By Chris Block
Many teams across the NHL, including the Chicago Blackhawks, have released their 2012 preseason schedules since the Los Angeles Kings hoisted the Stanley Cup this past Monday night.
Now, Wayne Gretzky’s All-Stars may have a better chance of playing the United Center this September and early October than the Blackhawks, Penguins, Flyers and Red Wings, nonetheless, the schedule is as follows….
On the road:
Tuesday, September 25 @ Philadelphia – 6pm [central]
Saturday, September 29 @ Detroit Red Wings, Joe Louis Arena – 6pm
Friday, October 5 @ Pittsburgh Penguins, Consol Energy Center – 6pm
At the United Center:
Friday, September 28 vs Detroit Red Wings – 7:30pm
Sunday, September 30 vs Pittsburgh Penguins – 6pm
Saturday, October 6 vs Philadelphia Flyers – 7:30pm Read more
Posted in Blackhawks, News and Notes
Tagged Adam Clendening, Alex Broadhurst, Alexander Salak, Andy Samberg, Ben Simon, Ben Youds, Bob Pulford, Bobby Hull, Brian Fahey, Chris Block, Conan O'Brien, Darryl Sutter, Dean McAmmond, Georges Laraque, Joel Quenneville, Jon Cooper, Mike Haviland, Preseason schedule, Rostislav Olesz, Shawn Lalonde, Steve Larmer, Terry Broadhurst, Tony Esposito, Trent Yawney, Wayne Gretzky, Wilt Chamberlain
By Chris Block
A few news items tonight but first a couple plugs…
–Our PuckChatter~Radio podcast returns this Tuesday night, May 29th at 8pm central. We’ll focus on our listener emails on the Blackhawks, IceHogs and prospects. You can listen live that night at this link. If you have a question or commentary you would like to contribute, send those to PuckChatter@gmail.com by Tuesday afternoon at the latest.
If you haven’t listened to our interview with Stephen Nelson from this past Tuesday night, I’d urge you to do so. If you’re interested in the Blackhawks top prospects in Rockford especially this was a great show. We’ve got a ton of feedback on the interview already, in particular Nelson’s candid account of Ben Smith’s relationship with Jimmy Newcomer, the 19-year old cancer-stricken Rockford area boy who sadly passed away a few weeks ago. We’ll have more on Ben Smith this coming Tuesday night.
–I’ll be a guest on Hockeenight.com’s PuckCast on Sunday night, June 10th to preview the 2012 NHL Draft taking place June 22-23 in Pittsburgh at the CONSOL Energy Center. That’s shaping up to what could be a pretty active weekend for the Blackhawks.
Carruth going pro
Several outlets are now reporting the Chicago Blackhawks have signed goaltender Mac Carruth to a three-year entry level contract. Carruth was selected 191st overall by the Blackhawks in the seventh round of the 2010 Entry Draft.
RDS reporter Renaud Lavoie was first to report Carruth signed to a three-year deal with an NHL cap hit (under the current collective bargaining agreement) of $525,000 per season. Lavoie has been first to report many prospects signing entry levels in the past. The contract would be a two-way deal, so he’d make far less, in the neighborhood of $67,000 per while in the AHL or ECHL. The Blackhawks needed to sign Carruth or he would have been eligible to for Draft re-entry. He can still return to junior hockey for one more season, be it with Portland or should a trade be worked out with another club.
While this deal has not been officially confirmed nor announced by the Blackhawks it should be shortly. CapGeek.com has different, unconfirmed numbers on Carruth’s deal at this point. Announcement or not, all signs point to Carruth leaving the Portland Winterhawks major junior organization in the WHL for pro hockey in the Blackhawks’ system. Read more
Posted in Blackhawks, Contract Signing, News and Notes, Podcast
Tagged Alec Richards, Alexander Salak, Ben Smith, Blackhawks, Brendan Burke, Carter Hutton, Chris Block, Hockeenight, IceHogs, Johan Mattsson, Kent Simpson, Mac Carruth, Pete Leblanc, Podcast, Portland, PuckCast, Rob Flick, Rockford, Sean Burke, Winterhawks
By Chris Block
PuckChatter~Radio returns on Monday night at 7pm central with my guest Al Cimaglia of MyFoxChicago.com.
