Tag Archives: John Torchetti

Huet transfer movement, Sopel talks Siberia, Fraser grievance, Bickell’s recovery, coaching moves and much more


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 »

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Bowman interview, prospect camp changes; Winny coach news, Torchetti out, Yawney quits, Toews quips, Tallon troubles, NHLvsNBA and Wang news

Stan Bowman was interviewed on ChicagoBlackhawks.com’s podcast, Blackhawks Insider, in audio posted on Monday.  A portion of Bowman’s conversation with Adam Kempenaar is transcribed here.

The Blackhawks Way of playing hockey

One piece of news coming out of the audio portion pertained to July’s prospect camp.  Bowman is inviting fewer players and there will be less scrimmage time.  He’s looking at this year as less of a tryout (or evaluation) camp and more of a development camp.  They’re experimenting with a different ideas at the assistance and suggestion of Joel Quenneville and the coaching staff.  Bowman said there will be a bigger focus on “skills they’re going to need to have in order to eventually play for us.”  Just the idea of fewer players would seem to indicate one scrimmage per day instead of two.  On the topic of scrimmages, Bowman said “we are certainly going to have some of those but it was predominately scrimmages in the past.”

On the talent pool in this year’s draft, Bowman is optimistic that there is enough that he’ll get “good” future NHLers but he doesn’t see high-end goaltenders in this draft, which is consistent with the scouting reports.  Bowman said they “don’t necessarily have a one position” they’re focusing on.  He said in the past they had holes at center and defense but felt they’ve addressed those in the past couple of years.  He said he hadn’t had talks with any GM’s on moving up or trading down, but revealed those discussions between GM’s don’t typically come into play until the week and days leading into the draft.  He said they’re working at getting the best group of picks, regardless of position.

That taken, the Hawks are very weak on the depth chart at right wing.  Jeremy Morin is better on the left side.  Kyle Beach and Igor Makarov can play either.  Beach is probably better on the left but his game is a little far off to say for sure.  Makarov could Rockford’s top right wing by default if Morin and Beach keep to their off wing.

Longer-range, Bowman shared his thoughts and is high on Justin Holl’s skating ability; the toning down of Stephen Johns and Kevin Hayes taking the next step.

–Conflicting reports now coming out of Canada on the search for a new Winnipeg coach.  Today’s Winnipeg Sun is reporting there will be a second-round of interviews with finalists Claude Noel and Mike Haviland. Read more »

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Haviland job interview, Rockford news, IceHogs season tickets, 92 Chicago Riots, Campoli, more

Blackhawks assistant coach Mike Haviland is interviewing for the Winnipeg head coaching job on Friday, per the Winnipeg Free Press. Others known to be interviewing are Craig MacTavish, Manitoba Moose head coach Claude Noel and technically the current Winnipeg coach, Craig Ramsey.  It had appeared this would essentially come down to Noel and Haviland unless another candidate steps up.  However, MacTavish, who was heavily rumored to be the new Wild coach, is back in the mix as word tonight is that Minnesota hired Mike Yeo, who is the head coach of their AHL affiliate Houston Aeros.  I think the linked article’s phrasing – “Ramsey has also been granted an interview,” tells you Ramsey is heading into this process a heavy underdog.

Chris Campoli was named to the NHLPA Competition Committee on Monday.  Montreal’s Mike Cammalleri is the other new member of the committee.  Campoli and Cammalleri replace Mike Commodore and Mathieu Schneider as voting members.  Schneider will stay on as an advisor.  The committee now consists of Campoli, Cammalleri, David Backes, Chris Clark and Ryan Miller.

In Boston on Monday, the committee voted to approve the broadening of Rule 48 (originally known as the blindside headshot rule) to cover a hit to the head from any angle.  Alterations were needed because when the league put together Rule 48 and called it the “Illegal Check to the head” rule (contrary to legal checks to the head, you see) the rule didn’t cover all checks to the head of an opponent.

Campoli (right knee surgery) should be cleared for full workouts in 2-3 weeks.  He’s a restricted free agent on July 1 as long as he gets his qualifying offer a few days before then.

Haven’t read or heard an update on Troy Brouwer (right labral (shoulder) tear) since his May 10th surgery.  He’s expected to be fine by training camp.  Brouwer is also a restricted free agent in need of a new deal.

– This is old news but again, we’re catching up. Read more »

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Bergevin, Maciver promoted; Scotty stays put; notes on Torchetti, Madden and Larmer at 50

Marc Bergevin was promoted today to Assistant General Manager in the role vacated by Kevin Cheveldayoff when he left to take the GM job in Winnipeg.

Bergevin is well-liked by virtually everyone.  He served as the team’s director of player personnel for two years, a position he moved into the day after Dale Tallon was “re-assigned.”  This will be Bergevin’s seventh year with the team.  After Denis Savard was removed from the coaching position and Joel Quenneville was hired, Bergevin was made a third assistant coach.  Prior to that he was pro scout.

“As an organization we’re fortunate to have the depth of talent available that allows us to promote from within,” Stan Bowman said of Bergevin’s promotion in a Wednesday press release.

Bergevin, who turns 46 in August, was drafted by the Hawks in 1983 (59th overall) and spent his first four full seasons with the Hawks before being sent to the New York Islanders with Gary Nylund in exchange for center Bob Bassen and defenseman Steve Konroyd on November 25, 1988.  In his 20-year playing career, Bergevin spent a year on the Island before bouncing from Hartford, Tampa Bay (2x), Detroit, St. Louis (2x), Pittsburgh (2x) and finally Vancouver.

Bergevin won’t have much time to adapt to his new role and will be under fire quickly as the period for qualifying restricted free agents is a week away and then free agency a week after that.

Just as big of news coming out Wednesday is the announcement that Scotty Bowman will be staying on as Senior Advisor.  His three-year contract was coming due and has been extended.  It was not made clear for how long.

With Bergevin moving up, Norm Maciver was promoted into the role as Director of Player Personnel.  Maciver was previously Director of player development.  MacIver had a big influence on the acquisition of Nick Leddy.

The only other change involves Kyle Davidson, who was brought on as video coach this past season, replacing Brad Aldrich.  Davidson will now serve in a new role as Hockey Administration Coordinator, which is apparently different from Ian Gentile’s role (Hockey Operations Coordinator). Read more »

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