The American Hockey League announced today its Conference and Divisional Alignment for the 2001-2002 season.
The realignment features nine new American Hockey League cities, bringing the League’s membership to 27 teams in six divisions and two conferences.
West Central South
Houston Rochester Philadelphia
Utah Syracuse Hershey
Chicago Cincinnati Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Grand Rapids Cleveland Norfolk
East North Canadian
Albany Lowell Hamilton
Hartford Worcester Saint John
Springfield Portland St. John's
Providence Manchester Quebec
Each AHL club will play an unbalanced 80 game schedule featuring traditional and regional rivalries. The schedule format detailing the frequency of games between opponents will be announced Tuesday June 19 at noon est.
The 1999 Providence Bruins set a League record as they tallied a combined regular season and playoff win tally of 71 games, including another League record of 10 playoff home wins, en route to the Calder Cup Championship.
June 18, 1992 the Ottawa Senators make goaltender Peter Sidorkiewicz the first overall pick in the NHL expansion draft.
TODAY IN HOCKEY
André Savard will experience his greatest challenge on June 23rd. Seen by many fans as the man most responsible for the Ottawa Senators’ draft success, his talent-evaluation skills will be relied upon to return the Montreal Canadiens to their traditional place among the league’s elite teams.
The Habs’ GM has kept his draft intentions close to the vest. He has not spoken publicly on which player he covets, or what type of players he’ll be looking to grab with the team’s two first-round picks. However, he has said what he looks for in young players; he bases his initial opinion on skating, then skill. Hockey sense, and attitude are also important. Size, however, is rarely a deciding factor.
He has also stated that he will not draft any player that he has not seen play. This explains why he spent much of the past six months travelling the world scouting many, if not all, of the major tournaments involving draft-eligible players.
The 2001 Draft is seen by most experts as one of the top drafts in recent memory. Ilya Kovalchuk has undoubtedly emerged as the number one choice. However, with Jason Spezza’s playoff struggles, and Stanislav Chistov’s emergence as arguably the most talented player available, the second overall pick has become difficult to predict. Probable trades, and the possibility of a goalie being chosen with one of the top six picks, only adds to the difficulty in predicting which players will still be available when the seventh pick arrives.
Keeping this in mind, this preview will in Read more »
After the NHL awards have found their new owners, the eyes of all fans, scouts and people around
the National Hockey League focus on an event, which decides about the future of all teams and
also about the future of approximately 300 young players. No wonder that the NHL scouts get
ready for this event for the whole year. After hundreds of mock drafts were made, the time for
a decision is here. The players from Europe play under the careful eye of NHL scouts from
the time they’re about 15, players who regularly attend the tournaments of junior national teams
gain most attention of course. Now I would like to have a closer look at the Czech players,
who may be selected this year. It’s almost a wonder how a country with about 10 million
people still can produce top NHL prospects every year. Just look at the NHL drafts since 1998.
Every year there were at least two Czech players selected in the first round and also the
later rounds seem to hide some Czech gems. The overage selections like Philadelphia Flyer
Roman Cechmanek also seem to be good fits to their respective teams. With the Czech triumphs
at the Under-20 WJC, the World Championships and a solid performance at the Under-18 WJC there
is no sign that the trend of drafting Czech players should change. And now finally come to the
First round prospects
Team: HC Ceske Budejovice
Born: August, 12th, 1983
Weight: 195 lbs.
CSB rank: 11th Euro
Jiri is a lock to be selected in the first round. Th Read more »
The Rick Dudley era in Tampa has been an adventure when it comes to draft day. The Lightning G.M. has yet to make a selection in the teams correct slot, despite having two consecutive top three picks, electing instead to make deals for more immediate help.
Both of the previous draft day maneuvers resulted in the Bolts acquiring a young, talented “starting” goaltender. Or so they thought. Dan Cloutier was picked up from the N.Y. Rangers in 1999 along with Niklas Sundstrom and a couple of picks after Dudley had previously made a deal with Chicago for their pick. Sundstrom was subsequently dealt to the Sharks in a deal that brought four players to the team, of which only Andrei Zyuzin remains.
Cloutier struggled after having to take over prematurely for an injured Daren Puppa as the starter. The consensus was that Dan just wasn’t ready to carry that load and the team announced they would attempt to get a veteran netminder to lug the mail until Cloutier was ready.
Opting to ignore free agency, Dudley got another goalie with his second consecutive draft day deal. Instead of the veteran that he had earlier told season ticket holders they would go after, he chose to trade away the number one overall pick to the Islanders for another young backup Kevin Weekes.
