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2001-02 Canucks Preview of Ranked Prospects

by Kirk Pedersen

Well, my friends, I’m back, with the Canucks new and revised ‘Top 16′ List! Okay, I know that sounds silly, but I only have sixteen ranked prospects, so bear with me. This season is a very important one for the Canucks, and many of their prospects this season will either make big moves, or flounder, like many young players before them. We face many challenges this upcoming season, the largest fish we have to fry is our goaltending situation, we have a fine prospect in Alexander Auld, but he is out for a month, as he is in a walking cast. This leaves the Canucks with three options, option A is the Waiver Draft, which takes place tomorrow. There are three ‘tenders that would help the Canucks remedy their back-up situation. Jamie McLennan, Chris Osgood, and Stephane Fiset. It has become more than likely that the Canucks will end up with McLennan, as Osgood and Fiset are expected to go rather high in the waiver draft. (What an accomplishment!) Although I’m a big critic of getting someone like McLennan, the price (free, for all intents and purposes) is right. Either way, I’m going to be interested in the events that will transpire during tomorrow’s Draft.

We knew it was going to happen sooner or later, but Josh Holden was left unprotected. In five years since being drafted, Holden has been nothing but a disappointment, with a major injury mixed in here or there. He could never catch a break, but he should have been up here by now if he’s all that he was billed as coming out of the Regina Pats program. I hope he is able to latch on with another NHL team, and get a second c Read more »

Centers of Attention

by Chad Schnarr

Last year at this time, center was a big question mark for
the Bolts.  Only two centers, Vincent
and Brian Holzinger, had achieved even moderate success
at the NHL level.  Wayne Primeau,
Ryan Johnson and Steve Martins were being counted on to shoulder
a good part of the load, but had limited experience.  By the 2001 entry draft, only Lecavalier and Holzinger
remained in the organization.  Nobody
knew how much to expect from Brad Richards last year at this time.

How things have changed.

This season, Lecavalier (pending a contract) and Holzinger
return from last year’s Tier One group to join 2000-01 rookie-star Brad
and a handful of others capable of playing both the pivot and

The organizational depth chart at center can be broken down
into four tiers of impact talent:


Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards, Brian Holzinger, Vaclav Prospal,  Juha Ylonen, Tim Taylor.

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Leading the gro Read more »

AHL Truly No.1 Developmental League

by Andrew Bourgeois


An expanded American Hockey League has entered a new era. There now are 27 teams, up from 20 following absorption of six clubs from the dissolved International Hockey League and addition of a new franchise, and the AHL’s status as the No. 1 developmental league for NHL-bound players has been accentuated by the demise of the IHL.

League president David Andrews is beaming as he awaits the opening Oct. 4 of the AHL’s 66th season. The AHL will have a Canadian Division comprised of the returning St. John’s Maple Leafs, Saint John Flames and Hamilton Bulldogs, as well as two clubs adopted from the IHL – the Manitoba Moose and the Quebec Citadelles.

The change in leagues will be a financial boon to the Moose, who now will travel in Canada instead of making extended trips into the United States as they did in their IHL days. Projected savings for the Moose are at least $250,000.

“It’s great for us,” says public relations director Matt Frost. “Before, we only had one direct flight, into Chicago. Now we can pretty much fly directly to most of our cities, plus we’ll be paying Canadian dollars now on many of our road trips. It will make a huge difference on our bottom line.”

Things are looking up on the ice as well. General manager Randy Carlyle used to piece together a lineup with free-agent signings and players assigned by a grab bag of NHL teams. He was an independent operator. Now he’s getting 15 of Vancouver’s top prospects in an arrangement to be the main Canucks farm club.

“We’re excited about it,” Carlyle says of the partne Read more »

Flyers prospects in Europe (9/26/01 update)

by Bill Meltzer


Alexander Drozdetsky : Drozdetsky, who dazzled onlookers at the Flyers rookie camp in August, has been playing regularly for his club, CSKA Moscow (the former Red Army club). In the early going, CSKA is in 10th place in the 17 team Super League. Drozdetsky scored his first goal of the season on Monday; the game winner. On the young season, Drozdetsky has 2 points (1G, 1 A) and 2 PIM in 5 games.

Andrei Razin : Razin, who will turn 28 next month, was the RSL scoring champion last season. Like Drozdetsky, Razin is with a new team this season. Centering the top line for 4th place Dynamo Moscow, Razin has 3 points (1 goal) in his first five games. Razin, who has a reputation for being careless with his stick, also has 10 PIM.

Konstantin Rudenko : The Lokamotiv Yaroslavl winger has not played in a game. Lokamotiv is in 6th place currently.


Antero Niittymäki : Fredrik Norrena started the last game for defending champion TPS Turku, which has just a single win (Niittymäki’s shutout of SaiPa) to show for their first six games. In three appearances to date, Niittymäki has a 1.99 GAA and a .940 save percentage.

Marko Kauppinen : Kauppinen continues to struggle mightily in the early going. He was on the ice for all three goals against in TPS’ last game; a 3-0 blanking by league leading Tappara Tampere. In 6 games in the young season, Kauppinen is pointless and has a minus-six rating.

Jussi Timonen: No report.


