With training camp less than a month away, the Capitals’ roster is falling into place. It looks like Coach Ron Wilson is bringing back the same team as last season – with a couple of veteran additions. However, the opportunity is there for some rookies to gain a spot in the lineup, just as Jeff Halpern and Glen Metropolit did last year. So with that in mind, I present the five Caps rookies that could be playing in the NHL in 2000-01.
Kris Beech – centre (age 19) 98-99: Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
Kris is hoping to follow the lead set by Jeff Halpern a year ago. Last season, Halpern won the fourth-line centre position during training camp and was eased into full-time duties. Beech is being projected as the Caps star forward for the future, and he is ready to play now. Another season in junior would not help him at this stage, and the Capitals expect him to make the team. Kris is currently skating at the Canadian WJC team tryout camp and is a good bet to make the final roster. The Caps would most likely let him play in the tournament, as the big game experience would help his development. His vision and speed make him an excellent set-up man, but he would not be paired with linemates who have a lot of scoring ability at first.
Alexei Tezikov – defense (age 22) 98-99: Portland Pirates (AHL)
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Since the 1999-2000 season ended IHL clubs have been busy bolstering their lineups and getting ready for the 2000-01 season. Here is a breakdown on what each club has been up to:
CHICAGO WOLVES: After winning their 2nd Turner Cup in three seasons, the Chicago management tandem of GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and Head Coach John Anderson, along with first team IHL All Star Steve Maltais have all re-signed with the Wolves for another season. Maltais captured the IHL scoring title last season with 44 goals, 46 assists for 90 points. Dave Mackey has called it quits after 14 seasons of professional hockey.
CINCINNATI CYCLONES: Head Coach/GM Ron Smith has re-signed with the club for another season. Goaltender Randy Petruk underwent surgery July 17th to repair his left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). He injured himself in an off-season training exercise. Petruk is expected to resume light skating in November and return to the club in late December or early January 2001. Four Cyclones from last season have re-signed with the parent Carolina Hurricanes, including Brian Felsner, Byron Ritchie, Shane Willis and Greg Koeheler.
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The Canadiens have recently made many moves to bolster the front office. Bringing in solid managerial and scouting talent in Andre Savard, and Martin Madden. Both men should help Houle make the necessary choices when it comes to player movement. But the fact still remains that the Habs are an organization lacking depth; especially at the three forward positions.
Many questions are being asked by Fans and Media alike, “Are the Habs going to grab any free-agents?” And if so who?” Names such as Alexander Daigle, Stephane Richer and Claude Lemieux have been mentioned.
The fact that all 3 of these players are right wingers is no accident. The Habs’ current roster holds only 3 players with tangible NHL experience who shoot right-handed. Which creates a problem among the team’s right wingers. Why is it important for a right winger to shoot right? For 2 reasons; First, it facilitates the transition game. Especially in the defensive zone, where the transition is essential. Not only in clearing your own zone, but in creating offensive rushes. Second, it reduces the likelihood of a turnover in the defensive zone.
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Another in a series of weekly articles summarizing activity in Leafland during the previous 7 days – with some personal observations, commentary, prospect updates and fun thrown in for good measure.
Elvis signs on: Danny (Elvis) Markov inked a multi-year contract with the Maple Leafs on Friday… the deal is rumored to be for 2 years with the team holding an option for a third… Markov made quite an impact in Toronto during his rookie campaign 2 seasons ago… fans quickly fell in love with his exuberant, physical and often reckless performances on the Maple Leafs’ blueline… for some reason, Danny’s overall level of play took a tiny step backward last season… on a more positive note, Markov provides the team with a needed tough guy in the rearguard and also possesses the skill to eventually become a bigger factor in the attacking zone… the new contract reflects management’s faith in Danny’s ability to get back on track this year…
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Ink and more Ink
The Senators have resigned defensemen John Gruden and Shane Hnidy. Expect Gruden to play a handful of games with the big league club. Forward John Emmons was also resigned.
In a move that has most Sens fans frustrated the Sens signed David Oliver to a multi-year deal. Oliver was released from the club in the 98-99 season after an abysmal start. Oliver soon found work with the Houston Aero’s of the IHL and late last year suited up 9 times for the Phoenix Coyotes.
NHL veteran Derek King is the newest Senator. Last year King played with the Maple Leafs and Blues before bouncing around IHL.
It’s That Time of the Year Again
Originally four players filed for arbitration; Philips, York, Arvedson and Bonk. A few days later both Philips and Arvedson signed one year deals. York, as well came to terms with the team only hours before his hearing. This leaves Bonk to await his hearing in the next few weeks.
The Ottawa Senators Vs. Alexi Yashin
The hockey club (Rod Bryden) has diminished the damages being sought from hold out center Alexi Yashin. Now $900,000, the original amount was 7 million. This move further rouses the growing insurgency amongst Ottawa Fans. Only a few months past, Bryden was the savoir of the team, but now most of the public look upon him as a petulant control freak.
Capitan Video to the Rescue
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The Leafs’ Rookie Camp Roster has been set – at least the preliminary roster has been set. Like last year, the Leafs’ rookies will be participating in a tournament against the prospects of the Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers. The Rookie Tournament is again taking place in Kitchener and will run from September 1st to September 4th . Here is an early look at Toronto’s probable roster.
Goaltenders: Sebastien Centomo, Jamie Hodson, and Jean-Francois Racine
Defensemen: Jean-Philippe Cote, Peter Reynolds, Allan Rourke, Petr Svoboda, Vaclav Zavoral, and Jonathan Zion.
