Hawks trade Clendening to Vancouver Canucks for Gustav Forsling

Forsling_GustavGustav Forsling


By Chris Block

The Chicago Blackhawks made a deal late Thursday sending third-year pro Adam Clendening to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for the rights to Gustav Forsling, 18, in a swap of prospect defenseman.

Forsling currently plays defense for Linköping in the Swedish Hockey League and has been a defense partner of 2013 Chicago Blackhawks 2nd round draft pick, Carl Dahlstrom. And the two have skated on the same team for the past three seasons in the Linköping organization. So, the Blackhawks know Forsling well.

Clendening, 22, was a Blackhawks’ 2nd round selection (36th overall) in 2011, a pick Chicago got from the Atlanta Thrashers the previous summer (along with defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy) in exchange for Andrew Ladd.

In this trade the Blackhawks now provide a somewhat clearer picture of the future of their blue line.  Clendening will report to to the Utica (NY) Comets, the Canucks’ AHL affiliate, but could be called up to the NHL club soon where he’d be reunited with former IceHogs’ teammate and defense partner, Ryan Stanton. [Update 1/30/15 2pm CST: Clendening was recalled by the Vancouver to the Canucks on Friday. He was headed to Vancouver from Chicago on Friday. Canucks host Buffalo tonight. Clendening could be in the line up.] Read more »

2015 Chicago Blackhawks Prospect Rankings

Teravainen_2014Nov21_IceHogs“Turbo” Teuvo Teravainen, photo: Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block

2015 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS PROSPECT RANKINGS

Qualifications for this list include being under the age of 26 on the final day of the 2014-15 regular season. This excluded Scott Darling, Brandon Mashinter (each 26 now) and T. J. Brennan from consideration for these rankings.

The other qualifier is the player must have no more than 25 NHL games played in the current season or no more than a total of 40 NHL career games played at the time of these rankings.

These rankings and short bios were first published on January 16th and are as of January 15, 2015. As you’ll read, the extended bios took a little longer to write and at that point I decided to do a writeup on every Blackhawks prospect who would qualify for this list, even those who fell below the top 25. To me, there was no added value in ranking the players 1-40, so I decided against that.

The rankings are formed by a weighted formula that leans heavily to skill, career potential and probability of impact at the NHL level.  To clear any confusion, how close a player is to playing in the NHL, or being there at times now, does not factor in. Read more »

Fantasy Chatter: Week 16 – Replacing Rinne & Bobrovsky and First Line Roundabouts

ItsAlwaysSunny_WrestlingRumbleWho will win The Royal Rumble the starting job in Minny?

The Week Ahead: Jan 26 – Feb 1

4 Game slates: ARI, MON, NASH, PIT, WASH
3 Game slates: ANA, BUF, CAL, CAR, CHI, CLB, DAL, DET, EDM, FLA, MIN, NJ, NYI, NYR, PHI, STL, TB, TOR, VAN, WINN
2 Game slates: BOS, COL, LA, OTT, SJ
Back to Back games: ANA, ARI, BUF, CAR, CHI, MON, NASH, NJ, PIT, STL, TOR, WASH (x2)

By Lane Myer

In recent vintage we’ve covered first half over and underachievers as well as TTMI’s Top 50 Keeper/Dynasty League Under 25 Rankings for those fledgling teams who are looking towards next season and have no alternative other than undergoing a rebuild.

Hopefully the amount on goalie info won’t be quite as daunting and time consuming as it was this week, so we hope to concentrate on those owners in redraft leagues who are in the middle of the pack in their respective league’s standings and need to start making their move now with some high risk/high reward trade targets. By that measure we’re talking about selling high on some first half over performers and targeting first half underperformers who may be primed for a second half market correction. Read more »

IceHogs’ shooters get one, enough; Leighton shuts out Iowa 1-0, sets IceHogs record

Leighton_2015Jan13_Charlotte_320x309_IceHogsMichael Leighton – Photo credit: Rockford IceHogs Hockey


By Chris Block

Rockford IceHogs accomplished something Thursday night they had not before this season – score 1 goal and win.

Matt Carey blasted a power play goal by Iowa Wild goalie John Curry with 6:44 remaining in the third period to give the IceHogs a 1-0 lead, a score that stood as the final.

