Blackhawks ECHL affiliate Toledo Walleye gets the whole team involved in a special Christmas season video promotion.
By Chris Block
After getting off to an auspicious 0-3-0-1 start to the 2012-13 season, the IceHogs rolled off 4 straight wins over eight days last week to vault themselves into second place in the AHL’s Midwest Division and two points behind the first-place Chicago Wolves.
Those same Wolves will travel up Interstate 90 tonight to face the Rockford IceHogs at the BMO Harris Bank Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm.
In the only other two meetings between the two teams this season, the Wolves bested the IceHogs back on opening weekend, both times at Allstate Arena in Rosemont. The Wolves begin their annual November road trip with tonight’s game. They’ll be on the road for their next five games due to the annual circus stint at Allstate Arena.
Chicago defeated the IceHogs 1-0 in a shootout on October 13th and then again 5-3 the following day. Eddie Lack was in goal for the Wolves both nights and is expected to start between the pipes again for Chicago tonight.
By Chris Block
Blackhawks announced they’ve re-signed three restricted free agents today.
Ben Smith, Brandon Bollig and goaltender Carter Hutton all inked new deals.
According to reports, Smith and Bollig each signed two-year contracts.
Bollig’s first year is a two-way deal. He’ll be paid at a rate of $575,000 in the NHL and $105,000 if he plays in the AHL. His second year is a one-way contract paying him $575,000.
Ben Smith is also on a two-way contract for 2012-13. Smith will reportedly earn $550,000 when he’s playing at the NHL level and $105,000 in the minors. In 2013-14, Smith has a guaranteed contract for $575,000.
Carter Hutton agreed to a one-year, two-way contract.
–On Friday, the Blackhawks placed goaltender Alexander Salak on waivers. The rest of the league has apparently passed on Salak. Today it was announced the Blackhawks and Salak agreed to an outright release.
By Chris Block
A few news items tonight but first a couple plugs…
–Our PuckChatter~Radio podcast returns this Tuesday night, May 29th at 8pm central. We’ll focus on our listener emails on the Blackhawks, IceHogs and prospects. You can listen live that night at this link. If you have a question or commentary you would like to contribute, send those to PuckChatter@gmail.com by Tuesday afternoon at the latest.
If you haven’t listened to our interview with Stephen Nelson from this past Tuesday night, I’d urge you to do so. If you’re interested in the Blackhawks top prospects in Rockford especially this was a great show. We’ve got a ton of feedback on the interview already, in particular Nelson’s candid account of Ben Smith’s relationship with Jimmy Newcomer, the 19-year old cancer-stricken Rockford area boy who sadly passed away a few weeks ago. We’ll have more on Ben Smith this coming Tuesday night.
–I’ll be a guest on Hockeenight.com’s PuckCast on Sunday night, June 10th to preview the 2012 NHL Draft taking place June 22-23 in Pittsburgh at the CONSOL Energy Center. That’s shaping up to what could be a pretty active weekend for the Blackhawks.
Carruth going pro
Several outlets are now reporting the Chicago Blackhawks have signed goaltender Mac Carruth to a three-year entry level contract. Carruth was selected 191st overall by the Blackhawks in the seventh round of the 2010 Entry Draft.
RDS reporter Renaud Lavoie was first to report Carruth signed to a three-year deal with an NHL cap hit (under the current collective bargaining agreement) of $525,000 per season. Lavoie has been first to report many prospects signing entry levels in the past. The contract would be a two-way deal, so he’d make far less, in the neighborhood of $67,000 per while in the AHL or ECHL. The Blackhawks needed to sign Carruth or he would have been eligible to for Draft re-entry. He can still return to junior hockey for one more season, be it with Portland or should a trade be worked out with another club.
While this deal has not been officially confirmed nor announced by the Blackhawks it should be shortly. CapGeek.com has different, unconfirmed numbers on Carruth’s deal at this point. Announcement or not, all signs point to Carruth leaving the Portland Winterhawks major junior organization in the WHL for pro hockey in the Blackhawks’ system.
