From the 1st day of this season, fans of the Rangers pleaded for General Manager Glen Sather to deal the high-priced veterans on the club who no longer could help them out in return for some young players and draft picks to quicken a hopefull rebuilding process that most fans would like to see take place.
It took until March 1st for the Rangers to finally make a deal that could actually help them out in the future, by dealing soon-to-be UFA Eric Lacroix to the Ottawa Senators in return for 25 year old, 6’4 215 pound Colin Forbes. Although Forbes is not known for his offensive abilities, he’s a nice sparkplug for the 4th line who mucks it out in the corners and plays a physical game. Forbes has looked pretty good in his 2 games so far as a Ranger, and I am already liking him better than Eric Lacroix.
But the better deal came today, March 5th, as the Rangers traded 36 year old defenseman Alexei Gusarov to the St. Louis Blues for 22 year old Slovak defenseman Peter Smrek. I love this deal for the Rangers. Smrek is a solid two-way defenseman who has the potential to put up 10 goals and 20 assists in the NHL. He has spent the majority of this season with the Worcester Ice Cats of the AHL, posting 2 goals and 6 assists in 47 games this season, to go along with 69 penalty minutes. In 6 games with the St. Louis Blues, he has registered 2 goals and 2 penalty minutes. To put things in a different perspective, the Rangers acquired Alexei Gusarov from the Colorado Avalanche in December for a 5th round pick. So in reality, we give up a 5th round pick for Peter Smrek. I woul Read more »
If anyone were to write a textbook or make a video of how a
young prospect should play the game of hockey, especially in
this era of a defence-first NHL, they could do worse than use
the Brampton Battalion’s Jay McClement as an example. The 18
year-old native of Kingston, Ontario has exhibited hockey smarts
and attention to defensive detail not often seen in a player
this young, combined with a steadily improving offensive game.
DEFENSIVE ZONE: When he’s not actually going behind the
goal-line to bump an opponent off the puck and gain possession,
McClement always, ALWAYS lends puck support in his own zone.
He will follow the cycle along the boards and take up the
defenceman’s position in front of the net. When he sees that the
opposing forwards have been tied up, he will be the third man in
and gain possession of the puck. Earlier in the season Jay was a
very conservative, safety-first player who would dump the puck
out of danger into the neutral zone. As the season has
progressed, he has started to make outlet passes, work the give
and go, and make the rush out of the zone. On occasion he has
calmly taken the puck behind his own net to start the transition
game, as if he had been playing defence for the past ten years.
When playing high in the zone or covering the point on the
penalty-kill, McClement does a good job of making an obstacle of
himself. He will either block the shot or force the point-man to
shoot around him, ensuring that the point-blast does not become
a shot on goal.
NEUTRAL ZONE Read more »
Stephen Valiquette- Right before a foot injury, the man they call
was having a good season with the Springfield Falcons of the American
Leauge. He had a 7-10-1 record with a .907 save percentage and with
expierence, the game’s tallest goalie ever could be a solid NHL
Arto Tukio- Tukio was the Islanders fourth round draft pick last
the 19 year old Finnish defenceman was to be the captain of the Finnish
at the World Junior Championships before an ankle injury. He has
Islanders Assistant General Manager Gordie Clark of Don Sweeney.
Radek Martinek- Martinek was an Islanders draft pick in 1999 and most
forget about him when they think of that years draft. The Czech
native has opted to play in the tournaments there, instead of playing
minors this year. Martinek is a little older than most prospects at
Martinek could be seen in an Islanders uniform in a few years.
Dick Transform- Another older Islanders prospect, he also opted to
this season in Europe. After being drafted in 1994, Tarnstrom has
improvement and is a solid defenceman.
Marco Charpentier- After a good training camp, Charpentier was signed
contract in December. Playing for Baie Comeau in the QMJHL, he has 50
and 94 points in 55 games.
Mattias Weinhandl- After a very serious eye injury, Weinhandl is back
old form. Playing for a rebuilding MoDo team in the Swedish Elite
L Read more »
Tellqvist: The regular season of the Swedish Elite League finished on Saturday February 25th … Djurgarden played four times during the previous 10 days and Mikael Tellqvist appeared in the nets three times … Djurgarden was 4-0 in those final four games and the team is red hot heading into the play-offs … the last game of the season was truly wonderful to watch … at the Globe Arena, Djurgarden outshot Brynas 44-22 but were unable to convert numerous scoring chances into goals … the 2-2 draw went into a penalty shot contest and Tellqvist was again spectacular as he stopped 3 attempts by Brynas … in the end, this was a very appropriate season ending performance by the Djurgarden star … with 2000/2001 regular season statistics now final, Tellqvist led all SEL goaltenders in wins, GAA and shutouts …
Prospect news: Fresh news from snowy Newfoundland this week … Sniper Jeff Farkas is back on the Rock and continues his assault on the team scoring lead … Jeff is up to 50 points (19G, 31A) in 58 games and is arguably the most impressive rookie in the AHL this season … Adam Mair (a Shayne Corson in the making) continues to play strongly as well … Adam now has 40 points (16G, 24A) in 43 games … former Ottawa 67’s star Alyn McCauley has finally shaken off a recent illness and is again playing a significant role for St. John’s … McCauley has 35 points (14G, 21A) in 37 games … Donald MacLean has recovered fully from his early season funk … MacLean has 43 points (22G, 21A) in 43 games … rookie rearguard Allan Rourke
Height: 176 cm
Weight: 72 kg
Lukas Musil started to play for HC Hvezda Praha, but moved to Slavia Praha in season 1999 – 2000. Soon he proved himself as probably the best young goaltender in league and finished playoffs with fascinating 0,92 goals per game and 96,8 save percentage. And this season he continues to put up high numbers – 30 games, 1726 minutes played he has 1,32 gaa and 93,53 save percentage. That couldn´t stay unnoticed by national team coaches and Lukas made it to under 17 National team. Soon he proved to be more than just another wild try in Czech team and now he is regularly invited for every national tournaments.
