On Tuesday, we welcomed Mike Peck, the voice of the Rockford IceHogs, back to PuckChatter~Radio to help us recap the IceHogs’ 2012-13 season.
Over the course of this 40 minute show, Mike and I discussed the emergence of third-year pros Brandon Pirri, Jeremy Morin, Ben Smith and Ryan Stanton. We also covered the development and future of other Blackhawks prospects, including Kyle Beach, Joe Lavin and Jimmy Hayes. Also, we take a look at what next season’s IceHogs’ roster will look like.
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With the European leagues, U.S. collegiate hockey and Canadian junior hockey seasons winding down and beginning each of its playoffs, several Chicago Blackhawks prospects will soon arrive in Rockford, Illinois to cap off their seasons with a trial showcase at the American Hockey League level.
Joakim Nordstrom, who the Blackhawks selected with the final pick (90th overall) in the 3rd round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, is expected to join the Rockford IceHogs by the end of the week. Read more »
In great detail, we recapped the Rockford IceHogs at the 28.9% mark of the AHL season as well as listen to some conversations we’ve had with a few IceHogs over the past few weeks. There is a lot going on these days out in Rockford with the suddenly first-place IceHogs and we covered most of it.
We also touch on Tuesday’s much overhyped meeting between six NHL owners and as many NHL players – Is it more posturing and sideways negotiating by the Gary Bettman and the owners in attempt to undermine Don Fehr and divide the players, or is the league finally ready to work towards getting a deal done? We discuss. Also, Phillip Danault and Mark McNeill were named to the Canadian U20 World Championships selection camp roster on Monday. How do they fit and what are their chances of making Team Canada?
All this and more on this edition of Puck Chatter.
Among the items broached on the show….
-A hockey magazine editor’s troubles with the English language
-Ted Dent talks about inconsistent play & Martin St. Pierre’s start
-Carter Hutton back on his game
-Is Nick Leddy not dominating the AHL a real problem?
-Kyle Beach’s newest move – the turtle and spear
-Jimmy Hayes talks about his transition from wing to center
-Perhaps how the Hayes-to-Center decision came about
-Surprising facts & truth on how the “experiment” is working out
-What the Hayes move says about Hawks true depth at center
-Adam Clendening’s mustache
-Jeremy Morin talks finding his scoring touch & a full off season
-Chris Block says weird things & asks odd questions
-Nick Leddy talks about his move to Left Defense & the CBA
-Stan Bowman’s ‘guys’ and where they stand
-Is Kyle Beach a power forward
-Couple of IceHogs approaching Franchise marks
-Blackhawks Board of Governors representatives
-Gary Bettman attempting to pitch a no-hitter
-A funny story about travels to the BMO Harris Bank Center 57:20
-And much, much more
Some of the topics discussed on the show….
-TTMI/PuckChatter~Radio turns 3 today
-Stephen Johns skips out on this camp
-Brandon Saad, Teuvo Teravainen and Phillip Danault a cut above
-Which prospects we’ll see next in a Hawks uniform
-Mark McNeill a year later
-Chris Calnan’s next move
-Joakim Nordstrom and Klas Dahlbeck coming to America
-Garret Ross the next Shaw?
-Kevin Hayes improving
-Kent Simpson or Mac Carruth
-Son of Chris Chelios
-A 6-foot 9-inch Swedish defenseman
-And much, much more
- Which position and who the Blackhawks may be looking to draft at #18
- A look back at the 2012 Draft and how well the Hawks did
- Joel Quenneville’s coaching future
- Prospects of trading some core, and non-core veterans
- Justifying the Johnny Oduya re-signing
- Phillip Danault
- Mark McNeill
- Please Stan, no more Bryan Bickell
- Looking ahead at familiar names coming out in ’13 & ’14 Drafts
- Ridiculous Blackhawks free agency speculation
- Trading Patrick Kane
- Barry Smith
- Adam Clendening and Shawn Lalonde
- Moving the Coyotes from Glendale back to Phoenix
- NHL expansion
- All this an much, much more in this 2-hour PuckCast extravaganza
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.
Its been rare when big news breaks right before our show and we get to sink into it when its hot and fresh.
Well, that did happen on Tuesday as Joel Quenneville announced he had relieved assistant coach Mike Haviland of his duties effective immediately.
The Committed Indian and SecondCityHockey.com ‘s own Sam Fels joined me in this 75-minute edition of PuckChatter~Radio to discuss this and the rest of the (to this point) known fallout from another disappointing Blackhawks season.
Sam and I discuss why it was the popular Mike Haviland and not (now former) fellow assistant Mike Kitchen who got the axe. Sam dishes his points of discontent with the job Joel Quenneville has been doing behind the Blackhawks bench and also his concerns with the recent Dave Bolland trade rumors.
We also break down the validity of the Ryan Suter speculation, the state of Niklas Hjalmarsson, if the ‘Hawks are truly in dire straights, Corey Crawford, the rest of the news of the week and much, much more.
Oh yeah, and one more thing - Joel Quenneville’s confidential list of potential candidates he will choose from to replace Haviland….. which he claims he hasn’t started yet…. and once he does it will be a secret list…. However, he did tell us on Tuesday that Barry Smith is not on that list… which, again, is secret and not yet begun.
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. Read more »
The Rockford IceHogs are running out of bodies and now games in their wild postseason bid.
On Friday they travelled to Cleveland, Ohio for a two-game set with the Lake Erie Monsters. Rockford entered the opener on Friday night trailing the 10th-place Monsters by two points in the Western conference with a game in hand on Lake Erie.
By any means, this weekend presented four points the IceHogs needed. And anything less than three would put Rockford’s postseason hopes in serious jeopardy.
With five games remaining and four teams to leapfrog in order to qualify for postseason, this weekend represented an opportunity to gain ground or jump past Lake Erie in the standings all together.
But after a 2-1 loss at Quicken Loans Arena on Friday night, the IceHogs at best now can leave Cleveland this weekend in the exact predicament they arrived in.
And if they don’t beat Lake Erie in regulation on Saturday, they’ll bus home having lost ground in spite of getting two of a possible four points.
Rockford’s pursuit of a playoff spot has approached storybook proportions of late behind timely goal scoring, team defense, key contributions from ECHL signings, some luck and Carter Hutton.
The IceHogs have gone 20-8-1-3 since Jan 16th when they were a season-worst 7 games below the .500 mark.
However, the IceHogs still managed to stumble in recent weeks even in earning 11 of a possible 12 points in their six games coming into Friday night’s contest. Read more »
In all, four players received a total of 10 games as penalty for their involvement in Sunday’s brawl. Rockford got the short-hand with two of its players each getting three games while Milwaukee got a total of four. The two teams and respective coaches were fined undisclosed amounts as well.
IceHogs center Rob Flick received 3 games for essentially instigating the incident when he skated over to Milwaukee’s crease and engaged with Admirals’ goaltender Jeremy Smith while the two teams were lining up for a face off in the neutral zone. Smith got a 1 game suspension.
Smith and Flick appeared to be exchanging words before Smith took a sip from his water bottle and turned around to find Flick approaching the top of his crease. At that point Smith took the first swing with his blocker at the head of Flick and the two immediately began fighting before the puck had ever dropped out near the Admirals’ blue line.
Shawn Lalonde and Milwaukee’s Michael Latta each received 3-game suspensions for leaving the penalty box to join in the melee. Those two had been sent off with off-setting fighting majors at the previous whistle. Lalonde was responding to Latta taking a run and IceHogs’ forward Brandon Svendsen, who was in a vulnerable position a few feet away from the boards. Read more »