Tag Archives: Barry Smith

Checking in with Teuvo talk, Sweden camp, Zagreb IceHogs, Beach’s try-out contract and more

By Chris Block

The full AHL regular season schedule is supposed to drop on Tuesday. It was finalized Monday. This is the latest I can recall the American Hockey League taking to get its schedule done. The reason it took until the last week of August (less than six weeks prior to Opening night) this time around is because the NBA schedule wasn’t completed just a couple of weeks ago, in mid-August. AHL franchises, Lake Erie (Cleveland), Charlotte, San Antonio and Oklahoma City share buildings with NBA teams and the AHL couldn’t lock in those teams’ home dates until the NBA finalized its schedule.

Teuvo’s Turn

Impression I get is a roster spot is essentially Teuvo Teravainen’s to take in training camp. If he’s ready, the Blackhawks will not hold him back for any reason. However, if he’s still hesitant, over-thinking or a bit over-matched physically (these things will all come around, no one is doubting that) in half or more of his preseason appearances, there would be no hesitation to give Teravainen a month, two or however long it may take in Rockford. Read more »

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A look at the non-drafted Free Agent Invitees at this week’s Blackhawks prospect camp

By Chris Block

On Monday, the Chicago Blackhawks will open their annual summer prospect camp over at Johnny’s Ice House West on Madison Street west of the United Center.

Blackhawks draft picks such as Mark McNeill, Phillip Danault, Stephen Johns, Mac Carruth, Dillon Fournier and Carl Dahlstrom among others will draw most of the attention.  However, filling out the practice groups and intra-squad scrimmages are a host of undrafted free agents from across the globe.

With 2012 first round pick Teuvo Teravainen skipping this year’s camp and 2013 first-rounder Ryan Hartman missing out while on the mend from a recent shoulder surgery, more opportunity for other less recognizable names and faces to leave an impression on Blackhawks management now exists.

In the past some of these camp invitees have gone on to earn contracts with the Blackhawks, Rockford IceHogs or other organizations in the NHL and AHL.  This year’s crop is likely to be no different.

Today we’ll be profiling some of the more interesting names attending this year’s prospect camp under invitation.

JACKSON WHISTLE, 18 – Goaltender – Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

Perhaps the most intriguing name on the list of free agent invitees at this summer’s prospect camp is Kelowna Rockets goaltender Jackson Whistle. Read more »

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More disciplined Hogs still fall to .500 in 2-1 loss to Wolves

By Chris Block

After allowing 17 goals in their last two losses, 7 coming while the team was short-handed, the Rockford IceHogs held team and organizational meetings all last week focusing on eliminating the mindless and careless minor penalties which have plagued this team all season.

That’s all fine and well, but when it takes until late January to correct an issue that should have been nipped in the bud at least two months ago, losses like the one to the Chicago Wolves on Friday night sting even more.

On Friday, Rockford was narrowly outplayed by the Chicago Wolves, handing the IceHogs a 2-1 defeat in front of a sellout crowd of 6,097 fans at the BMO Harris Bank Center.

The loss extends Rockford’s current losing streak to three games, but this loss wasn’t anything like the previous two. Read more »

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Ted Dent says some supposed NHL guys not pulling their weight; Blackhawks brass forcing more lineup changes; Tonight’s game preview

By Chris Block

Riding a four game losing streak (0-3-1-0), the Rockford IceHogs drive 93 miles northeast tonight where they’ll visit the BMO Harris Bradley Center to face off with the Milwaukee Admirals for the second time in six days.

The lone point Rockford has picked up in those four contests came in a 4-3 overtime loss in Milwaukee this past Friday.  Rockford trailed the Admirals 3-1 midway through that game until goals by Brandon Pirri and captain Martin St. Pierre forced an overtime session.  However, a breakdown in the IceHogs end resulted in Kevin Henderson surprising Carter Hutton with the game-winning shot a minute and forty-five seconds in to send the IceHogs back to Rockford with only the one consolation standings point.

Although the IceHogs (13-12-1-1) have lost both of their games since dropping first-place to the Griffins in Grand Rapids on December 9th, that one point earned in Milwaukee has been enough force Rockford back into a tie with Grand Rapids for the top spot in the Midwest Division.  The Griffins has also lost their past two games since moving into first in the division.  Grand Rapids hosts the Rochester Americans tonight at Van Andel Arena.

The Midwest division race is as tight as it could possibly be, now a third of the way through the 76 game American Hockey League season.  One point separates last-place Milwaukee (12-11-2-1, 27 points) from Grand Rapids and Rockford in the top spot. Read more »

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The Rockford Files: Dent on the Jimmy Hayes Center Experiment, Notes on Beach, Saad’s return, Bad starts, the offense and more

By Chris Block

Each week from now until the end of the season we will bring you a first-hand account of the latest news, developments and analysis of this season’s Rockford IceHogs, the Chicago Blackhawks’ American Hockey League affiliate.

