After allowing 17 goals in their last two losses, 7 coming while the team was short-handed, the Rockford IceHogs held team and organizational meetings all last week focusing on eliminating the mindless and careless minor penalties which have plagued this team all season.
That’s all fine and well, but when it takes until late January to correct an issue that should have been nipped in the bud at least two months ago, losses like the one to the Chicago Wolves on Friday night sting even more.
On Friday, Rockford was narrowly outplayed by the Chicago Wolves, handing the IceHogs a 2-1 defeat in front of a sellout crowd of 6,097 fans at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
The loss extends Rockford’s current losing streak to three games, but this loss wasn’t anything like the previous two. Read more »
On Friday, the Rockford IceHogs officially released defenseman Brett Lebda from his second professional try-out contract with the club.
Lebda had been a healthy scratch in 5 of Rockford’s last 8 contests. The Buffalo Grove native and member of the 2008 Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings had appeared in 27 games for the IceHogs, posting 11 assists to go with a minus-12 plus/minus rating, worst on the team.
The IceHogs would have had to sign Lebda to a standard-player contract by February 17th or release him.
Lebda has never before played overseas but back in October he told us he had interest from a few teams in Europe and he would reconsider those if nothing presented itself after the NHL lockout ended.
MCARDLE SIGNS CONTRACT
Just three games into his PTO, Kenndal McArdle agreed to a contract with the Rockford IceHogs for the remainder of this season on Wednesday.
The Florida Panthers’ 2005 first round (#20th overall) draft pick has one assist in the three games since joining the IceHogs. He was also involved in the brawl with Grand Rapids last Saturday, getting ejected for a Third Man In violation.
McArdle played 9 games in the NHL last season with Winnipeg. So far he’s taking the spot on Martin St. Pierre’s left wing that was vacated by Brandon Saad. Read more »
The American Hockey League dealt the IceHogs a significant blow on Tuesday for Rockford’s part in this past Saturday night’s bench-clearing brawl with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Rockford was issued 11-game suspensions in all, while Grand Rapids will have center Louis-Marc Aubry suspended for 6 games and right wing Triston Grant suspended for 1 game.
Rob Flick received a mandatory 6-game suspension for being the first IceHogs’ player to jump off the bench and get involved in the brawl. Aubry’s suspension matched Flick’s for being identified as the first Grand Rapids player to jump off the Griffins’ bench.
The newest IceHogs player, left winger Kenndal McArdle (who was playing in just his second game as a member of the IceHogs in Saturday’s night’s contest) was suspended 1 game. McArdle was issued a game misconduct on Saturday night for jumping off the bench and being the Third Man In an ongoing fight.
Wade Brookbank was also suspended for one game, as was Kyle Beach, whose actions precipitated the Griffins leaving their bench.
IceHogs head coach Ted Dent was also suspended two games. Dent will serve his suspension this weekend when the IceHogs host the Chicago Wolves on Friday and then the Oklahoma City Barons on Saturday night.
The IceHogs have now accumulated 25-games in suspensions over the first 41 games of the season. The list: Andrew Shaw (7), Rob Flick (6), Shawn Lalonde (3), Kyle Beach (2), Ted Dent (2), Dylan Olsen (2), Wade Brookbank (2), Kenndal McArdle (1).
As noted on the site yesterday, Flick served the first game of his six-game suspension when he was held out of Monday’s 6-3 loss to Texas by the league. Flick will be eligible to return on February 8th at Peoria.
On Monday, the Chicago Blackhawks traded a 7th round draft pick in 2013 to the Calgary Flames in exchange for 29-year old goaltender Henrik Karlsson.
The Stockholm, Sweden native served as Miikka Kiprusoff’s backup in Calgary during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. Over that span, Karlsson appeared in 26 games posting a record of 5-9-8 with a 90.5% save percentage and a 2.79 goals against average. Karlson was 1-4-2 last season in Calgary. His only victory came on the final day of the regular season and he posted a 3.17 GAA and 90.0% save percentage in his nine appearances overall.
The Blackhawks then immediately assigned Karlsson to their AHL affiliate, Rockford IceHogs. The pick used by Chicago general manager Stan Bowman in this deal is one he had previously acquired from Ottawa on December 2, 2011 when the Blackhawks traded forward Rob Klinkhammer (who was struggling mightily in Rockford at the time) to the Senators for a 7th round pick.
