Tag Archives: Cristobal Huet

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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TTMI~Radio: Mike Peck and Al Cimaglia join to recap IceHogs, Blackhawks in 2010-11

TheThirdManIn~Radio returned last night as did a couple of our more popular guests.

Mike Peck, the play-by-play voice of the Rockford IceHogs joined us for the first half hour to recap the IceHogs’ season.  Peck sees the IceHogs more than just about anyone not a coach of the team and discussed the progress of Kyle Beach, Brandon Pirri, Shawn Lalonde, Rob Klinkhammer, Igor Makarov, Brian Connelly and more.  We also got his early observations of the Hawks’ next crop of prospects Philippe Paradis, David Gilbert and Jimmy Hayes and which veteran defenseman, in his mind, has the greater odds of returning to Rockford.

Al Cimaglia of Sirius/XM Radio and HockeyIndependent.com was along for the Peck discussion as well.  We then moved on to talk Hawks-Canucks fallout; whether the series proved the Hawks were anything more than what they showed for the previous 82 games and a few players who are very unlikely to return next season.  Al and I also went further into explaining why the Hawks top players, like Duncan Keith, cannot be relied on so mightily again next season.  We also debate if the Hawks should re-sign Troy Brouwer, who Stan Bowman seems to love and who he didn’t sound too enthused about last week when the name was brought up.

For the final twenty minutes or so, Superstar and go more in-depth into Duncan Keith’s comments and season confessional post-Game 5; why he shouldn’t have said what he did and the misguided comparisons some have drawn.

It’s a John Scott free podcast.  A solid 90 minutes.  Hope you enjoy.  Thanks to everyone as always for listening.

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The show returns next Monday night, May 9th at 8pm central.  If we don’t have a special guest we’ll dig into player evaluations and recap losing entirely too much of our money at Arlington Park over the weekend.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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TTMI~Radio e.71, Blackhawks-Flames fallout with Al Cimaglia of Sirius/XM & HockeyIndependent

Al Cimaglia of Sirius/XM Radio and HockeyIndependent.com joined me on Tuesday night for 70-plus minutes of Blackhawks’ talk.

A great show.  Al’s extremely knowledgeable and has keen slant on the goings on with the Blackhawks.  We discussed the fallout from the Blackhawks’ performance in a 3-1 loss at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday night and previewed the road ahead with games upcoming this week in Edmonton, Dallas and Phoenix to close out the Hawks’ six-game road trip.

TheThirdManIn~Radio ~ e.71 ~ Right-Click Here to Download
Tuesday February 8, 2011
~ 8pm (central) original air

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Among the topics discussed:

- Was Duncan Keith right to call out his forwards after Monday’s loss, no matter how correct his assertion is?
- What Keith is upset about and what may have set him off
- Is a “bag skate” in the middle of a road trip, on the Eve of 3 games in 4 nights a sound idea?

- We give Al the Hawks’ GM seat from now until the Feb 28th trade deadline, what would he do?
- ..Wait it out, or react now…
- Which popular former Blackhawk could be a right fit to return this month?
- Other names who could make a positive impact
- Where have the Blackhawks stood for the past three months
- Stat that doesn’t give impression things are so bad
- Record the Hawks must close out with to earn spot in postseason
- Talking sense, not fanatical nonsense, in Brent Seabrook negotiations
- What Seabrook may be thinking
- Sharp at center, positives and negatives
- Hawks around the net, who gets there & who doesn’t
- Who’s hot and who’s not
- Troubling sign again noted with Marian Hossa’s shot

- Q’s line allocations and responsibilities; Defining the 4th line
- Getting a jump start on RFA’s now; why it didn’t happen last year

- Odds Cristobal Huet will ever wear an Indianhead sweater again?
- Have the Hawks hit the physical and emotional wall?
- This year’s locker room vs. last season’s locker room
- And much, much more

BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn ~ Entire show archive & upcoming listings
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Thanks as always for spending time with us.  You can join us Live next Tuesday night, February 15th @ 8pm central time for our next weekly program and as always at BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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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 »

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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.

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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

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