Tag Archives: Simon Danis-Pepin

Odds and Saads; Stephen Johns signing notes, Hartman debuts; Bollig, Raanta, Blackhawks and IceHogs bits

By Chris Block

This is way later than I targeted for this week, but better late than never.  Today was my first chance to get to this.  And just in time now to start working on next week’s… Anyhow, on with it.

Stephen Johns Signs

On Wednesday (April 2) the Chicago Blackhawks inked Notre Dame senior defenseman Stephen Johns to a two-year entry-level contract that will begin with the 2014-15 season.

Johns has also agreed to a professional try-out contract for the remainder of this season with the Rockford IceHogs.

He traveled with the IceHogs to Abbotsford, British Columbia on Thursday for Rockford’s big 2-game set with the Heat this weekend.

Johns is expected to make his professional debut tonight in Abbotsford.  It looks like he’ll wear number #36, which was Maxim Shalunov’s number earlier in the season. Read more »

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IceHogs carry 4-game win streak into this weekend; Dent on sitting Dylan Olsen; Leddy, Saad injury update and tons of news and notes

By Chris Block

After getting off to an auspicious 0-3-0-1 start to the 2012-13 season, the IceHogs rolled off 4 straight wins over eight days last week to vault themselves into second place in the AHL’s Midwest Division and two points behind the first-place Chicago Wolves.

Those same Wolves will travel up Interstate 90 tonight to face the Rockford IceHogs at the BMO Harris Bank Center.  Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm.

In the only other two meetings between the two teams this season, the Wolves bested the IceHogs back on opening weekend, both times at Allstate Arena in Rosemont.  The Wolves begin their annual November road trip with tonight’s game.  They’ll be on the road for their next five games due to the annual circus stint at Allstate Arena.

Chicago defeated the IceHogs 1-0 in a shootout on October 13th and then again 5-3 the following day. Eddie Lack was in goal for the Wolves both nights and is expected to start between the pipes again for Chicago tonight. 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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Blackhawks sign Pete Leblanc to 1-yr deal, IceHogs wrap their season this weekend, tons of news and notes

By Chris Block

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 »

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Montador to IR, Blackhawks recall Olsen; IceHogs get Danis-Pepin

Today, the Blackhawks placed defenseman Steve Montador (upper body) on the Injured Reserve list.  Montador was injured in Tuesday night’s loss at Colorado.

In his place, the Blackhawks have recalled 21-year old Dylan Olsen from the Rockford IceHogs.

Olsen played in two games for the Blackhawks (January 5 @ Philadelphia, January 6 vs Colorado) last month and posted four shots on goal.  He was held off the scoresheet but also left the Hawks an even plus/minus.

Read our profile on Dylan Olsen published in late December, eight days before his first NHL call up.

In 44 games with the IceHogs this season, Olsen has 4 goals, 3 assists and is a minus-4.  Two of his four goals have come in Rockford’s last four games. Read more »

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IceHogs gear up for huge weekend; Kyle Beach update, Dylan Olsen itching, Toledo Hogs and Rockford attendance

IceHogs’ center Brandon Pirri – photo: Rockford IceHogs


By Chris Block

Rockford IceHogs (8-10-1-0) drop the puck on a three-game weekend tonight when the Lake Erie Monsters (9-10-1-1) visit the BMO Harris Bank Center at 7:05.  This will be the first time this season Rockford has had to play three games on consecutive days.  They’ll do so again next weekend.  In both cases, the first two games are at home, followed by a game day bus trip on Sunday.

Tonight’s game also marks the return of former Hogs Evan Brophey, Hugh Jessiman and defenseman Mike Brennan.

Brophey comes in on a 4-game point streak (2g, 2a).  He registered his first career hat trick on 11/11/11 against San Antonio.  Brophey turns 25 on Saturday.  His IceHogs/Blackhawks tenure ended in suspension last March when he stepped out of the penalty box and destroyed Hamilton Bulldogs forward Hunter Bishop with an open ice blind side hit.  Brophey received a season-ending 7-game suspension after playing in two subsequent games that weekend before the AHL got around to holding a hearing following the March 25th hit.

Hugh Jessiman had posted a goal in four consecutive games prior to Lake Erie’s 2-1 loss to Houston on Wednesday night.  In 17 games this season, Jessiman has 7 goals and 9 points.  Last season, prior to being sent to the Panthers in the Jack Skille-Michael Frolik/Alexander Salak swap, Jessiman had just 3 goals and 5 points in 25 games with Rockford.  Jessiman was struggling with groin issues while with the IceHogs. Read more »

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Rookie tourney: Game 1 recap – Maple Leafs drop Hawks 4-2, Paradis injured


By Brad Vandenberk

Annual rookie tournaments have begun all over North America, getting fans and players excited with less than a week until training camp starts.  The Chicago Blackhawks are in Oshawa, Ontario playing the likes of Ottawa, Pittsburgh and Toronto.  Game 1 saw the Hawks square off against the Maple Leafs at the General Motors Centre.

