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.
Posted in TTMI~Radio
Tagged Al Cimaglia, Alexander Salak, Ben Smith, Blackhawks, Brandon Pirri, Corey Crawford, Cristobal Huet, David Gilbert, Duncan Keith, Evan Brophey, Garnet Exelby, Jake Dowell, Jassen Cullimore, Jimmy Hayes, Kyle Beach, Kyle Hagel, Mike Peck, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Philippe Paradis, Rockford IceHogs, Ryan Stanton, Shawn Lalonde, Troy Brouwer
Hours after the Chicago Blackhawks and NHL office made his first professional hockey contract official, Jimmy Hayes got his first experience in the pro ranks for the Rockford IceHogs.
Under the guise of an amateur-try out contract, Hayes made his debut in Cleveland on Wednesday night as the IceHogs took on the Lake Erie Monsters. Hayes’ entry-level pro contract with the Hawks kicks in on July 1st.
Hayes acquitted himself quite well in his unofficial pro debut. He exhibited nice hands, decent wheels and didn’t seem too out of place all things considered. The adjustment from college to the pro-pace wasn’t too much of a factor, at least in Lake Erie. Oklahoma City on Friday poses a different challenge.
On his first shift, skating with Mathis Olimb and Ben Smith on the Hogs’ second-line Hayes showed good strides in transition leading a Hogs’ odd-man rush up the right side boards. Hayes strung a slick pass just an inch or two further than Olimb could handle though, coming down just left of the slot and they didn’t get a scoring chance there.
In the middle period, Hayes again led a rush, but it also amounted to nothing. Hayes was carrying the lead with Olimb and Andy Bohmbach on a 3-on-2, but Hayes lost the handle as he strode through the right circle. He finished the game with three shots. He’s not shy on the body but it appears he prefers to use his stick and he’ll have to shake that too much finesse with his head down college habit. So its great for the Hawks, and IceHogs, Hayes is able to join up for some valuable minutes before an all-important off season.
Before the game Bill Peters noted he plans to dress Hayes in all seven (Wednesday included) of the IceHogs remaining games. Peters was down six regulars (add another if you count Jeremy Morin) on Wednesday, so Hayes saw as much or more ice time as he figures to get in any single outing over the final two weeks of the season. Read more
Posted in Game recap, IceHogs, News and Notes
Tagged Adam Bennett, Alec Richards, Bob Pulford, Brandon Pirri, Brian Connelly, David Pacan, Dylan Olsen, Garnet Exelby, Hannu Toivonen, Jason Bacashihua, Jeff Taffe, Jimmy Hayes, Kyle Hagel, Lake Erie Monsters, Mathis Olimb
A second period parade to the penalty box saw the Rockford IceHogs go from being down two goals, to heading to their dressing room trailing 5-0 after forty minutes.
After an evenly played first period saw Rockford head to the break down 1-0, the IceHogs had no answer for the visiting Oklahoma City Barons in the middle period.
“We just didn’t physically compete at all,” head coach Bill Peters said after his team’s second consecutive 5-1 home loss.
“We had some power play chances in the first period; hit the post on one of them on Jeff Taffe’s shot from the point. Down 1-0 after one, I thought we generated some chances, but I thought they went to work and dug in in the second and we took a bunch of penalties to make it hard on ourselves. And we couldn’t kill the penalties that we did take. In essence, that was the game right there in the middle period.” Read more
Bill Peters’ search for answers has so far turned up dry.
After watching his team come out flat inexplicably for fifth time in this season’s first nine home games, the Rockford head coach retreated to his bench on Saturday night exasperated for the third period.
By my count, Peters used at least twelve different line combinations over the final twenty minutes. It was orchestrated chaos and Peters’ team responded with its best period of the night, but that wasn’t even enough to get on the scoreboard.
Rockford outshot Peoria 12-6 in the third and 31-21 in the game but Peoria won the only count that matters, defeating IceHogs by a score of 5-0 at the MetroCentre.
In the win, Peoria rookie Jake Allen set a Rivermen AHL (2005-current) franchise record for shutouts in a single season by white-washing the Rockford shooters 31 times, to post his 4th shutout in just 8 starts. The previous Peoria shutout record (3) was set by Manny Legace during the 2008-09 season.
Saturday’s was a team shutout. Allen was very good and made some great stops locating pucks through screens and one-on-one challenges. But his defense also cleared a lot of rebounds and beat the IceHogs to most of the loose pucks in the Peoria zone.
The latter point was the story of the night. Rockford could not match Peoria’s intensity from the initial puck drop through to the final horn. A few players tried and succeeded in spurts. Garnet Exelby showed some snarl late in the first, but the score was already 3-0 by then. Kyle Beach had his best, most physical shift in weeks with five minutes to go in the middle period. Jeremy Morin stood up to Peoria defenders on occasion one night after getting into a spirited fight with Red Wings’ defensive prospect Brendan Smith. Read more
Posted in Game recap, IceHogs
Tagged Bill Peters, Brandon Pirri, Chris DiDomenico, Evan Brophey, Garnet Exelby, Hannu Toivonen, Hugh Jessiman, Jake Allen, Jeremy Morin, Kevin Hayes, Kyle Beach, Mathis Olimb, Nick Leddy
[Update] Corey Crawford is starting in goal for the Hawks today at Anaheim. (Twitter.com/ChrisKuc)
Defenseman Garnet Exelby agreed to a two-way (NHL/AHL) contract with the Blackhawks yesterday. As a necessary procedural thing, the Blackhawks then had to place Exelby on 24-hour waivers. Once Exelby passes through his contract then becomes official. If another team were to claim Exelby by 11am today, that team would then assume his new contract.
According to a CapGeek.com report this morning, Exelby’s contract is valued at the league-minimum $500,000 at the NHL level, and $105,000 in the AHL.
Exelby, 29, signed a professional tryout contract with the Rockford IceHogs on October 8th and was named team captain twenty-eight days later.
While a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization last season, Exelby appeared in 51 games with the Leafs, registering 1 goal and 3 assists. He was then in the final year of a three-year contract that paid him $1.725M.
This season, Exelby has appeared in 18 of the IceHogs 19 games (only missing the team’s opener the day after he signed). So far Exelby has no points and owns a minus-4 overall plus/minus rating.
Exelby is a physical, stay-at-home defenseman. He’s not the fleetest of foot but he gets to where he needs to be and typically plays within his known limitations. Exelby is a part of Rockford’s go-to crew of penalty killers and is almost never used on the power play. Read more