The Los Angeles Kings have two enforcers currently patrolling the ice at AHL Manchester. King draft pick Kip Brennan, who just returned from his first stint in the NHL, and the recently signed free agent Ryan Flinn. Both are big, both are young and 21, and both can handle themselves and protect their teammates. It would appear than neither will win any scoring titles, so it would be difficult for both play for the Kings at the same time (although fans would love it). So the question is, who will be the future enforcer?
Kip Brennan (6’4, listed at 222 but closer to 200) was chosen in the fourth round of the 1998 draft by the Kings and has emerged as the top fighter in the system. Brennan went to Lowell last season but was clearly not ready for the AHL and was returned to Sudbury for the balance of the season. This seaso, that appears to have helped because Brennan has taken on all comers in the AHL and more than held his own. Brennan has an enforcer’s demeanor and is learning to pick his spots effectively. Brennan’s recent stint is the NHL was effective if not impressive. He fought two of the most difficult players to fight in the NHL- the awkward Steve McKenna, who he struggled to stand up with, and Andre Nazarov who grabbed the rear numbers of his jersey and held on until the officials came in. He also tried and failed to get Steve Webb to go on the island and drew his first NHL penalty. He used this as a lesson (that was in his NHL debut) and he seemed to learn from that. As he became more comfortable, he was more effective in the low cycle with his lin Read more »
Ron Hainsey -D (Drafted-00(1/13))Hainsey managed 4 points through 5 games since our last update. He’s currently on a 3-game point-scoring streak, and has 4 points over the same span. Overall, the 6’3″, 200-lbs defenseman has played 28 games. He has 17 points (6-11-17), and is +4 with 12 minutes in penalties. Four of his goals were scored on the powerplay, and he’s directed 56 shots on goal. The 20-year old rookie will play for Team PlanetUSA during the upcoming AHL all-star game.
Mathieu Garon -G (Drafted-96(2/44))Garon recorded a 2-1-2 record through 5 games since our last update. Wednesday’s game against Portland was Garon’s 16th straight start. Overall, the 6’2″, 192-lbs goalie has played 23 AHL games. He has an 11-4-7 record with 2.70 GAA, and a .918 save percentage.
Eric Chouinard -F (Drafted-98(1/16))Chouinard was shutout through 1 game since our last update. He returned to action on January 16th, after missing 9 straight games with a shoulder injury. Overall, the 6’3″, 207-lbs left winger has played 31 games. He has 26 points (11-15-26), and is -1 with 10 minutes in penalties. Surprisingly, he has only one powerplay goal; which actually speaks volumes for Chouinard’s 5-on-5 play this season. He’s also directed 94 shots on goal, and was leading the team in this category prior the shoulder injury.
Francois Beauchemin -D (Drafted-98(3/75))Beauchemin was shutout through 5 games since our last update. The natural defenseman has been forced to play up front during recent games due to a short Read more »
The 253.321 votes are counted and the rosters are set. SC Bern and HC Lugano bring in the most players with 7 each. The game is played follwing a Swiss All-Star team vs a World All-Star team containing an import selection from the Swiss league(s).
The following players were selected:
#33 Pauli JaksHC Ambri-Piotta
#41 Lars WeibelHC Davos
#5 Patrick SutterHC Lugano
#7 Mark Streit ZSC Lions
#8 Martin Steinegger SC Bern
#15 Mathias Seger ZSC Lions
#22 Olivier Keller HC Lugano
#25 Rolf Ziegler SC Bern
#29 Philippe Marquis HC Fribourg-Gottéron
#72 David Jobin SC Bern
#19 Peter Jaks ZSC Lions
#26 John Fritsche HC Ambri-Piotta
#28 Martin Plüss Kloten Flyers
#32 Ivo Rüthemann SC Bern
#35 Trevor Meier Lausanne HC
#38 Sandy Jeannin HC Lugano
#44 Sébastien Reuille SC Rapperswil-Jona
#76 Frédéric Rothen EV Zug
#83 Reto von Arx HC Davos
#91 Patrick Fischer HC Davos
#96 Christian Dubé HC Lugano
#97 Adrian Wichser Kloten Flyers
#31 Ari Sulander ZSC Lions
#39 Cristobal Huet HC Lugano
#4 Mike Gaul HC Fribourg-Gottéron
#11 Kari Martikainen SC Rapperswil-Jona
#27 Serge Poudrier Lausanne HC Read more »
With the trading deadline at midnight Tuesday night, the Waterloo Black Hawks phone was pretty busy. The Black Hawks and head coach Scott Koberinski made three deals before the USHL trading deadline. In the first deal Waterloo sent USHL defensive veteran Eric Weum, who has been out for awhile with mono, to the Great Falls Americans of the AWHL.
