Tag Archives: Antti Niemi

Blackhawks skid hits 3; Niemi Says No

By Brad Gardner

Despite a better effort at both ends of the ice from the Blackhawks, it was still not enough to get past Antti Niemi and the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday. Despite a pronounced lead in the shot count and possession time, the Blackhawks fell by a score of 1-0 for their third consecutive regulation loss.

San Jose was strong out of the gate, registering four shots on Corey Crawford in the first four and a half minutes. The Sharks’ offense was limited by a couple penalties as well as Chicago’s puck possession and managed only one shot through the last 15 minutes of the first.

The ‘Hawks finished the first with 10 shots on Niemi, including a pair of breakaways. Brent Burns whiffed on clear and Marian Hossa picked up the loose puck but shot high. Bryan Bickell broke in alone shortly after, but Niemi was able to square up and snuff out another chance.

Momentum went back and forth in the second period as the team’s traded penalties and prime scoring chances. Jamie McGinn rang a shot off the post just after a San Jose power play ended and then leveled Chicago defenseman Nick Leddy for good measure. Hossa had another great opportunity when he split between the San Jose defensive pairing of Douglas Murray and Dan Boyle but his backhand shot went off the outside of the net. Read more »

Share

Crawford talks at Draft; Mike Keenan Roast, Hossa at Worlds

Calgary Sun writer Eric Francis has the scoop on the Corey Crawford negotiations.  In Francis’s Sunday Sun column, he noted Crawford’s agent, Gilles Lupien, said he and the Blackhawks are planning to hold the negotiations face-to-face at the NHL Draft June 24-25 in St. Paul.

“The Chicago Blackhawks have identified rookie goalie Corey Crawford as their top priority to re-sign past next season, and Crawford is amenable to it.  His agent, Gilles Lupien, said they spoke three weeks ago and agreed they’ll hammer out a deal face-to-face at the draft where he’ll table three possible deals ranging from two to four years in length.”

If true, one would wonder why the lack of urgency, specifically on the Blackhawks’ side?  This approach is similar to how Stan Bowman handled the Antti Niemi negotiations.

First off, aside from Cristobal Huet, who the Blackhawks still won’t be able to afford on their cap next season barring a major cap cut, the Blackhawks don’t have a single goaltender under contract currently for next season.

Marty Turco is an unrestricted free agent and a possible return is very much in doubt.  Hannu Toivonen is a UFA but if he returns it will be to start in Rockford.  Alexander Salak, the 24 year old Czech acquired in February from the Panthers along with Michael Frolik, is a restricted free agent.  Salak has never played in the NHL and while he ranked as one of the best netminders in Sweden this year, he was an average goaltender in Rochester (AHL) in 2009-10 and the arrival of Jacob Markstrom chased Salak back to Europe.  While Salak’s resume is not too different from Crawford’s pre 2010-11, he’s still unproven and if the Hawks are aiming to be Cup contenders next year, would they really put themselves in a position to have an unproven commodity within an injury of pinning their season on Salak?  Sure, they got lucky with Niemi and Crawford was phenomenal this year despite never asserting himself in five minor league seasons prior to getting his chance.  Going to that well three consecutive years though may not be the smartest thing to do. Read more »

Share

Roundtable with Fork, Feather, Bartl, Fels and Block

Blackhawks "Blogger" Symposium

It’s been awhile, but its time once again for another round of “blogger” symposiums.  Credit McClure of SecondCityHockey.com for moderating this one and setting the topics.  Seated at the table as always is the mysterious “Forklift” of Hockeenight.com fame; John from the Fifth Feather, Jeff Bartl of BlackhawkUp and Sam Fels of The Committed Indian and NBC’s Madhouse Enforcer blog.  As well, I join in on a list of five hot topics.   Enjoy. Read more »

Share

Turco sits, Crawford gets 2nd straight start vs Predators

Head coach Joel Quenneville surprised some today when he informed the assembled media after this morning’s skate of his intentions to start Corey Crawford tonight when the Nashville Predators make their maiden 2010-11 season voyage to United Center.

