In just eight days, the Philadelphia Phantoms will begin their sixth season of play in the American Hockey League. As training camp winds down, the team’s roster is all but set, barring a few last-minutechanges. This preseason has been a rather quiet one for the Phantoms, devoid of any major surprises or unexpected happenings.
Perhaps the biggest surprise thus far has been Pavel Brendl’s eye-popping play with the Flyers in exhibition action. Considering the depth the organization has at the NHL level, the Czech right wing was originally considered a lock to start the year with the Phantoms. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen at this point.
While the final decision on where Brendl will start the season is still up in the air, most of the Phantoms’ primary concerns have already been addressed. With the regular season looming, the team has already taken shape.
As expected, rookie Maxime Ouellet is set to take the reigns as the Phantoms’ new starting goaltender. After yet another terrific season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the 20-year-old phenom will get plenty of work in his first full season of professional hockey (he appeared briefly with the Flyers at the start of last season). Neil Little, the Phantoms’ all-time wins leader, will return in the role of backup netminder. Dan Murphy may stick around as a third-stringer between the pipes or else be loaned to the Trenton Titans (Philadelphia’s ECHL affiliate) .
Team captain Mark Greig is back, as is fellow veteran forward Mark Freer. Veteran defensemen John Slaney and
Brad T Read more »
Who will play with Mario???
Coming off a Cinderella comeback, “Le Magnifique,” Mario Lemieux, wants to
win the scoring title this upcoming season. To do this, he must have some
quality linemates. So far, none of them have been announced. Here is a
detailed look at a few candidates:
Kris Beech: Read more »
Monday night the Pittsburgh Penguins fans went to their “igloo” to see the first home game for the Pens this year. Some went to see “Le Magnifique” after his first training camp since 1996, while others went to see the “Arbitration Line” and yet others went to see the young prospects play. The away team, Atlanta Thrashers, showed up at Pittsburgh with an old roster for a preseason game. Here’s the roster for the game:
Eric Meloche-Mario Lemieux-Kevin Stevens
Martin Straka-Robert Lang-Alexei Kovalev
Michal Sivek-Milan Kraft-Alexei Morozov
Toby Petersen-Shane Endicott-Tom Kostopoulos
Hans Jonsson-Ross Lupascuck
Darius Kasparaitis-Ian Moran
Andrew Ference-Michel Petit
Shean Donovan-Bob Corkum-Hnat Domenichelli
Dany Heatley-Tony Hrkac-Patrick Stefan
Lubos Bartecko-Per Svartadet-Brad Tapper
Darcy Hordichuck-Andreas Karlsson-Jp Vigier
Brian Pothier-Jiri Slegr
Frantisek Kaberle-Mike Weaver
Jeff Dessner-Brett Clack Read more »
When the WHL announced a couple of weeks ago that they had for all intents and purposes found the location of the much coveted twentieth team for the league in Everett, Washington to begin play in 2003-04, I thought that through all the specifics attached to the announcement, it wasn’t a bad choice. When Ron Robinson was brought in as commissioner over fourteen months ago it was quite clear that one of his mandates was to bring the WHL to twenty member franchises in specific regions. The target region was the Pacific Northwest to compliment the four existing franchises in a newly named U.S. Division and Everett, its relative location to Seattle, Portland, Kennewick (Tri-Cities), Spokane and the most recent expansion club, the Vancouver Giants fit that mold quite nicely. It’s population (96,000), it’s instant rivalry potential with Seattle and the fact that Snohomish county was going to build a 8000 seat arena complex didn’t hurt it’s chances either. In what had to be a first and undoubtedly a sign of the times, two separate leagues vied for the privilege of locating there. The WHL had to actually present its case as a better tenant to the Everett city council as competition to place a franchise in that city was coming from the West Coast Hockey League. A league comparable to single ‘A’ level of professional hockey if you were using baseball’s designation in relation to it’s quality of play.
