For many Lightning fans, the unthinkable is becoming expected. The future “Michael Jordan of Hockey,” and Lightning franchise player could be dealt within the coming days or weeks.
There was a time when both the Jordan comparison and trade idea was looked at as absurd.
Vincent Lecavalier has struggled with confidence and injuries the last two years, and after some over-publicized spats with coach John Tortorella, Tampa Bay GM Rick Dudley is no longer hanging up the phone when Vinny’s name is mentioned in trade talks. This is due in part to the rumors of Lecavalier’s camp demanding a trade, not the Lightning’s unhappiness with the young star, nor its siding with the unproven coach over the player.
This potential trade has armchair GM’s from Mexico to the North Pole (we think Santa has a separate list of picks and prospects he thinks are fair value for Lecavalier) working out deals.
A lot of thought has gone into thinking up what could be given up (or held onto) for the 1998 #1 overall pick.
What is the Lightning looking for?
Well, that’s the question most seem to ignore.
There are two sides to every deal, and you can bet whomever gets Lecavalier is going to have to give. Core players are no longer safe.
The Lightning is currently among the league leaders in save percentage and goals against. The goaltending is fine. If you’re thinking about dealing a ready for prime-time ‘tender to Tampa as the deal’s centerpiece, forget it. The top-four, no-name defense, has also played well, at least by the nu Read more »
Michael Ryder -W (Drafted-98(8/216))Ryder was assigned to Mississippi of the ECHL on November 27th. In 3 games since his demotion the Newfoundlander has 4 points (2-2-4), and is -3 with one powerplay goal. Most impressive are his 18 shots, which translate to an average of 6 shots per game. Overall, the 6’1″, 195-lbs winger has played 13 AHL games. He has 4 points (2-2-4), and is +2 with 2 minutes in penalties. He’s also managed 13 shots on goal.
Vadim Tarasov -G (Drafted-99(7/196))Tarasov continues to suffer from a groin injury, and remains in Montréal undergoing treatment for the injury. Overall, the 5’11”, 187-lbs goalie has played 3 AHL games. He is 2-0-1 with a 2.28 GAA, and a .926 save percentage.
Jerome Marois -LW (Drafted-99(9/253)) Mississippi’s Jerome Marois is just beginning to feel comfortable since returning from a one month layoff with a leg injury. Overall, the 6’0″, 192-lbs winger has played 9 ECHL games. He has 6 points (4-2-6), and is minus-4 with 20 shots on goal.
Olivier Michaud -G (Free Agent-2001(3-y contract))Michaud was invited to attend Canada’s 2002 World Junior Championship selection camp. The 18-year-old goaltender has come a long way since last year’s NHL Entry Draft, when NHL scouts didn’t think enough of his game to draft the Shawinigan goaltender. The Beloil native won his only start since our last update. He stopped 16 shots to earn a shutout during a 6-0 win over Rimouski. Overall the 5’11, 163-lbs goalie is 18-3-1 with a QMJHL leading 2.11 GAA, and a .901 sav Read more »
Will Year Five Be The Charm?
The game of hockey and the NHL is full of many logic beliefs and theory systems. Some of the most widely held ideas are actually contradictory to one-another. It isn’t a nice cookie-cutter world where you can input A and automatically assume that you will get an output of B, but in the midst of these sometimes unexpectantly generated results against the ‘rules’ we hold dearest, there still are some factors that do seem to play true time and again. One such passage that has historically played a very significant impact upon those who have played the game is the ‘magic’ of the fifth year and/or age 22/23 season.
Simply put, there is some pretty suggestive evidence to indicate that a very large segment of players don’t actually arrive at their highest levels until they have either played a full four seasons and are in their fifth campaign, or are in the season where they turn 23 years of age. I use these two qualifiers because not everyone gets to the NHL at age 18 and thus some have their 23rd birthday before their fifth season.
The timing for this article is inspired by the arrival of two youngsters from the Boston Bruins reaching this juncture.
If you look at the current point leader board at the beginning of December for the NHL, it might be surprising to see that both Sergei Samsonov and Joe Thornton are firmly entrenched among the top 20 producers in the league.
