Tag Archives: CBA

PuckChatter~Radio rings in 2013 with eternal optimism

By Chris Block

PuckChatter~Radio chimes in on the New Year appropriately today with a full breakdown of the latest in the NHL-NHLPA collective bargaining process as it dangerously draws near to the feared possibility of a 2012-13 season doomsday in the NHL cancelling its second full season in nine years.

Al Cimaglia of Sirius/XM Radio and MyFoxChicago.com joins the show to give his take on how and why the tumultuous negotiations have journeyed to this, in light of abound renewed optimism, still murky intersection.

We explore the final sticking points assumed to be the hindrances in preventing a deal to this point including the year-to-year salary variance percentage clause that has far-reaching ramifications that have gone unaddressed to this point.  We also examine the effectiveness of the “lower limit” salary cap clause and how, perhaps, that can be altered or used as leverage by the union to gain movement from the NHL on other sections of a new CBA.

All this and much, much more on a Lockout intensive PuckChatter~Radio.

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And on a somewhat related note….

For any of you who are in the market, or may know anyone in the market, to sell or purchase a new home, Al Cimaglia is now a real estate sales agent in the Chicago western suburbs at ERA Team Feinstein.

Check out Al’s web page at ERA Team Feinstein for more information or contact him directly at 630-522-2005.

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Chris Block joins the Hockeenight Puckcast for a special Holiday podcast

On Sunday night I had the pleasure of joining CT and the “Forklift” on their groundbreaking, award-winning HockeeNight PuckCast.

As always when Hockeenight and TTMI join together, we ran the usual gamut of topics.  We review the NHL’s class action complaint filed against the NHLPA in a New York court on Friday and the damning quotes from Jonathan Toews and Troy Brouwer cited in the motion.

We discuss all the latest on Blackhawks prospects including Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw, Ben Smith and Fork’s favorite, Jeremy Morin.  Also, we broach the Blackhawks directive to IceHogs coach Ted Dent to move Andrew Shaw back to center, and what may have gone into that decision – the Jeremy Roenick autobiography, “torpedoing” Jimmy Hayes, Malort~!, Gary Bettman’s standing in the face of his third work stoppage, how the 5% variance would effect teams should it be realized, George “the Animal” Steele and some professional wrestling history.

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PuckChatter~Radio, e.122, Rockford IceHogs week in review, the NHL’s Monkey Business & review of the Jeremy Roenick book

By Chris Block

This week on PuckChatter~Radio we review the controversial as-told-to autobiography of NHL and Chicago Blackhawks legend, Jeremy Roenick.

We also detail the Rockford IceHogs three-game weekend, in which they started the weekend in first place in the Midwest Division but then fell behind the Grand Rapids Griffins after losing two-of-three including the 4-2 loss in Grand Rapids on Sunday that dropped the ‘Hogs down into second place.

Then we assess the latest in the NHL – NHLPA collective bargaining standoff and take a deeper look than you’ve probably read or heard elsewhere into a few of the key issues the two sides are at odds over.

All this and much more, including a special Christmas jingle, on this edition of PuckChatter~Radio.

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***I want to make mention….

I’ll be joining CT and the “Forklift” of Hockeenight.com fame this coming Sunday night, December 16th on their show, the Hockeenight PuckCast for a special Holiday Season podcast.  I can’t think of anything that could possibly be more fun.

PuckChatter~Radio will return next week as well at a date, time and with a guest to be determined later in the week.  (Read that, whenever I get around to figuring all that out.)

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PuckChatter with Sam Fels on Monday night

By Chris Block

PuckChatter~Radio returns Live on Monday December 3rd at 8pm central. Sam Fels of the TheCommittedIndian.com will join me to discuss all the hockey there is to talk about as well as the latest in the ongoing NHL CBA labor negotiation saga which may very well come to a head on Tuesday.

We’ll recap all the latest goings on with the first-place Rockford IceHogs, who have won 7 of their last 9 games to vault themselves from two games below the .500 mark to 1st in the Midwest Division.

We’ll discuss the ongoing experiment that has seen Jimmy Hayes move off the wing to the center ice position. Also, we’ll review several IceHogs at the 1/4 mark of the AHL season including the up and down play of Nick Leddy, Andrew Shaw and Dylan Olsen.  Is Kyle Beach finally coming around? Does Jeremy Morin fit in on the Hawks if the CBA mess is resolved soon? How good are rookies Brandon Saad and Adam Clendening?

