Two hours until I smell ice again sweet year round hockey ice....I know it was only a few days ago Kissane and I toured the Team Ireland/Dundalk Bulls facility in Armagh, Ireland but this will be NHL prospects hockey. To me the best stuff, a house of dreams, blood sweat and tears.
It has been a season of change for the Chicago Blackhawks,a new coach and with the death of Bill Wirtz his son Rocky at the helm of the ship a new course seems to be in place. Yes, this gardener is going to take her kit and look for the snowdrops, the new growth in this storied franchise. Congratulations Rocky Wirtz, you did it, I'm back interested in local NHL hockey from the bottom up thanks to your new perspective on making hockey more accessible to the common fan. Thanks to the Rockford IceHogs and their organization and product. A team that is consistently fun to watch and the best arena atmosphere in the AHL.
Today Blackhawk prospects will gather for rookie camp at "The Edge" arena in Bensonville it will be a week of practice skates and scrimmage games against Blackhawk and Icehog vets. The new kids will be eager to strut their stuff and prove themselves. The Hogs class of 07' will be looking to move up to the Hawks, this is the stuff dreams are made of.
The guys with stars in their eyes that I will be keeping my peepers on today will be...
#11, Akim Aliu, forward, played a few shifts with Rockford last season, has a bit of a colourful past. But Aliu could be the find of the decade for the Hawks, give this kid a chance to prove himself!
#17 Evan Brophy, forward, played with the Hogs last season, born Kitchner Ont, a real hockey town.I expect to see him move up.
#48, Jonathan Carlsson, any Swede playing defence interests me, coming from Sweden he probably has the skating skills but will he be aggressive enough for the North American game?
#24 Peter Leblanc, born in Hamiton, Ont, playing currently for New Hampshire.A col legate program that consistently develops quality players, also watch fellow Green Mountion Boy # 54 Kruise Reddick.
Lastly, a goalie: # 34, Joseph Palmer from Utica NY the foot of the Adirondack Mountains, has came up through the ranks of NY junior teams around Syracuse and Utica. Presently playing for Ohio State, Toledo.
Two hours to go, I can just smell the ice now.....Hockey in July, who says it's just a winter sport?