Chicago Blackhawks: Eddie Olczyk

Olczyk: Toews injury called for retaliation

March, 31, 2014
Mar 31
4:47
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Former NHL player and coach and current Chicago Blackhawks television analyst Eddie Olczyk said Monday he was disappointed the Blackhawks didn’t retaliate immediately when their captain Jonathan Toews suffered an injury from a hit by the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Brooks Orpik on Sunday.

[+] EnlargeJonathan Toews
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images Jonathan Toews was injured on a hit by the Penguins Brooks Orpik on Sunday.
Toews was knocked into the boards by Orpik and fell to the ice in the second period on Sunday. Toews got up slowly and was seen holding his left arm as he went off the ice. He did not return to the game. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Sunday he did not believe Toews’ injury was serious and he would be reevaluated on Monday. Orpik was not penalized on the play.

“The game is much different now than when I played,” Olczyk said on WGWG-LP 87.7 FM on Monday. “The game is much different than when I coached. Once the response didn’t happen, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. Was I disappointed? Absolutely.

“I don’t care what team this is. It’s Opening Day today, right? Somebody puts a ball in the mid section or the ribs of one of your players, I would expect that at some point in the very near future, like immediately, someone is going to get one in the same spot. You’re going to go, 'OK, if you’re going to play that way, then we’re going to amp it up as well.' I was disappointed nothing happened, and especially when it didn’t happen right away, it wasn’t going to happen.”

(Read full post)

Olczyk Award giving hockey opportunities

December, 18, 2013
12/18/13
4:49
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Kathy Kania always promised her son, Luke, she would find a way to pay for his hockey if he was serious about the sport.

Luke lived up to his end. He put in the time and effort to become a skilled goaltender from when he was in fourth grade into his high school years. As Luke improved and started to get noticed for his ability, his opportunities to play for better teams increased. More competitive teams also meant more travel and expenses, and it became harder for Kathy, a single mother raising three children in Chicago, to meet those financial demands.

Eddie Olczyk
Rob Grabowski/USA TODAY SportsThe Eddie Olczyk award has provided $55,000 in the last two years to 25 applicants in Illinois who couldn't afford the financial requirements of playing competitive hockey.
The largest hockey opportunity for Luke came two years ago when he was invited to play for Shattuck-St. Mary’s Prep in Minnesota. Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews are the among the school's many alumni to go on to the NHL. Kathy wanted so badly to give her son that chance as well, but the tuition and boarding were out of the family’s price range.

Kathy was still searching for a way to pay for the school when her phone rang one day. It was Eddie Olczyk calling, and he was about to change their situation. Olczyk told her Luke was being awarded the Eddie Olczyk Award and would be given the financial assistance needed to pay for Shattuck-St. Mary’s Prep.

“It provided an opportunity of a lifetime for my son,” Kathy said in a recent phone interview. “He worked so many years to get to a certain level. At that point to have the opportunity to move on and utilize that talent, he couldn’t have had that opportunity without that grant. To see him able to do that, that’s what every parent hopes for.”

The Chicago Blackhawks and Olczyk created the award specifically for people like Kathy and Luke. They’ve awarded $55,000 in the last two years to 25 applicants, which have included players and organizations, in Illinois who couldn’t afford the financial requirements of playing competitive hockey.

(Read full post)

Podcast: Eddie O on how to beat Kings

May, 30, 2013
5/30/13
5:32
PM CT
By Staff
ESPNChicago.com
Jonathan QuickAndrew D. Bernstein/NHLI/Getty ImagesEddie Olczyk said the Blackhawks need to use Jonathan Quick's aggressiveness against him.
Ed Olczyk joined "The Carmen & Jurko Show" and discussed the Western Conference finals between the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings.

Olczyk was asked to break down the Kings.

"It starts with their goaltender Jonathan Quick. He's an aggressive goaltender. He's not in the blue paint a whole heck of a lot. He likes to come out. He likes to be aggressive. He likes to cut down on the angle, so for the Blackhawks a lot of things are important.
  • One is not allow him to be aggressive. Not allow him to come outside his blue paint, so if you could establish position right in front of that crease, you're not going to allow him to get out and cut down on the angle.
  • Second thing is he plays down low, as low as any goaltender we've seen in a long, long time. So elevation on shots is going to be key on Johnathan Quick.