PuckChatter~Radio returned Tuesday night with special guest Stephen Nelson, formerly the Rockford IceHogs radio; pre, intermission and postgame host.
Stephen joined us to share his experiences working for, and with the Rockford IceHogs this past season. He talked about his favorite players to work with and the new player profile feature he helped craft this season.
He also talked about the team’s early struggles experienced this past season and why Stephen always remained confident the IceHogs would turn things around.
Nelson gave us some behind the scenes insight on some of the top IceHogs and Blackhawks prospects including the special bond Ben Smith developed with the late Jimmy Newcomer, the 19-year old Rockford area kid who was suddenly diagnosed with terminal cancer who Smith visited in the hospital late one night and remained in contact with up until Newcomer passed away a few weeks ago.
You can follow Stephen Nelson on Twitter: @Stephen__Nelson
Click the play button below to listen here in your browser, or….
Links to the Bacon Buddies video segments, hosted by Stephen Nelson, we talked about on the show:
Tune in next week when our show returns Tuesday night May 29th at 8pm central with more Blackhawks talk and a Stanley Cup Finals preview.
Check out our full show archive via….
By Chris Block
On Friday, the Chicago Blackhawks announced they have reached terms on a 1-year contract with center Pete Leblanc. It will be a two-way (NHL/AHL) agreement.
Leblanc was originally the Blackhawks 7th round selection (186th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. After spending four years at the University of New Hampshire, Leblanc turned pro with the Rockford IceHogs.
The Hamilton, Ontario native has spent the past two seasons with the Rockford IceHogs on AHL contracts as the Blackhawks had elected not to offer Leblanc an NHL contract until now.
In 70 games this season, Leblanc has posted 23 goals and 20 assists for the IceHogs. Since being a healthy scratch for three consecutive games in early November, Leblanc has scored all 23 of his goals over the most recent 61 contests.
He is currently tied for the team lead in goals scored (23) with Brandon Pirri. And Leblanc is second on the team in overall points, trailing Pirri by twelve points, with 43. Leblanc has a plus/minus rating of plus-2. It was Leblanc’s elevated level of play that caused veteran Brett McLean to slip down the IceHogs depth chart and even to the wing on the fourth line before McLean opted to play out the rest of the season in Switzerland.
By Chris Block
Wednesday night we were joined by Brad Gardner of HockeysFuture.com and also here at TheThirdManIn.com as we got caught up on the Blackhawks top prospects making their way up through the system.
Brad and I went through the Blackhawks budding young stars and gave our thoughts on which prospects will ultimately make the biggest impact one day in a Chicago Blackhawks sweater.
We covered and charted the progress this season of Brandon Saad, Mark McNeill, Brandon Pirri, Adam Clendening, Phillip Danault, Jeremy Morin, Jimmy Hayes, Kevin Hayes, Stephen Johns, Michael Paliotta, goaltender Johan Mattsson and many more. And we also note which top prospect will be in an IceHogs uniform very soon.
After the first hour of prospect talk with Brad, I am joined by the Superstar for the final thirty minutes or so of the show.
We discussed some recent misfortune and having to say goodbye to a beloved pet, the Moose, this week. On to the Blackhawks, we preview the upcoming Blackhawks schedule and project how difficult the road ahead to the postseason will be for the boys in the Indian head sweaters and if it will once again come down to the final game of the regular season.
Also, first impressions of Johnny Oduya, the “knee-capping” of Joel Quenneville, what’s going on with Jonathan Toews, the IceHogs Clear Day Roster and issues with veterinary clinics.
All this and much more on episode 101 of the official audio program of TheThirdManIn.com. We now call it “Puck Chatter.”
Click the play button below to listen or Right-Click Here to Download
David Toews arrives via the New York Islanders in exchange for future considerations.
It should be noted that David Toews did not have a pro contract with the Islanders and so far the Blackhawks have not tendered him one either.
David Toews is turning pro after completing his amateur career in the Western Hockey League this past spring. He has joined Blackhawks’ prospects in Oshawa this weekend for the four-day round-robin rookie tournament. Like his brother, David is a centerman.
