The Weekend Warrior

By Randy Nicholson

Training Camp roster expanded: The Maple Leafs have decided to invite virtually the entire roster from the recent Rookie Tournament in Kitchener over to the Main Camp … the rookie squad went undefeated and won the round-robin affair in impressive fashion … only defenders JF Cote and Lubos Velebny have been returned to their respective junior clubs …

Karpovtsev talks heat up again: After announcing a much publicized suspension of discussions with the Maple Leafs concerning a contract for Alex Karpovtsev, Mark Gandler slithered back into town this week in order to resuscitate the talks … for their part, the Leafs (represented by contract point man, Bill Watters) seem willing to let bygones be bygones in order to get a deal done … Watters stated that the 2 sides were suddenly much closer together and that an agreement might possibly get done by the end of the week … although no indication was given as to which party blinked first, its my guess that Potsie has advised his representative in no uncertain terms that he prefers to play in Toronto rather than in Moscow this winter … if an agreement is reached that covers only one season, don’t be too surprised if Karpovtsev is sent packing anyway – he’ll will be an unrestricted free agent next summer and the Maple Leafs are generally not amenable to keeping players on the roster that are in this situation …

Leafs Trivia I: In many ways, the 1960’s represent the last “golden age” in Maple Leafs’ hockey … the club won 4 Stanley Cup titles during this era, largely on the strength of a solid blueline corps … in fact, 3 different Maple Leaf defensemen were named to either the 1st or 2nd All-Star team during the decade … name all 3 players (answer below Whatever happened to) …

Leafs Trivia II: Complete this deal … Scott Pearson and draft choices to the Quebec Nordiques on November 17, 1990 in exchange for (answer below Trivia I answer) …

Who am I: I am the only Czechoslovakian trained player to ever represent the Maple Leafs at the annual NHL All-Star Game … I was acquired by Toronto from the Quebec Nordiques in exchange for Wilf Paiement in March of 1982 … in 6 full seasons with the Leafs, I topped the 20 goal mark on 3 occasions (answer below Trivia II answer) …

Minard joins battle to backstop Baby Leafs: Former Edmonton farmhand Mike Minard has joined a growing group of netminders vying for work in St. John’s this season … while it is expected that Jimmy Waite will hold onto the #1 position on the Rock, the back-up job will be hotly contested … the 23 year-old Minard spent last season with the Oilers’ AHL team in Hamilton and led the team in wins with 16 … the Maple Leafs are clearly working hard in order to improve goaltending depth throughout their development system after having neglected this important position somewhat in recent years …

Room for one more: The Leafs added a final piece to their training camp roster when they re-signed restricted free agent right winger David Nemirovsky … Nemirovsky, acquired from the Florida Panthers for former first rounder Jeff Ware in 1999, played in St. John’s last season …

Tellqvist wins final game at Euro Tourney: Mikael Tellqvist played in the third (and final) game at the Euro Tournament this week, this time against the Russian National Team … he wasn’t quite as sharp (though 24 saves on 26 shots certainly isn’t terrible) as he was earlier against the Czech Republic … the game remained tied after 60 minutes and a 5 minute overtime period didn’t resolve the matter either, due mainly to Tellqvist’s brilliant save on Prokopiev late in the extra frame … during the subsequent shoot-out round, it was really Mikael’s turn to shine … he stopped three of four penalty shots and allowed his team to win the game 3-2 … Tellqvist is already noted for his uncanny ability to stop shooters in a one-on-one showdown … he simply refuses to make the first move and is nearly impossible to deke … when an attacker doesn’t shoot early and accurately, he has virtually no chance to score on the big Swedish keeper …

Prospect thumbnail – Vladimir Antipov (RW): This swift skating Russian winger was signed to his first pro contract by the Maple Leafs prior to last season … although several reports from Newfoundland indicated that Antipov flashed abundant skill when used, he battled with St. John’s Coach Al MacAdam and played very sparingly … Antipov also spent time with South Carolina of the ECHL and Long Beach of the IHL during 1999 / 2000 but never really got untracked anywhere … the failure to utilize and develop young players like Vladimir is perhaps the main reason why there is a new coaching staff in place for the Baby Leafs entering the upcoming season … although he will certainly be given a fresh start by Lou Crawford and Kevin McClelland, it will be Antipov’s responsibility to prove that he can translate superior puck and skating skills into solid offensive production … 2000 / 2001 will be an extremely important season for this young player …

Whatever happened to: Alexander Godynyuk …

Trivia I answer: Allan Stanley (1959/60 – 2nd team, 1960/61 – 2nd team, 1965/66 – 2nd team), Carl Brewer (1961/62 – 2nd team, 1962/63 – 1st team, 1964/65 – 2nd team), Tim Horton (1962/63 – 2nd team, 1963/64 – 1st team, 1966/67 – 2nd team, 1967/68 – 1st team, 1968/69 – 1st team) …

Trivia II answer: The Leafs received veterans Michel Petit, Lucien DeBlois and Aaron Broten from Quebec … this deal was a big part of Leafs’ GM Floyd Smith’s intrepid battle to prevent the draft choice sent earlier to New Jersey (for Tom Kurvers) from becoming the top pick at the 1991 Entry Draft … Toronto eventually finished just ahead of the Nordiques who subsequently took Eric Lindros first overall … the new franchise in San Jose then selected Pat Falloon with the second pick and New Jersey used Toronto’s slot to grab Scott Niedermayer …

Who am I answer: Miroslav Frycer represented Toronto at the 1985 NHL All-Star contest and scored once as his Campbell Conference side was defeated by the Wales Conference 6-4 …

Again thanks to our correspondent in Prague, Jan Buben, for providing excellent coverage of Mikael Tellqvist’s performances at the recent Euro Tournament in Zlin, Czech Republic.

Leafs’ Training Camp is underway. Look for continuing coverage of all important happenings throughout the pre-season here at your headquarters for Maple Leafs’ prospect news – Hockey’s Future.

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