Since being drafted 14th overall in 1997 Michel is the Oiler’s David a potential masterpiece a project which takes time and patience. After coming over to North America for the 1998-99 season it has taken over 200 games in the American Hockey League for him to realize what it takes on a nightly basis to make the leap forward. The largest improvement has come in his willingness to take responsibility for his defensive assignments in neutral and defensive zones.
As ice time increased for him with a more dilligent work ethic the offensive stats began to appear as well with 56 goals over the last 140 games with a multitude of different linemates as well. At the begining of the season Michel had the chance to secure a roster spot with the Oilers but after 12 games he was sent back down. His demotion was not due to lack of effort in either offensive of defensive areas but having been paired up the two other rookies for the majority of the time did not allow him to showcase his talents.
Pure and simple he is a goal scorer and perhaps he does not have the grit and physical presence that the Oilers ideally look for but does however possess talents that could help them become a more well rounded team. Next training camp will tell if the Oiler’s management and coaching have the forsight to place Michel on Doug Weight’s line with Dan Cleary. With Dan Cleary’s game rounding out and Doug Weight’s ability to make players around him better thier may not be a better place for Michel in the league.
At the start of next season Michel will be 22 yrs of age wh Read more »
Currently on the roster including the return of injured Josh Green thier will be 21 players next training camp competing for 13 spots. It seems at the moment that at least 11 are a lock with 8 forwards fighting it out for the two remaining positions. At the end of the regular season the line up should look something like this.
Line #1 Green/Zholtok – Weight – Cleary
Line #2 Smyth – Comrie – Carter
Line #3 Moreau – Marchant – Grier
Line #4 Horcoff – Murray – Laraque
Spare – Pittis
However next year you throw in this list of players and things become a lot more crowded.
RW/LW Michel Riesen,
LW Jani Rita,
C Brian Swanson,
RW/C Paul Comrie,
C Jason Chimera,
C Peter Sarno,
LW Tony Salmelainen
Of the remaining six it seems Michel Riesen has the best chance of making the squad since the Oilers have a need for winger with goal scoring ability. Zholtok and Pittis may both be pushed aside by younger players since both are good utility players neither have the ability to command regular duty. Zholtok and Pittis could be both moved for defensive depth or picks and allow Green and Riesen to take thier spots and have the remainder return to Hamilton for a year without hurting the deveopment of the players or the team.
The battles between the players to make the club will be interesting for the media and fans and difficult for the coaches and managment since thier decisions could alter the direction of the organization over the next couple seasons. But everyone involved can take heart that Read more »
The Kimberley Dynamiters are ceasing operations at the cusp of their 2001 AWHL playoff run.
A club so entrenched within the psyche
of the Bavarian City that the Dynamiters
themselves predate the moniker
adoption of the now-famous Bavarian
theme by some 40 years. Save for
perhaps the Sullivan Mine, that enabled
Kimberley’s existence in the first place, it
was the Dynamiters hockey club over
the span of almost 75 years
that most identified the city Kimberley
It would be easy to dwell on the many
reasons and theories for the demise of
the AWHL Junior A Dynamiters. An
attendance ceiling that could seemingly
never be surpassed, the economic reality
of the Sullivan Mine on the verge of
closure in the city, the glaringly obvious
economic discrepancy for the Nitros
playing in a league populated with
mostly American clubs and even the
arrival of the Kootenay ICE to the
region three years ago could all be
counted as reasons for the folding of the
Dynamiters. Instead we can remember the stories, anecdotes and
players of all incarnations of the Nitros
that wore proudly the stick of Dynamite
emblazoned on their jerseys. The fierce
rivalry of Cranbrook Colts/Royals and
the Kimberley Dynamiters that on many
occasions and in many different eras
required police escorts for fans and
players alike returning back to their
respective cities. The RMJHL
Dynamiters becoming the first club to
even win a game against the BCJHL
Champions in the Doyle Cup in more
than eight years of trying. The great
Nitros club of 1997 who only Read more »
For those close to the Kimberley
Dynamiter organization, the
announcement that the club would cease
operations only hours before the
opening faceoff of game two of their
AWHL quarter-final playoff against the
Bismarck Bobcats, came with all the
surprise of terminally ill patient. You
know that the prognosis isn’t good, but
still remain upbeat and optimistic that
patient can make the miraculous
recovery and live a normal life. The
Kimberley Dynamiters were in such a
position all season long, struggling to
cover expenses, wondering if at the end
of the day there would still be hockey in
the Bavarian City. There were whispers
and innuendo of the team’s forecasted
demise, but as in any small town – they
were written off as only rumors and you
would hope that the club would survive
to see another game.