A few questions:
JR: Have you always played goalkeeper ?
LM: No, when I stated to play hockey (in 6 years) I was a skater but then I found out that I really want to be a goalkeeper
JR: Do you have any individual prizes yet ?
LM: Yes, I was named as the best goalkeeper on the national championship in 9th class category and I won a prize for the best goalkeeper on Jaromir Jagr´s tournament.
JR: And what about your plans for the future ?
LM: To win league with Slavia this season, then to make a position as a first goalkeeper in Slavia junior team and in the National team.
JR: Thanks Lukas
The Bulls have played 7 games since my last entry, winning 3 and losing 4. All 4 losses were on the road: @Kingston 6-1, @North Bay 5-1, @Barrie 5-4 and @Victoriaville 10-7. I missed the home game against Mississauga, a 5-1 win for the Bulls, which seems like a disappointment considering most teams reach triple digits against the lowly Ice Dogs.
On February 17 the Bulls tangled with the Centennials at home winning 5-3. North Bay played a good game considering an apparent leg injury to top prospect Chris Thorburn and the notable absence of Alex Auld between the pipes. Andrew Penner started in net for the Cents and played a solid game, giving up a penalty shot goal buy Randy Rowe which would prove to be the game winner. All the scoring by the Bulls was done by the top line of: Rowe (2G 1A), Kyle Wellwood (2G, 2A) and Branko Radivojevic (1G 1A), while Paulo Colaiacovo was the man in goal for the Bulls. Defensemen David Cornacchia (2A) and Matt Coughlin (1A) were the only other Bulls to pick up points.
….Prospects. For the Cents Penner the #21 ranked goalie in North America played well making a couple of beauty saves, while Jeff Doyle (#115) impressed with his passing ability. Thorburn (#13) was North Bay’s top prospect even though he was limping noticeably between plays. He set up a couple nice plays and has a good shot.
Wellwood (#121) was the Bulls best player showing his amazing puck control and passing ability and potting a couple of goals. Colaiacovo (#16) played a solid game while Cody McCormick (#93) thr Read more »
As the 2001 season comes to an end for the New York Rangers, they must yet again gear up for another draft rather then a return to the post season. This however is not necessarily a bad thing as the Rangers will once again have a top ten pick. But before I get into that I would like to add that while not many rookies have played this year Ron Low and Sather are not to blame for this nor should they be.
First off Ron Low has given ice time to those who earned it. Manny Malhotra is a decent player but even I will admit at this point that he was oversold coming out of junior hockey. He wasn’t putting up great numbers in the AHL and he’ll never be a point producer at the NHL level. He figures to best be used as a third line winger who nets maybe 10 goals, 20 points and 100 PIM. It’s a harsh reality but it is true. Ron Low is giving Kloucek nearly 20 minutes a game, because Kloucek is earning it. Not to say that Malhotra deserves only 4 minutes a game but I don’t know exactly everyone is expecting to see if he does. Why is it possible that two coaches now haven’t been impressed with Malhotra? They are seeing something we don’t and perhaps we should leave it at that. Well, now that I got that out of my system I am ready to get on with the prospect talk.
Pavel Brendl is slipping folks. His attitude is going south again and so is his game. Regardless of whether he is bored or not he isn’t helping his case this year at all. He’s been offered in the trade talks with Phoenix and don’t be too surprised if he gets traded there soon. His skill level is great but h Read more »
SUNRISE, FL – The South Florida chapter of the Professional Hockey
Writers’ Association (PHWA) announced today that center Serge Payer is
the Panthers’ nominee for the National Hockey League’s Bill Masterton
Trophy, given annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities
of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Payer, 21, is in his rookie season with the Panthers, having been signed
as a free agent on Oct. 2, 1997. The 6-foot, 203-pound native of
Rockland, Ontario, has played in 40 games this year, scoring four goals
and adding an assist. On Nov. 29 vs. Carolina he became only the second
rookie in team history (Jaroslav Spacek) to score a shorthanded goal.
Payer was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome in 1998, while playing
junior hockey with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League.
The disorder is a rare acute type of nerve inflammation. The
inflammation damages portions of the nerve cell, resulting in muscle
weakness or paralysis. He lost more than 40 pounds while he battled the
illness during a lengthy hospital stay. Upon his release from the
hospital, he hadn’t strength enough to even climb a flight of stairs.
Shortly into his recovery from Guillain-Barre, Payer developed a severe
case of mononucleosis, which prevented him from participating in the
1999 Florida Panthers Rookie Camp. He was unable to skate until November
of 1999, when he rejoined his teammates in Kitchener and finished fifth
in team scoring with 36 points, despite playing in only the last 44
games of the season.
Pa Read more »