With McAmmond Gone, Calder Auditioning for Job on Second Line

By Sassone, Tim | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 17, 2001 | Go to article overview

With McAmmond Gone, Calder Auditioning for Job on Second Line


Sassone, Tim, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Tim Sassone Daily Herald Sports Writer

While the future of Blackhawks rookie Kyle Calder is likely as a third-line grinder, you never know what can happen with maturity.

That is why Calder's audition at left wing on the second line with Steve Sullivan and Michael Nylander will be one of the more interesting developments to watch over the season's final 11 games.

After Dean McAmmond was traded to Philadelphia on Tuesday, Calder was coach Alpo's Suhonen's logical replacement choice. Calder, 22, can skate, he's good along the walls and he plays an intelligent game. General manager Mike Smith said Calder has developed the most of all prospects since training camp.

"This is a great opportunity," Calder said of playing with scorers such as Sullivan and Nylander. "They're great players. Basically what I've got to do is give to them and drive to the net. They're going to be dishing, so you've got to be there."

Calder has deceiving skill and will get to show it more on the second line. He scored 42 goals and 88 points in his final year of juniors in 1998-99 after seasons of 25, 27 and 23 goals. Calder scored 14 goals in his first pro season at Cleveland in the International League last year and had 11 goals in 35 games at Norfolk before being recalled.

"It's going to come," Calder said of his scoring. "The main thing is just to work hard with these guys."

Calder played a solid game with Sullivan and Nylander in the 3-2 win over Nashville. He played 17 minutes and made a great pass to Sullivan to create the 2-on-1 that resulted in Nylander's game- winning goal early in the third.

Then with the Hawks clinging to their 1-goal lead in the last minute and Nashville's goalie pulled for an extra attacker, Suhonen had Calder on the ice. The rookie made a veteran play along the boards in the neutral zone, keeping the puck instead of panicking while the final 10 seconds ticked off the clock. …

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