Donned in their red jerseys, the Hawks began the tournament with a determined effort against the Leafs.  Mac Carruth was the starting goalie joined by starters Shawn Lalonde and Dylan Olsen on defense.  Mark McNeil was flanked by Ludvig Rensfeldt and Jimmy Hayes up front. [Hawks game roster]

The Hawks got their first chance at a power play as the ref made a hooking call at 1:52 of the first period.  They were unable to capitalize however.

It didn’t take long for the fists to start flying as 5’10” Andrew Shaw took on 6’5” Jamie Devane with a David versus Goliath type match.  [Highlights at bottom of this report]

After Devane served his 5 minute major for fighting, he opened the scoring for the Leafs as a puck was shot wide from the blue line and bounced to the side of the net. Devane, standing on the door step, quickly shot the puck over Carruth making the score 1-0 with just under 2 minutes remaining in the first.

Philippe Paradis left the 1st period after being hit hard in the offensive zone and grimacing his way back to the bench.  Paradis did not return.  [ed.  note: Paradis did not dress in Sunday’s game vs Ottawa] Read more »

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IceHogs look to build off win in Peoria, host Milwaukee tonight

After a spirited 4-2 win last night in Peoria, the IceHogs return home to MetroCentre in Rockford tonight for a clash with West Division leading Milwaukee Admirals.

Tonight will be the 8th in 10 season matchups between these two teams.  Rockford comes in 2-3-1-1 against Milwaukee this season.  The IceHogs have been outscored, 16-20.  Rockford’s power play has lit the lamp 5 times in 26 chances (19.2%), while the penalty killing units have held Milwaukee to just four goals (24-28, 85.7%).  Five of these games have essentially been decided by one goal (the Feb 4th contest at MIL saw Brett Palin pot an empty-netter to give the Admirals a 4-2 victory) and three have needed overtime, two of those extending to a shootout.

Rockford should be looking to extract a measure of redemption for a porous showing in the Bradley Center two weeks ago when the Admirals jumped out to a 5-0 lead by the 16:45 mark of the opening period.  IceHogs head coach made two goaltending switches in the first period; Alec Richards to Hannu Toivonen and back to Richards.

Hannu Toivonen lasted barely two minutes in relief of Richards, allowing two goals on three shots.

With Richards securing Rockford’s win last night, he has now backstopped the team to their only three wins over the past five and a half weeks. 

Look for Richards between the pipes tonight.

Jeff Taffe continues to carry the burden of offense on his back along with his center, Ryan Potulny.

Taffe has a 13-game point streak going into tonight’s game.  9 goals and 11 assists over that stretch.  He’s also a minus-7 with 39 shots on goal (23.1 shooting percentage) in that time.  A lot of the damage he’s done this season has come with the man advantage.

Ryan Potulny has a 5-game point streak going as well.  4 goals and 3 assists for Potulny.  His plus/minus is even, with 14 shots getting to the net (28.6%) in his last five games.

Taffe is just two games shy now of the IceHogs’ AHL record for consecutive games point scoring streak.  A marker held by Martin St. Pierre.

Tonight’s scratches:  Brandon Pirri, Ryan Stanton, Jassen Cullimore, Ivan Vishnevskiy and Jeremy Morin.

SDP recalled

Rockford recalled 6-foot 7-inch defenseman Simon Danis-Pepin from the Toledo Walleye (ECHL) today.  The Montreal native and former Maine Black Bear appeared in 22 games with the Walleye since getting the assignment from Rockford to Toledo on January 8th.  Danis-Pepin played with Toledo last night in a 8-5 loss at Kalamazoo.  He was held off the scoresheet, but was a minus-4.

With Cullimore and Vishnevskiy already out with short-term injuries, the IceHogs were without an extra defenseman.

Danis-Pepin was drafted by the Blackhawks 61st overall in the 2nd round of the 2006 NHL Draft.  He signed his three-year entry level deal officially on July 8, 2009 and is under contract to the organization through the 2011-12 season.

In that game in Kalamazoo last night, Mitch Versteeg, the brother of former Blackhawks and current Phiadelphia Flyers winger Kris Versteeg, recorded a “Gordie Howe Hat-trick”, scoring a goal, picking up an assist on the first goal of the game and getting a fighting major with 3:29 left in the game.  Mitch is a 22-year old, 6’2 – 205 pound defenseman with no NHL affiliation.

Bill Peters’ lines tonight vs Milwaukee look like this:

Rob Klinkhammer – Ryan Potulny – Jeff Taffe

Mathis Olimb – Evan Brophey – Ben Smith

Kyle Hagel – Pete Leblanc – Igor Makarov

Brandon Bollig – Zach Torquato – Kyle Beach

On the defense:

Garnet Exelby – Dylan Olsen

Brian Connelly – Simon Danis-Pepin

Wade Brookbank – Shawn Lalonde

Notes:

Kyle Beach’s demotion to the fourth line, or stay there, is in no doubt related to an undisciplined slashing penalty Beach took late in the second period last night at Peoria.  With Beach in the box, Mark Cundari tied the game for the Rivermen.  Luckily for Beach and the Hogs, Jeff Taffe posted his second of the night moments later and Rockford would hold on.  But not enough to get Beach out of Peters’ doghouse tonight apparently.  Old habits die hard.

