Tag Archives: Stan Bowman

TTMI~Radio, e.77, Everything Gone Wrong

The title isn’t probably what you’d think.

On this week’s show we review the Blackhawks 6-3 possible statement win over the visiting San Jose Sharks on Monday night.  As well as the three-game losing streak, which we did predict on last week’s show, leading up to Monday night’s win.

Also on this week’s show:

-Kudos to Joel Quenneville’s recent handling of the goaltending position and why
-Change in Quenneville’s philosophy
-Stan Bowman acknowledges team fortunate
-Potential playoff matchups and which favor the Hawks
-Why a series with Vancouver may not favor Chicago
-Toews for MVP
-Ridiculous reasoning for ruling out other Hart candidates
-A GM doing his job
-This site celebrates a 5th year
-Updates on Dave Bolland and Brian Campbell injuries
-Florida game
-Playing Crawford every night
-More on Campoli acquisition and his value
-Trouble if Bolland’s out
-Handicapping the week ahead
-Convincing Marcus Kruger & Alexander Salak to move to N.A.
-No success explaining new standings tie-breaker method
-Superstar hits the road, and the water
-Someone visits temporary sobriety
-Hossa & Kane get their Awesome on

We didn’t get to everything, but that’s nothing new.  The title of this show is a reference to the last two years of this web site.  Thanks to everyone as always for visiting and listening.  And for your incredible patience with us.  The show returns next Tuesday night, March 22nd @ 8pm central with Dieter Kurtenbach joining me as guest-host.

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ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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TTMI~Radio e.71, Blackhawks-Flames fallout with Al Cimaglia of Sirius/XM & HockeyIndependent

Al Cimaglia of Sirius/XM Radio and HockeyIndependent.com joined me on Tuesday night for 70-plus minutes of Blackhawks’ talk.

A great show.  Al’s extremely knowledgeable and has keen slant on the goings on with the Blackhawks.  We discussed the fallout from the Blackhawks’ performance in a 3-1 loss at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday night and previewed the road ahead with games upcoming this week in Edmonton, Dallas and Phoenix to close out the Hawks’ six-game road trip.

TheThirdManIn~Radio ~ e.71 ~ Right-Click Here to Download
Tuesday February 8, 2011
~ 8pm (central) original air

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Among the topics discussed:

- Was Duncan Keith right to call out his forwards after Monday’s loss, no matter how correct his assertion is?
- What Keith is upset about and what may have set him off
- Is a “bag skate” in the middle of a road trip, on the Eve of 3 games in 4 nights a sound idea?

- We give Al the Hawks’ GM seat from now until the Feb 28th trade deadline, what would he do?
- ..Wait it out, or react now…
- Which popular former Blackhawk could be a right fit to return this month?
- Other names who could make a positive impact
- Where have the Blackhawks stood for the past three months
- Stat that doesn’t give impression things are so bad
- Record the Hawks must close out with to earn spot in postseason
- Talking sense, not fanatical nonsense, in Brent Seabrook negotiations
- What Seabrook may be thinking
- Sharp at center, positives and negatives
- Hawks around the net, who gets there & who doesn’t
- Who’s hot and who’s not
- Troubling sign again noted with Marian Hossa’s shot

- Q’s line allocations and responsibilities; Defining the 4th line
- Getting a jump start on RFA’s now; why it didn’t happen last year

- Odds Cristobal Huet will ever wear an Indianhead sweater again?
- Have the Hawks hit the physical and emotional wall?
- This year’s locker room vs. last season’s locker room
- And much, much more

BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn ~ Entire show archive & upcoming listings
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Thanks as always for spending time with us.  You can join us Live next Tuesday night, February 15th @ 8pm central time for our next weekly program and as always at BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Jan 12th Committed Indian Column

The following is my column which ran in Wednesday night’s Committed Indian.

One thing struck me going back and watching last Friday night’s broadcast of the Hawks-Senators game that I felt shined a spotlight on what’s wrong with the Blackhawks this season.

In breaking down and assessing blame for the Senators’ power play goal at the start of the first period, Eddie Olczyk put Fernando Pisani under the bus for doing the very thing that has been missing since June 9thbeing aggressive.

On Daniel Alfredsson’s goal, 49 seconds into the middle stanza, Olczyk ranted on and on over Pisani putting too much pressure on Sergei Gonchar as the top pointman quarterbacking the Sens’ power play.  How soon we forget how these things were done for the last three years.  Olczyk tried to make the point that Pisani’s over-pursuit of Gonchar disassembled the Hawks’ zone coverage.  If Joel Quenneville and his staff have instructed their penalty killers to sit back in a passive box, then Olczyk is factually correct in this case.