The 6 foot 6 inch Henrik Karlsson is expected to be in Rockford this week and suited up for the IceHogs next game on Friday when Rockford plays host to the Chicago Wolves.
We’ll know more soon, but it seems as though there is concern Rockford has an immediate need for a dependable AHL goaltender.
Karlsson joins Carter Hutton, 27, and Alec Richards, 25, on the IceHogs roster. Read more »
There is still a lot more to come from Saturday night’s bench-clearing brawl between the IceHogs and Grand Rapids Griffins before a sellout crowd of 6,219 fans at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford. [Video of the brawl is posted again at the bottom of this post]
230 penalty minutes in all were dealt out in Saturday’s game. 202 of those came as result of the brawl.
Frustrations from an IceHogs perspective had boiled over at the 11:58 mark of the second period after Grand Rapids forward Landon Ferraro scored a power play goal to put the visiting team ahead 6-3.
The IceHogs had been assessed five-straight minor penalties by the officials in the first eleven minutes of the second period alone and the Griffins had capitalized on two of those opportunities with the man-advantage. To that point in the contest, Grand Rapids was 3 for 6 on the power play. Rockford had just one power play chance to that point and it resulted in a Dylan Olsen goal, giving the IceHogs a 1-0 lead at 3:57 of the first period.
No one on the Rockford side after the game was entirely blaming the refs for the lopsided power plays going in Grand Rapids favor. The IceHogs players and coach admitted most of the calls against them were warranted. Although, it was the hooking call referee Joe Sullivan gave Terry Broadhurst that gave Grand Rapids the power play that Landon Ferraro would use to put his team up 6-3 that had the IceHogs livid with the officiating. Read more »
Video of the long brawl that took place at the 11:58 mark of the second period between the Rockford IceHogs and Grand Rapids Griffins.
This video doesn’t capture the entire sequence of events. A little after this footage ends, as the officials were about to begin the process of sorting out the penalties and game misconducts, Adam Clendening and Tomas Tatar somehow ended up together on the far side of the ice across from the IceHogs bench and those two squared off and fought.
Rockford IceHogs (19-17-1-1) are hosting the Peoria Rivermen (17-17-2-2) tonight at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
It’ll be the fourth of twelve meetings between the two clubs this season. The Rivermen have been victorious twice. Rockford defeated Peoria 5-4 in a seesaw affair when the teams last met on November 21st in Rockford. The IceHogs got off to a quick start when Adam Clendening scored his 3rd goal on the campaign 56 seconds in. Rockford went up 2-0 eleven minutes later when Brandon Saad scored an unassisted short-handed goal. Peoria though responded by notching three unanswered even-strength tallies in just under six minutes and led 3-2 heading into the first intermission. Between periods Ted Dent changed some lines around and altered his top two defense pairings, pairing Nick Leddy with Clendening and Ryan Stanton with Klas Dahlbeck. The rest of the game was controlled by Rockford. Martin St. Pierre tied the game late in the second period and two power play goals from Jeremy Morin sealed the victory. Read more »
Video highlights from Rockford’s 2-1 Overtime victory in Milwaukee on Saturday night. Video runs 1:15.
See the great individual effort by Brandon Saad to win the game in overtime, as well as the feed Jeremy Morin received from Adam Clendening to tie the game with 3:28 remaining in regulation. It was Morin’s 13th goal and that was also assisted by Saad. In two games on the weekend, Brandon Saad posted two goals and four assists, besting his point total in the previous fifteen games (1g 4a) by one.
While it can’t officially be announced until after the NHLPA membership ratifies the new CBA on Saturday, the Chicago Blackhawks have jumped the gun a bit by recalling four players from AHL Rockford.
Nick Leddy, Marcus Kruger, Andrew Shaw and Brandon Bollig were all recalled by the Blackhawks on Monday January 7th. This, one day after the NHL and Player’s association hammered out the framework for a new collective bargaining agreement to end the NHL Lockout.
All four players were held out of Rockford’s home game Wednesday night against first-place Grand Rapids. The transactions will be made official this weekend. Three of the four were in Chicago skating with most of the other Blackhawks players at informal on-ice workouts beginning Tuesday. Nick Leddy joined in on Thursday.
One player who was surprisingly left out of the initial group of four call-ups is Rockford IceHogs alternate captain, and the team’s leading goal scorer, Ben Smith.
Smith, 24, scored his 15th goal of the season on Wednesday night. He also ranks second in points scored by an IceHogs player, 26, seven behind team captain Martin St. Pierre. Read more »