Holding two number one picks in the 2001 draft, Hawk G.M. Mike Smith chose to pass on Rangers rookie Dan Blackburn in favor of Tummo Ruutu with his #9 overall selection.
While sitting at the draft as it reached the middle of round one, I wasn’t the only one feeling that the Blackhawk’s lack of depth in goal might lead to a ‘tender taken with the second first rounder. But all indications were that goalie might be Jason Bacashihua
would be the guy if a goalie was picked. He played for the Chicago Freeze, in a northwest Chicago suburb, and was rated a late first rounder.
He was in fact picked by Dallas a few picks before the Blackhawks picked.
The Hawks made Adam Munro their pick, surprising Adam and his Dad as much as the rest of us.
Was he a back up choice, or was it Tretiak’s high scouting marks that bumped him into the first round?
A big goalie, Adam presently progressing in the AHL.
Here is Ken McKenna’s interview with Adam:.
Q&A with Adam Munro.
By Ken McKenna.
Hockey’s Future : We’ll start with this season. Erie is on its way to another division title. How do you feel about the teams’ chances of going to the Memorial Cup?.
AM:I feel like we have a good enough team to do it this year. Last year we had a lot of skill, but I don’t know if we had the character there. This year, I think we’ve got a lot of experience from last year, we’ve got a lot of guys back. We probably don’t have as much skill, but a lot more character on this team this year than we did la Read more»
While watching the preliminary round of the 2002 World Junior Tourney, I found myself with the distinct feeling that the Canadian entry was going to win first seed as their play over Russia and other competition was dominant. Two LA prospects, small centre Mike Cammalleri and Rw Jared Aulin along with the likes of Jason Spezza, Steven Weiss, and top two 2002 projected draft picks Rick Nash and Jay Bouwmeester were methodical, smart players who were able to penetrate with scoring chances while never sacrificing defense.
Their game against Team Finland, led by Ruutu, Mikko Koivu, and top five pick number one ranked goaltender Kari Lehtonen showed Canada could be dominated. Ruutu was the main cog at both ends of the ice, with a fine continued performance that have to bring smiles to the Hawk fans everywhere.
Could we trust that Mike Smith and his penchant for Europeans over North Americans was correct this time, when the Hawk “farm” was desperately in need of a future stopper? Compounding our second guessing is the fact Blackburn showed enough to the New York Rangers to keep him around as an 18-year-old back-up and continues to excel at the major league level.
Will Ruutu be a bigger impact to the Hawks? At this point, it would be pure speculation as Tuomo Ruutu must do his military service and will not get a chance for possibly 2003-04 season.
The things we can say are what we see: He is a dominant player at World Junior, a head above the rest. He went where he wanted and did want he wanted to. He was force inside the team game.
This year’s training camp ended with everyone viewing a different Mark Bell. The one we viewed this season was more relaxed, confident and a beneficiary of a year in the farm beside teaching coach Trent Yawney. Everybody saw the difference on the ice.
Mark Bell, future Hawk centre certainly would play in the NHL eventually. The question as training camp ended was if he would be able to crack the Hawk line-up there this season, where lack of ice time while dressed for games and press box time when scratched would only serve to dampen his spirits.
Coach Brian Sutter saw an opportunity for Mark Bell to play in Chicago now. But it would be in a job position where his performance each night would dictate if he would return for the next game to play again. And it would not be at the position where he was heir. It would be as the third line LW. Left wing is the position that this writer stated Bell would be better suited for three years ago, but a 3rd line Left wing has to play a much more rigorous game than any centre, and the job is one where being physical is a certainty to success.
So far Mark Bell has answered the call each night he has fought, scored and never been a passenger on a team whose early success is somewhat tied to his success.
Granted, The Hawks good record early on reflect the play of all of the pieces. The emergence of Thibault as an early competitor who can keep teams under three goals has to rank high in the success. And the early sniping by young diminutive forward Kyle Calder and young vet Eric Daze certainly cannot be Read more»