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Category Archives: IceHogs
Joakim Nordstrom to join IceHogs this week, more prospects on the way; update on Olesz, Montador on waivers
By Chris Block
With the European leagues, U.S. collegiate hockey and Canadian junior hockey seasons winding down and beginning each of its playoffs, several Chicago Blackhawks prospects will soon arrive in Rockford, Illinois to cap off their seasons with a trial showcase at the American Hockey League level.
As we noted Sunday on Twitter, the first of those prospects will arrive in Rockford later this week.
Joakim Nordstrom, who the Blackhawks selected with the final pick (90th overall) in the 3rd round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, is expected to join the Rockford IceHogs by the end of the week. Read more
Ben Smith says he doesn’t regret fight that cost him a chance to make the Blackhawks for 2nd straight season; For now, focused on leading the IceHogs
photo courtesy of the Rockford IceHogs
The following is the piece published in Tuesday night’s issue of The Committed Indian, the official~unofficial Chicago Blackhawks home game night program, which you can buy individual copies or subscribe to at this link.
By Chris Block
You have to focus on what’s right in front of you and I think at that moment … I was focused on winning two points against Grand Rapids and fortunately that night we did. –Ben Smith
With the NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining dispute having been settled and NHL training camps set to commence in less than three days, Blackhawks prospect Ben Smith took to the BMO Harris Bank Center ice in Rockford on January 11th to face off with the IceHogs division-rival, and Detroit Red Wings farm team, the Grand Rapids Griffins.
At this time Smith was the IceHogs’ leader in goals scored, game-winning goals, a member of both the first-team power play and penalty killing units and among the top three forwards in ice time on a nightly basis.
And on a team up to that point which couldn’t help itself but take careless or undisciplined minor penalty after minor penalty, Smith had just 4 penalty minutes on the season and had not stepped foot in the penalty box since mid October. That’s quite the accomplishment for the gritty and tenacious two-way forward Ben Smith is. Read more
By Jon Fromi
It took regulation, overtime and seven rounds of a shootout, but the Rockford IceHogs completed two weekend victories with a 2-1 shootout win over the visiting Lake Erie Monsters. Brad Mills’ successful attempt past Calvin Pickard provided the winning margin after Carter Hutton stopped Carl Stollery to end the contest.
It really was a battle of opposing net-minders, with Hutton making 35 saves on 36 Lake Erie attempts. Hutton was named the game’s first star.
Pickard stopped 40 of the 41 shots he faced, the lone goal coming via a Kyle Beach power play goal in the final minute of the first period. The tally, which was assisted by Brandon Pirri and Jeremy Morin, tied the score at a goal apiece following Paul Carey’s goal midway through the first. Read more
Recap and observations of Rockford’s 2-0 loss to Houston on Saturday; IceHogs 5th straight loss at home
By Jon Fromi
The Rockford IceHogs have played 48 games of their 2012-13 schedule. Despite avoiding the poor start that has plagued the team in recent seasons, post lockout struggles have put the IceHogs in an all-too-familiar position. Namely, near the bottom of the AHL Western Conference and looking at an uphill climb to a spot in the playoffs for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign.
Saturday’s effort at the BMO Center didn’t inspire confidence as the IceHogs were shutout by Houston 2-0. Since play resumed last month, Rockford has limped to a 3-7 mark. The luck wasn’t any better against the Aeros.
Both Aeros goals were of the same variety. Ben Youds failed to clear the Hogs zone in the waning seconds of the opening period, leading to a two-on-one chance that was made good when Johan Larsson beat a sprawling Henrik Karlsson with eight seconds left. Read more
Adam Clendening praises Nick Leddy; talks AHL All-Star game, Scrimmaging the Blackhawks, Hybrid Icing
photo credit: Kris Gray, Rockford IceHogs
Adam Clendening battles for the puck with Milwaukee’s Taylor Beck (41)
By Chris Block
The American Hockey League All-Star Game was held in Providence, Rhode Island on Monday night.
Chicago Blackhawks prospect Adam Clendening, along with Rockford IceHogs team captain Martin St. Pierre were both selected by the league to represent the team from just up the road off Interstate 90.
