As a follow up to Igor Makarov signing with St. Petersburg (KHL), it appears the Blackhawks did execute a contractual release of the one-remaining year on his entry-level deal. That means Makarov is off the 50-man roster. In the Russian interview we cited in Friday’s story, Makarov said the Hawks released him and that claim now lines up. His name has now been removed from the team’s web site.
–All remaining regular season Blackhawks tickets go on sale Monday morning at 10am central via Ticketmaster. Standing room is now $27. First seven rows of the top level will cost $72 or $90 (60-72 if your seats are behind netting) depending on the opponent. To sit eleven rows off the ice on the weekend or against an Original Six or rivalry opponent now costs you $200. And you thought trading Brian Campbell would save us money….
–Free agent Chris Campoli says he has “a few irons in the fire.” [Toronto Star]
“There is interest,’ Campoli told the Star. “I have to stay positive.” Read more
Posted in News and Notes
Tagged Alexander Salak, Blackhawks tickets, Bobby Hull, Brent Sopel, Chris Campoli, Eddie Olczyk, Ethan Moreau, Fernando Pisani, Gary Suter, Igor Makarov, Jeremy Roenick, Joanne Hull, Johan Mattsson, Jonathan Toews, Justin Hodgman, Paul Goodman, Ray Emery, Richard Peddie, Rick Rypien, Sami Lepisto, Stan Bowman, Steve Montador
A couple IceHogs’ notes from last week.
–After years of trying, the Rockford Area Venues and Entertainment [RAVE] Authority finally leased the naming rights to the MetroCentre.
RAVE leased those rights to BMO Harris Bank for a period a five years and a total of $1.3 million, according to a Rockford Register-Star report.
The MetroCentre will now be known as BMO Harris Bank Center.
Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough spoke at the press conference at the MetroCentre on Friday. Harris is also a prime sponsor of the Blackhawks. The Rockford deal actually isn’t completely finalized, but a joint memorandum indicated all points will be in place by December 15.
The arena management giant S.M.G. brokered the deal. S.M.G. has been responsible for booking the MetroCentre since last September. BMO Harris had already been sponsoring the winter synthetic outdoor ice rink a couple of blocks from the arena at Davis Park, which the RAVE Authority also oversees.
A “grand re-opening” is planned for the IceHogs preseason home opener on September 28.
The ‘BMO’ comes from Bank of Montreal. I am not making this up – The correct pronunciation on the abbreviation BMO is “Bee-mo”. So this season, if you take in an IceHogs’ home game, you should say you’re headed to the Bee-Mo, or Bee-mo Harris Bank Center. Read more
Posted in News and Notes
Tagged Andrew Allen, Ben Simon, Brett McLean, Chris Campoli, Chris Chelios, Darren Pang, Dennis Rodman, Eddie Olczyk, Enrico Ciccone, Flames, Gary Suter, Greg Fox, Hockeenight, IceHogs, Ivan Boldirev, James Black, Jason Morgan, Jeremy Roenick, MetroCentre, Michael Nylander, Neil Wilkinson, Nikolai Khabibulin, Owen Nolan, RAVE, Robbie Earl, Theo Fleury, Wayne Gretzky
It appears Cristobal Huet will ride out the final year of his Blackhawks’ contract in Europe again this season. Huet is apparently in negotiations to rejoin Fribourg-Gotteron of Switzerland’s National-A league for their 2011-12 season. There had been reports in French and German newspapers indicating Huet was set to join the team for a second season. However, a statement released by Fribourg-Gotteron on Tuesday stated that a loan agreement with the Blackhawks is not yet finalized.
Should a deal be worked out, Huet would again be teammates with former Chicago Wolves’ winger Simon Gamache. He’d also have a new one. Former Blackhawk defenseman and 2003 2nd round pick (59th overall), Michal Barinka has joined Fribourg-Gotteron after time in the Czech and KHL (Yaroslavl) leagues last season.
Despite a strong 2010-11 campaign, Huet was unable to carry a lackluster Fribourg-Gotteron roster above their 22-22-3-3 record, good enough for an 8th place finish out of 12 teams. Huet did not play well, nor did he get much help, in the team’s brief 4-games-to-none playoff exit at the hands of eventual Swiss league champion, HC Davos.
Fribourg opens training camp this week. Their regular season begins on the road, September 9th against Jussi Markkanen, Andy Wozniewski, Glen Metropolit; members of EV Zug. Read more
Posted in News and Notes
Tagged Becky Conner, Bobby Hull, Brent Sopel, Bryan Bickell, Chris Chelios, Colin Fraser, Craig MacTavish, Cristobal Huet, Gary Suter, Jake Dowell, Jimmy Hayes, John Torchetti, Kevyn Adams, Kyle Beach, Mike Peluso, Novokuznetsk, Ryan Kesler, Stan Mikita, Tony Amonte
–Our next radio show will be Tuesday night, March 15th @ 8pm central. You can listen live here or at your convenience later in archive form on ITunes, here or at that same link.
–Ben Smith is now riding a four-game goal streak, posting five goals in that span. Rockford beat Hamilton 2-1 in a shootout on Wednesday night. Brandon Pirri sealed the win in the shootout after Jeff Taffe and Smith also converted in the breakaway skills session.
Rockford will close out their 7-game road trip Friday night in Milwaukee. They return home on Sunday afternoon to face the Chicago Wolves. Its the Wolves final visit to MetroCentre this season.
The IceHogs have won five of their last eight games (4-3 on the road). They’d gone three months without going to a shootout before having them in back-to-back games this week and splitting the outcomes. Hannu Toivonen has a .948 save percentage over his last six appearances.
–I’ll be doing a Rockford Q&A in post-form here on the site this Monday. For whatever reason I’ve been receiving a lot more IceHogs’ and prospect related emails than usual of late. Typically I get those when the Hawks aren’t doing well or the IceHogs or individual prospects catch fire. Anyway, I’ve responded to just about every one already person-to-person, but since so many were particularly thoughtful queries, I figured we’d put it up for everyone to read. I’ve seen more IceHogs’ hockey this season than is probably good for my health, so I can help you with just about anything crossing your mind concerning that team. So, if there’s any IceHogs’ topics or questions you would like discussed, email those to me by Sunday morning and I’ll include any that aren’t already covered. Read more
Posted in Blackhawks, IceHogs, News and Notes
Tagged Ben Smith, Brad Brown, Brandon Pirri, Byron Froese, Christian Ruuttu, Dominik Hasek, Doug Gilmour, Frantisek Kucera, Gary Suter, Hannu Toivonen, J.P. Dumont, Jeremy Morin, Jocelyn Lemieux, Kim Johnsson, Kyle Beach, Kyle Calder, Marcus Kruger, Martin Havlat, Michael Grosek, Michal Handzus, Murray Craven, Nick Leddy, Randy Cunneyworth, Stephane Beauregard, Stephane Quintal