Sergei Samsonov is actually 8th in league scoring after games as of Sunday, December 2nd. He does have games in hand to play on four of Read more »
Like most youthful hockey players growing up in Western Canada, University of Denver sniper Greg Barber has always dreamt of someday playing in the NHL. Emulating his hockey heroes on the streets of Kelowna, British Columbia, Barber has always been a standout wherever he’s played. If sheer determination was worth its weight in Black & Gold, then tip the scales in his favor for a longstanding future with the Bruins organization.
A standout for the Victoria Salsa of the BCHL, Barber’s superb play in 1998-99 earned him a BCHL all-star appearance and the Boston Bruins 207th overall selection at the 1999 NHL entry draft. Playing alongside Martin Kariya, Barber notched 41 goals and 82 points in 60 games for Victoria that year. When reached at his home on draft day, Barber was both shocked and surprised that his life long dream had taken a positive step forward.
“I wasn’t expecting a call or anything like that,” said Barber in an interview with hockeysfuture. “I was hanging with friends at my house and was not paying any attention to the draft. I was pretty happy. It was unexpected, so I was kind of shocked.”
His play struggled somewhat the following year as a freshman for the University of Denver. Known for being a big goal scorer, his adjustment from the BCHL to the WCHA was tougher on him than anyone had expected. He finished second in rookie scoring for Denver netting 7 goals and 15 points in 40 games. As a sophomore, he had a knack for late-minute heroics as he tallied two third-period game-tying markers. He equaled his freshman totals of 7goa Read more »
1. Allen, Bryan (D), Manitoba (AHL). Drafted: ’98 (1/4)
Vancouver (NHL) 7 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, 6 PIM.
Manitoba (AHL) 16 GP, 2 G, 5 A, 7 P, 47 PIM.
2. Chubarov, Artem (C), Manitoba (AHL). Drafted: ’98 (2/31)
Vancouver (NHL) 3 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, 0 PIM.
Manitoba (AHL) 18 GP, 7 G, 12 A, 19 P, 2 PIM.
3. Vydareny, Rene (D), Manitoba (AHL). Drafted: ’99 (3/69)
Manitoba (AHL) 6 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 2 P, 0 PIM.
Columbia (ECHL) 10 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 3 P, 9 PIM.
4. Auld, Alex (G), Manitoba (AHL). Acquired in a deal with Florida (2001)
Columbia (ECHL) 3 GP, 2 W, 0 L, 1 SOL, 2.21 GAA, .913 SV %.
5. Umberger, R.J. (C), Ohio State (CCHA). Drafted: ’01 (1/16)
Ohio State (CCHA) 14 GP, 6 G, 8 A, 14 P, 10 PIM.
6. Reid, Brandon (C), Manitoba Moose (AHL). Drafted: ’00 (7/208)
Manitoba (AHL) 19 GP, 1 G, 7 A, 8 P, 0 PIM.
7. Smith, Nathan (C), Swift Current (WHL). Drafted: ’00 (1/23)
Swift Current (WHL) 9 GP, 4 G, 7 A, 11 P, 8 PIM.
8. Komarniski, Zenith (D), Manitoba (AHL). Drafted: ’96 (3/75)
Manitoba (AHL) 21 GP, 2 G, 6 A, 8 P, 62 PIM.
9. Bell, Thatcher (C), Rimouski (QMJHL). Drafted: ’00 (3/71)
Rimouski (QMJHL) 23 GP, 8 G, 20 A, 28 P, 27 PIM.
10. Fedorov, Fedor (LW), Manitoba (AHL). Drafted: ’01 (3/66)
Manitoba (AHL) 8 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 3 P, 6 PIM. Read more »
Krys Kolanos wins Rookie of the Month
Calder Candidate Krys Kolanos has been named the NHL Rookie of the Month for November. Krys posted nine points (five goals, four assists) in 14 games, including a four-game scoring streak, and led all rookies with a plus/minus rating of +7. The 20-year old Kolanos has posted 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in 26 games to rank among the NHL’s top scoring rookies in goals (fourth) and points (fifth) and leads all rookies with four game-winning goals and a plus/minus rating of +9.
In winning Rookie Honors for November, Kolanos edged Atlanta Thrashers Dany Heatley, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Minnesota Wild Pascal Dupuis to capture the award.
