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Day One: Hawks Make Zhamnov Happy – Will the Fans Be Next?

by Bill Placzek
on
I made my feelings clear that if things fell in place, Don Blackburn could
have been taken at #9. I really didn’t think he would be there. Or maybe I
felt Ruutu’s knee surgeries would knock him down a notch. Nonetheless,
Blackburn was higher on my board and I would have taken him.

Even if all the Hawk farm goalies develop, you can never have enough
goalies. Ask San Jose, Buffalo, and New Jersey who take one or two early each
year. That was my thinking …. one of the elite eight.

Don’t get me wrong, it is difficult to quibble when your home team takes a
winner, already in the top Finnish league and the hardest working,
orneriest,solid muscle mass forechecker available.
And when Ruutu gets back on his skates in August after the TWO problems with his knee are healed he may be a better pro than Blackburn.

When Dallas takes the goalie you are going to take as an alternative to
Blackburn, Freeze goalie Jason Bacashihua, two picks before you, you don’t
panic!

You either trade out or you go to another position, but you do not REACH!

If you do, to use Mel Kiper’s coined expression, you simply don’t know what
the draft is about.

To take Adam Munro was an insult to each of us, as he was clearly not the
best player available.

Into the 3rd round, Michel Goulet stopped and I asked his interpretation of
this blunder. I said to him, “You KNOW they (Blackhawks) went goalie because
Dallas took the kid they wanted. Honestly, was Munro that high on the
Avalanche board?” He shook his head head Read more »

Isles Move Another Prospect

by Jonathan Litterine
on
The Islanders moved another prospect on Friday when they sent
defenseman
Mathieu Biron packing to Tampa Bay. Also ‘Mad’ Mike Milbury sent the
teams
2nd round pick for tomorrow to Tampa. In return the Islanders recieved
defenseman Adrian Aucion and forward Alexander Kharitonov. Aucoin has
made a
name for himself the past few years in the NHL , mostly with Vancouver.

Aucoin is known to have a big time shot from the point and would fit
nicely
on the power play with either Kenny Jonsson or Roman Hamrlik. In 66
games
with the Lightning this past season Kharitonov tallied 7 goals and 15
assists
for 22 points. So even the day before the draft Mike Milbury has begun
dealing , this weekend is shaping up to be a big big weekend for the
Islanders.

NHL DRAFT 2001 Alexander Perezhogin Draft Manual

by Eugene Belashchenko
on

Talent Analysis:
Alexander Perezhogin is a speedy winger who possesses size and abilities to earn a spot in the NHL. Alexander skates very well and uses his strong acceleration to create scoring chances. Though Alexander is considered a natural scorer by many experts, he is also a solid playmaker, able to create opportunities not only for himself but also for his teammates. If he can’t get past the defense with his good puck handling abilities, he can make a solid pass to one of his teammates. Another great upside of Alexander is his constant determination and his work ethic. Vladimir Plyuschev, head coach of the gold winning 2001 U18 World Junior Championships Russian Team (and now head coach of the Russian U20 Junior program) describes Alexander Perezhogin’s game as such:


“Usefullness, an amazing determination and a all out effort. It is unfortunate that not always his efforts turn into goals, he is not always lucky in finishing. Though he was amongst our best in his contribution. I am very happy with Sash [Alex –EB], he is a great guy”.


Read more »

Leafs – Coyotes (Part 2)

by Randy Nicholson
on

The Maple Leafs and Coyotes have, at long last, completed perhaps the slowest trade announcement in NHL history. The deal, which began almost two weeks ago, was finally completed yesterday and now looks like this: Markov and Berezin for Reichel, Renberg, Green and Mills. Let’s take a closer look at the back-end of this swap.

It’s Draft Day!

I rolled out of bed at 6:00 AM and quickly grabbed the paper. Turning to the Sports section, I fell back in horror. Suddenly I was once again a disillusioned kid trying hard to justify the sudden departure of my favorite Maple Leafs’ player (Lanny McDonald). What gives here? This deal was said to be deader than Stock Day’s political career yesterday afternoon.

Does a Berezin for Renberg exchange make sense for the Maple Leafs? Age is clearly not a factor here as both players are now 29 years-old. Salary is possibly a small consideration, with the Maple Leafs paring roughly 1 million dollars from next year’s payroll in anticipation of chasing (and hopefully landing) one or two more big ticket items when the free agency auction opens in July. After some additional time to carefully consider this move, I believe that it amounts to an exchange of electrifying skill for improved cohesiveness. A swap of one player with world class talent for another with a world class pedigree.

