Sep 142014

Lindbloom_Morin_2014_Sept14Morin’s Last Stand

First man – “I think, I think I am, I think.”

Establishment – “Of course you are my bright little star. I have miles and miles of files, pretty files of your forefather’s fruit. And now to suit our great computer, your magnetic ink.”

First man – “I’m more than that, I know I am, at least, I think I must be.”

Inner man – “There you go man, keep as cool as you can. Face piles and piles of trials with smiles. It riles them to believe that you perceive the web the weave, and keep on thinking free.” – Graeme Edge

By Rich Lindbloom

In 1969, the Royalty of Rock released the critically acclaimed album On the Threshold of a Dream. It was an exquisite piece of music by the reconstructed Moody Blues, hitting #1 in the charts in Great Britain. The album cover is a trip in itself. The opening dialogue I included above, featured a very mechanical like sound, dubbed over Graeme Edge’s antagonistic like voice. Not exactly Darth Vader, but close. Think along the lines of Pink Floyd’s Welcome to the Machine. So just what does a song from 1969 have to do with hockey – I’m glad you asked!

If you’ve been following hockey at all this summer, you’d have to be just about brain dead not to have noticed the strong push in hockey towards “Advanced Metrics.” (Cue in the mechanical sounds) Continue reading »

Sep 102013


By Chris Block

Sad news to report today of a former Chicago Blackhawk legend, who is now in the biggest battle of his life, suffering with cancer.

Tom Lysiak, 60, was diagnosed with cancer back in May and doctors have been searching for a suitable match for a bone marrow transplant they had hoped to perform this month.

On Tuesday, Lysiak’s daughter Jessica announced on her Twitter account that though she was previously thought to be a bone marrow match for her father, she learned from the medical institute today that she, herself, will not be able to provide the bone marrow donation her father needs.

She wrote, “Days away from my dad’s transplant and I just got a call from the hospital canceling me as the bone marrow donor #prayingforamatch.”

Jessie Lysiak, 27, the daughter of Tom and his wife, Melinda, was to undergo the bone marrow extraction procedure in Georgia next week.  Tom has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments since his diagnosis.  Jessie began thorough blood testing to determine her ability to donate her bone marrow to her father back in June.

The daughter of the former Chicago Blackhawks and Atlanta Flames star was recently a contestant on the reality TV series MasterChef on the FOX network. Continue reading »

Sep 052012

By Chris Block

We were so pleased tonight to be joined once again on PuckChatter~Radio by former Chicago Blackhawk and National Hockey League coach Steve Ludzik.

In this candid 75-minute interview, Ludzik discusses his recent announcement that he’s been battling Parkinson’s disease for the past twelve years.  Ludzy talks about the concussions and punishment he incurred during his playing career and why he believes it contributed to his illness.  He also shares his thoughts on today’s game and his advice for players such as Sidney Crosby.

Over the course of our discussion Ludzik shared his insight, thoughts and little known behind the scenes stories on many of the various players and personalities from the 1980’s Blackhawks including Bob Pulford, Orval Tessier, Steve Larmer, Al Secord, Denis Savard, Tom Lysiak, Rich Preston, Darryl Sutter, Curt Fraser, Terry Ruskowski and many more.

Ludzik also recounts the story behind a trip he and Steve Larmer made a year ago to visit their first pro coach, Orval Tessier.  [See the video at the bottom of this post]

Ludzy tells us why Steve Larmer should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame, and how, had it not been for Tessier, Larmer may never have been a Blackhawk.

This is truly a great interview that’s worth checking out.

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*You can buy Ludzik’s book “Been There, Done That” at

*Check out the new social networking site we discussed on the show of which Ludzik is a part of at –

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Steve Larmer and Steve Ludzik visit Orval Tessier at his home in Cornwall, Ontario [Video after the jump] Continue reading »

May 042011

Calgary Sun writer Eric Francis has the scoop on the Corey Crawford negotiations.  In Francis’s Sunday Sun column, he noted Crawford’s agent, Gilles Lupien, said he and the Blackhawks are planning to hold the negotiations face-to-face at the NHL Draft June 24-25 in St. Paul.