This should come as little shock to anyone.  As we mentioned here last week, this is the same coach who sat Cristobal Huet, a year ago tonight (technically tomorrow, the 14th), when Nikolai Khabibulin made his return with his new team, the Edmonton Oilers.

The rest is history.  The Hawks played spectacularly in front of Antti Niemi, defeating the Oilers and Khabibulin 4-3.  Niemi was nothing special that evening.  But he was good enough.  Huet watched from the bench.  And a goaltending “controversy” was born.

Quenneville’s choice to start Crawford back-to-back after the team’s first win of the season in Buffalo does make sense if you think in logical terms. Read more »

Share

TTMI~Radio e.51 ~ Talking Kings with Mayor of MayorsManor.com

The Third Man In ~ Radio
e.51 “Talking Kings with The Mayor”
Tuesday September 7, 2010 ~ Right-Click Here to Download

BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn
Subscribe to TTMI~Radio @ ITUNES Store

Click the player below to listen to this episode here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


TTMI~Radio returns this week with a look to the Pacific Division and the upward bound Los Angeles Kings.  We are joined by The Mayor of MayorsManor.com, who gives us the lowdown on all-things LA Kings. 

Terry Murray’s Kings, led by stars Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown, Jack Johnson and many others figure to be a prominent fixture and pain in the side of teams like the Blackhawks, Sharks and Red Wings not only in 2010-11 but for many years to come.

For you Twitter-ers, you can also follow The Mayor @ Twitter.com/Mayor119

In the last half hour of the show, we explain what went wrong with last week’s show (a transcript of my interview with player-agent Scott Norton will be posted on the site in a day or two) and why the live show hasn’t been posted on line to date as well as why Antti Niemi and agent Bill Zito made the right choice in signing with the Sharks.

As for our discussion with the Mayor, we covered many topics, including, but not limited to….

– Review and fallout of Kings’ first-round exit dealt by the Canucks in April

– Interesting battle brewing between the pipes this season between Jonathan Quick and rookie Jonathan Bernier.

– Facts behind the Kings’ pursuit of Ilya Kovalchuk

– Likelihood Jack Johnson could be dealt and the Kings’ pursuit of a true #2 centreman

– Updates on talent-rich prospect field including; defenseman Thomas Hickey, Colton Teubert, Vyacheslav Voinov, Alec Martinez and Nicolas Deslauriers and yet another goaltender, Martin Jones.  As well as when we can expect to see forwards Brayden Schenn (who many believe could become the Kings’ #2 center much sooner than you’d think) and Russian winger Andrei Loktionov.

– As young and talented as the Kings were a year ago, four of their more-recent 1st round picks are in-line for solid NHL careers, but have yet to crack LA’s roster.

– The signing of former ‘Nucks blue liner Willie Mitchell

– Who’s the real leader in LA?  And an interesting behind the scenes story of an event that led to the Kings’ turnaround last season.

– Wayne Simmonds

– Matt Greene, Brad Richardson and more key Kings you may not know but should

– LA Kings fans and the atmosphere inside Staples Center

– Southern Cal vs Northern Cal rivalry

Again, check out Mayor’s work at MayorsManor.com.

TTMI~Radio returns Monday night, September 13th @ 8pm central at BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

Share

TTMI~Radio with John from FifthFeather.com

TheThirdManIn~Radio ~ e.47 ~ “The Fifth Feather”
Monday August 2, 2010 ~ BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn

Right-Click to Download this show or Click the Player below to listen 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

It was my distinct pleasure to finally welcome John, of the fabulous Blackhawks’ site, FifthFeather.com on this episode of TheThirdManIn~Radio.  Hopefully his partner-in-scribe Bob will be able to join us next time we get them on for a visit, which should be much sooner than another year’s worth of shows.

Of course with the big news of today being the signing of Marty Turco and subsequent dismissal of Stanley Cup winning Antti Niemi after his one year $2.75M arbitration award, we covered that story from all angles.

Other topics of discussion:

– This weekend’s Blackhawks’ convention
– Blackhawks still managing to lose money
– John McDonough’s P.R. machine
– Rocky vs McD shaping up
– After the changes – Where do Hawks sit in the West?
– Stan Bowman’s “off-season”
– Predicting the opening night roster
– James Wisniewski’s big deal
– Should fans be banned from prospect camp?
– The 2011 Winter Classic
– and changes ahead at the FifthFeather.com

All this and so much more on an absolutely loaded hour and 1/2 edition of TTMI~Radio.