It’s true that Mikael Renberg played in Sweden last season and that his last 4 NHL campaigns have been fraught with injuries and disappointing results. However, when last on a contending NHL team, relatively healthy a Read more »

NHL DRAFT 2001 Fedor Tyutin Draft Manual

by Eugene Belashchenko
on

Talent Analysis:

At 6’2 and 196 pounds Fedor Tyutin definitely has the size to compete in the NHL. Tyutin is also a good skater and is a solid puck handler. A critical aspect of Tyutin’s package that makes him very attractive is that he is more of a sure thing than some other players as he has already been battle tested on a very high level. Tyutin’s natural hockey sense has been developed further during the 2000-01 season while he played full time with SKA St. Petersburg in the Super League. While playing for SKA Fedor was an aggressive and physical presence against players years older and more experienced then him. Tytuin’s mental game is also very tough. He is a very determined player with a solid work ethic, never taking shifts off. After winning the gold medal at the Under 18 World Junior Championships, Russia’s captain and Fedor Tyutin’s defensive partner Igor Knyazev said this about Fedor:


“On the pair with me played Fedor Tyutin. I felt very comfortable with him. I knew that my partner would back me up and I could confidently press forward. He is a very responsible guy, which, in any case can be said about each player. All displayed the strength of will, bravery in the deciding moment. But still, when talking about Tyutin I want to especially not his feeling of responsibility.”

Here is what an observer at the 2001 U18 WJC had to say about Fedor:

Read more »

NHL Draft Round 1

by Mark Fischel
on

ROUND 1

1. Atlanta Thrashers

Ilya Kovalchuk, Left Winger
After much deliberation, the Thrashers decided to keep the pick and select the clear consensus #1 pick, Ilja Kovalchuk. Destined to be a franchise player, Kovalchuk possesess all the attributes of a superstar. Blazing speed, the ability to take over a game, nastiness, Scoring touch and elite skills. On the downside, he brings with him the ego and brashness of the superstar, but at a young age.
“I understand it is a young team, but I will do the best I can to make it stronger and I understand and I want to do that.”

2. Ottawa Senators

Jason Spezza, Center
Acquired the #2 pick, Bill Muckalt, and Zdeno Chara from the Islanders for Alexei Yashin. The Sens selected Jason to become the centerman of the future. Until early this year, he was the consensus #1 pick until a combination of over-analysis from scouts and the emergence of Kovalchuk knocked Spezza down to #2. Blessed with an amazing on-ice vision and top notch skill, along with great playmaking and stickhandling skills, Jason will soon become a media and fan favorite all through Canada and the rest of the NHL. But did the Islanders give up too much to get Yashin?
“I’m trying to fill the void (left by Yashin). I’ll go in there and ease my way in and try and do as much as I can. I’m pretty excited. It’s pretty awesome.”

3. Tampa Bay Lightning

Alexander Svitov, Center Read more »

Rangers 2001 Draft Review – Day One

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

The Rangers headed into the draft looking to take either Dan Blackburn or Pascal Leclaire, two goaltenders labeled as future franchise players, with the 10th overall selection. A lot of people thought that if they did happen to get one of them, it would be Pascal Leclaire. Minnesota was rumored to like Blackburn at 6th overall, and if they didn’t take him, he would be scooped up 9th overall by the Blackhawks. But the Blackhawks opted for Tuomo Ruutu, and it didn’t take long for General Manager Glen Sather and Assistant General Manager Don Maloney to walk up to the podium and select the 6’0 180 pound Dan Blackburn from the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League (WHL).

Dan Blackburn at 10th overall is a great selection. He will be a great player down the road. The Rangers filled a desperate need by drafting a goaltender in Blackburn, and they also took the best player available. The Rangers have already said they will not re-sign goaltender Kirk McLean, who is a free agent, and they have told Guy Hebert that he can talk to other teams to try and find a new home. Add in Mike Richter still recovering from a torn ACL in both knees, the goaltending for the Rangers looks shaky. Johan Holmqvist is still developing in Hartford and he could turn out to be a starter some day, and the Rangers have other goaltending prospects in Vitali Yeremeyev, Jason Labarbera, Johan Asplund and Henrik Lundqvist, but the Rangers felt Blackburn was the real deal and they proceded with the selection. Many scouts felt Blackburn was the best goaltender in the draft and would be the first Read more »

Rangers Make 2 Draft Day Trades

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

The Rangers dealt their 3rd round pick (74th overall) to the Minnesota Wild for their 3rd rounder (79th) and their 5th rounder (139th). The Rangers proceeded to take Regina Pats C/LW Garth Murray with the 79th pick. The 5th rounder is a bonus for the Rangers, who dealt their 5th rounder to Colorado earlier in the season for Alexei Gusarov, who was then traded for Peter Smrek.

The second trade saw the Rangers ship away young defenseman Burke Henry to the Calgary Flames in return for young defenseman Chris St. Croix. St. Croix was drafted in the 4th round by the Flames in 1997. He is labeled as a two-way defenseman who plays physical in his own zone. He is a good skater and makes some good decisions on the ice. Whether he will be able to make the NHL is not known at this time, but he should see a few more years in the minors.

The ESPN2 announcers during the draft announced that it was likely the Rangers would deal Adam Graves to the San Jose Sharks for one or two prospects/minor leaguers. In this proposed deal, the Rangers would be eating about half of Adam Graves’ salary for this upcoming season. Personally, If Graves was to leave this team, I would rather see him traded and get something in return, instead of seeing him bought out and us losing nothing but money. However, either way I don’t want to see Graves traded, as he is an asset to this club in the locker room and he comes up big during the playoffs. Although, dealing him away for marginal prospects with little hope of making the NHL does not help us in any way, shape or form, in my opinion. I believe he c Read more »

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