But I wouldn’t be so quick to take Olczyk’s word for it.  After all, what experience did he ever have playing in his defensive zone?  And ask Mark Recchi how much he thinks of Olczyk’s hockey acumen. Read more »

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Jan 10th TTMI~Radio Blackhawks & NHL Mid Season report

On this week’s show, we discuss Blackhawk victories this weekend over the Ottawa Senators and Brideport Sound Tigers; the penalty kill woes, tackle the team’s biggest problem (rhymes with “teeth”), Brent Seabrook and Corey Crawford’s contracts and respective futures with the Blackhawks.

Also we look at Nick Leddy and if he’ll crack the significant 10-game barrier this week.  Later, we look at Stan Bowman’s trade options, his needs and our ideas for potential trade targets.

We list our picks for 1st Half MVP, Norris, Vezina and Jack Adams trophy leaders; biggest surprise, disappointments and more.

And we close with a shootout debate.  Should it be changed, if so, how?  And how we would improve the NHL’s current 3-point system.  All this and a little bit more on this week’s TTMI~Radio!

We’re joined this week by Dieter Kurtenbach.  You Tweeters can follow Dieter on Twitter @DKurtenbach

TheThirdManIn~Radio ~ e.67 ~ Right-Click Here to Download

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We return next week, Tuesday January 18th @ 8pm central.

And on Monday January 24th, John & Bob of the FifthFeather.com

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Toivonen Rebounds, Rockford Blanks Manitoba 1-0

Last time the IceHogs saw the Manitoba Moose on November 6th in Rockford, Hannu Toivonen was in charge of holding a 1-0 lead in the waning moments. 

On that night, Toivonen was victimized for three goals in exactly one minute and twenty-seven seconds.  The Moose broke that shutout on an innocent yet seeing-eye Cody Hodgson wrister with just under five minutes left to play.  The rally continued with back-to-back Jeff Tambellini markers, one through the wickets and another over Toivonen’s glove, posted 32 seconds apart.  Toivonen was the ‘goat’ in an otherwise solid IceHogs’ effort. 

Toivonen did not see the Rockford net again until Thursday’s rematch in Winnipeg. 

Thursday night, with Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman in attendance, several of the Hawks top prospects put on solid performances.  Brandon Pirri, Igor Makarov, Kyle Beach, Nick Leddy and Jeremy Morin all made contributions that didn’t necessarily make the scoresheet.  Read more »

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Hawks Cut Morin, Details; Opener Roster Appears Set

On Monday, the Blackhawks assigned Jeremy Morin to the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL.  The decision ends an apparent late pre-season competition between Morin and 24-year old Vitkor Stalberg for a spot on left wing.

In the off season, Morin, 19, was acquired from Atlanta in the deal that sent Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager and Brent Sopel to the Thrashers.  Viktor Stalberg was the key return in the trade in which the Hawks sent Kris Versteeg to Toronto.

In the final exhibition game Sunday versus the Blues, Stalberg skated just under 9 minutes for coach Joel Quenneville, while Morin played 13:18 including several shifts on the power play.  Both were credited with two hits.  Morin registered two shots to Stalberg’s one.  Each picked up an assist while Morin finished a minus-1 and Stalberg a plus-1.  Morin’s effort leading to Marian Hossa’s deflection-goal during a second-period power play was a highlight of the game.  Afterwards, Quenneville called Morin’s night “okay.”

The move of Morin to the AHL trims the Blackhawks roster down to the maximum of 23 with the injury to Brian Campbell and demotion of goaltender Hannu Toivonen having previously gone down over the weekend.

Here’s how the opening night roster stacks up: (lines speculative)

Troy Brouwer – Jonathan Toews – Marian Hossa
Tomas Kopecky – Patrick Sharp – Patrick Kane
Viktor Stalberg – Dave Bolland – Fernando Pisani
Bryan Bickell – Ryan Potulny – Jack Skille
Jake Dowell

Duncan Keith – Brent Seabrook
Niklas Hjalmarsson – Nick Leddy
Jordan Hendry – Nick Boynton
John Scott (W/D) – Jassen Cullimore

Marty Turco
Corey Crawford

Injured: Brian Campbell (sprained right knee; out 4-5 weeks)

Jack Skille (arm) is at this point still considered questionable for Thursday’s opener in Colorado.  Skille has said he thinks he’ll be ready.

Cullimore is still around in case the Hawks get cold feet with the Nick Leddy experiment or it simply doesn’t work out.  Cullimore had a better camp than most everyone is willing to give him credit for and while it may seem unfathomable to some, Cullimore is still a better option for Quenneville than rookies like Ivan Vishnevskiy or Brian Connelly.

