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Ponikarovsky demoted

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on

The Kid Can Play

Don’t be mislead by the demotion, Alexei Ponikarovsky can play hockey at the NHL level and the Leafs brass know it. The last time he was called up he was given a number more akin to a football running back, while this time he carried #22 on his back. But it goes much farther than that. Originally just an emergency fill-in for Shayne Corson, Alexander Mogilny’s back spasms allowed Toronto to take a longer look at his play at the pro level. Normally a call up from The Rock can expect to see fourth line duty and maybe two shifts a period. Not so with the Big Uke. While it is true he did start there, by the end of his stint with the big club he was skating alongside Darcy Tucker and Corson ahead of Travis Green and didn’t look out of place.

With Mogilny and possibly Gary Valk due back from the sicklist however, somebody was going to have to sit in the pressbox. Rather than have Ponikarovsky stagnate on the west coast trip, a return ticket to St. John’s guaranteed him plenty of icetime among the Baby Leafs top six forwards. Will he be back before the end of the year? It’s tough to say.

Ponikarovsky’s game brings more to the table than either Valk’s or Green’s right now. It’s entirely possible with 20 more matches with third line icetime he may well improve to a point where he could surpass Hoglund and Domi as well. That said, the only players that might be movable on the trade market out of those four would be Green and Hoglund and even the return on them would be minimal. However, three of this group, Valk , Domi, and Hoglund, ar Read more »

CHL Player of the Month, and Other Notes

by League Press Release
on

The CHL Player of the Week for the week ending Jan. 20, 2002 is forward
Jarret Stoll of the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League.

Stoll earned both the CHL Player of the Week and Husky WHL Player of the
Week honours by picking up six points in just two games this week, including
four goals and two assists.

On Sunday Stoll, a 2000 draft pick of the Calgary Flames, scored three goals
and one assist in the Ice’s 9-4 win over the Tri-City Americans. The
previous night he had one goal and one assist in Kootenay’s 3-0 victory over
the visiting Kelowna Rockets.

Stoll, 19, is from Yorkton, Saskatchewan and he beat out the other league
nominees – forward Steve Ott of the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey
League and forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens
(offensive) and goalie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers of the Sagueneens
(defensive), from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The CHL Player of the Week is selected from among the three leagues’
nominees and announced in Tuesday’s editions of the CHL Daily News.

CHL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Jan. 22 – Jarret Stoll, Kootenay Ice, WHL
Jan. 15 – Brad Boyes, Erie Otters, OHL
Jan. 8 – Ryley Layden, Lethbridge Hurricanes, WHL
Dec. 17 – Andre Martineau, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, QMJHL
Dec. 10 – Shawn Roed, Portland Winter Hawks, WHL
Dec. 3 – Andy Chiodo, Toronto St. Michael’s Majors, OHL
Nov. 27 – Philippe Lacasse, Hull Olympiques, QMJHL
Nov. 20 – Yanick Lehoux, Baie-Comeau Drakkar, QMJHL Read more »

Caps Prospect News

by Seth Keggins
on

Rastislav Stana…has declined to participate in the ECHL All-Star game, and instead remain up with the AHL Portland Pirates. He has appeared in 3 games since his call-up to replace the injured Corey Hirsch. He has also not been notified yet as to whether or not he will be traveling to Salt Lake City for the 2002 Olympics in order to play for the Slovak National Team.

J.F. Fortin…has sparkled for the injury depleted Capitals blueline. His time spent in the ECHL last season may have been a wake-up call for Jean-François. Coach Hanlon for the AHL Portland team has worked with the blueliner, and has impressed Ron Wilson and staff for a prolonged stay with Caps (along with minor league veteran Todd Rohloff).

As Roman Tvrdon returns from his injury, Martin Hlinka goes down…In AHL Portland this season the LW position has been injury plagued. But, since his return Tvrdon has scored 1 goal and is +2 in his 3 games. Hlinka struggles continue, not only in scoring but now also with his latest injury. Hlinka suffered a separated shoulder earlier this month, and could be out at least a month.

OTHER NEWS…the Washington Capitals have signed Colin Forbes to a one-year contract.

The Capitals have also picked-up Ivan Ciernik off of waivers. Originally selected by the Ottawa Senators in the 1996 entry draft (9th round). Ciernik, could be a big banger, with offensive potential but so far this season in his 23 games with the Senators has been loathe. He is currently earning $325,000/year.

