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Oilers sign Marc-Andre Bergeron

by Dean Belanger
on
The Oilers reached both highs and lows recently when they signed highly regarded free agent defenceman Marc-Andre Bergeron from the QMJHL, but then saw Christian Chartier sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Oilers were unable to come to terms with Chartier on the June 1st deadline so he became an unrestricted free agent. You would have to assume that the Leafs were probably as good a scenario for Chartier to come too, perhaps even better than the Oilers, due to their lack of play making defencemen.

Bergeron brings an impressive resume to the Oilers, posting 42 goals and 101 points in 69 games this past season. The 42 goals were actually a single season record for goals by a defenceman. He was also a very impressive +47 and kicked in a whopping 185 minutes in penalties. His career stats were: 1997-98 to 2000-01 in the QMJHL with Shawinigan and Baie-Comeau, he scored at almost a point-per-game pace with 86-144-230 in 249 games and played in both the 1999-00 and 2000-01 QMJHL all-star Games. The signing of Bergeron temporarily gave the Oilers the best defenceman from each junior league, until Chartier chose not to sign.

Bergeron would have to be considered a top prospect in the organization now behind only Alexei Semenov. Both players will be in camp this fall to challenge for a roster spot on the blue line.

Other recent signings for the Oilers Kevin McDonald. Kevin McDonald is a tough, physical forward from Olds, AB. He has primarily played in the ECHL, and will act only to add depth to the organization.

Vyshedkevich to Russia or Anaheim?

by pbadmin
on

Sergei Vyshedkevich has signed a 1 year contract with Dynamo Moscow of the Super League for next season. Vyshedkevich will participate in the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim camp this fall, but will go to Russia instead of Cincinnati if he does not make the Anaheim roster.

Sergei was aquired by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim on February 10, 2001 with Scott Langkow from Atlanta for Ladislav Kohn.

Sergei is a promising offensive defenseman. He is 6’0″ 195lbs and has played well for the RiverRats (AHL) and the Solar Bears (IHL). After being traded to Anaheim and sent to play for the Ducks Cincinnati team, Vyshedkevich scored 2 goals and 1 assist in 9 games. Durring his stint in Atlanta, Sergei had 1 goal and 3 assits in 1999-2000 but in 2000-2001 he had only 1 goal and 2 assists in 23 games on a poor defense.

Sergei may fit well on the Mighty Ducks offensive style and the team is lacking depth on defense.

NHL DRAFT 2001: Ilja Kovalchuk’s Draft Manual

by Eugene Belashchenko
on

Whose play was so amazing during the 1999 Canada Cup Challenge Under-17 that his stick was demanded so it could be placed in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto for the first time in the history of international hockey? Ilya Kovalchuk, that’s who! Ilya is one of the most exciting prospects, or more likely the most exciting prospect in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.

(for more information, interviews, articles, photographs and etc. please
visit http://www.russianprospects.com)


Talent Analysis:

At 6’2 and 205 pounds, Ilya Kovalchuk already has the size to be a force in the NHL. As many Russian players, he will probably add more bulk after crossing over to North America. This young star has the skills to complement his great athleticism. As one scout put it “He’s big, tough and he’s got the puck all night,”. His explosive skating has been compared to that of the likes of Bure and is able to maneuver through heavy traffic. Besides being a powerful goal scorer, Ilya is also a great playmaker, possessing great puckhandling skills. Ilya’s great size would not have been as an effective asset without his great intensity. Ilya uses his size to fight for the puck and does not hesitate to get his hands dirty in a physical game, leading this season Spartak Moscow with 78 penalty minutes. Ilya is also a very feisty player, constantly getting into fights with his opponents. In an interview with the Sport Express Newspaper that is available in a link below, he explained hi Read more »

1949-50 Chatham Maroons Last Canadian Team To Win Turner Cup

by Andrew Bourgeois
on
The Chatham Maroons will forever remain the final Canadian team to hoist the Turner Cup.

The International Hockey League’s long-expected announcement Monday that it was folding assured the 1949-50 Maroons of their place in history.

“I read it about a week ago and I thought, “Good God,”‘ said Albert Plouffe, one of five Maroons who moved from Timmins, Ont., to play in Chatham. “It was the reason we came down here and now it’s gone.

“It’s disappointing.”

The IHL ceased operations after 56 years. The Maroons came aboard during its fifth year and won the championship that season, defeating the Sarnia (Ont.) Sailors in a seven-game series.

The Maroons left two years later for the OHA Senior league. They hadn’t expected to be the last Canadian champs.
“It’s sort of depressing,” said Earl Towers, another Timmins player who settled in Chatham. “It’s sort of sad. But I’m glad we did it.”

