I had the opportunity and privilege of talking with Jeff Crouse and Adam Smallman, two goons of the Bay County Blizzard, the most penalized team in the Continental Elite Hockey League.
The two players are good friends who met when Crouse was traded to the Blizzard after he’d requested a trade from the Downriver Bombers.
“How’d we become friends? Just through the hockey and just hit it off right away” Crouse said.
“But we get along with everyone on the team,” Smallman quickly added.
“Yep, the whole team gets along pretty good,” Crouse agreed.
“Your styles are similar,” I say.
“Oh, yeah!” Smallman replies.
Their style isn’t the finesse play of a Steve Yzerman or Sergei Fedorov, but would come closer to the crashing and banging of a Derian Hatcher or Tie Domi.
It’s the Goon Syndrome.
A goon in this case fits under the description of someone who’s been hired to intimidate the opponents. A player, who isn’t afraid to get his nose dirty, often accused of dirty plays. If they’re on your team you love them, if they’re your opponent you love to hate them.
Smallman, who is not a small man at 6-foot-3, 225 lbs., a native of Elmsdale, Prince Edward Island, has been nicknamed “Moose.”
Crouse hails from Oshawa, Ontario, and stands 6-foot-2 and weighs in at 205 lbs. Crouse’s main nickname is Crouser but is also know as the “Bounty Hunter.”
Crouse and Smallman rank 2nd and 3rd respectively on their team for most penalty minutes. Crouse has a total of 185 penalty min Read more »
There is some news to report on a few prospects and young players on the Flyers. Bob Clarke traded defenseman Jason Beckett and center Peter Hubachek to Nashville for veteran forward Yves Sarault.
This move was done in part to add more veteran leadership to a team that is a serious threat to make a run at the Calder Cup. The Flyer’s were very high on Beckett last season and he split time between the Phantoms and Trenton of the ECHL. This season however he has struggled to take the next step to become a fulltime AHL defenseman. Phantom’s center Peter Hubachek never caught on to the Phantoms and was mostly a healthy scratch after a torrid start with the Flyers in the 2001 preseason.
Neither player was thought to be a challenger for a roster spot with the Flyers anytime soon. With the trading of Beckett, this opens up space for Bruno St. Jacques and Francis Lessard. Bruno St. Jacques continues to draw rave reviews for his all around steady play.
The Flyers also have a great assembly of impressive defensemen that were drafted last year. Last year’s first round pick Jeff Woywitka has scouts impressed with his all around play. Woywitka has worked on being more of a physical presence behind the blue line.
The Flyers are in a great position to evaluate their farm system. Bob Clarke has made the first steps to prepare the organization for this summer‘s entry draft. Maxime Ouellet remains one of the hottest young netminders in the AHL. His workload has lightened since the return of veteran Neil little to the Phantom’s roster.
Several young pl Read more »
Maxime Ouellet, Goaltender, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 29 GP, 2.61 GAA, .911 SV%
Pavel Brendl, Right Wing, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 34 GP, 7 G, 16 A, 23 P
Bruno St. Jacques, Defenseman, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 26 GP, 2 G, 8 A, 10 P
Tomas Divisek, Center, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 45 GP, 10 G, 14 A, 24 P
Vaclav Pletka, Left Wing, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 42 GP, 17 G, 16 A, 33 P
Francis Lessard, Defenseman, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 44 GP, 0 G, 5 A, 5 P
Jim Vandermeer, Defenseman, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 45 GP 1 G, 7 A, 8 P
Joe DiPenta, Defenseman, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 47 GP, 0 G, 2 A, 2 P
Jesse Boulerice, Left Wing, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 36 GP, 1 G, 5 A, 6 P
Guillaume Lefebvre, Left Wing, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 50 GP, 14 G, 8 A, 22 P
Dan Peters, Defenseman, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 41 GP, 5 G, 7 A, 12 P
Mike Lephart, Right Wing, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 19 GP, 6 G, 4 A, 10 P
James Chalmers, Center, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 46 GP, 3 G, 8 A, 11 P
Craig Brunel, Right Wing, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 32 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 2 P
Kirby Law, Right Wing, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 50 GP, 14 G, 19 A, 33 P
Read more »
Late on Wednesday, January 30, 2002, Evgeni Nabokov’s appeal to play for team Russia at the Salt Lake Olympics was denied by the Arbitration court in Laussane, Switzerland.Nabokov’s eligibility has been in doubt ever since the IIHF disallowed his request to don the Russian jersey. Evgeni was a back-up goaltender with Kazakhstan at the 1994 Olympic games in Lillehammer. However, Nabokov and Russia’s General Manager Vyacheslav Fetisov decided to appeal the decision, challenging IIHF’s guidelines as a result.The IIHF’s rule stated that players participating with one country when over 18, cannot suit up for another. To Russia’s chagrin, that ruling was made after Nabokov’s stint with Kazakhstan’s Olympic squad.Nabokov, an All-Star and the NHL’s Calder Trophy winner last year, will monitor Russia’s success in front of the television set, as all the pressure will be placed on the overworked shoulders of Nikolai Khabibulin.