    "They're a big team. They defend really well. They have some skilled guys in Anze Kopitar, and Dustin Brown and Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, pretty much the same team they had last year. They're banged up a little bit, but this is going to be a big, heavy series. It's going to be the most demanding, physical series the Blackhawks have seen to this point in the playoffs considering they've played Minnesota and Detroit.

    "They're the defending Stanley Cup champion for a reason. It's going to be a hard-fought series, no question about it."
  • Hockey is a way of life for Ed Olczyk

    October, 15, 2012
    10/15/12
    10:14
    PM CT
    Burnside By Scott Burnside
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive


    DALLAS -- There is a plaque that hangs in the Olczyk house that reads, "We interrupt this family for hockey."

    It's not just a saying for the Olczyk clan but a way of life.

    It's a way of life that on Monday night saw longtime NHL player, coach and broadcaster Ed Olczyk achieve a lifelong dream of being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

    That he shared the moment with a group of family and friends that was so large the official photographer had to open the doors and step out of the official photo room at the event was, well, just about right.

    "I'm proud to say hockey is all I know," Olczyk said before the ceremony that also enshrined former U.S. national teammate Mike Modano and New Jersey Devils president and GM Lou Lamoriello.

    Read the entire column.

    Ed Olczyk among HOF inductees

    October, 15, 2012
    10/15/12
    10:03
    PM CT
    By Associated Press
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive
    DALLAS -- Mike Modano made his mark long before he and the Minnesota North Stars relocated to Dallas and brought hockey to the Sun Belt.

    Once he got there in 1993, he didn't miss a beat.

    Modano, the highest-scoring U.S.-born player in NHL history, joined longtime New Jersey Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello, and player-turned-broadcaster Ed Olczyk, as the newest inductees to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday night.

    Read the entire story.

    Q-and-A: Olczyk on the Hawks, the Hall

    July, 26, 2012
    7/26/12
    9:39
    PM CT
    Rogers By Jesse Rogers
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive
    Olcyk & FoleyChicago Blackhawks Eddie Olcyk, pictured on the right next to broadcast partner Pat Foley, will join the US Hockey Hall of Fame in the coming months.

    Recently, it was announced that Eddie Olczyk, a former first-round pick of the Blackhawks and current television analyst for the team, will be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. Olczyk scored 342 goals and produced 794 points in a 16-year career and was just one of seven players in a five year span (’87-’92) to score 30 or more goals in each season. At the recent Blackhawks fan convention-- at which he was master of ceremonies -- Olczyk sat down for a question and answer session about all things hockey including the team he played and now broadcasts for.

    Jesse Rogers: Do you think your inclusion into the US Hockey Hall of Fame is purely due to your playing days or a culmination of all the things you’ve done in your career on and off the ice including promoting U.S. Hockey.

    Eddie Olczyk: I’d like to think my numbers speak for themselves but I think the nine different times I represented our country as a player and then once as a coach, and the speaking engagements on behalf of US hockey, it’s probably everything under the umbrella. I’ve been involved with hockey in the U.S. since I was 17 … I’d like to think a lot of is player wise, but Ill certainly take the other aspects with it.

    Did the last Olympics finally show the world USA Hockey has reached a more than respectable level?

    EO: I think everybody before that knew how far we’ve come and how good of a country we are as far as playing the game. I think our top 50 players can compete on that world stage, but when you start talking top 100 or 200 players and you talk about our greatest rival its Canada. I still believe Canada’s greatest rival is the Russians. I believe that. As an alum that still bothers me but maybe it’s changing.

    Let’s pivot right to Patrick Kane on this subject. While the World Championships were going on in early May a great player like him was kind of in the spotlight for other reasons. Would you have liked to seen him play in the championships?

    EO: Oh, absolutely. I said it then and I’ll say it now: I was disappointed that he didn’t go. Now, I don’t know why. Health and personal reasons come into it but I think that’s where we, as USA hockey, we need all of our players to stop what they’re doing when that phone rings and no hesitation, you go. That’s the difference between Canada and the US, guys are stopping whatever they’re doing and going. And it’s been like this for a long time, we don’t have full cooperation from our players. Now I’m talking at levels below the Olympics. I was disappointed that he didn’t go and it obviously culminated with what happened on that May weekend. We need players like Kaner to go when they get called.