Following in his Brothers’ Footsteps

by Brandon LeBourveau
on
When news first leaked that the Rangers traded the 38th overall selection in the 2000 Entry Draft to the Detroit Red Wings in return for the 64th and the 95th overall picks, many fans were puzzled with the move since the Rangers kept moving down in a draft already labeled as one of the weakest crops of talent in a few years. With the 38th overall selection, the Red Wings’ selected Tomas Kopecky, a tall and lanky forward from Slovakia. Kopecky was a player many teams had their eye on early in the 2nd round. The 6’3 187 lbs center/left wing is a highly skilled player with excellent offensive instincts and hockey sense. He was teammates with Minnesota Wild star Marian Gaborik in Slovakia during the 1999-2000 season, and finished up his first season of North American hockey last year with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL, totaling 50 points in 49 games. On the other side of the deal, the Rangers wound up with defenseman Filip Novak 64th overall and center Dominic Moore 95th overall. At first glance the deal looked one-sided in favor of the Red Wings who picked up a great talent in Tomas Kopecky, however now a year and a half later, the deal looks like an excellent one by Rangers’ General Manager Glen Sather. We all know that Filip Novak has emerged as one of the top defensive prospects in the world. What most people don’t know is how good the other player in this deal is, that being Dominic Moore.

Born on September 3, 1980 in Thornhill, Ontario, Dominic Moore has grown up watching and learning the game of hockey from his two older brothers, Mark and Steve, who Read more »

Where are they now? Switzerland, Part 5

by Joeri Loonen
on

St. Louis Blues:

Adrian Plavsic
Drafted 1988, 2nd rnd, 30th overall
Curent team: ZSC Lions

Adrian, not any longer Adrien, Plavsic is one of the most elegant players to be seen on the Swiss ice. After a long NHL career that started in 89/90 with the Blues and ended in 96/97 with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks he signed for German team Revier Löwen Oberhausen. There his experience in the NHL also with Vancouver and Tampa Bay was vey valuable and he scored 19 points in 36 games beforee Swiss giants ZSC Lions offered him a bag of money. Read more »

Steve Ott Named OHL Player of the Week

by League Press Release
on

Toronto – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Windsor Spitfires
centre Steve Ott is the OHL Player of the Week for the week ending Sunday
January 20, 2002 after scoring four goals and three assists for seven
points, leading the Spitfires to three wins last week.

Ott, a 19-year-old native of Summerside, P.E.I., scored two goals, including
the game-winner, as the Spitfires skated to a 3-2 win against the Greyhounds
in Sault Ste. Marie on January 16. He followed up with two goals, including
his second game-winner in as many days, as the Spitfires defeated the
visiting Brampton Battalion on January 17 and chipped in with two assists in
a 5-1 home-ice win over the Mississauga IceDogs on January 20.

Ott, who won a silver medal with Canada’s National Junior Team earlier this
month, leads the Spitfires with 25 goals and 28 assists for 53 points in 33
games this season.

Steve Ott
Born: August 19, 1982 Summerside, P.E.I.
Position: Centre Shoots: Left
Height: 6.01 Weight: 184 lbs.
Windsor’s 2nd round choice, 41st overall, in the 1999 OHL Priority Selection
NHL – Dallas’ 1st round choice, 25th overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft

Season  Club              GP G  A  PTS PIM
1998-99 Leamington Jr. B  48 14 30 44 110
1999-00 Windsor Spitfires 66 23 39 62 131
2000-01 Windsor Spitfires 55 50 37 87 164
2001-02 Windsor Spitfires 33 25 28 53 104
OHL     Totals         154 98 104 202 399

Guelph Awarded 2002 Memorial Cup

by League Press Release
on

GUELPH – The Canadian Hockey League and the Ontario Hockey League announced
Monday that the 2002 MasterCard Memorial Cup has been awarded to the city of
Guelph.

OHL Commissioner and CHL President David Branch, along with members of the
OHL’s Memorial Cup Selection Committee, made the official announcement
Monday afternoon in Guelph.

“We are delighted to be able to announce that the 2002 MasterCard Memorial
Cup will be held in Guelph, Ontario,” Branch said. “We are confident the
community of Guelph and the Guelph Storm hockey club will do an excellent
job in playing host to our championship tournament, which continues to grow
every year.”

The OHL allowed the top four teams in each of its two conferences at the
30-game mark of the regular season to make bids to host the 2002 MasterCard
Memorial Cup. The Guelph Storm, Erie Otters, Barrie Colts and Ottawa 67’s
all made bids to the MasterCard Memorial Cup committee.

