Art Shoots the Breeze
In case you haven’t heard, Art Breeze is at it again. Breeze, Nathan Dempsey’s agent, has communicated a ‘play me in the NHL or trade me’ request to Leaf management. He’s gone so far to say on the FAN 590, a local radio station in Toronto that if he isn’t traded “he will play (in the NHL) next year and well beyond and come back to haunt some people.”
Without a doubt, there are many who would support Dempsey’s promotion to the ACC among followers of the Blue and White. In limited duty, he has impressed. But let’s be clear here, we are talking about ‘limited duty’. Ripping apart the blueliner’s game it’s fairly easy to add up the pluses and minuses. He’s a puckmoving defenseman who makes a snappy first pass, knows when to shoot, and can fill the role of powerplay quarterback on the second unit. On the downside is an utter lack of size as he is whisper thin at 6’0″ and 170 pounds. Despite good effort, this leaves him vulnerable in the corners and in front of the net.
Compare him to Tomas Kaberle, who is an inch taller, 8 pounds heavier, and five years younger. Kaberle fits the bill almost to a ‘T’ with the exception of a reluctance to shoot at this point in his career. However, more importantly that that is the age difference. Whereas Dempsey is always going to be 170 pounds, the Czech is still young enough to pack on some pounds and get up towards 200 where he will be better able to handle the action near the blue ice in his own zone. And for Dempsey’s value within the Leaf organization, Read more »
The following is the brief interview with Flames GM, Craig Button. This is the first of what will become a quarterly interview with Mr. Button asking him the most up to date questions confronting fans – particularily Flames fans today.
First of all I would like to report that the web site I write for Hockeysfuture has been tremendously surprised by the early success as a result of your trades. On behalf of the Flames fans on that site I would like to say “Thank-you for sticking to your guns and doing what you knew was right even though times were tough.”
I have a few questions I woudl like to ask you. Read more »
The Calder Corner
Heatley: 4 Games, 2 Goals (3, 4) 1 Assist
Kovalchuk: 3 Games, 1 Goal (7), 1 Assist
Hamel: 3 Games, 1 Assist
Clark: 2 Games, 1 Goal
Bell: 4 Games, 1 Goal (3), 4 Assists
Willsie: 3 Games, 2 Goals (2,3)
Datsyuk: 4 Games, 1st NHL Goal, 1 Assist
Kuznetsov: 4 Games, 1 Assist
Huselius: 3 Games, 4 Goals (6,7,8,9)
Ference: 3 Games, 2 Assists
Bednar: 1 Game, 1 Assist
Schultz: 4 Games, 1 Assist Read more »
PLAYER OF THE WEEK : New Orleans left wing J.F. Houle
The 5-9 and 205-pound Houle set team records with five assists and seven points in the Brass’ 8-0 win over Pensacola on Thursday. The seven points are a season high for the ECHL while the five assists tied the ECHL season high. Houle added a goal and an assist in New Orleans’ 3-2 win at Jackson on Saturday. The Brass are 5-1-0 with Houle in the lineup. Houle leads New Orleans with nine assists and is second on the team with 13 points and four goals in six games. On behalf of J.F. Houle, a case of pucks will be donated to the New Orleans area youth hockey organization by InGlasco, the official puck supplier of the ECHL.
GOALIE OF THE WEEK : South Carolina’s Jody Lehman
Lehman was 2-0-0 with a 0.50 goals against average and a .980 save percentage in two games last week. He opened the week with 20 saves in a 2-0 win against Pee Dee and then made 29 saves in a 4-1 win over Augusta on Saturday, helping the Stingrays win their season-best fourth game in a row. Lehman is 3-0-1 with a 1.22 goals against average and a .958 save percentage in his last five games, and 5-2-2 with a 2.04 goals against average and a .930 save percentage in nine games.
NORTHERN CONFERENCE NOTES :
WHEELING : On Wednesday the Nailers traveled to Johnstown for their second road game of the season after opening the season in Atlantic City on October 12. Having lost in Atlantic City, the Nailers entered this game in search of their first road win of the season. Johnstown Read more »
Forge take 2 from Compuware in shootouts.
PITTSBURGH FORGE NAHL JUNIOR A NEWS:
Find all the info you need on Pittsburgh’s new Junior A team at:
http://www.pittsburghforge.com/ Read more »
With a hot start, Alexander Frolov has jumped to the Hockey’s Future #1 Kings’ prospect position. While Lehoux and Aulin have both shot out of the gate with great starts, it appears that Frolov may be something special.
