Blackhawks Assign Boqvist, Saarela to Rockford

After the debacle that was the Blackhawks’ final home preseason game the team announced that forward Aleksi Saarela and defenseman Adam Boqvist have been assigned to the Rockford IceHogs. This means neither will make the trip to Europe with the NHL club.

Both had good preseasons but the veteran depth on the roster made it hard for either to crack the Opening Night roster, even with extra bodies being available because of the travel overseas.

33 thoughts on “Blackhawks Assign Boqvist, Saarela to Rockford

  1. Probably be seeing alot of both as year goes on. Hopefully Gus gets some motivation to start season or Boqvist be up sooner than later.

  2. Really need to put THAT game behind us! Everything that the pundits have discussed for 2 years- poor defensive play, slow defensively, lack of net presence, physical offensive play, weak PP & PK… on full display last night.
    Still trying to understand the “Colliton” system, D-pairings and “effective” line combinations…but, geez what was that last night?
    Still pre-season I know, but closing in on the start, and not sure they looked ready IMO only.

  3. Issues from last night:
    The matta/Seabrook experiment needs to end.

    Nylander needs to spend the entire flight watching video of Debrincat battling for pucks.

    David Kampf belongs on the fourth line.

    Hurry up Calvin DeHann- we need you.

    Connor Murphy is severely underrated.

    If Dach can’t center the 3rd line than Wedin should.

    Move Kubalik to the second line and leave him there.

    Put Kane back with Toews, Caggula on the left side.

    Shaw to the third line with Saad and Dach/Wedin

  4. Exactly Hawks4life, there is more depth on this team but its skilled perimeter players only like Kubalik, Dcat, Nylander and Kane. Who will get them the puck? Strome….Nope..too weak and too slow… We have Saad who is stuck on a 3rd line which makes no sense to me especially if we have Cagg or Nylander or anyone for that matter playing ahead of him. Unless he plays with Dach!
    It all comes down to drafting. And this falls on Bowman and Kelley. You saw last night a team in Washington who is drafting very low every single season and yet they draft players with size, speed and skill combined!!! Hard to play against. Both on offence and defence. Meanwhile, we draft Jack Wise, Anthony Louis, Vinny, Dcat (who is an exception but still smallish), Boqvist, Mitchell, Beaudin, Sikura…on and on and on!!!
    There lies the problem. And this coach, well, falling in love with Kampf , Wedin, or Nilsson, has JC been watching NHL hockey the last decade? I don’t think he realizes versatility will not get Kane or Dcat the puck out of the corners. There is no goalie, nor a ridiculous 5million dollar back up that will stop the pucks from going in because DaHaan, Maatta is a huge upgrade from what they had last year, the problem remains the forwards who do not have any zone time physically because of a lack of size, grit and skill. Would love Gagg if he was 6’2″ because he has that desire but he cannot retrieve the puck from Eller, Ovi, Oshie, Backstrom..etc… Tells us all we need to know.
    11 19 88
    20 77 8
    12 20 92
    15 22 91

    By the way, take PP minutes and Dcat away from Strome and you have an AHL player.
    Go Hawks… Anyone can describe the top 6 players of the Flyers up front.
    Couturier, Voracek, Giroux
    JVR , Hayes, Farabee

  5. Last night was abysmal. The PP looked terrible, not to mention that it gave up a shorty, for the second time this pre-season. DeBrincat looked terrible in general even if he was fighting for pucks, as was referenced above. What percentage of board battles did the Hawks win? 25%? It seemed like Gus was on the ice for every goal and his TO and then getting “un-dressed” by Ovi on the first one was quite discouraging.

    Sending Boqvist to Rockford is not a major thing. It would not be surprising to see him back. Rushing him in to the NHL would not be a good move. He is exciting to watch.

    Let’s default to the conclusion that this was just an “off night.” We’d better hope so.

  6. I know its pre-season and one should not over react but damn that was a painful watch. The 4 points that really have me concerned are defending the front of the net, Colliton, Nylander and every falls over with contact.

    The Hawks continue to refuse to clear the front of the net. Crow keeps getting run over and there was someone in his grill all night. Our dmen last night were wall flowers. If they play like that in the regular season, Crow will not survive. $11M worth of goalies can not stop shots that they never see.