Zach Torquato was also recalled from Toledo.  He’s on an AHL contract with Rockford.

Consecutive games without a goal:  Jassen Cullimore (60), Chris DiDomenico (19), Simon Danis-Pepin (19), Shawn Lalonde (19), Dylan Olsen (19), Nick Leddy (12), Ivan Vishnevskiy (12), Mathis Olimb (11), Kyle Hagel (8), Ben Smith (8), Brandon Bollig (7), Igor Makarov (7), Wade Brookbank (6), Andy Bohmbach (5), Evan Brophey (5), Kyle Beach (3), Brandon Pirri (3), Brian Connelly (2), Pete Leblanc (2), Garnet Exelby (1), Ryan Johnson (1), Jeremy Morin (1), Ryan Stanton (1), Rob Klinkhammer (-), Ryan Potulny (-), Jeff Taffe (-)

Consecutive games without a point: Jassen Cullimore (16), Dylan Olsen (16), Chris DiDomenico (14), Ivan Vishnevskiy (12), Kyle Hagel (8), Brandon Bollig (7), Wade Brookbank (6), Evan Brophey (5), Ben Smith (5), Simon Danis-Pepin (4), Mathis Olimb (3), Pete Leblanc (2), Brandon Pirri (2), Garnet Exelby (1), Ryan Johnson (1), Shawn Lalonde (1), Nick Leddy (1), Igor Makarov (1), Jeremy Morin (1), Kyle Beach (-), Andy Bohmbach (-), Brian Connelly (-), Rob Klinkhammer (-), Ryan Potulny (-), Ryan Stanton (-), Jeff Taffe (-),

-Evan Brophey is without a helper in his last 21 games played

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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IceHogs mid-season swoon in detail, Morin injury update, stats and more

Rockford continues its busiest week of the season tonight when they bus to Rosemont, Illinois for the 7th of 10 matchups this season with the Chicago Wolves.  The two teams have split the games even so far.

As a team, the IceHogs have been nothing short of awful of late.

Rockford has lost 13 of their last 15 games (2-11-2-0).  Seven of those losses have come on home ice.  When this recent stretch of losses began back on January 21st, Rockford was three games above the .500 mark (19-16-1-4) having won seven of ten.

Today, the IceHogs (21-27-3-4) are deeply trenched in last place in the West division, trailing 7th place Chicago by 15 points.  With only 25 games left in the regular season, the IceHogs would essentially have to run the table now in order to grab a spot in the postseason.  Just two teams in the league (Adirondack and Bridgeport) hold fewer wins than Rockford.

The chief culprit in this recent swoon has been some inexplicable poor starts.

Dating back to Jan 21st, Rockford is being outscored 27-11 in the opening period.  It gets a little better in the middle stanza (10gf-15ga) while the 3rd period rings dead-even (14-14).

On five occasions in the last 15 starts, Rockford has trailed by two or more goals after the opening twenty minutes.  Three times, they trailed by three or more.  On Feb 13 at Milwaukee, the IceHogs trailed after the first period 5-1.

While the goaltending of Alec Richards and Hannu Toivonen has been less than adequate at times over the downturn, Rockford’s defense has largely been to blame. Read more »

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Another Big 4 points for IceHogs; Jessiman, DiDomenico, Danis-Pepin updates

** Another huge back-to-back is upon the Rockford IceHogs this weekend as they attempt to climb back into a tough AHL West division playoff race.

40 games into the season, Rockford (19-16-1-4) is three games above .500, yet nine points out of the 4th and final playoff spot in their division.  The IceHogs find hope though in that they own ‘games in hand’ on every team in their division and the majority of their second half will be spent facing those teams above them in the division.

So, while the season is far from over, every point is a big one.

Tonight the current 3rd seed in the West Division, Oklahoma City visits Rockford.  These two teams have traded wild 6-5 decisions of late.  The Hogs dropped a New Years Day game at Oklahoma City 2-1 on a night both IceHogs’ special teams units let them down.

Rockford has five games in hand on OKC, and trail them by nine points as well.  A win tonight would put Rockford in line to reach the Barons once they catch OKC in the games played column.

Tomorrow night the San Antonio Rampage return for a rematch of this past Monday’ MetroCentre matinee, which the IceHogs took 2-1.  All scoring in that one came in the third period.  Goals on the Rockford side came first from Evan Brophey, then Hugh Jessiman.

San Antonio is 8 points up on Rockford and currently in 6th place.  They also have played four more contests than the IceHogs to this point.

As we mentioned earlier this week, odds are the 5th place team in the West will wind up with more points than the 4-seed in the North division, thus sliding over and taking that spot.  But competition for that spot will be fierce as teams currently 3rd through 7th are separated by just three points.

Games in hand don’t mean a thing if you don’t turn those into points.  A mediocre start, coupled with being in the toughest division in the AHL leave Rockford with little room for error.

The IceHogs are 7-3-0-0 over the last ten games, their best stretch of the season.  Kyle Beach, Evan Brophey and Hannu Toivonen have led the way, playing the best each of those three have to this point. Read more »

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