Many of you may ask “who?” when reading the article header. In two years, it’s almost certain you won’t ask any more. A new junior superstar began to shine in the Czech Republic, and this one is something special.
Jiri is really a rare talent who at the age of 16 makes an impression that can only be compared to “Number 68″ Jaromir Jagr when he was 16. Jiri plays regularly as a third-line center with the HC Slovnaft Vsetin of the Elite league and scored 4 points (1+3) in a single pre-season game! He was 0+2 after the first two games of the regular season schedule. And playing against men sometimes 20 years older than Jiri! It looks like it won’t take a lot of time before he’ll be nicknamed “Number 42″, the jersey he wears.
In the pregame skate he looks like a boy among men, he is just 5’9” and 155 lbs. That’s right now but the size may come as his body develops more. His parents aren’t smallish either so that bodes well.
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Well, one day after the Rangers announced their final cuts, they made
some more big news as well. Mike Mottau, Last year’s Hobey Baker winner,
finally came to terms on a contract with the Rangers according to ESPN. Terms
of the deal have not been disclosed. This is good news for the Rangers, as Mottau could have left as a
free agent if he stayed un-signed all season. He’ll stay with the Rangers
until Brian Leetch returns from his groin injury, and then he’ll be assigned
to Hartford of the AHL, unless he plays extremely well in the first few games
of the season.
According to the New York Times, Stephane Quintal
has been put on waivers. The Rangers needed to get rid of Quintal to make room
for Jason Doig, Dale Purinton and Mottau on the pro club. Reports indicate that Quintal will be picked up by the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Rangers will get two players to be named from Chicago as future considerations.
The Rangers open up the season this Saturday in Atlanta. The Rangers had
a perfect 4-0-0 record vs. the Thrashers last season, and they’ll try and run
that number to 5 straight wins. The Rangers need to get off to a good start
or they’ll be playing catch up in the standings like the past 3 years..
Today the downward spiral of the S.S. Blackhawk continued with the dispatching of Byran McCabe to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Alexander Karpovtsev and a 4th round pick.
This trade makes the Blackhawks older,and in my estimation, further away from G.M. Mike Smith’s goal of becoming one of the leagues upper third teams.
Luck in the lottery dropped the Hawks down into the top four picks for the 1999 draft.
The 1999 draft was one of the stronger drafts in years, boasting four almost can’t miss NHLers and a dozen and a half players who are destined to solid NHL careers.
The Sedin twins, who wanted to start in the NHL together. Would making a move to acquire another top three pick be too closely for the wealthy Hawk management both in terms of money and players?
Why would this franchise, with a dwindling fan base want to bring two of the most publicized promising young players to town?
What if the failed? With this #4 pick, there was the chance to acquire a possible first line centre, something lacking in Chicago since Jeremy Roenick departed.
Hawk fan faithful bombarded the Hawk website with requests to keep and use the pick. (I pleaded that same case in articles you can read below prior to the McCabe trade.) Read more »
Today General Manager Glen Sather announced 6 more cuts for the 2000-01
New York Rangers. A couple of these are very surprising to me, as I really
thought most of these guys would make the team, but, I guess not. Well,
here’s the cuts and a few notes about each player.
Forwards Manny Malhotra, Jeff Ulmer and Derek Armstrong were sent to
Hartford of the AHL along with goaltender J-F Labbe. Forwards Pavel Brendl
and Jamie Lundmark were returned to their junior teams in the Western Hockey
Manny Malhotra: I thought he had a chance, but I guess the Rangers will keep
Taylor as their 4th line center for now. However, Sather may try and trade
Taylor so he can bring up Manny from the minors later in the season.
Jeff Ulmer: Him being cut doesn’t surprise me. He did play well, but from the
start of camp I knew he was going to be sent to the AHL.
Derek Armstrong: Same goes for Armstrong. A possible trade to another team
could be the best for Armstrong, as it doesn’t appear he will ever be an
NHLer as long as he’s Rangers property.
J-F Labbe: This is the biggest surprise to me. I can’t believe he was cut.
When Holmqvist was sent down I was almost 100% sure Labbe would be the
backup, but now it appears that Jason Labarbera has won the job. I’m very
excited to see Labarbera strut his stuff.
Pavel Brendl: Darn it, Darn it, DARN IT! I really wanted to see this kid on Read more »
A harbinger of things to come?
Returning to the rinks from a rumored summer to begin mapping
the odysseys of this year’s NHL Draft hopefuls, it didn’t take
long for 17 year-old Mississauga Ice Dogs Captain Jason Spezza
to make an enormous impression.
One period to be exact.
When the dust had settled, the Ice Dogs found themselves leading
the Sudbury Wolves 5-2 after 20 minutes, and the challenge in
describing Spezza’s play is to not become too redundant with the
The Dogs were staked to an early two-goal lead thanks to a
dizzying array of skills put on display by Spezza as he set up
the first three Mississauga goals. His artistry with the puck
included undressing defencemen and putting himself into the
clear for a break-away, although he was stopped by goaltender
Jason Brown. With puck in tow, he was constantly finding and
creating open-ice for himself and for his teammates to whom he
would feed short, deft passes or medium-range passes that would
hit the tape, all the while displaying great vision,
anticipation, and hockey sense.
With the Dogs on a power-play and the face-off outside the
Sudbury blueline, Spezza eschewed the usual drawing back of the
puck and instead shot the puck forward into the corner of the
Sudbury zone. The Wolves defencemen had by this time shown an
alarming propensity for coughing up and turning over the puck in Read more »
Pens set roster for opening night on Thursday at home against the Philadelphia Phantoms; send 6 to Wheeling
Among the cuts were veteran forwards Boris Protsenko and Alexei Kolkunov and goalie Craig Hiller. Others demoted were defensemen Mark Moore, Chris Newans, and Doug Schmidt.
