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Chicago Blackhawks’ “Remember Them” Players From Last 10 Seasons

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WINNIPEG, MB - MARCH 18: Christian Ehrhoff
WINNIPEG, MB - MARCH 18: Christian Ehrhoff /
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Not everyone on the ice in the Chicago Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews/Patrick Kane era has been quite as well-known as those two, and we’re looking at some of those forgotten faces today

Yesterday, I took a look at surprising selections on each of the Chicago Blackhawks’ last five opening night rosters. I found it to be an interesting idea, especially since it got me thinking about some guys who weren’t terribly memorable additions to past Blackhawks outfits.

So today, that’s what we’re going to look at. But I’m going to expand it — we’re going to do a “where are they now” glance at one player from each of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane’s 10 seasons in the Windy City. (Where does the time go?)

To be fair, you might remember some of these guys, or what they went on to do after they were in Chicago. Heck, you may recall them all being part of the Blackhawks at one point or another. But that certainly doesn’t mean everyone does. So let’s get as vague as we can by looking at the team’s last 10 rosters.

2016-17: Spencer Abbott

Documenting a player from the most recent NHL season probably isn’t entirely fair. After all, it can be tough to forget a guy you’ve seen play in the calendar year. But if you asked a Blackhawks fan to start naming guys who suited up in the Indian Head last season, many would probably forget about Abbott.

Abbott was called up for all of one game last season, playing against Buffalo in early January. Then he went right back to the AHL. He had 35 points in 53 games last season for a bad Rockford team, but he was dumped to Anaheim at the 2017 trade deadline along with Sam Carrick for Kenton Helgensen and a draft pick.

Abbott had far too small an NHL sample size for Blackhawks fans to know if he would’ve made an impact at that level. While he worked hard in his lone NHL game for the team, he is 29 years old and has been primarily in the AHL since 2011-12. Spencer Abbott, we barely knew ye.

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2015-16: Jiri Sekac and Christian Ehrhoff

I’m cheating a bit here, because these guys were equally forgettable in their time on a Blackhawks team that mixed and matched pieces like the concept was going out of style any second.

Sekac had made little impact in the NHL, playing for Montreal and Anaheim, when the Blackhawks acquired him in January 2016 for Ryan Garbutt. Sekac made even less of an impact in Chicago, somehow, as he tallied an assist in six games before being put on waivers and claimed by Arizona.

Two points in 11 games for the lowly Coyotes led Sekac to seek a return to the Kontinental Hockey League. He netted 37 points in 62 games last season for Kazan Ak-bars, and has three points in five games so far this season.

Ehrhoff was acquired in a similar fashion to Sekac. Once the Garbutt experiment failed in Chicago, he was moved for Sekac. And once the Rob Scuderi experiment failed for the Blackhawks (after the Trevor Daley experiment “failed”), Ehrhoff was added from Los Angeles in exchange for Scuderi.

Chicago’s defense was a disaster in late February 2016 when Ehrhoff was added. Coach Joel Quenneville opted not to use the veteran, as he posted two assists in just eight regular-season games and didn’t play at all in the postseason.

Not surprisingly, Ehrhoff didn’t enjoy that experience. He signed with the Deutsche Eishockey Liga’s Cologne Sharks and netted 24 points in 43 games last season.

2014-15: Tim Erixon

Honorable mention here to Adam Clendening, Klas Dahlbeck and Michael Paliotta, all young defensive prospects who are no longer with Chicago. But at least those guys were known and talked about prior to their ousters. Erixon was essentially a nobody.

Fitting, then, that he was acquired in December 2014 when the Blackhawks decided (for the first time) that they were done with Jeremy Morin. Erixon lasted eight games in Chicago, collected four penalty minutes and was placed on waivers (Toronto claimed him).

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  • While Morin eventually wound up back in Chicago before being shipped to Toronto himself in the Richard Panik deal, Erixon was not long for the NHL. The now-26-year-old had a point in 15 games with the Leafs during the 2014-15 season and has spent all of the last two years with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The results: 45 points in 134 games.

    2013-14: Brad Mills

    Who in the world is Brad Mills? The guy is apparently so nondescript that Hockey Reference doesn’t have a national flag listed next to his name, as it does for essentially every other modern player.

    Well, Mills is a center who was loaned to the IceHogs in the 2013 season from the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies. Rockford signed him to a contract later that year, and then he apparently saw three early-season games with Chicago in 2013-14.

    The Blackhawks at least went 2-1 in his brief tenure, but Mills posted no real stats other than two shots on goal and a minus-1 rating. Mills’ last professional hockey exposure was with the AHL’s Binghamton Senators in 2014-15, scoring 14 points and piling up 79 penalty minutes in 34 games.

