BY BEN MEYER-ABBOTT
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.
"It's kind of sending a message to you, 'Come on, you have to give us something here,' " Beach said. "Obviously it's disappointing, but it allowed me to start my training early and I've tried to use it as motivation this summer."
Beach had 36 points (16 goals, 20 assists) last season with Rockford. He was second on the team with 163 penalty minutes, but was a disappointing minus-24 in 77 games.
"We've talked and [general manager Stan Bowman] made it pretty clear if I want to make this team it's not going to be as a top six forward," Beach said. "I'm going to have to work my way up. So right now it's about trying to get my foot in the door and make the most of that opportunity."