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Nick Beverly off to the Windy City

by Randy Nicholson
on

Nick Beverly off to the Windy City: Leafs Director of Player Development, Nick Beverly, left the team this week in pursuit of new challenges with the Blackhawks (Late note: Director of Pro Scouting, Joe Yannetti has also left to join the Hawks)… Nick is said to enjoy a very close working relationship with Chicago’s de facto General Manager, Mike Smith… Beverly, a respected executive, will be missed… perhaps more importantly, the Maple Leafs lately can’t seem to keep a management team intact for more than a year or so… expect Toronto to move slowly in securing a replacement as Pat Quinn and Bill Watters remain on hand to conduct all necessary business… 30-year-old Mark Hillier may be in line for expanded responsibilities… former Flames execs Al Coates and Nick Polano are also said to be interested in coming to Toronto… these options are all very viable ones as Hillier is widely regarded as a rising star in the Leafs’ front office and Calgary, under the guidance of Coates and Polano, has quietly built one of the league’s very best player development programs…

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Matt Gens Future Watch

by Erik Freeman
on
This installment of Future Watch is featuring Matt Gens out of Baudette, MN.
Gens, is a mobile defenseman with a good offensive sense of the game.
“The NTDP has been fantastic for me,” said Gens. Gens and his teammates
willl have a great solid returning team next year and look for them to do
some damage at the U-18 world championships. Gens is looking at staying in
the WCHA for his college options. “I really like Wisconsin, Minnesota, and
North Dakota; they are all great schools with great tradition,” Gens
exclaimed. As far as the summer goes Gens is taking a break off from the
ice and just training to get stronger and gain some bulk to his frame.

2000-01 UMass-Lowell Recruits

by Monty Rodrigues
on
The UMass Lowell 2000/2001 recruiting class was finalized over the last
couple of weeks, and includes a couple of potential big name players. The
Hawks losses from last year include the four seniors, forwards Chris Bell
(9-21-30), John Campbell (7-11-18) and Craig Brown (4-5-9) along with
defender Kevin Bertram (10-8-18). Two players that would have been
sophomores this year, defenseman Andy Wozniewski and goalkeeper Dan
Weinrieb
will return to junior hockey for the 2000-2001 year.

So with six spots to fill, the Hawks recruited well to restock each of the
positions that were lost. The big name of this years incoming class is
forward Laurent Meunier, a freshman from Echirolles, France and former
teammate of River Hawk junior forward Yorick Treille. Meunier, 5’11″, 180
pounds, is described by Coach Tim Whitehead as a “very well-rounded
forward.” Meunier, born 1/16/79, spent the last year as a member of the
Leon Lions in the French Elite League. He might have made a name for
himself though at the 2000 World Hockey Championship in St. Petersburg,
Russia this past year. Meunier was the 11th leading scorer in the
Tournament, with a 4-3-7 line in 6 games, even though he was one of the
younger players participating. “Laurent is a top-notch player,” Whitehead
said. “He skates well and is very smart with the puck. I can see him doing
a
lot of things for us.”

Forward Peter Hay (Weyburn, SJHL) was the first player signed by Lowell for Read more »

Thrashers Sign a Key Prospect

by pbadmin
on
The Atlanta Thrashers have agreed to terms with forward Dmitri Vlasenkov, according to Don Waddell, vice president and general manager for the
team. Vlasenkov’s rights were acquired from the Calgary Flames along with Hnat Domenichelli on Feb. 11, 2000 in exchange for Darryl Shannon and Jason Botterill. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Vlasenkov, 22, led Yaroslavl and tied for fifth overall in the Russian Hockey League with 35 points (15 goals, 20 assists) in 38 games last season. He also led the club in playoff scoring with seven points, tallying three goals and four assists in 10 games. The 5-11, 185-pound left wing has spent the majority of the last five seasons with Yaroslavl, amassing 40 goals and 31 assists for 71 points
in 168 games. He has also played for Yaroslavl’s division two team. Vlasenkov led the 1998-99 club with 11 goals and tied for fifth in scoring, registering 16 points in 41 games. The native of Olenigorsk, Russia, was originally selected by the Flames with their fourth choice, 73rd overall, in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.

Blues summer vacation- Not a vacation for all

by Chris Irvine
on

It may be a vacation for many including players, families and many others but not quite a vacation for the likes of Larry Pleau. Pleau has been very active throughout the summer and the following is a recap of his moves thus far.

The first bit of news was the announcement to some veterans that they would not be a part of the blues future. These players included: Center Bob Bassen, Right Wing Stephane Richer, and Defensemen Dave Ellet and Rudy Poeschek. It was also made clear that minor leaguers Jim Campbell and Derek King would not be offered contracts and would become unrestricted free agents.

