Tag Archives: Niklas Hjalmarsson

Lindbloom: These Hawks Blow Good

“Blow”

By Rich Lindbloom

There’s probably a good chance most of you do not know who the trumpeter pictured above is. I knew very little about this virtuoso, Miles Davis, other than what I gleaned from Terry Hemmert’s Jazz transfusion show that used to play late Sunday nights. (And of course a little WBEZ) Back in 1991, my wife and I attended an outdoor concert in a field just north of the Field Museum on the spur of a moment. I think she asked me what kind of music it was, and I said, “I’m not sure, but I know the guy is a legend.” The truth about jazz is it’s the antipode of what producers try to sell us, what with the “hooks” and such of modern popular music. Live jazz is the unexpected, boldly creative, “out on a limb” risk taking.(Think Dustin Byfuglien abandoning his defensive post.) Clearly it’s poetry without rhyme. Most of the time, unless you’re the Tribunes great jazz reporter, Howard Reich, it’s a venture into the unknown.

As Nathalie and I took are seats, decidedly in the minority, we took in the sights and sounds of the jazz world. It made me smile to think that some of these jazz aficionado’s thought we know something about jazz. Ha! Mile’s Davis’s band took the stage, sans Miles, and started into a whirlwind funk type of thing. (I’m pretty sure Howard would like to punch me in the face for that description– see, hockey does have similarities to jazz!) After a few minutes, a slender dude with big sunglasses joined them on stage, trumpet in hand. As he took to his front and center position, he raised the trumpet to his lips and blew one note. Read more »

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Hossa’s return sparks Hawks to 5-2 win over ‘Yotes

By Brad Vandenberk

Blackhawks began a small road trip Tuesday with a stop in the desert versus the Phoenix Coyotes.

Phoenix decided to start Jason Labarbera while the Hawks went with Corey Crawford.

Marian Hossa returned to the lineup, again playing alongside Patrick Kane and Dan Carcillo.

Hossa didn’t need much time to get going.  On his first shift, he found himself on a 2 on 1 with Carcillo and elected to shoot high over the net.  The first penalty of the game went to Taylor Pyatt who was called for boarding, sending Niklas Hjalmarsson awkwardly into the boards.  Hjalmarsson would be okay.

The Hawks first power play unit had Jonathan Toews, Kane and Andrew Brunette, with Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith at the point.  Although Sharp had a breakaway, the Hawks still could not convert. Read more »

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Lindbloom: What You Think?

By Rich Lindbloom

“What me worry? There’s must be at least 50 ways to find that elusive #2 center – having $3 mildo in my pocket is a good start.”

Last Saturday I was fortunate enough to locate a seat in our company’s Suite. Normally an inhabitant of the upper reaches of the U.C., on occasion I get to sit close enough to the ice to actually hear the sound Dave Bolland’s elbow makes when it collides with an adversary. In between periods, I made my way down to the main concourse to meet a friend close to where Denis Savard was signing autographs. The excitement and buzz there were rather apparent on this, the opening night of the 2011/12 season. Like most of the ardent Hawk fans, the bat senses were heightened that night trying to discern if this year’s team is an improvement over last year’s. If nothing else, Stan Bowman had a very active offseason. The word frenetic comes to mind. While he didn’t pull a true second center out of his hat, the revamping of the Hawks almost paralleled the amount of changes made last year. Read more »

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TTMI~Radio, e.92, Sam Fels and Chris Block preview the 2011-12 Chicago Blackhawks

By Chris Block

With Opening Night of the 2011-12 NHL season now a mere days away, we called upon an old friend and colleague on tonight’s edition of TheThirdManIn~Radio to get down to some serious Blackhawk puck chatter.

Sam Fels, writer extraordinaire and editor of The Committed IndianSecondCityHockey.com and blogger at NBCChicago.com’s MadHouse Enforcer joins me to digest the off season and preview this year’s Chicago Blackhawks.

On the show, we discuss, but won’t limit ourselves to….

— Blackhawks’ Opening Night roster
— Updates and status of injured Hawks – Ben Smith, Patrick Sharp & Davey Bolland
— Brandon Saad signs entry-level. Begins season in NHL
— Saad vs Morin
— The mess at the center position
— Kane at Center, Sharp at Wing – For how long though?
— Grading Stan Bowman’s off season. Likes & Dislikes
— Can Dan Carcillo play?
— John Scott in the lineup Opening night?
— Ray Emery ‘wins’ the backup job
— The shake ups and makeup of the new defense corps
— Chris Campoli’s contract stand & new place in Montreal
— Biggest Hawks’ Storylines, Key Players for 2011-12
— Bolland again
— How much longer will Joel Quenneville remain Hawks’ head coach?
— Stan Bowman’s new 3-year contract extension in 2016
— 1st NHL head coach to be fired
— Western conference & Finals picks
— Predictions on Hart, Norris & Selke winners
— the Dallas Stars Ice Girls~!
— Drink beer – Get loaded – this Friday night at The Bottom Lounge with Sam and the boys over at SecondCityHockey.com at their big Opening Night viewing party.

And much… much… more

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Enjoy.  And thanks to everyone as always for listening.

