As the 2000/01 approaches, the Sharks have question marks ranging from who will make it, who will be signed, and who will be thrust into action sooner than expected.
With the number of potential holdouts, it would not be inconceivable to see faces like Jim Montgomery, Shawn Heins, Robert Jindrich and Jarrett Deuling to see action, where otherwise, they would almost assuredly be in Kentucky of the AHL. They are combined with the possible debuts of Mark Smith and Matt Bradley, which adds up to some very interesting, and frightening possibilities for the Sharks.
The first hurdle the Sharks are faced with is signing many of their young players. There are still eight players who are restricted free agents, including the team’s identity, Owen Nolan, their goaltender, Steve Shields, and their possible future in Patrick Marleau. Also on the list are Yevgeni Nabokov, Marcus Ragnarsson, Marco Sturm, Todd Harvey and Alex Korolyuk. Read more »
The annual Maple Leafs Rookie Camp and Tournament will start soon in Kitchener. This is an incredibly significant event, as it is the ultimate realization of Ken Dryden’s stated promise to build a team that will contend for the Stanley Cup every season.
The best thing about Cliff Fletcher’s time as the Maple Leafs’ boss was that the club became so startlingly successful in such a relatively short period of time. But in many respects, this was also the worst thing about Fletcher’s reign in Toronto. Sudden play-off success encouraged the club to take a “win now” approach and make several trades involving the young players/picks who should have been there to take over when Gilmour, Clark, Ellett, Andreychuk and the other core veterans collectively ran out of steam. As a result, the club that Dryden inherited following the 1996-1997 season had one of the thinnest collection of prospects in the entire league.
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The upstart Norwegian Under 18 Team lead by Patrick Thoresen and Peter Lorentzen started the tourney by shocking Slovakia by way of a 5-5 tie after being down 2-0 early in the first. Thoresen added a goal and teammate Thomas Tangnes added 2 goals and 1 assist.
In the second game Norway downed Germany 3-0 on goals by Thomas Tangnes, Erik Johansen and Peter Lorentzen. Thoresen assisted on the game winner 14 minutes into the first period.
In the final game Norway rallied from a 2-1 deficit to tie Switzerland 3-3. Norway received goals from Peter Lorentzen, Thomas Tangnes and Patrick Thoresen whose third period goal tied the game for good.
The showing in the tourney was a solid move forward for the Norwegian National Side as they have been struggling to rebuild after years of being outclassed by their European Neighbors and North American Competitors.
Player POS GP G A TP
Peter Lorentzen FW 3 2 4 6
Thomas Tangnes FW 3 4 1 5
Patrick Thoresen FW 3 1 4 5
Henning Thorsnes FW 3 1 0 1
Rene Bøe FW 3 1 0 1
Kenneth Andersen DF 1 0 1 1
Tom Martin Hammerstad FW 3 0 1 1
Erik Wallace Johansen FW 3 0 1 1
***Thoresen, Tangnes and Lorentzen all finished +3 in plus/minus.
A fine showing by Norway`s future Stars…
The Nashville Predators have released their roster for the upcoming rookie camp and tournament in Traverse City, Michigan, Sept. 2-5. There are several top propsects on the roster this year, including Denis Arkhipov, who recently signed a contract has finally come to North America. Arkhipov is one of the top prospects in the organization and an excellent goal scorer. He has an outside chance to make the Predators this season and his initial performance at the rookie tournament could be the first step toward the NHL.
Other strong prospects include Jonas Andersson, who was the most impressive rookie in last year’s camp. Andersson also has a chance to make the Predators this season, especially after spending an entire season in North America with the North Bay Centennials of the OHL. Martin Bartek has completed his QMJHL career and could also be a candidate to play in the NHL this season, but he will likely spend the year in Milwaukee of the IHL.
Scott Hartnell is perhaps the biggest name among this group of prospects, after he was selected sixth overall by the Predators in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. Hartnell will look to impress the Nashville staff and show the team that he is closer to the NHL than the scouts believe, but it is almost certain that he will be back with Prince Albert of the WHL this season.
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The Portland Pirates will start their season in about a month’s time with more than half of last year’s roster intact. This will be a very different team however, as they will no longer have superstar goaltender Martin Brochu leading them into battle. Brochu signed with Calgary recently in an attempt to get to the NHL quicker.
The 2000-01 edition of the Pirates will have an overhauled defense corps, and should have a more potent offense. They will be counting on at least four rookies and four veteran additions to get them back to the form that had them first overall for an extended stretch last year.
Trying to predict a lineup before training camp begins is very difficult, as anything can and will happen before opening night. Using the entire organizational roster as a starting point, I have constructed what I think think the Pirates roster will look like.
The top line will consist of centre Jeff Nelson between wingers Mike Peluso and Matt Pettinger. Nelson is an offensive force for the Pirates and is a veteran leader among the forwards. Peluso has proved time and time again that he is top-line material and should once again be among the Pirates’ top scorers. Pettinger is a rookie, and would not normally be considered for the top line. However, the Pirates lost their top three left wingers in the off-season (Elomo, Moore, Toms) and are very thin at that position.
