Here’s some Chicago Blackhawks prospect news: Former Rockford IceHogs and Flint Firebirds coach Ted Dent was relieved of his duties. The Firebirds were burned for a combined 19 goals in two games, losing on the road 11-3 and then getting blasted 8-0 at home by Kitchener. Dent as recently as two days ago was on his “coach’s corner” segment, but management chose to part ways and hired Paul Flache to take over. Flache recently was the general manager and bench boss for the Atlanta Mad Hatters of the USPHL.
The Firebirds have announced that Paul Flache will be taking over head coaching duties from Ted Dent.
— Flint Firebirds (@FlintFirebirds) October 6, 2023
Gavin Hayes hasn’t played yet in Flint but now walks into an interesting situation. After scoring 41 goals last season, eyes are on Hayes to see if he can repeat the feat or exceed it. After his team has opened the season with a minus 16 goal differential, will it be a little more pressure to produce as they’re trying to dig out of a hole?
It’s definitely something to keep an eye on.
Blackhawks Still Have to Decide on Final Roster, Includes Colton Dach
Another day with Colton Dach still on the Blackhawks roster and if he plays in and has a good game Saturday in the preseason finale, might he have an outside chance to stay on in Chicago?
“You’ve got a young guy like Dach,” head coach Luke Richardson said. “Had a great rookie camp, continued on through this camp, and he’s pushing too. Not saying necessarily he’s behind because he’s younger but he’s coming up and he’s one of that first waves coming through here that I’m talking about that if you don’t prepare and execute, then a guy like that will pass you by.”
The question that remains with a number of bubble players still fighting for their spot is if indeed Dach can have a strong game and cement his spot–albeit for a bit–with the Blackhawks?
It isn’t a stretch to think so. Since his strong playoff performance in the Western Hockey League playoffs and then the Memorial Cup, Dach has only been getting better.
He’s likely logging bigger minutes in Rockford if he starts there–and certainly he’ll be sharpened and get some major work in there. That, too, will help. But even if he starts out in Chicago playing on the fourth line, he can always be shuttled back to Rockford should they determine that more time there is beneficial to his career.
Regardless of the choice, Dach is a must-watch tomorrow against St. Louis.