It appears that Wayne Gretzky and company have a difficult task regarding the selection of players that will represent Canada in the upcoming Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Many writers and fans alike are beginning to question some of the decisions made by our hockey brass. Some cross-examine the merit of the first eight players named to the Canadian squad while others lobby for players who have shone during the infancy of this year’s campaign. Statistically, the “elite eight” have done anything but excel this year which leaves one scratching his/her head as these players have been consummate leaders both on and off score sheets for numerous years. One also must wonder if there is an upcoming group of individuals ready to challenge our definitions of excellence or whether there is another solution to this strange phenomenon.
With almost a quarter of this year’s schedule behind us it seems strange to see the likes of Iginla, O’Neill and Parrish topping sacred categories such as goals, assists and plus minus. To get the full flavour, lets delve deeper into the accomplishments of the players who have already been awarded positions on the Canadian roster. The following player statistics are of November 12/01.
Scott Niedermayer 12 gp 3g 2a 5p +9
Chris Pronger 16 gp 1g 7a 8p -1
Rob Blake 18 gp 3g 8a 11p -4
Owen Nolan 16 gp 6g 7a 13p 0
Joe Sakic 18 gp 7g 8a 15p -4
Mario Lemieux 9 gp 1g 7a 8p -4
Steve Yzerman 18 gp 4g 11a 15p +4
Paul Kariya 16 gp 6g 8a 14p +1
Totals: 123 gp 3 Read more »
Saturday night, in his own zone, Tom Poti had the puck, dangerously close to the Oilers net with guys in the wrong uniform all about. Poti pushed the puck up, as if offering it to the opposition, saying “you know, if you try one more time, I bet you can beat Salo”. I came to this site, to post some well worded attack on him, but decided all it would do is cause pro-Poti reactions or “I hear ya” responses.
So, I’ve spent the last two days or so going through NHL history, looking for a clue as to how this story is going to turn out. I asked myself this question:
Who, in the last 30 years, most resembles Tom Poti in both potential and in frustration? How did his career turn out? Did they move him to forward? Did they trade him? Did they hang him? Did they run over him with a large tank? Did they yell at him? Did they protect him? Was he a fan favourite?
I looked long and hard, and came up with three nominees, all of whom played 20 years ago. This works well because we can see how their careers turned out. I’ll mention them in reverse order:
3. Ron Greschner: From Goodsoil, SK, he played in the WHL with New Westminster, and once drafted spent 7 games in the AHL before coming up to the New York Rangers. There’s a long standing rumour that NYR GM Emile Francis spread a rumour that Greschner had a bad injury, which dropped his stock. Have no idea if it’s true. Anyway, Greschner scored 8-37-45 as a rookie, with almost 100 minutes in penalties. This was 74-75, so I’d guess a few of those PIM were of the five minute variety; when posted next to Poti’s rooki Read more »
Timo Parsinnen, Sami Pahlsson, Petr Tenkrat, Antti Jussi Niemi, and even Kevin Sawyer all these players started the season on the pond, some flourished and showed the ability to play in the NHL like Sawyer and Pahlsson, then there’s players like Timo Parsinnen who is having a little trouble getting adjusted to the North American ice surface but on a high note he has been playing great the past couple of games for the Cincy ducks.
Tenkrat was showing signs of improvement in every department except that he was showing a different skill every night never putting them together which is why he was traded, the ducks aren’t going to wait around for players to develop anymore they learned their lesson after players like Antti Aalto and Jeremy Stevenson never produced. Sami Pahlsson has been excellent this season contributing at both ends of the ice, his modest offensive skill and great defense make him a big part of Anaheim’s future.
Kevin Sawyer is currently leading the NHL in penalty minutes ahead of Donald Brashear, which is not bad for a rookie. Kevin has given the ducks what they’ve been lacking for the past couple of seasons, a hard nosed physical player who gets underneath opposing players skin, Sawyer stirs the pot.
Niemi has been a big disappointment this season and I don’t know why, the guy hits like a freight train but doesn’t like to hit often, Niemi has average offensive ability but plays like his hands are made of stone, Niemi better gain some confidence in his abilities soon or he might find himself on a new team just like Petr Tenkrat did.
Read more »
Giants Make Changes Focused on Future
In just over a month, the Giants have changed their look and it appears to be with a focus on the future. Of note, the club seems to be slowly stockpiling up on young netminders. The transactions go as follows:
October 11: Acquire 18-year old forward/defenceman Jack Redlick [6’3″, 215#], from the Kamloops Blazers for the Giants’ 5th round Bantam Draft Pick in either 2002 or 2003.
Week of October 22: Trade 20-year centre old Paul Deniset for Prince Alberts’ 5th round Bantam Draft Pick.
Week of October 22: Acquire former Regina Pat, 20-year old centre Ryan Thomas [5’10”, 200#], and former Swift Current Bronco, 20-year old defenceman Clay Thoring [5’11”, 175#], through Free Agency.
November 10: Trade right winger Joe Bitz to the Regina Pats for 17-year old Mark Sargent, a goaltending prospect.
November 10: Trade 18-year old local boy and Giants’ history-maker, centre Tyson Mulock to the Regina Pats for 18-year old centre Chad Bassen [6′, 187#].
November 10: Trade 20-year old, left winger Scott Henkelman to the Kamloops Blazers for 17-year old right winger Josh Bonar [6’2″, 175#], and 17-year old goalie Jordan McLaughlin.
For the Giants, a return to playing some successful hockey will come once they focus on their defensive (and physical) play at both ends of the rink. On occasion, there is a player whose prese Read more »
I bring terrible news to the Hockey’s Future family our Edmonton Oilers team Editor Kim Gernack passed away.
