Tag Archives: Kris Versteeg

PuckChatter~Radio, e.106 w/ Dieter Kurtenbach

Our old friend and one-time TTMI writer Dieter Kurtenbach joined me last night for this week’s PuckChatter~Radio.  Dieter is now a sports writer at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and covers the Florida Panthers.

On this show recorded late Monday night, Dieter and I discussed the latest controversy surrounding Patrick Kane and what we think of the reaction it has garnered.  Dieter also gives his take on the state of the Blackhawks as well as what steps need to be taken moving forward to get this team back to the Cup.

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You can follow Dieter on Twitter: @DKurtenbach
And you can read Dieter at Sun-Sentinel Sports online

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Hawks stars shine, top Florida Panthers 3-1

He can score again – photo credit: Yahoo! Sports

By Brad Vandenberk

With the Stanley Cup championship banner hanging from the United Center rafters, 5 ex champions, now Florida Panthers, invaded the place they called home, to play the Blackhawks.  This would be the first time since winning the beloved cup that Kris Versteeg would play in the United Center.  Brian Campbell, Tomas Kopecky, Jack Skille and wily vet John Madden were all a big part of bringing the Stanley cup to Chicago and ending a 49 year drought.

Old man Winter played havoc on fans and players arriving for the 7:30pm puck drop.  With the snow falling, players found themselves arriving late and even the Panthers’ bus was not able to get the team to the UC on time, forcing some players to take cabs to the arena.  All this considered, the game was pushed back to an 8:08 pm start.  Read more »

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TTMI~Radio, e.97, A Feeling of a Hammerhead

On this week’s show we open up the listener email bag to discuss topics ranging from Viktor Stalberg’s handsomely prowess to Kyle Beach’s bust-ness to whether or not some legendary Blackhawks should be in the Hall of Fame.

We also compare this year’s Blackhawks to where the team was at this point a season ago and take a look at how the 2010-11 team’s secondary scoring stacks up against the current group.

All this plus more on 2-year old puppy dog behavior, Superstar on the bottom and what’s been bugging Block.

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The show returns next Wednesday, January 25th at a time to be determined.

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Panthers tie late, Blackhawks prevail in shootout 3-2, in gorgeous FLA

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks survived their first game of the Florida road trip, squeaking past the Panthers by a score of 3-2 in a shootout. The win brought Chicago’s shootout record back up to 2-2 and extended the team’s current winning streak to three games.

Jonathan Toews put the Blackhawks up 1-0 just over four minutes into the first period. Defenseman Sean O’Donnell cleared his zone with a flip pass towards the offensive end. The puck was collected by Florida defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, who played to his defensive partner Mike Weaver. Toews descended on the unsuspecting Weaver and forced the turnover to Andrew Brunette. The winger returned it to Toews as he crashed the net and the Hawks captain tipped the puck past the rookie Markstrom for the first goal of the game.

The Panthers out-shot the Hawks 15-7 in the opening frame but were unable to solve Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford. Scottie Upshall led the Florida attack with five shots.

Despite the shot disparity, Chicago extended their lead at the 5:41 mark of the second period. Patrick Kane carried the puck into the zone on the rush as Andrew Brunette attacked the front of the net. Brunette drew Kulikov closer to the crease and gave Kane a lane to pass across the zone to an open Marian Hossa. He ripped a quick one-timer between the legs of Markstrom to put the Hawks up by two goals. 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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Feb 15th edition of TheThirdManIn~Radio

On Tuesday’s show we tackled two huge news stories involving former Blackhawks, Dustin Byfuglien and Kris Versteeg as well as listener emails and topics involving the Rockford IceHogs and their recent struggles.

We discussed Dustin Byfuglien’s 5-year $26 million contract extension in Atlanta and how, if at all, it will impact the Blackhawks negotiations with impending restricted free agent Brent Seabrook.  On Monday, Kris Versteeg was traded for the second time in eight months and we have the breakdown on Versteeg’s move to Philadelphia.  We revisit the June trade that sent Versteeg to Toronto and evaluate and compare the return against what Toronto received from the Flyers this week.

Also, we have excerpts from a Kyle Beach interview discussing his play and criticisims and Bill Peters evaluating the progress of Hawks’ prospect Chris DiDomenico, who is one of the pieces acquired from Toronto in exchange for Kris Versteeg.  In the emails, we discuss the possibility of Nick Leddy becoming a power play “quarterback”, the Hawks’ 50-man roster and obvious error on CapGeek, what’s keeping Kyle Beach in the AHL, probability of Marty Turco being traded and much more.

