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A Major Year for the Minors?

by HF Staff
on

A major year for the minors. That should be the new marketing slogan for the American Hockey League. The elaborate list of alterations both big and small, is a lengthy one for the League as it embarks on 2001/2002.

‘The’ League has absorbed 7 surviving franchises from the defunct International Hockey League. The AHL stands with somewhat open arms as Chicago, Utah, Cleveland, Houston, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, Manitoba are welcomed. How long before someone says “That’s not how it’s done in the ‘A’.”? It’s probably already happened. And the AHL had its own problems this past season losing two franchises in one state. The Louisville Panthers with parent Florida have sprinkled their prospects throughout the league. The other – the Kentucky Thoroughblades have relocated and reaffiliated in Cleveland. As always new additions via expansion, the Manchester and Bridgeport franchises. Last count 27 teams with designs on a total of 30 by the end of 2002/2003.

30 traditional “farm” teams will finally compete in one developmental league and ultimately, supply the 30 parent teams with the core of their teams over the next 5 to 10 years.

The Eastern Conference will now consist of three divisions (Canadian, East and the North). The Canadian and East divisions will house 5 teams with the North having 4 teams.

The Canadian Division contains the Hamilton Bulldogs, Manitoba Moose, Quebec Citadelles, Saint John Flames and the St.John’s Maple Leafs. All affiliations in this division remain all but the same as last season with the obvious i Read more »

Expanded Coverage Coming Soon to HF with the AHL REPORT!

by Mark Fischel
on

Hockey’s Future is pleased to announce that coming soon will be expanded coverage of the AHL. In a recent agreement with one of our affiliate sites, the AHL Report, they will be officially be joining Hockey’s Future in delivering news and analysis of the AHL.

You might have already seen some of the articles appearing on the main page of HF, and that will continue as well as the launching of the “AHL Report at Hockey’s Future”. The AHL Report will soon replace the AHL League page and will be similiar in appearance to the HF front page.

All AHL Teams will get their own team page, team editors and writers, depth charts, player profiles, and more! In conjunction with the NHL Editors and Writers, this agreement will only mean better analysis and news of all of your favorite teams prospects and AHL veterans.

To be added as well, will be featured columnists, AHL Power Polls, and more. If you have any ideas of what you would to see as well, drop me a line and let me know. All ideas will be considered.

With the AHL Report joining us, it gets us one step closer to giving the CHL teams the same treatment with individual team and league pages. Look for that to be HF’s goal for next year, along with increased draft coverage.

Thanks for reading and all comments are appreciated!

Mark Fischel
Managing Editor
Hockey’s Future
MFischel@hockeysfuture.com

Young Ducks impressive in preseason

by Jamie Randolph
on

A look at some Anaheim Mighty Duck prospects that look poised to breakout in 2001-02.

Samuel Pahlsson: He has played well this preseason, so well, he was rewarded top line play, and he didn’t disapoint scoring 2 goals and 1 assist against the Sharks on Sunday. Pahlsson will challenge Matt Cullen for the 2nd line center spot and by the end of the season look for him to have it.

GP G A PTS
Fearless Forecast: 77 14 31 45

Petr Tenkrat: He has been the Ducks most consistant scorer this season, earning praises from head coach Bryan Murray. He has soft hands and is especially deadly on the power play. Look for Petr to bust out big this season and give the Ducks another weapon.

Fearless Forecast: 71 26 29 55

Antti-Jussi-Niemi: Niemi is a thunderous body checker who is sound defensively and has offensive potential. There’s no reason for Niemi not to become an everyday player in the NHL whether it be this season or next.

Fearless Forcast: 63 3 12 15

Timo Parsinnen: He is a very skilled and determined player which is a perfect recipe for success in the NHL. So far this season Parsinnen has shown terrific skill and chemistry playing with Paul Kariya on Anaheim’s top line. He might play on one of the top two lines this season.

Fearless Forecast: 66 12 26 38

Some other Fearless Forecasts:

GP G A PTS
Andy McDonald 21 3 4 7 Read more »

Norfolk Admirals Off-Season Report

by pbadmin
on


Norfolk Admirals Off-Season Report

Norfolk Admirals Training Camp Increases to 30
9/21/01
The Norfolk Admirals announce that Syl Apps (Center) has accepted an invitation to attend Admirals Training Camp.

