Panther Training Camp Reflections
With the Panthers training camp getting the opportunity to move to the National Car Rental Center for the next few days, Panthers coaching staff turned up the intensity of the practices with a few new drills for the team. Working on up-tempo drills that emphasized puck movement, reduced space on the ice, and physical play, several of the Panther prospects had a chance to show off their skills. Hockey’s Future had the chance to ask some questions to a few of the players who will be playing tommorow in the intra-squad game.
Hockey’s Future: Niklas, What has been your initial impressions of the training camp so far?
Niklas Hagman:Well last week I was at the rookie camp and that was ok. I got the chance to get used to the smaller rink and the more physical game style. I have been here three times on the ice and it has been nice to get to know the guys, and go to the ice and figure out the playing style. Its going okay.
Hockey’s Future: What do you feel the adjustments are that you will have to make from playing the Euro style to the North American style.
Niklas Hagman: Of course it is so different here than back in Europe. The rink is smaller and everyone is shooting everywhere. In Finland and in Europe, they try to pass it the open guy. I don’t see that there is too much for me to change the game, but you got to be ready because there will be more hits, and you got to shoot the puck more Read more »
NHL Cancels Weekends Games
The National Hockey League announced today that all games through Sunday, September 16 have been canceled. The regular slate of pre-season games will start on Monday, September 17.
Sound Tigers Attend Norwalk Oyster Festival
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers front office, players, and mascot attended the Norwalk Oyster Festival. Fans were able to meet players, purchase merchandise, and purchase tickets for the upcoming season. The team was on hand at the Big Boy Toy Show Tent.
The oyster festival is a major fundraiser for the revitalization of the Norwalk Harbor area. The celebration is held in Veteran’s Park in East Norwalk. Proceeds from each year’s festival also provide year-round funding for the Norwalk Seaport Association’s environmental Education Programs.
Emile Francis and Norman Poile Honored with New AHL Trophies Read more »
With the pre-season firing on all cylinders, it is time to look into the new rules of play for the WHL. Junior hockey fans are in for a real change this season with new procedures like the “Fast Face-Off” and “4-on-4” regulation play. Yes, this may be the season fans learn to love our gifted men in black and white stripes. This year may put them in better graces with fans due to a host of contraversial rules handed down by the Canadian Hockey League. These rule changes will be in effect during the pre-season and regular season in all three CHL umbrella leagues: the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
New Rules Overview:
“Fast Face-Off”- This procedure will essentially give the linesman the ability to drop the puck on face-offs, regardless of whether both centres are ready for the drop. The rule is based on a 5-second line change (per team) and an additional allocation of 5-seconds to prepare for the puck drop. When the team line changes are complete, the linesman will blow his whistle, indicating no more than five seconds until the puck drop will occur. The obvious result of this rule will be that players must quickly get in position for face-offs, knowing the other team may gain control of the puck if they are not prepared. Face-offs are the beginning step in garnering control of the play, thus teams will emphasize the importance of this new rule to their teams. Fans will definitely be divided on their thoughts about this new regulation. Some will love the quicker speed, others will publ Read more »
I had heard thru my little grape vine that Poti was close with the Oilers and thought he would be signed. I had also thought that guys like Ninnima’s back would be ok by today and knew nothing about Sven Butenchans injury. While Poti and Ninnima can afford to miss a day of camp and still make this team, I believe that Sven is put behind some standout performances by other defensemen in particular draft pick Semenov.
The best line on the ice was one made up of Green, Laraque and centered by Rem Murray. They carried the play, made big hits, controlled the puck and generally had a free rein whenever they were on the ice. This is one line that I hope stays intact as it can wreck a lot of havoc, and provide the necessary jump to a game when things slow down.
The speed and creativity of the line of Hemsky, Rita and Comrie was apparent, but Mike Comrie needs to slow down a bit and not take on so much. He was all over the ice, and if that continues he’ll wear himself out by Christmas. This line has blazing speed, great skills. (Great high speed pass’s) and good movement. The only thing they really could use is a year’s experience. While I can’t see this line staying together, when it matures in a year or so, they will be awesome.
Red Deer Rebel Shay Stevenson was also a big hitter today, and while he’ll be in Red Deer by the end of the week, look for things from this kid as he develops in the future. The goaltending situation was a bit of a concern, but both Ty Conklin and Makennnen showed that they are both very capable of stopping the puck. Ma Read more »
The pennants hang with their usual luster. The goal posts and ice shine with the brightness of a new season. If baseball has the smell of grass and the open sky, then surely hockey has the shine. This is the time of the season when everyone’s a contender. The loss column is empty, and anything seems possible.
It all seemed like a distraction as the Canadiens stepped onto the ice to begin training camp. Only the brightness of the new season was enough to cut through the dark cloud of reality.
Until eight days ago, the shine might have been accompanied by more hope. At that point the team had made sufficient strides toward competing for a playoff spot. The car finally seemed to be in gear; inching its way up the hill of competitiveness. Now the reality of the situation sets in; with the loss of the team’s leader and number one centerman the Canadiens head into training camp coasting uphill.
