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The Rockford IceHogs are going to be a new-look bunch come fall. The departing faces on their parent club practically guarantees some changes.

Even in the offseason, the Blackhawks AHL affiliate has made the occasional headline. The Hawks and Hogs extended their union through 2021-22.. Rockford re-signed captain Jake Dowell for next season and said goodbye to goalie Michael Leighton in a couple of signings from earlier this month.

It came out yesterday via Scott Powers  that Chicago is not going to retain Leighton’s services. However, the writing was clearly on the wall based on how the organization addressed the net prior to this week.

In case you haven’t been in the loop, here’s the state of the Hogs heading into what could be a real period of roster turnover in the coming weeks. As there has been lots of recent changes in this area, let’s start in net.

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The Rockford IceHogs had themselves a hell of a season. For four months, at least.

It was another year of development for the 45 players who spent time toiling on the farm in 2015-16. There was some big rookie impact to go with some surprising veteran production over the course of the campaign.

When all was said and done, the Hogs had earned a spot in the AHL postseason for the second year in a row. A host of players had spent time in Chicago, with some becoming quite familiar with Interstate 90 along the way.

Rockford finished with a record of 40-22-10-4, good enough for third place in the Central Division before being swept from the first round by Lake Erie. However, it has to be noted that there is a very definitive point in the season where the arrow veered sharply for this team.

As we take a look at the season that was, know that for four months Rockford was very, very good. And then…they weren’t.

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The Rockford IceHogs gained a measure of swagger back over the weekend, turning the tables on the Lake Erie Monsters. Last weekend, the Hogs were on the losing end of back to back games at Lake Erie. Saturday and Sunday, it was Rockford’s turn to sweep.

Despite being out shot 74-45 in the two contests at the BMO Harris Bank Center, the IceHogs limited their guests to a single goal. The big weekend, coupled with an overtime loss to Grand Rapids Wednesday, gave Rockford five of six points in this week’s action.

Saturday, in particular, was a big night for Michael Leighton, who had himself a record-breaking evening. Good thing I was wearing my brand-spanking-new Leighton sweater.

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The Rockford IceHogs, Chicago’s AHL affiliate, finished this week’s action as the leader in the Central Division standings. However, this team is definitely entering March like a lamb.

Rockford has dropped seven of its last ten. Three of those losses have come in overtime, which has kept them on top of the division for the time being. Finishing February at 3-4-3-0 suggests that this group could use a jolt of…well…something as they enter the stretch run of the 2015-16 season.

Where might that jolt come from? Allow me to grasp at a few straws…

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The IceHogs of Rockford are approaching midseason. Well, not quite. The farmer boys will reach that milestone following this week’s home slate. However, the Hogs had a whole week off from game action and that gave me time to think.

As the Hogs only action this week was a victory in DesMoines Sunday, this is as good a time as any to offer some midseason thoughts on the team. The Blackhawks AHL affiliate, despite injuries and some pretty frequent roster movement, have remained near the top of the Western Conference.

Ready or not, here’s how the winds have blown down Rockford way.

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The Rockford IceHogs rebounded a bit in this week’s AHL action, winning two of three games and gaining a bit of ground on first place Milwaukee. With a .662 points percentage, the Hogs sit in second place in the Central Division as well as the AHL’s Western Conference.

This week saw a lot of movement in the roster, including a guy that was here but wasn’t here and a guy who was here but is now in Toronto. Let’s dig into this week’s transactions.

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The Rockford IceHogs have had their share of brawlers in the franchise’s eight-plus seasons as the Hawks AHL affiliate. As professional hockey has seen fighting on the decline, however, the Hogs have followed suit.

Jake Dowell took on Joel Edmundsen in Rockford’s loss to Chicago Saturday night. It was the 17th fighting major assessed to the IceHogs, who picked up three of four points this weekend to stay on top of the Central Division, in 28 games this season. It’s also the second-lowest total for this stage of a season for the franchise.

This got me to thinking; at its current pace, how would Rockford wind up compared to past seasons? Which IceHogs gloves have hit the ice most often? How often do the Hogs scrap, and how do they fare in games when they dance?

If these questions have been keeping you up at night, here’s some food for thought. If you detest fighting and don’t want to know about the dark side of the IceHogs, tough luck. You’ll have to close your eyes until you scroll to the recaps.