Category Archives: News and Notes

IceHogs weekend at a glance; Rockford earns 5 of possible 6 points; Morin, Pirri heat up; more news

By Chris Block

Rockford continued its recent hot streak over the weekend in pumping out 13 goals over the 3-in-3 weekend set, all against division foes.

Jeremy Morin led the way, notching 2 goals and 4 helpers to extend his consecutive game point streak to 7 games, matching his career best streak set in February 2013 (2/13/13 – 3/1/13).

In those seven games last season, Morin tallied 3 goals and 7 assists and had a plus-3 rating.

Over his current 7-game point streak, Morin has 6 goals and 7 assists for 13 points.  He’s also a plus-7 in this stretch to go along with 27 shots (22% shooting).

The IceHogs picked up 5 of a possible 6 points over the weekend.  The team extended its streak of consecutive games earning at least one point to seven (6-0-0-1).  In that time, Rockford has averaged 4.85 goals per game while allowing 3.00 against. Read more »

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IceHogs name a team captain, and why that’s a mild surprise

Nightingale_LaBarbera_Marlies_2014Jan20_ToddREICHERJared Nightingale (#6) defends the area in front of Jason LaBarbera’s goal
photo: Todd Reicher, 1/20/14, Rockford IceHogs


By Chris Block

Last week the IceHogs finally named a team captain.  They waited until only 53 percent of their season had passed to do so.

Jared Nightingale, 31, was named Rockford’s captain on January 14th.  He becomes the 8th captain of the IceHogs since the organization joined the AHL in 2007.

“Teddy (Dent) had called me a couple nights before he announced it to the team,” Nightingale said in a conversation with TheThirdManIn.com on January 18th.

“Obviously I was honored.  I was excited to take on that role.”

The previous IceHogs captains are Martin St. Pierre (2012-13), Brian Fahey (2011-12, 2nd half), Brandon Segal (2011-12, 1st half), Garnet Exelby (2010-11), Jake Dowell (2009-10), Tim Brent (2008-09) and Jim Fahey (2007-08).

The decision to name a team captain in mid-January came as a bit of a surprise. Read more »

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Chicago start-up’s Brain-mapping Technology a potential sports Concussion Diagnosis and Treatment game-changer

Kelly Gee, founder of Vernon Hills-based Quantum InstituteKelly Gee, Founder of Quantum Institute

By Chris Block

One Chicago area man, and former hockey player, who bounced back from a dark, prolonged battle with post-concussion syndrome now hopes to revolutionize how sports-related traumatic brain injuries are diagnosed and treated.

“Concussions are a scary deal because they don’t necessarily just go away, especially when you start piling them on top of each other,” said Kelly Gee, CEO and founder of Quantum Institute, a new Vernon Hills-based startup company looking to assist sports organizations in treating athletes who suffer concussions or exhibit symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Gee’s message comes from his own experience and his crusade is a personal one.  The 31 year old former goaltender and coach in the amateur hockey ranks knows all too well the seriousness and traumatic side effects that come along with severe concussions. Read more »

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Exclusive interview with Kyle Beach, plus Ted Dent talks Beach’s absence from the IceHogs lineup

BeachKyle_IceHogs_GregHamil_2013_Nov30Kyle Beach being announced Nov 30th’s 1st star of the game
photo credit: Rockford IceHogs, Greg Hamil

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By Chris Block

After being sat out four consecutive Rockford IceHogs games due to what head coach Ted Dent called “conduct” violations, Chicago Blackhawks 2008 first-round draft pick Kyle Beach returned to the lineup on Saturday night in grand fashion.

Not only did Beach register the first hat-trick of his 175-game professional career, but he also contributed in every special teams situation in leading the IceHogs to a much-needed 4-3 victory over their rival Chicago Wolves after Rockford suffered a 7-1 shellacking in Rosemont the previous night.

Following Saturday night’s game, we had an opportunity to sit down for an exclusive one-on-one interview with the often beleaguered former 1st round draft pick. Read more »

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Adrian Aucoin joins Blackhawks staff, Svendsen retires

AucoinAdrian_CHIAdrian Aucoin

By Chris Block

Adrian Aucoin, at one-time a Chicago Blackhawks team captain, has re-joined the organization in a player-development capacity.  Aucoin has been working with the Blackhawks young defense prospects.

The 20-year pro hockey veteran, who played 36 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets during the lock-out abbreviated 2012-13 NHL season, has evidently chosen to retire as an active player at the age of 40.

Blackhawks prospect and Rockford IceHogs defenseman Adam Clendening spoke on Friday about working and learning now from another accomplished NHL veteran. Read more »

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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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Blow to 1980’s Blackhawk legend’s battle with cancer

LysiakTom

By Chris Block

Sad news to report today of a former Chicago Blackhawk legend, who is now in the biggest battle of his life, suffering with cancer.

Tom Lysiak, 60, was diagnosed with cancer back in May and doctors have been searching for a suitable match for a bone marrow transplant they had hoped to perform this month.

On Tuesday, Lysiak’s daughter Jessica announced on her Twitter account that though she was previously thought to be a bone marrow match for her father, she learned from the medical institute today that she, herself, will not be able to provide the bone marrow donation her father needs.

She wrote, “Days away from my dad’s transplant and I just got a call from the hospital canceling me as the bone marrow donor #prayingforamatch.”

Jessie Lysiak, 27, the daughter of Tom and his wife, Melinda, was to undergo the bone marrow extraction procedure in Georgia next week.  Tom has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments since his diagnosis.  Jessie began thorough blood testing to determine her ability to donate her bone marrow to her father back in June.

The daughter of the former Chicago Blackhawks and Atlanta Flames star was recently a contestant on the reality TV series MasterChef on the FOX network. Read more »

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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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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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Update on Stephen Johns, BMO $1.5M upgrades, Saad All-Rookie team, Danault, Karlsson, Waite and Stan and USA Hockey

By Chris Block

Some news and notes to kick off what appears will be a very eventful weekend.

–We’ll have full, pick-by-pick coverage on this site of the Blackhawks’ draft selections this Sunday from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Chicago currently owns picks in the last pick in the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th rounds.

Their 2nd and 3rd round selections were dealt to Winnipeg at the trade deadline in 2012 in exchange for Johnny Oduya.  The Blackhawks also owned extra picks before dealing them for Michal Handzus (San Jose’s original pick in the 4th round reacquired from CHI) and Henrik Karlsson (originally Ottawa’s 7th round pick).

–If you missed the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup parade and rally on Friday , it will be rebroadcasted tonight (Saturday) on Comcast SportsNet in Chicago at 7pm.

Brandon Saad was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie team on Saturday.

Saad joins Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau (Calder Trophy winner for best rookie), Montreal winger Brendan Gallagher (a Calder Trophy finalist as well as Saad), goalie Jake Allen of St. Louis and defenseman Jonas Brodin of Minnesota and Justin Schultz of Edmonton.

Interesting to note, yet not surprising considering he wasn’t a Calder finalist, that Nail Yakupov, who led all NHL rookies in scoring this season with 17 goals and 14 assists was left off the All-Rookie team.  That doesn’t happen often.  Read more »

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