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The show returns this coming Monday night, February 21st at 8pm for a special Blackhawks-Blues post game edition of TTMI~Radio.

** We’ll have much more on Kyle Beach in Friday night’s issue of The Committed Indian.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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TTMI~Radio Special Friday Trade Edition ~ Bowman & Tallon make a deal

A special Friday afternoon edition of TheThirdManIn~Radio today.  Dieter Kurtenbach joins me to break down the Jack Skille-Michael Frolik trade piece by piece.  We also have a long discussion and share our take on the process of how trade rumors take a life of their own, the true villains in the process and the relationship between main stream or professional reporters, amateurs, hobbyists, pretenders and the general audience.  That and so much more.

TheThirdManIn~Radio ~ e.72 ~ Right-Click Here to Download
Friday February 11, 2011 ~ 2pm central (original air)

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More on this show….

— Michael Frolik not so “versatile” after all
— Where newest Hawk fits best
— Comparisons to Kris Versteeg
— Michael Grosek (I resisted the Nikita Alexeev urge)
— Reflections of the Jack Skille Experience
— Will Skille score 20 in South Florida?
— The Skille-Chicago match
— Particular thing the trade didn’t accomplish
— Why Alexander Salak may have been available?
— What made Salak’s inclusion in this deal particularly strange
— Dale Tallon giving up on two 2006 1st rounder in 4 months
— Word on two Hawks’ recent goaltending draft picks
— Q, again, refusing to put his best lineup on the ice
— Perfect sense flying over Quenneville’s head
— Most important line in hockey
— Love for the Mike Fisher deal
— Some ideas for if the Blackhawks fall out of the chase
— Zach Bogosian not in play for Chicago
— A all of a sudden a web site has gone all Eklund on the Internet
— Hawks defense a sloppy mess even in victory
— Block predicts something & winds up wrong a few hours later (big shock)
— “I’ve pumped Steve Montador for a long time now” (Thanks SL)
— And so much more…..

You can follow Dieter on Twitter @DKurtenbach

Show returns Tuesday night, February 15th in our usual weekly time lot, 8pm central at BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn.  We say this frequently but somehow never get to it… However, we have received a lot of feedback for our last month of shows and we’ll read and answer some of those emails on Tuesday night.  If you are a regular listener and have anything you’d like to hear addressed on this week’s show, send an email to the address below and I’ll do my best to get through as many as I can.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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TTMI~Radio e.71, Blackhawks-Flames fallout with Al Cimaglia of Sirius/XM & HockeyIndependent

Al Cimaglia of Sirius/XM Radio and HockeyIndependent.com joined me on Tuesday night for 70-plus minutes of Blackhawks’ talk.

A great show.  Al’s extremely knowledgeable and has keen slant on the goings on with the Blackhawks.  We discussed the fallout from the Blackhawks’ performance in a 3-1 loss at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday night and previewed the road ahead with games upcoming this week in Edmonton, Dallas and Phoenix to close out the Hawks’ six-game road trip.

TheThirdManIn~Radio ~ e.71 ~ Right-Click Here to Download
Tuesday February 8, 2011
~ 8pm (central) original air

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Among the topics discussed:

- Was Duncan Keith right to call out his forwards after Monday’s loss, no matter how correct his assertion is?
– What Keith is upset about and what may have set him off
– Is a “bag skate” in the middle of a road trip, on the Eve of 3 games in 4 nights a sound idea?

– We give Al the Hawks’ GM seat from now until the Feb 28th trade deadline, what would he do?
– ..Wait it out, or react now…
– Which popular former Blackhawk could be a right fit to return this month?
– Other names who could make a positive impact
– Where have the Blackhawks stood for the past three months
– Stat that doesn’t give impression things are so bad
– Record the Hawks must close out with to earn spot in postseason
– Talking sense, not fanatical nonsense, in Brent Seabrook negotiations
– What Seabrook may be thinking
– Sharp at center, positives and negatives
– Hawks around the net, who gets there & who doesn’t
– Who’s hot and who’s not
– Troubling sign again noted with Marian Hossa’s shot

– Q’s line allocations and responsibilities; Defining the 4th line
– Getting a jump start on RFA’s now; why it didn’t happen last year