If Skille can’t go Thursday, its very possible John Scott will dress as the 12th forward and Cullimore as the 6th-D against the Avalanche.  Remember, Nick Boynton will be serving a one-game suspension Thursday night for his throat-slashing gesture in the first exhibition game on September 22 in Winnipeg against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

With Jake Dowell dressing the final two preseason games and Ryan Potulny watching those contests from the stands, it would stand to reason Dowell is getting the call to center the fourth line in Game 1 of 82.  Or, both Dowell and Potulny dress  (if Skille is out) in game one and Scott stands in as the 6th defenseman.

While Jordan Hendry didn’t do much this exhibition season to gain many’s confidence in his ability to anchor the third defensive pairing, the 5-6 duo needs the additional mobility neither Boynton or Scott can provide.  Thus, Hendry could have a longer rope.

In regards to the Morin demotion….

I think you’d be troubled to find a single person who felt Viktor Stalberg out-performed Jeremy Morin during the exhibition contests.  If this were a legitimate one vs one competition, Stalberg would be the player headed to the AHL.  But this obviously wasn’t.

There’s also not much to the notion Morin was a casualty of salary cap considerations.  While Morin’s 2010-11 potential performance bonuses total $170,000 more than Stalberg’s, those would be covered under the entry-level bonus cushion.  Also, Morin’s base salary and preliminary cap hit is $70,000 less than Stalberg’s.  So Morin’s preliminary hit is more favorable than Stalberg’s.  And if Morin were to stick all year at the NHL level and meet all his marks for those bonuses, I’m sure the Blackhawks wouldn’t mind.

More likely, if the cap figured into Morin’s case at all, is apparent inclusion of Nick Leddy on the opening night roster.  Leddy’s base salary according to numbers listed on CapGeek.com is $900,000.  Leddy also does not have attainable performance bonuses this season.  With Leddy in the mix on the Hawks’ blue line, the Hawks only have space for minimum sized contracts for the time being.  If Brian Campbell had not been injured Friday in the game with Pittsburgh, Leddy probably would not have made the team and Morin may have been rewarded with an early trial with the Hawks.

With Leddy in the picture, Morin had to beat out Stalberg since the contracts of Bickell, Skille, Potulny, Dowell, and even John Scott are all closer to the league minimum.  And ultimately, Morin doesn’t have to clear waivers while most of those players do, and that’s why Morin was never really in competition for a spot with anyone but Stalberg.  However, once Viktor Stalberg hits the 20 games played mark this season, he becomes waiver-eligible.  So you can see the pressure is on Stalberg to get going early or he could be headed to Rockford sooner than later after all.  Morin won’t become waiver-eligible until the 2014-15 season, or when he hits 160 NHL games played.

Stan Bowman, may also be looking to delay the passing of Jassen Cullimore through waivers until a few days after the season begins and teams set their initial rosters in case there would happen to be interest in him.  And there very well could be if you consider losing another veteran blue liner (Cullimore) would hurt the Hawks to a degree.  He hasn’t had a bad camp either.  While I’m pretty positive he’s not someone Bowman wants to see in any regularity in a Hawks uniform, Cullimore, who turns 38 in December, is still a veteran who could give the Hawks some minutes in a pinch and also has value skating with the young kids in Rockford.

While I don’t find the Morin cut as any great injustice, it is slightly disconcerting to see Bowman’s slight of Morin.  That said, Stalberg can erase those thoughts in a hurry if he gets off to a quick start this week.  And by all accounts, Morin is a determined, intelligent kid and this probably won’t set him back any.  He could also use the experience of a season in the AHL to learn the intricacies of the pro game and continued improvement on his skating.  He was only in the running for a spot this year to begin with because the Hawks’ depth up front so poor.

Stalberg posted 9 goals and 14 points in 40 games with the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs last season.  In Chicago, he’s greeted, yes, with more-accomplished teammates, but also with greater expectations.  The early returns simply won’t do.  Stalberg will find himself on the outs soon enough if he can’t find the net and help provide some offense on one of the top three lines.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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TTMI~Radio with John from FifthFeather.com

TheThirdManIn~Radio ~ e.47 ~ “The Fifth Feather”
Monday August 2, 2010 ~ BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn

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It was my distinct pleasure to finally welcome John, of the fabulous Blackhawks’ site, FifthFeather.com on this episode of TheThirdManIn~Radio.  Hopefully his partner-in-scribe Bob will be able to join us next time we get them on for a visit, which should be much sooner than another year’s worth of shows.

