Tag Archives: Stephen Johns

Puck Chatter Podcast: Talkin’ Future Hawks with Brad of HockeysFuture.com

By Chris Block

Wednesday night we were joined by Brad Gardner of HockeysFuture.com and also here at TheThirdManIn.com as we got caught up on the Blackhawks top prospects making their way up through the system.

Brad and I went through the Blackhawks budding young stars and gave our thoughts on which prospects will ultimately make the biggest impact one day in a Chicago Blackhawks sweater.

We covered and charted the progress this season of Brandon Saad, Mark McNeill, Brandon Pirri, Adam Clendening, Phillip Danault, Jeremy Morin, Jimmy Hayes, Kevin Hayes, Stephen Johns, Michael Paliotta, goaltender Johan Mattsson and many more.  And we also note which top prospect will be in an IceHogs uniform very soon.

After the first hour of prospect talk with Brad, I am joined by the Superstar for the final thirty minutes or so of the show.

We discussed some recent misfortune and having to say goodbye to a beloved pet, the Moose, this week.  On to the Blackhawks, we preview the upcoming Blackhawks schedule and project how difficult the road ahead to the postseason will be for the boys in the Indian head sweaters and if it will once again come down to the final game of the regular season.

Also, first impressions of Johnny Oduya, the “knee-capping” of Joel Quenneville, what’s going on with Jonathan Toews, the IceHogs Clear Day Roster and issues with veterinary clinics.

All this and much more on episode 101 of the official audio program of TheThirdManIn.com.  We now call it “Puck Chatter.”

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Blackhawks well represented at WJC evaluation camp


By Brad Gardner

Seven Blackhawk prospects took part in USA Hockey’s recent World Junior evaluation camp in Lake Placid, NY from August 6th through the 13th. The camp included an initial roster of 44 Americans as well as teams from Finland and Sweden. Although the U.S. roster is months away from being finalized for the 2012 World Junior Championships to be held in Calgary and Edmonton, beginning December 26th, the camp gives coaches and decision-makers a chance to gauge chemistry among the players as well as test the skaters in certain roles and situations.

The camp opened with a pair of intra-squad scrimmages in which the American invitees were split into two teams: USA Blue and USA White. In the first scrimmage, USA Blue earned the win behind a pair of quick goals by Chase Balisy in the third period. USA White answered the next day, getting out to a 3-0 lead behind two markers from J.T. Miller, and holding onto the lead despite a strong push from Blue late in the game. Both teams then played a third scrimmage against one of the European squads. Blue beat Sweden with an overtime game-winner from Vincent Trochek while White scored three unanswered goals in the second for a 5-3 win over Finland. 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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Jan 3rd news & notes: Classic rating, Olsen, Buff, Bollig and rumors

A reminder that tonight’s Blackhawks-Kings game in LA is an exclusive VERSUS telecast and will start at 8pm central/6pm pacific.  So that puck drop will be an hour and a half earlier than Kings’ fans are accustomed to.  And for Chicago fans hearing “Hawks-Kings at Staples Center” and figuring the game won’t start until late, be advised.

– Also tonight on NHL Network is the IIHF World U20 Championship tournament semi-final between Canada and the United States.  That game starts at 6:30pm central.  Winner plays for the Gold Medal on Wednesday night against the winner of Russia-Sweden (airs live 2:30 central today on NHL Network).

– The Penguins-Capitals Winter Classic Alumni game, which happened on New Years Eve at Heinz Field and Mario Lemieux participated in, will air on NHL Network from 5:30 to 6:30, leading into the live CAN-USA game.

– New Years Day’s Winter Classic rating is in.  In the ratings demographic most-coveted by advertisers, ages 18-49, meaning also the most-important to television executives, Saturday’s Penguins-Captials game drew a 1.8 rating in the 18-49 demo and 4.56 million viewers overall (2.3 rating).  The 1.8 (5.0 share) at 18-49 is more than any other show on basic television did that night.

For a little clarity in what that rating means in the grand scheme of things, last night’s NFL game on NBC did an overall rating of 5.1 (13.0 share) in adults 18-49 and an average of 14.28M viewers overall from 7-10:30.  Last night’s Rams-Seahawks game peaked in the second quarter quarter with 16.7M viewers and a 6.0 rating in adults 18-49.  The Winter Classic started with 4.46M viewers, then dropped to 4.35M in the 8-9 hour, and back up to 4.57M during the second intermission and third period. Read more »

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