Justin Morrison is the evidence of Wayne Gretzky’s effect on hockey in Southern California. Morrison grew up in Los Angeles. It was not exactly known as hockey hotbed when he was a kid. Now he is in Winnipeg as a member of the Manitoba Moose. Definitely known as hockey hotbed.
“Nobody in my family played, none of my friends played. I just started on my own and I took it from there,” said Morrison. “No one in my high school played. A lot of people thought I was cool because I was doing something different.”
Just like Canadian kids, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound right-winger caught the puck bug early. “I was going public skating, just learning how to skate, and after the public session was over I’d always see the recreation hockey players coming on afterward,” recalled Morrison. “I’d just sit there and watch. I was just amazed, I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know much about it at all, but right after I saw them play with all the equipment and stuff. I just went straight home and told my mom that’s what I wanted to do.”
“They thought I was crazy. They didn’t know anything about the sport of hockey,” said Morrison. “They were saying, ‘No way.’ I finally had to convince them I wanted to play and after that they loved it.
“I only played at a local rink for one year and then after that it was select teams and we would practise all over Southern California. It took a lot of work for my parents.” “I didn’t really notice the Kings, or know much about them, until Gretzky came to L.A.,” said Morrison. “There are a lot more rinks now than ther Read more »
It was thought last season after Grant Ledyard was signed, Adrian Aucoin was acquired from Vancouver, and Paul Mara was dealt to Phoenix, Tampa GM Rick Dudley would let the defense rest. Not so. Aucoin was dealt with winger Alexander Kharitonov for a bigger, younger defenseman (Mathieu Biron) and a second round pick (Andreas Holmqvist).
Gone was the experience of Ledyard and Aucoin, and the Lightning was back to having a young, underdeveloped back line.
Help was again brought in, however, as Ledyard found his way back to the Bay and Nolan Pratt was acquired from Colorado. Instead of Zyuzin paired with another offense-first defenseman in Aucoin, Nolan Pratt will try to bring a defensive-first presence to the pair. Pavel Kubina, Zyuzin and forward Brad Richards look to lead the PP from the point in Aucoin’s absence.
Here’s a look at the Lightning’s organizational defensive corps. Size and speed are the main ingredients for a player with a Bolt on his uniform, and the list proves it. Fortunately, a secondary ingredient includes at least a little, albeit not much, NHL experience this year.
The future looks big and bright on the Tampa blue-line. The present is quite blurry.
Read more »
AHL’s Southern Division Report
By Al Alven
(Special note: Due to logistics, the AHL South Report
will be published on a bi-weekly basis from this point
on. Thank you to everyone who has supported the report
in its first few weeks of existence!)
Last night, the South Division’s own
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins helped the AHL kick off
its 66th season as the team squared off against the
St. John’s Maple Leafs in the league opener. It was an
emotional night at the First Union Arena in
Wilkes-Barre, as the Penguins raised their Western
Conference championship banner and honored the victims
of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with a moving
In the end, before a sell-out crowd of 8,143, the
Leafs wound up escaping with a 6-4 victory on the
road. The visitors displayed a very balanced team
effort, receiving goals from six different players:
Doug Doull, Petr Svoboda, Luca Cereda, Paul Healy,
Donald MacLean and Bobby House (empty net). The Pens
got a pair of goals from Billy Tibbetts and one each
from Alexander Zevakhin and Ross Lupaschuk.
Leafs goaltender Mike Minard was named the game’s
first star after stopping 28 of 32 shots, 14 of which
came in the third period. Veteran Robbie Tallas was
unspectacular for the Pens, allowing five goals on 29
Tonight, the Philadelphia Phantoms and Norfolk
Admirals will kick off their respective seasons as
well. The Hershey Bears are set to debut on Sunday
(see bottom of article for game listings). With this
is mind, the following is a brie Read more »
Spotlight is on now on ICE Goaltenders
Let’s face it. If you asked every Kootenay ICE fan, those in the administration and any local pundits and purveyors of comment, no one really had processed the realization that all-everything goalie Dan Blackburn wouldn’t be back between the pipes for the Kootenay ICE. ‘Oh he’ll impress them,’ said anyone and everyone. ‘But there’s no way that he’ll make the New York Rangers. Goalies don’t make the NHL at eighteen anymore.
Well, guess what? Someone forgot to relay that information to Dan Blackburn and the New York Rangers.
In the end, and for arguments sake we’ll assume that Blackburn is indeed not coming back anytime soon, it really didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Ranger’s goaltending situation wasn’t the deepest part of the organization. And if Blackburn played well enough in camp he would join the squad as the elder incumbents young apprentice. Ranger’s G.M. Glen Sather’s inability or unwillingness to address their depth at what most consider the most important position in the game all but assured Blackburn’s ascension into the NHL.
Needless to say it is all water under the proverbial bridge for the Kootenay ICE’ fortunes in the WHL and life must go on. But in their quest for their second WHL title in three years, it begs the obvious question. In Jeff Harvey and Bryan Bridges does Kootenay have the capability to compete with the big boys in their division in Kamloops and Kelowna? Never mind Red Deer, Portland, Spokane and Swift Current throughout the r Read more »
The Calder Corner
Timo Parssinen: 1 Assist
Dany Heatley: 1 Assist, 1 Shot, +1
Nick Boynton: 1 Goal, 5 Shots
No prospects with points
No prospects with points
Rotislav Klesla: 1 Goal, +2, 3 Shots
No prospects with points
Kristian Huselius: 1 Goal, 2 Shots
No prospects with points
No Prospects with points
Read more »
Czech Republic Under-20 team at Five Nations Tournament
By Robert Neuhauser and Ivana Paulova
At the beginning of September, the Czech Under-20 team, defending World Champions, had one of the last chances to test their skills against all the top European Under-20 teams. Check out how the young Czechs were doing!
