Tag Archives: Dale Tallon

Thoughts on Brandon Pirri, the Tallon link and what’s become of the Hawks’ center depth

Pirri_Brandon_IceHogs_Flickr_ToddReicher_2014Feb21_WolvesBrandon Pirri handles the puck in his second-to-last home game as a member of the Rockford IceHogs vs Chicago, February 21, 2014
photo: Todd Reicher, courtesy of Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block

I recall day two of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal.  Then Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon strained to holdback his excitement when talking to media types after drafting Toronto native, Brandon Pirri with the third-to-last pick in the second round of that draft.

“Terrific skills,” were the first Tallon gave when asked about Pirri.  “He’s really a good hockey player.  We’re very happy that we got him there.  It’s the old adage, ‘(we) can’t believe he was still there.’”

Pirri had just turned 18 two months prior and was a relatively untested commodity upon entering the draft, having stuck to the Canadian junior B level after committing to join Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in the fall of 2009.

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PuckChatter~Radio, e.137; The Hjalmarsson Dance

By Chris Block

PuckChatter~Radio pulled off 2 shows in 6 days with another brand new episode on Tuesday night. dissecting the Kris Versteeg trade and the reasons why Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen were the players to go the other way.

We covered the official announcement of the retirement of former Blackhawk defenseman Adrian Aucoin, and the details of how he was since hired to the Blackhawks player development staff.  Aucoin’s retirement, new job as well as the accurate depiction of his Hawks career was covered on this site exactly one month ago.

Then, we give an in-person account of the exclusive Chicago Blackhawks/Banner Collective/Blackhawks TV – launch party for the One Goal II book and 17 Seconds film commemorating the 2013 Stanley Cup Champions that was held at The Wit hotel in downtown Chicago on Monday night – what it was, exclusive details and impressions of this event, film and book.

Also, we hit a couple listener emails, talked the Horseshoe Casino on a random November Saturday afternoon, Blackhawks-Predators, Block’s niece having poor in-game hockey etiquette, and bacon – Yeah, of course We want bacon!

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Adrian Aucoin joins Blackhawks staff, Svendsen retires

AucoinAdrian_CHIAdrian Aucoin

By Chris Block

Adrian Aucoin, at one-time a Chicago Blackhawks team captain, has re-joined the organization in a player-development capacity.  Aucoin has been working with the Blackhawks young defense prospects.

The 20-year pro hockey veteran, who played 36 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets during the lock-out abbreviated 2012-13 NHL season, has evidently chosen to retire as an active player at the age of 40.

Blackhawks prospect and Rockford IceHogs defenseman Adam Clendening spoke on Friday about working and learning now from another accomplished NHL veteran. Read more »

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Update on Stephen Johns, BMO $1.5M upgrades, Saad All-Rookie team, Danault, Karlsson, Waite and Stan and USA Hockey

By Chris Block

Some news and notes to kick off what appears will be a very eventful weekend.

–We’ll have full, pick-by-pick coverage on this site of the Blackhawks’ draft selections this Sunday from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Chicago currently owns picks in the last pick in the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th rounds.

Their 2nd and 3rd round selections were dealt to Winnipeg at the trade deadline in 2012 in exchange for Johnny Oduya.  The Blackhawks also owned extra picks before dealing them for Michal Handzus (San Jose’s original pick in the 4th round reacquired from CHI) and Henrik Karlsson (originally Ottawa’s 7th round pick).

–If you missed the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup parade and rally on Friday , it will be rebroadcasted tonight (Saturday) on Comcast SportsNet in Chicago at 7pm.

Brandon Saad was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie team on Saturday.

Saad joins Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau (Calder Trophy winner for best rookie), Montreal winger Brendan Gallagher (a Calder Trophy finalist as well as Saad), goalie Jake Allen of St. Louis and defenseman Jonas Brodin of Minnesota and Justin Schultz of Edmonton.

Interesting to note, yet not surprising considering he wasn’t a Calder finalist, that Nail Yakupov, who led all NHL rookies in scoring this season with 17 goals and 14 assists was left off the All-Rookie team.  That doesn’t happen often.  Read more »

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Old Dog, New Bicks

From this past Saturday night’s issue of The Committed Indian

By Chris Block

Anyone whose read or followed my work over the years would know that I haven’t exactly been a huge fan of Bryan Bickell’s.  However, this playoff’s John Druce deserves kudos for being, perhaps, the single-most overriding factor in the Blackhawks being now one game away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in four seasons.

