News & Features
one heck of a season in goal for the NAHL’s Soo Indians.
lbs., to be exact), strong and handles the puck with the finesse of a
fine-tuned NHL goaltender.
would have a solid netminder coming into this season and had very few
says Shawhan. “He has played very consistently and that’s carried over
from what he did last year.”
percentage, a 26-5 record and 5 shutouts at the halfway point.
far in the future.
year before,” says Shawhan. “He did the work that was necessary to do
and it wasn’t all that much. We knew he was going to be reliable coming
compactness in the net.
which basically involved standing tall in the net and staying tough.
The skills were there and still are…this season was a matter of carrying
over the consistency.
German prospects – the update
Two very good weeks for defenseman Patrick Köppchen and his career. The München Barons signed him to a Junior-licence (german „Förderlizenz“) and he makes his DEL-debut in the 3-1 win against Augsburg. Coach Sean Simpson said he gave the team spirit and impulse in his second game against Düsseldorf, where he assist one goal.
Another in a series of weekly articles summarizing activity in Leafland during the previous 7 days – with some personal observations, commentary, prospect updates and fun thrown in for good measure.
The Future: Though the situation on the ice seems somewhat muddled at times this season, the Maple Leafs have established some grand plans for the club’s business operations in the coming years … modeling itself after England’s storied Manchester United Football Club (a sports empire worth about $3 billion CDN) the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment conglomerate has more than tripled its assets during the past three years … the organization currently has plans to add 44 new employees to its staff (bringing the total close to 400) as it implements Phase II of the mid-term business plan … Phase I involved the merging of 2 operations (hockey and basketball) and the completion of the ACC on time and on budget … much effort was also spent in getting the hockey and basketball teams into perennial playoff contention and booking out the new playing facility during the past 2 years … at this time, the Air Canada Centre is the #2 concert venue in North America in terms of gross revenue, just behind the Staples Centre in Los Angeles … last year there were 230 separate events staged at the ACC … the prime sports tenants lead the way with the Maple Leafs being sold out for every game and the Raptors currently representing the NBA’s #3 draw for road and home games combined … satisfied that their initial goals had been met, the MLSE board of directo Read more »
Next up: Dieter Kochan
With the departure of netminder Dan Cloutier yesterday (sent to Vancouver for Adrian Aucoin and a 2nd round pick in 2001), Dieter Kochan may finally get his shot at the big time.
Kochan has spent his career bouncing around various leagues, but has never managed to get a big break. Now, at age 26, he may finally have the opportunity to solidify himself as an NHL goaltender.
There was an air of disbelief in late March last season when it was announced that the virtually unknown goaltender from the UHL would start in goal for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Just one day after being signed by the club, Kochan was left seeing stars, literally. He was pulled 15 minutes into the 1st period, after being shelled by the Stanley Cup Champion Dallas Stars and allowing 3 goals on 6 shots. Kochan was replaced by Cloutier 7 minutes into the 1st period, but re-entered the game at 2:00 of the second when Cloutier went down with a knee injury. He performed well in the second half of the game, only allowing one additional goal.
One week later, Kochan came back to redeem himself. He replaced Zac Bierk, and stopped 30 of 31 shots to help the Bolts to a 5-4 win over Boston.
So far this season, Kochan has appeared in 7 games with the Lightning, including two spectacular performances against the Colorado Avalanche. His 2.08 GAA and .933 save percentage is one of the best in the league.
Tampa Bay General Manager Rick Dudley told the Tampa Tribune after the Cloutier trade, “We’re going to give Dieter Koc Read more »
This article will be the first in a series devoted to mid-term progress reports of all the Buffalo Sabres’ prospects, with each article covering a different position.
There are many NHL GMs who stress the importance of being strong up the middle. While Buffalo has been able to draft or acquire some solid talent for the center position in recent years, they have had trouble landing a top-flight pivot who can create offensive opportunities for both himself and the players around him. This isn’t to say that Buffalo doesn’t have some help on the way in their prospect ranks, but it is definitely a position that will need to be addressed in the near future.
Topping Buffalo’s list of prospects at the center position is Kingston Frontenacs star Mike Zigomanis. Mike had an excellent 99-00 season, and he has so far followed up with an equally fine first half to the 00-01 campaign. Ziggy is currently the Frontenacs leading scorer with a total of 60 points (31G, 29A), a point total that places him in the OHL’s top 20 scorers. His goal total has him tied for 6th in the OHL in that category, with 6 of those goals coming on the power play, 2 in shorthanded situations, and 2 markers being game-winners. Mike has been honored as both Player of the Week and Month in the OHL (November), which was no doubt a factor in his being named to the OHL’s Eastern Conference All-Star squad. Zigomanis also was selected to play for Canada in the WJC, which was noted in a previous article.
Kingston is currently in the thick of the Read more »
day. And, unlike most, he just might get his chance. Andrej is a
first-year forward with the Frolunda Indians of the Swedish Elite U-18
league, and he is one of the most spectacular players in the league. He
might not be the biggest guy there, but he plays like he is, wearing his
heart on his sleeve. He’s only 5’10” and 155 lbs, but is still growing.
Andrej is expected to be just as big.
Hebar is a natural goal-scorer, with 12 in 12 games this season, and he
plays a gritty style for a guy his size. He doesn’t shy away from the
physical stuff, and puts his body on the line to make a good play. His
biggest asset thought, is his blistering shot. He is also a fast, smooth
skater, and a decent, if not spectacular, passer.
Andrej was the final cut at Slovenia’s WJC U-20 camp in December. Had he
made it, he would have been by far the youngest player on the team.
team, which will play at the U-18 WJC (div.II) in Lithuania in March.
him on their U-20 team, and he got his first chance to play in late
January, before going down with the flu.
Unlike other Slovenian players who play at home, Andrej is under the
constant watchful eye of NHL scouts and is a lock to be selected in the
2002 NHL Entry Draft.
Name: Andrej Hebar Born: S Read more »
Pavel Brendl, the Rangers top prospect, was benched last night after the 1st period in the Hitmen’s 6-3 loss to the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Calgary’s management hasn’t liked Brendl’s effort in the last few weeks and decided to send him a message.
“We know how good Pav can be, he can be the best player in the league when he wants,” said Dean Clark, head coach of the Hitmen. “He has to show interest in doing some things. There’s no sense in putting in half an effort. There are some other concerns, it’s not only Pav.”
This has been the biggest knock on Brendl since he was drafted. It’s funny when a great player has one or two big flaws in his game, his star potential becomes vastly overlooked. I’m sure everyone knows by now that Pavel doesn’t have the best work-ethic or the best attitude.
But there’s not many players that do.
Honestly, how would you feel if the only place you could play is juniors, which isn’t fun for you if you keep getting 5 points a night? Brendl doesn’t have that motivation to play in juniors anymore and I can’t really blame him.
He had that motivation going at the World Juniors.
He wanted to succeed.
He wanted to prove the critics wrong and wanted to be the best player in the tournament
And he did just that.
Next season, whether it be with the Rangers, or with Hartford of the AHL, it will be a big step up for Pavel and he’s not going to back down. I can promise you that much. He’s going to want to succeed and he’ll prove the critics wrong again. Just wait and see…
News and Notes: Read more »
on the roster cause there annoying. In most cases that is all these types of
players are good for. They rarely score and do anything else besides fight
and take and draw penalties. Tyson Nash for the St.Louis Blues is a terrific
example. He is very very agitating and very very poor on the offensive end.
I’m not saying he’ll never score a goal, but if he gets more than 10 in a
year it’s a miracle. But one player who is on his way to the NHL real soon
may change all that. The Windsor Spitfires of the OHL have a player named
Steve Ott. Ott was drafted 25th overall by the Dallas Stars in the 2000 NHL
Entry Draft. Ott is a feisty troublemaker; a troublemaker who can score.
Through 37 games played by Ott this year, he had 36 goals and 28 assists for
64 points. Yet the most important number may be his 108 penalty minutes. Ott
averages almost 3.00 PIM a game. The type of game Ott plays opens up the ice
for his teammate and top draft prospect Jason Spezza. While so many people
are focused on Ott’s antics, Spezza goes more unnoticed then he should be.
Steve Ott is a coaches dream. He would be a coaches dream even if he didn’t
score. But the fact he can score means he should be in the dreams of Ken
Hitchcock and the Dallas Stars in the not too distant future.