For Nitro’s Head Coach Nels Ecklund,
who’s seen more than his fair share of
the Dynamiter’s off-ice troubles this past
season including covering the teams
expenses while on the road on different
occasions and is still awaiting his last
paycheck, the biggest disappointment is
not for himself but for the club’s hockey
players who worked hard all season long
to get to the AWHL playoffs only to
have the rug pulled from under them.
“It’s still something that is very difficult
to accept,” said Ecklund. “I still look at
the fact where the biggest people who
were affected in it all were the 24
players who put so much effort into
their season and were looking forward
to their playoff run and having that
opportunity for a championship ta Read more »
Exactly 361 days ago, the stage was set
in an eerily similar way. The Kootenay
ICE had just finished off a four game
sweep of the Red Deer Rebels. The
Swift Current Broncos had just come off
a hard fought, six-game series with the
Prince Albert Raiders. Fast forward
almost a year to the day and you’ll find
that as much as things change, the more
they stay the same.
After subduing the Moose Jaw Warriors
in four straight games, the Kootenay
ICE continue the defense of their WHL
title tonight (Friday) against the Swift
Current Broncos (7pm at the Cranbrook
Rec/Plex). The Broncos, coming off a
hard-fought series win against the
Brandon Wheat Kings four games to
two, are backstopped by former ICE
goaltender B.J. Boxma who was
obtained in a trade by the Broncos on
October 24, 2000.
It is sufficed then to say that the
motivational factors coming into this
Eastern Conference Semifinal series
aren’t exactly lacking for the Swift
Current Broncos. That being said,
Kootenay ICE Head Coach Ryan
McGill says he and his charges aren’t
going to change anything to so far what
has been a blueprint for success in the
2001 WHL Playoffs. “We’re going to
prepare basically the same way we
prepared for Moose Jaw,” offered
McGill. “The biggest keys for us is
making sure that we’re playing our
systems and they’re not going to
change. We don’t feel that just because
we’re playing Swift Current that we
have to totally change the way we
forecheck or totally change a certain
way that we play the power-play.
“We’ Read more »
This is the second in a series of season ending reviews. This review covers Canadiens’ prospects from the CHL whose seasons are now complete. The players include Tyler Hanchuck, Alexander Buturlin, Dusty Jamieson, and Peter Chvojka.
Tyler Hanchuck -D (Drafted-00(3/79))
The Barrie Colts’ Tyler Hanchuck’s third OHL season included 2 new experiences. He experienced his first goal, and his first trade. His goal came during his 136th career game. He also added an assist as Brampton lost to Erie by a score of 6-2. Hanchuck was traded to Barrie on January 10th. The trade included 3 other players and 2 draft picks; Traded to Barrie were goalie David Chant, and center Matt Grenier (along with Hanchuck) in return for goalie Brian Finley, and 2 draft picks.
The 6’3″, 210 lbs. Hanchuck played 63 games. He had 13 points (2-11-13), and was -6 with 126 minutes in penalties. He had one point-scoring streak of 2 games, along with a career-high 3 game point scoring streak between January 27th and January 31st.
Hanchuck remains a defensive defenseman with an imposing physical game. He needs to improve his puck handling, and vision. Better vision will improve his consistency; Specifically when making a first pass coming out of the defensive zone.
