First-time event also includes session on IceHogs-Blackhawks relationship
This weekend’s 2008 Chicago Blackhawks convention will feature autograph sessions and a discussion on the hockey player development system by 2007-08 IceHogs Jordan Hendry and Dave Bolland.
Bolland, who scored the first goal in Rockford’s AHL history, will sign autographs at the IceHogs booth from 10-10:30 a.m. on Saturday. Hendry, who appeared in 45 games with the IceHogs in 2007-08 and made his NHL debut in January, will be available from 3-3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The two skaters will then be joined by new Blackhawks General Manager of Minor League Affiliations Mark Bernard, Director of Player Evaluation Al MacIsaac and Rockford Head Coach Mike Haviland in the “Road to the NHL” session at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday in the Continental Ballroom. Bolland got the call to Chicago three times in 2007-08, while Hendry was recalled twice during Rockford’s first AHL season.
The players and executives will discuss how Rockford serves as a stepping stone to the NHL and the impact of having the top minor league affiliate just a couple of hours away. The convention also features discussions about the history and future of the Blackhawks and includes several autograph sessions with past and present Blackhawks players and coaches, including Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Tony Esposito, Stan Mikita, Denis Savard, Brian Campbell, Dustin Byfuglien and Eddie Olczyk. There are also opportunities to see a performance by Chicago’s Second City comedy group, meet Hall of Fame Broadcaster Pat Foley, train like a hockey player and learn about hockey equipment.
Hendry had a career season in 2007-08 and inked another two-year deal with the Hawks during this off-season. The undrafted Nokomis, Saskatchewan native made his NHL debut against Dallas on Jan. 9, 2008. He scored his first NHL point and goal with the Hawks in 2007-08 before rejoining the IceHogs to make a late-season push into the playoffs. He also appeared in 45 games with the IceHogs, scoring three goals and four assists. Following a four-year career at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, the defenseman joined the Chicago Blackhawks organization on March 9, 2006. Since that time he has not missed a single regular season game.
Bolland was also one of five Rockford IceHogs to score his first career NHL goal in 2007-08. The Mimico, Ontario native appeared in one game with the Blackhawks in 2006-07, his NHL debut, and broke camp with the IceHogs in 2007-08. He scored the first goal in IceHogs AHL history against Quad City in the season opener, but his time in Rockford was short-lived as he became the first player to get recalled on Oct. 25, 2007. In 39 games with the Blackhawks, the center scored four goals and had 13 assists.