When Toronto used the last selection they had in the 2001 Entry Draft to select Mike Knoepfli from the OPJHL’s Georgetown Raiders most observers were divided equally into three groups: The ‘how do you spell it’s?’, the ‘how do you say it’s?’, and ‘the who the heck is he’s?’ (For the record it’s pronounced kuh-naw-flee). Granted the league in which the portsider played is not as visible and many will maintain not as competitive as the CHL, but there are many reasons to think the Leafs may have pulled a fast one on the rest of the league here.
Talking to Georgetown GM John (Jack) Moon, the one thing that comes through time and again is the fact that “Mike is an incredibly smart player”. While he has an array of tools at his disposal, it is the way he chooses to use them that is most impressive. In the passing game “he makes the smart, safe pass, but can also thread the needle when it’s there. His passes are very accurate, hard, and clean”. When in the corners “Mike possesses a variety of methods for winning battles and shifts easily from one to another. He can power over a player one time and finesse him the next. He has excellent footwork and 90% of the time will come away with the puck.”
However, as unselfish a player as Knoepfli might sound, his 45 goals in 47 games will attest that he is an established finisher both in close where he can use his 6’2″ 205 lb frame to his advantage or coming in from the wing. Moon points out that his charge “has an outstanding slapshot as well as a quick snapshot (and) will always go to the net on the rush.” Once there Read more »
A growing number of Tampa Bay Lightning players, past and
present, have been accumulating in Brandon at the Ice Sports Forum, preparing
for training camp. These morning scrimmages saw ex-bolt Rob Zamuner
paired with Free Agent signee, Dave Andreychuk, taking on prospect,
Evgeny Konstantinov and Ryan Johnson, who was traded to Florida
during the off-season, skating one final time with his former teammates.
As entertaining as these practices were for those fortunate
enough to sneak out of the office for an early lunch…nothing compares to the
real thing. The Tampa Bay Lightning will officially kick off the 2001-02
Pre-Season September 11, 2001, when players and invitees report to Brandon.
The first two days of camp will consist of physicals and
fitness tests. The guys will hit the ice Thursday morning for the first
scrimmage game. This year’s camp will be divided into two sections with the
NHLers in the mornings and the prospects in the afternoons. This is a welcomed
change from last year’s format, which forced fans to run from rink to rink
during the simultaneous games in order to catch all the action.
Team 1 – Black Team
Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, Juha Ylonen, Tim Taylor, Jimmie Olvestad,
Jassen Cullimore, Pavel Kubina, Nolan Pratt, Andrei Zyuzin, Mike Jones, Kevin
Noticeably a Read more »
PANTHERS PROSPECTS BEAT PHOENIX 3-2
HULL, Quebec – The four-team 2001 NHL prospects tournament concluded on Saturday at the Robert-Guertin Arena just outside of Ottawa. The Florida Panthers captured third place by defeating the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2. The Panthers netted the game’s first three goals. D Paul Elliott opened the scoring in the first period and assisted on LW Niklas Hagman’s second period tally. Hagman, the Panthers’ third choice (70th overall) in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, swept in the rebound of an Elliott shot for a 2-0 lead. RW Kyle Bruce, an eighth round pick in this year’s draft, gave the Panthers a 3-0 lead midway through the second period. C Janis Sprukts earned his second assist of the game on the play. 18-year-old G Billy Thompson, a fifth round pick this year, made 26 stops for the win. He posted a 1-1-0 record and allowed just four goals in two games. Florida finished the tournament with a 1-3-0 record. The Panthers will begin their main training camp in Florida next week with on-ice sessions beginning on Wednesday at Incredible Ice in Coral Springs.
FIRST PERIOD: Elliott blasted the Panthers’ first shot of the game by the Coyotes netminder on a slap shot from the top of the left circle. Sprukts and McCormick earned assists on the play. The Panthers held an 8-6 advantage in shots.