Check out the archives – BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn
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ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Season Preview: Niklas Hjalmarsson; One Step Up

photo credit

By Brad Gardner

Niklas Hjalmarsson will have the third-highest cap hit on the Blackhawks’ blue line during the 2011-12 season, meaning increased expectations for the Swedish defender. Chicago GM Stan Bowman opted to match the offer sheet submitted by San Jose during the summer of 2010, so Hjalmarsson is owed 3.5 million dollars this season and two more seasons.

Originally selected in the 4th round, 108th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Hjalmarsson spent parts of two seasons in Chicago before sticking with the big club full time for the 2009-10 season. He was one of the club’s most dependable blueliners throughout the 2010 Stanley Cup run, finishing third among defensemen with 21 minutes of ice time per night and ranking second with a plus-nine rating in 22 playoff games. Hjalmarsson also finished fourth on the blue line with eight points during the 2010 playoffs, giving a glimpse of the potential two-way defender the organization believes he could be. Read more »

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Solving the Campbell Void

Photo credit

By Brad Gardner

The Blackhawks’ blue line will be without a key contributor now that Brian Campbell will lace his skates in Sunrise, Florida this season. The seismic trade was felt most strongly on the books, where Campbell’s departure opened up over 7 million dollars in cap room. Shockwaves will also be felt on the ice as Chicago’s returning defenders and a trio of new acquisitions will try to replace one of the NHL’s better offensive-defensemen. Read more »

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Training camp begins now, in Switzerland, for Hjalmarsson, Scott and five other Blackhawks


Training camp begins almost a month early this week, and overseas, for a handful of Chicago Blackhawks players.

The Blackhawks have sent seven of their own over to Switzerland this week to participate in the final preseason preparations for Swiss NLA club HC Lugano’s upcoming season.

Niklas Hjalmarsson
Viktor Stalberg
John Scott
Marcus Kruger
Dylan Olsen
Jeremy Morin
Jimmy Hayes

The players will spend a week in Switzerland training with Lugano.

How did this all come about? Read more »

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Monday night’s Hockeenight PuckCast

Gracious hosts as always, CT and the “Forklift” of Hockeenight.com welcomed me onto their PuckCast again last night.

Click the player below to listen here in your browser.  ITunes users can subscribe and download all of their shows in the podcast section of the ITunes store.

For others who prefer to download these audio programs, I uploaded it here.

We ran the gamut of Chicago Blackhawks topics on the show.  Here’s a list of just some of those:

-Blackhawks at this weekend’s NHL Entry Draft
-Who the Hawks are likely to pick
-Draft trades
-Which position the Hawks need to stock up on
-Making the right deal with Michael Frolik
-Bringing back former Hawks
-Two Hawks, aside from Marty Turco, definitely goners
-Niklas Hjalmarsson
-What Ben Smith won’t do next season
-The Kid Rock of hockey blogging
-Canucks injuries
-Twitter
-Joel Quenneville’s goalie gun
-Jeremy Morin
-Getting the best player in a deal
-Gargantuan hockey bloggers
-Blackhawks convention
-More on Duncan Keith’s comments
-Trying to make sense of why people dislike John McDonough so much
-Missing Tonkfest
-Thoughts on Canucks-Bruins
-Phil Collins in Concert
-Hockey Returns to Winnipeg
-Trying to watch baseball
-Raffi Torres, Aaron Rome, Hjalmarsson and hits that must be taken out of the game

And much, much more

Thanks as always to Fork and CT for having me on and to all those who take the time to listen to their show, as well as ours.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Blackhawks 2011 preseason schedule; Salary Cap up more than expected

Blackhawks announced their upcoming 2011 preseason schedule on Monday.

Chicago will again play seven exhibition games and see home-and-home games with the Penguins and Red Wings, as they did last fall.  The Capitals return to the Hawks’ preseason slate after a one year absence.  The two teams will also play a home-and-home series as they did in 2009.  The Blackhawks other exhibition game will be a neutral site contest against the Oilers in Sasaktoon.

Here goes….

Tues Sept 20 (in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) vs Edmonton Oilers @ Credit Union Centre – 6pm*

Thur Sept 22 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (Consol Energy Center) 6:00pm

Fri Sept 23 vs. Washington Capitals (United Center) 7:00pm

Sun Sept 25 @ Detroit Red Wings (Joe Louis Arena) 3:00pm

Wed Sept 28 vs. Detroit Red Wings (United Center) 7:30pm

Fri Sept 30 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (United Center) 7:30pm

Sun Oct 02 @ Washington Capitals (Verizon Center) 4:00pm

*Not sure about the time on that Saskatoon game, but that’s what is currently listed.  I’d bet that is a mistake (taken from the Hawks’ official press release).  All other times appear to be central.  Saskatoon is on central time (UTC-6) year round.  So that would mean either mean a 6pm start in Saskatoon and 7pm in Chicago, or a 5pm Saskatoon, 6pm Chicago scenario.  I don’t know why it would be anything other than a 7pm or later start in Saskatoon?  I’d go with that (8pm Chicago). The building holds less than 15,000 and is the home of the Saskatoon Blades (WHL).  Pearl Jam plays the Credit Union Centre the night before.

