The Rangers, a club last year without heart went out and bought some as well as healed some wounds with the signing of the old warrior Mark Messier which brought many smiles to the faces of the New York faithful and sent a message to the kids in the system that “you are atleast two years away from having a shot in the show”!. Messier bring the lockerroom leadership that the blue shirts so badly needed last season and joy to the vendors as his no.11 will sell like hot cakes once they are ready for sale.
One has to question the direction Glen Sather is taking. The move to hire Ron Low, everyone`s second candidate instead of John Paddock, Kevin Lowe or even John Tortella was the first shot. The second is the signing of another project in Vladimir Malakhov while dumping the one defender who cared last season Mathieu Schneider… the signing of Messier was agreeable on all sides the youth question was again brought up. As the Rangers dumped top collegiate scout Herb Hammond and goalie coach Sam St.Laurent the two who actually made the Smith drafts acceptable, Glen Sather and his lackluster drafting ability took control of the ship Ranger and placed even more pressure on Mark Messier, moreso than was placed on him prior to the 1994 Cup victory.
One expects many more moves to be made and do not be suprised if Petr Nedved is part of a package. Thus with the 2000-01 season approaching one has to look through the depth chart and list the young players in the system with a shot at the “show”.
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The IHL’s annual summer meeting in Chicago concluded with a number of rule changes for the upcoming IHL season, also new board members were elected.
With the loss of the Long Beach Ice Dogs to the WCHL and the Michigan K-Wings the IHL’s Board of Govenors sat in Chicago to discuss numerious changes to the league for the 2000-01 IHL season. One of the first things the board looked at was the alignment of the league. Last season the league split the teams into 2 conferences, with the Eastern Confernce consisting of teams with full NHL affiliations, and with the Western Conference with teams with partial affiliations or no affiliations at all. The Conferences basically remain the same with Kansas City and Utah being the only 2 teams in the west with full affilations. This is the alignment of the league for the 2000-01 season.
Grand Rapids Griffins
Orlando Solar Bears
Kansas City Blades
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It’s time again for another Future Watch. This time we are featuring Maine recruit and Detroit Red Wings draft pick, Todd Jackson. Jackson has spent the past two seasons with the National Program in Ann Arbor. “In Ann Arbor I was forced everyday out of my comfort zone to get better on and off the ice. I feel I also have an advantage over those who haven’t had the weight training that we did in Ann Arbor,” Jackson said. Jackson is a playmaker with great speed and agility. Some of his weaknesses are his shot and strength. He will need to continue to work hard in the weight room to add some bulk to his 5-10 170lb frame. Currenty, Jackson is skating with Tim Connolly and Jd Forrest. Maine is the place for Jackson’s next level of competition. He felt Maine is great at developing NHL caliber players and he can contribute right away. Being selected in the NHL Draft was another thing Jackson was excited about. He was selected by the Detroit Red Wings 251st overall. Jackson should have an immediate impact at Maine and expect him to have a successful NCAA career.
The Pittsburgh Penguins signed 3 recent draft picks to contracts yesterday; 1998 2nd round pick Alexander Zevakhin, 1998 6th rounder Jan Fadrny, and 2000 9th round pick Roman Simicek.
Zevakhin, a 6-0 187 lb left winger, scored 1 goal in 15 games with CSKA this past season. His season was cut short by a seperated shoulder suffered during the World Jr Championships, where he scored 2 goals and 3 assists in the 5 games that he played for Russia. The deal was for 3 years, terms undisclosed.
Fadrny scored a team high 26 goals and 25 assists for Brandon (WHL) this past season. The 6-1 185 lb left wing scored 21 points in 45 games in his first season with Brandon. His deal will pay him 975,000 over the next 3 seasons should he make the NHL roster.
Simicek, 29, signed a 1 year deal worth 500,000 dollars. The Czech native played in the Finnish elite league last year with Hameenlinna, scoring 12 goals and 21 assists in 29 games and was recommended to the Pens by new head coach Ivan Hlinka. His season was cut short by a knee injury. He is expected to contend for a roster spot with the Pens this season, while Zevakhin and Fadrny are expected to start their professional careers in Wilkes-Barre Scranton of the AHL.
Boston Bruins President and GM Harry Sinden has been making trades for over 28 years while in charge of the storied franchise that has yet to win a Stanley Cup under his tenure. While no GM is perfect, and Sinden has certainly made his share of some bad deals (Bill Derlago for Tom Fergus anyone?) he has also made several critical swaps that at the time he made them, were heavily criticized in the Boston media,
and by fans because he gave up proven veteran players for underachieving prospects and/or draft choices.
Join us as we analyze three such deals that have paid dividends for the Bruins years after the fact that the veterans the team gave up either retired or switched clubs.
The Barry Pederson incident.
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Unless you’ve been a Capitals fan for about five or six years, you would think that Nolan Baumgartner is just another minor league defenseman that never made it. To those following the Caps in 1994, Baumgartner was the potential cornerstone of our defense corps and future star. After four years of minor pro without breaking through to the NHL full-time, it seems that he won’t live up to the expectations heaped upon him. Since he is a Free Agent this off-season, it may be time to consider letting him leave to continue his career elsewhere.