Great teams are built through the middle. If goaltending is the anchor, then the centerman is the rudder. As it stands right now the Canadiens depth at center trails in comparison with other teams in the East. Where the Flyers have Primeau, Roenick, Dopita, and the Rangers have Lindros, Messier, Nedved; the Canadiens have Perreault, Juneau, Bulis.
Craig Darby, Benoit Gratton, and Mike Ribeiro fill out the depth chart. Barring any additional help via trade or free agency, Ribeiro may just become the wild card. His offensive game has never been questioned. However, his work ethic and defensive awareness have question marks jumping off the page.
Read more »
Bad days for all of us
New York and Washington were attacked by terrorists on Tuesday morning. The peoples here in Germany and all over the world are shocked, too. In an announcement german chancellor Gerhard Schröder told us that this wasn’t an attack against the USA, they attacked the whole world. In the darkest time of our whole lifes, our thoughts are with the relatives of the innocent killed people and with the helpers in these places of mourning and destruction. We would like to offer our condolences to the victims. Let us remember them and their families in our prayers.
Bad days for hockey, too
Saku Koivu, finnish center of the Montreal Canadiens, has cancer. This announcement shocked the Canadiens’ fans and hockey fans all over the world. Many peoples died due to these illness, others, like well known athletes Mario Lemieux or the winner of this years Tour de France, Lance Armstrong won the fight against it. Saku, we all hope that you will win the fight against the horrible illness and we wish you all the best.
Ian Young, a 32 year old former hockey player died in a car crash near Calgary at the end of the last week. Young played for several german team Read more »
The final installment of the 2001-02 previews, for unranked prospects.
Fedor Fedorovthe former Port Huron Border Cat was selected by the Canucks in the third round of this year’s draft. He re-entered the draft, after failing to come to terms with his original team, the Tampa Bay Lightning. Let me first start out by saying that all Fedorov’s are not created equal. Fedor doesn’t have the talent of his older brother, Sergei, but that doesn’t mean that he’s not a talented player in his own right. Fedor is big (6’4″) and 217 pounds, and uses his size to his advantage. He had a great season in Sudbury, leading the Wolves in scoring, after being relegated to a checking role the season before. A fast skater with great balance, Fedor can open up the ice with his skating ability, much like his older brother, Sergei. He has good basic offensive skills, but nothing to suggest that he’ll be much more than an average offensive contributor at the NHL level. Fedor could possibly become a part of the Canucks future, he’s one of the few solid wingers in the system. He’s already played one season of minor-pro, and has worked hard at improving his game in Sudbury. He might make an impact if he goes to Manitoba this season. He remains unsigned as of today.
Will: Play hard, no matter where he ends up.
Can’t: Shake the shadow of Sergei.
Expect: Hard work, and good results, hopefully in the AHL.
Don’t Expect: An NHL promotion right away. Read more »
Well, here we are again at the beginning of another OHL season. I love this time of year, so much to look forward to on ice rinks around the world. Before I get going on the outlook for the Belleville Bulls this season, I would just like to congratulate Canada’s under-18 team on bringing home the gold medal, proving that we still have great talent in this country and the resources to develop it. I would also like to extend my deepest sympathies to all those affected, in whatever way, by the tragic events this past week.
I see that The Hockey News has picked the Bulls to finish last in the division for the second straight year. Pin it up in the locker room next to the division title won by last year’s team. I have contended in the past that it is a futile exercise to rank junior league teams because of the high turnover of players and the steep improvement some players make from one season to the next. Examples on last years team alone can be sited to make this point. Kyle Wellwood went from a promising young player to one of the best players in the league. Randy Rowe began his career in Belleville as a 4th line checker and ended up as the leagues top sniper. If prognosticators last year would have known these two players would have turned out that kind of season, I’m sure they would not have been picked last. So any way, let’s see what surprises the Bulls have in store for the league this year.
Mike Renzi Kyle Wellwood Nate Robinson
David Silverstone Matt Stajan Cody McCormick
Marc Rancourt Andre Read more »
Hockey’s Future Conversation with Marcus Nilson and Kristian Huselius
Taking a break from their hectic training camp schedule, Hockey’s Future recently had the chance to have a conversation with Panthers sophomore left wing Marcus Nilson, and highly regarded rookie, Kristian Huselius. Nilson ended last season playing the part as the defensive and physical conscience for Pavel Bure, and completed his season as one of the best of his career on any level.
Kristian Huselius is not only coming off a career year numbers-wise for himself, but a career year for all of the Swedish Elite League, where he swept 6 offensive categories and had what is considered the finest season for any Swedish players ever. Both Marcus and Kristian were able to reflect on their past seasons, what the upcoming season will hold, and what challenges they face. They also deftly avoided my attempts to get them to start the pre-Olympic trash talking well before anyone else.
Hockey’s Future: How long have you two known each other, and how many times have you played against each other or together?
Marcus Nilson: I would say about 9 or 10 years, and against each other not too many times. Maybe like 6 or 7 times….
Kristian Huselius: We played together alot though.
HF: What kind of advice have you given Kristain about playing in the NHL?
MN: Nothing yet, just trying to help him out here and there, but he is doing fine by himself
HF: With Sweden and Finland be Read more »