Last year’s preseason began with a trip to Winnipeg for a neutral site game with the Lightning.  Comcast SportsNet-Chicago gave that game a broadcast because it had the added element of being captain Jonathan Toews’ homecoming.

The September 30th game will be a chance to see about as close to the Hawks’ Opening Night roster as you’re going to get prior to the opener.  Fat chance you’ll get a look at Sidney Crosby in person that night however.

NHL SALARY CAP FLYING HIGHER AGAIN

– Positive news for the top revenue franchises looking to keep their star players, bid on free agents and spend to the cap.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting that when the salary cap is officially set and announced next week, the upper max will come in at $64 million.  The “upper limit” was previously rumored to be anywhere from 62 to 63.2 million for the upcoming season.  Each of these figures would figure in the NHLPA’s escalator option to automatically push the upper limit up by five percent.

Of course this news also greatly impacts franchise on the other end of the spectrum as well.  The CBA mandates that the lower end, or “floor” (minimum a team must spend on their NHL roster) will be $16 million less than the upper limit.

This year’s “floor” will thus be $48M, an increase of $4.6M from last year’s $43.4M lower limit.

Florida, Phoenix, Dallas and the Islanders have some work to do.  All teams already bleeding money, by the way.  Funny how the system works.

In Chicago, this development likely means Stan Bowman will be in the game on bidding for anything but the few top-level free agents if he’d so choose to.  The extra two or so million also should eliminate any ideas of moving Niklas Hjalmarsson for the purpose of freeing up cap space and maneuverability – Which is a good thing for his regular defense partner Brian Campbell.  Still, that defense needs some tweaking and with Leddy and Campoli in the mix there isn’t a space to plug in another defenseman.  There will be a need for a seventh defenseman, but that won’t be an expensive slot.  Some have suggested Brent Sopel could be brought back but that should only be if he is willing to accept less than a million on a short term agreement. He’d also need to know that he’d start seventh on the depth chart.  If John Scott’s on the NHL roster he’s an emergency forward or defenseman, or specialty option against select teams.  If his skating can improve and he can provide more, great, but it shouldn’t be counted on.  There’s a need for a blue line penalty killer, preferably with some jam to his game that can take some of that responsibility away from the over-taxed Duncan Keith.

– While a decision is said not to be imminent, the Winnipeg head coaching job is down to Blackhawks’ assistant Mike Haviland (Cheveldayoff) and AHL-Manitoba Moose head coach Claude Noel (True North).  Sitting “Thrashers” head coach Craig Ramsey is no longer sitting.  After interviewing for the job he held during the 2010-11 season in Winnipeg on Saturday, Ramsey was informed he wasn’t getting the job.  As was former Oilers’ bench boss Craig MacTavish.

– Wanted to make mention – Since the last game of the Finals was played on June 15th, the CBA dictates that the league-wide moratorium on new player contracts would not go into effect until 48 hours after the conclusion of that game.  The actual wording is “the later of June 15th or 48 hours after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals.” Why new contracts continue to come out five days later (Nicklas Lidstrom) is anyone’s guess.  Its not that teams and agents cannot negotiate, its a moratorium on paperwork filings that make those new SPC’s official.  So perhaps its semantics or the league could be making up new rules and overriding the collective bargaining agreement when they deem fit as they go along?

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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TTMI~Radio: Mike Peck and Al Cimaglia join to recap IceHogs, Blackhawks in 2010-11

TheThirdManIn~Radio returned last night as did a couple of our more popular guests.

Mike Peck, the play-by-play voice of the Rockford IceHogs joined us for the first half hour to recap the IceHogs’ season.  Peck sees the IceHogs more than just about anyone not a coach of the team and discussed the progress of Kyle Beach, Brandon Pirri, Shawn Lalonde, Rob Klinkhammer, Igor Makarov, Brian Connelly and more.  We also got his early observations of the Hawks’ next crop of prospects Philippe Paradis, David Gilbert and Jimmy Hayes and which veteran defenseman, in his mind, has the greater odds of returning to Rockford.

Al Cimaglia of Sirius/XM Radio and HockeyIndependent.com was along for the Peck discussion as well.  We then moved on to talk Hawks-Canucks fallout; whether the series proved the Hawks were anything more than what they showed for the previous 82 games and a few players who are very unlikely to return next season.  Al and I also went further into explaining why the Hawks top players, like Duncan Keith, cannot be relied on so mightily again next season.  We also debate if the Hawks should re-sign Troy Brouwer, who Stan Bowman seems to love and who he didn’t sound too enthused about last week when the name was brought up.

For the final twenty minutes or so, Superstar and go more in-depth into Duncan Keith’s comments and season confessional post-Game 5; why he shouldn’t have said what he did and the misguided comparisons some have drawn.

It’s a John Scott free podcast.  A solid 90 minutes.  Hope you enjoy.  Thanks to everyone as always for listening.

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The show returns next Monday night, May 9th at 8pm central.  If we don’t have a special guest we’ll dig into player evaluations and recap losing entirely too much of our money at Arlington Park over the weekend.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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