The committee was comprised of Paul Beeston, chief operating officer,
commissioner’s office for Major League Baseball, Frank Bonello, director of
Central Scouting for the National Hockey League and Bryan O’Neill, former
Vice-President of the NHL and current NHL director of consulting services.

Gordon Kirke, Ontario Hockey League counsel, and Branch were non-voting
members of the committee.

“The quality of the four bids we received were absolutely outstanding,”
Branch said. “All of the OHL teams that bid realized the magnitude of
hosting a Memorial Cup and their presentations to the MasterCard Memorial
Cup commit Read more »

Canadiens’ weekly prospects update

by Chris Boucher
on

Ron Hainsey -D (Drafted-00(1/13))

Hainsey managed 1 assist through 2 games since our last update. He was shutout against Hamilton on January 20th, thereby ending a 4-game point-scoring streak. Overall, the 6’3″, 200-lbs defenseman has played 30 games. He has 18 points (6-12-18), and is +6 with 12 minutes in penalties. Four of his goals were scored on the powerplay, and he’s directed 62 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 1-1 record through 2 games since our last update. Sunday’s game against Hamilton was the 24-year-old’s 18th straight start. Overall, the 6’2″, 192-lbs goalie has played 25 AHL games. He has a 12-5-7 record with 2.67 GAA, and a .919 save percentage.

Eric Chouinard -F (Drafted-98(1/16))

Chouinard scored 1 goal through 2 games 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 33 games. He has 27 points (12-15-27), 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 98 shots on goal, and was leading the team in this category prior the shoulder injury.

Francois Beauchemin -D (Drafted-98(3/75))

Beauchemin managed 2 points through 2 games since our last update. Both his points came during a 4-3 win over Syracuse. Overall, the 6’0 Read more »

Czechs in the CHL Top Prospects Game

by Robert Neuhauser
on
The CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game, which will take place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan,
on January, 31st, 2002, is as usual a great event where the top draft eligible players
square off against each other and try to prove that they are the up- and coming NHL stars
of the future. A major change will take place this year. After six years of coaching the
two previous celebrity coaches step down and new two coaches will take their place. Hall of Famer
Bobby Orr and Hockey Night in Canada legend Don Cherry will be replaced by former NHL goalie
Kelly Hrudey and Dave “Tiger” Williams, who skated with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the past. But one
thing won’t change for sure. Presence of the Czech prospects. Highly regarded Czech prospects
have made their way into this event in the previous years, with virtually every of them hearing
his name selected at the NHL Entry Draft (Frantisek Bakrlik being the only exception).
The likes of Jiri Fischer, Pavel Brendl or Filip Novak
dressed up for either Team Orr or Team Cherry in the past years while Lukas Krajicek, Martin
Podlesak, Jiri Jakes and Frantisek Bakrlik competed in the last year’s edition of the event.
This year four
Czech CHL Imports were the lucky ones who will have a taste of this show. Let’s have a look
who is it!

Team Dave “Tiger” Williams

Petr Taticek – the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds rookie raised some eyebrows with his smooth
adjustment to the OHL style of play and he keeps on producing. Taticek, a son of a former
Czech Elite League forward, shows signs of developing in Read more »

The Weekly Dose

by Kirk Pedersen
on

First of all, big congratulations go out to Artem Chubarov; who, after going sixty-six games without a goal, has two in the last week. He’s been a dynamo in the face-off circle, and has worked incredibly hard defensively to ensure team leads. He’s done a great job on the kill, and has contributed in even-strength situations, too. He’s starting to repay my confidence in him this season. I, along with many other Canuck fans, know that he is well on his way to becoming a stalwart defensive forward for years to come.

All things considered, the Canucks had a pretty good week. Wins against Pittsburgh and Washington were both good, but what I’m here to talk about is the loss to St. Louis. Crawford has to teach his men that there are three periods in a game, not one, not two, but three. You’ve got to give a good, sixty-minute effort every night. As cliche’d as that sounds, it’s as true today as it was when this game was first started. On another note, I think that against Carolina, Peter Skudra is due for a start. Dan Cloutier has played his heart out for this team, and it’s high-time that he get a rest. As I mentioned in my last article, if anyone doubted that Cloutier was the MVP of this team, any doubt has been removed of late.

Another guy I’ve been mildly impressed with thus far has been Bryan Helmer. Despite his poor skating and often bone-headed plays in his own end, I’ve taken a shine to him. He’s been decent defensively, okay offensively, and hasn’t been afraid to throw a check here and there. His skating will forever make him a fringe player, and at hi Read more »

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