Apps, 25, spent the last two seasons skating for the St. John’s Maple Leafs
(AHL). In 2000-01, the six-foot, 195 pound Pittsburgh, Pa. native
registered 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 69 regular season games
with the Leafs. In four post-season appearances, he remained scoreless.

Norfolk Donating Proceeds From Blue/White Exhibition to United Way
9/20/01 Read more »

Giants Jump-Start With Team Chemistry

by Dave Donnelly
on


Giants Jump-Start With Team Chemistry

The Vancouver Giants played their inaugural games this past Friday and Saturday night at the Pacific Coliseum. As the WHL’s newest franchise, the Giants certainly left us all recognizing the need for some improvement. That said, the way the Giants rallied together, played as a team and came immediately to the defence of one other was nothing short of inspirational.

In their first match against the Kamloops Blazers on Friday, a game they resoundingly lost 5-2, the third period fell into the age-old category of “I went to the fights and a hockey game broke out”. From the get-go, the Giants appeared tentative. They were slow to move the puck up-ice through the neutral zone, reluctant to play the man and generally looked more like a team that was spent than one making its WHL debut. Remember, they played before a sold-out, standing-room only crowd of 7740 hometown fans.

These things happen. That’s OK. The emotions had been running high with anticipation for weeks, and all the hoop-la before the game clearly took its toll. The players all emotionally jacked were at the rink at 3:00 p.m. game-day. Come the 7:30 p.m. opening face-off, they simply came out flat. But to most everyone’s delight, the Giants did not leave quietly.

Time and time again, scraps broke out between unlikely combatants with the Giants routinely on the ‘short’ end of things. All things except a suprising team commitment to one another. A commitment one would not expect to see from a bunch Read more »

Flyers Czech Prospect Report

by Al Alven
on

By Al Alven

There was a time not too long ago when even the thought of the Philadelphia Flyers owning the rights to several promising European prospects seemed unrealistic. Times and the NHL have changed, however, and the team now boasts a number of non-North American-born hopefuls on its depth chart.

Without question, Pavel Brendl heads the list. The 20-year-old right winger from the Czech Republic has been the Flyers’ most pleasant preseason surprise to this point. In fact, he currently leads the team with six points (three goals, three assists) in just three exhibition games. The wildcard in the big Eric Lindros deal with the Rangers, Brendl has grabbed the majority of the headlines from other Flyers prospects and rightfully so. He’s been that good so far.

For three of his fellow countrymen, however, the accolades have been more difficult to come by. In this report, we’ll examine the progress of 21-year-old forwards Tomas Divisek, Petr Hubacek and Vaclav Pletka. All three spent all or most of last season with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL. Barring something extraordinary, that’s where they’ll start the 2001-02 season as well.

Tomas Divisek

The furthest developed of the Flyers’ three Czech prospects playing with the Phantoms, Divisek could see some time with the big club this season. Like any Flyers prospect, Divisek faces the unenviable task of attempting to crack a lineup that is literally stacked with quality forwards. Should the Flyers run into injury problems, Divisek could be a call-up candidate be Read more »

Flyers Prospects in Europe (through 9/22/01)

by Bill Meltzer
on

The regular season is underway in Europe. Here is how some of the Flyers prospects playing in Europe have done so far (note: no reports available yet on players from the RSL– Alexander Drozdetsky (CSKA), Konstantin Rudenko (Yaroslavl), and 2001 overage draftee Andrei Razin (Dynamo)).

Czech Republic

Roman Malek: Malek, the starting goaltender for Slavia Prague, suffered a frightening injury this weekend. Losing his mask in a scramble around the crease, he was struck flush in the face moments later by a slapshot. The initial report I have heard is that his cheekbone was shattered and he suffered a concussion from his head hitting the ice.

Milan Kopecky: Kopecky is on loan from Extraliga’s Slavia Prague to talent-starved Division One Beroun.

Pavel Kasparik : Kasparik, who struggled almost all of last season, is off to a much better start in the early going of the 2001-02 Extraliga campaign. In 5 games played for Sparta Prague, he has 3 goals.

Radovan Somik : The Slovakian winger, who would have been with the Phantoms this season had he been able to come to contract terms with the Flyers, is still playing for Zlin. He missed the start of the season with a minor injury, but has played in the last two games. He has a goal and an assist.