Now What?The Russians will have to name a third goaltender to accompany Khabibulin and Egor Podomatsky. Montreal Canadiens’ future hopeful and former Superleaguer Vadim Tarasov could be the leading candidate for the position. Veteran Mikhail Shtalenkov and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks prospect Ilya Bryzgalov will also be considered.No matter which goalie will be picked, Podomatsky (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl) is the clear choice for the back-up role. Enjoying an excellent year in the Russian Superleague, Egor has emerged as a clutch performer and a fan favorite.
Hello to all our readers!
Just like the NHL, Hockey’s Future is always growing and adding new features for our readers. Over the last few months, we have added several new features and are planning to add several new things for your enjoyment. To follow is a quick breakdown of some notable news…
2002 Draft Center: Coming in March, our 2002 Draft Center will be launched with a redesign and more information than ever. With our staff of over 30 credentialed writers, this years edition of the Draft Center is shaping up to be the most comprehensive one yet, and we are looking to remain the most informative site on the internet for draft coverage and prospect information.
Assisting Hockey’s Future again in this role will be long-time HF contributor “The Prospect Advisor”. Glen Gawronski and his staff of 8 professional scouts will provide us with their Draft Rankings on a regular basis. As the draft gets closer, these ranking will be updated for all the leagues and will be readily placed on HF’s front page. For information on subscribing to the monthly newsletter Prospect Advisor, click on the link and drop them a line.
In addition, Paul McDonald’s statistical updates for all the top CSB Ranked players from North America and Europe will be updated regularly and located on the HF front page under the Draft Center Heading. Why search around the internet for these stats when you can come right to Hockey’s Future and get them in one place?
We are also happy to anno Read more »
According to www.del.org, the Shark’s 2001 1rst round draft pick, Marcel Goc, has made a surprising late season DEL transfer from the Schwenningen Wild Wings to the Mannheim Adler. This move comes as a bit of a surprise seeing as how Mannheim only has 10 more games this season and Schwenningen in no way receives any reported form of compensation. More surprising is that Goc, who currently has a rather disappointing 8-9-17 and -7 rating in 45 games, has signed a contract with Mannheim, valid until April 30th, 2005. Ironically enough, he was the only player on the Wild Wings who had a valid contract in place for next season, leading to further speculation that this is Schwenningen’s last season in the DEL.
The Wild Wings are now also void of the NHL transfer rights of Marcel, which also go to the Mannheim Adler. He will wear the number 57 and is first eligible to play with Mannheim on the 22nd of February. Marcel will partake in the upcoming Olympics in Salt Lake City as a member of Team Germany.
As an aside, there is nothing yet indicating that the San Jose Sharks were involved in this move. However, the Wild Wings are almost mathematically out of contention for a playoff spot. The Adler, who are coached by former Islanders coach Bill Stewart, are already ensured of making the playoffs and are the favorites to win the DEL championship. Should they do so, the experience would surely be invaluable for Marcel, the younger brother of Tampa Bay prospect Sascha Goc.
