I believe the term is “fire-wagon hockey”, yeah that’s it, that’s the only way to describe the Belleville Bulls style of play so far this season. After 6 games they have scored 35 goals while allowing 23 against, not exactly the New Jersey Devils are they! No, they’re the Bulls and they’re 5-1 to start the season and that’ll suit coach Jim Hulton just fine I’m sure and the fans as well. This is a very speedy and talented team and they have, at present, 2 goalies that are quit capable of handling wide-open play. All of the new additions are fulfilling expectations, which as I said last year is a tribute to the scouting staff of the Bulls. Here is a rundown of the Bulls roster and how each player has looked so far.
#10 Andrew Brown, RW- (6-0-0-0-7) A big strong winger, but doesn’t use size effectively. Needs to go to the net more and start punishing opposing defenders. An average skater, with limited scoring ability.
#7 Rane Carnagie, C- (6-4-3-7-2) The Bulls first round pick is learning extremely fast. This kid has unlimited potential and looks to be a sure 1st or 2nd round pick in the 2003 entry draft. He is very sturdy on his skates and has great moves. He has also shown a good nose for the net with 4 goals already this season.
#13 Andre Deveaux, C- (6-0-2-2-13) The second year man is currently struggling with back problems. He looks to be a bit more focused this year than last, but still looks as if he’s just out for a Sunday skate sometimes. Needs to p Read more »
Panthers Pre-Season Wrap-up
With two days before the Panthers season opener against the Flyers on Oct. 4th, the hopeful Panther prospects have learned who made the opening night roster. 6 Panthers still considered prospect under HF’s criteria have survived the last cuts going into the season opener, while 4 of the Panther sophomores are given the opportunity to build on last season.
An unfortunate concussion has relegated Denis Shvidki to the injured reserve list, and Panther veterans Peter Worrell and Bret Hedican also are starting the season on the IR. These unfortunate injuries have opened up the roster for a few prospects to start the season with the big club, but when those three players come off the IR, some tough decisions will have to be made by management. One transaction that will help clarify the roster is the pick-up of defenseman John Jakopin on waivers by Pittsburgh.
The Panthers named their opening night 22 man roster at 5:00pm on Tuesday, which is one short of the maximum allowed. To follow is my analysis of what prospects and sophomores made the roster and a breakdown of what I see the lineups as being going into the rebound 2001-2002 NHL Season.
Opening Night Prospects
Kristian Huselius, Left Wing: Kristian immediately showed that the hype surrounding him was justified. Playing mainly with Olli Jokinen, Niklas Hagman, and Valeri Bure, Huselius scored 3 assists in 6 pre-season games, and was thrown in all game situations where he was able to adjust accordingly. Read more »
Leafs Trade for Another Hawk Blueliner
Boy oh boy, words like that get anyone leaning forward in their chair after what happened last year at this time. For those of you who have been on the planet Jupiter the Leafs dealt holdout Alexander Karpotsev to Chicago for Bryan McCabe who just kept getting better and better as the year progressed until he was arguably the best Leaf rearguard in the playoffs. However, this time, don’t expect the transaction to have the same amount of impact. Going to the Hawks was minor league tough guy Shawn Thornton while coming this way was Norfolk Admirals blueliner Marty Wilford. Thornton, despite numerous chances to overtake Tie Domi as the ACC’s resident tough guy, was never able to demonstrate enough skill to keep a job on the NHL level. Wilford, on the other hand, has a couple things going for him. Besides the fact that every organization should have at least one player with the name ‘Marty’, the ex-Hawk farmhand is quite adept at the transition game and is very good in the dressing room. He has been the best defensemen in the Chicago’s minor league pipeline whether it be with Norfolk or Indianapolis the last three years running and in his last campaign totalled 7 goals and 41 assists. If there is anything he does lack it is an NHL burst as far as separation is concerned. At 24 years old he looks to be another veteran hand to help the youngsters along on The Rock but if he proves himself efficient might leap ahead of Nathan Dempsey on the emergency call-up queue because of the extra 30 pounds he has on the long time Leaf. Co Read more »
The European hockey leagues are anything but conservative. Many changes have
been made to the game over the last couple of years and several has panned
out very well. Granted, there has been ill-advised changes such as the
ridiculous helmet-rule, which states that a player must go for a line change
immediately after losing his helmet. If he doesn’t he will get a minor
penalty for delay of game.
