Chicago Sun-Times

July 2011 Archives

Defenseman Chris Campoli and the Blackhawks have officially parted ways, just days after general manager Stan Bowman said the restricted free agent wouldn't be re-signed.

As expected, the Blackhawks named Ted Dent head coach of the Rockford IceHogs, their American Hockey League affiliate.

The Sun-Times reported on Twitter on July 13 that Dent was the leading candidate for the position after Bill Peters left for an assistant coaching job with the Detroit Red Wings.

Dent is entering his sixth season with the Hawks organization, which includes a year under Hawks assistant Mike Haviland with the Norfolk Admirals, the Hawks' previous AHL affiliate.

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As scheduled, Patrick Kane underwent surgery Tuesday to a repair a scaphoid fracture in his left wrist -- an injury that overshadowed the opening of the Blackhawks Convention.

BY BEN MEYER-ABBOTT
bmeyer-abbott@suntimes.com

Whether it was meant as a wakeup call or not, that's how Kyle Beach interpreted being snubbed for the Black Aces during the playoffs last season by the Blackhawks.

Beach, the 11th pick of the 2008 NHL draft, was included the year before in the group of prospects called up to be with the team during the 2010 postseason.

One player in particular who can't wait for training camp to start is Jeremy Morin.

The 20-year-old winger missed the remainder of last season with the Rockford Icehogs after he suffered what is believed to have been a concussion on Jan. 15, but has officially been called an "upper body" injury by Morin and the Blackhawks.

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An already simmering rivalry between the Vancouver Canucks and the Blackhawks meant change for one Hawk.

Defenseman Brent Seabrook, a Vancouver-area native, said he had to move to get away from all the craziness that engulfed the city during the playoffs when the Canucks made their unsuccessful run at the Stanley Cup.

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If there is one Blackhawk who really could have used the long summer they're all in, it's easily Duncan Keith.

The former Norris Trophy-winning defenseman was one of the few players to admirably admit that he wasn't all there last season. For Keith, it was tough to duplicate all the individual success he had in an unbelievable Stanley Cup-winning year.

Keith, who has led the Hawks in ice time every season since the lockout, deserves credit -- and praise -- for his honesty. Overall, it's the mental break from hockey that has felt the best to Keith this offseason.

BY BEN MEYER-ABBOTT

In addition to the new faces on hand at the Blackhawks Convention was a player Hawks fans became familiar with last season, but with a big smile fresh off the signing of his new contract to remain with the team.

Viktor Stalberg and the Hawks came to terms Sunday on a two-year deal worth a total of $1.75 million to avoid an arbitration hearing scheduled for July 20.

The 25-year-old winger said the plan was always to stay with the Hawks and that he was happy the two sides were able to get the deal done before arbitration.

Friday was a busy day for general manager Stan Bowman. And it had nothing to do with the annual convention at the Hilton Chicago.

The Hawks announced they signed winger Michael Frolik to a three-year deal, which is worth a total of $7 million, and also defenseman Sami Lepisto, who will make $750,000.

But Bowman also said the team has decided to end negotiations with restricted free agent defenseman Chris Campoli, who has an arbitration hearing scheduled on Aug. 3.

Patrick Kane has suffered a setback this summer. The winger suffered a left wrist injury during his offseason training in Buffalo and will require surgery.

By now every Blackhawks prospect -- especially those who make their living on the blue line -- should know the story of Nick Leddy, the teenaged trade acquisition from Minnesota who had a remarkable run last year.

Leddy, now 20, wowed the Hawks' hierarchy at prospect camp, signed his entry-level contract, attended the team's convention days later and then made the team out of training camp. After some up-and-down moments in the regular season, which included 22 games with the Rockford IceHogs, Leddy went on to play every game in playoffs against the Vancouver Canucks.

Now, general manager Stan Bowman wants Leddy's roles and ice time to increase.

"This is what everybody works for," defense prospect Joe Lavin said. "Everybody plays college hockey to make it to the pro level. Signing the contract is one thing, but making the big club is the next thing."

Arbitration won't be needed to decide the salary of winger Viktor Stalberg. The Blackhawks announced they re-signed Stalberg to a two-year deal on Sunday.

Rockford IceHogs head coach Bill Peters, who recently re-signed with the Blackhawks, has accepted an assistant coach position with the Detroit Red Wings.

Defenseman Chris Campoli and winger Viktor Stalberg both filed for arbitration Tuesday as their camps and the Blackhawks continue to negotiate new deals for the restricted free agents.

Tuesday was the deadline for player-elected arbitration. Winger Michael Frolik, also a restricted free agent of the Hawks, is not eligible for arbitration. The deadline for club-elected arbitration is Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman wasted little time when free agency opened Friday morning signing four veterans to one-year contracts: winger Andrew Brunette, tough guy Jamal Mayers, defenseman Sean O'Donnell and former Hawk Brett McLean.

According to Canada's TSN, Mayers will get $550,000 and O'Donnell $850,000, while McLean got a two-way contract worth $525,000 in the NHL. Brunette will make $2 million. McLean is the youngest at 32 years old.

"I''m there to provide energy, kill penalties and knock some bodies around," Mayers said on TSN. "Obviously, last year was a disappointment for [the Hawks], but I definitely think they could be back where they should be."

Late Friday, Bowman made a surprise move, signing renowned agitator Dan Carcillo, who Hawks fans should remember from the Stanley Cup Finals, to a one-year deal worth a reported $775,000.

From the Hawks official release:

Blackhawks

About the blogger

Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan hailing from the Far Northwest Side. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times since 2005, covering the Hawks since 2009. He's also helped cover the Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools.

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