Everything Else

The goal of the Rockford IceHogs as the Blackhawks AHL affiliate is pretty clear cut. Winning is secondary to pushing talent through the I-90 pipeline. Success means that Stan Bowman can stock his roster with quality players (or offer that talent around the league for annual cup runs, take your pick).

Obviously, Chicago’s run at the top of the NHL has prevented Bowman from selecting an franchise-type skater in the first-round the last several seasons. There are plenty of difference-makers on the current Hawks roster that honed their games in the Forest City. Corey Crawford. Niklas Hjalmarsson. Andrew Shaw. Bryan Bickell (oops).

By the way, Rockford apparently beat Milwaukee 5-2 Tuesday and then dropped a pair in Charlotte over the weekend. Didn’t catch a second of one game; I was behind a sound board making sure an audience could hear a tale as old as time this week.

I promise that you’ll get the usual breakdowns starting with next week’s post. Until then, I thought I’d shine a beam of light on some of the fortunes of Chicago’s recent picks toiling in Rockford and…well…other places.

Everything Else

You may have missed the news, and perhaps you stopped caring about the player long ago (you probably should have) but Kyle Beach today signed for Austrian team Red Bull Salzberg (yes, Red Bull own every sports team in Austria). Beach is still yet to play an NHL game.

While he will always be the cudgel that people use to beat Dale Tallon over the head to prove he was a complete moron (and the rest of that draft is not exactly making up for it, including names like Shawn Lalonde and Teigan Zahn, though Ben Smith was in the 5th round), Beach will only have himself to blame for decamping to Europe. The pedigree was certainly there, as he had a 50-goal season in his last year in the WHL, and NHL teams will give any winger with size every chance.