‘It shows they want to win and they want to win now’ IceHogs prepared for playoff push with new-look roster

Over 20% of the current roster has changed because of recent trades made by Rockford and Chicago
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 10:58 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Tuesday marked the first practice for many new IceHogs after the Hogs and Blackhawks put together multiple trades before the NHL and AHL trade deadlines. While the Hogs lose key players like Dylan Sikura, Adam Clendening, and others, the Hogs like the pieces they’ve gotten in return.

“The guys that we brought in kind of fill the holes of the guys that we lost so it’s just a matter of finding a rhythm for those guys and team-wise we’re playing the same way and this is a matter of integrating those new guys into those systems and concepts we have,” IceHogs coach Anders Sorensen said.

Among the new faces include former San Diego Forward Rocco Grimaldi. While the Gulls are in last in the AHL’s Pacific Division, the 30-year-old was still productive in netting 27 goals which is the second-most in the AHL.

“They told me I was traded which I was pretty shocked, to be honest,” Grilmaldi said. “I expected like I was probably going to finish the year there and we probably weren’t going to make the playoffs so I was going to be done in 15 games then all of a sudden now you’re in a playoff push so it’s pretty cool to go from thinking you’re going to be done soon to making a long run.”

“To me, it shows they want to win and they want to win now and I think that’s great you want a team that’s making deals like that trying to deepen the team or just fix holes in whatever area you need to get better at so for me I’m just going to come in and play my game do what I do best and just compete, hopefully, bring some scoring to the team,” Grimaldi added.

“It’s tough losing a couple of guys that are close buddies over the past two years but it is a business I think our organization wanted to go for a deep run here,” Rockford winger Mike Hardman said.