Category Archives: IceHogs

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.

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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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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 »

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IceHogs keep playoffs in sight with big win in Milwaukee

By Chris Block

One night after picking up a huge 7-3 victory over the Chicago Wolves in their regular season home finale, the Rockford IceHogs hit the road, again set out to keep their AHL postseason bid alive in a crucial divisional matchup with the 8th place Milwaukee Admirals.

Rockford came into Saturday’s contest in 9th place in the Western Conference, tied at 81 in points with Milwaukee, though the Admirals hold two games in hand over the IceHogs heading into the final week of the regular season.

On the heels of Brandon Pirri’s franchise record 6-point (1 goal, 5 assists) night and Ben Smith’s hat-trick in the win over the Wolves, the IceHogs had to beat the Admirals on Saturday if they had any hopes of sneaking into the postseason.

Backed by a 20 save performance by Carter Hutton and goals by Adam Clendening, Ben Smith and Klas Dahlbeck, Rockford did just that, defeating the Admirals 3-1 on Saturday before a crowd of 8,895 fans at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Read more »

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Blackhawks re-acquire Michal Handzus, send Brandon Bollig back to Rockford; More roster notes

MichaelHandzus_Flow

By Chris Block

Chicago Blackhawks on Monday acquired center Michal Handzus from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a fourth round selection in the upcoming 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

In 28 games this season with the Sharks, Handzus posted 1 goal and 1 assist.  He was a minus-9 while playing mostly third and fourth line minutes for the Sharks.

The pick the Blackhawks sent San Jose had originally belonged to the Sharks.  At the 2012 Draft, the Hawks and Sharks swapped 4th round picks, so the Sharks could move up and the Hawks could pick up an additional 7th round selection.  That later pick, obtained from San Jose, originally belonged to Tampa Bay which the Sharks obtained in a trade involving center Dominic Moore.  Chicago used the additional 2012 7th round pick (191st overall) to select goaltender Brandon Whitney of the Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL), the same team Phillip Danault played for at the time.

Handzus turned 36 last month.  This will be his second stint with the Blackhawks organization.  He is now the second-oldest Blackhawk behind Jamal Mayers, who is 38.

Michal Handzus previously spent the 2006-07 season with the Blackhawks, appearing in only 8 games in October of 2006 before knee surgery ended his season.  Read more »

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Video of the IceHogs-Wolves bench brawl incident Sunday in Rosemont

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