A couple IceHogs’ notes from last week.
–After years of trying, the Rockford Area Venues and Entertainment [RAVE] Authority finally leased the naming rights to the MetroCentre.
RAVE leased those rights to BMO Harris Bank for a period a five years and a total of $1.3 million, according to a Rockford Register-Star report.
The MetroCentre will now be known as BMO Harris Bank Center.
Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough spoke at the press conference at the MetroCentre on Friday. Harris is also a prime sponsor of the Blackhawks. The Rockford deal actually isn’t completely finalized, but a joint memorandum indicated all points will be in place by December 15.
The arena management giant S.M.G. brokered the deal. S.M.G. has been responsible for booking the MetroCentre since last September. BMO Harris had already been sponsoring the winter synthetic outdoor ice rink a couple of blocks from the arena at Davis Park, which the RAVE Authority also oversees.
A “grand re-opening” is planned for the IceHogs preseason home opener on September 28.
The ‘BMO’ comes from Bank of Montreal. I am not making this up – The correct pronunciation on the abbreviation BMO is “Bee-mo”. So this season, if you take in an IceHogs’ home game, you should say you’re headed to the Bee-Mo, or Bee-mo Harris Bank Center. Read more
Posted in News and Notes
Tagged Andrew Allen, Ben Simon, Brett McLean, Chris Campoli, Chris Chelios, Darren Pang, Dennis Rodman, Eddie Olczyk, Enrico Ciccone, Flames, Gary Suter, Greg Fox, Hockeenight, IceHogs, Ivan Boldirev, James Black, Jason Morgan, Jeremy Roenick, MetroCentre, Michael Nylander, Neil Wilkinson, Nikolai Khabibulin, Owen Nolan, RAVE, Robbie Earl, Theo Fleury, Wayne Gretzky
2010-11 was great year for avid consumers and readers of hockey books. At this point we’ll take a wait and see approach to measure this coming year’s crop, but there are a few standouts hitting your favorite book outlets before Christmas.
–First, though – Gamers, NHL 12, via EA Sports, for Xbox and PS3 hits stores on Tuesday, Sept 13th. Steven Stamkos is this year’s cover boy, succeeding Jonathan Toews. Among the additions to this year’s game are Wayne Gretzky and the Winter Classic game at Heinz Field.
Wiley Publications has three new books hitting the market before the end of the year.
Adam Proteau has a book coming out in December. The title, “Fighting the Good Fight: Why On-Ice Violence is Killing Hockey,” is sure to ruffle some eyebrows. Proteau is a staunch advocate of eliminating fighting in hockey. While I’m not really on board with that idea, I am looking forward to this book. It’s listed at 288 pages, so hopefully it’s an all-encompassing look at the violence issues plaguing the game, not limited to goonery, and possible steps to be taken to curb those, instead of steering it mostly towards fighting.
Former Maple Leafs general manager Gord Stellick also has a book forthcoming on November 8th. Stellick is now a sports talk radio personality in Toronto. Stellicktricity promises to be chock full of wit, anecdotal insight on some of the game’s biggest names. Sounds like it will be similar to Steve Ludzik’s book Been There Done That. – Read more
Posted in News and Notes
Tagged Adam Proteau, Al Strachan, Bob Probert, Bobby Hull, Books, Borje Salming, Damien Cox, Don Cherry, Eddie Shore, Gare Joyce, Gord Stellick, Hockey books, Jonathon Jackson, Kirstie McLellan Day, Michael McKinley, Slap Shot, Stan Mikita, Ted Leonsis, Theo Fleury, Todd Deneault
Sunday was Bob Probert Day in his hometown Windsor, Ontario. 800 motorcyclists turned out for a memorial charity ride supporting a local hospital’s angioplasty program. Chris Chelios was there and served as honorary “captain” for the ride. July 5th is the one-year anniversary of Probert’s death.
Later on Sunday, Chelios was on hand at Detroit’s Fox Theatre for his buddy Eddie Vedder’s solo show. Vedder is at the Chicago Theatre tomorrow and Wednesday night. This was a big thrill for Chelios. I guess he kind of had to be there. During Vedder’s two and a half hour set Sunday, he dedicated his version of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” to Chelios. Detroit wasn’t a scheduled stop on Vedder’s current U.S. tour until Chelios did some persuading on his friend and Pearl Jam frontman. To oblige, Vedder cancelled an additional planned show in Philadelphia.
Chelios and Vedder met in San Diego in 1980-81 in that beach community’s surfing scene, in the summer months where the Chelios clan lived. They also worked for a time at opposite gas stations across the street from each other. The pair didn’t keep in touch and Chelios never put two and two together even after Pearl Jam burst onto the scene ten years later and Chelios became a fan. Back in San Diego, Eddie Vedder was actually Eddie Mueller. But one night in 1997, Vedder was out with Dennis Rodman in Chicago and happened to be at the same bar as Chelios. Vedder recognized Chelios, but as he put it (Vedder wasn’t a hockey fan), not from being a star NHL player, but from their old haunts on the surf. Vedder recounted to Chelios how the two knew each other from San Diego, but didn’t introduce himself as the famous rock singer and Chelios still didn’t put that together on his own. Vedder walked away realizing Chelios hadn’t the faintest recollection or idea who Vedder was. Shortly after, one of Vedder’s bodyguards (he is legitimately 5’4”) walked over and clued Chelios in and the two exchanged phone numbers. At times Chelios has arranged his summer schedule around Pearl Jam and Vedder shows in Chicago and Detroit. In 2008, Chelios planned his two days with the Stanley Cup around a Cubs game and a Vedder show at the Auditorium Theatre. A night John Cusak, John C McGinley (Scrubs) and Sean Penn were also on hand for. Chelios got a mixed reaction from the Chicago crowd when he raised the Stanley Cup under a spotlight from a balcony box in a planned spot to start Vedder’s set.
Brian Campbell says ex-teammates of his want to join him in Florida. NHL.com Read more
Posted in News and Notes
Tagged Alexander Karopovtsev, Bernie Nicholls, Bill Peters, Billy Sweatt, Bob Murray, Brian Campbell, Bruce Cassidy, Bryan McCabe, Chicago Wolves, Chris Chelios, Colin Fraser, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dale Tallon, Dennis Rodman, Dustin Byfuglien, Eddie Vedder, Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings, Michael Grabner, Mike Richards, Mike Smith, Nicklas Bergfors, Sedins, Sheldon Souray, Steve Poapst, Theo Fleury, Trent Yawney
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. Read more
Posted in Blackhawks Alumni, Contract Talks, News and Notes
Tagged Antti Niemi, Corey Crawford, Jayson More, Marcus Kruger, Marian Hossa, Mathis Olimb, Michael Frolik, Mike Keenan, Neil Wilkinson, Steve Ludzik, Theo Fleury, VERSUS