Tag Archives: Stan Bowman

TTMI~Radio, e.87, Sixty-five minutes Talkin’ Blackhawks with Al Cimaglia

A special-express caffeine-fueled edition of TTMI~Radio this week.  Only thirteen more of these to go now….

Al Cimaglia of Sirius/XM Home Ice and HockeyIndependent.com joined for sixty-five minutes of Hawk Talk.  We did this show two hours earlier and quicker than usual since I had to be out the door for a fantasy football draft tonight.  Great show though, covering a bevy of topics.

After running down all the recent pertinent news, Al and I listen to comments Patrick Kane made to a Toronto radio station last week and give our take on the Hawks’ superstar right winger’s new destination date of recovery.

We also take a look at controversial comments recently made by Mike Cammalleri and the now-retired Dave Scatchard.  Is the NHL’s current concussion care policy good enough? Should their be greater concerns, as Cammalleri hints, at the artificial enhancements players are using to compete and endure the NHL grind and is the current drug testing policy doing the job?

Also, we analyze Marcus Kruger‘s place on this year’s Blackhawks; Jimmy Hayes given the opportunity to train in Lugano over a recent 1st round pick; IceHogs’ roster concerns; what we would have paid Chris Campoli to stay and answers to emails on why two of the greatest goaltenders of all-time, Dominik Hasek and Ed Belfour, were sent packing by Chicago in the early to mid-90s.

All this and probably more I’m forgetting.

TTMI~Radio, e.87 ~ Monday August 29, 2011
original air 6pm Cen ~ Uppers & Downers, Talkin’ Hawks w/Al Cimaglia

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Our entire show archives are up at BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn
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Show returns next Tuesday, September 6th at 8pm central when we’re scheduled to be joined by John and Bob of the currently vacationing FifthFeather.com.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Kruger NHLPA top rookie, Kane causes stir, Rankings

Brad Gardner’s latest ranking of the top 20 Blackhawks prospects is up now at HockeysFuture.com

This was yesterday’s huge news story.  When Patrick Kane says he’ll be ready for opening night, would that not logically then indicate he’ll also be healthy and able to participate in some training camp activity, even a preseason game or two?  Kane went on a Toronto radio station Tuesday and was non-committal on the status of his recovery from wrist surgery.  Still, Kane is confident he’ll be good in time for the season opener.  I know its August, but to me this is a lot of unnecessary commotion over what will likely amount to a week of missed camp.   It was obvious from the moment that interview concluded this would blow up.  Whatever Kane does is going to be news.  He’s that big a star.  However, it is amazing Kane would be so cloudy on his state of return just 24 hours after his general manager was emphatic Kane is fine and on schedule for the start of training camp.  And that’s why this blew up.  Kane used to live in Stan Bowman’s basement and he is a franchise player, you’d figure these guys would be on the same page.  I wouldn’t put any heat on Kane for this.  Its his body and the team’s timeline seemed convenient to begin with. But this is a fuss over what could simply amount to seven days.  Still, is appears the Hawks shifted into damage control last night.

Marcus Kruger will be in Toronto on Tuesday, August 30 to be one of 27 NHL rookies presented in the NHLPA’s 2011 Rookie Showcase.  Kruger and his six Blackhawks teammates wrap up the week of practice sessions in Lugano, Switzerland on Sunday.  He’ll then head straight to Toronto.  Tuesday is mostly a media showcase, interview and photography session.

–It was pointed out to me that Lugano head coach Barry Smith is still technically employed by the Hawks as a European talent adviser.  Smith was a pro scout with the Hawks last year.  He was Scotty Bowman’s assistant while with the Red Wings.

–New Blackhawk Andrew Brunette turns 38 today…. Roland “Alain” Daigle is 57. This Three Rivers, Quebec native spent six seasons (74-80) on right wing with the Blackhawks.  They drafted him 34th overall in ’74.  He retired in 1984 after stops in Europe and the AHL.  The Hawks were the only NHL team he ever played for…. They share the day Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (24)….

–Former prospect and Hawks’ 2005 6th round pick Joe Charlebois has signed with the Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL).

–I’ll have much more tonight/tomorrow morning.

–We have a podcast scheduled for Monday night at 6pm with Al Cimaglia.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Mikita talks cancer, Bergevin on new Personalities, Dent on IceHogs, 3rd jersey axed, notes on Berard, Campoli and a Sutter


Stan Mikita
feeling good in spite of cancer battle  [Brian Hedger, NHL.com]

Mikita meets his doctors in ten days to find out where he’s at with his Stage 1 oral cancer.

