After having what might have been their worst season in History, the Panthers are entering the new phase in the life of an Expansion team. After relying heavily on veteran players to help sell the sport to a fickle South Florida to great success, the Panthers have been drafting late in the draft several times. While teams like the Avalanche and the Devils can seemingly find gems in all rounds, most NHL teams are lucky enough to have all their first round picks play in the NHL. The Panthers are one of those teams.
The Panthers have taken part in 8 drafts and have had 6 first round draft selections, of which over half of them have been out of the top 10 (20th twice, and 12th once). Drafting this late generally goes to the better performing teams, and the Panthers veteran team might have caused the Panthers to miss out on some good young players when they should have been stock-piling high draft picks. Such is the nature of being a victim of your success.
To follow is a comprehensive analysis of the Panthers draft history, which has been under only Bob Clarke and Bryan Murray. While the drafting of 17 year olds is hardly an exact science, an analysis of the Panthers picks can show that they have been an above average team in the yearly crap-shoot known as the Entry Draft.
5th – Robbie Neidermayer
41st – Kevin Weekes
47th – Chris Armstrong
67th – Mikael Tjallden
78th – Steve Washburn
83rd – Bill McCauley
109th – Todd MacDonald Read more »
When the Orlando Solar Bears won the International Hockey League’s Turner Cup championship last Saturday, the future was missing from the celebration.
The 56-year-old IHL is expected to fold this week thus dramatically changing the landscape at the top level of minor professional hockey.
Six of the IHL’s 11 teams from the 2000-01 season, including the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Milwaukee Admirals, the Houston Aeros, the Manitoba Moose, the Utah Grizzlies and the Chicago Wolves, are expected to jump into an expanded American Hockey League for the 2001-02 season.
The AHL, always a prime development arena for the National Hockey League, would become the primary feeder system, potentially expanding into a 28-team circuit for next season.
In the dream world of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, the AHL will eventually become a 30-team entity, so that each of the NHL’s 30 teams will have one top affiliate, similar to how Triple-A baseball teams act as the primary farm teams for major-league baseball clubs.
Like mergers in the corporate world, the logistics of merging two hockey leagues in a few short months have already resulted in plenty of frenzied activity. Among other things, players are worried about lost jobs, while NHL organizations are anticipating reduced costs as new alliances and situations emerge.
Consider the activity in the past two weeks:
– The Minnesota Wild cut their ties to the Cleveland Lumberjacks of the IHL and hooked up with Houston, which also formally announced it was joining the AHL. The league, Read more »
I’m sure the Rangers were excited to see two blue-chip prospects unable to come to terms with their respective teams before Friday’s 5:00 PM deadline for 1999 draftees to be signed who were drafted out of major junior (OHL, WHL or QMJHL). Those two players are Kyle Wanvig, a 6’2 220 pound winger who was drafted in the 3rd round (89th overall) of the ’99 draft by the Boston Bruins, and Barrett Heisten, a 6’1 195 pound winger who was drafted in the 1st round (20th overall) in ’99 by the Buffalo Sabres. Kyle Wanvig will re-enter this month’s draft while Barrett Heisten will become an unrestriced free agent.
Kyle Wanvig is a dominating power forward who had an outstanding season this year in the WHL with the Memorial Cup winning Red Deer Rebels, notching 55 goals, 101 points and 202 penalty minutes in 69 games during the regular season. He was awarded as the Memorial Cup MVP after he totaled 2 goals and 6 points in 4 games during the tournament. It appeared as if he was going to be Toronto Maple Leafs’ property after they supposedly acquired the rights to Wanvig for Jonas Hoglund and a 6th round pick, however the NHL nixed the deal at the last minute as they didn’t receive a fax of Wanvig’s signing with the Leafs until 5 minutes after the deadline. Wanvig will now re-enter the draft, and it is anyone’s guess where he could be picked. It is unlikely he will go in the 1st round, but the 2nd round is a definite possibility. Some scouts question whether Wanvig’s skating is NHL-calibre, and many feel that could hold him back from developing into a dominate power forward. Howev Read more »
First steps with three years
Calw, a small town in germany between Stuttgart and the french border. And it is also the birthplace of Marcel Goc, the biggest german talent now and possible the biggest german talent ever.