“The Chicago Blackhawks have identified rookie goalie Corey Crawford as their top priority to re-sign past next season, and Crawford is amenable to it.  His agent, Gilles Lupien, said they spoke three weeks ago and agreed they’ll hammer out a deal face-to-face at the draft where he’ll table three possible deals ranging from two to four years in length.”

If true, one would wonder why the lack of urgency, specifically on the Blackhawks’ side?  This approach is similar to how Stan Bowman handled the Antti Niemi negotiations.

First off, aside from Cristobal Huet, who the Blackhawks still won’t be able to afford on their cap next season barring a major cap cut, the Blackhawks don’t have a single goaltender under contract currently for next season.

Marty Turco is an unrestricted free agent and a possible return is very much in doubt.  Hannu Toivonen is a UFA but if he returns it will be to start in Rockford.  Alexander Salak, the 24 year old Czech acquired in February from the Panthers along with Michael Frolik, is a restricted free agent.  Salak has never played in the NHL and while he ranked as one of the best netminders in Sweden this year, he was an average goaltender in Rochester (AHL) in 2009-10 and the arrival of Jacob Markstrom chased Salak back to Europe.  While Salak’s resume is not too different from Crawford’s pre 2010-11, he’s still unproven and if the Hawks are aiming to be Cup contenders next year, would they really put themselves in a position to have an unproven commodity within an injury of pinning their season on Salak?  Sure, they got lucky with Niemi and Crawford was phenomenal this year despite never asserting himself in five minor league seasons prior to getting his chance.  Going to that well three consecutive years though may not be the smartest thing to do. Continue reading »

Feb 032011

Orval Tessier, the only Blackhawks’ coach to ever win the Jack Adams Trophy for NHL coach of the year, sits down with his former players Steve Ludzik and Steve Larmer for a fun chat.

Recently Larmer and Ludzik drove up to their old coach’s Cornwall, Ontario home to reminiscence about their time together when Tessier coached against them in junior, when he coached the two in minors in Moncton and more in his days behind the Blackhawks’ bench.

Its a great video in which Ludzik and Larmer pay tribute to the coach they credit as giving them their big breaks in professional hockey.

Tessier also discusses his coaching philosophies and the infamous “heart transplant” comment, directed at his team, he made during 1983 Campbell Conference Finals which made headlines across Canada and in Chicago. The Oilers swept the Hawks 4-0 that series and outscored them 16-6 in the first two games in Edmonton. After Game 2, Tessier was overhead by a reporter when making the comment and you could imagine it was national news the following morning. While a lot of people think that incident led to Tessier’s dismissal, he actually continued coaching the team for the next year and a half. It was actually the first round loss to Minnesota the following year and a poor first half of the 1984-85 season that got Tessier the axe. In the ’83 series, down 2 games to none, the Hawks lost a much more competitive game when the series shifted to the Stadium, 3-2. Game four was a heck of a game, but Chicago still lost 6-3, ending their season.

For those of you who were with us back in August when Ludzy joined us on TTMI~Radio, much of what’s discussed in the video will sound familiar. If not, I urge you to go back and check it out when you have an opportunity. Ludzik is a terrific character and a great, no-nonsense interview. Ludzy is a lot of fun and tells it like it is.

Check out this video and more with Ludzik at

Aug 232010

Steve Ludzik hockey cardTheThirdManIn~Radio “INTERVIEW: STEVE LUDZIK”
Monday August 23, 2010 ~
Right-click to download here

Steve Ludzik has done it all.  From achieving an elite level in junior hockey with Niagara Falls to overcoming Crohn’s disease to become the Blackhawks’ second-round pick in 1980.  Ludzik was a key component of the Blackhawks teams throughout the 80’s.  He went on to transition into coaching after a brief stint with the Sabres and Rochester in the AHL, as well as a year of playing in Austria.  Ludzik twice reached the International Hockey League finals with the Detroit Vipers, winning the Turner Cup (IHL Championship) in 1997, defeating the Long Beach Ice Dogs; and losing a 7-game series with the Chicago Wolves the following season.  In the NHL, Ludzik coached the Tampa Bay Lightning from 1999-2001, and after a year leading Don Cherry’s Mississauga Ice Dogs (OHL), he assisted Rick Dudley behind the Florida Panthers’ bench and coached their minor league affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage.  In recent years, Steve has been a popular on-air personality on television and radio with The Score in Canada and on TSN.  And now, he’s penned a book about it all.

