camp is Kelowna Rockets goaltender Jackson Whistle. Read more »

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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 »

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PuckChatter~Radio, Rockford Season Review with Mike Peck, Voice of the IceHogs

By Chris Block

On Tuesday, we welcomed Mike Peck, the voice of the Rockford IceHogs, back to PuckChatter~Radio to help us recap the IceHogs’ 2012-13 season.

Over the course of this 40 minute show, Mike and I discussed the emergence of third-year pros Brandon Pirri, Jeremy Morin, Ben Smith and Ryan Stanton.  We also covered the development and future of other Blackhawks prospects, including Kyle Beach, Joe Lavin and Jimmy Hayes.  Also, we take a look at what next season’s IceHogs’ roster will look like.

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