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The Philadelphia Flyers’ European Blueprint

by Al Alven
on

Six players.

430 total games of NHL experience.

A world of potential. Literally.

A major part of the Philadelphia Flyers’ blueprint for success this season has been the addition of several high-profile European players. This season, no less than six such players are poised to play a major role with the team. Never before have so many non-North American-born players figured so prominently into the Flyers’ plans.

The list includes two holdovers from last season (Roman Cechmanek and Ruslan Fedotenko) and four
additional players acquired over the summer (Pavel Brendl, Jiri Dopita, Jan Hlavac and Kim Johnsson). Ranging from 20-year-old rookie prospect to 32-year-old NHL newcomer, this list of players is diverse and, in terms of NHL games played, relatively inexperienced.

Still, each of the six brings the potential for immeasurable value to the 2001-02 Flyers roster. This article will briefly profile each of these players and discuss their projected roles with the team.

Pavel Brendl

Originally pegged to start the season with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL, Brendl wasted no
time in proving where he really belongs. The 20-year-old Czech right wing stormed out of the game
in the preseason, scoring two goals his first game and never looking back. Brendl was not only a big surprise for the Flyers in training camp, he was arguably the team’s best player in several games. Playing mainly on a line with Jeremy Roenick and John LeClair in exhibition action, Brendl finished the preseason with nine points (three goals, Read more »

Kings Update

by Michael Harbison
on

The Kings head into the final two pre-season games
against Colorado with 28 players still up and five more to be cut. The most recent cuts claimed veteran minor league defensemen Brett Hauer and Jason Holland, veteran Rob Valicevic, tough guy Ryan Flinn and promising young defenseman Tomas Zizka who had a great pre-season and camp. Expect to see Zizka back up sometime this season, his puck skills were very evident in the pre-season, he has already passed up most of the young defenseman that have been in the system for a few years now, including Richard Seely and Joe Corvo.

Andreas Lilja has continued to be a disappointment,
an overage veteran drafted out of the Swedish Elite league in the 2nd round of the 2000 draft, Lilja has a nice set of wheels and can move the puck, but his head is not in the game enough and he has consistently taken stupid penalties this pre-season. Barring any injuries Lilja will be sent back to Manchester in the final cut.

In better news, winger Adam Mair has been outstanding
so far in the pre-season, displaying the grit and hard work he was known for during his junior days. Mair is in a dog fight with Steve Kelly, Scott Thomas and Randy
Robitaille for those final roster spots. Mair could be a contributor this year for the Kings, and would look great on a line with Ian Laperriere.

Rookie Jaroslav Bednar has recovered from an awful
start to the pre-season by picking up a couple of goals in his last two games, but more importantly than the goals, is the fact that Bednar doesn’t look out of place out there like he did earlier Read more »

Young Players Looking to Impress at NHL Level

by Mike Castor
on

This year’s Philadelphia Flyers Camp was the most competitive camp in the last 15 years. The youth shined in much of camp. The Flyers have a nice mix of toughness and skill in their prospects. Many of the veterans are finding themselves pushed for their jobs by younger players– if not right away, in the very near future.

There are not many open spots on the roster open as we speak, but it seems the young kids want to break into them, and a few have succeeded in doing so. The one thing that all the kids have shown is a willingness to compete and to learn how to play the game at the NHL level.

Even now that the season is about to start, Bill Barber will have many decisions to make. There are several ongoing roster battles. The battle for the 2nd and 3rd line wingers is very heated. The battle for the team’s enforcer is also a raging battle that will go on beyond the start of the season.

There is a great feel of anticipation to start the season. All of the players seem to enjoy working with Bill Barber and his coaching staff (Mike Stothers and E.J. McGuire). The players acquired in the off-season seem to be fitting in well.

A look follows at some of the younger players who have been fighting to make a name for themselves.