Other movement included returns to the top 10 for Jason Crain and Alexey Volkov, both of whom seem to be returning to top prospect form. Parros, Clarke and Olynick have also climbed.
Jaroslav Bendar has also moved into the “graduated” section.
Feel free to offer any feedback.
Following a tough 3-2 Spokane Chiefs loss to the Kamloops Blazers in WHL league action, Chiefs defenseman and Colorado Avalanche prospect Kurt Sauer was kind enough to do an interview with Hockeysfuture.
Born in St. Cloud, Minnesota, on January 16, 1981, Kurt started playing hockey at six in used equipment and skates that were a couple sizes too big however, this hasn’t deterred the big defenseman from pursuing an NHL dream. Playing for North Iowa in the USHL during the 98-99 season, Kurt intended on attending college, but was listed by the Western Hockey League’s Spokane Chiefs. After a visit to Spokane, Kurt opted to join the Chiefs for the 99/00 season and it appears to have been a wise decision.
Kurts rookie season saw him finish eighth overall in the WHL with a +36, but it lead the western conference and all WHL rookies. Kurt was also voted as co-rookie of the year in Spokane. Following the season, Kurt entered the NHL Entry Draft and Colorado used it’s fifth pick, 88th overall to snare Kurt.
A punishing hitter and rock solid stay at home defenseman, Kurt is a top prospect in the Avalanche system and when asked about Kurt, Chiefs general manager Tim Speltz said, “he’s a quality kid both on and off the ice, just a great guy.” Players around the league praise Kurt’s punishing physical prowess by saying they avoid, “going along the wall on Kurts side of the ice if at all possible.”
When asked if he was surprised that Kurt, considered by most, along with Dan Hamhuis of Prince George, to be the elite defenseman in the WHL this season, Speltz replie Read more »
Dustin Brown has always been a sniper, but no one knew who he was until last
year. That’s when the then 15 year old broke into the OHL as a second round
pick of the Guelph Storm. But at the time of the 2000 OHL draft, Brown was
not very well known. He didn’t have the high profile of some of the other
2000 draftees like Patrick Jarrett, Rick Nash, Tim Brent, or Bryan Rodney.
In fact almost all of the OHL teams didn’t even have him ranked anywhere on
their draft lists. The story is well know now. At the 200 OHL priority
selection when Guelph GM Alan Millar called the Ithaca, New York native’s
name, everyone was stunned (much to the same effect as at the ’98 draft,
when Erie Otters GM Sherry Bassin called then little known Brad Boyes in the
1st round). Figuring it was a waste of a pick. Fast forward through last
season, and the 6’0″-193lbs right winger is an early concensus top five pick
for the 2003 NHL entry draft.
Brown combines speed and pillow soft hands to account for his almost
goal-a-game pace this season. Brown, who just turned 17 is also in
consideration for team USA, who will compete at the WJC. Although the US
team doesn’t usually take younger playerse, it would be hard to ignore Brown
is he keeps up the play he has been displaying this year.
Brown and linemate Marty St.Pierre have been ripping up the Ontario League
scoresheets this season, and the prospect of both of them being in Guelph
for another 2-3 years is great for Guelph fans and management. Brown could
stand to get a little more physical (0 fights i Read more »
PLayers like the Oshawa Generals Nathan Horton, don’t come around all the
time. It’s not everyday that a sixteen year old, who is 6’3″ – 195lbs, can
play both ends of the ice like the 2001 2nd overall selection can. Horton,
who at sixteen, is already showing signs of becoming a dominant center in
the league, can indeed do it all. He can skate, shoot, pass, hit, and drop
the gloves when needed.
Most importantly be boasts a skill that not many
sixteen year old rookies do. He knows his role at both ends of the ice.
Whether it be maturity, or simply the fact that he understands that to be
the best, you have to do everything, including the little things. It’s the
little things that make Horton extremely special. The things you notice
his strapping 6’3″ frame, his beautiful long skating stride, and fantastic
But there are also things that aren’t as visible to the casual
hockey fan. Horton is a penalty kill specialist, and he is rarely caught
of position. He is blessed with many intangibles, like kicking the puck
his skate to his stick while in full stride, or the hand eye coordination
that allows him to bat pucks out of the air.
In a hat trick that he scored
earlier in the year, it was said that his three goals didn’t even begin to
tell the story, and that he absolutely dominated the game in the opponents
end, and in his teams end as well. The best thing about Horton is that
he plays well in his own end, his point a game pace, shows that his
offensive ability is very well-rounded a Read more »