SECOND PERIOD: Hagman and Bruce notched back-to-back goals to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead. Elliott earned his second point of the night with an assist on Hagman’s goal, and Spruk Read more »
Atlanta Thrashes the Wild
The Atlanta Thrashers soundly beat the Minnesota Wild six to three.
Minnesota’s Derek Boogaard went to the penalty box for roughing two
minutes and eighteen seconds into the game.
Forty-five seconds later Atlanta’s Carl Mallette took a slashing penalty
just as his teammate Chad Wolkowski put the puck in the net past Brady
Block. The goal and power play were nullified by Mallette’s penalty.
It only took Atlanta six more seconds to get on the board though after
Mallette went to the penalty box when Dany Heatly scored.
Back at even strength four and a half minutes into the game Atlanta
scored again from Karl Stewart, assisted by Heatly.
Stewart was then caught holding with Luke Sellars already in the penalty
box for slashing. Block went to the bench on the delayed penalty, giving
the Wild a six-on-four advantage. Stephan Veilleux scored at five
forty-nine with assists from Eric Johansson and Travis Roche.
Minnesota opened the second period with two goals in the first five
minutes of play. The first goal was scored a minute and sixteen seconds
into the period from Chris Heid with assists from Veilleux and Nick
Schultz. The second goal was put in the net five minutes into the
second from Matt Dzieduszycki with assists coming from Lyle Rolling and
Atlanta scored three goals before the period ended taking away
Minnesota’s lead. Jeff Dessner scored the first of three with a helper
from Zdenek Blatny. Then Ilja Kolvachuck skated down to the Wild’s net
and just slipped the puck be Read more »
Florida Panthers Training Camp Preview
For the first time in several years, the Florida Panthers are holding their training camp in their own home town. Looking to put last season’s miserable campaign behind them, a campaign that saw the departures of veterans Scott Mellanby, Ray Whitney, Todd Simpson, Rob Neidermayer, Mike Sillinger and Igor Larionov. With a turnover of nearly a quarter of their roster, the Panthers are giving new and hungry players a chance to turn the Panthers around. Coming to South Florida this year are Jason Weimer, Valeri Bure, Jeff Norton, Bernie Kosar, and the promise of several rookies who are anticipated to make the team. As Tool’s Maynard Keenan sings in the line “I know the pieces fit”, it will be up to the Panther coaching staff to make sure all the pieces fit.
Each position will be analyzed for the current mix of veterans and rookies that will be competing for the spots. Some positions will not have an opening available for some rookie to make the team and will rely on whatever veterans are available to fill in the roster. After each position is analyzed, I will make my “fearless prediction” on what rookies will make the team. My only disclaimer is that I reserve the right to be very wrong in these predictions and will ignore all mocking derisive comments that I probably will earn and deserve. So with that being said, onto the rosters!
Training Camp Rosters
Center: Olli Jokinen, Kevyn Adams, Ryan Johnson, Viktor Kozlov, Serge Payer, Nick S Read more »
The traveling road show otherwise known as the 2001 Buffalo Sabres’ training camp will kick off in St. Catherines, ON on September 12th at the Jack Gatecliff Arena. This will begin a preseason odyssey for the team that will see them travel several hundred miles to points North, South and Midwest, all for the purpose of preparing the Sabres for the coming 2001-02 season.
Following the completion of the Canadian phase of camp on September 15th, the Sabres, in a move that is sure to pad their frequent flyer miles, will depart for that Southern hockey hotbed of Charleston, SC. Charleston, of course, is the home of Buffalo affiliate, and reigning ECHL champ, the South Carolina Stingrays. This portion of camp will run from September 17th-20th, with the team then returning to Buffalo to finish off their camp at both the HSBC Arena and the Pepsi Center in Amherst, NY.
The fun truly begins on September 21st, when Buffalo opens their slate of 6 preseason games with a contest at HSBC Arena vs. the Ottawa Senators. The 2001 preseason schedule looks like this:
Read more »
Second Game, Second Loss
The Detroit Red Wings haven’t had great success at this year’s prospect
tournament in Traverse City, Michigan. Playing two games and losing
each by one point.