Team: Belleville Bulls (OHL)
Birthdate: June, 13th, 1983
Height: 6′ 2”
Weight: 210 lbs. Read more »
2002 CHL HOME HARDWARE TOP PROSPECTS GAME ON ROGERS SPORTSNET
The 2002 CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game will be broadcast live on
Rogers Sportsnet Thursday at 7 p.m. MT and 8 p.m. ET, live from Saskatoon
It’s the seventh annual edition of the Home Hardware Top Prospects Game,
which features 40 of the top CHL prospects for the National Hockey League’s
Entry Draft, as selected by the NHL’s Central Scouting Department.
This year’s celebrity coaches for the game both have roots in Western
Canada. Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster and former NHL and WHL star Kelly
Hrudey will coach one team, taking on a squad coached by former NHL and WHL
star Dave “Tiger” Williams.
Among the participating players this year are three members of Canada’s
national junior team, which won a silver medal at the recent World Junior
Hockey Championships in the Czech Republic. Defenceman Jay Bouwmeester of
the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL, forward Rick Nash of the London Knights
of the OHL and forward Scottie Upshall of the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL
are among the bright young CHL stars taking part in both Thursday night’s
game and Wednesday night’s skills competition.
Brandon Segal of the Calgary Hitmen replaces injured forward Tim Brent of
the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors in the game, bringing the number of Western
Hockey League players in the game to 15. There are 15 OHL players
performing, along with 10 players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey
Bouwmeester is the number one ranked player from the WHL on th Read more »
Maxime Ouellet-Has adjusted real well so far in his first pro season. Future: Seems to be on track to develop into a real good NHL Goaltender. Potential: Number one goaltender in the NHL.(B+)
Pavel Brendl- Is showing no ability to create scoring chances on his own, But when he has been set up with good chances he has put them away. Future: I really believe his sniper shooting is enough for him to make it to the NHL as a scoring line forward in the future, how good he will be will be decided by if he can develop his skating and defensive play. Potential: Second Line sniper, outside shot at being an all star depending on how his skating improves(C+)
Bruno St.Jacques- Has had an excellent season has been the Phantoms best defensive defenseman. Future: Bruno will probably get his permanent spot with the Flyers next season either as a 6th or 7th defenseman. Potential: Future number 3 or 4 defenseman.(A-)
Tomas Divisek- Has had a very good season playing a solid all around game for the Phantoms, could use to put up a few more points in his 3rd AHL season. Future: Tomas might be given a shot to contend for a job with the Flyers at next training camp. Potential: Future 3rd Line player with scoring ability.(B)
Vaclav Pletka- Started out on a tear in the beginning of Read more »
Jeff Woywitka, the Philadelphia Flyers 1st round selection (27th overall) is having an excellent season with the Red Deer Rebels in the WHL. To date Jeff has played in 50 Games netting 9 Goals and 18 Assists for 27 Points. 2 of Jeff’s 9 goals came on the power play and one is a shorthanded goal, he also has 2 game winning goals. Jeff is an impressive +19 for the season and has 77 penalty minutes. Here is a quick interview I did with Jeff:
AR- How did you feel on Draft Day when you heard your named called 27th overall?
JW- It was a dream come true. I had always thought about the NHL draft and sitting
there in the stands and hearing my name was almost surreal.
AR- How has it been so far being a part of the Philadelphia Flyers
JW- They are a class organization and have kept in touch with me all season long.
It’s great to be part of such a solid team.
AR- What would you list as the best part of your game?
JW- Getting it out of my own end.
AR- What part of your game do you think you need to work on the most to
make it to the NHL level?
JW- The physical side of the game.
AR- Who would you liken your game to in the NHL?
JW- Chris Pronger
AR- What NHL player did you idolize the most as a child?
JW- Ray Bourque
AR- What NHL team did you grow up following?
JW – Vancouver Canucks
AR- I realize how little spare time you probably have but what do you do
when you are not on the ice?
JW- Go to school
AR- Do you have Read more »