Tag Archives: Mike Keenan

PuckChatter~Radio, e.122, Rockford IceHogs week in review, the NHL’s Monkey Business & review of the Jeremy Roenick book

By Chris Block

This week on PuckChatter~Radio we review the controversial as-told-to autobiography of NHL and Chicago Blackhawks legend, Jeremy Roenick.

We also detail the Rockford IceHogs three-game weekend, in which they started the weekend in first place in the Midwest Division but then fell behind the Grand Rapids Griffins after losing two-of-three including the 4-2 loss in Grand Rapids on Sunday that dropped the ‘Hogs down into second place.

Then we assess the latest in the NHL – NHLPA collective bargaining standoff and take a deeper look than you’ve probably read or heard elsewhere into a few of the key issues the two sides are at odds over.

All this and much more, including a special Christmas jingle, on this edition of PuckChatter~Radio.

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***I want to make mention….

I’ll be joining CT and the “Forklift” of Hockeenight.com fame this coming Sunday night, December 16th on their show, the Hockeenight PuckCast for a special Holiday Season podcast.  I can’t think of anything that could possibly be more fun.

PuckChatter~Radio will return next week as well at a date, time and with a guest to be determined later in the week.  (Read that, whenever I get around to figuring all that out.)

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PuckChatter Radio: 75-minute interview with former Chicago Blackhawk Steve Ludzik

By Chris Block

We were so pleased tonight to be joined once again on PuckChatter~Radio by former Chicago Blackhawk and National Hockey League coach Steve Ludzik.

In this candid 75-minute interview, Ludzik discusses his recent announcement that he’s been battling Parkinson’s disease for the past twelve years.  Ludzy talks about the concussions and punishment he incurred during his playing career and why he believes it contributed to his illness.  He also shares his thoughts on today’s game and his advice for players such as Sidney Crosby.

Over the course of our discussion Ludzik shared his insight, thoughts and little known behind the scenes stories on many of the various players and personalities from the 1980’s Blackhawks including Bob Pulford, Orval Tessier, Steve Larmer, Al Secord, Denis Savard, Tom Lysiak, Rich Preston, Darryl Sutter, Curt Fraser, Terry Ruskowski and many more.

Ludzik also recounts the story behind a trip he and Steve Larmer made a year ago to visit their first pro coach, Orval Tessier.  [See the video at the bottom of this post]

Ludzy tells us why Steve Larmer should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame, and how, had it not been for Tessier, Larmer may never have been a Blackhawk.

This is truly a great interview that’s worth checking out.

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*You can buy Ludzik’s book “Been There, Done That” at Ludzy.com

*Check out the new social networking site we discussed on the show of which Ludzik is a part of at – OldTeammates.com


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Steve Larmer and Steve Ludzik visit Orval Tessier at his home in Cornwall, Ontario [Video after the jump] Read more »

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Hawks re-sign three, part ways with Salak; plus notes on Hawks draft and goaltending, Ed Belfour and Jimmy Waite

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. Read more »

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Sharp talks contract extension, new Hawk numbers, Keenan coaching rumor, Sopel chooses Siberia and more


–Patrick Sharp
talks contract from Thunder Bay, rehabbing his injured knee.

On negotiations with the Blackhawks on a new contract extension, Sharp said there was nothing new to report.  “I like Chicago.  I want to stay there,” Sharp told TBNewswire.com.  “I’m pretty sure they’d like to keep me as well.  We’ll see how things play out.”

–According to the Blackhawks’ roster page at ChicagoBlackhawks.com, Ben Smith has changed his number from #57 to #28…. Alexander Salak will wear #53…. Sami Lepisto does not have a number at this point… In case you missed numbers on the other new Hawks; Steve Montador is #5… Sean O’Donnell is #6… Daniel Carcillo is #13… Andrew Brunette is #15… and Jamal Mayers is #22. Read more »

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Crawford talks at Draft; Mike Keenan Roast, Hossa at Worlds

Calgary Sun writer Eric Francis has the scoop on the Corey Crawford negotiations.  In Francis’s Sunday Sun column, he noted Crawford’s agent, Gilles Lupien, said he and the Blackhawks are planning to hold the negotiations face-to-face at the NHL Draft June 24-25 in St. Paul.

“The Chicago Blackhawks have identified rookie goalie Corey Crawford as their top priority to re-sign past next season, and Crawford is amenable to it.  His agent, Gilles Lupien, said they spoke three weeks ago and agreed they’ll hammer out a deal face-to-face at the draft where he’ll table three possible deals ranging from two to four years in length.”

If true, one would wonder why the lack of urgency, specifically on the Blackhawks’ side?  This approach is similar to how Stan Bowman handled the Antti Niemi negotiations.

First off, aside from Cristobal Huet, who the Blackhawks still won’t be able to afford on their cap next season barring a major cap cut, the Blackhawks don’t have a single goaltender under contract currently for next season.

Marty Turco is an unrestricted free agent and a possible return is very much in doubt.  Hannu Toivonen is a UFA but if he returns it will be to start in Rockford.  Alexander Salak, the 24 year old Czech acquired in February from the Panthers along with Michael Frolik, is a restricted free agent.  Salak has never played in the NHL and while he ranked as one of the best netminders in Sweden this year, he was an average goaltender in Rochester (AHL) in 2009-10 and the arrival of Jacob Markstrom chased Salak back to Europe.  While Salak’s resume is not too different from Crawford’s pre 2010-11, he’s still unproven and if the Hawks are aiming to be Cup contenders next year, would they really put themselves in a position to have an unproven commodity within an injury of pinning their season on Salak?  Sure, they got lucky with Niemi and Crawford was phenomenal this year despite never asserting himself in five minor league seasons prior to getting his chance.  Going to that well three consecutive years though may not be the smartest thing to do. Read more »

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NHLPA Player opinion poll on franchises, coaches, rule changes and peers

Less than half of current NHL players recently participated in a voluntary poll presented by the National Hockey League Player’s Association and the CBC television network in Canada.  Of the 318 players who did return surveys, 11% identified the Chicago Blackhawks as the team they’d most-like to play for.  And 7% choose the United Center as their favorite arena to play in.

Duncan Keith, the reigning Norris Trophy award winner, finished 5th in the category of toughest defenseman to play against.  Keith received three percent of the votes in that query.  Patrick Sharp ranked 3rd in the most-underrated player category, tied with New Jersey center Travis Zajac with each receiving 3.5% of votes.  That’s something of an arbitrary category.  Frans Nielsen, who got the 2nd most votes for most-underrated, is a sneaky-skilled player but he’s not in the league of Sharp or Dallas Stars winger Loui Eriksson, who led the voting by a slim margin over Nielsen (5 goals, 16 assists, 43gp).

In Joel Quenneville, the Blackhawks have the league’s 5th most desired coach, according to players polled.  Quenneville received 6% of votes tallied, behind Guy Boucher (8%), Dave Tippett (8%), Mike Babcock (18%) and Dan Bylsma (21%).  Bylsma was obviously aided by how well he came off in the HBO 24/7 series.

Here’s the entire list of questions and top vote getters: Read more »

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