Tag Archives: Chris DiDomenico

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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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.

To listen, click the play button or Right-Click Here to Download

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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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AHL deals suspensions for Sunday’s brawl, Man who threw first punch gets just 1 game; Plus Olesz injured, IceHogs playoff situation

By Chris Block

The American Hockey League office dealt out discipline on Tuesday in response to Sunday’s bench-clearing brawl incident in Milwaukee between the Rockford IceHogs and hosting Admirals.

In all, four players received a total of 10 games as penalty for their involvement in Sunday’s brawl.  Rockford got the short-hand with two of its players each getting three games while Milwaukee got a total of four.  The two teams and respective coaches were fined undisclosed amounts as well.

IceHogs center Rob Flick received 3 games for essentially instigating the incident when he skated over to Milwaukee’s crease and engaged with Admirals’ goaltender Jeremy Smith while the two teams were lining up for a face off in the neutral zone.  Smith got a 1 game suspension.

Smith and Flick appeared to be exchanging words before Smith took a sip from his water bottle and turned around to find Flick approaching the top of his crease.  At that point Smith took the first swing with his blocker at the head of Flick and the two immediately began fighting before the puck had ever dropped out near the Admirals’ blue line.

Shawn Lalonde and Milwaukee’s Michael Latta each received 3-game suspensions for leaving the penalty box to join in the melee.  Those two had been sent off with off-setting fighting majors at the previous whistle.  Lalonde was responding to Latta taking a run and IceHogs’ forward Brandon Svendsen, who was in a vulnerable position a few feet away from the boards. Read more »

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Milwaukee still can’t solve stripped down IceHogs

By Chris Block

Without the services of Ben Smith and leading scorer Brandon Pirri, the Rockford IceHogs extended their recent dominance of the Milwaukee Admirals behind goaltender Carter Hutton’s 22-save performance.

Rockford defeated the Admirals 4-1 on Saturday night on goals from unlikely sources in Chris DiDomenico, Brandon Svendsen and Philippe Paradis.  All three ended long personal goal scoring droughts.  Pete Leblanc, another player whose had hard luck recently finding the back of the net, added an empty-netter with 45 seconds to go sending the Milwaukee crowd of 15,888 home unhappy.

Brandon Pirri missed the game with a lower-body injury.  Pirri will miss Sunday’s home game versus the Admirals and likely Tuesday’s contest in Oklahoma City against the conference-leading Barons as well.  Officially, Pirri is listed as day-to-day.

Ben Smith will undergo surgery next week to repair a labral tear in his right hip and hernia.  He will miss the remainder of the season but is expected to make a full recovery in sixteen weeks.

For one night anyhow, the IceHogs didn’t seem to miss Pirri and Smith as others stepped up in their absence. Read more »

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Quick strikes the answer for Wolves, Defeat IceHogs 6-2 at the BMO Saturday night to split weekend series – Stanton injured

By Chris Block

After an all-around strong performance in a 2-1 win over the Chicago Wolves on Friday night, the Rockford IceHogs couldn’t overcome mistakes against the same team, in the same setting twenty-four hours later.

A juicy rebound goal by Rostislav Olesz and a Shawn Lalonde shot that went off Jimmy Hayes’ pant leg and in was all the IceHogs could muster against Matt Climie on Saturday night before the second-biggest crowd of the season in Rockford’s BMO Harris Bank Center.

That wouldn’t be enough as the Wolves scored goals in bunches to defeat Rockford by a final score of 6-2 in front of a sell-out crowd of 6,164.

Carter Hutton was mercifully pulled from his net by IceHogs coach Ted Dent after the Wolves scored three goals in 2:34 midway through the second period.   Hutton was able to stop 15 of the 20 shots he saw in 28:23 of action but he didn’t have much chance on a few of those goals.

“I apologized to Hutts because our team wasn’t there in front of him,” Dent noted of speaking to Hutton and explaining the switch between the second and third periods.

Alexander Salak came in to relieve Hutton, one night after his victorious 2-1, 27-save return to action after being sidelined ten weeks with an ankle injury.  Salak stopped all 15 shots he faced over 31 minutes in relief of Hutton on Saturday.  Salak was pulled for an extra attacker with three and a half minutes to go when Chicago notched its sixth and final goal of the evening into the vacated Rockford net. Read more »

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IceHogs takedown Wolves in first of weekend set

By Chris Block

Alexander Salak showed no signs of a goaltender who hadn’t played in two months on Friday night as he backstopped the Rockford IceHogs to a 2-1 victory over the visiting Chicago Wolves.

In fact, it was probably the best Salak has played in his 11 starts thus far as an IceHog.

“He was real good,” IceHogs coach Ted Dent said of his goaltender’s 27 save performance.  “So was their guy (Eddie Lack).  It was a low scoring game and real good goaltending both ways.”

The returning Salak, out of action since suffering an ankle injury during the opening seconds of the second period in a game on December 2nd against Lake Erie, looked as sharp and composed as he has to date.  The Wolves came at him hard, as they had in two previous contests back in October (Salak’s first two starts of the season), bumping and crowding the goaltender’s crease often.  Previously, those sorts of actions seemed to nudge Salak off his focus, once even causing Salak to throw his equipment across the ice, but not on Friday evening before a crowd of 4,501 at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Read more »

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Morin scores twice, IceHogs lose to rival Wolves 4-2; Plus Rockford injury updates, Playoff survival and more

By Chris Block

Jeremy Morin lit the lamp for his 7th and 8th goals of the season, but a series of IceHogs penalties swung the momentum Wednesday afternoon.  From there, the Chicago Wolves got two third period goals from Mark Mancari to defeat Rockford 4-2.