Ludzik has truly “Been There Done That.”

Always entertaining and gracious with his time, Ludzik spoke to us for an hour about his career, his teammates and the game he’s given so much to.  His book is truly outstanding and a great read for any Blackhawks’ fan, and certainly followers of those teams full of character over the course of the 80’s.  “Been There Done That” (co-authored by Steve Wilson) is crammed full of stories you don’t want to miss.  Stories, about, but not limited to, Ludzik’s great friend Steve “Grandpa” Larmer, Orval Tessier, Robert Jesse Pulford, Mike Keenan, Dr. Louis Kolb, pranks amongst teammates, officiating a midget wrestling match and a stories of the blatant arrogance of the 80’s Edmonton Oilers you’ve probably not heard anywhere else.  Its a book full of history and humor.  You can purchase a copy now at

As for tonight’s show…. Click player below to listen here

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Ludzy talked openly on anything and everything, including….  

– Being stricken with a life-threatening illness at age 16
– 2 1/2 months in hospital; stages and long road to recovery
– Legendary Derek “Turk” Sanderson
– How Steve Larmer was almost cut the year he won the Calder Trophy
– Making $25 a week
– Deck stacked against Ludzy
– Adjusting his game for the jump to NHL
– Comparing Ludzik’s conversion to plight of current prospect Evan Brophey
– How good were the 80’s Blackhawks?
– Lop-sided rivalry with hated Minnesota North Stars
– North Stars he disliked most
– The Great Denis Savard
– Smokey Blackhawks’ dressing room
– Pully lifting cigs during practices
– The ‘real’ Bob Pulford
– Ludzy’s first meeting with Pulford
– Why Larmer nearly quit hockey a month after he was drafted & how Ludzik convinced him to continue
– The popular Orval Tessier
– How the “feather-ruffler” is doing these days
– Why Tessier and Don Cherry couldn’t stand one another
– The “heart transplant” spout-off
– How that incident changed Tessier
– Making friends and enemies in hockey
– Surprising story about a young Wayne Gretzky, I guarantee you’ve never heard
– Stress of staying on top of his game and in the NHL
– Moment Ludzik knew he wanted to get into coaching
– Playing for “Iron” Mike Keenan.  Thoughts on Keenan as a coach.
– His father’s influence
– Being “Mr. Hockey” Gordie Howe’s last coach
– Funny story about Gordie’s bad memory
– Alexander Ovechkin and ‘larger than life’ characters in hockey
– Being fired in Tampa by GM and great friend Rick Dudley
– The 1997-98 IHL Finals series with Chicago Wolves
– Great appreciation for Chicago fans
– Thoughts on NHLPA in his day; players he is most-concerned for; the Kovalchuk contract controversy, and whether Ludzik thinks the league and player’s association is headed for another dreaded stand-off.

All that and so much more, including the revealing of our Superstar’s true identity. Steve is a tremendous guest and with so many things we’ve yet to cover with him, we’ll get him back on later on this season.  After Steve leaves the show, we discuss Cristobal Huet’s new place of residency for the upcoming season, as well as Antti Niemi’s remaining options.  And a few other topics as well, including the old Norris Division hockey rivalries and Gary Bettman’s hero, David Stern.


Steve Ludzik inducted Etobicoke Sports Hall of FamePhoto credit : Flickr: Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame (2009)

Join us next week, Tuesday August 31st, for our next show at

I will also be the guest on next Monday’s HockeeNight PuckCast, which you can hear on their site beginning Monday night, August 30th or at