With the American Hockey League’s stretch run in full swing, many of the
Houston Aeros are fighting to keep their spot in the Minnesota Wild
According to The Houston Chronicle, one of the toughest decisions the Wild
will face involves newcomer Tony Virta, who leads the Aeros with 55 points.
Virta’s contract includes an option that will allow Minnesota the
opportunity to renew over the summer.
“I would not exercise the option unless I thought he could play at the NHL
level,” said Wild GM Doug Risebrough. “I’m trying to look at our lineup and
find a way to say, ‘This guy deserves a chance,’ because he has been
arguably the best player (in Houston).”
Aeros goaltender Jamie McLennan is an unrestricted free agent this summer,
and has spent the entire season in Houston while Manny Fernandez and Dwayne
Roloson have been strong between the pipes for the parent club. If he isn’t
moved before the March 19th trade deadline, he will have the opportunity to
sign with another NHL club this off-season.
Approximately 50 percent of the Wild’s 50-man roster is under contract for
next season. That leaves some very important decisions ahead for the
National Hockey League club, as they will have to decide who is staying, who
is leaving, and who will be arriving.
Crucial time of year
Nine of the Aeros’ 13 remaining games will be played against West Division
rivals Chicago, Milwaukee, Utah and Grand Rapids, including a crucial two
game homestand on Thursday and Friday against Utah, a team they lost 6-2 on
Read more »
Coming on Tuesday, March 19th, Hockey’s Future is proud to be part of a hosted chat with USA Hockey Asst. Coach Lou Vairo. To take part in this free chat, please follow the banner on the top of Hockey’s Future.
The chat will take place at noon Easter time, and will be moderated by the former NHL Sr. VP of Corporate Communications Arthur Pincus.
To take part, you will need speakers with your computer and any questions you may have. This is an exciting opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at the Olympics in Salt Lake City.
LAST FULL WEEKEND OF CHL REGULAR SEASON, PLAYOFFS START NEXT WEEK
The 2002 Canadian Hockey League regular season wraps up in the next few
days, with a full slate of games as the CHL playoffs draw near.
Playoff berths are still up for grabs in all three leagues as the Ontario
Hockey League ends regular season play Sunday, while the Quebec Major Junior
Hockey League and the Western Hockey League end their regular season
schedules on Tuesday.
Playoff action in all three leagues will begin late next week. The OHL is
scheduled to start March 21 while the WHL and the QMJHL will begin first
round games the next night. You can follow all of the playoff races at the
official website of the CHL, www.chl.ca.
Listed below are the full schedules of all remaining games in the three
leagues as we head into the final few days of the regular season. On Monday
the final Bank of Montreal MasterCard CHL Top 10 ranking will be announced,
as there will be just eight CHL games slated for Tuesday night and none on
The three league champions will join the host Guelph Storm at the 2002
MasterCard Memorial Cup, May 18-26, 2002, at the Guelph Sports and
Entertainment Centre. If Guelph wins the OHL title, then the OHL finalists
will also participate to ensure a four-team tournament.
Remember to follow all of the action leading up to the 2002 MasterCard
Memorial Cup at the official website of the CHL, www.chl.ca, with a new
MasterCard Memorial Cup section starting next week.
WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE
Here is the remainder of the Read more »
The June 1st deadline to sign CHL players drafted in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft is fast approaching. The Montréal Canadiens head into this year’s deadline with only two players directly affected by the previously mentioned cut-off date.Josef Balej (3rd round, 78th overall), and Christian Larrivée (4th round, 114th overall) will need to be signed, otherwise the Habs risk losing their NHL rights. Balej is a speedy right winger playing with the WHL’s Portland Winter Hawks, while the lanky Larrivée currently toils for the QMJHL’s Chicoutimi Saguenéens.Chicoutimi drafted Larrivée third overall in the 1999 QMJHL draft. The Gaspé native had just come off an impressive rookie season with Jonquiere in the Québec Midget AAA league. In 42 games Larrivée managed 62 points (26-36-62) to go along with 10 minutes in penalties.The 6’3″, 195-lbs forward enjoyed a moderately successful QMJHL rookie season (99-00), finishing with 23 points (8-15-23) through 69 games. That said, it was his size, and offensive potential that initially drew Habs’ scouts to the then center. He’s a left-handed shot who protects the puck well. He has a quick release, rather than an overtly powerful shot.Claude Ruel, who’s still involved in the Habs’ player development system once told Larrivée that he uses his size and speed well, and must continue to shoot as often as possible. “Claude Ruel has a great eye for what happens on the ice,” Larrivée told Chicoutimi’s Le Quotidien. “I listen to him as often as possible. He knows the game so well. He’s there to he Read more »
Red Wings Report: NHL and AHL “youngsters”
I have had some questions about why I`m not mentioning players like Jason Williams, Yuri Butsayev and so on in my articles. Therefore, here is an update on “all youngsters” who are playing with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks and Detroit Red Wings.
Name: Jiri Fischer
NHL Stats: 65 games 1 goals 7 assists 8 points 61 pim
Czech giant defenseman Jiri Fischer is improving and getting more ice time for every game that passes. He is playing great right now, logging on a bit over 20 minutes a game while playing a strong defensive game. He has been a regular on the second penalty killing unit all year long which has helped his development. The only minus is that he is not putting up offensive numbers, mainly due to the lack of PP time. I think that Mr. Bowman should give this kid some PP time to develop his offensive game and become more of a two-way defenseman.
Future: Jiri Fischer has a bright future ahead of him in Detroit. If he continues to develop at this pace he should become the best defenseman and the corner stone on the team in 4-5 years. With some PP time he could be a very good two-way defenseman in the NHL.
Name: Pavel Datsyuk
Weight: 181 Read more »
More info on these players can be found on the Switzerland country page on Hockeysfuture.
Patrick Bärtschi F (EHC Kloten)
Regular Season: 25 4 4 8 8
Playoffs: 5 0 2 2 0
Comments: EHC Kloten finished 6th and beat #3 seeded team Fribourg-Gottéron in 5 games to advance to semi finals where they will meet #1 seed HC Davos. Today Bärtschi has extended his contract for 2 more seasons.
Lukas Baumgartner D (EHC Kloten)
Comments: Baumgartner played the whole season for the junior team in the Elite Junior A league. Statistics are not yet available to me, but will be posted as soon as possible. Kloten juniors will play a decisive third game later this week with the winner facing SC Bern juniors in the juniors final. In the quarter finals Kloten, who ended 2nd in the regular season, swept EHC Biel/Bienne.
Romano Lemm F (EHC Kloten)
Regular Season: 0 0 0 0 0
Playoffs: 5 1 0 1 0
Comments: Romano Lemm has been promoted from the Junior team where he played with Baumgartner to play for the big club in the playoffs where he has started every game as of yet. Lemm, as did Bärtschi, extended his contract for 2 further seasons and is now contracted to the team till 2004.
Tobias Stephan G (EHC Chur)
Regular Season: 23 0 0 0 2 3.32
Playouts: 5 0 0 0 0 3.52
Comments: Stephan who played well during the WJC for Switzerland has been doing a good job on the worst team in the league which finished last with a dismal 9-30-5 record. EHC Chur therefor was to play #9 HC Lausanne in the playouts (relegation series) and w Read more »
WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE
There are four games in the WHL on Wednesday night. Calgary plays at
Kelowna, Prince George travels to Portland, Brandon (7) is at Regina and
Seattle visits Spokane.
There were four games on the WHL schedule for Tuesday night. Kootenay
defeated Vancouver 6-3, Red Deer (1) got by Medicine Hat 5-3, Calgary beat
Kamloops 7-4 and Brandon (7) got past Moose Jaw 5-1.
