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Washington Capitals: The Next Generation

by Jeff Charlesworth
on
Last week we looked at the rookies that might be in Washington this season. This week, I would like to show you all the first-year pros in the Capitals organization, and where they fit in.

Most of these players will be assigned to the Capitals top farm club: the AHL Portland Pirates. All of them have the potential to be NHLers someday, and the Caps will be watching their development very closely.

Matt Pettinger

Pettinger is one of three 2000 draftees that are expected to turn pro immediately for the Caps. The scouting staff thought so highly of him that they traded up to select him. Although he is considered more of a defensive player, he does have some offensive ability. Due to the Capitals lack of depth on the wings at the minor-league level, he should be Portland’s first or second-line left winger. Depending on who he gets paired with, he could put up some decent offensive numbers.

Krys Barch

Barch truly impressed the coaches in his brief tryout at the end of last season. He had not played up to his full potential during his junior career, and was in danger of falling down the depth chart. He will be in tough to earn one of the top line positions, but the opportunity is there. The Capitals have always felt that Krys has enormous potential, and now is his chance to show it. The organization’s weakest position is left wing, and he can rise quickly if he plays well.

Stephen Peat
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Dessner`s WCHA All-Stars Blast Norwegian Elite Teams

by Evan Andriopoulos
on

The WCHA All Stars which included 7 NHL draftees, including New York Rangers University of Wisconsin product Jeff Dessner, toured Greater Oslo and Lillehammer and put a hurting on the Norwegian clubs by a combined score of 22-3.

The first game featured the WCHA team against Elite Series club Lillehammer. If not for the excellent goaltending of Swedish keeper Bengt Høglund, who made 39 Saves, the WCHA players may have scored 15. The US side played physical, upbeat hockey and dominated from the start, and won the game by a score of 5-0.

The second game came against Frisk-Asker, last years no. 3 team. Frisk scored first on a goal by Finn Mika Kannisto. The WCHA rallied with 7 straight.

Game Recap:

Frisk Tigers – WCHA All Stars 1-7 (1-0, 0-1, 0-6)
Friday 18. August 2000
1. period:
1-0 (11.36) Mika Kannisto (Lars Erik Lund, Tor Inge Meltveit).
2. periode:
1-1 (22.11) Mat Snesrud (Derek Derow).
3. periode:
1-2 (41.47) Björn Engström,
1-3 (42.55) Bryan Lundbohm (Jeff Panzer),
1-4 (43.26) Jesse Rooney (Mark Cullen, Jordan Leopold),
1-5 (44.22) Erik Westrum (Kelly Popadynetz),
1-6 (52.34) Paul Cabana (Jeff Panzer),
1-7 (53.06) Derek Derow (Andy Reierson).
Shots: 27-43 (8-15, 8-11, 11-17)
Penalties: Frisk Tigers 4×2 min, WCHA 5×2 min.
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All Quiet on the Rangers Front? Dessner Shines in Norway

by Evan Andriopoulos
on

What is Glen Sather’s next move? With Edmonton`s signing of Todd Marchant, Sather is looking for that card up his sleeve, but does he have it in Stephane Quintal? At the end of the 1999-00 season many thought Quintal would have been gone for good by now, but he is still around. Odds are he may stay, or perhaps that is what Sather wants NHL GM’s to believe to increase his value. All eyes are now on defenseman and Hobey Baker winner Mike Mottau who did not sign a deal presented by Asst. GM Don Maloney last season that would have given him 20 AHL playoff games of experience. Mottau’s agent says that he has not even heard from Sather. All NHL people believe a deal will be done in time for camp, but with Sather being a sly as ever, will he give in Mottau? Or will Mottau give in to Sather?
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State of the QMJHL with Stéphane Leroux

by Nicolas Gaudreau-Dupuis
on

Stéphane Leroux, the QMJHL’s analyst for
Le Réseaux des Sports (RDS) answers Hockey’s Future questions on the state of
the QMJHL.


The Memorial Cup Championship, its impact.

Nicolas Gaudreau-Dupuis : The 1999-2000 season ended perfectly for the QMJHL with the victory of L’Océanic de Rimouski at the Memorial Cup Championship Final. That was the third QMJHL championship in the past five years, after almost twenty years of failure. What can be concluded of the recent success of the QMJHL at the Memorial Cup?

Stéphane Leroux : I believe that the recent success of QMJHL teams at the Memorial Cup (Granby, Hull & Rimouski) have swept away the inferiority complex that our teams were facing in the past years. We hope it’ll continue this year at Regina.

NGD : Does the QMJHL have a different game style than the OHL and the WHL that could explain its recent successes at the Memorial Cup? In the year 2000, how does the QMJHL compare to the two other Canadian leagues?

SL : I believe that the QMJHL is betting on a more open game style than the OHL and WHL. If that has not always paid off in the course of the years, it really did for L’Océanic last June. There’s never been any doubts that the best team won.