A mostly school kids field trip day crowd of 6,113 in Rosemont, Illinois witnessed their Wolves down the IceHogs for the fourth time in five meetings this season.

“Our penalty killing did a good job,” head coach Ted Dent said in the wake of the IceHogs’ 20th regulation loss (13-20-1-3).  “I thought some of the (penalty) calls were below average, but what can you do?” Read more »

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IceHogs gear up for huge weekend; Kyle Beach update, Dylan Olsen itching, Toledo Hogs and Rockford attendance

IceHogs’ center Brandon Pirri – photo: Rockford IceHogs


By Chris Block

Rockford IceHogs (8-10-1-0) drop the puck on a three-game weekend tonight when the Lake Erie Monsters (9-10-1-1) visit the BMO Harris Bank Center at 7:05.  This will be the first time this season Rockford has had to play three games on consecutive days.  They’ll do so again next weekend.  In both cases, the first two games are at home, followed by a game day bus trip on Sunday.

Tonight’s game also marks the return of former Hogs Evan Brophey, Hugh Jessiman and defenseman Mike Brennan.

Brophey comes in on a 4-game point streak (2g, 2a).  He registered his first career hat trick on 11/11/11 against San Antonio.  Brophey turns 25 on Saturday.  His IceHogs/Blackhawks tenure ended in suspension last March when he stepped out of the penalty box and destroyed Hamilton Bulldogs forward Hunter Bishop with an open ice blind side hit.  Brophey received a season-ending 7-game suspension after playing in two subsequent games that weekend before the AHL got around to holding a hearing following the March 25th hit.

Hugh Jessiman had posted a goal in four consecutive games prior to Lake Erie’s 2-1 loss to Houston on Wednesday night.  In 17 games this season, Jessiman has 7 goals and 9 points.  Last season, prior to being sent to the Panthers in the Jack Skille-Michael Frolik/Alexander Salak swap, Jessiman had just 3 goals and 5 points in 25 games with Rockford.  Jessiman was struggling with groin issues while with the IceHogs. Read more »

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Hogs lose 5th straight at home, blanked by Peoria

It’s a little early to panic, but the IceHogs are off to an auspicious start to the season on their home ice.

On Saturday, a crowd of 4,715 witnessed the IceHogs’ fifth-consecutive home ice loss, a 3-0 shutout to the Peoria Rivermen.  The defeat drops Rockford’s record to 1-5-0-0 at home and 5-7-1-0 overall.

Rockford now sits firmly in 5th and last place in the Midwest division, three points behind the Chicago Wolves, who have played just four of their thirteen games at Allstate Arena so far.  The IceHogs are also four points behind 3rd place Milwaukee, who have two games in hand on Rockford.

“When we’re on the road, we’re just relaxed. We just go out and play our game.  We’re tight and a little unsure of ourselves at home,” IceHogs captain Brandon Segal said after Saturday’s loss.

“It’s kind of frustrating because obviously these are the points we need right now and we’re not getting them.”

The IceHogs came into Saturday’s contest off a stunning 7-6 loss at Peoria on Friday.  Stunning, because Rockford led that game 6-4 with a minute and change left in regulation only allow two quick Phil McRae goals and then to lose the game in overtime on a questionable goaltender interference non-call that left the IceHogs incensed.

Peoria’s offense picked up where it left off Friday night and got going early when T.J. Hensick gave the Rivermen an early 1-0 lead.  Brett Sterling skating down the far half wall found Hensick streaking to along the goal line to the net, stringing a pass through two IceHogs defenders.  Hensick held the pass and skated around a weak stick-check attempt by Alexander Salak and roofed an easy nonchalant backhander far right corner 2:54 into the game. Read more »

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Crawford’s groin, Salak’s mental break, IceHogs open 2-0, notes on Beach, Klink, DiDom, Segal and Campbell’s Panthers

Corey Crawford was given Monday’s practice off (Sunday was an off day for the entire team) to heal a slight groin pull, as reported by CSNChicago’s Tracey Myers.

More on that, as well as an update on Ben Smith with quotes from Myers here.

Jesse Rogers talks to Dan “Car Bomb” Carcillo about his Chicago debut this Thursday versus the Winnipeg Jets:

Carcillo on his nickname: “Everyone has nicknames. It just so happens mine is better than everyone else’s.”

Ben Smith (concussion) skated Monday but is not cleared for contact.

Viktor Stalberg (knee) skated on his own and Joel Quenneville intimated he could start skating with teammates in practice again later this week.

Carcillo practiced on a line with Kane and Hossa.

Jonathan Toews talks about getting that first goal out of the way… wanting to be a great offensive player. [Chris Kuc, Tribune]

–For those wanting to catch a glimpse of Brian Campbell, Kris Versteeg, Tomas Kopecky and their new crew before the Hawks travel to South Florida on November 2, tonight is your chance.  Campbell skated just over 30 minutes and had the primary assist on both Panthers’ goals in a 2-0 win on Long Island in Florida’s only game so far.  Jose Theodore was in net for the shutout.

The Panthers will make their only national television appearance of the 2011-12 season, and just their third in four years tonight on VERSUS when they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins.

–For those who missed it, I uploaded Saturday night’s Committed Indian column here.

–No podcast this week.  Check out HockeeNight’s latest from Sunday night. Read more »

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