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Posmyk gets his chance

by Megan Sexton
on

Marek Posmyk was recalled from Detroit today, to fill the roster spot vacated by Maxim Galonov who cleared waivers and was reassigned to Detroit.

In 30 games with the Vipers this season, Posmyk has posted 15 points and is a plus-5 on a poor Viper team.

He appeared in 18 games with the Lightning last season after his trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs in February. He made a huge impression in his first games. Head Coach Steve Ludzik told the St. Petersburg Times, after watching Posmyk play, how great he was playing and that “He’s pushing a lot of guys for jobs.” Such praises were a rarity from the rookie coach. As the season closed Posmyk’s play slacked and he finished the season with a goal and 2 assists.

After a sub-par training camp, Posmyk was returned to Detroit in favor of prospect Cory Sarich. Given Tampa Bay’s extensive depth at the position, defensive jobs in Tampa Bay are hard to come by. This could be Posmyk’s chance to showcase his skills and move himself up a few notches on the depth chart.

Kyle Freadrich was also returned to the IHL. A frequent healthy scratch, Freadrich had one assist and 36 penalty minutes in 13 games with the Bolts.

BCHLers College Bound

by Glenn Fugate
on
With 20 games left in the BCHL season 24 players are committed to college or university, in the U.S. I think you can look for this number to increase as I look at some of the players around the league who haven`t committed yet.One player who made his decision the other day was 1999/2000 co-BCHL rookie of the year John Morlang of the Prince George Spruce Kings. Morlang has decided to attend Alaska Fairbanks next season. Not bad for a kid who almost hung up the blades a few years ago. Morlang started the season in the training camp of the Portland Winter Hawks(WHL) but left after deciding to go after a scholarship instead. According to my sources Morlang was a cinch to make the team. Morlang is a speedy forward who seems to be moving faster with the puck than without it. With pretty good size at 6’2″-195 Morlang is receiving some NHL attention.Columbus and the Boston Bruins have contacted him so far. The NHL likes big forwards who can skate, and Morlang fits that mould.The Spruce Kings often use Morlang on the point during the power plays which is another asset of this player. Look for John Morlang`s name in the 2001 NHL draft. Whether he is drafted or not. After college,this player will play pro hockey somewhere.

I attended a game featuring the Cowichan Valley Capitals (BCHL) recently. The Capitals are coached by former NHLer Greg C. Adams (not to be confused with current player Greg Adams). Looking good for the Capitals was winger Derek Campbell. Campbell is currently at a point a game with over 100 PIMS. This player has a great stride. The word I think Read more »

Wolves Shutout IHL All-Stars

by Andrew Bourgeois
on
The defending Turner Cup Champion Chicago Wolves took the IHL All-Stars by surprise Monday night, shutting out the All-Stars 4-0 before 11,131 at the Allstate Arena in Chicago. It was the first ever shutout in an IHL All-Star Game.

The Wolves got on the board late in the first period, when Steve Maltais took a feed from Steve Larouche and Robert Petrovickey at 18:01 and put it past All-Star netminder Mike Fountain. That would eventually be the game-winner as the All-Stars were not able to find the back of the net.

In the second period, Chicago again struck late, this time at 16:31 with a goal from Guy Larose. Also in the second, Wolves netminder Rick DiPietro made his return to the Wolves lineup, posting 10 saves on 10 shots. His efforts helped him earn the Bud Light Rising Star Award, which is annually awarded to the player who is making his first appearance at an IHL All-Star Game and contributes best to his team’s efforts.

The Wolves came away with two goals in the final stanza, as Kevin Brown scored early at 4:52 on a pass from Steve Larouche. That wouldn’t be the end of it for Larouche either, as he added his third point of the night, a goal, at 11:30 of the period. Maltais assisted on that goal, giving him the all-time lead in IHL All-Star scoring. With eight All-Star appearances, Maltais now has six goals and six assists. He passes Stan Drulia who had previously held the top spot with 11 points on 3 goals and 8 asssits. Maltais’ six goals also tie him for the most goals in IHL All-Star history.

With three points o Read more »

Bruins prospect Donald Choukalos

by Michael Karlstrom
on

Donald Choukalos is backstopping his way to a career year as the starting goaltender for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. With 39 games under his belt, he’s posted a respectable 3.44 GAA and 2 shutouts. Choukalos admits he got off to a bit of a slow start to this season, but part of that has to be attributed to the team he had in front of him. With the recent additions the Regina Pats have made to bolster their lineup in anticipation of hosting the Memorial Cup this year, and with Choukalos’ own continuing development, he is positioned to have a golden opportunity to really shine in this major tournament and get his stock soaring as he battles to move his way up the Bruins depth chart in the nets.