Kolanos has been playing with a total of 6 different line mates this season so far and his seen an average of only 13:10 a game. Kolanos came into camp after foregoing his final two years at Boston College to try and make a spot on the Coyotes, in which he did. Kolanos according to Francis has been a “Crunch-time player” and has showed his remarkable scoring touch with his eight goals this season so far. Kolanos may move to the Coyote Ugly line when Landon Wilson returns for the first time this season on Wednesday against St. Louis Blues and will most likely center Brad May and Wilson.
Kolanos recorded points in seven games this month, beginning with an assist on Nov. 7 against Detroit and a game-winning goal on Nov. 9 at Dallas. He opened a four-game scoring streak on Nov. 13 with a goal in a 5-4 overtime loss to Edmonton. On Nov. 15, he scored a goal to help the Read more »
The Kings have had their problems in the early part of this NHL campaign, but there is reason for optimism. Not only have the Kings acquired a young centerman to build around in Jason Allison, the minor league system that was once considered the NHL’s worst is now showcasing some of the best talent in hockey.
The Kings have stocked up on talented forwards, and are now faced with the pleasant situation of having several players battle for the title of “top prospect”. Alexander Frolov is having a monster year, showcasing every phase of an NHL-type game. In the last ten days he has scored a goal on a penalty shot and added an assist to get the #1 star in the Soviet Wings Dec. 1 game and then garnered the #1 star without scoring a point- his defense earned him that recognition. Frolov is still a boy and has collected 14 goals already- he seems to be developing a flawless game on both ends of the ice.
The Kings also have three players invited to Canada’s WJC tryout camp- Jared Aulin, Mike Cammelleri and Yanick Lehoux. All three players are having solid seasons, as Aulin and Lehoux are among the scoring leaders in their leagues and Cammelleri continues to turn heads at Michigan.
The Kings have two goalies having solid seasons overseas- Cristobel Huet has 23 wins and Alexey Volkov seems to be re-establishing his skills in Russia.
Along with Volkov, two other players seem to be returning to form after struggling last year. Jason Crain has rebounded this season to post 2 goals and 4 assists in 14 games for the #12 Buckeyes. Perhaps best of all, Crain i Read more »
The Philadelphia Phantoms’ 2001 season is off to a blazing start. Leading the way are the young players that Bob Clarke and staff have drafted. Flyer’s management has put these players in a great spot to excel. The team has several AHL veterans to help assist the young players during the long season. The Philadelphia Flyers have already dipped into the promising youth of the Phantoms. Manning the ship is one of the brighter young coaches in the AHL, John Stevens.
John has been through the wars of the AHL and is very patience with his youth. The Phantoms will only improve as the season progresses. This article will go in depth with the young players on the Phantoms roster and where they fit into the parent club’s plans. The future of this organization is very bright. Not since the mid 80’s can the Flyers possess such a ray of young talent.
Vaclav Pletka – Pletka has been the brightest player on the roster this far into the season. In only his second pro year, he has shown immense talent. He is not your prototypical European player. Vaclav has a real nose for the net and has displayed a great deal of grittiness. His speed is slightly above average. Currently Vaclav is tied for second on the team with 52 shots on goal. He also has excellent ice vision and puck skills. The Flyers called him up for a game to fill a roster spot due to injury. With the way the Flyers are playing right now, he may get another call very soon. The Phantoms’ coaching staff likes the way he is committed to improving his all around game. This is another example of the Read more »
Toronto – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Toronto St.
Michael’s Majors goaltender Andy Chiodo is the OHL Player of the Week for
the week ending Sunday December 2, 2001 after posting back-to-back shutouts
on November 29 and 30.
Chiodo, opened the week with a 24 save performance as the Majors defeated
the Mississauga IceDogs 3-0 at St. Michael’s College School Arena. He
followed up with a 32 save effort backstopping the Majors to a 4-0 road win
over the North Bay Centennials on November 30.
Chiodo, an 18-year-old native Toronto, improved his season record to 4-4-2
with a 2.95 goals against average and .906 save percentage in 15 games. He
was a sixth round pick of the New York Islanders in the 2001 NHL Entry
Position: Goal Catches: Left
Height: 6.00 Weight: 195 lbs.
Toronto’s 2nd round choice, 23rd overall, in the 1999 Bantam Selection
Season Club GPI Mins GA Avg. SO
2000-01 Toronto St. Michael’s Majors 38 2069 86 2.49 4
2001-02 Toronto St. Michael’s Majors 15 712 35 2.95 2
OHL Totals 53 2781 121 2.61 6