It is with anticipation we say hello to October but have to say goodbye to a new flame. Pun intended I’m talking about saying goodbye to Brandon Bollig, Chicago Blackhawk (also former Rockford IceHog) that will now be wearing a Calgary Flames sweater. After a tough decision and the salary cap conundrum the Blackhawks are facing, it was still a bit of a surprise. Who will pick up the slack of the 27-year-old, 6’1” left winger that is not afraid to slam someone into the boards or drop the gloves?
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Brandon Mashinter LW is definitely a candidate. At 6’4” and 220 pounds he certainly has the size. This Brandon came to the IceHogs in early December of last season in which he scored two goals against Hamilton in February, and achieved his career high with three assists against Milwaukee in March. He is the recipient of the 2013-14 IceHogs Heavy Hitter award, and he’s also no stranger to the box. He totaled 96 penalty minutes and was ranked fourth on the team with the Connecticut Whale. Mashinter has NHL ice time with the San Jose Sharks and the NY Rangers.
The #freemorin campaign is underway for Jeremy Morin and we will see him on Chicago ice this season for sure. He’s made appearances there since 2010 but has yet to secure the permanent spot. He must do well during these preseason games and if he can get a bit more aggressive, I think he’s ready for the pressure. He was named the 2013-14 IceHogs MVP and #1 Star of the Game with a goal, an assist, and 10 shots on goal against Chicago. Morin showed up with the IceHogs in October 2010 and was called up to the Blackhawks in November scoring his first career professional goal in the AHL against Manitoba and his first career NHL point, an assist, against St. Louis. This was a phenomenal year for the kid also scoring his first career game-winning goal in Rockford’s win over Peoria.
Last on the IceHogs’ roster for left-wingers is Garret Ross. Not quite the size, being 6’ and 171 pounds, nor the experience, he’s only 21-years-old, he was the IceHogs Rookie of the Year 2013-2014 and I’ll be watching him. He has achieved his first professional goal, career multi-goal game and his first career short-handed goal. Another statistic for Garret is he received a fighting major during his first shift of his IceHogs debut.
As Brandon Bollig exits, I can’t help but think of a favorite #52 moment. It has to be when he crushed Winnipeg Jets, Adam Pardy, so hard against the boards that his helmet flew off. After the scuffle and a brief search for the brain bucket you see a fan in the stands wearing it very nonchalantly. Struck me as hilarious. Feel free to comment any favorite Bollig moments!