Cloutier has since been traded and Weekes is apparently not the answer either despite playing strong at the end of last season. The Bolts made a deal for veteran Nikolai Khabibulin which should pretty much seal Weekes fate as a starter in Tampa
Needless to say, Lig Read more »
In the ever-active mind of Lightning General Manager Rick Dudley, there is a certain make-up a player must posses if he is to join one of the up-and-coming teams of the NHL. Knowing the history of the Lightning, one could assume that would be “knew how to skate,” and left it there. Seeing how 1996 first rounder Mario Larocque turned out, even that wasn’t always followed.
That was then, this is now. Dudley is looking for a few key ingredients in prospects to set them apart from the others. Primarily, he wants size, he wants speed and he wants skill. Secondarily, he would prefer a nasty streak and a well-rounded, defensive game already in place. In other words, the prospect must be able to find their own zone without the use of a map or asking a linesman for directions.
Normally when drafting in the top end of the first round, the plan of attack is common sense; take the best player available and if he doesn’t work out or you’re loaded at that position – deal accordingly. As more attention is made to prospects’ strength and development, especially in Europe (Dudley has made known his admiration for the developmental programs overseas, specifically Russia. This evidenced by 5/10 picks last year from Russia, 2 North American.), the more prospects are becoming closer to NHL readiness. Because of that, the more “need” creeps into the equation. Such is the case for Tampa, considering their shallow forward lines and strong draft position.
The Lightning need help filling holes up front and Dudley thinks this draft can help. In other Read more »
The Boston Bruins should be entering this year’s draft with the following goals in mind:
1. Increase depth in goal
2. Improve defensive prospects
Read more »
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim have the fifth overall pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. Past top 5 picks have included: Paul Kariya (4), Oleg Tverdovsky (2), Chad Kilger (4), and Vitaly Vishnevski (5). With three of the four playing well with the NHL club, the 2001 draft brings a lot of optimism.
Short of free agency, the Anaheim club needs help at defense, right wing, and at center. If Ilja Bryzgalov (Russia) comes to Cincinnati (not likely) the Cincy Ducks will be solid in goal. With this lack of depth in the system it appears that the top player available will be chosen not just with the 5th pick but also throughout the draft. This has always been Pierre Gauthier’s strategy in the past.
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim will select the best player available at #5, which will most likely be Chistov or Weiss.
The Ducks have two early/mid picks in the second round (35 and 41). Gauthier has mentioned that he would like to trade one of them and/or other lower picks to get some established players with grit and/or leadership characteristics.
In addition to the Ducks first (5) and second (5,11) round picks the Ducks also have three fourth round picks (5, 8, 19), one 5th (5), one 6th (5), one 7th (28), one 8th (5) and one 9th round pick (5).
Dating back to their days in Hartford, the franchise hasn’t always been the best drafting team in NHL History.
Nobody is perfect, but the list of first-round blunders in the Whalers/Canes history is rather long.
It all began back in 1979. The former New England Whalers were just out of the crumbled World Hockey Association, and looking to make a name for themselves in the NHL.
With their first pick in franchise history, they selected smallish WHL scoring ace Ray Allison. On the surface, it looked like an airtight pick; Allison had been among the top scorers in the WCHL (now WHL) for three years, and there wasn’t much to suggest that he wouldn’t be a solid point producer for the Whalers in the future, Right?
Unfortunately, wrong. Allison was never able to achieve his full potential with the Hartford organization. He was dealt to Philadelphia in 1982 after only two full seasons in the organization, and topped out at 54 points, with the ’81-’82 Flyers.
Also a part of that deal was the Whalers first-rounder the next season, Fred Arthur. Arthur, a big, hulking defenseman from the Cornwall Royals of the OMJHL, racked up 75 points in his final season of junior. (5g, 70(!)a) He, too looked like a foolproof pick, but many didn’t believe his offensive prowess at the junior level would transfer on to the pro level. He, as previously mentioned, was a part of that big deal that sent fellow then-Whalers-prospect Ray Allison to Philly. Arthur would never realize his potential at the NHL level. He retired after the ’82-83 season, only amass Read more »
David Legwand is working with established trainer Charles Poloquin. Legwand will be spending a few days a week with Poloquin and then take the program back with him to Michigan until Training Camp opens.
”It seems like everyone who works with him has a breakout year afterward,” said Legwand’s agent, Pat Morris.
Charles Poloquin has worked with Chris Pronger, Al MacInnis, Gary Roberts and more recently Wade Redden, Martain LaPointe, and Eric Brewer. The Preds and Legwand are both hoping Poloquin continues his winning streak.
And last but not least, GM David Poile is back in contact with centerman Petr Sykora. The Preds are hoping Sykora can play in Nashville as early as next season. The highly touted 22-year old center scored 44 points in 47 games last season in the Czech Republic.
In the NHL Entry Draft next weekend, the Predators own the 12th overall pick in the first round and then own two picks in the second and third rounds. This year’s draft, the deepest draft since Nashville joined the NHL, is the most important one Nashville has ever been apart of.