Earlier this season, Washington GM George McPhee traded away Alexandre Volchkov and Jaroslav Svejkovsky – first round picks from 1996. Capitals fans were outraged, and they wondered how he could give up on two good, young players. Last month at the Entry Draft, McPhee dealt 1995 first-rounder Miika Elomo to Calgary. Although many fans were skeptical about the deal, they didn’t take it as hard as the previous trades. McPhee has been able to make those trades without losing face because it was David Poile who drafted those players and tabbed them as future stars. Now the time has come to part ways with Baumgartner, even though he was once seen as a “can’t miss” prospect.
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University of North Dakota Junior defenseman Mike Commodore has made it
official. He’s moving on to the NHL. The 42nd pick overall a year ago by the
New Jersey Devils, Commodore put his signature to a three year deal on
Friday (7/14). The two time WCHA All-Academic team member will be scheduled
for rookie training camp August 1st.
Meanwhile, Dany Heatley, the NHL’s No. 2 draft choice, announced that will
return to Wisconsin rather than join the Atlanta Thrashers. Heatley decided
during a visit to Atlanta to return to college rather than turn pro,
Thrashers spokesman Tom Hughes said. The 19-year-old left winger paid his
own way but did visit Thrashers facilities and meet with team officials,
Hughes said. Heatley does not have an agent, thereby keeping his NCAA
eligibility. The Thrashers will retain his rights should he join the NHL
next year. Heatley scored 28 goals and assisted on 28 others during his
freshman year. He was the rookie of the year in the Western Collegiate
The Atlanta Thrashers have agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward Andreas Karlsson, according to Don Waddell, vice president and general manager for the team. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Karlsson spent the majority of last season with the Thrashers, tallying 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 51 games. In 18 matches with
the Orlando Solar Bears, Karlsson registered five goals and five assists for 10 points.
The 24-year-old forward has represented Sweden in international competition on three occasions in his career. He skated in five matches as a
member of the World Championship Team in 1995 and was a member of the 1994-95 Swedish Junior National Team that won the bronze medal. He registered two goals and two assists for four points in seven games.
Karlsson was also a member of the under-18 team that won the gold medal at the 1992-93 European Junior Championships, tallying four points (one
goal, three assists) in four games.
The 6-3, 200-pound center has recorded 118 points (57 goals, 61 assists) in 229 career matches with Leksand over seven seasons in the Swedish
Elite League. The native of Ludvika, Sweden, was originally selected by Calgary in the eighth round, 148th overall, in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. Karlsson was acquired by the Thrashers in a trade with the Calgary Flames following the 1999 NHL Expansion Draft.
(The Team also announced the signing of Donald Audette, another RFA)
At the age of 66, coach Scotty Bowman will be returning for another season behind the Red Wings’ bench. Bowman’s return, along with the re-signing of veteran defenseman Larry Murphy, could spell bad news for young defensemen Jiri Fischer and Jesse Wallin. With Murphy back, the Red Wings defense reads as follows: Niklas Lidstrom, Chirs Chelios, Steve Duchesne, Larry Murphy, Todd Gill, Aaron Ward, Jiri Fischer, and Jesse Wallin. Throw in a Mathieu Dandenault, and possibly a Yan Golubovsky, and that proves a very deep defensive corps. With so many veterans, you’d expect fatigue and injury alone to fetch some playing time for the likes of Fischer and Wallin, either also very capable of beating out their veteran couterparts for a spot in the every day lineup. But, factor in Scotty Bowman’s affinity for veteran players, and the rumored strong push by Wings GM Ken Holland to sign Unrestricted Free Agent Mathieu Schneider, and you can almost see possible playing time for youngsters like Fischer and Wallin fading into the distance. If the Wings manage to add Schneider to their already deep blueline, Wallin will likely end up wasting away in the AHL for another season, while Fischer watches the big club play from the press box. All and all, not a great time to be a young defenseman for the Detroit Red Wings franchise.
Vanner a star
Shaun Van Allen, a popular late line center with the team took a multi-year deal with the Dallas Stars last week. Although much criticized for his lack of speed Van Allen is a smart defensive player with an ability to win a good percentage of face-offs. Sens will miss most the veteran leadership the Saskatchewan native brought to the dressing room. He was an important force in uniting European and North American players. Vanner won’t pot you 20, but he’s the perfect replacement for Guy Carbonneau. The Senators insulted Van Allen by only offering a one-year deal.
July 2001 – Assistant Coach Wanted
For the third year in a row the Senators assistant coach in charge of defense and penalty kills has skipped town. First it was Mike Ramsay who went to Philadelphia, a year after that Mike Murphy left of the league head office and now Andre Savard departs for the Habs. Savard was a scout for many years in the Sens system and leaves Bytowne for a similar front office position with Montreal. Leading the list of replacements is Claude Julien who was recently interviewed for the head coaching position in Grand Rapids when Guy Charron left for Anaheim. Julien is head coach of the Hull Olympiques and was rumoured for the assistant’s position the last two years when Ramsay and Murphy left. Charron would have been the natural choice to fill the vacancy.
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