Thanks as always for listening.  Those who’d prefer to listen on their IPod or through their ITUNES can do so by subscribing through the following link, or by searching “The Third Man In Radio” in the podcast section of the ITUNES store.

SUBSCRIBE to TheThirdManIn~Radio on ITUNES

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

Share

Niemi Number, Amonte 40, Tonight’s TTMI~Radio

First off, a reminder. Tonight on TheThirdManIn~Radio, I’ll be pleased to welcome John and BlackhawksBob, writers over at the outstanding Blackhawks blog, FifthFeather.com.

Tonight’s show airs live at 8pm (central) and you can listen live at BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn. And if you can’t join us live, the show will be posted on this site and at BTR shortly after we go off the air.

We encourage your phone calls, emails or Tweets as well. The number to call into the show is listed on the show page during the stream.

I’m sure its rather obvious the main topic of tonight’s discussion, so I don’t feel the need for a teaser here. But we’ll also cover how the many alterations to the Cup Champions roster will impact the Blackhawks chance at a repeat; this weekend’s Blackhawks Convention; how the Blackhawks still managed to lose money in 2010 and the McDonough Monologues.

— Saturday, we learned of the arbitrator’s decision in the contract case between the Chicago Blackhawks and their Stanley Cup champion goaltender, and restricted free agent, Antti Niemi. By lunchtime today, we’ll know what the Hawks think of it.

Niemi was awarded a one-year $2.75 million deal for the upcoming season. Next summer he will be scheduled to become an un-restricted free agent.

Over the weekend rumors surfaced of the Blackhawks allegedly having made an unofficial side-agreement with Dallas Stars UFA goaltender Marty Turco for one-year and anywhere between $1.5 to $2.0M. Turco, a nine-year NHL veteran, turns 35 on August 13th. Read more »

Share

TTMI~Radio “The Waiting”

TheThirdManIn~Radio “The Waiting”
Thursday July 29, 2010 ~ e.46 ~
Right-Click to Download Here

Chris Block and Dieter Kurtenbach of Blackhawks Examiner review all the latest news including the Antti Niemi arbitration hearing, Stan Bowman’s conference call, new contract signings and the Cristobal Huet “era” in this edition of TheThirdManIn~Radio.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

TTMI~Radio returns this Monday, August 2nd @ 8pm (central) to review the fallout in the wake of the Antti Niemi arbitration verdict, as well as all the scoop from the Chicago Blackhawks Convention (which we won’t be attending).

For anyone who is heading out to the Convention, we’d like to hear about your experience or anything of note that wouldn’t be evident on internet videos or reported by mainstream media outlets.  You can send those to us at TheThirdManIn @ sbcglobal.net.

Discussed in today’s show:

– Niemi’s arbitration hearing
– A conference call about nothing
– Niemi’s potential realistic, and non-realistic contract awards
– Blackhawks value 3rd line centers higher than #1 goaltenders
– Block’s Niemi mea culpa
– How Corey Crawford impacts Hawks’ play on Niemi
– Jose Theodore = Huet version 2.0
– Rumor Niemi $4.0M demand: Outrageous or about right?
– Theodore/Turco won’t play for free
– Niemi Numbers & where major publication ranks him vs rest of league
– Hawk fans talking 2010 Cup run for granted?
– Misconception that Huet’s contract hurting Hawks
– The Huet “era”
– Dirk Graham and Ted Lindsay celebrating life
Jack Skille, in fact, takes a paycut
– Stan Bowman OWNS Bryan Bickell’s agent
– The future of Nick Leddy
– AT&T & I-55

…. and much, much more.  And as always, thanks very much to all who take the time to listen. 