Finland

Antero Niittymäki: Defending champion TPS Turku has stumbled out of the gates, winning just one of their first five games. Fredrik Norrena started in goal the first several games. Niittymäki has started the last two. Both have Read more »

Fantasy Hockey 2001 Goalies Report

by Drew Bennett
on


Fantasy Hockey Goalies 2001-2002

1. Martin Brodeur- (Devils) Brodeur is arguably the best goalie in the league, and playing behind one of the NHL’s top defenses make’s him a top fantasy value. Brodeur has some of the best reflexes in the league and uses the butterfly style. Brodeur, who is now in the prime of his career, should have a 40-win season.

2. Roman Chechmanek- (Flyers) Chechmanek accomplished many things this past season. He took Brian Boucher’s spot as the Flyers top goalie and made the All-Star Team. Not only did he win 35 of the 57 games he started, but he also had a .921 Save Percentage and 10 Shutouts. The only question to be answered is if he can do it again.

3. Dominik Hasek- (Red Wings) Scotty Bowman was recently quoted comparing Dominik Hasek’s determination to win the cup, to that of Ray Bourque’s last year with the Colorado Avalanche. If Hasek can stay healthy, there is a reason to believe that Hasek could lead Detroit back to the Stanley Cup.

4. Olaf Kolzig- (Capitals) With the Capitals acquisition of Jarmior Jagr the Caps are expected to win more games this year. Also, Kolzig signed a contract extension this summer and with a better team around him, there is no reason “Olie the goalie” won’t be a top tier net minder this season.

5. Patrick Roy- (Avalanche) At age 35, one would have to expect Roy to show some signs of slowing down. But the superhuman Roy, who won his third Conn Smyth trophy last year, continues to get better, as he had Read more »

NYR Camp Notes – Blackburn Turning Heads

by Brandon LeBourveau
on
After sparkling in his first ever NHL action against the Detroit Red Wings last Monday, stopping 25 of 27 shots in about 30 minutes of action to earn a 3-2 win, Dan Blackburn followed that up with another excellent performance, this time against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.

The game was a significant one to begin with, considering that it was the first major sporting event played in New York since the terrorists attacks took place a week before. With all the pre-game ceremonies finished, it was time to drop the puck. Eric Lindros was making his first appearance as a New York Ranger, and Brian Leetch also saw action for the first time this pre-season. For New Jersey, their lineup consisted of a lot of rookies and hopefuls, as Patrik Elias, Petr Sykora, Jason Arnott, Martin Brodeur and Scott Stevens were some of the players who did not suit up for the contest.

Blackburn had a solid game, stopping 15 of 16 shots before being relieved in the middle of the second period by Johan Holmqvist. Blackburn played a poised, focused game and showed flashes of what to expect in the future. He robbed one of the Devils on a point blank shot with his glove, flashing it in the air kinda like Patrick Roy. He did a good keeping the Rangers in the game early, as the Devils put on a lot of pressure in the offensive zone and were awarded for their efforts as the Rangers took two penalties, leading to a 5 on 3 advantage for New Jersey. Blackburn turned away everything that was thrown at him, and wasn’t beaten until the 2nd period when Read more »

Nicolas Corbeil works on his game

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on


Another Brother-In-Law for Tucker?

Ask Sherbrooke Castors Coach Jos Canale about Nicolas Corbeil and the one thing that becomes readily apparent is that despite his 5’11” 172 pound size he is not in the mold of what many believe to be the ‘typical’ Q forward: All speed and finesse, little gumption when it comes to the rough stuff. His coach readily admits that his pivot “likes taking runs at guys (and) will take the odd slashing or charging call.” A belligerent player who “can let (his) emotions detract from his play”, this very quality serves him well along the boards. Canale points out that Corbeil is “very good at (this aspect of the game). (He is) persistent, tough, and quick.” In front of the net the Leaf pick, is more of a “darter who slides into empty spots well and who has to keep his feet moving” which serves him well. While his shot from the top of the circle could improve he is “very handy close in.”

That being said his coach observes that “the things that got Nicolas drafted were his skating and passing ability. Skating is definitely a strength in his game. He has a good burst to the outside which he likes to use and also has a crossover move to the inside which he uses as well.” He ability with the puck similarly draws rave reviews from Canale. “Nicolas sees the ice well and puts the puck in good places where a teammate can use it immediately.” And while his charge can go after the home run occasionally the coach states unequivocally “I feel safe that if something bad happens with one of Nick’s passes it’s not going to be a scoring c Read more »

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