Category Archives: News and Notes

A look at Rockford atop AHL at quarter mark; Ted Dent comments on PIMs, fighting: more on Blackhawks Analytics position

2014Nov22_Schnell_Liambas_Fight_Pic_IceHogsRyan Schnell (38) fights Milwaukee’s Michael Liambas Nov 22 in Rockford
photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block

Rockford IceHogs have rolled off four consecutive wins, all without their captain Joakim Nordstrom, veteran goaltender Michael Leighton and leading scorer Mark McNeill. The latter three wins also came without Adam Clendening and Phillip Danault.

In the process, the depleted IceHogs grabbed three wins from divisional foes this past weekend to solidify Rockford with the best record (14-4-0-1, .763) in the AHL. It started with 4-3 come-from-behind overtime win over Iowa on Friday.

The only games Rockford has lost this season have been to Milwaukee (3 times) and Rochester. Their shootout competition loss came in Toronto on October 19th, after 67 minutes of scoreless hockey.

The IceHogs snapped an 8-game losing streak, stretching back to last season, when they finally defeated the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday night in Rockford by a 3-2 score in what may have been the best 60 minutes of hockey Rockford’s been a part of all season. Read more »

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Hartman snaps drought: Injury updates on Mark McNeill, Leighton; More info on McNeill

Hartman_Brennan_OTW_2014Nov21_RockfordIceHogs
Ryan Hartman (24) and T.J. Brennan (7) hug out their OT winning-goal  connection on Fri Nov 21st in Rockford
Photo credit: Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block

Blackhawks 2013 first round draft pick Ryan Hartman got off to a good start offensively this season, then fell off the scoresheets for a few weeks.

On Friday, Hartman snapped a 9-game pointless streak. He tallied twice for the IceHogs, including the game-tying in the third period, then the overtime game-winner in a 4-3 win over the Iowa Wild in Rockford. The goals were Hartman’s 3rd and 4th of the season.

The local product was originally credited with two goals in a 3-2 Opening night loss to Milwaukee on October 11st, but one of those would later rightly be given to defenseman Zach Miskovic.

Following his two-goal performance on Friday, Hartman said he was never concerned about his drop off in offensive production.

“It’s part of hockey. I’ve done that plenty of times before,” said Hartman. “There’s times when the puck’s not going your way. Read more »

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News on Blackhawks roster moves Saturday; Mark McNeill injured in IceHogs game in Milwaukee

2014Nov14_Darling_Scott_vs_Milwaukee_IceHogsScott Darling, November 14, 2014 vs Milwaukee Admirals
Photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block

The Blackhawks made a series of roster moves on Saturday that were released over the course of the day out of necessity ahead of their next game, Sunday night at the United Center.

First, Peter Regin was reassigned to the Rockford IceHogs (AHL) prior the Blackhawks Saturday morning practice. In 4 games played with the Blackhawks, Regin averaged 8:20 of ice time. He had one assist and three shots on goal.

This move wouldn’t come as a surprise, as Joel Quenneville also announced on Saturday that Dan Carcillo (knee) would return to Chicago’s lineup on Sunday when the Blackhawks host the Dallas Stars. Since Regin had to clear waivers to go to Rockford in October, he’ll have to go through the process again if he’s played in ten NHL games or spent 30 days on the NHL roster. Thus, Regin’s demotion was inevitable.

Carcillo, 29, was injured on October 25th in St. Louis. He’s missed the past 10 games.

Later in the day, however, the Hawks then announced the recall of forward Joakim Nordstrom from Rockford. Nordstrom was named Rockford’s team captain last month. In 14 games this season with the IceHogs, the 22-year old Swede has 5 goals and 3 assists. Nordstrom is averaging a little better than 2 shots on goal per game and has a minus-1 rating. He’s mostly skated on the right wing with Dennis Rasmussen and Teuvo Teravainen being his primary centers.  The Nordstrom recall indicates there’s likely a need for a healthy forward that’s more urgent than the upcoming road trip.

The more newsworthy transaction (for now) came at 11pm central, when the Blackhawks recalled goaltender Scott Darling from the IceHogs. In doing so, Chicago also reassigned Antti Raanta back to Rockford.

We can report independently that the decision to recall Darling and send Raanta to Rockford was made earlier in the day on Saturday, and prior to Rockford’s game in Milwaukee. Read more »

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Hawks hire another new player development coach, long-time Tortorella ally

By Chris Block

Blackhawks have hired another Player Development Coach.

Recently the team hired Mike Sullivan, who last served as an assistant on John Tortorella’s staff in Vancouver. Tortorella and Sullivan were each fired by the Canucks on May 1, 2014.

Sullivan joins Yanic Perreault, Adrian Aucoin and Mark Eaton on the Blackhawks Player Development staff. This group reports to Barry Smith. Their primary role is to assist in the development of prospects.  Keith Carney was also apart of that team, but he’s currently on voluntary sabbatical from the organization.

Aucoin and Eaton are former NHL defenseman, Sullivan a forward, while Perreault a center who was one of the league’s best faceoff men in his day. Aucoin and Perreault both had stints with the Blackhawks in their playing days.

This new hire does bring a wide-range of experience, but also some baggage. Read more »

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Afternoon Delights: Hawks at it again with Teuvo

By Chris Block

In this week’s news, the Blackhawks have a highly-regarded NHL prospect.

In fact, this prospect could be in line to earn a spot on the Opening Night roster, but the team says they don’t know for certain.

