3 Players Recalled, Lundmark Traded, and More News

By Brandon LeBourveau

It’s been a horrible week for the New York Rangers as they are currently in
the midst of a 4 game losing streak. However, their lack of good play has
caused head coach Ron Low and general manager Glen Sather to bring up some
rookies from the minors to get some NHL action.

The Rangers re-called 22 year old hotshot defenseman Mike Mottau on Wednesday
from Hartford of the AHL. Mottau played his first NHL game in Thursday’s 3-0
loss to the Flyers. I thought overall he played a strong game. He made the
smart first-pass out of the defensive zone, and saw time as the quarterback
on the 2nd power play unit. Although the Rangers did lose, Mottau had a great
game. But last night in the Rangers 4-1 loss to the Penguins, Mottau didn’t
play as well. He committed to soon on a 1-on-1 situation with Jaromir Jagr in
the first period, leading to the 1st goal of the game for the Penguins. The
next game for Mike will be against the Boston Bruins on Sunday, his hometown

In other news, Kirk McLean was listed as day-to-day with back spasms, causing
the Rangers to re-call goalies J-F Labbe and Johan Holmqvist from the minors.
Holmqvist, a 22 year old Swedish goalie who was drafted in the 7th Round of
the 1997 Draft, got his first NHL start last night against the Penguins. The
Rangers lost this game as well, but Holmqvist’s performance was outstanding
between the pipes. He let up 3 goals in the first period, but shut down the
Penguins throughout the 2nd period. He robbed the Penguins’ Alexei Kovalev
with his stick flat across the goal line as Kovalev tried to come across the
crease and slide the puck into the other side. He also showed his great
lateral movement as he stoned Martin Straka on a one-timer from the face-off
dot as he slid across the crease with a full extension of his arms and got
enough of the puck with his blocker to deflect it away. Holmqvist didn’t let
up another goal until 18:54 of the 3rd period when Jan Hrdina scored on the
power play. Holmqvist finished with 29 saves in a brilliant effort. If
Holqmvist can keep putting up these great performances, he will definitely be
a starter in the NHL.

Now on to likely the biggest news. Jamie Lundmark, the Rangers 2nd selection
in the ’99 draft (9th overall), finally got his trade wish from the Moose Jaw
Warriors of the WHL. Speculation throughout the week had Lundmark either
going to the Kootenay Ice, where his close buddy Mike Comrie plays, or to the
Regina Pats, who are hosting the Memorial Cup this year (Rangers hotshot
prospect Filip Novak also plays for Regina.) Well, Moose Jaw surprised
everyone as they dealt Lundmark and a 5th round bantam draft pick to the
Seattle Thunderbirds in return for center Scott Kelman and a 2nd round bantam
draft pick. Lundmark has played 1 game with Seattle already, registering an
assist. For those of you who don’t know, Scott Kelman was drafted 15th
overall in the ’99 draft by the Phoenix Coyotes. He’s a great worker and a
true leader with some offensive abilities. Moose Jaw has stated that they are
very pleased with the trade.

Now before I end this article, I just want to let everyone know that Pavel
Brendl had 2 goals and 2 assists last night for the Calgary Hitmen in a 12-4
beating of the Prince Albert Raiders. Brendl now has 13 goals and 7 assists
(20 points) in 9 games so far this season.