Tag Archives: Panthers

Crawford, Hawks post shutout in South Florida; Teuvo scores in return, Q on his new 3rd pairing, full recap and more

By Chris Block

The reinsertion of Teuvo Teravainen into the Blackhawks’ lineup in the wake of Patrick Kane’s regular-season ending broken collarbone surgery proved to be a difference maker, at least for one night.

Teravainen scored on his first shift of the game on Thursday night and Corey Crawford returned to the nets to make 20 saves and post his 12th career regular season shutout in a 3-0 defeat of the Florida Panthers before an announced crowd of 17,387 fans (mostly Blackhawks fans) at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.

The Blackhawks defense and backchecking was in top form, limiting Florida to just five shots through the initial 31 minutes of Thursday’s rematch of the Hawks 3-2 shootout-deciding victory two nights before at United Center. Tuesday’s contest saw the Hawks take a 2-0 lead into the third period only to see the Panthers force extra hockey.

Joel Quenneville made one other lineup change from Tuesday’s game. It came as a surprise in that most people expected Dan Carcillo to draw back in as a response to Alex Petrovic’s push that has put Kane out of action for approximately three months. Instead, Quenneville scratched veteran Michal Rozsival for Tim Erixon, who had played in just six games since being acquired for Jeremy Morin in mid-December. Erixon was appearing in his first game action since January 18th against Dallas, a 6-3 Hawks’ loss at home. Read more »


Lindbloom’s View: Seeing Things In The Dark

Lindbloom_BadBadBad_20150225Bad, Bad, Bad

“I’m mad…and that’s a fact
I found out…animals don’t help
Animal think…they’re pretty smart
Shit on the ground…see in the dark

They wander around like a crazy dog
Make a mistake in the parking lot
Always bumping into things
Always let you down, down, down.” – David Byrne

By Rich Lindbloom

When a friend of mine once told me he had bought about his seventh Talking Heads album he said, “I don’t know why I keep buying these albums?” To say the Talking Heads have an inimitable style is grossly understating there zaniness. Quirky isn’t quite the right adjective, but sometimes I think David Byrne ain’t right. Something tells me that he and I could have about as engaging a conversation as Einstein and me. (I could always counter Albert’s, “What do you think of my Theory of Relativity,” with a “What do you think of the Hawks third defensive pairing?” Obviously there would be considerable confusion, although I think I’d have a better chance of finally figuring out the Theory.) Read more »


Hawks edge Panthers 3-2, but need a shootout; Kane leaves game with major injury

By Brad Vandenberk

After suffering an embarrassing loss on home ice against the Bruins on Sunday afternoon, the Blackhawks shifted the focus on Tuesday to the Florida Panthers, who are battling for a playoff spot, and would love to take full advantage of a depleted Hawks squad.

Scott Darling was recalled from Rockford on Sunday night with Joakim Nordstrom. Ryan Hartman and Antti Raanta were sent back down to what seemed to be a salary type move. Which can only mean one thing. Nothing, it means nothing. Darling was then signed to a 2 year contract extension.

Darling was also named the started for this game helping the Hawks edge the Panthers 3-2 in a shootout. Jonathan Toews and Kris Versteeg were the goal scorers with Patrick Sharp lending a hand in the shootout. This would be the last game for this 8 game home stand recording 3-3-2. Read more »


Odds and Saads: Notes on weekend, Sharp, Richards; Dylan Olsen MIA, Hayden’s suspension, the Stevie Moses sweepstakes and much more

By Chris Block

Big weekend starts tonight as both the Blackhawks and Rockford IceHogs are in action twice this weekend.

Blackhawks host Colorado at the UC tonight. I’m on recap duty for this one so that should be fun.   The Boston Bruins then come to town on Sunday afternoon for what should be another entertaining game against a top Eastern Conference opponent, the third in eight days at home for the Hawks.

Rockford is in Cleveland this weekend for a two-game set Friday and Saturday against the Lake Erie Monsters, who are the Colorado Avalanche minor league affiliate. The IceHogs missed out on an opportunity to move back into first place in the MidWest division on Wednesday when they were shut-out at home by San Antonio, 4-0. The IceHogs were terrible in that game until the third period when they outshot San Antonio 20-5, but by then it was far too late. Later that night Milwaukee earned a point in an OT loss at Grand Rapids, so Milwaukee sits 2 points up on Rockford. Both teams have played 52 games at this point, though Milwaukee is idle tonight.

–I was absolutely crushed Sunday morning as I walked into the United Center and got the news that Steve Montador had passed away overnight.  Montador was 35.

I covered wrestling for many years and became good friends with guys who would go on to die at an early age or take their own life, but now that I’m a bit older, you get a different feeling when someone dies young whose just a shade younger than you.

I had the pleasure of covering Montador in Rockford and speaking with him in his time with the organization. He was just honest and passionate about the game when we spoke. He was just a great person. That’s all there really is to say.  Its sad that his career ended the way it did and again now that he’s gone.

Read more »


Thoughts on Brandon Pirri, the Tallon link and what’s become of the Hawks’ center depth

Pirri_Brandon_IceHogs_Flickr_ToddReicher_2014Feb21_WolvesBrandon Pirri handles the puck in his second-to-last home game as a member of the Rockford IceHogs vs Chicago, February 21, 2014
photo: Todd Reicher, courtesy of Rockford IceHogs

By Chris Block

I recall day two of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal.  Then Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon strained to holdback his excitement when talking to media types after drafting Toronto native, Brandon Pirri with the third-to-last pick in the second round of that draft.

“Terrific skills,” were the first Tallon gave when asked about Pirri.  “He’s really a good hockey player.  We’re very happy that we got him there.  It’s the old adage, ‘(we) can’t believe he was still there.’”