Pavel Brendl

Brendl has arguably been the big story at camp. The puck just seems to follow this kid and he has the hands of a surgeon. Even his much-maligned attitude seems vastly improved– at least for now. Brendl stated that he is willing to work on any part of his game that the staff indicates is Read more »

Pittsburgh Penguins Junior Prospect Update

by Erik Johnson
on


Forwards

Colby Armstrong, RW Red Deer (WHL)


Week: 4 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points, 13 PIM
Season: 4 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points, 13 PIM


Shane Endicott, C Seattle (WHL)

Week: DNP – With NHL Penguins
Season: 0 games


Steven Crampton, RW Moose Jaw (WHL)

Week: DNP – Injured
Season: 0 games


Michel Ouellet, RW Rimouski (QMJHL)

Week: 4 games, 6 goals, 4 assists, 10 points, 4 PIM
Season: 4 games, 6 goals, 4 assists, 10 points, 4 PIM


Defensemen

Drew Fata, D Toronto St Mike’s (OHL)


Week: 4 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points, 9 PIM
Season: 4 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points, 9 PIM


Alexandre Rouleau, D Val d’Or (QMJHL)

Week: 6 games, 0 goals, 3 assists, 3 points, 10 PIM
Season: 6 games, 0 goals, 3 assists, 3 points, 10 PIM


Goalies

Peter Hamerlik, G Kingston (OHL)


Week: 3 games, 119 min, 10 GA, 5.04 GAA, .867 SvPct
Season: 3 games, 119 min, 10 GA, 5.04 GAA, .867 SvPct


Brandon Crawford-West, G Texas (NAHL)

Week: 5 games, 262:36 min, 17 GA, 3.88 GAA, .864 SvPct Read more »

Norfolk Admirals Report

by Brad Johnson
on

Admirals Slim Roster down to 29 skaters

The Admirals have announced that defenseman Chris Bogas has been assigned to Jackson (ECHL) while forwards Olivier Morin and David Thibeault have been assigned to Columbus (ECHL). Norfolk released several players as well, including forwards Ryan Dolder, Chris Pittman, Troy Lake, Jason Stewart, Brad Both, Bret DeCecco, Nick Lent, Kelly Smart and Mark Scott. Also released by the club were defensemen Arved Rekis, Dion Lassu, Mike Josefowicz and Jaroslav Kerestes. Troy Lake and Bret DeCecco are headed back to Roanoke (ECHL) as for the others released only time will tell where they find themselves. One would assume that roster moves lock in a roster spot for former ECHL Admirals Rick Kowalsky and Bobby Russell but no assumptions will be made because afterall hockey can still be a brutal business.

Chicago Blackhawks Aquire Shawn Thornton’s NHL Rights Read more »

Islanders trim to 24

by Bill Bennett
on

Here is a list from the teams website of players cut today:

Goaltenders (4): Rick DiPietro, Dusan Salficky, David St. Germain, Stephen Valiquette

Defensemen (6): Chris Armstrong, Ray Giroux, Marko Kiprusoff, Evgeny Korolev, Branislav Mezei, Ray Schultz

Forwards (10): Marco Charpentier, Ben Guite, Trent Hunter, Juraj Kolnik, Petr Mika, Justin Mapletoft, Dave Roche, Jason Podollan, Marko Tuomainen, Raffi Torres

Forward David Nemirovsky was released. Bridgeport signees Graham Belak and Bob Lachance remain Sound Tigers property.

What’s next ?

Today moves leave the Islanders with a few decisions to make, and some of them could be the end of the line for a few players. Alan Hahn in Newsday, says the teams payroll is over budget so some players could be bought out of contracts if they are not traded with the Isles taking on part of the salaries.Â

Jason Krog-The former Hobey Baker Winner was on the teams waiver list Friday and went unclaimed. Krog has not been in the teams final exhibition games and was not among the cuts today. If he were in the Isles plans he would have been in the lineup, but with several smaller players on the Isles he seems to be the odd-man out of the organization.

 His new two-year contract may be what kept him from being claimed Friday. Going by the last two years the numbers are there for Krog, despite the Isles affiliate problems. His scoring background in College should make him someone the Isles wanted to protect because he has never really gotten a real look on Read more »

Philadelphia Flyers Pre-season Wrapup

by Bill Meltzer
on

With the preseason now complete, Philadelphia Flyers coach Bill Barber is at the helm of what on paper figures to be a serious Cup threat. Even so, the team still has some question marks. Here’s a look at some of the major issues the team faces as opening day approaches and some notes on every player who dressed for the Flyers during the 2001-02 preseason.