Neither Protsenko or Kolkunov were impressive in camp and were demoted in favor of tryout candidates Jim Leger and Steve Parsons. Hillier had an impressive performance in his only appearance during the exhibition season, but is still paying for his dismal performance last year.
The Pens roster now stands at 22, which includes injured forward Martin Sonnenberg and injured defenseman Trent Cull.
Greg Crozier, Dylan Gyori, Tom Kostopoulos, Jim Leger,
Jason MacDonald, Alexandre Mathieu, Eric Meloche, Steve Parsons, Toby
Petersen, Martin Sonnenberg, Bill Tibbetts, Darcy Verot,
Brendan Buckley, Sven Butenschon, Trent Cull, Andrew Ference, Chris Kelleher, John Slaney, JP Soucy
Joel Laing, Mark Scally
- Goalie Joel Laing was named the starting goalie for Thursday night’s opener.
- Scally, Soucy, Leger, and Parsons were signed to 25 game contracts
The European regular seasons start up to a month earlier than the North American leagues. Here are current updates on the performances of some Flyers prospects playing in Europe.
Antero Niittymäki- One of the frustrating aspects of European hockey is that young players typically have difficulty getting ice time over veterans unless the vet is injured or plays himself out of the job. By all rights, the TPS Turku starting goaltending job should have belonged to Antero Niittymäki at the start of this season. After winning the league rookie of the year honors and backstopping his team to the Finnish championship last season, there was scarcely more that Niittymäki could have done to prove his worthiness of being the full-time TPS starter. Instead, veteran Fredrik Norrena has once again resumed duties as the #1 goalie for TPS. Niittymäki only played one full game coming into this past week, looking poor in a TPS loss. However, Niittymäki finally got the nod for his second start of the season and put up a 20 save shutout. He has played 140 minutes so far on the season.
Marko Kauppinen- Kauppinen has started 7 of Jokerit’s 8 games so far. He scored a goal in the first week of the season, his only point to date. Kauppinen has been getting steadier ice time but still does not play heavy minutes. He has only been on the ice for one goal against so far.
Read more »
Those mysterious forces that have moved so many from Toronto to the Windy City during the past several months have now borne Alexander Karpovtsev away. In truth, Potsie’s fate was all but sealed when he announced to the assembled Leafs’ brass last spring that he intended to become an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2000/2001 season. Several reasonably generous multi-year offers from the club in the ensuing months failed to alter the big Russian’s mindset. Thus, it was certainly no surprise when the Maple Leafs dealt Karpovtsev to Chicago today, bringing to an end a very long and sometimes acrimonious impasse. It has been reported that the Black Hawks have already agreed on a new 4 year, 12 million dollar deal with their new blueliner.
With the regular season fast approaching and the team’s other defenders performing at something less than top form of late, Toronto clearly was not in a mood to wait much longer. That being the case, it is rather amazing that the Leafs were able to engineer such a useful trade. In exchange for a 30 year old, free agency bound, often injured, slow footed, stay-at-home defenseman Toronto receives a highly regarded 25 year-old replacement.
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When the Washington Capitals signed Sylvain Cote in July, they pencilled him into their already deep defensive depth chart. They expected that Alexei Tezikov would show improvement this year, and challenge for a roster spot. Brendan Witt and Ken Klee would both go through arbitration, or be signed by the time the season started. Veterans Calle Johansson and Joe Reekie would hold their roster spots, and the rather enigmatic Sergei Gonchar would sign sooner or later, rounding out the top seven.
Dmitri Mironov was put on the trading block and left exposed in the waiver draft, but there were no takers. His age, big contract, and lack of production over the last couple of years were the main reasons he was not taken. If they couldn’t find any teams that wanted Mironov, Washington would either play him as a seventh defenseman or send him to the minors. Washington would also have the option of buying his contract out, in a worst case scenario.
Now that training camp is almost over, things are looking very different for the Caps defensively. Mironov is still with the Capitals, who will probably send him down to the minor leagues or buy out his contract soon. Gonchar hasn’t signed yet, but is close. Two rookies are pushing hard to make the team, and neither one of them are Alexei Tezikov.
Read more »
Florida Panthers Vice President and General Manager
Bryan Murray announced this evening that goaltender Sean Gauthier, defensemen
Peter Ratchuk and Lance Ward and forwards Serge Payer, Dave Duerden, Rocky
Thompson and Ivan Novoseltsev have been assigned to the Louisville Panthers,
Florida’s top minor league affiliate.
The moves come following the Florida Panthers 4-3 loss at Freedom Hall to the
Columbus Blue Jackets. The game was the final preseason game for Florida.
Novoseltsev scored 35 points in 47 games for Louisville last season and was
third on the Florida squad with seven points in as many preseason games. His
five goals were just one shy of teammate Pavel Bure for the top spot in the NHL
during preseason games.
Thompson was tied for third on the Panthers with 34 penalty minutes, while
Ratchuk and Ward each had two points, Payer and Thompson one point apiece and
Duerden was scoreless.
Gauthier won both games he started for Florida during the preseason and
posted a solid 1.91 goals against average.
The seven players will join Louisville immediately and practice with the team
on Monday morning.
The Panthers open the season on October 6th in Hamilton against
the Bulldogs. The home opener for Louisville is on October 20th
against the Hershey Bears.
All credit for this article must go to the Panthers communication office