Tag Archives: Stan Bowman

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

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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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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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