Join us Live at 7pm central over at BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn.
Al and I will be recapping the Blackhawks-Coyotes series and Chicago’s second-consecutive quick playoff exit and analyze what went wrong.
We’ll take a look at all the issues the Blackhawks will be facing this summer, including if an upgrade is needed at the goaltending position.
Also, we will examine post season comments made by the players, Joel Quenneville and Stan Bowman.
I’ll give my take on whether help is on its way from Rockford, who of the call-ups from this past season will start 2012-13 back in the minors and which 2011 ‘Hawks draft picks (excluding Andrew Shaw) have the best shot to make the Blackhawks straight out of training camp.
–For those who cannot listen live, Monday night’s show will be archived at our BlogTalkRadio page, here on our site as well as on Itunes.
–If you missed our recent, well-received Rockford IceHogs season-in-review interview series, you can listen to our chats with Ted Dent, Jeremy Morin, Joe Lavin and Kyle Beach here….. Read more
Posted in Interview, News and Notes, Puck Chatter~Radio
Tagged Al Cimaglia, Audio, Blackhawks, Chris Block, IceHogs, Interviews, Jeremy Morin, Joe Lavin, Kyle Beach, Podcast, Post-Season, Recap, Ted Dent
By Chris Block
On Friday, the Chicago Blackhawks announced they have reached terms on a 1-year contract with center Pete Leblanc. It will be a two-way (NHL/AHL) agreement.
Leblanc was originally the Blackhawks 7th round selection (186th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. After spending four years at the University of New Hampshire, Leblanc turned pro with the Rockford IceHogs.
The Hamilton, Ontario native has spent the past two seasons with the Rockford IceHogs on AHL contracts as the Blackhawks had elected not to offer Leblanc an NHL contract until now.
In 70 games this season, Leblanc has posted 23 goals and 20 assists for the IceHogs. Since being a healthy scratch for three consecutive games in early November, Leblanc has scored all 23 of his goals over the most recent 61 contests.
He is currently tied for the team lead in goals scored (23) with Brandon Pirri. And Leblanc is second on the team in overall points, trailing Pirri by twelve points, with 43. Leblanc has a plus/minus rating of plus-2. It was Leblanc’s elevated level of play that caused veteran Brett McLean to slip down the IceHogs depth chart and even to the wing on the fourth line before McLean opted to play out the rest of the season in Switzerland. Read more
Posted in Blackhawks, Contract Signing, IceHogs, News and Notes
Tagged Admirals, Alexander Salak, Brandon Pirri, Brandon Svendsen, Brian Fahey, Carter Hutton, Chris Block, Connor Goggin, Contract Signing, Eric Baier, IceHogs, Joe Lavin, Kent Simpson, Mark McNeill, Milwaukee, Paul Zanette, Pete Leblanc, Phillip Danault, Rob Flick, Rostislav Olesz, Shawn Lalonde, Simon Danis-Pepin, Terry Broadhurst
By Chris Block
The American Hockey League office dealt out discipline on Tuesday in response to Sunday’s bench-clearing brawl incident in Milwaukee between the Rockford IceHogs and hosting Admirals.
In all, four players received a total of 10 games as penalty for their involvement in Sunday’s brawl. Rockford got the short-hand with two of its players each getting three games while Milwaukee got a total of four. The two teams and respective coaches were fined undisclosed amounts as well.
IceHogs center Rob Flick received 3 games for essentially instigating the incident when he skated over to Milwaukee’s crease and engaged with Admirals’ goaltender Jeremy Smith while the two teams were lining up for a face off in the neutral zone. Smith got a 1 game suspension.