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Lonny Bohonos has become the second Manitoba Moose (Michael Stewart signed with Frankurt Lions of the German League.) to bolt for Europe as he signed with HC Davos of the Swiss League. The Moose were not even given the opportunity to have Bohonos back in a Moose uniform for the 2000-01 IHL season. Last season the Toronto Maple Leafs had agreed to assign Bohonos to the Moose instead of their AHL farm club in St. John’s Newfoundland. This years contrat negotiations had a different twist to it when the Leafs told Bohonos that he would have to report to the baby Leafs so he signed with Davos of the Swiss Elite League for bigger money.
“After last year, when he didn’t get called up, he was left wondering, ‘How long am I going to hang on to this dream?’ “ said Jim Sedgwick, Bohonos’s Winnipeg-based agent.
Sedgwick said since Bohonos didn’t get a sniff from the Leafs last year, Bohonos figured their actions spoke volumes about what they thought of him, although the money was big by minor-league standards.
Bohonos who left for Switzerland in early August where he will earn twice as much as he was earning in North America knows that there is also a downside when playing in Europe. “I know that while in Europe I will be out of sight and out of mind from NHL teams, but its something that I felt was right for me and it was something that I felt I had to do.” said Bohonos.
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I know a lot of Ranger fans and other hockey fans around the world are
waiting for top prospect Pavel Brendl to make his mark on the NHL. Will Pavel
impress Ron Low, Glen Sather and the rest of the New York Rangers’ management
during training camp and earn a roster spot? I sure think so.
Brendl has been training very hard this summer with Adam Graves, Jamie
Lundmark and Stefan Cherneski. He’s already up to 6’1 205 lbs. and a lot of
knowledgeable hockey people suggest he will gain more weight before training
camp starts. It’s good news to Ranger fan’s ears to hear that Pavel is
training and working hard this summer. Most fans remember Brendl coming to
camp last year out of shape and with an attitude that he was already good
enough to make the team and he didn’t need to work hard. He was proven wrong
and the Rangers made sure he would turn things around this summer and so far
he has done just that.
So where should we expect Pavel to play? If he falters again in training
camp, he will be sent back to his junior team.
However, there’s a good chance he’ll do well and if he does, he should be 3rd
line RW for the Rangers this season. 10-15 goals and 30 or so points is good
numbers to project for Brendl’s rookie season. If things go EXTREMELY well,
the sky is the limit for Brendl, and we may see him score 50 goals in a
season and become an all-star real soon. It will be a very exciting 2000-01 Read more »
The Leafs Rookie Camp roster has now been set. The team listed below will participate in two-a-day workouts at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on August 29th and 30th and will then take part in a round robin tournament against the prospects of the Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers. The tournament will also take place in Kitchener and will run between September 1st and September 4th. Here is Toronto’s final roster.
Goaltenders: Sebastien Centomo, Jamie Hodson, and Jean-Francois Racine
Defensemen: Jean-Philippe Cote, Peter Reynolds, Allan Rourke, Petr Svoboda, Lubos Velebny, Vaclav Zavoral, and Jonathan Zion.
Forwards: Brad Boyes, Luca Cereda, Miguel Delisle, Jonathan Gagnon, Lance Galbraith, Jacques Lariviere, Franticek Mrazek, Mirko Murovic, Ben Ondrus, Alex Ponikarovsky, Vadim Sozinov, Michal Travnicek, Kris Vernarsky, Morgan Warren
The majority of these youngsters are already under contract with the Maple Leafs’ organization or are unsigned selections from the team’s previous drafts. Galbraith and Ondrus are free agents hoping to secure a professional contract just as Centomo and Lariviere did last year with solid play in the Rookie Tournament.
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The Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils should open the 2000-01 season without a great number of new players on the roster. However, training camp should still be quite interesting for Devil watchers.
Goaltender Ari Ahonen, New Jersey’s first round pick in the 1999 draft, will be attending his first NHL camp. The 19 year old Finn has played well in his native country but the Devils are anxious to see how this will translate to the North American game.
Ahonen has no chance of being on the opening night roster. New Jersey would love for the young netminder to agree to play this season at Albany of the AHL which would likely accelerate his progress.
Six 2000 draft choices plan on being in training camp, none of whom are even being considered for spots at this time. Still, defensemen Phil Cole and Deryk Engelland along with forwards Michael Rupp, Max Birbraer, Mike Jefferson and Warren McCutcheon hope to make a lasting impression on Coach Larry Robinson.
Of that group expect 6-5, 230 lb. Rupp to get a long look. 5-9, 190 lb. Jefferson will get some attention if only due to the fact that he is likely to start some skirmishes based on his abrasive style.
Training camp opens on September 8th at South Mountain Arena in West Orange, New Jersey. The first exhibition game vs. Pittsburgh is scheduled for September 16th in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.