That’s not to suggest Bickell’s current successes should force Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman (provided this kind of thing is ultimately even his decision) into doing anything drastic (not his style anyhow) in attempts to keep Bickell this summer.

Before this postseason, Bickell’s greatest asset to the Blackhawks was his salary cap number, which for three seasons has hovered right at the NHL minimum salary requirement.

While it is stunning to look at the NHL leaderboard today and see Bickell’s eight playoff tallies ranking the 6-4, 235 pound Bowmanville, Ontario native second overall in playoff goals scored (tied with Patrick Sharp).  Boston Bruins center David Krejci’s nine goals leads all postseason performers. Read more »

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PuckChatter~Radio, e.106 w/ Dieter Kurtenbach

Our old friend and one-time TTMI writer Dieter Kurtenbach joined me last night for this week’s PuckChatter~Radio.  Dieter is now a sports writer at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and covers the Florida Panthers.

On this show recorded late Monday night, Dieter and I discussed the latest controversy surrounding Patrick Kane and what we think of the reaction it has garnered.  Dieter also gives his take on the state of the Blackhawks as well as what steps need to be taken moving forward to get this team back to the Cup.

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You can follow Dieter on Twitter: @DKurtenbach
And you can read Dieter at Sun-Sentinel Sports online

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Bob Probert Day, Interesting Tallon weekend, Campbell speaks, Chelios, Peters and more

Sunday was Bob Probert Day in his hometown Windsor, Ontario.  800 motorcyclists turned out for a memorial charity ride supporting a local hospital’s angioplasty program.  Chris Chelios was there and served as honorary “captain” for the ride.  July 5th is the one-year anniversary of Probert’s death.

Later on Sunday, Chelios was on hand at Detroit’s Fox Theatre for his buddy Eddie Vedder’s solo show.  Vedder is at the Chicago Theatre tomorrow and Wednesday night.  This was a big thrill for Chelios.  I guess he kind of had to be there.  During Vedder’s two and a half hour set Sunday, he dedicated his version of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” to Chelios.  Detroit wasn’t a scheduled stop on Vedder’s current U.S. tour until Chelios did some persuading on his friend and Pearl Jam frontman.  To oblige, Vedder cancelled an additional planned show in Philadelphia.

Chelios and Vedder met in San Diego in 1980-81 in that beach community’s surfing scene, in the summer months where the Chelios clan lived.  They also worked for a time at opposite gas stations across the street from each other.  The pair didn’t keep in touch and Chelios never put two and two together even after Pearl Jam burst onto the scene ten years later and Chelios became a fan.  Back in San Diego, Eddie Vedder was actually Eddie Mueller.  But one night in 1997, Vedder was out with Dennis Rodman in Chicago and happened to be at the same bar as Chelios.  Vedder recognized Chelios, but as he put it (Vedder wasn’t a hockey fan), not from being a star NHL player, but from their old haunts on the surf.  Vedder recounted to Chelios how the two knew each other from San Diego, but didn’t introduce himself as the famous rock singer and Chelios still didn’t put that together on his own.  Vedder walked away realizing Chelios hadn’t the faintest recollection or idea who Vedder was.  Shortly after, one of Vedder’s bodyguards (he is legitimately 5’4”) walked over and clued Chelios in and the two exchanged phone numbers. At times Chelios has arranged his summer schedule around Pearl Jam and Vedder shows in Chicago and Detroit.  In 2008, Chelios planned his two days with the Stanley Cup around a Cubs game and a Vedder show at the Auditorium Theatre.  A night John Cusak, John C McGinley (Scrubs) and Sean Penn were also on hand for.  Chelios got a mixed reaction from the Chicago crowd when he raised the Stanley Cup under a spotlight from a balcony box in a planned spot to start Vedder’s set.

Brian Campbell says ex-teammates of his want to join him in Florida.  NHL.com Read more »

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Bowman interview, prospect camp changes; Winny coach news, Torchetti out, Yawney quits, Toews quips, Tallon troubles, NHLvsNBA and Wang news

Stan Bowman was interviewed on ChicagoBlackhawks.com’s podcast, Blackhawks Insider, in audio posted on Monday.  A portion of Bowman’s conversation with Adam Kempenaar is transcribed here.