He was born there in August of 1983 and start skating with just three years. Starting to play hockey comes one year later. Searching for a hockey club near Calw he find a team in Esslingen, a district of Stuttgart. There he played for the ESG Esslingen in his PeeWee- and Bantam-age till the summer of 1997. The coaches and scouts from Schwenningen saw Goc’ big talent. His smooth stick-handling and his skating are unique for a german player in his age. So, Marcel Goc joined the Schwenninger ERC youth team. Their pro team appear in the highest german hockey league, the DEL. The club isn’t a rich one and gave cheaper players and some natives a fair chance to get a spot. A good future and a goal for him.
Needing more competition
Playing in the youth team from Schwenningen helped him in his developing progress, but he need more than that level. The german youth leagues aren’t so good. Especially the 23 goals in 12 games in his second season there says: He need more competition at a higher level.
His first option is to play in the german junior league, the ‘normal’ way for a hockey player her Read more »
The glory years conjur up names like Coffey, Murphy, and Samuelsson. Regal defenseman, who in thier prime brought Lord Stanley to the Steel City with graceful stick-handling, pin-point passes, and viscious face-washes. One instant they held the prestigious Cup above thier heads and fans anxiously dreamt of a dynasty in the making, the next instant they were gone. Replaced by mediocre journeyman defenders that could barely skate let alone clear the crease. Several years whisked by with faint glimmers of hope that soon turned to bitter disappointment. All that is about to finally change.
Enter the new guard. An exciting generation of blueline talent that was carefully homegrown to fill the skates of heroes past. They have honed thier craft in the recesses of the minor leagues and are now prepared to unleash thier fury on the unsuspecting NHL.
Meet the two-way phenom Andrew Ference, already battle tested in the war zone that is the NHL playoffs. Behold the brick wall that is Josef Melichar. Keep your eyes fixed on the shifty playmaking Chris Kelleher.
Andrew Ference has not let the franchise down since the 5’10” 190lbs. Edmonton native was drafted in 1997. Although short, he is solid and absorbs a lot of punishment. He exhibits enormous poise with the puck and is not afraid to put a shot on net. He plays an in your face style that continually has bigger and stronger opponents pounding him into the corners and he never loses balance or control. He is physical, mobile, and above all else dependable. Andrew has produced at every level and i Read more »
At a press conference today, the Wheeling Nailers announced that they have entered into a management agreement with the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins and the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
The Penguins will take over all day-to-day operations of the franchise, including on and off-ice activities. After this season, the Pens will have the option to a) extend the contract, b) buy the Nailers from the local owners, or c) end the relationship.
The Pens and Nailers announced that former NHL GM, coach, and goalie Eddie Johnston will be the team’s new Vice-President and General Manager. Johnston is currently the Penguins Assistant General Manager. As well, Jeff Barrett will be inserted as the team President, the same position he holds with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton franchise.
Current GM Fred Traynor will assume the title of Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer.
The team also announced that they have hired John Brophy as the 9th head coach in team history. Brophy is the ECHL’s All Time leader in regular season games coached and won. He’s also won the most playoff games in ECHL history and has won 3 ECHL league championships. Brpohy also has 964 professional coaching wins in his 27 years of coaching (including time in the NHL), which ranks 2nd all time.
Stats and short comments about Slovak draftees playing in the European
leagues. As you can see some players belong to top ones in the leagues
but other ones play in curious leagues and cannot even dream about NHL.
(Name, year of birth, position, last team – year of selection, NHL team,
No. of pick)
Ivan Matulik (1968, F, Cardiff - 1986, Edmonton, #147) - skates in U.K.
for several years yet. The NHL is closed chapter for him.