“I’m looking for very favorable comments from him (the doctor),” Mikita told Hedger.  “The treatments went well.  It wasn’t really bad for me.  It’s been coming along real well.”

–More from Hedger’s Blackhawks’ notebook – Stuff on Marian Hossa’s math, Patrick Kane’s on-time wrist recovery and David Bolland loving Daniel Carcillo.

Video of Mikita speaking to media at Monday’s Blackhawks Alumni golf event at Medinah Country Club.  [CSN Chicago]  Comments from an antsy Bolland and Stan Bowman as well in that clip.

–Assistant general manager Marc Bergevin in an interview on a Toronto radio station Monday, talked about this summer’s roster shakeup, the addition of what Bergevin termed, “personality” to the team’s core roster.

“We felt we are skilled enough to get us into the playoffs.  We just need the character to get us through the playoffs,” Bergevin explained.

“And that’s what we had when we did win.  Then we lost guys like Ladd, Byfuglien, and Versteeg and Sopel.   Guys who were warriors, that did the little things to make the other team accountable.  They made the other team realize ‘this is going to be a battle tonight.’   That’s what it takes to win a Stanley Cup.

“You can’t win with twelve skilled forwards and six skilled defensemen, because there is dirty work that needs to be done and there are only certain players that are willing to do that.” he concluded. Read more »

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Campoli keeps hope alive, Makarov release, Salak, Hawks Swedish net prospect and more

As a follow up to Igor Makarov signing with St. Petersburg (KHL), it appears the Blackhawks did execute a contractual release of the one-remaining year on his entry-level deal.  That means Makarov is off the 50-man roster.  In the Russian interview we cited in Friday’s story, Makarov said the Hawks released him and that claim now lines up.  His name has now been removed from the team’s web site.

–All remaining regular season Blackhawks tickets go on sale Monday morning at 10am central via Ticketmaster.  Standing room is now $27.  First seven rows of the top level will cost $72 or $90 (60-72 if your seats are behind netting) depending on the opponent.  To sit eleven rows off the ice on the weekend or against an Original Six or rivalry opponent now costs you $200.  And you thought trading Brian Campbell would save us money….

–Free agent Chris Campoli says he has “a few irons in the fire.” [Toronto Star]

“There is interest,’ Campoli told the Star.  “I have to stay positive.” Read more »

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Cullimore to Germany, Saad declines invite, Hawks cap position


Jassen Cullimore
will skate in Germany this season.

On Monday, Cullimore signed with the Iserlohn Roosters of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL).  Cullimore will join the team for training camp next month.  The Roosters’ season begins on September 16.  He joins goaltender Manny Legace and former Rockford IceHogs’ defenseman Prestin Ryan on the Iserlohn team.  Iserlohn [IEC] missed the playoffs last season and finished 12th out of 14 DEL teams.  Cullimore turns 39 in December.

While re-signing Cullimore was never a sure-thing, this does leave an important hole on the IceHogs’ defense.

Right now their top five is Ryan Stanton, Brian Connelly, Joe Lavin, Dylan Olsen and Shawn Lalonde.  With the exception of Stanton, Rockford’s defense, as currently constructed, is at best modest in their responsibilities south of the offensive blue line.  Simon Danis-Pepin is in the mix as well, but his skating was still barely AHL-level in April.  Rockford will need a veteran shut-down defenseman.  Connelly can now be considered a vet on the offensive side, but he can’t mind Lalonde in the defensive zone and you really shouldn’t count on Olsen to do that just yet, at least to start the season.  Read more »

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Hawks trade rumor, Rocky Wirtz says team still losing money

Tim Sassone this afternoon on Twitter hinted of “whispers” he’s hearing out of Montreal on a potential trade involving the Blackhawks and Canadiens.  Sassone suggested Habs’ winger, and former Chicago Blackhawk, Travis Moen could be part of the deal.  Moen skated for the Hawks in the season prior to the 2004-05 lockout and was then dealt by GM Dale Tallon to Anaheim for Swedish utility forward Michael Holmqvist.  In all, Moen was a part of the Blackhawks organization for three years, playing in Norfolk in 02-03 and 04-05.

Sassone also intimated one “or more” of the Blackhawks restricted free agents would be headed to the Canadiens as part of the rumored talks.  My guess is the player would be Viktor Stalberg, who in college at the University of Vermont was nicknamed the “Swedish Rocket.”

