Tag Archives: Alexander Salak

McNeill’s first pro goal, assist help lead Rockford to a 4-3 win in Texas

By Chris Block

Oftentimes when a good young player graduates a level there is at least a brief adjustment, or feeling out period.

And, in most cases, at some point, there are those moments or nights when you can almost witness that proverbial light bulb going off in the player’s head – when he, himself, becomes convinced his abilities do apply at that next level.  On a shift, or a moment of pure instinct, his skills take over and he leaves behind the indecisiveness and over-thinking that naturally occurs when adapting to a new environment.

Prior to game two of the IceHogs 2013-14 season on Sunday in suburban Austin, Texas, Mark McNeill had appeared in 13 games in an IceHogs sweater and was without a point.  Seven of those came at the end of his 18 year old junior season, and five more at the end of last season.  In those late season cameos, McNeill barely showed even brief flashes of the attributes that made him the 18th overall selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Read more »

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IceHogs release Lebda, Sign Four; Karlsson Visa Issue Delays Debut; How Carter Hutton’s season stacks up; more Rockford news and notes

By Chris Block

On Friday, the Rockford IceHogs officially released defenseman Brett Lebda from his second professional try-out contract with the club.

Lebda had been a healthy scratch in 5 of Rockford’s last 8 contests.  The Buffalo Grove native and member of the 2008 Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings had appeared in 27 games for the IceHogs, posting 11 assists to go with a minus-12 plus/minus rating, worst on the team.

The IceHogs would have had to sign Lebda to a standard-player contract by February 17th or release him.

Lebda has never before played overseas but back in October he told us he had interest from a few teams in Europe and he would reconsider those if nothing presented itself after the NHL lockout ended.

MCARDLE SIGNS CONTRACT

Just three games into his PTO, Kenndal McArdle agreed to a contract with the Rockford IceHogs for the remainder of this season on Wednesday.

The Florida Panthers’ 2005 first round (#20th overall) draft pick has one assist in the three games since joining the IceHogs.  He was also involved in the brawl with Grand Rapids last Saturday, getting ejected for a Third Man In violation.

McArdle played 9 games in the NHL last season with Winnipeg.  So far he’s taking the spot on Martin St. Pierre’s left wing that was vacated by Brandon Saad. Read more »

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PuckChatter~Radio, Ain’t No Party Like A Kyle Beach Party…

 By Chris Block

Puck Chatter~Radio returned Monday night to recap a full weekend of Rockford IceHogs hockey.

Kyle Beach, two weeks removed from being a healthy scratch for two consecutive games, emerged as one of the bright lights in an otherwise strange and alarming weekend for the IceHogs.  After posting 3 goals and 2 assists in two games over the weekend, Beach was named AHL Player of the Week on Monday.  We’ll discuss Beach’s weekend and his impact in Saturday’s huge comeback win over Lake Erie as well as listen to his own thoughts discussing Saturday night’s wild victory.

We also discuss Jimmy Hayes at his new position, how that came to be and what may be the thought process behind it.  You’ll hear Ted Dent’s thoughts on the officiating in Saturday night’s affair, in which the IceHogs were short-handed a total of nine times.

Also we delve into listener emails on topics such as Alexander Salak, the accurate story on Rostislav Olesz‘s current status, more on Kyle Beach, Jeremy Roenick‘s new book, big Birthdays upcoming, NHL13, update on bonertime~! and much much more.

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Audio: PuckChatter~Radio, e.110 Previews Blackhawks 2012 Draft, To Goalie or Not to Goalie, the news and much more

By Chris Block

PuckChatter~Radio is back this week to preview this weekend’s NHL Entry Draft happening in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the Consol Energy Center.

The Blackhawks currently hold the 18th overall pick in the first round.

On the show, we discuss the possibilities of what Stan Bowman and Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Kelley may do with that pick, as well as what they should not do.

It’s a special Draft Primer mixed in with other odds, ends, Blackhawks news and hockey talk.

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Some of the topics discussed on tonight’s 60 minute show…… Read more »

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IceHogs re-sign Svendsen, Farjestad gets Salak; Notes on private prospect mini-camp, Haviland and Team USA

By Chris Block

Word is the NHL is releasing its 2012-13 regular season schedule on Thursday.

–Rockford IceHogs re-signed forward Brandon Svendsen to an AHL contract for the 2012-13 season on Tuesday.

The 5-10, 176 pound Svendsen appeared in 39 games with the IceHogs last season after joining the team on January 10th.  The Minnesota native posted 4 goals and 10 assists for Rockford.  Two of Svendsen’s goals were game-winners and his tally with 43 seconds left in regulation in the season finale on April 14th sent that game to overtime.

Svendsen was signed to a professional try-out contract on January 10th and made his IceHogs debut in Rosemont for a Wednesday matinee game against the Chicago Wolves.

At the time, Jimmy Hayes, Andrew Shaw and Ben Smith were all on recall with the Blackhawks.  Other IceHogs forwards Rostislav Olesz and Kyle Beach were each sidelined with shoulder injuries, creating an opening for Svendsen. Read more »

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Hawks re-sign three, part ways with Salak; plus notes on Hawks draft and goaltending, Ed Belfour and Jimmy Waite

By Chris Block

Blackhawks announced they’ve re-signed three restricted free agents today.

Ben Smith, Brandon Bollig and goaltender Carter Hutton all inked new deals.

According to reports, Smith and Bollig each signed two-year contracts.

Bollig’s first year is a two-way deal.  He’ll be paid at a rate of $575,000 in the NHL and $105,000 if he plays in the AHL.  His second year is a one-way contract paying him $575,000.

Ben Smith is also on a two-way contract for 2012-13.  Smith will reportedly earn $550,000 when he’s playing at the NHL level and $105,000 in the minors.  In 2013-14, Smith has a guaranteed contract for $575,000.

Carter Hutton agreed to a one-year, two-way contract.

–On Friday, the Blackhawks placed goaltender Alexander Salak on waivers.  The rest of the league has apparently passed on Salak.  Today it was announced the Blackhawks and Salak agreed to an outright release. Read more »

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Blackhawks 2012 preseason schedule; plus notes on this weekend’s events, Haviland, Yawney, Broadhurst, Salak, Fahey and time when the Blackhawks and Lakers almost pulled off a trade for two icons

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 »

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News/notes: Mac Carruth turning pro, upcoming shows

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 »

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AUDIO: Interview with IceHogs coach Ted Dent

By Chris Block

We were fortunate enough on Saturday to sit down with Rockford IceHogs’ head coach Ted Dent for a lengthy season-in-review discussion.

In this twenty-five minute interview, Dent shared his take on the gamut of subjects from coaching, to working in unison with Joel Quenneville and the Blackhawks coaching staff to the ups and down season his IceHogs experienced in this 2011-12 season.

Dent also gives his take on the state of Kyle Beach‘s progression, where he thinks Beach could be had it not been for missing four months due to shoulder surgery and if Dent has been surprised at all by the rapid ascension of Andrew Shaw.

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In this conversation, Dent gives his analysis and discusses various topics including….

-Getting opportunity to be a head coach at AHL level

-Relationships with players and the transition from being an assistant to the head coach

-What aspect he looked to change in Rockford

-Dialogue ongoing between Chicago and Rockford

-Communicating with, and leaning on Joel Quenneville for advice. Read more »

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Blackhawks sign Pete Leblanc to 1-yr deal, IceHogs wrap their season this weekend, tons of news and notes

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 »

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