– Odds Cristobal Huet will ever wear an Indianhead sweater again?
– Have the Hawks hit the physical and emotional wall?
– This year’s locker room vs. last season’s locker room
– And much, much more

BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn ~ Entire show archive & upcoming listings
SUBSCRIBE to TTMI~Radio via ITUNES

Thanks as always for spending time with us.  You can join us Live next Tuesday night, February 15th @ 8pm central time for our next weekly program and as always at BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Jan 3rd news & notes: Classic rating, Olsen, Buff, Bollig and rumors

A reminder that tonight’s Blackhawks-Kings game in LA is an exclusive VERSUS telecast and will start at 8pm central/6pm pacific.  So that puck drop will be an hour and a half earlier than Kings’ fans are accustomed to.  And for Chicago fans hearing “Hawks-Kings at Staples Center” and figuring the game won’t start until late, be advised.

– Also tonight on NHL Network is the IIHF World U20 Championship tournament semi-final between Canada and the United States.  That game starts at 6:30pm central.  Winner plays for the Gold Medal on Wednesday night against the winner of Russia-Sweden (airs live 2:30 central today on NHL Network).

– The Penguins-Capitals Winter Classic Alumni game, which happened on New Years Eve at Heinz Field and Mario Lemieux participated in, will air on NHL Network from 5:30 to 6:30, leading into the live CAN-USA game.

– New Years Day’s Winter Classic rating is in.  In the ratings demographic most-coveted by advertisers, ages 18-49, meaning also the most-important to television executives, Saturday’s Penguins-Captials game drew a 1.8 rating in the 18-49 demo and 4.56 million viewers overall (2.3 rating).  The 1.8 (5.0 share) at 18-49 is more than any other show on basic television did that night.

For a little clarity in what that rating means in the grand scheme of things, last night’s NFL game on NBC did an overall rating of 5.1 (13.0 share) in adults 18-49 and an average of 14.28M viewers overall from 7-10:30.  Last night’s Rams-Seahawks game peaked in the second quarter quarter with 16.7M viewers and a 6.0 rating in adults 18-49.  The Winter Classic started with 4.46M viewers, then dropped to 4.35M in the 8-9 hour, and back up to 4.57M during the second intermission and third period. Read more »

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Hossa Marries, Skille Signs, Smitty Splits, Niemi Notes and movie star supports Blackhawks

Marian Hossa was married in Slovakia on Saturday.  Story and pics here.  (thanks to reader Dave for link) 

– While the Blackhawks have made no official announcement yet, Adam Jahns of the Sun-Times reported Thursday that Jack Skille has agreed to a one-year contract that will pay him $600,000.  This is roughly a 29% pay decrease from his entry-level contract.  We talked about this on Thursday’s TTMI~Radio. 

Skille received a qualifying offer (standard 1-year offer at 110% rate of prior year’s salary) in late June but chose to negotiate down to give himself a more cap-friendly contract.  Because of it, Skille is now an odds-on favorite to make the NHL club.  His speed and shooting ability still make the 23 year old an enticing prospect, but he’s never shown an ability to apply those tools in the NHL, the way he has in the minors.  Before Viktor Stalberg‘s arrival, Skille was the natural replacement for Versteeg.  Skille can throw his weight around, but its not his strength and he’s been overwhelmed going that route when with the Hawks.  He figures in as a third-line guy, which means he has to score.  Trouble is, as a shooter, he’s predictable and one-dimensional.  To be successful, he must go into the danger areas and score dirty goals.  He did a better job of that last year than ever before, when he was mostly a perimeter player.  Depending on how close Stan Bowman cuts his roster under the cap, training camp may still wind down to a battle between Kyle Beach and Skille for that third-line spot.  Skille isn’t a fourth line player and Beach will start in Rockford if he cant win a spot with the top three lines.

– According to published reports, and also still unannounced, Russian winger Igor Makarov, 22, signed a two-year, two-way contract with the Hawks last week.  His cap hit (unconfirmed) is said to be $552,000.  Makarov needs a little work and will start in the AHL with Rockford.  He was an exciting prospect, but his progression has been stunted in limited playing time in the KHL the past two seasons.  Makarov will turn 23 in September.  In the times I’ve seen him, he’s shown to have a great shot and reasonably quick release.  There are a lot of politics involved in who does and who doesn’t get ice time in Russia, but you’d think if Makarov’s talents were at the level of an NHL-er or at least a top prospect, he’d have been given much more playing time. Read more »

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