The IceHogs have scored 1 goal or less in 12 of their 43 games. That’s 27.9 percent of the season to date.

Previously Rockford had found ways to earn points without scoring a goal. They’ve lost 1-0 in overtime, another time in a shootout. But until Thursday they had not figured out how to win a game by a 1-0 score.

Michael Leighton stopped 23 shots in picking up his 11th win and 4th shutout this season and 40th of his career. Read more »

Rockford’s goal troubles: Numbers and numbers; Mark McNeill says no more raking leaves

Hartman_Ryan_2014Dec30_IceHogsRyan Hartman – Photo credit: Rockford IceHogs Hockey


By Chris Block

Thanks to a terrific start to the season, the Rockford IceHogs still sit atop the MidWest Division a little past the halfway point of the AHL season.

But the past six weeks have been a struggle for the IceHogs. The team’s offense some nights is almost non-existent and the gap between Rockford and nearest contenders, Milwaukee and Chicago has narrowed.

When the IceHogs win they’re averaging 3.7 goals for versus 1.7 against.

In Rockford’s 19 losses (23-13-4-2), they’ve scored just 1.4 goals per game, while the goaltenders allowed 2.9 against.

“We got four goals [Friday, a 4-0 home ice win over Iowa], which was nice,” said IceHogs’ coach, Ted Dent.

“We haven’t had four goals in a long time. So, we’ll just keep chipping away at it.”

Since Thanksgiving, Rockford has put up 4 goals or more just 4 times. That represents a total of 22 games in which the IceHogs have averaged 2.09 goals for per game. Rockford’s record since Thanksgiving is 8-9-4-1. Two of those wins came via the shootout. Read more »

Hawks beat depleted Penguins squad in Shootout

By Michael Calvert

HOSSA, RUNDBLAD SCORE IN 3-2 SHOOTOUT VICTORY AT PITT

Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang were both hurt for last night’s game. Fleury has been so bad the last 11 games he may has well been hurt, but played fairly well last night.

1st period: The first started out pretty slowly with neither team putting up any real scoring chances. At right around 14:00 the Hawks began to turn it on, jumping all over the Penguins for a whole minute finally scoring on a Rundblad rocket slapper.

The Hawks committed the game’s first penalty at 11:21 with a hook by Oduya, it looked like a Pittsburgh penalty to me. The Penguins weren’t able to capitalize; in fact, the Hawks had more opportunities on the PK. Read more »

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

RYAN HARTMAN SUSPENDED

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 »

Shaw strikes twice, Hawks find stride in 6-1 stomping of the Coyotes

By Brad Vandenberk

After dropping two straight divisional games at home, the taste of losing was on the Hawks’ tongues. It just took a quick stir of the drink to make everything better, and a visit from the Arizona Coyotes also helps.

Coach Q, coaching his 500th game in the Hawks organization, tinkered the line up just slightly to get certain players going. Andrew Shaw got the message, scoring two goals on route to a 6 -1 routing of the desert dogs.

Teuvo Teravainen (1G, 1A) and Bryan Bickell (2A) added to the newly third line. Patrick Sharp (2A) also helped ignite the second line alongside Brad Richards (2A) and Patrick Kane (1G, 2A). That lined combined for 9 points with Kane scoring his 200th career goal all with Chicago, being the 20th player in Blackhawk history to achieve that mark. Even the defense core received a face lift with Duncan Keith mentoring David Rundblad, forcing Brent Seabrook to partner with Niklas Hjalmarsson. Johnny Oduya and Michael Rozsival rounding out the bottom pairing. Read more »

Blackhawks Outgunned by Stars, 6-3 at the UC

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks dropped a wild one to Dallas Sunday night. The visiting Stars pulled away with three goals in the third period to break open a back and forth game. The Hawks found themselves on the short end of a 6-3 decision for their second straight loss.

First Period-The Hawks did not want for opportunities in the early going, firing 11 shots on Kari Lehtonen in the first six and a half minutes. The first goal, however, belonged to Tyler Seguin, who scored on the Stars fifth shot.

The goal came off a faceoff win by Jamie Benn over Marcus Kruger in the Chicago zone. The puck got to Seguin in the slot and his shot beat Corey Crawford at 6:33 in the opening period. Read more »