Pirri had just turned 18 two months prior and was a relatively untested commodity upon entering the draft, having stuck to the Canadian junior B level after committing to join Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in the fall of 2009.

Read more »


Hawks special teams near perfect in Dylan Olsen and Jimmy Hayes’ return to United Center; Hawks beat Panthers 6-2

Corey Crawford leaves game in 1st period with “lower body” injury

By Brad Vandenberk

After losing a close affair against the Ducks on Friday, it was time for the Hawks to play their final eastern conference match against the Florida Panthers at the UC.  This would be the first visit for Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen since being traded down south.  This was also Kris Versteeg’s first game against his old team playing for his old team.  Fatigue seems to be creeping its ugly head into the dressing room of the Hawks.  They are currently suffering from a 3-game losing streak.  Though, they have battled in all 3 games to try and stay atop the western conference.  There was some good news coming into this game.  Bryan Bickell has begun skating again and is close to a return.  Andrew Shaw did play in this game after missing the last 2 with an upper body injury.  Michael Kostka was back on the Hawks roster after being activated off the IR.  Finally Nikolai Khabibulin is working his tail off in the gym, but is still some time away from returning. Read more »


Hawks squander 2-goal lead, prevail 3-2 in the shootout at Florida

By Brad Vandenberk

It’s the time of year when the Blackhawks players, and coaching staff, invite their mothers to enjoy the sun, sights and sounds that Florida has to offer.  And why not throw a few road games in there while we’re at it.  First stop Florida, where many of the former Blackhawks now reside playing with the Panthers.

The Hawks wanted to continue their dominate play against Eastern conference teams and gain some much needed points in the Central division.  With a 5-0-1 record against the east side, and the Panthers starting off with an abysmal 3-6 record, this game was ripe for the picking.

Coach Q gave Corey Crawford the nod between the pipes, while savvy veteran Tim Thomas manned the net for the home team. Read more »


Hawks shed more salary, Trade Reasoner to Tallon

Today, general manager Stan Bowman afforded himself a little extra breathing room under the salary cap by trading centreman Marty Reasoner to the Florida Panthers in exchange for minor-league forward Jeff Taffe.

The transaction marks the first between Bowman and his prior mentor, Dale Tallon, new GM in Florida.

Our Blackhawks depth chart and salary cap tracker have been updated.

As it turns out, Reasoner, who was acquired in the June 23rd trade with Atlanta which sent Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager and 2007-2nd round draft choice Akim Aliu to the Thrashers, will leave the Hawks having never played a game with the organization.

Reasoner is scheduled to earn $1.15M this season and his cap hit of $1.2M is now off Chicago’s books.

The interesting part of the deal comes in the terms of Jeff Taffe’s contract.  Taffe played 61 of his 82 regular season games, while with the Panthers’ organization, with the Rochester Americans in the AHL.  In the first year of his two-season deal with the Panthers, Taffe was paid at a rate of $105,000 in the AHL (figures provided by CapGeek.com), and $500,000 in his 21 games with the NHL club.

For the 2010-11 season, however, Taffe’s contract calls for him to be paid $600,000 whether he plays in the NHL or the minors.

Taffe posted 1 goal and 1 assist in those 21 games with the Panthers as a fourth line forward mostly.

In Reasoner, the Panthers get another dependable, versatile forward.  Tallon has focused on improving his depth up front since the draft and does further with this trade.  Reasoner, 33, is also a veteran with an expiring contract.  Reasoner will cost the Panthers $600,000 more than Taffe, however, Reasoner is a NHL-er, while Taffe isn’t likely to scratch an NHL ice surface aside from possible stints as an injury replacement.

Today’s trade served purposes on both sides.  The Blackhawks cut a few dollars under their salary cap in hopes of fitting new contracts for Antti Niemi, Bryan Bickell and Jordan Hendry under the cap maximum, while the Panthers cut salary expenses aimed for their AHL team.

As noted here before, the Blackhawks right now are concerned with two CBA related salary cap encumbrances – the $59.4M salary cap they have to be under prior to opening night of the 2010-11 season, and the $65.34M summer ceiling (the cap max + 10% summer cushion).

Per our calculations, the Blackhawks now have approximately $60.5M allocated to 17 players for the upcoming season.  This includes Cristobal Huet and Kyle Beach.  Without Huet, the Hawks are at $54.875M and have roughly $4.525M to spend on the last six open roster spots.  Or, $754,000 per available roster spot.

In some shape or form, Huet will come off the cap before opening night.  However, he cannot be assigned to Rockford until October.  Thus, his $5.625M cap hit does figure into the salary cap equation until his situation is resolved.  Hence, the Blackhawks currently have $4.84M of that “summer cushion” to play with and stay within the constraints of the CBA.

For the sake of argument, let’s stick to the non-Huet scenario.  The Hawks have $4.525M available to spend on six roster slots.  One being the second goalie position.  If Niemi signs with a cap hit of, let’s pick a number, $2.25M, this would leave $2.275M with five spots open.  That’s an average of $455,000 per player and since the league minimum is $500,000, the numbers still don’t add up.  Corey Crawford‘s cap hit alone is $800,000, and he will replace Huet’s vacated roster spot.  If it comes down to it, the cap could be Crawford’s nemesis yet again.  Hannu Toivonen is a quarter of a million more affordable at $550,000.

Stay tuned.  Today won’t be Bowman’s last rotation of the cap-shredder.  Whether Niemi stays or not is ultimately irrelevant to the bigger cap solution.  Unless Bowman resolves to defend the Stanley Cup with a Crawford and Toivonen as his goaltending tandem, another significant contract has to depart.