    Not to sure what Colliton is doing with the team. He skated Keith 24m last night. He had Keith and Seab on second PP unit. Boqvist skated some (14m) last night and he is expected to take over for Gussy at some point. Maybe Boqvist should have been on PP 2 for experience and to see what you have when he plays against real NHLers. I am still questioning Colliton’s logic when he skated Kane 24+ minutes during the back half of last season. His coaching style seems reactionary. Still can see the Defense plan. Kampf absolutly killed the 3rd line, he could not hold a puck.

    If last night is any indication, the Hawks trader Joker for a soft AHL player. I watch Nylander and saw numerous times when he would not go into the corners. He also cranes his neck looking backward when he even thinks about going for a puck. He is very talented at skating one way and looking another. I hope I am wrong but he looks like press-box material by game 20.

    Is it me or does it seem like the Hawks fall down more than their opponents? It certainly looked that way last night and through most of last season. Toews looked strong on the puck.

    I really would like to be wrong about these observations and that the team just had a bad night on a preseason game. Go Hawks

  7. Hull 65, you nailed it! I had hopes that Bowman and JC would draft and trade for size and grit. is
    Hull 65, you nailed it!
    Isn’t it obvious that the Hawks are a 500 team for the regular season without guys that can fight for and retrieve pucks out of the corners and half boards, get in front of opposing goalies,
    and cover (what a concept) open shooters in the slot. And forget about playing poke check hockey in the playoffs.”PLAYOFFS?”
    Didn’t they watch any playoff games?

    Russ Caifano

  8. Hull 65, you nailed it! I had hopes that Bowman and JC would draft and trade for size and grit. is
    Isn’t it obvious that the Hawks are a 500 team for the regular season without guys that can fight for and retrieve pucks out of the corners and half boards, get in front of opposing goalies,
    and cover (what a concept) open shooters in the slot. And forget about playing poke check hockey in the playoffs.”PLAYOFFS?”
    Didn’t they watch any playoff games?

    Russ Caifano

  9. There is no bigger red flag than a soft player who complains about lack of ice time because he isn’t getting a fair chance. That is why you didn’t need to know anything more about Nylander to know at the time to know that Stan likely got fleeced on that one.

    Any comments on Saarela? Why is he being sent down while management attempts to gift a top line slot to Nylander?

    And just to resurrect my campaign for the Kube: 8 – 19 -88. Play the stud, not the dud.

  10. 10 days before season opener and another 6 after that home opener and then a run of 6 home games to start. Hopefully all the practice time gives them opportunity to work on defensive issues and come out the gate looking alot better than the preseason.

  11. Personally, I like Saarela much better than Kampf. There’s some grit with Aleksi, and the one thing Kampf has none of. Don’t get the love fest.

  12. Considering how bad the team was I don’t think Nylander stood out in a bad way – sure he got put on his can by Ovi – that looked bad but he also made the nicest offensive play of the game for the Hawks with that cross ice pass to Gus

    Overall a mediocre performance IMO but not a terrible one and really his first sub par performance of the pre-season again amongst many sub par performances last night

    He has time to recover from that performance but if he continues to play that way it won’t be good enough

    I get that Kampf is used more for his D so why not free up 20 and 8 to play with more skilled players and give Kampf defensive players to play with? – it’s an under utilization of the abilities of 20 and 8 to saddle them with 64

  13. Also 65 needs to be higher up in the line up

    Didn’t love JC’s line combos last night and he never strayed from them all game despite CHI getting their butts kicked

  14. Don’t get everybody calling for improved team defense, then when a move designed to help improve that with Kampf a strong defensive center and one of the top pk guys at 3c is made, everybody going on they need more offense, baffling. As far as grit, Kampf is one if the best board battlers for the 0uck on the team, not afraid to go to greasy areas at all, not sure what you want.

  15. You can talk about Perlini and Kampf and Kubalik, etc. all you want but they aren’t going to make a significant difference at the end of the day. The core guys that played last night for the most part looked like crap. It was an exhibition and I will throw it in the trash but it sure doesn’t give you a comfortable feeling right now.

  16. I am glad I was good on Kubalik from the start.

    Scrimmages can look like that. Some of them it makes you look really good and some just like that.

    For as much as that wasnt good to see.

    When its two NHL teams playing NHL players and both teams are playing its going to be the same as it was last yr. Should be like games 30-82 with a full roster and many physical players and players that can take physical that we added this summer and draft. Otherwise we need to act accordingly.