In return the Hawks get the Americans captain Zac Headrick who on the season has amassed 6 goals and 25 assists to go with 128 penalty minutes. Headrick led all defenseman in the AWHL in scoring. Waterloo also sent forward Nate Hansen to the Des Moines Buccaneers in return for Andrew Nelson. Nelson totaled 6 goals and 9 assists on the year for the Bucs. In the final trade of the day Waterloo also sent recently acquired big man Keith Boyer to Des Moines in exchange for forward Ross Carlson. On the year Carlson has 5 goals and 12 assists. Final rosters are not set until early in February.
The Black Hawks hope the new offensive minded defenseman and experienced forwards will help push the Hawks over the hump and into contention for a potential playoff spot. Currently Waterloo is 10-19-1 for 21 and 12th place out of a 13 team league. The 8th and final playoff spot is currently held by the Chicago Steel who have 30 points. If Waterloo can shore up it’s offensive problems and keep their solid goaltending they are just a winning streak away from getting into the final spot.
The Kootenay ICE made a case for the defense over a three-game road trip last weekend, unfortunately it just wasn’t a very good one. The Key City club managed a paltry one point out of a possible six with losses against Swift Current and Lethbridge and a tie against the Medicine Hat Tigers and it made their current hold on third place in the B.C. Division a precarious one with the Kelowna Rockets a scant two points back with three games in hand. Being so close to the January 14 trade deadline it no longer became a wonder whether or not a personnel change might happen but rather a matter of when. Just before the 3:00 PM M.S.T. deadline Monday, it did and again it would be a long-time familiar face that would be making his way out of town.
Fulfilling one of his trade deadline wishes of shoring up his club’s blueline, Kootenay ICE G.M. Jeff Chynoweth swapped nineteen-yr-old defenseman Trevor Johnson for nineteen-yr-old rearguard Gerard Dicaire of the Seattle Thunderbirds. It’s a change in venue and a deal that Coach Ryan McGill thinks it will be beneficial to the four-year veteran. “Trevor’s been here a long time,” said McGill the day after the deal was made. “Obviously he was a big part of our championship team and when Steve (McCarthy) went down Trevor took over and he took over at the age of seventeen and that’s pretty commendable on his part. He did a heck of a job.”
McGill was quick to commend his fiery blueliner but admitted that certain aspects of the Trail, B.C. product’s play had hit the wall of late. A fact made more glaringly obvious by the minus-22 Read more »
Former Rangers prospect/minor leaguer Anders Myrvold decided the AHL and Hartford was not for him. Myrvold signed a contract after agreeing to be released with Fribourg of the Swiss league for the remainder of their season. Myrvold said he hopes to return to the Rangers and Hartford for the playoffs. Myrvold decided that there was “no room at the inn” in New York with the big club so more ice time in Europe was more to his satisfaction.
Espen Knutsen continues to play more and more for the Columbus Blue Jackets logging nearly 27 minutes in the past 2 games. Knutsen of Oslo has struggled with the Jackets but looks to be improving.
Norwegian Patrik Thoresen is playing for Moncton of the QMJHL and is currently second in the entire Q-league in rookie scoring with 17goals and 41points in 33 games. Thoresen is fast moving up the central scouting boards ratings for the 2002 NHL entry draft. If his mind is in it… watch out for this kid.
St.Louis Blues prospect Tore Vikingstad has signed another deal with his German club Düsseldorf. Vikingstad has been a key player for his club and Blues fans will have to wait another year or so to see this talented player.
Jonas Norgren has been splitting time in the nets with Geir Østberg in Storhamar. Norgren locked up the starting job earlier this season but after struggles early in the season Norgren was named Co-no.1.
Read more »
The Calder Corner
The best trade Atlanta didn’t make was trading the #1 pick in last years draft, as Ilya Kovalchuk yet again takes home the weekly Calder Corner nod for the HF prospect of the week by scoring 4 goals in 4 games.
Will with Goran Bezina another Swiss player return to the Swiss league from North-America?
The 21 year old was one of the best Swiss defensemen in the league and thanks to his ‘NHL-body” he tried to make the jump to the NHL last summer. However with Phoenix’ farm team Springfield Falcons things aren’t going exactly his way. Bezina only gets dressed every second game, usually as a forward, and his stats this season are disappointing.
“I will talk to the coaching staff once more. It is well possible I will return to Switzerland,” he said to Swiss newspaper “Blick” after he wasn’t selected in the Swiss Olympic team. In another newspaper “Le Matin” he said: “Perhaps will I skate for Fribourg-Gottéron in the playoffs.” Other possible teams he could move to: Lugano and SC Bern.
Things are going better for two other defensemen of whom is less expected. Ottawa Senators prospect, defenseman Julien Vauclair logs quite a lot of ice time with Grand Rapids Griffins and has been selected by national team coach Ralph Krüger in the Olympics squad. Also the Senators are satisfied with his development as Senators’ scout Mr. Johnston told me recently during the WJC. Timo Helbling has yet to miss a game with the Milwaukee Admirals. The 4th Swiss player in the AHL, center Read more »