Their victory began a local IHL championship connection which continued until 1999, when Chatham’s Brian Wiseman, a former Toronto Maple Leafs’ farmhand, raised the Turner Cup with the Houston Aeros.

“It’s kind of disappointing the end result was this one,” Wiseman said, “whereas a few years back, it looked like one of the premier leagues in hockey.”

Wiseman played five years in the IHL. He was named the league MVP and won the scoring title in the 1998-99 championship season. He also played in three all-star games and was twice named an all-star in post-season voting.

A series of concussions sidelined him this season. H Read more »

Off season moves

by Anthony Patrick
on

Possible off-season moves that could affect the Flames depth chart.

The minor league affiliate in Saint John had a stellar season, winning the Canadian Division crown, then going on to capture the Calder Cup as league champions. The success on the farm and the failure of the NHL squad should have some sort of impact on the roster in the upcoming season. The uninspired play of many veterans may also force a shuffling of personnel. So what can we really expect between now and training camp?

Promotions, Demotions, Minor League Shuffling

On the Farm

The success for a minor league affiliate is normally great news for any NHL team. Especially when the average age on that team is 22 years of age. It usually means that the minor league team is stacked with some great talent that could help out a weak NHL squad. But the Flames are not lucky enough to fall into that category. While the team they played in the Calder Cup finals, the Wilkes Barrie-Scranton Penguins, sported young AHL scoring stars like Milan Kraft and Andrew Ference, the Saint John Flames success can be tied to their great team play. There is not a single NHL star player in development in Calgary’s farm team. There is no expected impact player to be delivered that could change the NHL team’s fortunes. But there are a few players that could help out the Flames become a better scoring team, and provide more depth and balance to the roster.

Former first round pick Daniel Tkaczuk had an amazing run after coming back from a late season concussion. He stepped in and Read more »

Turner Cup Champions Orlando Solar Bears Cease Operations and Detroit Vipers Cea

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

IHL NEWS

The Orlando Solar Bears has ceased business operations, RDV Sports COO John Weisbrod announced today.

The Solar Bears became a member of the International Hockey League in December of 1994. Since beginning play in 1995-96, Orlando compiled an all-time regular season record of 286-162-44 (.626), the best mark in the IHL during that time frame.

In six seasons, the Solar Bears captured one division title (1995-96 Central Division), three Eastern Conference crowns (1996, 1999, 2001) and the 2001 Turner Cup championship. Orlando also advanced to the IHL Playoffs every year. The International Hockey League, which was founded in 1945, ceased operations on June 4, 2001.

The Solar Bears completed a historic 2000-01 season by defeating Chicago, 4-1, to capture its first Turner Cup championship. Orlando picked up numerous postseason accolades along the way. Goaltender Norm Maracle was named IHL Most Valuable Player during the regular season and playoffs, defenseman Brian Pothier earned both the IHL’s Rookie of the Year and U.S.-born Rookie of the Year awards, while Peter Horachek picked up the IHL Coach of the Year.

Other Solar Bears highlights have included: becoming the first Eastern Conference expansion team to reach the Turner Cup Finals (1996), posting a 16-game winning streak in 1996-97 (the third-longest winning streak in professional hockey history), and becoming the first and only team in IHL history to win a seven-game playoff series after overcoming a 3-0 deficit (1999 Eastern Conference Finals vs. Detroit).

Followin Read more »

Red Wings draft preview

by Zoran Manojlovic
on

This years draft looks to be the best ever. There are tons of players that looks like future NHLers. It`s not only the regular draft guys that are interesting, there are also guys that re-enter the draft that are good and could be good investments. But unfortunately Red Wings don`t have the so important 1st round pick, they miss the 3rd round pick to. 1st round pick was traded to Chicago in a deal for Chris Chelios, and the 3rd round pick belongs to Nashville because Detroit made a trade for a 4th round pick in the 2000 draft to pick goalie Stefan Liv.

Detroit will start the draft in the second round.

Here are some players that I think would fit good in the Detroit Red Wings organization.

1. Yered Hagos

Country: Sweden
Club: AIK J20
Position: Center
Height: 6.1
Weight: 201
Shoots: Left

First player I would draft but unfortunately I don`t think he will be available when Red Wings make there first pick, is Yered Hagos. This guy has it all, nice size, very good leadership, great skater, a lot of toughness, EVERYTHING! He has already made his debut in the Swedish Elite leagues playoffs! This IS a future Nhl player. He is ranked 24th overall in Europe, but I think he should be Top 30 in the draft!