Next was the signing or releasing of the 98 draft picks. For junior draft picks, you retain their rights for two years after the draft, for European draft picks, you retain their rights for four years after the draft and for college players remain your rights until their college eligibility is up. In keeping with the rules, no decision had to be made at this time on defensemen Christian Backman, Andrei Trochinsky, Yvegeny Pastukh and John Pohl. For the remaining players in the system the blues elected to sign only defensemen Matt Walker of the Kootenay Ice of the WHL. For others, Maxim Linnik, Brad Voth and Brad Twordik were all released. Along with the 98 draftees, 21 year old James Desmerais was not given a contract and became a free agent, he was selected in the final round of the 99 draft.
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Is Kip a Keeper Because of the Reaper

by Tony Calfo
on
With the departure of Sean O’Donnell and Steve McKenna in the expansion draft, the Kings had a glaring need for some muscle. Enter 35-year-old Stu Grimson, who signed a one-year contract last week to patrol the ice for the Kings in 2000. While this is a great PR move and gives the Kings a season with one of the toughest forwards to ever lace them up, how much of a difference can Stu make? After all, enforcers have moved a lot this offseason and a low draft pick could have given the Kings players like Oliwa, Cote or any number of young thugs. Why Grimson? The reason is twofold- Kip Brennan and potentially Brian McGratten.
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Behind the Bench……with John Van Boxmeer

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on
When HF originally contacted the Long Beach Ice Dogs for this interview, John Van Boxmeer was the coach/GM of that IHL franchise. What a difference a week made. By the time we were able to confirm the interview with him personally, the Ice Dogs has jumped to the WCHL and Van Boxmeer had been promoted to Vice-President of Hockey Operations for the team. In a chat that might be better called ‘Behind the Desk’ rather than ‘Behind the Bench’ the former bench boss talked with HF about the moving and shaking going on in Southern California.

Hockey’s Future: It been a very tumultuous past couple of weeks for both you and the Long Beach Ice Dogs. Let’s start with the team’s transition first. What was the reasoning behind the team switching from the IHL to the WCHL?

John Van Boxmeer: There were two reasons really one being the fact that we were isolated out here on the West Coast. Our nearest competition was 2 and a ½ hours away and our travels costs were very high. Secondly the operating budget (Players’ salaries, social benefits etc) in the WCHL were half of what they were in the IHL.

HF: How could you compare the two leagues in terms of competitiveness, philosophy, and organization?

JVB: WCHL is a step below the IHL, the former being a feeder league to the latter. As for philosophy, while we aren’t there yet, the goal in the WCHL is to be the AHL of the west coast. The organization of the WCHL is of the same quality as the IHL right now.

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Rebuilding on the “Rock”

by pbadmin
on
All Maple Leaf fans are anxious to know who is down in St. John’s, training and honing their skills in order to become Toronto’s next star player. Well unfortunately, there weren’t many bright spots on last year’s St. John’s Maple Leafs squad. The team’s GM, Bill Watters, will have a busy summer trying to rebuild this team with young drafted players as well as with some seasoned minor league veterans.

The Baby Leafs finished dead last in the AHL this past season. The Leafs finished with only 58 points (23-49-8-4), scored a league low 202 goals for and surrendered the 4th highest number of goals in the league with 277. The Leafs also boasted the league’s worst power play (13.4%) and had the 4th worst penalty killing unit (79.5%). The two lone bright spots on the team were rookie Adam Mair and veteran goaltender Jimmy Waite. Mair was 9th in the league in rookie scoring 66-22-27-49-124, while Waite was 15th in the league in goaltending with a 3.05 GAA and a tie for the league lead in shutouts with 6. Waite led the league with 37 losses, minutes played with 3460, and saves 1815. Waite, however, did accumulate 20 wins on the season.

Needless to say the Leafs will have a new look this season – primarily with a major influx of European and graduating junior talent. The Leafs will be a younger team and may struggle in the early going. Major rebuilding is required at nearly every position on the club.

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Scott Stevens trade revisited

by Jeff Charlesworth
on
On July 13th 1990, Capitals GM David Poile decided not to match the St. Louis Blues’ Free Agent contract offer to defenseman Scott Stevens. As compensation for their loss, the Capitals received first-round picks in 1991 through 1995. The players selected by the Capitals were: Trevor Halverson, Sergei Gonchar, Brendan Witt, Nolan Baumgartner and Miika Elomo. Now, 10 years later (and with the benefit of hindsight), it is up to us to decide if Poile made the right move.

About a month ago, I wrote an article detailing the situation and the decision that David Poile made. I asked the readers of Hockey’s Future to write in and let their opinions be known on the subject. Well, the votes are in – and an overwhelming 75% of you said that you would not trade Stevens for the five players listed above.

A lot of Capitals fans think that this “trade” is a black mark on the organization. It seems that most of the public feels the same way. Here are some of the comments against letting Stevens go:

“I would not make the deal unless I was an expansion team looking for a bunch of young blue-liners.”

“When trading a player of Stevens’ calibre, you have to get more than what essentially is two NHL starters, Witt (solid, but unspectacular) and Gonchar (second tier defensive star).”

“Poile did well to get Baumer, Gonch and Witt, but with Stevens here, he wouldn’t have needed to make at least two of those picks (Witt and Baumer).”

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New Databased Hockey’s Future Released!

by pbadmin
on

Here are some of the new or enhanced features we have aded to Hockey’s Future.

1. We now have message boards for each and every team with league and country messageboards coming soon.

2. All new nav-bar at the top of every page makes it easier to navigate around Hockey’s Future.

3. Profiles for every player with players having a yellow star having a more in-depth profile.

Also, since this is a time of transition for Hockey’s Future there are bound to be some growing pains such as dead links or profiles with out stats, etc… Bear with us as we are adding new stats, profiles, and articles to the database daily. Thank you for the understanding and if you have bookmarked OLD links such as http://www.hockeysfuture.com/TeamName you need to change those to the new ones with index.cfm? etc….. Any questions on the database can be emailed to me at: owner@hockeysfuture.com..Also to get to individual team messageboards, simply click on your favorite team, and you will see the link to the messageboard on the top right. Hope you enjoy the new features and if you have any other suggestions, let me know!! Have a GREAT day!!