At Kootenay, Tomas Plihal had one goal and two assists to lead the Ice,
while Darren Lynch had one goal and one assist for Vancouver. Curtis Fransoo
‘s first goal of the season turned out to be the game-winner in the third
At Medicine Hat, Andrew Bergen scored two goals and added two assists for
the Rebels while Bryce Thoma had one goal and two assists for the winners.
Joffrey Lupul scored his 55th goal of the season for Medicine Hat.
At Kamloops, Frederik Sjostrom scored two goals and added one assist for the
Hitmen, while Brandon Segal added a pair of goals to the winners’ attack.
Owen Fussey had one goal and two assists for Calgary, while Lance Morrison
added four assists. Scott Upshall had three assists for Kamloops while
Shaone Morrisonn had one goal and one assist.
At Moose Jaw, Caine Pearpoint scored a pair of goals to lead Brandon, while
Eric Fehr added a pair of assists. Kyle Brodzik scored the lone goal for the
Warriors, who were out-shot 43-14. Kyle Kettles made 38 saves in the Moose
ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE
There are four games on the Wednesday night OHL schedule. Ottawa is at
Belleville, Br Read more »
A Chat with NHL Referee Kerry Fraser
by: Frank Porcelli – BlackhawkZone Read more »
LEAFS DRAFT RECORD ABYSMAL
What do the Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Dallas Stars and New Jersey Devils have in common? First, they have split all of the last seven Stanley Cups amongst themselves. What possible reason is there that these four teams have been dominant over the last seven years? The answer lies within their other commonality, their franchise superstar and base of surrounding stars were built from there own great draft selections.
Colorado drafted Joe Sakic, their franchise superstar, and also drafted star players Adam Foote, Milan Hejduk, Alex Tanguay, Martin Skoula and Chris Drury to compliment Joe. Dallas’ Mike Modano is their franchise superstar and a former first round selection. Dallas used draft picks to add Derian Hatcher, Jere Lehtinen and Jarome Iginla (who they used to acquire Joe Nieuwendyk) and this was the star base that took them to their Cup win. New Jersey’s franchise player, Martin Brodeur, was a Devils draft pick. They reinforced their lineup with superstar skill from the draft in the form of Scott Neidermayer, Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora. Finally, Detroit’s star player Steve Yzerman was a product of their amateur draft selections. They also added superstars Niklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, Keith Primeau, Martin Lapointe and Chris Osgood from the draft.
If you look at the Leafs past decade of drafts, their top selections have never developed into anything more than role players. The only star they drafted, Kenny Jonsson, is far from a franchise player. Grant Marshall is a fourth line winger on Read more »
If this year’s Windsor Spitfires hockey club is going to pull off a first round “upset”, or any subsequent round “upsets”, everyone knows that three players will be key: goaltender Cory Campbell, defenceman Tim Gleason, and forward/superpest Steve Ott.
Accepting this as fact is not difficult, it’s obvious. But what if….Campbell slumps, Gleason gets injured, or Ott finds himself more in the penalty box than on the ice? Would this automatically spell the end of Windsor’s chances?
No, and here are three reasons why:
1) Goaltender, Ryan Aschaber.
Ryan is now in his third year with the Spitfires. He’s played in more than 75 games over this time and sports a very decent 3.51 career goals against average. Not your everyday, average, backup goaltender. Furthermore, having had to take a back seat — first to Michael Leighton, and now to Cory Campbell — Aschie would have plenty to prove. Now throw in the fact he’s well rested and voila, the Spits have got themselves a goaltender who could take them just as far as Campbell — if need be.
2) Defenceman, David Bowman.
David is in only his second year with the Spitfires; but with confidence way beyond his two years of major junior experience, Bowman patrols the blueline both swiftly and aggressively. As in swiftly he races to the dump-ins, aggressively he fires the puck off the glass and out. Or swiftly he races to the front of the net, aggressively he tries to move his opponent. Now throw in the fact that a good playoff run might just be the determining factor on whether or not he gets drafted thi Read more »