“Stan Bowman called me and wanted me to know that they weren’t trying to do Johnny any favors,” David Toews told the Free Press. “(Bowman) said he liked me as a player and they’re pretty familiar with me because I’ve been training in Chicago all summer.”
David Toews, 21, was drafted by the Islanders in 2008, 66th overall in the third round. He followed in his older brother’s footsteps attending North Dakota for two years but struggled for ice time and left following his sophomore season. Toews joined the Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) last season and as an overager scored 20 goals and 28 assists in 60 regular season games.
Stan Mikita feeling good in spite of cancer battle [Brian Hedger, NHL.com]
Mikita meets his doctors in ten days to find out where he’s at with his Stage 1 oral cancer.
“I’m looking for very favorable comments from him (the doctor),” Mikita told Hedger. “The treatments went well. It wasn’t really bad for me. It’s been coming along real well.”
–More from Hedger’s Blackhawks’ notebook – Stuff on Marian Hossa’s math, Patrick Kane’s on-time wrist recovery and David Bolland loving Daniel Carcillo.
Video of Mikita speaking to media at Monday’s Blackhawks Alumni golf event at Medinah Country Club. [CSN Chicago] Comments from an antsy Bolland and Stan Bowman as well in that clip.
–Assistant general manager Marc Bergevin in an interview on a Toronto radio station Monday, talked about this summer’s roster shakeup, the addition of what Bergevin termed, “personality” to the team’s core roster.
“We felt we are skilled enough to get us into the playoffs. We just need the character to get us through the playoffs,” Bergevin explained.
“And that’s what we had when we did win. Then we lost guys like Ladd, Byfuglien, and Versteeg and Sopel. Guys who were warriors, that did the little things to make the other team accountable. They made the other team realize ‘this is going to be a battle tonight.’ That’s what it takes to win a Stanley Cup.
“You can’t win with twelve skilled forwards and six skilled defensemen, because there is dirty work that needs to be done and there are only certain players that are willing to do that.” he concluded.
TheThirdManIn~Radio “Versteegian Rhapsody”
Wednesday July 14, 2010 ~ e.44 Right-Click to Download Here
TTMI~Radio returns with our first post-Stanley Cup thoughts with Dieter Kurtenbach of the Examiner.com and HereComeTheHawks.net.
We’ll return in a day or two with our 1st Anniversary show which my usual side-kick Superstar and I will be recording hopefully tomorrow. Our first show first official show on Blog Talk aired live the day of Dale Tallon’s firing, July 15, 2009.
On our next show we’ll discuss Bob Probert’s career and unfortuate passing. Also, more on the most recent Blackhawks’ prospect camp, Kyle Beach and more on how the Hawks will comply with this year’s salary cap.
On the docket for today’s show:
– Personal reactions to the Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory
– Debauchery and let-downs
– Liars, Deceivers or just full of it?
– Stan Bowman walking around with foot in mouth
– Niklas Hjalmarsson offer sheet
– Hjalmarsson’s “worth”
– Doug Wilson’s objective – ulterior motives?
– Annual summer tradition of Hawks wiping egg off their faces
– The Bowman myth
– Another BIG trade forthcoming
– Stan Bowman: Denis Savard of general managing?
– Dustin Byfuglien goes to Atlanta
– What did the Hawks really lose?
– What happens now with Antti Niemi?
– How Marty Reasoner fits
– Dieter Kurtenbach HATES the Kris Versteeg to Toronto deal
– Surprise young prospect Dieter has pencilled in on Hawks 3rd line
– Blackhawks would be better off signing Bon Scott
– Dismissing prospect rankings and “performance” charts
– Dylan Olsen
– Lalonde’s big chance
– What would’ve led to Hawks walking away from Hjalmarsson offer sheet
– Johnny’s Ice House
– Dave Bolland: A $3.375M third-line center
– Where Marcus Kruger stands
– Kent Simpson feels shame
All this and so much more on this edition of TheThirdManIn~Radio. Enjoy.