The problem is the player missed a week of training camp and three preseason games. So, they need to see more of him.

Fair enough. Makes sense… In other news, the team is chose not to see the aforementioned player last night when the Blackhawks host the Montreal Canadiens in the final home game of the exhibition season.

Teuvo Teravainen, despite getting into only one game thus far due to injury, didn’t dress in the Hawks’ second-to-last preseason game against the Canadiens.

“We haven’t seen him a ton this camp,” Joel Quenneville said Wednesday morning when speaking to reporters about the 20-year old prospect. “We liked him in the game he played. We like him in practice. I thought he was fine at Notre Dame. We see progress to his game. It seems like he’s a little stronger.” Read more »

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Stan Bowman talks Enforcer role; its place on the Chicago Blackhawks

Stan Bowman

By Chris Block

Amidst Tuesday night’s exhibition opener at United Center, which was essentially a nothing evening save for Cuba Gooding Jr.’s disrobing during the very first conciliatory version of the between-periods Shoot the Puck competition, the only intelligence of any substance coming away from the event took place in the CSN Chicago broadcast booth during the second period.

Stan Bowman joined Pat Foley and Eddie Olcyzk for the initial ten minutes of the second stanza for something of a Blackhawks’ state of September address.

Mostly-discussed were the team’s top prospects in camp and their individual progressions, with Jeremy Morin, Teuvo Teravainen, Phillip Danault and Klas Dahlbeck being spotlighted. Rockford IceHogs’ coach Ted Dent also received high praise from Bowman after Foley raised his name. Read more »

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More news on Blackhawks scouting, Hockey Analytics and off season front office changes and info: Major Name Gone

By Chris Block

We have further information on Chicago Blackhawks front office and hockey operations shakeups from the off season before we advance into the heart of the matter now that training camps are active.

Michel Dumas, the last remaining relic generally associated with the Bill Wirtz / Bob Pulford era of Blackhawks hockey, has moved on.

Dumas, 65, briefly served as Tony Esposito’s backup on the Hawks during the mid-70’s. Dumas suffered a career-ending right eye injury during a game against Colorado at Chicago Stadium on December 26, 1976. With his playing career over, he was given a job by Bill Wirtz as an amateur scout the very next season.

Dumas tenure on the Blackhawks scouting staff spanned the next 37 years. This lead to a running joke in circles for many years that the Blackhawks top scout was ‘legally blind.’

In 1992, Dumas would be promoted to Chief Amateur Scout. He held that position until Bruce Franklin, who has been on the Hawks scouting staff now for over 20 years, took over from Dumas in 2010. Read more »

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Blackhawks make more changes to hockey operations staff

By Chris Block

Chicago Blackhawks Vice President and general manager Stan Bowman made several additions to his pro scouting staff recently.

As expected, Wade Brookbank has retired (again) and accepted a position as a pro scout for the Blackhawks.

A popular teammate inside the Rockford IceHogs dressing room over the past four seasons, Brookbank appeared in 128 games over those four campaigns.

Brookbank, 36, had previously retired at the end of the 2010-11 season. He was employed as a pro scout with the Vancouver Canucks for the first half of the subsequent season before re-signing with Rockford and skating in 17 games with the IceHogs on the back end of the 2011-12 schedule. Read more »

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Checking in with Teuvo talk, Sweden camp, Zagreb IceHogs, Beach’s try-out contract and more

By Chris Block

The full AHL regular season schedule is supposed to drop on Tuesday. It was finalized Monday. This is the latest I can recall the American Hockey League taking to get its schedule done. The reason it took until the last week of August (less than six weeks prior to Opening night) this time around is because the NBA schedule wasn’t completed just a couple of weeks ago, in mid-August. AHL franchises, Lake Erie (Cleveland), Charlotte, San Antonio and Oklahoma City share buildings with NBA teams and the AHL couldn’t lock in those teams’ home dates until the NBA finalized its schedule.

Teuvo’s Turn

Impression I get is a roster spot is essentially Teuvo Teravainen’s to take in training camp. If he’s ready, the Blackhawks will not hold him back for any reason. However, if he’s still hesitant, over-thinking or a bit over-matched physically (these things will all come around, no one is doubting that) in half or more of his preseason appearances, there would be no hesitation to give Teravainen a month, two or however long it may take in Rockford. Read more »

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Odds and Saads: Morin’s shot, Teuvo plan, Carey signing, Hartman, Johns and more

By Chris Block

MORIN’s OPPORTUNITY

Don’t wait for the IceHogs’ leading goal scorer to be back in Rockford, at least for the time being.

Jeremy Morin was told he is up with the Blackhawks for the remainder of the season.

So, unless there is some major change in direction, don’t expect him to be back in Rockford before then, if ever.

I suppose there is a chance he’d return to Rockford in the event the IceHogs team makes the playoffs and the Blackhawks are healthy enough to the point Morin slides down the depth chart far enough.  But that would also have to mean Teuvo Teravainen would play outstanding enough that the Blackhawks would no longer care about burning a year on Teravainen’s slide-eligible entry level contract – which contrary to what is being insinuated publically, they are not planning to do so at this time.

–In case you missed it last week, Odds and Saads will be a weekly feature here on TheThirdManIn.com.  This is part one of two for this week.

TEUVO TIME

Teuvo Teravainen will make his NHL regular season debut for the Blackhawks when they host the Dallas Stars at the United Center. Read more »

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