On Tuesday, we welcomed Mike Peck, the voice of the Rockford IceHogs, back to PuckChatter~Radio to help us recap the IceHogs’ 2012-13 season.
Over the course of this 40 minute show, Mike and I discussed the emergence of third-year pros Brandon Pirri, Jeremy Morin, Ben Smith and Ryan Stanton. We also covered the development and future of other Blackhawks prospects, including Kyle Beach, Joe Lavin and Jimmy Hayes. Also, we take a look at what next season’s IceHogs’ roster will look like.
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It was a new look Chicago Blackhawks squad that came out in St. Louis Saturday night and dropped a 3-1 decision to the Blues. With most of the Blackhawks stars resting comfortably in Chicago, the lineup was filled with recent call ups from Rockford.
Three prospects made their NHL debut, including starting goalie Carter Hutton. Defensemen Ryan Stanton and Shawn Lalonde were also seeing their first action in Chicago. Recent IceHogs Jeremy Morin, Brandon Pirri, Jimmy Hayes and Ben Smith were also on the ice.
The Blues drew first blood in the fifth minute on a delayed penalty on Michal Roszival. With the extra attacker, Andy McDonald sent a shot to the net.Hutton made a nice kick save, but Patrik Berglund was there to convert the rebound at the 4:33 mark of the opening period. Read more »
One night after picking up a huge 7-3 victory over the Chicago Wolves in their regular season home finale, the Rockford IceHogs hit the road, again set out to keep their AHL postseason bid alive in a crucial divisional matchup with the 8th place Milwaukee Admirals.
Rockford came into Saturday’s contest in 9th place in the Western Conference, tied at 81 in points with Milwaukee, though the Admirals hold two games in hand over the IceHogs heading into the final week of the regular season.
On the heels of Brandon Pirri’s franchise record 6-point (1 goal, 5 assists) night and Ben Smith’s hat-trick in the win over the Wolves, the IceHogs had to beat the Admirals on Saturday if they had any hopes of sneaking into the postseason.
Backed by a 20 save performance by Carter Hutton and goals by Adam Clendening, Ben Smith and Klas Dahlbeck, Rockford did just that, defeating the Admirals 3-1 on Saturday before a crowd of 8,895 fans at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Read more »
Coming off a 2-1 loss to Anaheim at United Center on Friday that had many Chicago hockey fans grumbling and anxious for changes, the Blackhawks flew through Detroit on Sunday and dampered Gordie Howe’s 85th birthday celebration with a 7-1 thumping of the Red Wings.
Chicago’s charge was led by its next wave of young core, with Brandon Saad, Jeremy Morin, Nick Leddy and Jimmy Hayes all figuring prominently in the scoring.
The Red Wings were without Henrik Zetterberg on Sunday. He was a late scratch due to a groin ailment. Detroit did see the return of veteran Mikael Samuelsson (finger) however. Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp continue to be absent from the Blackhawks line up, though both are close to returning.
Corey Crawford was back between the pipes for Chicago for this Easter Sunday afternoon matinee in Detroit, while Jimmy Howard started in goal for the Red Wings.
Jeremy Morin, called up from the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday, made an impact on his first shift in the NHL this season. Morin had scored 10 goals and 4 assists in 10 games in the month of March in the AHL. And he didn’t waste any time picking up where he left off there. Read more »
PuckChatter~Radio returned from a 5-week hiatus Monday night simply to proclaim that the Chicago Blackhawks are, in fact, really, really good. Yep, that’s about it. But hey, we’re rusty.
Well, we did too discuss Duncan Keith and the level he’s been playing at thus far. We also took a look at Brandon Saad’s game and what lineup change could benefit the team right now.
Also, we reviewed some of our 5 day Las Vegas visit over Super Bowl Weekend (if you’re hungry for more audio, I did two hours with Radio Exposed last week talking Vegas, the Super Bowl and many other things here) ; our experience at the ECHL Las Vegas Wranglers 18 & Over Topless Hockey night game; some Rockford IceHogs news and notes; Adam Clendening, Philippe Paradis and Dylan Olsen sound clips; Valentine’s Day advice for the guys and a tribute to a friend. The show is also interrupted and my co-host Superstar has to drop off for the remainder when a woman drove into the tree in his front yard driving 40 miles an hour. True story. Apparently the woman is okay all things considered.
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At this point our next show is scheduled for Wednesday February 20th at 8pm central. Tonight was also our first show using newly purchased recording equipment. It seems to have worked out okay aside from a glitch you won’t notice right as we went live.
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 »
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 »
Looking to return to their recent winning ways and stay within striking distance of first-place Grand Rapids ahead of two all-important matchups next week at the BMO with those same Griffins, the Rockford IceHogs (17-14-1-1) traveled to Hamilton, Ontario on Friday night to face a down-and-out Hamilton Bulldogs squad.
Hamilton came into Friday’s contest against Rockford with the worst record (11-18-1-2) in the AHL. Hamilton, the AHL affiliate to the Montreal Canadiens, had lost 8 of their past 9 contests since defeating Rockford 6-4 at the BMO Harris Bank Center on December 15th.
Worse yet, Hamilton had not scored a goal in more than three games before facing the IceHogs for the second and final time this season. The Bulldogs had been shutout in each of their previous three games, all road losses.