    Let’s stay on the Hawks. And I preface this by saying I’m not asking you to make an assessment on Joel Quenneville but in general, can a good or even great coach have a bad year?

    EO: Well first of all I think Joel is a great coach, and I wish I could have played for him but to answer your question, yes, great coaches can have off years. Great coaches can miss pushing the right buttons. Great players can have average years. I don’t think coaches are immune to slumps or poor decision making. All coaches at all levels, and Joel knows this, don’t always push the right buttons all the time but even when they do push the right buttons the players have to react. I played on the power play, I coached it, I have a good feel, the scheme is 50 percent. The other 50 percent is the player’s ability to ad-lib, take what is given and execute. I’m not on the side of the fence that power play is coaching. To me, it’s more the decision making by the players. And I lived it as a power play guy.

    Let me segue then. What’s the normal course of action in the off-season when both special teams units had such down years? They already fired a coach. What else goes on?

    EO: Let me emphasize I can only speak from my experience as a player and a coach, you start looking at ‘what is our philosophy?” Does the philosophy we use go hand-in-hand with the personnel? At the end of the day is the personnel the right people doing it? At the end of the day I would start with my philosophy then to the people doing it and break it down that way. Obviously, there was a disconnect somewhere. Most teams kill the same way. Not all but most teams have the same philosophy of being aggressive and pressuring.

    Back to Joel. Do you get the sense, because he has more than intimated it, we are going to see a more stern coach this year?

    EO: I would say that’s fair because of what’s happened the last couple of years. I don’t think there is a doubt, knowing the leadership and expectations of Rocky (Wirtz) and John (McDonough), unacceptable. Everybody reassesses who and what they are and finding a way. No excuses, just finding a way. I don’t think there is any doubt there needs to be more from some players. And I speak from experience, you can berate a player, you can call a player out in the media, the thing that really strikes a player is ice time. It hurts most when they’re not out there. So the philosophy of this organization as on outsider, to a certain extent, is what has transpired here the last couple of years is not acceptable. And their expectations are much higher.

    Fill in the blank here. The core group needs to ….

    EO: The core group needs to be more consistent. I would say the core group needs to take their game back to a level of more consistency. You need health, you need some depth, but at the end of the day these are the guys that are the engine.

    Let’s go back to you. I’ve talked to people in hockey that think you would be good getting back into the game from a coaching or front office level. Any interest?

    EO: Look, I love what I do. I thank John (McDonough and Jay (Blunk) for allowing me the flexibility in doing national television and I love working with Pat Foley but very few people know my feelings on that. Next question. Ha.

    Ok, last thing, word association. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind?

    Jonathan Toews

    EO: Finds a way to get it done.

    Patrick Kane

    EO: Great talent. Another level to go.

    Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith

    EO: Two cornerstones to build around

    The Collective Bargaining Agreement

    EO: Hope all understand the climate of society. We entertain.

    The Pick Six

    EO: Need to hit another one.
    Former players Mike Modano and Ed Olczyk and New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello were selected to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

    Read the entire story.



    ESPNChicago.com's Jesse Rogers and Blackhawks analyst Eddie Olczyk discuss the team's game against Edmonton on Wednesday as well as its second half prospects.

    Hawks, Olczyk partner to help youth hockey

    October, 25, 2011
    10/25/11
    11:54
    PM CT
    Rogers By Jesse Rogers
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive
    CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks announced Tuesday the team will partner with Blackhawks Charities and Blackhawks TV analyst Eddie Olczyk on the creation of the “Eddie Olczyk Award” to support young hockey players and teams in Illinois that may not have the means to play at a competitive level.

    Olczyk said they’ve been working on the project for over two years and he’s thrilled to be a part of giving back to the community he grew up in.

    “It’s important because this is my home,” he said. “I couldn’t be more humbled or privileged that they would think of me in this way because this is my home and this is where I learned how to play.”

    Olczyk says he wants to take money brought in through youth camps and “put it right back into the youth community.” The money will go towards anything and everything related to hockey, including new uniforms or registration money for a travel player who couldn’t previously afford it.

    “We want to hear from everybody,” Olczyk said. “I want to take some of this money and go to local rinks and buy hours of ice time for kids after school and promote it on our website and say, ‘You can go skate on this ice for a few hours after school at your local rink,’ and these kids don’t have to pay anything.”