Smith and Flick appeared to be exchanging words before Smith took a sip from his water bottle and turned around to find Flick approaching the top of his crease. At that point Smith took the first swing with his blocker at the head of Flick and the two immediately began fighting before the puck had ever dropped out near the Admirals’ blue line.
Shawn Lalonde and Milwaukee’s Michael Latta each received 3-game suspensions for leaving the penalty box to join in the melee. Those two had been sent off with off-setting fighting majors at the previous whistle. Lalonde was responding to Latta taking a run and IceHogs’ forward Brandon Svendsen, who was in a vulnerable position a few feet away from the boards. Read more
Posted in IceHogs, Injury, News and Notes
Tagged Admirals, Alexander Salak, Bench clearing, Brandon Pirri, Chris Block, Chris DiDomenico, Ian Herbers, IceHogs, Jeremy Smith, Kyle Beach, Lake Erie, Michael Latta, Milwaukee, Monsters, Phillip Danault, Rob Flick, Rostislav Olesz, Shawn Lalonde, Ted Dent, Terry Broadhurst
By Chris Block
Behind another stellar week of goaltending from Carter Hutton, the Rockford IceHogs picked up five of a possible six points last week to improve their record to 26-26-2-5.
This marks the first time the IceHogs have sat at the .500 mark since way back on October 28th when the team was 4-4-0-0 after a win at Peoria, the same night Kyle Beach went down with a dislocated right shoulder.
The week began on Wednesday night as a flu bug hit the Rockford dressing room. The IceHogs, weakened also by the Andrew Shaw and Brandon Bollig call ups to Chicago earlier in the week, and without Jeremy Morin, put forth an amazing effort against the visiting Abbotsford Heat, one of the AHL’s best road teams.
Ben Smith was credited with his team-leading 8th power play goal to get the ‘Hogs on the board first. The goal was originally given to Ben Youds but the official scoring was flipped the next day. That goal also ended a 0 for 30 slump for the IceHogs power play units. And they needed just 3 seconds on their first power play of the night to end that nightmarish streak. The newest IceHog, Matt Fornataro knocked in his second goal in his fourth game since joining the team. The game went to seven rounds in the shootout with Abbotsford scoring four times on Hutton while Heat goalie Danny Taylor allowed three from the IceHogs. Rockford lost 3-2 but picked up a point.
Carter Hutton was the only reason the IceHogs were even in the game in Milwaukee after forty minutes on Friday night. Since signing an NHL contract with the Blackhawks on Feb 24, Hutton has been incredible for Rockford. The game was a rematch of the goalie-duel from six days earlier at the BMO between Hutton and Atte Engren. Hutton prevailed in that game winning 2-1 in a shootout. Engren stopped 35 shots in that game. In Friday’s contest, Rockford was outshot 33-13 after two periods but the game was tied 1-1 heading into the third period. In the final frame, the IceHogs got goals from Brandon Pirri (his team-leading 22nd) and Jeremy Morin (13th) to take the game 3-1. Rockford is now 5-1-0-1 against Milwaukee this season and have five game left with the Admirals beginning with a home-and-home this coming Saturday and Sunday. Read more
Posted in IceHogs, News and Notes
Tagged Akim Aliu, Atte Engren, Ben Smith, Ben Youds, Brandon Pirri, Carter Hutton, Chris Block, Evan Brophey, Hannu Toivonen, IceHogs, Jeremy Morin, Kyle Beach, Marc-Olivier Vallerand, Pete Leblanc, Rob Klinkhammer, Ryan Stanton, Wade Flaherty
By Chris Block
The lone addition Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks made before Monday’s 2pm central trade deadline was mobile defenseman Johnny Oduya.
Oduya, 30, comes to the Hawks from the Winnipeg Jets at the price of a 2nd and 3rd round draft choice in the 2013 NHL Draft. He is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
The six-foot 190 pound Stockholm native was playing third pair minutes in Winnipeg averaging 19 minutes per game. In 63 games played, Oduya had 2 goals, 11 assists and was a minus-9.
