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NHL

Rockford IceHogs announce 2019-20 team awards

Staff Report ROCKFORD - The Rockford IceHogs announced Wednesday the recipients of the organization’s annual tam awards for the 2019-20 season. Most Valuable Player & Rookie of the Year: Brandon Hagel After sample of professional action at the end of the 2018-19 season (eight games, one assist) with the IceHogs, rookie Brandon Hagel became a scoring force in the Forest City during the 2019-20 campaign, earning him the team’s Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year awards. This…

NHL approves 24-team playoff format; no guarantee games will resume

By Stephen When and John Wawrow AP Hockey Writers NEW YORK - The NHL will abandon the rest of the regular season and go straight into the playoffs with 24 teams instead of 16 — if it is able to resume play. The decision, announced Tuesday by Commissioner Gary Bettman, is no guarantee that games are coming back. The NHL and the NHL Players' Association must still figure out health and safety protocols and solve other issues. "This is a meaningful start, I think, but it's only a start,"…

NHL players compete in live charity Fortnite tournament

Staff Report TORONTO - The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) is proud announced Friday live charity Fornite tournament. The NHLPA Open featuring Fornite was created by Colorado Avalanche forward J.T. Compher and Toronto Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman. It will feature more than 60 NHL players, each representing his city. Players will compete in trios. The three-hour event will be streamed from 1-4 p.m. (Central Time), Monday, May 18, on Twitch.tv/espnesports. The…

NHL brass positive about restart, ‘Return to Play Committee’ formed

Staff Report NEW YORK - National Hockey League executives said Thursday that talks with owners and the NHL Players' Association about resuming the season have been positive. The league has been on pause since March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus but there is now light at the end of what was once a long, uncertain tunnel. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said he speaks to NHLPA executive director Don Fehr regularly and the pair has formed the "Return to Play Committee" that…

NHL: Blackhawks fire John McDonough

Staff Report CHICAGO - Chicago Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz announced Monday that the team has released John McDonough from his role as president and CEO of the organization. McDonough was hired as president of the team in 2007. In 2011, the role of CEO was added to his title. "Thirteen years ago, I recruited John to the Blackhawks because of his leadership, direction and vision. John brought all of that to the table and more. His contributions went well beyond leading the team to…

IceHogs defenseman T.J. Brennan joins fans for Facebook Q&A

Staff Report ROCKFORD - Rockford IceHogs defenseman T.J.Brennan will join fans at 11 a.m., Tuesday, April 21, for a live question-and-answer session on the Rockford IceHogs Facebook Fan Page. Brennan returned to the IceHogs organization in a trade between the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 24 and picked up three assists in six games with the IceHogs before the season was postponed. He first spent time with the IceHogs during the 2014-15 season when he contributed…

Former Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg announces retirement

Staff Report TORONTO - Former IceHogs and Blackhawks forward, two-time Stanley Cup champion Kris Versteeg, on Tuesday announced his retirement from professional hockey after appearing in 11 NHL seasons. Versteeg amassed 358 points (149 goals, 209 assists) in 643 regular-season games and 48 points over 93 playoff games (18 goals, 30 assists) during his NHL career. “What a run it was," Versteeg said in a statement. "A kid from North Lethbridge who played on the streets every day, dreaming…

Sports marketing: Coronavirus shutdown presents challenges for teams, sponsors

By Jay Cohen AP Sports Writer CHICAGO (AP) — There are no sponsored power plays at the moment. No doughnut races in the fourth quarter. No calls to the bullpen presented by phone companies. Amid the coronavirus shutdown, sports business executives are having tough conversations about lucrative advertising and marketing contracts with no games on the horizon. Everyone involved knows the relative insignificance of the talks in the greater scheme of things, but billions of dollars are…

Coronavirus: NHL suspends season

Staff Report NEW YORK - The NHL will pause the 2019-20 regular season due to the concerns of the coronavirus, the league announced Thursday. The NHL has 189 games remaining, including 10 scheduled for Thursday. The regular season was scheduled to end April 4, with the Stanley Cup Playoffs starting the week of April 6. "In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus, and after consulting with medical experts and convening a conference call of the Board of Governors, the…

Blackhawks trade Gustafsson, Lehner

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ROCKFORD - The Chicago Blackhawks made three roster moves before Monday's 2 p.m. NHL trade deadline. The fist trade sends Erik Gustafsson to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. Gustafsson recorded 26 points (6G, 20A) in 59 games with the Blackhawks this season. In 214 career games with Chicago, the defenseman tallied 116 points (28G, 88A). Gustafsson also skated with the Rockford IceHogs during his time with…

Pro Hockey: Blackhawks recall Brandon Hagel

Staff Report ROCKFORD - The Chicago Blackhawks have recalled forward Brandon Hagel from the Rockford IceHogs, the clubs announced Friday. Hagel, 21, has skated in 38 games with the IceHogs this season, logging 21 points (13g, 8a). He leads the team in goals and is second on the roster in points. Additionally, his 13 markers are tied for sixth among rookies in the American Hockey League. Signed by the Blackhawks on Oct. 30, 2018, he made his professional hockey debut with the IceHogs at…

NHL: Kirby Dach staying with Blackhawks

Staff Report CHICAGO - Kirby Dach is officially staying in Chicago.  The third overall pick from June's draft has played in six NHL games since making his Blackhawks debut just 10 days ago, with a goal and an assist to his name while averaging just shy of 12 minutes of ice time per game. He's showcased a growing comfort level with the pace of play at the NHL level and shown enough to be designated a full-time NHLer, at least in the eyes of Senior Vice President/General Manager Stan Bowman…

NHL: Blackhawks recall Adam Boqvist

Staff Report CHICAGO - The Chicago Blackhawks, on Thursday, announced that they have recalled defenseman Adam Boqvist from the Rockford IceHogs. In addition, the IceHogs have recalled defenseman Jack Ramsey from their ECHL affiliate, the Indy Fuel. Boqvist, 19, has skated in six AHL games with the IceHogs this season, scoring one goal on Oct. 30 against the San Antonio Rampage. The power-play marker was the first goal of his professional career, and the rookie blueliner has also fired 14…

Hockey: Blackhawks to face former IceHogs forward P.C. Labrie in Germany

By Chris Kuc CHICAGO - Erik Gustafsson smiled when asked his recollection of Pierre-Cedric Labrie, a former teammate on the Rockford IceHogs. "Big monster," Gustafsson said. To clarify, the Blackhawks defenseman meant that in an endearing way. "He's a great guy, a great leader on and off the ice," Gustafsson said of Labrie. "He's not the most skilled guy out there but he works hard. You know exactly what he's going to do and when I play against him I have to keep my head up. It's…

Pro Hockey: Goaltender Kevin Lankinen assigned to Rockford IceHogs

Staff Report ROCKFORD - The Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday announced they have reassigned goaltender Kevin Lankinen to the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs. Lankinen, 24, split the 2018-19 season between the IceHogs and ECHL's Indy Fuel, posting a 7-8-4 record with a 2.50 GAA and .910 save percentage with Rockford while helping to guide the team's trio of netminders to the second-best save percentage in the AHL. He won just two two of his first 10 AHL outings through Jan. 18…