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The Weekend Warrior

by Randy Nicholson
on
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.
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Habs’ Prospects Break Camp

by Chris Boucher
on
The Canadiens’ prospects were on the ice for the second time Wednesday morning as André Savard led them through their morning workout. The mood during warm-up was low-key, but that quickly changed as Savard, along with Michel Therrien, Roland Melanson , and Éric Lavigne began the real on-ice workout.
The practice began with a 6-man neutral zone drill. Six players were given pucks and made to skate at medium/high intensity between the two bluelines. The object of the drill was to force the players to handle the puck while keeping their heads up at all times. Marc-André Thinel really excelled during this drill. It allowed him to showcase his speed and puck-handling ability.
Due to the language barrier, Andrei Markov was given some special attention. Markov showed good speed, and a quick first step. His mobility was excellent. He paid especially close attention to the on-ice direction, and seemed to respond well to suggestions.
Mike Ribeiro was definitely the best puck-handler on the ice. He was able to have his way with opposing defensemen during drills. Until they got a hand on him. This tactic would invariably result in Ribeiro being pushed off the puck. The extra 20 pounds of muscle that Ribeiro was reported to have put on during the summer didn’t seem to help in this regard. Read more »

Michigan Star to make the Jump to Junior

by Jeff Bromley
on
When the Kootenay ICE finished their 1999-2000
Memorial Cup finalist season, they lost a good percentage of their offensive output when Captain Mike Green (Florida) and line-mate Jaroslav
Svoboda (Carolina) graduated to the professional ranks. For any club, even as one as deep as the ICE, it is a dent on the stats sheet that would
be a heady task to replace.

Well, if forecasts are accurate, consider it replaced.

The Kootenay ICE announced this past week that Marek Svatos, Kootenay’s 47th overall CHL import draft pick and NCAA Michigan Wolverine
star Mike Comrie, an Edmonton Oiler 1999 NHL Draft pick (91st overall) will both be joining the club for the 2000-01 season. For Svatos, a Kosice,
Slovakia native the move to North America a full two weeks ahead of the beginning of training camp will only benefit him in making the transition
to his new Canadian surroundings. For Comrie however, making the jump to junior from the NCAA is more of a strategic move. The fact that
Comrie will no doubt enhance his professional aspirations by making the transfer if only for the fact that the WHL plays almost double the
amount of regular season games (72 as opposed to 40) and the increased ice time will only be to his benefit in trying to make the jump to the
NHL. Mike Comrie’s arrival to the Kootenays also enhances his contract position with the Edmonton Oilers due to a path carved out by Comrie’s
former Michigan Wolverine teammate Mike Van Ryn.
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Kings Draft Pick goes back to USHL

by Brian Schultz
on
Minnesota Gopher sophomore-to-be Dan Welch, who was just drafted by the LA Kings as the 245th pick, will not return to the school next season. In 36 games last year for the Gophers, Welch scored 6 goals and added 8 assists. Welch has been ruled academically ineligible. Welch will attend a junior college in Omaha, Nebraska and will play for the Omaha Lancers of the USHL this season. Welch was suspended last season by head coach Don Lucia because he missed several classes. Welch was also suspended for two games by the school because he failed to turn in his class schedule at the start of the second semester. Welch most recently played in two out of four games with the USA Hockey Under-20 team in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Lucia said that if Welch gets eligible after this year, the team would welcome him back.

Habs’ Development Camp (Day 3)

by Chris Boucher
on
Day three of the Canadiens’ prospects camp was slightly more intense than the previous two. The drills were a little more complicated, and the players were asked to perform at a noticeably higher tempo. At the same time there were a few more smiles and laughs on the ice, as the players begin to get to know each other.
Defenseman Gennady Razin was the best player on the ice. He not only showed good puck control, he also demonstrated strong skating skills for a player of his size. Razin has a presence on the ice, the other Russian-born players seem to look to him for leadership. Especially Markov, who relies on Razin for translation.
Matt Carkner also showed good skating ability today. He moves well for a big man, and seemed very comfortable on the ice. He especially excels during the 1 on 1 drills, where he shows good lateral movement, and a strong backward to forward cross-over.
Marc-André Thinel continues to show great skills and creativity. As the camp moves along, he seems increasingly comfortable handling the puck. Ben Guité, who was chosen in the 97 Entry Draft out of the University of Maine has shown an excellent work ethic. He never stops fighting for the puck, and even uses the down-time during practice to work on his skating and puck-control. Read more »

Toronto’s Keys to Success – Part 1

by Randy Nicholson
on
This is the first in a two part series providing a detailed look at players who will determine Toronto’s destiny in 2000 / 2001. For the purposes of this discussion, superstars (Sundin, Joseph) and dependable veterans (Thomas, Yushkevich, Domi, Perreault etc.) have been excluded. These articles will focus on players whose contributions have yet to be established over the long term. If a majority of the players listed herein can rise to new levels this season, the Leafs will do battle with perennial powerhouses in Detroit, Dallas, Denver, St. Louis, Philadelphia and New Jersey for league dominance. Conversely, if they fail to step forward sufficiently, the team may once again fall short of its Stanley Cup aspirations.

This week we’ll examine a group of returning players and next week the spotlight will swing over to several key newcomers.
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