The Blackhawks Way of playing hockey

One piece of news coming out of the audio portion pertained to July’s prospect camp.  Bowman is inviting fewer players and there will be less scrimmage time.  He’s looking at this year as less of a tryout (or evaluation) camp and more of a development camp.  They’re experimenting with a different ideas at the assistance and suggestion of Joel Quenneville and the coaching staff.  Bowman said there will be a bigger focus on “skills they’re going to need to have in order to eventually play for us.”  Just the idea of fewer players would seem to indicate one scrimmage per day instead of two.  On the topic of scrimmages, Bowman said “we are certainly going to have some of those but it was predominately scrimmages in the past.”

On the talent pool in this year’s draft, Bowman is optimistic that there is enough that he’ll get “good” future NHLers but he doesn’t see high-end goaltenders in this draft, which is consistent with the scouting reports.  Bowman said they “don’t necessarily have a one position” they’re focusing on.  He said in the past they had holes at center and defense but felt they’ve addressed those in the past couple of years.  He said he hadn’t had talks with any GM’s on moving up or trading down, but revealed those discussions between GM’s don’t typically come into play until the week and days leading into the draft.  He said they’re working at getting the best group of picks, regardless of position.

That taken, the Hawks are very weak on the depth chart at right wing.  Jeremy Morin is better on the left side.  Kyle Beach and Igor Makarov can play either.  Beach is probably better on the left but his game is a little far off to say for sure.  Makarov could Rockford’s top right wing by default if Morin and Beach keep to their off wing.

Longer-range, Bowman shared his thoughts and is high on Justin Holl’s skating ability; the toning down of Stephen Johns and Kevin Hayes taking the next step.

–Conflicting reports now coming out of Canada on the search for a new Winnipeg coach.  Today’s Winnipeg Sun is reporting there will be a second-round of interviews with finalists Claude Noel and Mike Haviland. Read more »

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TTMI~Radio Flies Solo: Email Bag Edition

On this week’s show I fly solo and dig into our reader and listener emails.

Among the topics discussed:

– Chances of Andrew Ladd return
– Stan Bowman wants more John Scott minutes
– Putting contract talks with Crawford off until Draft
– Troy Brouwer’s worth
– Kyle Beach’s chances, expectations and comparisons
– Michael Frolik’s redemption
– Dale Tallon: the talent evaluator
– Hawks’ MVP
– Marian Hossa cap sore potential
– Kyle Hagel
– Hjalmarsson really trade bait?
– Stan’s #1 off season priority
– A Brian Campbell trade?
– Hence Ben Smith, next IceHog to emerge?
– Rene Bourque
– IIHF World Championships and much more

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We’ll do email every week this summer on just about any topic you’d want to discuss.  You can send those to mailbag @ thethirdmanin.com

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The show returns next week and all summer long.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Radio tonight, Last night, Thoughts on Beach, Morin, Keith, Mora and more

First off, I’d like to thank Buddy Oakes of Preds On The Glass for having me on his radio show last night.  We talked for about an hour and a half about the Blackhawks, Predators, head shots and what can be done to prevent such hits and some of the injuries that result from those.  If you’re a Twitter-er and ever need a Predators fix, you should follow Buddy.  His other guest last night was Mark from another Predators site, TheViewFrom111.  I jumped on about ten minutes in.  A direct link to listen to last night’s show is here

And after you listen to that, and if you haven’t had your fill of my flu-ridden twang, TheThirdManIn~Radio returns tonight, Live at 8pm central at BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn.   No guest tonight.  We’ll have plenty of news, notes and perspective from the two Rockford IceHogs games of the past weekend; Which Rockford prospects are close to helping, who isn’t and who doesn’t belong in the AHL.  I had a chance to take in both games; losses, on Saturday and Sunday.  We’ll get to many more of your emails.  If you have a question or topic you’d like to hear addressed on the show, send me an email at radio@TheThirdManIn.com or ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com with “radio show” included in the subject and we’ll get to it on the show….  I actually have an insightful and useful fantasy hockey segment tonight.  Unlike the one I spewed from the crack of my backside last Tuesday.  Professional operation we have here.  Of course we’ll discuss what’s wrong with the Hawks.  What needs to change and small alterations to be made to turn things around?  We’re also shooting straight on what Jack Skille can do if he wants to become an effective, permanent NHLer.

– My intention was to do another full IceHogs postgame report Sunday night after their game with Peoria, however, with travel, work and being ridden with sick and overdoses of over-the-counter anti-flu medicines, Sunday’s game recap dropped off my radar.  If you missed my detailed report of Saturday’s demoralizing 3-1 loss to Manitoba, click here.

Instead, I’ll share the bullet points from Sunday’s 5-1 loss at Carver Arena in Peoria. Read more »

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