  17. So I am confused about this whole deal with the team learning Collitons defensive system and all the excuses last year about not having a training camp to implement it and how this year there would be less confusion on the ice in the defensive zone due to having a full training camp. When colliton was coaching the icehogs he was running Q’s nhl proven system for continuity between the teams. When did he conjure up “his defensive system”? On the bus ride from rockford to the chicago press conference last fall? If you were taking over a team during the first quarter of the season, in the shadow of a legendary coach, why on earth would you make wholesale defensive system changes? Every player that was currently on hawks and hogs knew the system. Would it not be better to review some game video and make minor tweaks to a system that has won 3 cups? I can only assume that collitons systems was born on european ice during his coaching time there. Does anyone know of any other nhl team running collitons “euro defense”? I think we have some good nhl defenders in the team, just need a nhl worthy system.
    After the 3rd goal last night i was hoping Todd Rierdon and JC would go out for a brew pop after the game and JC could pick his brain on nhl calibur defensive systems

  18. Deuce, Collitons system whatever name you want to call it, is basically similar to what most teams use, it’s hybrid of man and zone. A straight man system a player follows a certain player all the time. A straight zone, each defender is responsible for a certain area in the defensive zone. Neither one makes a whole lotta sense , so coaches use hybrids that combine both, with subtle differences usually. Not sure why their having such trouble with Collitons vision, all you hear is how simple it is to use. Q used more zone and less man responsibility as i understand it, anyways.

    Noel, Knott, Coughlin, McArdle, Osipov and Thompson all got sent to Indy today.

  19. I too am concerned that after having two weeks of training camp to learn JC’s system the Hawks are no better at defending as they were last year and still give up the same number of high danger chances and are still embarrassingly susceptible to shots from the point because opposing players go unchecked in front of the net

    They’ve got a few practices and one more tune up game to get their act together

    I know it was only a preseason game but it was still very discouraging – it’s one thing to not be fully engaged because its a meaningless game it’s another to not know where you’re supposed to be or what you’re supposed to do – there’s going through the motions and then there’s not even knowing what the motions are

    My optimism for the Hawks season has no doubt taken a hit – clearly there’s still time to right the ship but I’m less optimistic today that they will do that – hope I’m wrong

  20. If I was the coach and witnessed these veteran players go through the motions and play like crap, they would be benched, sit em the next game….etc. they are to be examples for the younger players, so….what example did they just set ? They get paid tons of money, roster spots are guaranteed, so let’s just mail it in….got that kid…follow my example. I don’t think so, and I don’t care it’s an exhibition game, the fans paid their money, the young players are watching, so you better give effort. The Hawk vets did nothing but skate around and work up a sweat…..that’s about it. Very disappointing to say the least. And tell ya the truth, I do not see the Hawks beating Philly in the opener. Hawks will score MAYBE 1 goal…..maybe.

  21. To HULL65:
    Did you even pay attention to this past draft?
    Dach, 6’4”, 198 lbs
    Vlasic, 6’6”, 198 lbs
    Teply, 6’3”, 191 lbs
    Saarela, 6’0”, 190 lbs
    Basse, 6’6”, 185 lbs
    Moberg, 6’2”, 187 lbs
    None of these guys are small. So, your claim doesn’t really make sense. Sure, they didn’t get many current NHLers with size, but they still drafted towards building a bigger roster.

  22. Wrap, I can see that from what I have read. I havnt seen any of these scrimmages because of blackout shht. From whatever game to around game 30 the players didnt know this system, then from 30 -82 it seemed they got the hang of it or at least used to it from not knowing it at all. So now the guys that played last yr from 30-82 should know it better then the others and know where to go as good / or better then last yr.

    Why are the guys doing this. That is more surprising to me then other stuff. I do not understand why. The guys must not really know it yet, and after game 30 last yr the 2nd 40 games knew enough of it that it worked well then. So the guys are going to have to, get it, once were enough games in this yr. That would be a full season 82 games about 30 in?

  23. Its funny, when we needed more depth at center, we drafted centers for a couple yrs. How did we get the good centers we have, we traded Schmaltz to do it and ufa Shaw Smith Carpenter. Now with size, without any other then Saad Strome other, we added the draft players and Shaw Smith Maatta Haan ufa. Have to wait for draft players. Though Dach and Vlasic are high end core players here for 10 yrs plus extra.