Two changes that has helped to speed up the game has been the removal of the
red line offside and the new face-off rule which reduces the length of
breaks in play substantially. If the NHL are truly serious about opening up
and speeding up the game they should consider making these exact changes.
The traditionalists will probably be against the removal of the two line
offside, but it has done a lot to open up the game in Europe which has been
plagued by the trap even more than the National Hockey League. The trap
originated in Europe and has since been adopted by North American coaches as
it is a good way of giving a team with so called limited talent a chance to
win. But, it is boring to watch, and as much as those in love with the game
or employed by the game hate to admit it, the growth of hockey will be
determined by how entertaining it is to watch. Not many fans will turn away
from the game even if teams continue to practice the trap, but it will
certainly be harder to recruit new fans as long as the “chip it off the
glass”-mentality is a central part of a coach’s way of thinking.
At first, the ever defensive Swedish nation Read more »
Last season, the Devils came within one game of defending the Stanley Cup. This season, they will look to regain what was once theirs. The following article will summarize the goaltending, defence, and forward positions. That will be followed up with a team outlook for this season along with a prospect report.
Once again, workhorse netminder Martin Brodeur, coming off his 6th consecutive 30 win season, will be the main man between the pipes for New Jersey. All though he had a sub-par playoff by his standards, he still remains one of the NHL’s most elite netminders. With the upcoming Olympic Games, Martin may elevate his game even further to prove that he deserves to be Team Canada’s starting netminder. Even though it has not been officially announced yet, former Boston College standout Scott Clemmensen looks to be Brodeur’s backup for this season. Not given much of a chance at the beginning of training camp, he out performed fellow netminders JF Damphousse, who was considered the favorite, and Frederic Henry to earn the spot. However, don’t rule out a rotation between Damphousse and Clemmensen, because odds are, Brodeur will play 65-70 games, and the rookies will need to get some playing time, be it in New Jersey or down on the farm with the River Rats.
Despite the fact that this group is starting to show it’s age, it remains one of the strongest defence cores in the NHL. Even at the age of 37, team captain Scott Stevens still continues to be one of the games most feared open ice hitters. He may have Read more »
Well now that the final roster has been announced, lets get down to business. Making the Cut for opening night will be Kris Kolanos, Martin Grenier, Tyler Bouck, Daniel Briere, and Jean-Guy Trudel. Not making the cut and being reassigned to Springfield, the Coyotes top minor league affiliate of the AHL, were David Cullen and Goran Bezina. Also Martin Podelsak was reassigned to his junior team, the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL.
Goran Bezina was assigned to Springfield after an amazing camp that opened the eyes of not only Bob Francis, but also the whole front office of the Coyotes. When the Coyotes defensemen did a drill during the preseason they were told to shoot as many pucks from the point as they can. At the end of the drill, he was the only one standing and laughing. We should see either him or Kirill Safronov during the season as one of the call-ups.
Another shine at camp was Martin Grenier who looks he may be filling the role of unrestricted free agent, Louie DeBrusk and become the enforcer on this team. Look for him to be standing up for every one of the defensemen let alone the forwards. He led the NHL alone in PIM for the preseason and I assume he will be more disciplined going into the regular season.
Daniel Briere will finally get his shot in the NHL full-time (hopefully). He finished up the preseason tied for the most points in the league (12). He also led the league in assists and Bob Francis has said he will be one of the top centers come Thursday, the Coyotes first game. The Coyotes will look to him to put out the same effort and enth Read more »
Once the Sabres send their junior prospects back to their respective teams, the club then decides which players need more seasoning in the minor leagues. Some of these demoted players are career minor-leaguers, but there is usually a handful of prospects that possess definite NHL potential.
The first 14 players sent to Rochester’s camp from Buffalo included the following: goaltenders Tom Askey and Reg Bourcier; forwards Milan Bartovic, Alan Fyfe, Ales Kotalik, Jaroslav Kristek, Karel Mosovsky and Andrew Peters; and defensemen Doug Houda, Mike Hurlbut, Doug Janik, Mario Larocque, Luc Theoret and Brad Williamson. The Amerks later cut Fyfe and Williamson.
The players in this initial grouping that garnered the most notice from Buffalo’s coaches were Bourcier, Bartovic and Kristek. Goaltender Reg Bourcier is a free agent who last season played for Mobile of the ECHL (37 GP, 14-9-5, 3.53). Reg is a smaller goaltender who relies on his quickness and good positioning to stop the puck, skills that were in evidence during the camp scrimmages. Given the fact that Mika Noronen and Tom Askey will most likely be the Amerk’s goaltenders, Bourcier will probably provide further depth for the Buffalo organization as a backstop for the South Carolina Stingrays.