Of course with the big news of today being the signing of Marty Turco and subsequent dismissal of Stanley Cup winning Antti Niemi after his one year $2.75M arbitration award, we covered that story from all angles.

Other topics of discussion:

- This weekend’s Blackhawks’ convention
- Blackhawks still managing to lose money
- John McDonough’s P.R. machine
- Rocky vs McD shaping up
- After the changes – Where do Hawks sit in the West?
- Stan Bowman’s “off-season”
- Predicting the opening night roster
- James Wisniewski’s big deal
- Should fans be banned from prospect camp?
- The 2011 Winter Classic
- and changes ahead at the FifthFeather.com

All this and so much more on an absolutely loaded hour and 1/2 edition of TTMI~Radio.

Thanks as always for listening.  Those who’d prefer to listen on their IPod or through their ITUNES can do so by subscribing through the following link, or by searching “The Third Man In Radio” in the podcast section of the ITUNES store.

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ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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TTMI~Radio “The Waiting”

TheThirdManIn~Radio “The Waiting”
Thursday July 29, 2010 ~ e.46 ~
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Chris Block and Dieter Kurtenbach of Blackhawks Examiner review all the latest news including the Antti Niemi arbitration hearing, Stan Bowman’s conference call, new contract signings and the Cristobal Huet “era” in this edition of TheThirdManIn~Radio.

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TTMI~Radio returns this Monday, August 2nd @ 8pm (central) to review the fallout in the wake of the Antti Niemi arbitration verdict, as well as all the scoop from the Chicago Blackhawks Convention (which we won’t be attending).

For anyone who is heading out to the Convention, we’d like to hear about your experience or anything of note that wouldn’t be evident on internet videos or reported by mainstream media outlets.  You can send those to us at TheThirdManIn @ sbcglobal.net.

Discussed in today’s show:

- Niemi’s arbitration hearing
- A conference call about nothing
- Niemi’s potential realistic, and non-realistic contract awards
- Blackhawks value 3rd line centers higher than #1 goaltenders
- Block’s Niemi mea culpa
- How Corey Crawford impacts Hawks’ play on Niemi
- Jose Theodore = Huet version 2.0
- Rumor Niemi $4.0M demand: Outrageous or about right?
- Theodore/Turco won’t play for free
- Niemi Numbers & where major publication ranks him vs rest of league
- Hawk fans talking 2010 Cup run for granted?
- Misconception that Huet’s contract hurting Hawks
- The Huet “era”
- Dirk Graham and Ted Lindsay celebrating life
- Jack Skille, in fact, takes a paycut
- Stan Bowman OWNS Bryan Bickell’s agent
- The future of Nick Leddy
- AT&T & I-55

…. and much, much more.  And as always, thanks very much to all who take the time to listen. 

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Setting the Leddy record straight

– Before we get started, as a reminder, or for those who don’t know, the NHL Network tonight will be airing Game 4 of the 1992 Stanley Cup Final between the Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins at 7pm central time.  This is a continuation in the network’s Raising the Cup series.  At the time, this was the greatest game I had ever seen live and still would rank in my top 3 or 5.  This is the Dirk Graham hat-trick game.  Pittsburgh shut out the Hawks 1-0 in Game 3 at Chicago Stadium two nights prior.  Again, tonight, 7pm, NHL Network.  It replays at 12:30am Thursday, and again at 8am tomorrow morning.

– Look for the next edition of TTMI~Radio with Dieter Kurtenbach and myself late tomorrow.  It appears we’ll be in Antti Niemi/arbitrator waiting mode by that time, but there’s much more for us to discuss.

– Antti Niemi’s arbitration hearing is tomorrow.  No progress, apparently, has been made in talks between the Hawks and his agent to elude this process.  The Hawks can only afford to give Niemi so much under their current salary cap constraints.  Anything more than $2.5M would trigger another trade.  While its true the Hawks will have cheaper options in free agency should the arbitrator’s decision come down in Niemi’s favor, letting your rookie Stanley Cup Champion goaltender walk without receiving any compensation in return is a tough sell to 90% of the fan base.  Its possible a ruling could come as early as Friday, which would mean a decison on whether to accept the arbitration reward would have to come down before the convention closes.  Letting Niemi walk is not a good way to climax John McDonough’s sacred creation.  And for that reason and a few others, I just don’t see it as a real option.

Nick Leddy leaves Gophers, signs contract with Blackhawks

On Tuesday, news broke that Blackhawks prospect Nick Leddy would be leaving the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers as he has signed a professional contract with Chicago.

The contract Leddy signed is a standard three-year, entry-level contract that would pay him at a rate of $900,000 with the Blackhawks, or $67,500 while in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs. Read more »

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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.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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