Alexander Buturlin -RW (Drafted-99(2/39))
The Sarnia Sting’s Alexander Buturlin began the season quietly, but broke out with 5 points in his 9th game. His was incredibly consistent, going no more than 2 games without a point at any time during the season. He averaged 1.14 PPG, but his g Read more »
VIF returned to the throne as national title holders in Norway over upstart Canadian Coached Serge Boisvert`s Frisk Tigers. Frisk basically fell apart and dropped three straight to VIF. Frisk made many basic mistakes and VIF capitalized on each. Most importantly the game of hockey with the great season had by Espen Knutsen of Columbus and the Frisk Tigers has helped grow interest in the game. There has even been talk of nationally televised league games for the first time since 1992-93. (end)
The season 2000-01 saw the pending retirement of American Kyle McDonough who has been a dominant force on the ice for several years. Kyle will return to the US with his wife and children…we thank Kyle for all he has given. Now who will step up and replace him… perhaps another American? or homegrown player? (end)
In the finals…Jordal Amfi, the home of VIF in Oslo was built up to add seats…and each of the two games played drew more than 4900 fans… Frisk, capacity of 1200 played to a packed house in the newly created hockey hotbed. The most interesting aspect of the playoffs was how easily Frisk beat defending champ Storhamar in 3 straight but still fell short of the level of VIF and their many Swedish and National players. Jarl Ygranes may be ready to step up next season…and he has his own website www.ygranes.no but a more mature senior player is needed to replace the smallish but gritty McDonough…and who will that be? We shall see…(end)
Two Connecticut players were in Norway for try outs with Lørenskog (Elite). Goal Read more »
The Rangers were having a bad year as it was. The last thing they needed
was for one of their very few bright spots to be shut down for a long while.
Rookie defenseman Tomas Kloucek suffered a torn ACL and MCL in a game Sunday
in Atlanta. The injury occurred when Kloucek tried to hit Thrashers forward
Ray Ferraro. Kloucek has been a pleasant surprise for the Rangers this year.
At just 21 years old, he has shown the ability to play great defensive hockey
and has become a physical force to be reckoned with. The play of Kloucek
along with players like Mike Mottau, Peter Smrek, Dale Purinton and other
young defensemen has been one of the best stories for the Rangers in
2000-2001. Because Kloucek’s injury happened so late into the season, doctors
say it is likely his rehab will continue well, into next season. Kloucek who
played in 43 games with the Rangers this year, had a goal and 4 assists for 5
points. He also rang up 74 penalty minutes and was a minus 3. Minus 3 isn’t
all that bad on a team that has been playing defensive hockey like the
Rangers have. All the Rangers can do now is pray that nothing like this
happens to anyone else in their final few games, that more or less are
meaningless. Then they can sit through a long summer and play golf or
whatever it is an overpaid hockey player does. Then hopefully with players
like Pavel Brendl and Jamie Lundmark in the lineup and a healthy Tomas
Kloucek they can get back to the playoffs, were the team with the league’s
highest payroll belongs.
The Nashville Predators gave their IHL farm club in Milwaukee a helping hand Tuesday by assigning defenceman Pavel Skrbek just in time for the playoffs.
Skrbek has recovered from a mild concussion suffered March 17. The Kladno, Czech Republic, native appeared in 48 games with Milwaukee earlier this season.
Frederic Chabot of the Houston Aeros has been named the IHL’s goalie of the week after going 3-0-0 in three games.
Chabot, 33, is 21-15-4 this season with a 2.69 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. He has previously played for Montreal Los Angeles and Philadelphia in the NHL.
Grand Rapids Griffins winger Derek King was named the player of the week after collecting four goals and three assists in four games.
King leads the Griffins in scoring with 74 points (29 goals, 45 assists) and is third in the league. He has previously played in the NHL with the New Islanders, Hartford, Toronto and St. Louis.
Veteran centre Dody Wood of the IHL’s Kansas City Blades, who has been plagued by injuries this season, is contemplating retirement.
Wood played 106 NHL games with the San Jose Sharks from 1992 to 1998.
“If I retired, I’d be happy because I played in the NHL and I’d be happy because I played there,” says the 28-year-old native of Chetwynd, B.C. “There wouldn’t be any regrets.”
IHL RESULTS FROM TUESDAY APRIL 3, 2000
Milwaukee Admirals 3
Detroit Vipers 4
Edo Turglav scored a pair of goals, including the game-win Read more »