Choukalos was the Bruins sixth choice, picked 179th overall in the 1999 draft. When asked for the highlight of his career so far, he didn’t need to think long before answering “just getting drafted.” In a way it was a bit of a surprise choice on the Bruins part in that they had just drafted OHL goaltender Seamus Kotyk with their previous pick and had drafted Andrew Raycroft the year before. Choukalos said he didn’t know that the Bruins were seriously interested in him, “they only talked to me once the day before the draft.” Perhaps it would have been just a little more of a dream come true if he had followed former Calgary Hitman teammate Brent Krahn to getting drafted by the Flames since he was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. It isn’t in the fates though for an NHL hopeful to always be able to play for the team he grew up chearing though.

Chouk Read more »

Finland’s WJC success helps players

by Mikko Vuori
on

Edmonton prospect Jani Rita played surprisingly good.
Eight goals in the tournament gives a big boost to his
confidence. Rita has 2+2 in 3 games for Jokerit after
the WJC. Before the tournament he had 5 points in
27 games.

2001 eligibles Tuomo Ruutu and Mikko Koivu
were centering two top lines. These two players are considered the future leaders of Finnish hockey. Another 2001 eligible forward Tuomas Pihlman wasn’t able to get any points, but he isn’t supposed to be a scorer.

Ville Hämäläinen was the biggest surprise. Second line
winger had a very good tournament. Hämäläinen had 7 points in seven games. Hämäläinen is still undrafted, but he might get picked in next draft.

Another Edmonton prospect Tony Salmelainen missed
last season with injuries. Salmelainen is a small player, but he really has good speed. He was third in team’s scoring.

Tuukka Mäntylä (5 points +8) took the leading role
in defense. Mäntylä hasn’t been drafted yet, mainly
because of his size (5’9). Mäntylä is good with the
puck and is also good skater. Mäntyla was selected to
play for Team Finland in Swedish Hockey Games.

Arto Tukio’s injury during team’s carting session
really hurt Finnish defense. Markku Paukkanen
was able to step up. He had two points and was a +7
in the tournament.

Ari Ahonen had a good tournament. He outgoaled
Maxim Oullette in the semifinal game. In the finals he
let in two goals, but he can’t be blamed for them.
The Devils wanted Ahonen to play for Albany this
season but he stayed in Finland. He should Read more »

Flyers Midterm System Review Part II: Minors, Juniors, and Euros

by Bill Meltzer
on

Stepping Up

Maxime Ouellet has continued to shine after his early season demotion from the Flyers to Rouyn-Noranda. Apart from a rough outing against Finland
in the WJC semi-finals, he also had another strong WJC tournament. Max’s most notable accomplishment at the WJC was outplaying Rick DiPietro head-to-head when Canada met up with the USA in the medal round
quarterfinals. Given Ouellet’s excellent play this season and the struggles of Brian Boucher, Ouellet may figure into the Flyers NHL goaltending picture
as soon as next year; although a season in the AHL would probably be the optimal plan for the young keeper.

Jason Beckett has had a rock solid rookie season for the Philadelphia Phantoms. He shows a lot of maturity and poise for a first year pro. Beckett
is an aggressive defender, yet he is rarely caught out of position. To date, he is the Plus/Minus leader on the Phantoms, sporting a +11 for a .500
team.

Holding Steady

Antero Niittymäki had his work cut out for him before this season. He had to try to top his sensational rookie campaign for TPS Turku. Unfortunately, he has not been able to do so. Niittymaki has split time in goal with Fredrik
Norrena and Norrena has, on the whole, been the more consistent performer. That’s not to say that Niittymäki has had a bad season, however. While
Niittymäki has let in a few bad goals and been beaten at some inopportune moments, it’s unfair to classify any goalie with a 2.02 GAA and .924 save percentage in 17 games as a failure. If Niittymäki has h Read more »

Sens prospects at 2001 WJC

by Richard Polonsky
on

Anton Volchenkov

Volchenkov was arguably Russia’s top defenseman. Even though the entire Russian squad was a predictable disapointment, he played pretty decently finishing with 4 assists in 7 games. He is a good two-way player and will surely be in North America soon.

Teemu Sainomaa

Sainomaa played for the Silver-medal winning Finnish team that was the surpirse of the tournament. He was a role-player and didn’t get much ice time, but displayed good speed and two-way prowess in his limited appearences. Finished the tourney with 2 assists in 7 games and surely needs some refining in both Finland and Grand Rapids before he hits the Sens.

IHL All- Star Game

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

IHL NEWS

Event:   IHL All-Star Game
Where:   Allstate Arena
City:    Chicago, Illinois
Date:    January 15, 2001
Time:    5:00 pm
The IHL’s annual All-Star game goes under way tomorrow afternoon at the Allstate Arena in Chicago home of the defending Turner Cup Champions Chicago Wolves. Tomorrow afternoon the defending champions Wolves take on the IHL All-Star team. You can catch all the live action by logging on at www.theihl.com for a live cybercast of all games. This year the IHL will have mic on the coaches, players benches, ref’s, players and the ref’s dressing rooms. Here at Hockeys Future we will have all the stats and a few stories from the all-star game. So log on at Hockeys Future on Tuesday for all the stories and recaps of the IHL classic. Here is a list of the starting lineups for both teams:


Chicago Wolves
Goalie:  Wendell Young
Defence: Glen Featherstone
Defence: Chris LiPuma
Forward: Niklas Andersson
Forward: Steve Larouche
Forward: Brian Noonan

IHL ALL-STARS
Goalie:  Mike Fountain - Grand Rapids
Defence: Travis Richards - Grand Rapids
Defence: Bubba Berenzweig - Milwaukee
Forward: Todd White - Grand Rapids
Forward: Yves Sarrault - Orlando
Forward: Mark Beaufait - Orlando

IHL FASTFACTS

On Febuary 10, 1998 Kip Miler scored the fastest 2 goals in an All-Star game. He scored at the 3:52 mark of the first period then 18 seconds later at the 4:10 mark.

TODAY IN HOCKEY

January 14, 1922 an NHL record is set whe Read more »

Johan Holmqvist – The Next Guardian of the Nets?

by Evan Andriopoulos
on
Other than the dismal 99-00 season one has to look far back to when the Rangers gave their young netminders a shot at ice time in New York with the big club. Over the last couple seasons we have seen J.F.Labbe, Milan Hnilinka, Jason Labarbera, Johan Holmqvist get a shot which is negative and positive. The negative is that the must be a reason why the Mike Richters and Kirk McLeans of of the world are not playing…perhaps injury, perhaps poor performance. But this has opened the door a host of new to the NHL netminders to get that call everyone outside of the NHL dreams of… top play in the NHL.

Johan Holmqvist, a native of Tolfta, Sweden began his international journey at a young age…playing for the Swedish National Junior program against the Russian Bears, The Attacking Finns and the free wheeling Czechs. Holmqvist quickly established himself as a future NHL prospect and with the help of Christer Rockstrøm (old Rangers Scandinavian scout), the Rangers selected him with their 7th round pick in the 1997 draft. Holmqvist played well for Brynås of the Swedish Elite League earning a national title as well as 8 shutouts a 2.67 goals against in 117 matches. In his other non championship season, Johan guided Brynås to a second place finish and a participated with the National Junior Team in the 1998 World Junior Tourney.

Sweden who has produced goaltenders Pelle Lindbergh(ex.Flyers), Tommy Soderstrøm(ex.Islanders), Tommy Salo(Oilers) has been starving for a new International Hero. Holmqvist just may be it…for he knows that in his shadow fellow Read more »

Vitali Yeremeyev Solid in 1st NHL Start

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Vitali Yeremeyev, the 25 year old goalie from Kazakhstan, has had a superb first season in North America. He started the year in the ECHL, then moved up to the AHL and was dominant there, and now he finds himself in the NHL wearing a 3rd different jersey this season.

Yeremeyev’s NHL debut came a few weeks ago as he relieved Kirk McLean in a 4-3 loss against the Hurricanes. But Yeremeyev got his first chance to start a game yesterday when goalie Mike Richter was unable to go because he had fluid drained from his surgically repaired knee a few days earlier. The game wasn’t a memorable one for Yeremeyev, as the Rangers put forth one of their worst efforts of the season in a 4-1 loss to the Bruins at the FleetCenter.

It all started 33 seconds into the game when Bill Guerin took an innocent shot from the sideboards that Yeremeyev deflected away with his stick, but the puck hit off Brian Leetch in front and trickled right back into the net. Since Yeremeyev doesn’t speak English, the lack of communication showed. Guerin scored another one, this time 13:49 into the 1st period. Guerin was allowed to stand right in front of the goalie and tap in a pass from behind the net to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead. The Rangers defense just stood there and didn’t even make an attempt to knock Guerin down or not give him position. Radek Dvorak was able to put the Rangers on the board when he scored 17 seconds into 2nd period. But with the Rangers on the power play a few minutes later, the Bruins were able to score again. The third goal was another mista Read more »