The 2001-2002 season is under way and the first meeting of the Under-20 teams was scheduled to take place in the Czech cities Prostejov and Olomouc. Besides the home Czechs, the squads of Russia, Sweden, Slovakia and Finland also participated in this tourney. A look at the rosters, stocked with NHL draftees and possible future NHLers, promised that this will be a tournament to watch. The Czechs showed some new faces on the team, but basically it was the same team that was built after the successful 2001 WJC. Among the 1982 born players the only guy that left for North America was Jaroslav Sklenar, originally from HC Ytong Brno, who was assigned to the Ottawa 67’s of the OHL after the Leafs rookie camp in Kitchener. 1983 born players with chances on a roster spot in the Under-20 team who left for the CHL in the summer are former Sparta Praha winger Daniel Volrab, who is a Saskatoon Blade now and Martin Toms, a defenseman from Karlovy Vary who plays for the QMJHL’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.
Read more »
Hockey’s Future Daily Prospect Tracker
Possibly a new feature at Hockey’s Future, the Daily Prospect Tracker will give you updates of all prospects scoring exploits from the night before. No need searching through the papers squinting to see if a certain player scored! Just log on to HF every afternoon for all the information you need. In addition, please read below for more info……
Anaheim Mighty Ducks: DNP
Atlanta Thrashers: DNP
Boston Bruins: DNP
Buffalo Sabres: DNP
Calgary Flames: No Prospects with points
Carolina Hurricanes: DNP
Chicago Blackhawks: DNP
Colorado Avalanche: Vaclav Nedorost: 1 goal (PP), 1 assist, 2 shots
Columbus Bl Read more »
Hartford Wolf Pack Pre-season Wrap-up
The AHL will begin the 2001-02 season tonight; this is the final preseason wrap up for the Hartford Wolf Pack. All the transactions for Hartford are below, along with some news from the AHL.
AHL To Remember Ace Bailey and Mark Bavis
The AHL is going to pay honor to Ace Bailey and Mark Bavis who both lost their lives in the tragic attacks on America on September 11. All AHL teams will wear a red, white, and blue decal ribbon on their helmets with the numbers 15 and 17.
Ace Bailey played for the 1969 Calder Cup winning Hershey Bears, and was entering his eighth season as Director of Pro Scouting for the Los Angeles Kings.
Mark Bavis played parts of two seasons for the Providence Bruins and Fredericton Canadians between 1993 through 1995. Bavis was am amateur scout for the Los Angeles Kings.
9/26/01 The New York Rangers have left the following players unprotected for Friday’s NHL Waiver Draft.
Sean Gagnon, Christian Gosselin, Sylvain Lefebvre, Terry Virtue
Forwards; Read more »
As the Philadelphia Flyers prepare to enter their 35th season in the National Hockey League tonight, they do so with a great deal of optimism and promise. In terms of roster depth, many have argued that this is the best team the Flyers have iced in decades. With a hoard of quality players at every position, the team is expected to make a strong bid for the Stanley Cup this season.
Despite the Flyers’ great depth, however, the team will once again rely on its AHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms, when the need arises. After all, injuries are about as much a part of hockey as pucks and missing teeth are. For the record, 13 players saw action with both the Flyers and Phantoms last season.
The following is a by-position listing of the 14 current Phantoms who I believe have a chance to play for the Flyers this season. Keep in mind that many of these players are extreme long shots to see action in the NHL this year, especially the ones further down on the list. Still, given the right circumstances, each has at least an outside chance of donning an orange and black sweater in 2001-02.
1. Marty Murray
An elite point producer at the AHL level, Murray is a very good bet to see time with the Flyers as an injury fill-in this season. Speedy, versatile and mentally tough, the diminutive center is a savvy player who knows his limitations. In seven games with the Calgary Flames last year, Murray played well in a defensive role without trying to overcompensate offensively. According to general manager Bob Clarke, the Delorain Read more »
The Nashville Predators are entering the decisive “fourth” year of the three to
five year plan that GM David Poile set for the team. Expectations are
high and this should be the season the Preds finally break the top 8 in
the Western Conference.
This is the season for David Legwand. All the pieces are falling into
place, all the blurs are starting to become clear, and all of Nashville
is waiting on the 21-year old center to make his move. Legwand spent
the summer working with a personal hockey trainer, a man who has worked
with several high profile NHL players including Chris Progner, Martin
Lapointe, and others. Last season Legwand showed flashes of brilliance
with highlights including – the first overtime penalty shot goal in NHL
history, posted plus-or-even rating in 61 of the 81 games that he played
in, recorded another overtime game winning goal in March against
Phoenix, and posted 41 points (compared to the 28 from the season
before). Legwand is entering his third full season in the NHL and if
the Preds hope to make the playoffs this year, he is expected to carry a
large part of the load.
The 2001-02 Predators are a lot like the 2000-01 Predators, but
they are also a whole lot different as well. The Preds were fairly
quiet compared to other teams in the Western Conference, however, there
are some new faces on the Preds and there will be some different looks
from this team this year, as well.
The goaltenders: Mike Dunham had a career year last season posting
numbers such as – 2.28 GAA, 21 wins, 4 shutouts, and a . Read more »