Oduya’s biggest asset is his skating. His addition and impact on the Blackhawks will be strikingly similar to how Chris Campoli fit in after he was acquired at last season’s trade deadline. Campoli’s addition was regarded as underwhelming at the time, but he did skate some big minutes for the Hawks. Read more
By Chris Block
Carter Hutton said he and his agent were not contacted by the Blackhawks about signing an NHL contract until this past Wednesday.
“I didn’t expect it,” Hutton admitted after picking up his IceHogs leading 11th victory in a 3-2 win at Allstate Arena in Rosemont on Friday night. “It happened the day before I got put on waivers.”
Hutton had to be placed on waivers on Thursday for the purpose of signing him to the NHL contract. Per guidelines in the NHL collective bargaining agreement, Hutton first had to be offered to the 29 other NHL teams before he could officially become a Blackhawk. The contract itself was done and official on Thursday morning.
“It kind of was quick,” Hutton said of the negotiation. “There wasn’t too much to talk about. It was kind of a done deal right away.”
As covered on Friday, Hutton was on a one-year standard AHL deal with Rockford and has been with the team ever since being recalled from Toledo on December 3rd to replace an injured Alexander Salak. Hutton performed so well in Salak’s absence that he became the clear number one during that time and when Salak returned Alec Richards was sent to Toledo of the ECHL.
“It doesn’t really change a ton with me,” Hutton said. Read more
Posted in IceHogs, News and Notes
Tagged Alexander Salak, Antoine Roussel, Brandon Bollig, Brandon Pirri, Carter Hutton, Chris Block, Craig MacTavish, IceHogs, Matt Fornataro, Ted Dent, Wolves
By Chris Block
Jonathan Toews, Joel Quenneville and the Chicago Blackhawks organization scored high in this year’s NHLPA Player Poll.
318 players submitted answers to the annual questionnaire, written by the staff of Hockey Night in Canada and the National Hockey League Player’s Association.
Joel Quenneville, who some Blackhawks fans were screaming to have fired as little as eight days ago, saw his league-wide player approval rating in the “Coach players would most like to play for” category increase from 6 percent in the 2010-11 player poll to 11% this season. Quenneville placed second to Pittsburgh’s Dan Bylsma, who again received 21% of votes cast in the category.
In last year’s poll, 11% of players indicated the Chicago Blackhawks as the team they would most-like to play for, putting the Blackhawks in a tie for second with the Vancouver Canucks. This time around the Blackhawks received the most votes supplanting the Detroit Red Wings who topped the category a year ago. 14% of players responding indicated the Blackhawks were the team they’d most-like to play on. Detroit slid into second-place with a slight drop at 13% of the votes. Boston came in 3rd taking 11% of the votes, also the biggest one-year jump of any NHL team. Read more
Posted in News and Notes
Tagged Alexander Ovechkin, Bell Centre, Brad Shaw, Canucks, Chris Block, Dan Bylsma, Dave Cameron, Duncan Keith, Fighting, Hockey Night In Canada, Instigator Rule, Joel Quenneville, Jonathan Toews, Kelly Sutherland, Marian Gaborik, NHL, NHLPA, NHLPA Player Poll, Nicklas Lidstrom, Paul Devorski, Pavel Datsyuk, Players Poll, Quebec City, Rexall Place, Shea Weber, Sidney Crosby, United Center, Zdeno Chara
Today, the Blackhawks placed defenseman Steve Montador (upper body) on the Injured Reserve list. Montador was injured in Tuesday night’s loss at Colorado.
In his place, the Blackhawks have recalled 21-year old Dylan Olsen from the Rockford IceHogs.
Olsen played in two games for the Blackhawks (January 5 @ Philadelphia, January 6 vs Colorado) last month and posted four shots on goal. He was held off the scoresheet but also left the Hawks an even plus/minus.
Read our profile on Dylan Olsen published in late December, eight days before his first NHL call up.
In 44 games with the IceHogs this season, Olsen has 4 goals, 3 assists and is a minus-4. Two of his four goals have come in Rockford’s last four games. Read more