  24. Sorry but Vlasic is too slow and weak. Once again, Shaw on a playoff team is a 3rd line or 4th line winger at best. He was on a 2nd line with the Habs who also did not make the playoffs the whole time he was there.
    Anyway, cannot waste Saad with Kubalik, an unproven NHL who is 24 years old, or Kampf a useless player who should be in the AHL. Saarela, Quenneville have more grit than Nylander or Kubalik. How did Nylander deserve to play with Toews and Kane? Nylander is a flake and he will drag his line down because he floats away from contact. Bowman has not learned anything since 2016. And today’s news of Graham Knott in the ECHL combined with Iacopelli gone , 2 draft picks selected in the 2nd and 3rd round that are busts, are proof that Mark Kelley and Bowman have no clue about drafting past the 1st round.
    How many players on this roster were drafted by Bowman? How many in Rockford were drafted by Bowman? And I agree, instead of resting Keith, JC gives him 24 minutes of ice time last night? The problem last year was not coach Q as much as the GM giving him nothing to play with and drafting no one to step up in the lineup. Out of Mitchell, Beaudin, & Boqvist who will stop Ovi, McDavid, Draisatl, Evander Kane, Tkachuk, Matthews, Crosby, Malkin, Wheeler, Bergeron, etc ….. really? Did Bowman imagine those draft picks on defence, along with Joki , would be playing on the team at the same time one day??? Really…All undersized smurfs? Was he buiding a team for 2nd Div. team in Sweden. Wrong league Stanley!
    Who is JC? This will be another long season and all the Hawks beat writers who continue to defend the Bowmans and actually think Lehner’s $5 million dollar contract is a good deal are in denial. Again, I hope for the Vets, the Hawks make the playoffs. If Saad is stuck playing with 8, or 65, or 57 or 64, he will score 10 goals . JC needs him to play in the top 6, this is simply dumb. He should be playing 18 minutes a game and more minutes than 92, 91, 8, 64, 57, 11, 15, 22, 65!!! Get real.

  25. And let’s not forget, Bowman did not acquire any NHL forwards this summer. 92, 8, 57, 28, Quenneville, all AHL or Euro players that were not regular NHLers (Except for 65) . He did well with 6 and 44 on defence. But, I would of spent that 5million on a solid top 6 winger not a backup goalie.

  26. The more specialty journeymen players the Hawks added in this post-season, the more ambivalent I was. I like winning faceoffs, hitting more, blocking more shots. I love guys who are willing to scrap. However, everyone of these guys pounded another nail into the coffin of Boqvist, Entwistle, Dach, etc., when it comes to making this team. They better do their blue collar jobs freaking well because they took roster spots away from likely future all-stars. Well, at least, Dach is still in the running for a place on the team. I think what it comes down to is this … Who can implement Jeremy Colliton’s defensive system the best. I’m a Colliton fan. However, I wonder if he is overly focused on winning 2-1 games when the Hawks seem to be more constructed to win 5-3 games. Are we serving “wins” or are we serving “Colliton?”

  27. Lines:
    Kane Toews Cagguila
    (Caggiula wins pucks for the 2 stars and is just a warm body otherwise).
    DeBrincat Strome Kubalik (don’t waste the Pilson Sniper on Kampf)
    Zach Smith Dach Shaw (Smith fights AND scores with skill on his line)
    Carpenter Quennville Perlini (Toughness, secondary scoring, PK)

  28. Exactly, Hull65. The last few teams to win the Stanley Cup had size, toughness and skill. The teams knocking on the door(Nashville, Colorado) do as well. Unless Stan can get the league to expand the ice surface and go to Euro/Olympic style, his Hawks will continue to be easy to play against. This is not a roster for playoff hockey either, a much more physical atmosphere. Call Kampf what you want, but he is neither physical nor possesses a good shot. I’d rather have Saarela, someone who plays with some urgency. And Nylander – if he turns into a dud, you watch Stan do everything in his power to avoid any scrutiny. I hope it’s not the case, but still don’t understand that trade.

  29. That game was ugly and a lot of guys looked disinterested…but it’s a preseason game. I seem to recall in the fall of 2009 we played a pre-season game against a team from the German Elite league and got stomped 9-2…and that team ended up alright. I am will to withhold judgement until the games count. But they better be more committed than that effort against Washington for sure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *