View Archives:
  • News & Features

Pressure builds on the Hawk prospects to pan out -part one

by Bill Placzek
on

It is increasingly clear that the face lifts by both former G.M. Bob Murray and current G.M. Mike Smith has done little to lift the team’s major league skin and eliminate the crow’s feet of post season elimination.

Granted there have been some bright spots, the biggest being the added offensive production of l’il Steve Sullivan, at almost a point a game pace since his wavier pick up from the Toronto house cleaning in order that they might be able to add the enigmatic Dmitri Khristich.

Tampa Bay decided Michael Nylander would never play defense and was only effective when in control of the puck, and a risk when he didn’t have it. There were absolutely correct but when placed at centre with Sullivan they are able to be dominant players on the attacking end of the rink,albeit a liability without it. Regardless,without their presence the Hawk offense would be far limited without them.

Besides Amonte and an occasionally on night from the gentle giant Eric Daze, the Hawks have had to fill the rest of the roster with players who would never be considered more than “pieces” elsewhere.

They did cushion their rosters with 32 yr. old rookie Steve Poapst, who has had hard times catching the NHL speed guys,Chris McAlpine, 29 yr. old, an undersized hard hitter who is at best a #5 guy. As is Kevin Dean whose off ice hardships with his premature son have compounded his poor play.

Other plugging has come at times from the still not so ready for prime time Nolan Baumgartner and everyone’s prospect to be, Steve McCarthy.

Chicago’s pre Read more »

How Bad Can It Get: The 2001 Mississauga IceDogs are well on their way to being

by Jonathan Litterine
on
In every league there are bad teams. There is no way around it. Some
teams just have no luck, draft horribly and thus no one wants to play for
them. Yet the 2000-2001 Mississauga IceDogs are taking “bad” to a another
level. Through 50 games the IceDogs are 3-38-7-2. The record gives them a
grand total of 15 points. The teams with the next worse records in the OHL,
the Oshawa Generals and the Sault St. Marie Greyhound both have 40 points.
There aren’t very many positives for Mississauga. Jason Spezza looked like he
would be with the IceDogs for his junior duration a few years ago. Then
Spezza got fed up with the losing and demanded a trade. He is now playing for
a hot Windsor Spitfires team. The IceDogs top scorer Patrick Jarrett has 43
points in 45 games. You know a major junior team is in big big trouble when
there leading scorer isn’t averaging a point a game. Oh by the way Jarrett
is a OHL rookie. The ‘Dogs have gone through 4 goalies this year. The 4 have
combined to give up 272 goals. While their offense has scored just 129 times.
Mississauga is outscored on the average of 5.04 to 2.58 every game. Recent
NHL draftees who spent their OHL days in the Ontario town include, Chad
Wiseman, Brett Angel and Sean McMorrow. After hearing these numbers I’m out
of ideas. Nothing seems to work for these guys. Oh yeah I do have one
question, Who in the world would ever coach this team?

New Rankings for Caps Prospects, 10-20

by Rick Davis
on
John Blankenship and Jeff Charlesworth contributed to this article.

11. Chris Corrinet, C, Princeton (NCAA), Capitals’ fourth choice, 107 overall in 1998
ECAC – 23 games, 11 goals, 10 assists, 28 PIM

John’s comments: Another big player who has good athletic ability. Skates well and has a very good shot. Needs to be a little more physical. He’s a hard worker and may follow in Jeff Halpern’s footsteps and make the Caps. Most likely will play in Portland if he signs.

Rick’s comments: I had Chris rated #11 and John had him rated #12. He has shown consistent improvement in each of his four years at Princeton. He was even leading the ECAC in goals for a while earlier this year. Size, athleticism, and intelligence will all make it easier for him to make the Caps, but unless he absolutely blows up at camp, expect to see him in Portland.

Jeff’s comments: Chris is going to be a player you’ll be hearing a lot about very soon. Although he has been a point-per-game scorer in college, his totals won’t be that high in the NHL. His size and work ethic will make him a solid player in the pros though. There will be expectations of Chris jumping right into Washington, but will start off next season in Portland.

12. Remi Royer, D, Portland (AHL), acquired by Capitals from Chicago, 2000
AHL – 34 games, 1 goal, 6 assists, 126 PIM, -8
Read more »

Home at Last ?

by Corine Gatti
on

After busing for over 1,000 miles on their last road trip, home wasn’t as sweet as it should of been. Their fatigue on the ice captured what was to follow. Norfolk didn’t anticipate that when they laced up their skates that they would play one of their worst games of the season and continue on a four-game skid. Admirals came into Tuesdays game against the Syracuse Crunch leading among teams with fewest goals allowed in the league (2.39). But that changed when the Crunch who are in the midst of a three-game winning streak (20-26-6-2) (63 points),but who are also in fifth place, hammered Norfolk 5-1 in front of an announced crowd of 3,739.

A trapper to keep an eye on? The Crunches, netminder Jean-Francois Labbe (2.96 GAA, (12-14-5 overall) has more saves than any other goaltender in the league (1078). It was to a battle of the netminders in the first period .
Both counterparts only combined 15 shots on goal and rendered no goals. Syracuse Radim Bicanek on a pass from Bill Bower made a slap shot at the 3:24 mark. On a power play, Mathieu Darche slipped the puck in at the right side of the crease making it 2-0 Syracuse. Norfolk answered back when team leading scorer, Casey Hankinson (G-22) plucked the puck out Syracuse defensive zone at 10:45.

A dry spell? In the third, the Crunch moved up when Bill Bower (leads team with G-16) shot from the stick side at 1:54. Thus making it 3-1 Syracuse. Norfolk struggled to get any advantages. The only sound you could hear was the sound of sneers and jeers among the few fans that stuck it out. Norfolk’s re Read more »

Hlinka gets his chance and never looks back.

by Caitlin LoCascio
on
Portland Pirates’ fans have admired the workhorses. Inaugural season’s
Michel Picard (‘93-‘94) will forever be remembered by team supporters; Kevin
Kaminski (‘93-’95, ‘97-’98) will always be sorely missed; recently called
up Trent Whitfield played every game like it was Game 7 of the Stanley Cup
Finals and that can never be forgotten. Now there is a newcomer, a 24 year
old from Slovakia who just wanted a chance to prove himself. All he asked
for was a try, and he blew everyone away.

Martin Hlinka has never been drafted. He was a last minute invitee to the
Washington Capitals training camp after he turned a few heads in the UHL.
He was the only invitee to be suited up at the season’s opening game with a
last-minute 25 game tryout with the Pirates. Well before those 25 games
were up the organization inked him to a deal, and no one has looked back
since.

Hlinka will never be described as a flashy player, but he does it all and he
does it well. Basic skills, such as skating, are something not enough
players have down pack, or at least don’t utilize, but he makes it all
count. His work ethic is proving highly contagious, and the players on his
line are the better for it. He has racked up 26 points in the past 28 games
and has become a key part of the team’s power play, penalty killing, and
other special unit teams.

Being a newcomer with a hastily thrown together contract, Hlinka is
restricted to the AHL for at least the remainder of the season. Until then,
the Pirates’ fa Read more »

An unlikely, but welcome surprise

by Derek Berry
on

Every hockey season has its share of surprises.

Things you couldn’t possibly expect to happen come to the forefront and
most of the time they reach the light by the all-star break. In fact,
if you asked anyone in Springfield, Illinois if they thought a player
named Greg Rallo would be the top scorer on their team – the NAHL’s
Springfield Jr. Blues – and named to Team West for the NAHL All-Star
Game in St. Louis, they would probably ask, “who?”

Even head coach Craig Heggs was surprised Rallo stepped into the
spotlight so soon, although he admitted that he was not surprised by
Rallo’s ability to score goals.

“He’s one of the hardest working players on the team,” says Heggs, who
is in his first season with the Springfield Jr. Blues. “He just had to
get comfortable playing against big, strong players and he’s done that.”


TOUGH ROAD

Rallo’s ascent to stardom in the NAHL has been a rocky one, to say the
least.

Local media, fans and everybody else who could voice a complaint
wondered if a player from the AA hockey ranks could cut it at this
level.

“I caught a lot of heat,’ says Heggs, over his decision to let the
rising star play. “I heard a lot of grumbling from a lot of different
places.”

But, coach Heggs stands by his decision and his persistence has paid
off.

The numbers don’t lie.

Rallo has 27 goals and 16 assists, for 43 points at the all-star
break. He is one of the top scorers at the moment in the NAHL.

Heggs believes in the on-the-job-t Read more »