As mentioned, the WHL won the day, had it’s twentieth franchise and couldn’t be happier with where it would be situated. One small problem though, the location proved to b Read more »
The New York Rangers faced off against the New York Islanders last Saturday night and 18-year-old goaltender Dan Blackburn was sensational during the game, stopping 38 of 41 shots in a 4-2 loss.
The Rangers had a 2-0 lead after the first period, as Zdeno Ciger and Theoren Fleury were able to score on Islanders’ goalie Garth Snow. The Islanders finally got on the board at 1:35 of the 2nd period, as Michael Peca was able to finally get one by Blackburn. Peca again scored on Blackburn, this time early in the 3rd period while the Islanders were on a 5 on 3 advantage. Mariusz Czerkawski added a power play goal later in the period and Jason Blake scored a shorthanded empty-net goal to seal the win for the Islanders.
The game certainly was a wild one, and most of the game was played with one of the teams on the power play. It was a dirty game from the beginning, and it all started with Islanders goalie Garth Snow take a cheap shot on Eric Lindros. With the puck dumped into the corner, Lindros and Garth Snow both went to get the puck. When they got to the puck at about the same time, the two players collided and Snow threw his elbow into the head of Lindros. Rangers’ Head Coach Ron Low was furious with the cheap shot, as were the rest of the Rangers. As a result of Snow’s shot to Lindros’ head, a lot of scuffles broke out, including Dale Purinton charging Snow while he was in the crease and was fighting with the netminder. The NHL just recently made an announcement about the incident, suspending Dale Purinton for 4 games for his actions during the game. Da Read more »
Well, my friends, I’m back, with the Canucks new and revised ‘Top 16′ List! Okay, I know that sounds silly, but I only have sixteen ranked prospects, so bear with me. This season is a very important one for the Canucks, and many of their prospects this season will either make big moves, or flounder, like many young players before them. We face many challenges this upcoming season, the largest fish we have to fry is our goaltending situation, we have a fine prospect in Alexander Auld, but he is out for a month, as he is in a walking cast. This leaves the Canucks with three options, option A is the Waiver Draft, which takes place tomorrow. There are three ‘tenders that would help the Canucks remedy their back-up situation. Jamie McLennan, Chris Osgood, and Stephane Fiset. It has become more than likely that the Canucks will end up with McLennan, as Osgood and Fiset are expected to go rather high in the waiver draft. (What an accomplishment!) Although I’m a big critic of getting someone like McLennan, the price (free, for all intents and purposes) is right. Either way, I’m going to be interested in the events that will transpire during tomorrow’s Draft.
We knew it was going to happen sooner or later, but Josh Holden was left unprotected. In five years since being drafted, Holden has been nothing but a disappointment, with a major injury mixed in here or there. He could never catch a break, but he should have been up here by now if he’s all that he was billed as coming out of the Regina Pats program. I hope he is able to latch on with another NHL team, and get a second c Read more »
Last year at this time, center was a big question mark for
the Bolts. Only two centers, Vincent
Lecavalier and Brian Holzinger, had achieved even moderate success
at the NHL level. Wayne Primeau,
Ryan Johnson and Steve Martins were being counted on to shoulder
a good part of the load, but had limited experience. By the 2001 entry draft, only Lecavalier and Holzinger
remained in the organization. Nobody
knew how much to expect from Brad Richards last year at this time.
How things have changed.
This season, Lecavalier (pending a contract) and Holzinger
return from last year’s Tier One group to join 2000-01 rookie-star Brad
Richards and a handful of others capable of playing both the pivot and
The organizational depth chart at center can be broken down
into four tiers of impact talent:
Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards, Brian Holzinger, Vaclav Prospal, Juha Ylonen, Tim Taylor.
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Leading the gro Read more »
An expanded American Hockey League has entered a new era. There now are 27 teams, up from 20 following absorption of six clubs from the dissolved International Hockey League and addition of a new franchise, and the AHL’s status as the No. 1 developmental league for NHL-bound players has been accentuated by the demise of the IHL.
League president David Andrews is beaming as he awaits the opening Oct. 4 of the AHL’s 66th season. The AHL will have a Canadian Division comprised of the returning St. John’s Maple Leafs, Saint John Flames and Hamilton Bulldogs, as well as two clubs adopted from the IHL – the Manitoba Moose and the Quebec Citadelles.
The change in leagues will be a financial boon to the Moose, who now will travel in Canada instead of making extended trips into the United States as they did in their IHL days. Projected savings for the Moose are at least $250,000.
“It’s great for us,” says public relations director Matt Frost. “Before, we only had one direct flight, into Chicago. Now we can pretty much fly directly to most of our cities, plus we’ll be paying Canadian dollars now on many of our road trips. It will make a huge difference on our bottom line.”
Things are looking up on the ice as well. General manager Randy Carlyle used to piece together a lineup with free-agent signings and players assigned by a grab bag of NHL teams. He was an independent operator. Now he’s getting 15 of Vancouver’s top prospects in an arrangement to be the main Canucks farm club.
“We’re excited about it,” Carlyle says of the partne Read more »
Alexander Drozdetsky : Drozdetsky, who dazzled onlookers at the Flyers rookie camp in August, has been playing regularly for his club, CSKA Moscow (the former Red Army club). In the early going, CSKA is in 10th place in the 17 team Super League. Drozdetsky scored his first goal of the season on Monday; the game winner. On the young season, Drozdetsky has 2 points (1G, 1 A) and 2 PIM in 5 games.
Andrei Razin : Razin, who will turn 28 next month, was the RSL scoring champion last season. Like Drozdetsky, Razin is with a new team this season. Centering the top line for 4th place Dynamo Moscow, Razin has 3 points (1 goal) in his first five games. Razin, who has a reputation for being careless with his stick, also has 10 PIM.
Konstantin Rudenko : The Lokamotiv Yaroslavl winger has not played in a game. Lokamotiv is in 6th place currently.
Antero Niittymäki : Fredrik Norrena started the last game for defending champion TPS Turku, which has just a single win (Niittymäki’s shutout of SaiPa) to show for their first six games. In three appearances to date, Niittymäki has a 1.99 GAA and a .940 save percentage.
Marko Kauppinen : Kauppinen continues to struggle mightily in the early going. He was on the ice for all three goals against in TPS’ last game; a 3-0 blanking by league leading Tappara Tampere. In 6 games in the young season, Kauppinen is pointless and has a minus-six rating.
Jussi Timonen: No report.
Da Read more »
Down and up weekend for ICE
If they crowned the Memorial Cup champions on paper, it would be easy to see why the Kootenay ICE were ranked number one in the CHL’s Top Ten rankings. Incredible firepower on offense, size and presence on the blueline and depth and experience between the pipes. Fortunately or not, the games are played on the ice and in reality, or at least well into the season, the initial rankings mean little.
The Kootenay ICE found that out when they began the 2001-02 WHL season with a home and home series with the Spokane Chiefs and came out on the short end of the stick on both occasions by a score of 5-4 and 5-2, respectively. Rebounding on Sunday as the ICE hosted the Tri-City Americans and answered their first two losses with a punctuated shellacking of the Americans, 7-0.
Kootenay coach Ryan McGill, although disappointed at the first two losses to the Chiefs stressed that the club is still in the formative stages of development and obviously nobody was going to push the panic button so early on in the season. Especially in light of the convincing win over the Americans to end the weekend on a positive note. “There were not any changes,” said McGill of the better result between the Chief’s games and Sunday night’s tilt against Tri-Cities. “We’re still trying to get some line combinations going that we feel are solid and we still haven’t come up with those yet.
“We feel that everybody can play and everybody can contribute – even the young guys – that’s how good they are”
“But we didn’t Read more »