Conflict of Interests?

“Well, we’re 1-3.  So, that’s my assessment.”

That was IceHogs coach Ted Dent this past Saturday night after a 4-2 loss at home when asked to give his assessment of Jimmy Hayes’ performance in the four games after the decision was made to move Hayes from his regular spot at right wing, over to the center ice position.

Eight games into the season, the edict came down from Chicago Blackhawks management that they wanted to see how Hayes would do at center.

Little forward thinking went into this decision either, apparently.  Blackhawks Director of Player Development Barry Smith was quickly dispatched to Rockford to go over film and one-on-one instruction over three days with Hayes, who admittedly hadn’t played the center position since he was a kid.

Not during training camp.  Not over the summer when Hayes was a part of a group of 12 top Blackhawks prospects who traveled to Sweden for a five-day August mini-camp.  No, during the last week of October was when the IceHogs coach received word he was to play Hayes at center until further notice.

“No, I haven’t played there in a long time,” Jimmy Hayes said last week. 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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12 Blackhawks in Sweden this week for mini-camp

Photo credit: www.sskoveralltalltid.se

By Chris Block

For the second consecutive year, the Blackhawks have teamed up with a European league team for a friendly preseason tune-up.

Twelve Blackhawks players and prospects are in the town of Södertälje, Sweden this week taking part in a week-long mini conditioning camp.

These Blackhawks are guests of the Södertälje Sportklubb (SSK), a team in the Allsvenskan league, a level below the Swedish Elite League (Elitserien), as the Södertälje team makes its final preparations to begin its 2012-13 regular season.

List of Blackhawks players and prospects in Sweden for this week’s workouts:

Nick Leddy
Marcus Kruger
Dylan Olsen
Jimmy Hayes
Kevin Hayes
Ben Smith
Brandon Pirri
Jeremy Morin
Brandon Saad
Adam Clendening
Klas Dahlbeck

Brandon Bollig will join the group on Wednesday after clearing up a passport issue. Read more »

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PuckChatter~Radio with Sam Fels, SecondCityHockey.com – The “Joel Quenneville 5:08 says ‘I just fired your next head coach’” edition

Its been rare when big news breaks right before our show and we get to sink into it when its hot and fresh.

Well, that did happen on Tuesday as Joel Quenneville announced he had relieved assistant coach Mike Haviland of his duties effective immediately.

The Committed Indian and SecondCityHockey.com ‘s own Sam Fels joined me in this 75-minute edition of PuckChatter~Radio to discuss this and the rest of the (to this point) known fallout from another disappointing Blackhawks season.

Sam and I discuss why it was the popular Mike Haviland and not (now former) fellow assistant Mike Kitchen who got the axe.  Sam dishes his points of discontent with the job Joel Quenneville has been doing behind the Blackhawks bench and also his concerns with the recent Dave Bolland trade rumors.

We also break down the validity of the Ryan Suter speculation, the state of Niklas Hjalmarsson, if the ‘Hawks are truly in dire straights, Corey Crawford, the rest of the news of the week and much, much more.

Oh yeah, and one more thing -  Joel Quenneville’s confidential list of potential candidates he will choose from to replace Haviland….. which he claims he hasn’t started yet…. and once he does it will be a secret list…. However, he did tell us on Tuesday that Barry Smith is not on that list… which, again, is secret and not yet begun.

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AUDIO: Interview with ‘Hawks prospect Jeremy Morin

By Chris Block

We chatted with IceHogs winger Jeremy Morin this past Saturday, shortly before Rockford concluded its 2011-12 season with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Charlotte Checkers.

After being sidelined for ten months with a head injury suffered on January 15, 2011 in a game against the Chicago Wolves in Rosemont, Morin returned in October to score goals in back-to-back games and on his only two shots of that weekend.  But the goals were difficult to come by for Morin over the following three months.

Morin wrapped his AHL season with 18 goals and 40 points in 69 games with the IceHogs.

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During the interview, we discuss…

-Starting his season with 2 goals in 2 games after being out of action for 10 months

-At what point he felt 100% again Read more »

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PuckChatter~Radio e.103 w/ Al Cimaglia of XM Radio and MyFoxChicago.com

By Chris Block

Tonight on PuckChatter~Radio we were joined by Al Cimaglia, Blackhawks writer at MyFoxChicago.com and also the Chicago correspondent at XM Radio Home Ice.

Al joined me for the first 50 minutes to give us his take on the 5-game suspension league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan handed down to Duncan Keith last week for his flying elbow smash on Canucks’ star Daniel Sedin, whether it was fair and Al’s ideas to improve the suspension process in the future.

We take a look at that inept Blackhawks’ power play, standing in front of the net, whose to blame and the roll-down effect problems with that special teams creates.  We also discuss Corey Crawford’s recent performances, good and bad and Joel Quenneville’s handling of the goaltending position.

All this and much more on this edition of Puck Chatter. Same show, new name.

Thanks as always for listening.

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