Category Archives: News and Notes

Stephen Johns returns only to be sidelined again; Dent says 2-3 weeks, Johns talks prior injury

Johns_Stephen_2015Jan19_IceHogsPicStephen Johns (#4) battles Jeremy Welsh in front of Scott Darling Monday Jan 19
Photo credit: Rockford IceHogs


By Chris Block

Rockford had only begun to realize how much they missed the steady and physical play of Stephen Johns when injury struck the rookie defenseman again on Monday.

Now the IceHogs will again be without their big rookie blue liner for a stretch.

Johns will miss the next 2 to 3 weeks, according to the team.

“When you can’t do something you love and you enjoy every day, it hurts and it’s frustrating.”

Those were Stephen Johns’ words this past Saturday night, having just completed his second game back from a concussion that kept him out of action for seven weeks.

Now, a left knee injury, suffered Monday afternoon in a game against the Chicago Wolves, will force Johns to miss more time. Read more »


Ryan Hartman suspension details, Mark McNeill gets Nordstrom’s spot at AHL All-Star Game, Blackhawks add member to Equipment Staff

By Chris Block


American Hockey League on Wednesday suspended IceHogs forward Ryan Hartman for 1 game as result of a high-sticking incident in Monday afternoon’s 4-1 loss to the Chicago Wolves.

The incident took place at 18:44 of the first period along the half wall in the IceHogs’ zone nearest the Rockford bench.

Hartman was looking to play a puck off the wall when Wolves’ forward Colin Fraser converged. Hartman appeared to be looking to lift Fraser’s stick, but what wound up happening was the blade of Hartman’s stick forked Fraser in the face.

There was no immediate penalty called by referees Jarrod Ragusin or Tom Chmielewski (who referred the Blackhawks-Coyotes game in Chicago the next night) as play continued and Fraser returned to the Wolves’ bench. Read more »


Site notes: Mid-terms and Rankings; IceHogs injury updates [Updated]

By Chris Block

Just a couple quick notes ahead of the weekend.

Rockford IceHogs (21-12-3-1) will reach the halfway point of their season tonight when they host the Milwaukee Admirals inside the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford. The ‘Hogs are 7 points up on Milwaukee in the standings, though the Admirals do hold three games in hand on Rockford. Ted Dent’s team leads its division (3rd in the conference) currently and remain 6 points up on both Grand Rapids and the Chicago Wolves, though each of those groups have multiple games in hand on the Hogs too.

Tonight is the back-end of a home and home set. Rockford lost 4-2 in Milwaukee last night. Phillip Danault and T.J. Brennan were the IceHogs’ goal scorers. Scott Darling was pulled in the second period after allowing the 4th goal against 29 shots, but the defense in front of him on a couple of those goals offered little assistance.

Stephen Johns (concussion) continues to be sidelined since being injured on a Stephane Veilleux hit on November 26th in Rockford. That was the same night Curt Gogol broke Alex Broadhurst’s arm when Gogol took a run at Broadhurst low in the IceHogs’ end. Read more »


More on Jeremy Morin’s AHL “Conditioning” loan, his trade demand, possibilities; Rockford injury, coaching updates

By Chris Block

Jeremy Morin agreed to a maximum 14-day conditioning loan with the Rockford IceHogs for the dual purpose of getting the 23-year old left winger some game time and showcase the beleaguered now 5-year pro for a potential trade.

Morin had been designated a healthy scratch for 8 consecutive games leading up to the conditioning loan. He last played on November 20th in Calgary.

Rockford embarks on a 6-game road trip starting in Milwaukee tonight (Dec 10th). Thus it’ll be 19 days between games for Morin. He is expected to be in the IceHogs’ lineup tonight.

Should Morin remain with the Blackhawks’ organization for the duration of this loan, he’d have to be recalled from the loan on December 22nd, the day after Rockford’s road trip concludes. The Blackhawks can also recall him at any time before then.

There’s some interesting aspects to this move.

Morin’s agent, Pat Brisson (who also represents Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews) went to Stan Bowman in the middle of last week essentially requesting a trade on behalf of his client. Mark Lazerus of the Sun-Times reported on Sunday (Dec 7) Morin’s side presented it as a “play me or trade me” type of proposal. Read more »


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 »


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

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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »