Glen Sather selected Filip Novak in the 2nd Round of the 2000 Entry
Draft, the Rangers first selection of the day and also Sather’s first draft
pick with the Rangers. When drafted, the scouts said Novak was an offensively
gifted defenseman who can rush the puck up the ice. They also said he wasn’t
very good defensively, and his size (6’0 174) would hold him back a bit.
However, they felt confident enough in selecting the Czech native, and what a
selection it has turned out to be.
At 18 years old, all indications said Novak would not be with the team
when they left training camp in Burlington, Vermont to New York to start the
exhibition games, but Novak has played so well in camp that Rangers’ Head
Coach Ron Low said it’s “Scary”, referring to how well Novak looked in the
scrimmages and practices. Novak’s chances of making the team are still slim,
as other defensemen such as Tomas Kloucek and Dale Purinton have played great
as well, but he will be given every chance to make the team. All 3 defenseman
could make the team, but that would mean the Rangers would have to trade away
a couple of their defenders to make room. It’s more likely only 2 of
Purinton, Novak and Kloucek will make the team.
Filip didn’t play in the Rangers 5-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in
their first exhibition game yesterday, but he should play this Tuesday when
the Rangers host the Flyers at the Garden. The rest of the upcoming preseason Read more »
Isles GM Mike Milbury regardless of the injury is standing behind his comments through most of the summer: “It’s a tough break for the kid, but it
doesn’t eliminate his chances of making the team. He’ll still get a look from us. If it happens for Rick right away, it happens. We all think it’s
going to happen sooner or later, but there is no urgency. It would be fun and it’s exciting. He’s a first overall pick. But if the timing isn’t
right, it’s not right.”
If Rick DiPietro is ready to play the only realistic chances he will get are against the Rangers or New Jersey in the final two preseason games in early October.
DiPietro will be sent to the IHL if he does not make the team.
The Islanders began the preseason Thursday and Friday against Philadelphia.
Both games were typical early preseason with lots of penalties called so the NHL can send the politically correct message that it never follows up on once November rolls around. The Islanders lost both games by scores of 4-2 in Trenton, and 2-1 in Philadelphia.
A few notable items that fans should like from the first two games:
Oleg Kvasha: Has been impressive. Got big minutes for an early preseason game on Thursday, and
deflected in the Isles only goal on Friday before a spearing penalty ended his night. Looked lost playing the point on the power play.
Mark Parrish: Had lots of chances and played well in Trenton.
Read more »
Notables relieved from camp include Julian Vauclair, Alexandre Giroux, Jason Maleyko, Layne Ulmer and Antoine Vermette. Vauclair was sent back to Europe while the others will most likely be playing in the CHL this year. Giroux has a shot with Grand Rapids.
John Gruden suffered a bruised tailbone but is expected to continue training camp. John has been fingered as a possibility on this years blue line. In last year’s camp Gruden was also injured. Chris Phillips suffered a minor groin pull and most likely will wait out the exhibition games.
After looking timid in the rookie camp Martin Havlat has bloomed into a budding star. This weekend against the Oilers Havlat had a spin-a-rama and a goal scorer’s missile. At this point Havlat will make the regular season roster and depending on how he performs in the first 10 games has an outside chance to stay with the big team. You should expect Havlat to be playing somewhere in the CHL this season.
In the first exhibition game of the season Chris Neil found himself on line with Alexi Yashin and dropped the gloves with Florida heavyweight Paul Laus. The former Centennial has turned more then a few heads in camp. For a team looking to add toughness Neil is just sort of player needed. Probably a mid-season call up with an outside chance of catching on. Next year is his year
Read more »
Another in a series of weekly articles summarizing activity in Leafland during the previous 7 days – with some personal observations, commentary, prospect updates and fun thrown in for good measure.
Pivotal season for Sundin: 2000 / 2001 will be a very important year for Maple Leafs’ team captain and perennial leading scorer, Mat Sundin … he will surely be determined to prove that he can take the club to greater play-off glory and has never had such a strong supporting cast during his time in Toronto … Sundin will also be playing for his next contract as his existing multi-year pact concludes at the end of this season … for what its worth, both sides have already indicated a strong desire to extend their association for the long haul … an appropriate annual stipend remains the only detail yet to be worked out … don’t be too surprised if the terms on Sundin’s next contract are dictated more by the team’s overall success this season rather than by his own personal accomplishments … although questions concerning Mats’ determination and leadership are constantly being raised by many “experts” covering the team, these same doubts stuck to Steve Yzerman and Mike Modano as well until they eventually became Stanley Cup champions …
Read more »
The Detroit Red Wings had their final practice this morning at 10:00
a.m. Steve Duchense suited up for the first time this week and
practiced with the team, although he wont be able to play any games for
2 more weeks.
Chris Chelios who didn’t practice yesterday due to a sore back was back
skating today and said that he was fine for tonight’s game.
An intrasquad scrimmage at 7:00 this evening at the Van Andel Arena in
Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Manny Legace was very relaxed this morning, as were most of the players,
Legace was standing by the boards waiting for his turn in net. He
decided that while he was waiting he’d “practice” throwing his stick
down in disgust. The more people laughed at his actions the more
animated he became. He had to stop though when it was his turn to
really practice, stopping the pucks. But when he let one in all his
“practice” had paid off and he threw his stick up in the air in disgust.
After practice was over management, volunteers, and about half the
players had a group photo on the ice. The other half of the players
were coming but got off the other rink too late.
Ken Wregget stopped and signed autographs as he was going to the locker
room, giving a young boy his stick. The young boy was elated and Ken
Wregget mad a new friend, and fan.
As the players got ready to go there were all the good-bye’s until next Read more »
The Buffalo Sabres 2000 training camp is now a week old, with the team wrapping up their “group hug” road trip in that well-known hockey hotbed, South Carolina. As usual, the annual embargo on training camp news is in place, but there have been some rumblings regarding the play of a couple prospects that are making a push to start the season in Buffalo.
One of those prospects, RW J.P. Dumont, is turning heads with his offensive play. Dumont was acquired in the seemingly one-sided trade with the Blackhawks that also brought Doug Gilmour to Buffalo. Rather than simply being a trade throw-in, however, J.P. has looked like the offensively gifted forward many scouts felt he would become, as he tore up the AHL last season in the late regular season and playoffs. Dumont has continued his strong play in training camp, displaying the nifty moves and quick release needed to become a scorer in the NHL. According to the Buffalo News, Dumont has been used on the LW due to the glut of veteran RWs on Buffalo’s roster, but this move has not affected J.P.’s game so far. Dumont has the coaching staff grinning from ear-to-ear, not just because of his offensive play, but also because he has shown the toughness and desire needed to be an impact player in the NHL.
Read more »
Remember this name: Kyle Wanvig. You may be very glad you did. Here’s a few reasons why: 1) at 6′ 2″, 200 lbs, he’s pretty big for a 19 year old. 2) he loves gritty, crash-and-bang hockey, but possesses a good deal of offensive skill. 3) he’ll drop the gloves in defense of himself or a teammate, and, most importantly, 4) he models himself after Cam Neely. ‘Nuff said, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, uncertainty has followed the young right wing’s career thus far. This year may be the deciding one for Wanvig- is he the heir to the great Neely or is he the next Landon Wilson?
A solid, well-balanced, but unspectacular skater, Kyle Wanvig is not a flashy player. In the mold of forwards like Bill Guerin and his childhood hero, Neely, Wanvig drives to the net using brute force. Many of his goals come off rebounds, as he uses his frame to clear the front of opposing nets. He also possesses a rocket of a shot- a trait that, combined with his love of the rough stuff, could make him a Beantown favorite in no time.
Read more »
Yesterday, nine players were sent packing by the blues, these players were junior returnees, european players or released tryouts. These type of players were released based on the fact that they are nowhere close to the NHL level yet and it is better for them to start their respective years off on the right foot.
The Blues had a chance to get a serious look at all 70 players in camp with the exception of Barret Jackman who has yet to play because of finger surgery that he had this summer. Also Todd Reirden and Marc Bergevin will both be out well into the season, meaning that there are two more spots open for defensemen. Jackman is likely returning for one last season with Regina as his junior team will be hosting this year’s Memorial Cup and should also lead the Canadian world junior team.
There are battles for spots at mostly D and the backup goalie position behind Turek. In terms of the goalie position, Johnson and Rolson will battle throughout the preseason for the rights to that position. Stephen Wagner was assigned to Worcester and Reinhard Divis should return to the Swedish Elite league. That leaves Rudkowsky and tryout Curtis Sanford. Rudkowsky will likely play in Worcester again this season and Sanford could sign a contract, as he has been impressive in both the rookie tourney and the camp tourney as well.
Read more »
The Kings took on the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday for their first preseason game of the 2000 season. The lineup featured several youngsters. Here is a rundown of their performance.
Kevin Baker- Baker did not receive alot of ice time but showed some promise. Kevin’s stocky build and aggressive play showed when he got his shot on the power play. He drove to the net several times and was not afraide to crash the net. He appeared tough to move and got his stick on a couple rebounds. Baker also did not back down from veteran Brad May, even throwing a nice check on the Phoenix forward. Kevin may be a year away, but I definitely like his game.
Mike Pudlick- Pudlick started out strong. It is amazing watching him skate and pass because he moves like a left handed Rob Blake. His decisions with the puck were sound, although he made some mistakes in the third period. Mike was paired with Rob Blake and didn’t show much in the way of physical play, but he has a shot at the roster this season.
Andreas Lilja- Lilja is definitely big. His size gives him a shot at the roster this season, but other than that he didn’t do much. I thought he was sleepwalking through the first two periods. He had better show more of a physical presence if he wants to make the team.
Read more »
In the Florida Panthers intersquad scrimmage at Robert Guertin Arena this evening, Ray Whitney led the Blue Team to a
come-from-behind 6-3 victory. Whitney scored a pair of goals, and rookie Mike Green added a goal and two assists for the winners. After
giving up three goals in the first period, the Blue Team rallied to score the final six goals of the game. Goaltender Sean Gauthier, who played
the second half of the game for the winning squad did not allow a goal. Many of the veterans saw just limited action. Florida will take on Ottawa
in its first pre-season game of the year in Halifax, Nova Scotia tomorrow.
FIRST PERIOD: The Red Team exploded for three goals in a span of 1:14 as Len Barrie set up a pair of goals. Rookie Mike Cirillo
notched a goal and an assist, while Paul Laus and rookie Ryan Jardine each tallied once. Ray Whitney got the Blue Team on the
scoreboard on a pass from Mike Green.
SECOND PERIOD: Green, Paul Brousseau, and Morgan McCormick led the Blue Team, scoring three unanswered second period
goals. Goaltenders Trevor Kidd (16 shots, 13 saves) and Roberto Luongo (18 shots, 15 saves) both left the game at the midway
point. Each netminder allowed three goals.
THIRD PERIOD: Peter Ratchuk and Whitney secured the Blue Team’s victory by scoring third period goals. The Blue Team
outshot the Red Team in the game 33-25. The game ended prematurely when a pane of glass became dislodged with 4:15
remaining in the third period. Read more »