The Minnesota Wild’s beat Detroit five to four after Detroit had a lead
of three to nothing in the first period. In the second game, the
Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Red Wings two to one.
Joey MacDonald defended the net for Detroit with Pascal Leclaire
starting in goal for Columbus.
Columbus’ Trevor Ettinger and Detroit’s Jeff Feniak did a little dance
for the fans when they dropped the gloves twelve minutes into the game.
Both received 5 minute majors for fighting.
Columbus scored first with six minutes and nineteen seconds to go in the
first period. Brian Cummings getting a pass from Scott Heffeman sent the
puck through MacDonald’s five-hole.
Ettinger was still itching for a good fight and went with Brian
McGrattan three minutes into the second period. Ettinger pulled
McGrattan’s jersey over his head after they’d both gotten a few shots in
on each other. Ettinger then gave McGrattan a few more shots to the face
and pulled him down to the ice when they officials broke it up. Both
were given five minute fighting majors and a game misconduct.
Columbus’ Duvie Westcott went to the penalty box for slashing seven
minutes and twelve seconds into the second period. Thirty-five seconds
into the power play Chad LaRose put Detroit on the score board. Greg
Jacina passed across the front of the net to LaRose who put it in the
net, low on the Read more »
LaRose lifts Wings over Blues, 4-1 Read more »
Bob Crawford Wins Ellery Award
Hartford Wolf Pack Radio Broadcaster Bob Crawford is named winner of the 2001 James H. Ellery Award for outstanding media contributions in the radio category.
Bob has spent 13 seasons doing radio broadcasts in the AHL for Adirondack, Providence, Binghamton, and Hartford. Bob was also an on ice reporter during the 2001 AHL All Star Game.
Hartford Wolf Pack Raise Ticket Prices and Charge More On Game Day
The Hartford Wolf Pack raised ticket prices for the fourth time since 1997-98. Ticket Prices went up $1.50 on both the upper and lower level. Ticket prices are now $20.00 for the lower level and $17.50 for the upper level.
In addition to the increase from last seasons ticket prices, the Wolf Pack also charges another dollar on game day. Raising the increase $2.50 from last season. The lower level will now be $21.00 and the upper level will be $18.50 at the box office on game day. This is the first time that the Hartford Wolf Pack are charging more money on game day, and are one of two teams that charge more money on game day.
Emile Francis and Norman Poile Honored with New AHL Trophies Read more »
Vadim Tarasov and Ray Emery were the starting goalies for the Canadiens and Senators, respectively, as Montreal and Ottawa faced off for the honour as the top Hull tournament squad.
The game started off with plenty of physical action, as teams matched each other hit for hit. Jérôme Marois showed his awesome slap shot early as he unleashed one just high and wide of the net. Andrew Archer, the 6’4 defenseman for Montreal set the tone early with a bone-shattering open-ice hit. Till the very end, the game remained a tough, vigorous match.
Ron Hainsey, Montreal’s quarterback looked good early, delivering crisp, accurate passes. The Senators, on the other hand, had trouble staying consistent and made many mental mistakes.
The Canadiens struck first as the speedy Michael Ryder put Montreal up 1-0, with the assists from Hamelfarb and Thinel. Soon after, on the powerplay, the Canadiens equaled the previous accomplishment, as Ryder unloaded one by hapless Emery, to make it 2-0. Emery had allowed 2 goals on the first 4 shots of the game, but had deserved a better fate. To his credit, he settled down and played admirably.
Alexandre Tremblay, a 5’11 winger showed his speed early, with a partial breakaway, but was stopped in part to Emery’s quick reflexes. Marcel Hossa showed some great on-ice smarts with tape-to-tape passes, and good work along the boards.
Ottawa seemed to run out of steam late in the period, as the Canadiens managed to get the final 5 shots of the period. Ray Emery kept his team in it. All in all, Read more »