Moen, 29, would give the Hawks some added size (6-2, 216) and grit they’re missing with Troy Brouwer and Tomas Kopecky now gone.  Andrew Brunnette has a great knack for the puck around the net but he’s not overly big (6-1, 215) and he’s not a banger.  Jamal Mayers may not play much if he even makes the team.  Daniel Carcillo is not big and doesn’t intimidate anyone, just annoys them.  John Scott is pushed further and further away from the ice with each Stan Bowman move, despite the GM’s comments of wanting to get Scott more ice time.  Sean O’Donnell (as a part-timer) and Steve Montador have addressed the team’s need for muscle and toughness on the blue line, but it’s still a work in progress at forward.

Travis Moen is entering the final year of a 3-year contract and has a cap hit of $1.5M.  The expiring deal fits in mold Stan Bowman is setting with his free agent transactions, save Montador.  Chicago is wisely apprehensive to committing any more long-term dollars in looking ahead to the next collective bargaining agreement.  Patrick Sharp will get his, but outside of him I can’t see the Hawks taking another big contract on without moving one they already have or another of today’s RFAs.

As far as the Blackhawks are concerned, Stalberg would be a nice luxury to have as a fourth liner.  With his speed and modest skill, Stalberg gives the Hawks a threat on that line.  There aren’t many teams who can throw the kind of speed Stalberg has on their fourth lines, and since coaches typically match fourth lines against the other, having Stalberg’s size (6-3, 210) and wheels would give the Hawks an advantage against most other teams in that respect.  And Stalberg has enough skill to fill in on scoring lines when injuries warrant or Joel Quenneville is treating his line up card like a Rubik’s cube.

Moen has never been a scorer (career high is 11 goals, with ANA in 2006-07), but is a tough, consistent forechecker and best utilized in a checking line role.  He won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007 in that checking role with Rob Niedermayer and Samuel Pahlsson.

There are still moves to be made and free agents to sign, and Moen is at this point just an interesting rumor, so we won’t get into where he’d fit in the Hawks’ line up.  But, again, (I guess I am doing it anyway) he’s best in that third line checking role, which would mean breaking up the Bolland-Frolik-Bickell trio Bowman was been so fond of.  Possibly moving Bickell up to a scoring line, with Brunette being the other scoring line left winger if Sharp’s staying at center.  If there’s another plan in store for center and Sharp is making a permanent home at left win, then Moen or Bickell drop to the fourth line and one or more of the July 1st acquisitions would be in the press box or sent packing.  Regardless, Moen could be a nice depth acquisition, with an affordable expiring contract.

– In other news, Chris Kuc has a Q&A up today with the Blackhawks ChairmanRocky Wirtz has been elected to the NHL Board of Directors.  Just in time for a CBA overhaul.  Rocky also tells Kuc that his team is still losing money.

Before anyone freaks about over the chairman’s claim (he also did this last year), the team is still reimbursing years of loans from Wirtz Corp.  In the interview Wirtz claimed it would take another four years before the team could operate on its own in the black.  Even then, with the NHL economy and national television rights fees locked in for the next ten years, and also money his team spends, it’s doubtful they’ll ever turn huge profits.

Rocky Wirtz also talks to Kuc about raising ticket prices, looking back at bad deals and signing Cristobal Huet’s paycheck.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Blackhawks qualifying offers; Note on Dowell

Michael Frolik, Chris Campoli and Viktor Stalberg all received qualifying offers by Monday’s 4pm deadline as expected.

One player who did not is center Jake Dowell.  According to Dowell’s agent Neil Sheehy in a report by ESPNChicago.com, the Blackhawks chose not to tender the Blackhawks center a standard qualifying offer, thus setting Dowell up for unrestricted free agency on July 1st.

The Hawks are looking to upgrade their fourth line and Monday’s news would appear to indicate Dowell is another odd man out.  To retain Dowell’s rights, the Hawks would have needed to make him a “qualifying” offer of one year and $605,000.

It’s also important to note that Dowell was scheduled to be tested for Huntington’s disease this spring, a condition both his father and brother suffer from.  There have been plans in the works by the Blackhawks to hold a Huntington’s benefit this upcoming season.

The qualifying offers to Frolik, Campoli and Stalberg essentially give the team right of first refusal in the upcoming free agent negotiation period.  The players can choose to accept the Hawks’ offers, seek an offer sheet from another club, walk away (as in go play in Europe) or continue negotiating with the Hawks on a new deal.  The one-year qualifying offer secures the player’s rights, preventing them from entering the open market unconditionally this coming Friday.