All this and more — You can listen live on Monday night or in the archives either here  on the web site, on Itunes or over at BlogTalkRadio.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com
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PuckChatter~Radio, e.118, Crazy Uncle Gary

By Chris Block

Listen at your own risk.  And with the sound low or through headphones if at work.

Gary Bettman got up on a podium Tuesday afternoon and made a point to declare he wasn’t one to negotiate through the media…. while he did just that.

However, the NHL did offer a potential major step forward to making a deal with the NHLPA on Tuesday to save the 82 game season and we break that down.

Also, the Rockford IceHogs opened their regular season with several Blackhawks in the lineup and came up on the short end in both of their games over the weekend.

We’ll also discuss Kyle Beach, Marcus Kruger, Nick Leddy, what we’ve been up to, the TTMI Fantasy Hockey League, bloggers and mysterious hand impressions over the urinal in the men’s room.

All this and much more on this edition of PuckChatter~Radio.

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PuckChatter Radio: 75-minute interview with former Chicago Blackhawk Steve Ludzik

By Chris Block

We were so pleased tonight to be joined once again on PuckChatter~Radio by former Chicago Blackhawk and National Hockey League coach Steve Ludzik.

In this candid 75-minute interview, Ludzik discusses his recent announcement that he’s been battling Parkinson’s disease for the past twelve years.  Ludzy talks about the concussions and punishment he incurred during his playing career and why he believes it contributed to his illness.  He also shares his thoughts on today’s game and his advice for players such as Sidney Crosby.

Over the course of our discussion Ludzik shared his insight, thoughts and little known behind the scenes stories on many of the various players and personalities from the 1980’s Blackhawks including Bob Pulford, Orval Tessier, Steve Larmer, Al Secord, Denis Savard, Tom Lysiak, Rich Preston, Darryl Sutter, Curt Fraser, Terry Ruskowski and many more.

Ludzik also recounts the story behind a trip he and Steve Larmer made a year ago to visit their first pro coach, Orval Tessier.  [See the video at the bottom of this post]

Ludzy tells us why Steve Larmer should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame, and how, had it not been for Tessier, Larmer may never have been a Blackhawk.

This is truly a great interview that’s worth checking out.

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*You can buy Ludzik’s book “Been There, Done That” at Ludzy.com

*Check out the new social networking site we discussed on the show of which Ludzik is a part of at – OldTeammates.com


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Steve Larmer and Steve Ludzik visit Orval Tessier at his home in Cornwall, Ontario [Video after the jump] Read more »

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PuckChatter~Radio, e.115, NHL Lockout Insurance

By Chris Block

PuckChatter~Radio returns tonight to share our thoughts on the possible, probable.. impending NHL work stoppage and the circumstances surrounding it.

We’ll also review all the news, response to some recent Blackhawks prospect rankings; take a look at dumb things said by some Blackhawks fans, a limited amount of we’ve been up to lately and much, much more.

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We’ll return next week with a very special guest.

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Lindbloom: Turn and Face the Strange

By Rich Lindbloom

Is it just me, or does the phenomenon of change seem to accelerate as we age?  While the Roman philosopher Apuleius noted, “familiarity breeds contempt,” most people do not willingly embrace the changes that “keep slipping on, at a faster pace” in their lives. I can remember back in 2003 when the Razr was the slickest, latest and greatest of all cell phones. When I brought one home from work, my 10 year old daughter Taylor looked at me with a puzzled expression and said, “Dad!, you have a Razr?!” The tone in her voice was unmistakable; it was way too much phone for me. Then she and her 7 year old brother began exploring and playing with the newfangled device. While obviously not the most technologically advanced member of our family (slightly above our dogs), I was eventually able to become at ease with the sleek black phone. Read more »

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PuckChatter~Radio, Got ‘Em from the Peanut Man

By Chris Block

PuckChatter~Radio returned Sunday night (in sixty-minute form) to review a bunch of topics, some of which actually pertained to Chicago Blackhawks hockey.

We also reviewed our recent camping excursion in the northern reaches of Wisconsin, Sunday’s trip to Wrigley Field for the Chicago Cubs game (and more) and also a recent altercation Block had outside of a Jewel-Osco.

On the hockey side we talked the potential changes and ramifications should the NHL owners and player’s association agree to modify the current structure of Entry-Level contracts, Rostislav Olesz‘s status for this season, a Kyle Beach article sets a new standard for incompetence, Cristobal Huet‘s new big contract and the Blackhawks new ticket pricing structure for the 2012-13 season.