Regular season 48GP 13 - 17 - 30 N/A 48 PIM
Playoffs 6GP 2 - 1 - 3 N/A 33 PIM
Roman Kontsek (1970, F, Havirov - 1990, Washington, #135) - captain of
the team helped to save Extraliga for Havirov but mediocre season.
Regular season 43GP 7 - 13 - 20 +11 24PIM
Playoffs 0GP 0 0 0
Martin Strbak (1975, D, Vsetin - 1993, Los Angeles, #224) - very good
season with Czech champion team. Hey Kings, don't you need solid
Regular season 49GP 2 - 6 - 8 +6 46PIM
World championship 6GP 0 - 1 - 1 +5 6PIM
Jan Lipiansky (1974, F, Vsetin - 1994, Philadelphia, #270) - solid
season but I don't think he will play on NHL ever.
Regular season 49GP 12 - 11 - 23 +19 39PIM
Playoffs 13GP 2 - 2 - 4 N/A
Radovan Somik (1977, F, Zlin - 1995, Philadelphia, #100) - impressive
rookie season on Czech Extraliga.
Regular season 46GP 15 - 10 - 25 +18 22PIM
World championship 6GP 0 - 0 - 0 -1 0PIM
Robert Dome (1979, F, Kladno - 1997, Pittsburgh, #17) - shown some Read more »
When the Pittsburgh Penguins drafted rugged winger Boris Protsenko in
the third round of the 1996 NHL entry draft they figured they had
recruited a top-notch power forward prospect. On his Tier II junior club
Boris notched 52 points in 47 games and backed up the offense with 199
penalty minutes. The Pens were banking on this young man to come into
his own as a close range sniper that was not afraid to grind in the
corners and along the boards. The Ukrainian was not to disappoint early,
compiling an impressive 229 points in 208 games with Calgary of the WHL.
Those same 3 seasons saw Boris chalk up 328 minutes in penalties. That
Boris was sent to Syracuse of the AHL, the former Penguins
developmental affiliate for the 1998-99 campaign. That season was the
beginning of the downward spiral. Playing with bigger, stronger
competition and the added pressure of being that much closer to the NHL
ranks, Boris began to flounder. He managed a mere 48 points in 65
appearances and his penalty minutes were a meager 84. The Penguins
carried Boris over to Wilkes-Barre’s roster for their debut season in
1999-00 and he produced even less. Protsenko put up a meager 36 points
in 64 contests and tallied a very non-aggressive 41 penalty minutes.
All was not lost however, as the Penguins invited the 5′-11″ 195lbs.
forward to the 2000 training camp with the hope that he would show a
glimmer of the potential the team had seen in the past. Protsenko was
there…his promising talent was not. Boris spent 48 games this season
with the Wheeling N Read more »
The International Hockey League announced that they would cease operations of the Cleveland Lumberjacks.
The league took control of the team when previous owner Hank Kassigkeit threatened to fold the team in February. The league had been looking for a buyer since that time.
“At this time, IHL ownership believes it is in the best interests of the league to cease operations of the Lumberjacks franchise,” IHL president Douglas Moss said in a release.
The Lumberjacks had been the primary development team of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. The Wild announced Monday they would be affiliating with the Houston Aeros of the IHL next season.
The Minnesota Wild have reached an agreement with the International Hockey League’s Houston Aeros to become their primary minor-league development affiliate.
It’s the first time the Aeros franchise has been affiliated with an NHL team.
Todd McLellan, who coached the Wild’s IHL affiliate Cleveland Lumberjacks last season, will coach the Aeros.
Houston has made the IHL playoffs in six of the last seven years. Three Wild players — goalie Manny Fernandez, defenseman Flip Kuba and forward Cam Stewart — spent time with the Aeros.
On November 29, 1997 A IHL-record crowd of 20,804 pack The Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit to see the Grand Rapids Griffins spoil the evening with a 4-1 win over the Detroit Vipers.
DID YOU KNOW
Last year the IHL lead all minor leagues in attendance for the 11th straight year.