2. Jay McClement

Country: Canada
Club: Brampton OHL
Position: Center
Height: 6.2
Weight: 195
Shoots: Left

Unfortunately I don`t think he`ll either be there when Detroit draft, but you can always hope. Jay is a very good all-round player, good size, scoring touch, great skater, very responsible defensiv Read more »

Give 67’s GM some credit for the team’s consistent success

by Jared Hall
on
Lost amidst the accolades honouring Brian Kilrea’s illustrious coaching
career is his brilliant record as the team’s general manager. Yes,
Kilrea’s coaching has inspired some pretty grand achievements but it’s
his knack for procuring and developing talented hockey players that
keeps the 67’s contending among the league’s elite. Consider these
achievements since 1995-96:

· 1999 Memorial Cup

· 2001 OHL Championship

· 3 trips to the OHL finals

· 5 consecutive Eastern division regular season crowns
  (95-96 through 99-00)

· Overall record:
  GP	W	L	T	OTL	PCT
  356	252	104	41	5	.708

· 16 players drafted to the NHL including 4 first-rounders.
  (Nick Boynton only counted once)
So how does he manage to keep the 67’s on top while most teams go
through cycles of peaking and rebuilding?

First of all, the foundation for Ottawa’s success starts at the draft
table. Kilrea realizes that defence wins championships and he drafts
accordingly. From 1994 to 2001, six of Ottawa’s eight first rounders
have been defencemen. And with credit to top-notch scouting led by Joe
Rowley, the 67’s have produced these blue-chip defenders:


Luke Sellars	2nd round draft choice, Atlanta
Jeremy Van Hoof	2nd round draft choice, Pittsburgh
Jonathan Zion	4th round draft choice, Toronto
Nick Boynton	1st round draft choice, Washington and Boston
                MVP 1999 Memorial Cup
Brian Campbell	6th round draft choice, Buffalo
                1998-99 CHL Player of the Ye Read more »

Jagr rumors heat up…

by Richard A. Plisco
on

With the NHL 2001 entry draft slated to begin within weeks, the Jagr rumors have begun to intensify. The Pittsburgh franchise and specifically GM Craig Patrick will be the spotlight for what may prove to be one of the biggest trades in NHL history.

Critics liken the situation to that of Gretzky going to Los Angeles or Lindros going to Philadelphia. No doubt, Penguins fans will expect nothing less than fair market value. However, several key factors come into play. The Pens are looking to unload Jagr’s salary to free up budget room to re-sign all-star scorers Kovalev and Straka. So trading for a current legitimate NHLer is more than not likely in the cards.

The Penguins will most likely be looking to add inexpensive depth players to round out the roster and any combination of picks, prospects, and/or cash. Commissioner Gary Bettman will also be expected to monitor the move to insure that cash value does not violate league restrictions.

Sources for the team indicate that now would be the best time to make such a deal for many reasons, the most obvious is to solidify a core group of performers to afford Mario one more decent shot at a Cup before re-entering retirement. Mario has only committed to one more season and the Olympics, so the window of opportunity may be minute.

The teams rumored to be interested currently include the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders, and the San Jose Sharks. Teams that struggled this season and have the payroll also cannot be discounted which would bring the New York Ra Read more »

Manitoba Moose Announce Affiliation With Vancouver and Unveil New Coach

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

IHL NEWS

The Manitoba Moose unveiled Stan Smyl as their new head coach Tuesday, a day after joining the American Hockey League from the defunct International Hockey League.
The Moose also made official that their NHL affiliation would be the Vancouver Canucks.

“When looking at affiliation, it was important for us to be associated with a Canadian-based franchise and the Canucks are a quality, first-class organization,” said Moose owner Mark Chipman.

The teams agreed to a five-year partnership deal.
Randy Carlyle stays on as general manager for the Moose, who were among six former IHL teams to move to the AHL.
Smyl, has been with the Canucks organization since he was drafted as a player in 1978. He led the Kansas City Blades to a 37-42-3 record in the IHL last season.

“While our organization’s number one goal is to develop the future stars of the Vancouver Canucks, it is equally important to put a competitive team on the ice that Manitobans can be proud of,” said Smyl. “I look forward to working with Randy and taking a run at a Calder Cup championship.”

The Moose also re-styled their team jerseys. The new look features a Canucks shoulder patch with the colour scheme switching from purple, green and black, to a forest green, bronze and black.

“With the new affiliation with the Vancouver Canucks, and our entry into a new league, we thought it would be fitting to give our hockey club a new and more modern look,” said Moose vice-president Tim Scott. “We feel these new uniforms combine many of hockey’s traditions with an exciting look Read more »

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