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

Share

Hossa Marries, Skille Signs, Smitty Splits, Niemi Notes and movie star supports Blackhawks

Marian Hossa was married in Slovakia on Saturday.  Story and pics here.  (thanks to reader Dave for link) 

– While the Blackhawks have made no official announcement yet, Adam Jahns of the Sun-Times reported Thursday that Jack Skille has agreed to a one-year contract that will pay him $600,000.  This is roughly a 29% pay decrease from his entry-level contract.  We talked about this on Thursday’s TTMI~Radio. 

Skille received a qualifying offer (standard 1-year offer at 110% rate of prior year’s salary) in late June but chose to negotiate down to give himself a more cap-friendly contract.  Because of it, Skille is now an odds-on favorite to make the NHL club.  His speed and shooting ability still make the 23 year old an enticing prospect, but he’s never shown an ability to apply those tools in the NHL, the way he has in the minors.  Before Viktor Stalberg‘s arrival, Skille was the natural replacement for Versteeg.  Skille can throw his weight around, but its not his strength and he’s been overwhelmed going that route when with the Hawks.  He figures in as a third-line guy, which means he has to score.  Trouble is, as a shooter, he’s predictable and one-dimensional.  To be successful, he must go into the danger areas and score dirty goals.  He did a better job of that last year than ever before, when he was mostly a perimeter player.  Depending on how close Stan Bowman cuts his roster under the cap, training camp may still wind down to a battle between Kyle Beach and Skille for that third-line spot.  Skille isn’t a fourth line player and Beach will start in Rockford if he cant win a spot with the top three lines.

– According to published reports, and also still unannounced, Russian winger Igor Makarov, 22, signed a two-year, two-way contract with the Hawks last week.  His cap hit (unconfirmed) is said to be $552,000.  Makarov needs a little work and will start in the AHL with Rockford.  He was an exciting prospect, but his progression has been stunted in limited playing time in the KHL the past two seasons.  Makarov will turn 23 in September.  In the times I’ve seen him, he’s shown to have a great shot and reasonably quick release.  There are a lot of politics involved in who does and who doesn’t get ice time in Russia, but you’d think if Makarov’s talents were at the level of an NHL-er or at least a top prospect, he’d have been given much more playing time. Read more »

Share

TTMI~Radio “One Year Gone”

TheThirdManIn~Radio “One Year Gone”
One-Year Anniversary Show ~ Right-Click to download here
recorded Thursday July 15, 2010 ~ 4:30pm (central)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn

That’s right.  It has been one year now since we’ve started this audio dealie.  Almost fifty in the can already and looking forward to the next fifty or more in the coming weeks and over the 2010-11 Chicago Blackhawks season.

This show isn’t much of a celebration.  There was an attempt on my part to pull a HUGE guest.  Came close, but still another epic fail in the end.  I’ll add it to my collection.  Not many people are allowed to come on this show.  About as many are willing.  Maybe I should, but I don’t take it personally.

Anyhow, its great to be back in the swing of things and we’re looking forward to some special guests to help us bridge the gap between now and October.

On this show, officially our 45th (three or four others were quickly shelved or deleted due to intense technical drama), the “Superstar” returns from his two-month long hiatus to discuss a variety of topics, including, but not limited to:

– Steve Smith’s heavy lumber
– The Jack Skille Experience coming to an NHL Arena near you?
– An amateur, imitation Blackhawks writer – habitual kleptomaniac
– Igor Makarov leaving his Mother Russia
– Blackhawks seriously lacking in “little geeks willing to get their asses pounded”
– Colin Fraser, Danny Richmond sign new deals with Canadian teams
– Kyle Beach prefers to beat on smaller guys
– Puke on ice
– “Blackhawks Night” at the Cell
– “Mullet-style” music – whatever that’s supposed to mean
– White Sox organization debasing the Hawks and their fans cleverly
– Mike Modano slams a nasty rumour
– Slamming Wisconsin
– The passing of Bob Probert
– The real story behind his Blackhawks’ career
– Angry folks
– Superstar evidently makes a great point, but Block is not listening
– Niklas Hjalmarsson is a bad man
– Antti Niemi isn’t going anywhere
– What the Blackhawks have really lost off the Cup-winning roster?
– Viktor Stalberg: The next Great Swedish Superhero?
– And much, much more…..

It’s a fine line between creativity and stupidity.  It’s TheThirdManIn~Radio.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

Share