    Hopefully the now-34-year-old is enjoying … retirement, I guess? The Blackhawks could use some center depth this upcoming season …

    2013: Shawn Lalonde

    Not to be confused with Drew LeBlanc, who was also on this roster. He was a highly-touted forward prospect who fell flat. Lalonde was a young defenseman who found himself in the Blackhawks’ regular-season finale as a placeholder while other guys rested for the playoffs.

    To this date, it’s still the only NHL game Lalonde has participated in. He finished a plus-1, which is always nice. But he also hasn’t played hockey in North America since that contest against the St. Louis Blues.

    Lalonde is now 27 years old and has spent the last four seasons between the DEL and Swedish Hockey League. He may have found a niche there, too, tallying 126 points in 218 games. He’s also never had fewer than 84 penalty minutes in any of those seasons.

    2011-12: Brendan Morrison

    Another guy whose last NHL experience came with the Blackhawks. Unlike Lalonde, though, Morrison had a steady career before arriving in Chicago.

    Morrison was acquired in January 2012 for defenseman Brian Connelly. Morrison proceeded to exist for Chicago and not much else. He scored no points in 11 regular-season games, but actually had a goal in the playoff series against Phoenix. Not surprising I didn’t remember that … I try to block out about everything from that series.

    It’s disappointing, though, because Morrison posted 601 points in 934 NHL regular-season games. Who knows what would have happened had he joined the Blackhawks at some other time in his career.

    2010-11: Evan Brophey

    Who in the world is this guy? I’m pretty sure this is one of Coach Q’s nephews whom he suited up for fun in the midst of a difficult season.

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    After seven OHL seasons ending in 2006-07, Brophey began skating for Rockford on an entry-level deal. He wasn’t bad, compiling 109 points in 311 AHL games over four seasons. But he apparently wasn’t cut out for the NHL level, outside of a game with the Blackhawks in 2010-11 and three more with Colorado in 2011-12.

    That game with the Blackhawks came against Columbus in October 2010, with Brophey recording a shot on goal and going 4-1 in the faceoff dot. He’s spent the last four seasons between Germany and Austria, compiling 112 points in 179 games. He’s currently 30 years old.

    2009-10: Radek Smolenak

    This was a Blackhawks team that ended a 49-year championship drought, so it’s memorable. But if you tell me you recall this guy playing in Chicago, I’m not sure I’ll believe you.

    Smolenak’s last NHL experience was a single game with the Blackhawks during this season, after six with Tampa Bay the previous year. Against Detroit in early October 2009, the winger got in a fight with veteran Brad May. Only 2.3 percent of voters on hockeyfights.com believe Smolenak won the bout.

    Smolenak has been involved with hockey ever since, though. He’s now 30 and has been with Czech, Finnish, Swedish and Russian teams since 2010-11. His best season was with the KHL’s Zagreb Medvesack team in 2015-16 (34 points in 59 games).

    2008-09: Tim Brent and Pascal Pelletier

    Another twofer, with a guy who works at Home Depot and a guy who’s trying to sell you high-price bottled water.

    We’ll start with Brent, who actually had a couple fair NHL seasons after his two games with Chicago in 2008-09. At least that’s what Hockey Reference says … I don’t remember this guy at all. Nevertheless, he contributed two penalty minutes in two March 2009 games with Chicago before notching 44 points in 158 games between Toronto and Carolina the next two years.

    After hitting just three points in 30 games with the Hurricanes in 2013, Brent was in the KHL for two seasons. His last noted hockey experience was with the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms in 2015-16, and the 33-year-old center hasn’t been playing since.

    Pelletier saw a whole seven games with the Blackhawks in 2008-09, somehow taking close to 20 shifts in several of his games without ever cracking 12 minutes of ice time. He had no points and lost quite a few faceoffs, including an 0-for-7 mark in his last game with Chicago.

    The now-34-year-old saw three games with Vancouver after leaving Chicago, but most of his hockey time has been spent in the AHL, KHL and Swiss-A League. He’s actually still active, most recently with the Utica Comets. In 2013-14, he posted a solid 62 points in 69 games with the Comets.

    2007-08: A lot of guys

    I’ve been trying to stick to one guy in most instances on this list, but this team doesn’t afford me such an opportunity. The Blackhawks were still working out of being a really bad club at this point, so there are some really curious names across this group.

    *Deep breath* Adam Berti, Mike Blunden, Magnus Johansson, Petri Kontiola, Danny Richmond, Martin St. Pierre, Jason Williams and Andrei Zyuzin.

    Next: Blackhawks' Top 5 First-Game Surprises

    Some of these could be made-up names, for all I know. Williams apparently had 36 points for the Blackhawks in this season, but the rest of these guys did a whole lot of nothing. It just goes to show how far the Blackhawks have come since Toews and Kane broke into this league.

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