    Their official stated goal is to issue grants to individuals and families in need of assistance for participation in an Illinois sanctioned team or organization, and organizations in need of assistance to run programs which increase the participation in youth hockey. In order to be considered for the inaugural grant process, letters of inquiry must be received by Nov. 22, 2011. Complete information can be found on chicagoblackhawks.com.


    Jesse Rogers and Eddie Olczyk preview the Blackhawks game against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.

    How about Olczyk as assistant GM?

    June, 8, 2011
    6/08/11
    1:01
    PM CT
    Rogers By Jesse Rogers
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive
    It was only last week Chicago Blackhawks team President and CEO John McDonough was praising the stability within the organization as well as the working relationship between general manager Stan Bowman and assistant general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff.

    The tandem was broken up Wednesday when Cheveldayoff officially accepted the general manager’s position with the newly located Thrashers franchise in Winnipeg.

    So who replaces Cheveldayoff in the increasingly important role of assistant general manager in the modern NHL? The Hawks are a tight-knit group so expect it to come from within the organization.

    Here are some candidates:

    Mark Bergevin: He might be at the top of the list as the current Director of Player Personnel. He has had a hand in the organization on several levels over the past half decade as well as being instrumental in bringing Joel Quenneville to Chicago. Many general managers come from the player ranks. Since Bowman did not play it can’t be a bad thing to have as his lieutenant a former player, so Bergevin fits the profile on several levels.

    Al Macisaac: It might be a step down for the current assistant to McDonough but Macissac has been in the organization longer than anyone and has front office experience going back to the Norfolk Admirals when they were the Hawks minor league affiliate before moving to Rockford. He was promoted after the Hawks won the Stanley Cup last season, just completing his first year in his new role though he still has a hand in hockey operations.

    Mark Kelley: This might be a sleeper pick, but the current director of amateur scouting is well respected within the organization and the hockey world. Most scouts would jump at the chance to join a front office, and Kelley may have paid enough dues to qualify for the position.

    There is one more sleeper pick which could be the best one, if for no other reason it’s a voice within the organization but on the outside of the front office looking in -- Eddie Olczyk.

    Yes, he has a great job as lead analyst for the Hawks and the NHL but anyone who knows Olczyk knows he has a competitive streak about him which broadcasting probably can never satisfy. He tried his hand at coaching so he knows that end of it, and his hockey knowledge has the respect of every team in the league.

    He qualifies as that former player Bowman might want to have as his second in command and probably has as much information on players around the league as any pro scout. Would he consider it? They should ask.

    As for Cheveldayoff, there is plenty of irony in him being named the general manager of the former Atlanta Thrashers. He spent 12 years with the Thrashers organization as general manager of its farm team, the Chicago Wolves. Atlanta never brought him to the NHL. The Hawks did that but he ends up going back to that franchise the moment it’s sold. His ties to the group, True North Sports & Entertainment, who bought the Thrashers, go back many years. He’s close with True North vice-president Craig Heisinger.

    So the Hawks lose some continuity they were seeking and now Bowman has one more item to add to his to-do list this summer. Expect a hire sooner than later.


    Chicago Blackhawks analyst Eddie Olczyk and ESPNChicago’s Jesse Rogers preview the Hawks’s first-round NHL playoff series with the Vancouver Canucks.

    Hawks extend deals for Foley, Olczyk

    December, 31, 2010
    12/31/10
    9:59
    AM CT
    By ESPNChicago.com
    ESPNChicago.com
    The Chicago Blackhawks locked in their television broadcast team through the 2013-14 season when they re-signed play-by-play man Pat Foley and analyst Eddie Olczyk to three-year deals.

    Foley, a Glenview native, and Olczyk, who is from Palos Heights, are in their third season together calling games for Comcast SportsNet and WGN. Household ratings for Blackhawks games on Comcast SportsNet have increased over 130 percent, and games on WGN have increased over 85 percent since Foley and Olczyk were paired together at the start of the 2008-09 regular-season.

    Foley, in his 28th season with the organization, called Blackhawks games from 1981 to 2006, and returned to the booth for the 2008-09 season. Olczyk, in his fifth season as the television analyst for Blackhawks, played 16 seasons in the NHL, including five with the Blackhawks, who drafted him third overall in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. He is also the lead television analyst for NHL national broadcasts on NBC and Versus.

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