Bartovic and Kristek are two right wings that saw their first AHL action last season. Milan didn’t join the Amerks until shortly before the playoffs, but he impressed in his short audition by displaying his great speed and offensive skills. Kristek’s season ended early due to dual shoul Read more »
Patrick Thoresen of Hamar who played a couple seasons for Storhamar of the Norwegian Elite League has been playing for the Wildcats of Moncton in the QMJHL. Thoresen has recorded (8gp 9g 3a 12tp 2+) and is their leading scorer. The 6-0 182lb forward has looked solid in his first full season in the rugged Canadian Junior system.
Meanwhile another Norwegian is playing on the other side of the continent. Peter Lorentzen of the Tri City Americans has appeared in 4 games while recording one goal and one assist and is -1 in those contests. Lorentzen has the protoypical build of a power forward and must learn to use his size and skill in the very rough WHL.
Other Norwegian notes are Espen Knutsen continues to play a solid playmaking game in Columbus with the Blue Jackets. Knutsen has flourished while playing on a line with ex Whaler Geoff Sanderson. Anders Myrvold who turned down offers from the Islanders, St.Louis and Montreal signed with the Rangers and spent 3 days in camp with the Rangers before being re-assigned to Hartford of AHL. Martin Sellgren ex Ferris State (CCHA)the 6-3 220 pounder played a solid d first role in the US and played super in the 2001 World Championships for Norway. He was last listed as looking to keep his American adventure alive. If any updates on him please feel free to contact me.
Until next time… Cheers!
Chynoweth pulls trigger on overage trade
It is an annual occurrence. Not that a team wants to, not that a team needs to, it has to, just to satisfy the league rule of a maximum three twenty-yr-old, overage players on its roster and this year was no exception. Like Scott Roles, Dion Lassu, Brad Tutschek before him, Tyler Beechey had grown up with the Kootenay ICE and last Friday Beechey became part of the club’s most ardent rival, the Calgary Hitmen. The trade, for nineteen-yr-old winger Shaun Norrie as the ICE cut down to the three overage players in Jason Jaffray, Cole Fischer and Craig Weller, happened much earlier than most everyone had anticipated. A full two weeks before the league-mandated deadline of October 12.
Knowing that someone had to go, it still came as a shock to both the organization and the fans alike. For Jeff Chynoweth, his tenor as G.M. only weeks old, it was one of the hardest decisions he’s had to make. “It was very, very tough,” said Chynoweth. “Friday was probably the toughest day I’ve had as G.M. To trade a guy like Tyler Beechey, he’s a quality individual and a quality player and he’s been with us since we started in Edmonton as an original third round draft pick the year we drafted Steve McCarthy.
“But you’re only allowed three and we felt that we wanted to get done sooner rather than later for the player’s sake and for the sake of the dressing room as it gets everyone at ease if we get down the numbers.”
The ICE G.M. also mentioned that it’s not as if Beechey was singled out but rather it came down to what was coming the othe Read more »
Kamloops Blazers Already Getting The Breaks In “Special K” Battle
While most pundits agreed that the Western Hockey League’s B.C. division shaped up as a great battle between the “Special K’s”, Kamloops, Kelowna and Kootenay, nobody would have predicted the early season fortunes of two of these teams, the Kelowna Rockets and Kootenay Ice would be so affected by both bad and good luck on behalf of their prospective players.
First the Kootenay Ice. While most agree that the Ice would have been battling for top spot in the division, this is where the good and bad luck come into play. Dan Blackburn, a standout goalkeeper from day one in the WHL goes to the New York Rangers camp and plays well enough to not only earn a contract, but an opening day roster spot behind incumbent Mike Richter as a nineteen year old. While not really a surprise, the Ice certainly were certainly hoping to have the stalwart back in net. Now the Ice will go with two unproven goaltenders, who though hold promise, aren’t the “sure thing” that Blackburn would have provided.
Then the bad luck strikes as nineteen year old offensive sparkplug Jarett Stoll cuts his hand badly while using a knife to separate frozen steaks. The early prognosis is that Stoll will miss eight weeks and the Ice losing his considerable offensive talents for that time.
With a two win and three loss start, the Ice won’t want to give up too much ground to the other “Special K’s” early or it could be a long road back to secure a home ice date in the first round of the playoffs. This could be crucial with Kootenay, Read more »