Forwards: Brad Boyes, Luca Cereda, Miguel Delisle, Lance Galbraith, Jonathan Gagnon, Jacques Lariviere, Franticek Mrazek, Mirko Murovic, Alex Ponikarovsky, Vadim Sozinov, Michal Travnicek, Kris Vernarsky, Morgan Warren
Some of the bigger names in the Leafs’ system such as Jeff Farkas and Mikael Hakansson aren’t included above as they are going directly to the main training camp that opens at the conclusion of the Rookie Tournament. Other players may still be added to this roster at a later date.
With special thanks to Brendan McCarthy of the St. John’s Telegram and to Karlo Berkovich of the Kitchener-Waterloo Record.
Summer hockey news has been pretty slow in the Rocky Mountain region this summer. Knowing Pierre Lacroix, we can never know what to expect…but judging by the amount of free agents he has on his hands, we can expect some ‘new’ news very soon.
Joe Sakic is headed to arbitration on the 15th. Can we expect a deal beforehand? Yes. Will it have a ‘no-trade’ clause? Maybe, but not likely. At the small chance it does, expect it to be very much like the partial one that Roy had.
Peter Forsberg has injured his ankle in a scrimmage/preparation match for a for MoDo’s reunion/farewell game for the Sedin twins. It’s just a minor injury, and should have no real relevance to his condition come training camp. Someone told me Chris Drury also had a little injury (hamstring) while training in Boston with the usual assortment of former BU and BC players, but, once again, such an injury is of little importance.
Will Russian winger Mikhail Kuleshov be in this year’s camp? Sorry, but it’s very unlikely, as the period to sign a foreign prospect without being fined as passed. If Kuleshov wanted to come to camp, he could, but if he wanted a contract, the Avs would have to pay a release fee, plus an addition transfer fee to his European club. With the current budget, I really doubt we will see Kuleshov until next year’s camp.
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Norwegian Anders Myrvold (6-1 200) defenseman out of Lørenskog (Oslo), Norway has signed a contract with the New York Islanders. Myrvold, a former Laval (QMJHL) player was originally a 3rd round choice by the Quebec Nordiques in 1993 for his high scoring ability and touch of feist.
Myrvold differs from many Scandinavian players as he has adapted to the NHL game of being physical. He has nothing against fighting and will try to bang with the best of them. In Sweden at Djurgården and AIK he was known as one of the toughest players in the league.
Myrvold played in Colorado in 1996-97 and then in the Boston Bruins system as part of the deal that brought Boston Landon Wilson. He spent most of the season in Providence of the AHL before returning to Scandinavia. Myrvold joins recent Blue Jacket and Norwegian Star Espen “Shampoo” Knutsen in the NHL with prospect Tore Vikingstad in camp with St. Louis. Myrvold has been training with Knutsen in Oslo with VIF-Hockey to stay in shape during the summer months.
Myrvold’s strengths are his ability to pass and use his smarts in forcing the play. Sometimes he tries to hard to make the play and forces mistakes in his own zone as we saw in the AHL at Providence with a -7 rating in one game. Myrvold is excited and will accept a minor league position (2 way deal) until he can earn a spot back with the club. Myrvold has an excellent opportunity to gain with defensmen Roman Hamrlik and Kenny Jonsson out in contract disputes.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been waiting for a Capitals youth movement for years. Caps management constantly bring in veterans instead of promoting some of the deserving youngsters in the minor leagues. Since you’re reading this on a site called Hockey’s Future, I can pretty much assume you feel the same way.
It will probably be a few years before we see our current group of prospects in the NHL. The veterans would leave gradually, with one or two young replacements per season. So let’s fast forward to 2005 to see what the lineup could look like, if we went with a group of players that would even be considered young five years from now.
The first thing to do is eliminate any player who will be 30 years of age or older on Opening Day 2000. The biggest names from that group of players are: Adam Oates, Peter Bondra, Calle Johansson and Vezina Trophy winner Olaf Kolzig. They would all be at least 35 years old by 2005, and would not fit in with the youth movement. Next, we have to determine what other players won’t be around five years from now. For various reasons, I decided to exclude Glen Metropolit, Andrei Nikolishin, Chris Simon and Ken Klee. They would all be over 30 by then, and I figured that they would be traded or leave via Free Agency before 2005.
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Patrick Thoresen who recently returned from camp in North America scored the lone goal in a 5-1 loss to Finnish Tappara. Thoresen has landed himself in his father`s stal at Storhamar for the season and is considered one of Norway`s brightest prospects. Lars Peder Nagel also played for Norway as they have put together perhaps one of their best National Teams in Years. The Norwegian team arrived right off the bus and were headed to the ice as the game time was changed and this did not suit the team well.
Defense: Petter Skolla Marius Fredriksen
Ola Johannessen Svein Magnus Melgaard
Andrè Høibyhagen Anders Helgesen
Erik Haugom Petter Barth Hansen
Forwards: Lasse Fredriksen Lars Peder Nagel
Morten Strangstad Lars Sandvold Moe
Knut Henrik Spets
Christian Thygesen Patrick Thoresen
Bjarte Bjønnes Karl Johan Sundt
Goalie: Mats Johansen
In the other game, Norway rallied from a 4-1 deficit on goals by Lasse Fredriksen (2) and Christian Thygesen to finish with 4-4 tie.