The offers tendered to the abovementioned are such: Read more »

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Bowman interview, prospect camp changes; Winny coach news, Torchetti out, Yawney quits, Toews quips, Tallon troubles, NHLvsNBA and Wang news

Stan Bowman was interviewed on ChicagoBlackhawks.com’s podcast, Blackhawks Insider, in audio posted on Monday.  A portion of Bowman’s conversation with Adam Kempenaar is transcribed here.

The Blackhawks Way of playing hockey

One piece of news coming out of the audio portion pertained to July’s prospect camp.  Bowman is inviting fewer players and there will be less scrimmage time.  He’s looking at this year as less of a tryout (or evaluation) camp and more of a development camp.  They’re experimenting with a different ideas at the assistance and suggestion of Joel Quenneville and the coaching staff.  Bowman said there will be a bigger focus on “skills they’re going to need to have in order to eventually play for us.”  Just the idea of fewer players would seem to indicate one scrimmage per day instead of two.  On the topic of scrimmages, Bowman said “we are certainly going to have some of those but it was predominately scrimmages in the past.”

On the talent pool in this year’s draft, Bowman is optimistic that there is enough that he’ll get “good” future NHLers but he doesn’t see high-end goaltenders in this draft, which is consistent with the scouting reports.  Bowman said they “don’t necessarily have a one position” they’re focusing on.  He said in the past they had holes at center and defense but felt they’ve addressed those in the past couple of years.  He said he hadn’t had talks with any GM’s on moving up or trading down, but revealed those discussions between GM’s don’t typically come into play until the week and days leading into the draft.  He said they’re working at getting the best group of picks, regardless of position.

That taken, the Hawks are very weak on the depth chart at right wing.  Jeremy Morin is better on the left side.  Kyle Beach and Igor Makarov can play either.  Beach is probably better on the left but his game is a little far off to say for sure.  Makarov could Rockford’s top right wing by default if Morin and Beach keep to their off wing.

Longer-range, Bowman shared his thoughts and is high on Justin Holl’s skating ability; the toning down of Stephen Johns and Kevin Hayes taking the next step.

–Conflicting reports now coming out of Canada on the search for a new Winnipeg coach.  Today’s Winnipeg Sun is reporting there will be a second-round of interviews with finalists Claude Noel and Mike Haviland. Read more »

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TTMI~Radio Flies Solo: Email Bag Edition

On this week’s show I fly solo and dig into our reader and listener emails.

Among the topics discussed:

– Chances of Andrew Ladd return
– Stan Bowman wants more John Scott minutes
– Putting contract talks with Crawford off until Draft
– Troy Brouwer’s worth
– Kyle Beach’s chances, expectations and comparisons
– Michael Frolik’s redemption
– Dale Tallon: the talent evaluator
– Hawks’ MVP
– Marian Hossa cap sore potential
– Kyle Hagel
– Hjalmarsson really trade bait?
– Stan’s #1 off season priority
– A Brian Campbell trade?
– Hence Ben Smith, next IceHog to emerge?
– Rene Bourque
– IIHF World Championships and much more

Click the player below to listen, or Right-Click here to Download

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We’ll do email every week this summer on just about any topic you’d want to discuss.  You can send those to mailbag @ thethirdmanin.com

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The show returns next week and all summer long.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Say a Prayer for the Dying

The following piece ran in Sunday‘s Committed Indian, before Game 3.

By Chris Block

The Chicago Blackhawks 2010-11 season has entered the ICU.

Many of us saw this coming.  Yet, it’s a bitter pill to swallow when reality comes knocking.  The Vancouver Canucks come to United Center Sunday night looking to put the fatal wound in the 2010 and defending Stanley Cup champions’ repeat bid.

The Hawks simply cannot skate with Vancouver, the league’s best team.  They’re doing all they can just to keep up.  I’m certain Kane, Sharp or Toews will show up this week and the Hawks will win a game or two, but it’ll be too late.

The Hawks have not come back to win a series after dropping the first two on the road since 1968.  Sixteen series with the exact scenario have gone by since and the Hawks 0 for 16.  The Flyers did it to Boston last year, but this year’s Hawks don’t compare to last year’s Flyers.

Cap constraints, turnover, new faces and questionable maneuverings had the defending Cup champs behind from the start of training camp.

Logic figured the Hawks would be a very good team all season, hit a wall at some point and fall short of its ‘One Goal’.  They were, somewhat and they did – and now the Canucks are here to make certain of the latter.

What we didn’t expect out of 2010-11 was for the team to take steps backwards. Read more »

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