All that and much, much more.

PuckChatter~Radio, e.114, Got ‘Em From the Peanut Man

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Hawks trade rumor, Rocky Wirtz says team still losing money

Tim Sassone this afternoon on Twitter hinted of “whispers” he’s hearing out of Montreal on a potential trade involving the Blackhawks and Canadiens.  Sassone suggested Habs’ winger, and former Chicago Blackhawk, Travis Moen could be part of the deal.  Moen skated for the Hawks in the season prior to the 2004-05 lockout and was then dealt by GM Dale Tallon to Anaheim for Swedish utility forward Michael Holmqvist.  In all, Moen was a part of the Blackhawks organization for three years, playing in Norfolk in 02-03 and 04-05.

Sassone also intimated one “or more” of the Blackhawks restricted free agents would be headed to the Canadiens as part of the rumored talks.  My guess is the player would be Viktor Stalberg, who in college at the University of Vermont was nicknamed the “Swedish Rocket.”

Moen, 29, would give the Hawks some added size (6-2, 216) and grit they’re missing with Troy Brouwer and Tomas Kopecky now gone.  Andrew Brunnette has a great knack for the puck around the net but he’s not overly big (6-1, 215) and he’s not a banger.  Jamal Mayers may not play much if he even makes the team.  Daniel Carcillo is not big and doesn’t intimidate anyone, just annoys them.  John Scott is pushed further and further away from the ice with each Stan Bowman move, despite the GM’s comments of wanting to get Scott more ice time.  Sean O’Donnell (as a part-timer) and Steve Montador have addressed the team’s need for muscle and toughness on the blue line, but it’s still a work in progress at forward.

Travis Moen is entering the final year of a 3-year contract and has a cap hit of $1.5M.  The expiring deal fits in mold Stan Bowman is setting with his free agent transactions, save Montador.  Chicago is wisely apprehensive to committing any more long-term dollars in looking ahead to the next collective bargaining agreement.  Patrick Sharp will get his, but outside of him I can’t see the Hawks taking another big contract on without moving one they already have or another of today’s RFAs.

As far as the Blackhawks are concerned, Stalberg would be a nice luxury to have as a fourth liner.  With his speed and modest skill, Stalberg gives the Hawks a threat on that line.  There aren’t many teams who can throw the kind of speed Stalberg has on their fourth lines, and since coaches typically match fourth lines against the other, having Stalberg’s size (6-3, 210) and wheels would give the Hawks an advantage against most other teams in that respect.  And Stalberg has enough skill to fill in on scoring lines when injuries warrant or Joel Quenneville is treating his line up card like a Rubik’s cube.

Moen has never been a scorer (career high is 11 goals, with ANA in 2006-07), but is a tough, consistent forechecker and best utilized in a checking line role.  He won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007 in that checking role with Rob Niedermayer and Samuel Pahlsson.

There are still moves to be made and free agents to sign, and Moen is at this point just an interesting rumor, so we won’t get into where he’d fit in the Hawks’ line up.  But, again, (I guess I am doing it anyway) he’s best in that third line checking role, which would mean breaking up the Bolland-Frolik-Bickell trio Bowman was been so fond of.  Possibly moving Bickell up to a scoring line, with Brunette being the other scoring line left winger if Sharp’s staying at center.  If there’s another plan in store for center and Sharp is making a permanent home at left win, then Moen or Bickell drop to the fourth line and one or more of the July 1st acquisitions would be in the press box or sent packing.  Regardless, Moen could be a nice depth acquisition, with an affordable expiring contract.

– In other news, Chris Kuc has a Q&A up today with the Blackhawks ChairmanRocky Wirtz has been elected to the NHL Board of Directors.  Just in time for a CBA overhaul.  Rocky also tells Kuc that his team is still losing money.

Before anyone freaks about over the chairman’s claim (he also did this last year), the team is still reimbursing years of loans from Wirtz Corp.  In the interview Wirtz claimed it would take another four years before the team could operate on its own in the black.  Even then, with the NHL economy and national television rights fees locked in for the next ten years, and also money his team spends, it’s doubtful they’ll ever turn huge profits.

Rocky Wirtz also talks to Kuc about raising ticket prices, looking back at bad deals and signing Cristobal Huet’s paycheck.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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