Both St. Pierre and Clendening were held off the scoresheet in the game. The Western Conference won with some late heroics by Toronto Marlies captain Ryan Hamilton, who completed a hat-trick with 11.2 seconds to go in regulation to give the West a 7-6 victory over the Eastern Conference all-stars.
Clendening, who turned 20 in October, and leads all IceHogs players with 21 assists this season, said he was initially surprised when news of his AHL All-Star nomination came.
“I was actually eating lunch [on January 17th] with a bunch of the guys,” Clendening recounted. Read more
By Chris Block
After allowing 17 goals in their last two losses, 7 coming while the team was short-handed, the Rockford IceHogs held team and organizational meetings all last week focusing on eliminating the mindless and careless minor penalties which have plagued this team all season.
That’s all fine and well, but when it takes until late January to correct an issue that should have been nipped in the bud at least two months ago, losses like the one to the Chicago Wolves on Friday night sting even more.
On Friday, Rockford was narrowly outplayed by the Chicago Wolves, handing the IceHogs a 2-1 defeat in front of a sellout crowd of 6,097 fans at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
The loss extends Rockford’s current losing streak to three games, but this loss wasn’t anything like the previous two. Read more
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
By Chris Block
The American Hockey League dealt the IceHogs a significant blow on Tuesday for Rockford’s part in this past Saturday night’s bench-clearing brawl with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Rockford was issued 11-game suspensions in all, while Grand Rapids will have center Louis-Marc Aubry suspended for 6 games and right wing Triston Grant suspended for 1 game.
Rob Flick received a mandatory 6-game suspension for being the first IceHogs’ player to jump off the bench and get involved in the brawl. Aubry’s suspension matched Flick’s for being identified as the first Grand Rapids player to jump off the Griffins’ bench.
The newest IceHogs player, left winger Kenndal McArdle (who was playing in just his second game as a member of the IceHogs in Saturday’s night’s contest) was suspended 1 game. McArdle was issued a game misconduct on Saturday night for jumping off the bench and being the Third Man In an ongoing fight.
Wade Brookbank was also suspended for one game, as was Kyle Beach, whose actions precipitated the Griffins leaving their bench.
IceHogs head coach Ted Dent was also suspended two games. Dent will serve his suspension this weekend when the IceHogs host the Chicago Wolves on Friday and then the Oklahoma City Barons on Saturday night.
The IceHogs have now accumulated 25-games in suspensions over the first 41 games of the season. The list: Andrew Shaw (7), Rob Flick (6), Shawn Lalonde (3), Kyle Beach (2), Ted Dent (2), Dylan Olsen (2), Wade Brookbank (2), Kenndal McArdle (1).
As noted on the site yesterday, Flick served the first game of his six-game suspension when he was held out of Monday’s 6-3 loss to Texas by the league. Flick will be eligible to return on February 8th at Peoria.
Blackhawks trade for goalie Karlsson, send him to Rockford; Carter Hutton uncertainty; Flick could get minimum of 6 games
By Chris Block
On Monday, the Chicago Blackhawks traded a 7th round draft pick in 2013 to the Calgary Flames in exchange for 29-year old goaltender Henrik Karlsson.
The Stockholm, Sweden native served as Miikka Kiprusoff’s backup in Calgary during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. Over that span, Karlsson appeared in 26 games posting a record of 5-9-8 with a 90.5% save percentage and a 2.79 goals against average. Karlson was 1-4-2 last season in Calgary. His only victory came on the final day of the regular season and he posted a 3.17 GAA and 90.0% save percentage in his nine appearances overall.
The Blackhawks then immediately assigned Karlsson to their AHL affiliate, Rockford IceHogs. The pick used by Chicago general manager Stan Bowman in this deal is one he had previously acquired from Ottawa on December 2, 2011 when the Blackhawks traded forward Rob Klinkhammer (who was struggling mightily in Rockford at the time) to the Senators for a 7th round pick.
The 6 foot 6 inch Henrik Karlsson is expected to be in Rockford this week and suited up for the IceHogs next game on Friday when Rockford plays host to the Chicago Wolves.
We’ll know more soon, but it seems as though there is concern Rockford has an immediate need for a dependable AHL goaltender.
Karlsson joins Carter Hutton, 27, and Alec Richards, 25, on the IceHogs roster. Read more