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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 »

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 »

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 »

The 20/20 Hindsight Panther Draft History Analysis

by Mark Fischel
on

It’s always fun to go back and look at a team’s drafts and see if they glaringly over-looked a player or made the right choice.

By no means is this ever a total indictment upon a teams scouting department, since most of the time teams will draft for specific needs, and having a near perfect 20/20 hindsight is another disservice to the pressures of being on the clock during the draft.

Below is an analysis of the Panthers history at the draft table, to see how the team could have been different if the scouts had the amazing clarity that time affords. To keep things somewhat realistic, the analysis will be limited to the 5 picks after the original pick. A player like Adam Deadmarsh went 14th overall in ’93, and if the draft was redone with the hindsight, he probably would have gone in the top 5, but in 93, 13 teams passed over him since he wasn’t rated that high back then.

In this exercise for entertainment purposes only, comment are only made on a pick if it turned out a better player could be had. Another thing to consider is that a passed over player might not have developed unless he was in the right situation as well. There will be instances where the pick was exactly dead-on correct. Again, this is for entertainment purposes mainly and is the total benefit of 20/20 hindsight.

1993 Draft

5th – Robbie Neidermayer

Players taken in the next 5 spots are as follows: Kozlov, Arnott, Sundstrom, Harvey and Thibault. While Robbie hasn’t lived up to his expectations to be a scorer, he is a physical and defensive minded pre 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 »

2001 Draft Profile : Mike Komisarek

by Jonathan Litterine
on
They don’t come much bigger. They don’t come much stronger. And most
of all, they don’t have any worse tempers. Those 3 attributes will make Mike
Komisarek a high high selection in this years draft. There is a chance he
will be the first defensemen taken. It looks like he will be battling Dan
Hamhuis for that honor. Komisarek will remind you of any big big hard hitting
defenseman. Chris Pronger and Derian Hatcher come to mind. Maybe even a
bigger Scott Stevens. At 6’4, 225, Komisarek led a Michigan Wolverines team
that featured other top prospects like Andy Hilbert and Mike Cammalleri to
the NCAA Frozen Four.

Komisarek is also a average offensive player. Not great
or anything, but chances are he won’t hurt your team. Yet NHL teams will be
attracted to his strength and grit. Always willing to standup for teammates
and mix it up with the other teams top tough guys. What makes Komisarek a
special find, is that he has other tools besides his strength. You can get
goons anywhere. But to find a talented one is a task. He’d certainly be a
good look for a NHL team who needs a solid defensemen. We all know how many
of them are out there. His offensive game is good enough to get by. Yet his
grit, size, strength and desire is what will put him over the top.

Look for
him to possibly slide into the top 10 on draft day. Last year there wasn’t
really a player in the early first round like Komisarek. All the defenseman
last year like Klesla, were solid solid offensive players. Komisarek is a
little different. But different is Read more »

Connolly and Spezza on Long Island: Perfect Together

by Bill Bennett
on
In the last few weeks Islander fans in cyberspace have been treated to every possible rumor regarding who they will draft, or who they will trade the pick for.

Even the chance at moving up to draft first has been in the headlines. Mike Milbury has openly talked about what the pick could bring and has even hinted that next year’s pick could be traded as well in an interview on Wfan.

What Mike Milbury, the Islanders Owners, and the Scouting Staff should do is take a step back in the remaining time before June 23rd and look at all the players on other teams that have been drafted by this organization and understand it’s time to keep the core group of players here that began with the 1999 draft and let them finish what they started even if it means some Unrestricted Free Agents decide not to come here. NHL General Managers always talk about using the Devils as models as to how to put together a winning franchise long term, the Islanders now can do just that.

Some credit to the New Islanders owners has to be given because very quietly among the criticism for keeping Mike Milbury they have signed many of their drafted prospects in: Rick DiPietro, Juraj Kolnik, Taylor Pyatt, Raffi Torres, Branislav Mezei and now Justin Mapletoft to go with their brand new AHL franchise in Bridgeport.

I can only speak for myself in this article, but from what I have read from many fans what they want is for the franchise to stick to a plan, keep the kids and close down the Mad Mike Show on draft day. It’s old, tired, and it’s not working. It’s time for Read more »

Phoenix Signs Martin Grenier

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

The Phoenix Coyotes have signed defenseman Martin Grenier to a mulit year contract. Grenier became an unrestricted free agent after he failed to sign with Boston before the June 1st deadline for all 1999 draftees. The 20 year old Grenier, selected in the 2nd round of the 1999 draft by the Colorado Avalanche and dealt to the Bruins in the Ray Bourque deal, just completed his 4th season of junior hockey.

The 6’5 245 pound Grenier played 26 games for the Quebec Ramparts and 28 for the Victoriaville Tigres this past year. He is now one of the biggest players in the Coyotes’ organization, and they are glad to have him. He will likely see time next season in the AHL but it is possible he could crack the Coyotes’ defense during camp.

Other News: As expected the Phoenix Coyotes failed to sign Scott Kelman, the club’s 1st choice in ’99, 15th overall. Since they did not sign him, they will receive the 45th overall pick in this year’s draft as compensation. Also, Preston Mizzi was not signed as well.

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