Known as Redtwilight on the message boards he brought a sense of common decency and mutual respect to our happy hockey-loving band of rogues. I will personally miss insight and passion for the game and the true appreciation he showed for everyone’s hard work.
I spoke to Kim late last week from his bed at the University Hospital in Edmonton and he was upbeat and looking forward to coming back to chat with his boys on the Edmonton page.
At this time I would like to pay our respects to his lovely wife Marilyn and his entire family.
Kim’s name will forever stay as the Editor of the Edmonton Oilers team page for the existence of this publication.
I would like to officially announce that the Hockey’s Future charity that is presently being built to help under privileged children play hockey will be named after Kim Gernack.
Please send all condolences to the Edmonton Oilers message board.
Asst. Managing Editor/Director of Media Relations
Boxma still haunting the ICE
B.J. Boxma doesn’t have anything left to prove against the Kootenay ICE. The Edson, Alberta native accomplished that goal last April when he backstopped his Swift Current Broncos to a seventh game Eastern Conference Semifinal win over the ICE to unceremoniously boot his former mates from last year’s playoffs.
Now the former 1996 Kootenay ICE 4th round Bantam pick would love nothing more than to make it a habit of waltzing into the Cranbrook Rec/Plex and strutting out with a win. Unfortunately for him or perhaps more fortunate for the ICE, the Broncos won’t visit the Key City due to Kootenay’s change of conference last summer. Unless of course, another playoff match-up is in the cards.
It this winning habit over the ICE becoming an obsession?
“Nah,” said a humble Boxma. “I think that the boys just wanted to win it for me. It’s probably my last game here ever and I wanted to go out with a victory. The guys played really well in front of me tonight.”
Both Boxma and his Bronco teammates played well-enough to get past a lack-luster Kootenay ICE squad 4-3 Wednesday night. But in the third period with the Broncos clinging to a one goal lead and Kootenay peppering 17 shots on the Bronco netminder, it was Boxma that ensured none of those shots hit the twine. It was Boxma’s second consecutive win following a 1-0 win over the Prince Albert Raiders and surprisingly enough, it was Boxma’s first shutout in his 102 game WHL career.
With the sun setting on his junior hockey career, his club a force to b Read more »
Ales Hemsky seems to have re-adjusted to life back in the QMJHL, as he was named the player of the week on November 5th. Hemsky notched 4 goals and had 10 points in only 3 games during the week previous to his honor. He also posted a +4 rating, and now has 24 points in 15 games.
The Hamilton Bulldogs have gone on a nice roll, unbeaten in their last 6 games, and now sit second in the Canadian Division with an 8-4-2 record in 15 games. Marc Lamothe has 3 consecutive home shutouts, and may just be the next goalie that gets to open the gate for Tommy Salo. While Kevin Brown continues to lead the team in scoring, Jason Chimera and Brian Swanson are hot on his tail. Sven Butenschon may also find himself back in the “bigs” soon if his game continues to roll, posting 10 points in 15 games.
This is the first recap from the officially declared best European hockey league which is the Czech Extraleague. One of the teams that has a pretty good chance of winning the title is Sparta Praha. Club with an excellent backround and enough money to buy good players with very perspective future. Sparta’s roster is loaded with stars this season, their names won’t say much to North American hockey fans but in the Czech Republic they are well known.
There are players that are included on the national team’s preliminary roaster such as Jaroslav Hlinka (no relation to the Pittsburgh ex-coach Ivan Hlinka), Onderj Kratena, Michal Bros, Jan Tomajko, Radek Belohlav, Libor Zabransky, Jan Srdinko or Radek Hamr. This young force is strengthened by experienced players such as Richard Zemlicka and Petr Briza who spent most of their career in Sparta but were also the key figures in the national selection few years ago. There is also young blood in the presence of Jan Hanzlik and Tomas Netik. Then there is a Slovak player Robert Tomik who brought a lot of freshness to the team.
Let me just briefly tell you about the changes that took place during the summer in Sparta’s roster and not only in it. Sparta didn’t win the Extraleague last season and ended up second. But considering the poor performance in the course of the year it can still be seen as success. Sparta played different hockey in the play-offs then in the regular season but assumingly they didn’t play by their heart as much as the team around Jiri Dopita did (meaning Vsetin). Still being secon Read more »
Vitkovice midgets star winger Petr Pohl established himself as one of the best midget-aged
players in the Czech Republic. It is obvious that he is on the way to a serious 2004 NHL
Draft prospect. This at this time not very known prospect took time to answer my
questions after the final game of the three-game series against the Swiss Under-16 team.
When did you start playing hockey?
When I was 4 years old I tried to enter the youngest cathegory in hockey, but there were
older kids, I was too young so I wasn’t admitted. I spent the next year with figure skating,
the figure skating coaches taught me to skate so when I was five I had no trouble with starting
playing organized hockey.
Where did you start playing hockey?
It was in my hometown Koprivnice and now I play for the Vitkovice midgets.
Who directed your first hockey steps?
Nobody forced me to play hockey. My first role model was a friend from the house we lived in,
he was older than me and was also playing hockey so I wanted to be like him and started
What is your biggest success in hockey so far?
Well, I think that my biggest success is that I was selected to play for the Under-16 team,
it’s a great honor.
Who is your biggest fan?
This would be my granddad. He watches most of my games and we discuss hockey very often. He really
supports me a lot.
Who is your hockey role model?
My biggest idol was Wayne Gretzky, when he was still playing, I watched him a lot and tried
to be like h Read more »