Tag Archives: Jimmy Hayes

Early season story on Antti Raanta, his Opening Night injury scare, how he became a Blackhawk, what won him over, his style and much more

For those who buy or read The Committed Indian program on, or at Blackhawks home games, I have a 2-page feature running in Wednesday’s issue that hopefully you’ll find interesting.  The following is a story I did on Antti Raanta that ran in The Committed Indian back in November.  I’ve had requests to post it here, but kept forgetting to do so.  So here it is, as it ran on 11/6/13.  Raanta was recalled to the Blackhawks eleven days later, after Nikolai Khabibulin went down with a groin injury.  Stan Bowman announced today that Khabibulin underwent shoulder surgery that Bowman said would keep the veteran netminder out of action another 4-5 months.  Khabibulin will turn 41 this coming Monday.  While Bowman claimed Khabibulin “could” return this season, that timetable would put Khabibulin out until around the time of the Stanley Cup Finals.  Thus, Raanta, for the foreseeable future, is Corey Crawford’s backup and second on the Blackhawks goaltending depth chart.

 Raanta_Antti-GHAntti Raanta in action for Rockford, 10/19/13 vs Grand Rapids
photo courtesy of Rockford IceHogs, Greg Hamil

By Chris Block

A long way from his home in Finland, Antti Raanta led the Rockford IceHogs onto the ice at AT&T Center in San Antonio last month.  Outside, it was just another steamy October Saturday in south Texas.  Inside, the IceHogs were opening the 2013-14 season.  And for Raanta, it was the beginning of the next stage in his pursuit of realizing his dream of becoming an NHL goaltender. Read more »

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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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Audio: Chris Block joins the HockeeNight PuckCast

By Chris Block

On Sunday night, I had the pleasure once again of joining our friends CT and “the Forklift” over at Hockeenight.com for their PuckCast.

Over the course of the show we discussed the Blackhawks so-so start, Kyle Beach‘s recent claim about the role he was “forced” to play, Joakim Nordstrom’s game, whose behind him and whether or not he should be sent down to Rockford.  We also discuss Brandon Pirri, Jimmy Hayes, the second-line center position, what should be done and who are the other top candidates for recall at this point.

Rockford’s 2-2 start is covered in detail, all the prospects and Fork’s favorites.   We discussed off season changes; Maxim Shalunov‘s first AHL shift gone terribly awry, and a funny story about Maxim Shalunov’s first interaction with the IceHogs training staff gone terribly awry; Kent Simpson going for Rockford’s star player one weekend to bench warmer the next; which Blackhawks prospect is likely to jump straight from college into the NHL, the Islanders terrible future home, Mariano Rivera, the fate of MSG, Laschet’s Inn, some Russian military history, a Jock Callander sighting and much, much more.

Its the longest PuckCast in more than three years and second-longest ever.

Fun time as always talking to those guys.

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Hutton, Stanton, Lalonde make NHL debuts in Blackhawks regular season finale 3-1 loss in St. Louis

By Jon Fromi

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 »

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Saad, Blackhawks dominate in Detroit

By Chris Block

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 »

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Hawks roll through Colorado, now 24-2-3

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks continued to roll on the road Monday night, coming away with a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Chicago prevailed despite losing Marian Hossa to an upper body injury early in the game and Brent Seabrook to an apparent benching by coach Joel Quenneville during the second period.

The Blackhawks got off to a fast start, with Jimmy Hayes benefitting from a strong fore check by Dave Bolland to pot his first goal with the ‘Hawks this season. Jan Hejda lost the puck to Patrick Kane, who fired to Hayes in front of the net. Hayes went to the backhand and slid home the game’s first goal at the 3:47 mark.

Less than a minute later, Bryan Bickell took a hit from Erik Johnson but was able to tip the puck out of the Chicago zone. Viktor Stalberg went up the left side and found Andrew Shaw to his right. Shaw went high on Semyon Varlamov and gave the Blackhawks a 2-0 with less than five minutes into the contest. Read more »

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Rockford hosting Peoria tonight; IceHogs PIM woes continue, Ted Dent considering benching players for bad penalties

By Chris Block

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 »

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Lindbloom’s View: The Swamp People

The Swamp People“We’ll kick your ass too.”

By Rich Lindbloom

Okay, the lockout has gone on long enough. Normally this time a year I’d be watching Blackhawk games and parts of other NHL games throughout the week. While walking the dogs Tuesday night it dawned on me that I had just spent the previous hour watching a show called Swamp People. I’m not sure which is worse; my sudden affinity for the Rockford IceHogs, or watching the swampers yank 10 to 12 foot gators out of the pond. Pray for me as I’m quite certain Pawn Stars or Say Yes to the Dress, are not far in the offing.

In a way, now that the ‘Hogs have caught my interest, I wouldn’t be terribly upset with the cancellation of the rest of the NHL season.  $10 to $20 dollars for a very good seat beats the hell out of paying $48 in the 300 section at the United Center. Read more »

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PuckChatter~Radio rings in 2013 with eternal optimism

By Chris Block

PuckChatter~Radio chimes in on the New Year appropriately today with a full breakdown of the latest in the NHL-NHLPA collective bargaining process as it dangerously draws near to the feared possibility of a 2012-13 season doomsday in the NHL cancelling its second full season in nine years.

Al Cimaglia of Sirius/XM Radio and MyFoxChicago.com joins the show to give his take on how and why the tumultuous negotiations have journeyed to this, in light of abound renewed optimism, still murky intersection.

We explore the final sticking points assumed to be the hindrances in preventing a deal to this point including the year-to-year salary variance percentage clause that has far-reaching ramifications that have gone unaddressed to this point.  We also examine the effectiveness of the “lower limit” salary cap clause and how, perhaps, that can be altered or used as leverage by the union to gain movement from the NHL on other sections of a new CBA.

All this and much, much more on a Lockout intensive PuckChatter~Radio.

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And on a somewhat related note….

For any of you who are in the market, or may know anyone in the market, to sell or purchase a new home, Al Cimaglia is now a real estate sales agent in the Chicago western suburbs at ERA Team Feinstein.

Check out Al’s web page at ERA Team Feinstein for more information or contact him directly at 630-522-2005.

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Lindbloom’s View: Song and Reflections on better days

“I want to bite the hand that feeds me,
I want to bite that hand so badly,
I want to make them wish they’d never seen me…” – Elvis Costello

By Rich Lindbloom

I heard a great definition of philosophy recently:  “A blind man, in a dark room, looking for a black cat, that doesn’t exist.”

Tell me that doesn’t describe the excruciating labor negotiations between the NHL owners and the players union in a nutshell. Quite frankly, I don’t think I’m alone in my burgeoning apathy in this greed laden, rapacious process. Waves of intense anger may belie my apathy, but I’m doing my best to cope with the situation. Trying to pretend I could care less is easier said than done. Read more »

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