Da Read more »

New Look Coyotes impressive in Preseason

by Russell Brooks

The Coyotes have shipped off almost all of their high-priced talent in a plan that’s aimed at making them a real contender in about three years when they’re able to get into a new up and coming Glendale arena. The Coyotes have gone from older, high-priced talent to younger, cheaper, and a more enthusiastic team then we saw last year. There will be tons of young youth and with the veterans in Teppo Nummineen to help the defense and the playoff performer in Claude Lemieux to help the offense, this looks to be a fun-filled, high-energy team.

With the all-stars in Keith Tkachuk and Jeremy Roenick gone, the Coyotes look to place the scoring weight on Shane Doan along with getting help from the new additions Sergei Berezin and Daymond Langkow. Looking at things from an offensive standpoint, we will be hard pressed to score goals this year, as the system Bob Francis will be implementing will be a defense first.

The defense will be young and with the newly appointed captain Teppo Numminen being the most important part of the Coyotes defense this year, they will look to him to teach the up and coming core of the Coyotes defense in Ossi Vannannen and Paul Mara. They will also look to Todd Simpson for his leadership on the blue line this year. But the most important part of the team will be Sean Burke in goal. After putting up career numbers in 2000, the Coyotes will look to him to provide leadership and to keep the defense one of the tops in the league. The Coyotes also have a dependable backup in Robert Esche who led team USA in the World Championships t Read more »

Red Wings Pre Season Report

by Zoran Manojlovic

Red Wings Pre Season Rapport

This years camp was very exciting in many ways, for example who was not anxious to see the brand new Red Wings such as Dominik ” The Dominator” Hasek , Luc “Lucky” Robitaille or “Golden Brett” ,(Brett Hull), but don`t forget Fredrik Olausson and “Old” Uwe Krupp. Detroit had also invited many contract hopefuls but unfortunately thay didn`t sign any of them even dough some of them were impressive, such as speedy sniper, Chad LaRose and Danny Groulx, a good two-way defenseman. I was really hopeing that Detroit would sign some of them to add some more depth into the organisation but… The camp had also some interesting young Red Wings prospects, Pavel Datsyuk, Sean Avery, Ryan Barnes who were hopeing to crack the lineup this year.

Let`s take a look at those players that have a chance of makeing team.


Red Wings have some problems with the goaltending, but this year the problem is not that Detroit doesn`t have a TOP goalie, the problem is that they have to many goalies and one must be dealt before the waiver draft on September 25th. The one who will most likely go is Chris Osgood, who has not become the great goalie Detroit had hoped even though he has won two Stanley Cup rings, one as a reserve. He will most likely be dealt to New York Islanders for prospects and/or draft picks. This means that Hasek will be the starting goalie and Legace as his reserve. Jason Elliott, the 26 year old goalie has shown solid play during the pre season and is now third goalie in the organization, he will presumably play in AHL.

Down and up weekend for ICE

by Jeff Bromley

Down and up weekend for ICE

If they crowned the Memorial Cup champions on paper, it would be easy to see why the Kootenay ICE were ranked number one in the CHL’s Top Ten rankings. Incredible firepower on offense, size and presence on the blueline and depth and experience between the pipes. Fortunately or not, the games are played on the ice and in reality, or at least well into the season, the initial rankings mean little.

The Kootenay ICE found that out when they began the 2001-02 WHL season with a home and home series with the Spokane Chiefs and came out on the short end of the stick on both occasions by a score of 5-4 and 5-2, respectively. Rebounding on Sunday as the ICE hosted the Tri-City Americans and answered their first two losses with a punctuated shellacking of the Americans, 7-0.

Kootenay coach Ryan McGill, although disappointed at the first two losses to the Chiefs stressed that the club is still in the formative stages of development and obviously nobody was going to push the panic button so early on in the season. Especially in light of the convincing win over the Americans to end the weekend on a positive note. “There were not any changes,” said McGill of the better result between the Chief’s games and Sunday night’s tilt against Tri-Cities. “We’re still trying to get some line combinations going that we feel are solid and we still haven’t come up with those yet.

“We feel that everybody can play and everybody can contribute – even the young guys – that’s how good they are”

“But we didn’t Read more »

Hartford Wolf Pack Report

by Steve Feldman


Wolf Pack Golf for Kids
The Hartford Wolf Pack will be holding a charity golf tournament to benefit The Children’s Home. On Monday October 8, 2001 at the Topstone Country Club in South Windsor, CT the Wolf Pack will trade in their hockey Sticks for golf clubs to help raise money for The Children’s Home.

Attendees will receive 18 holes of golf, boxed lunch, buffet dinner, goodie bag, raffle, and a picture with a Wolf Pack player or celebrity. Shotgun tee-off is at 10:30with dinner, raffle and awards following at 4:30.

Money raised will go to The Children’s Home, which helps over 100 abused, neglected, or troubled Connecticut children. The Children’s Home is located in Cromwell, Ct, and is a residential treatment center and special education school.

For more information contact the Wolf Pack Golf for Kids at (860) 635-6010, X327 or email

WEEK RECAP Read more »

Bridgeport Sound Tigers Report

by Steve Feldman


Sound Tigers Excited about Upcoming Season
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers are excited about the up coming season. A new team, new arena, and a lot of energy have the team buzzing. Storm the mascot has already been seen around town.

“We want to make sure the game is fun, not only on the ice, but when the game is not being played.” Peter Ricciardi said about the fan-based activities. “There are four great video screens and a great sound system. Fans will see some really fun interactive promotions”

Fans Get First Look at the Sound Tigers Read more »

A Major Year for the Minors?

by HF Staff

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 »

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