New Faces Everywhere

The Flyers had a 100 point regular season last year before losing the Buffalo Sabres in the first round of the playoffs. However, few, (either among outside observers or within the Flyers organization itself) believed that the team, as constituted this past spring, was a serious contender for the Stanley Cup.

In the offseason, Flyers general manager Bob Clarke solidified the team in its area of greatest positional weakness– center. With the additions of Jeremy Roenick and veteran Czech Extraleague stalwart Jiri Dopita to add to Keith Primeau, the team now boasts a very formidable trio of centermen. If they can all remain healthy, the Flyers have the makings of three productive offensive lines.

Clarke also added depth on the wings. Arguably, his biggest move was re-signing perennial all-star left winger John LeClair to a hefty long-term contract. The move was not without risk, as LeClair missed most of last season with a serious back injury and, at 32, is at the age where players who play his style (camping out down low in the offensive zone) produce annually diminishing returns. While LeClair will still play a vital role on the powerplay, however, the overall bur Read more »

AHL’s Southern Division Report

by Al Alven
on

AHL Southern Division Report

This week’s version of the AHL South Report will be
slightly condensed, as we are currently working on
next week’s season preview specials. The scheulde will
go like this:

Monday (Oct. 1): Hershey Bears Preview

Tuesday (Oct. 2): Norfolk Admirals Preview

Wednesday (Oct. 3): Philadelphia Phantoms Preview

Thursday (Oct. 4): WBS Penguins Preview

In this article, we’ll briefly cover the major
happenings in the week that was for the Bears,
Admirals, Phantoms and Penguins…

Hershey Bears Update

Earlier in the week, the parent Colorado Avalanche
sent six players back to Hershey. Forwards Kelly
Fairchild, Jordan Krestanovich, Steve Moore and
Yevgeny Lazarev, defenseman Jeff Paul and goaltender
Phil Sauve all rejoined the Bears’ training camp. On
Wednesday (Sept. 26) forward Matt Herr arrived in camp
as well, on loan from the Florida Panthers. Herr spent
time last season with the Washington Capitals,
Portland Pirates and Philadelphia Phantoms.

Potential Bears still competing for roster spots with
the Avs include: forwards Mikhail Kuleshov, Vaclav
Nedorost, Radim Vrbata, Brian Willsie and (Hershey
captain) Brad Larsen, and defensemen Rick Berry, Bryan
Muir, Jaroslav Obsut, Alex Riazantsev and Pascal
Trepanier.

Center Yuri Babenko skated for the first time this
week since suffering a groin pull on the first day of
scrimmage play at Colorado’s secondary camp in
Hershey.

Hershey finally plays its first preseason game of the
season tonight. The Bears will f Read more »

Rangers Move to Meet Roster Limit

by Evan Andriopoulos
on

Thursday was a day that highly touted prospect Jamie Lundmark did not want to come about as he knew the results of the day. The result of the day was a ticket to the insurance capital of the world, Hartford, Connecticut along with goaltender Johan Holmqvist, Ed Ward (on tryout), Mike Mottau, Martin Richter, Mikael Samuelsson, Jeff Toms, and PJ Stock while Bryce Wandler, Scott Meyer, Dean Arsene, Dean Serdachny were assigned to Charlotte of the ECHL.

While Lundmark shined at times in this camp he also seemingly had “stone hands” as his puck control skills appear to have disappeared at an alarming rate that hopefully some time in Hartford would cure. Another reason and perhaps a more “rock hard” reason is that the roster is loaded with centers including Mark Messier, Eric Lindros, Mike York, Peter Nedved and Manny Malhotra oh which atleast 2 will see time at wing and one relegated to another club (via trade) or become comfortable at the no.4 spot with limited ice time. In short.. no room at the inn for Lundmark.

Read more »

2002 Islanders Prospect Wrap-up and Primer

by Joe Muccia
on
Well the pre-season is steam-rolling right along into the last two games for Islanders prospects and training camp hopefuls. For Islander fans it’s beginning to get a little tense. Coach Peter Laviolette has not made many cuts yet and the waiver draft will be occurring on Friday Sept. 28th. Islander faithful are waiting to hear if Mike Milbury will use the first pick to choose Chris Osgood, who was left unprotected by the Red Wings, or if he tries to fill the enforcer position that seems to be open. Suffice it to say Isles fans have a couple of interesting days ahead.

Defense Read more »

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