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Velebny a Work in Progress

by Stephen J. Holodinsky

Summing up Lubos Velebny’s play to date, Hockey’s Future’s Analyst for the London Knights Jason Ahrens does not hesitate to say he is “disappointed with his performance so far.” While it is true, the Slovak is in the top pairing and plays heavy minutes with the club in all situations, the Knights are presently in last place in the OHL’s West Division so one might wonder where he might fit into a rotation such as Plymouth’s who are currently in first. Something that stands out to Ahrens are the lack of results offensively. “I thought he would have far more points at this stage of the season, as he plays on every power play and usually starts it. He no doubt leads the Knights and maybe the OHL in shots that are blocked, so his decision making hasn’t improved much from last year.”

Ahrens goes on to say that the rearguard “reminds me a bit of Igor Ulanov, a guy who gets too cute in his own end sometimes and gets burned as Oiler fans saw last year in playoffs several times. But has some good abilities like Ulanov and has the ability to make the big hit too. (He) definitely has big league tools, size, shot, skating are (they are all) there, (but he) needs to work on (the) tool box.”

As the Knights have been playing with only five defensemen in a few contests lately this naturally means more icetime for all of the blueliners. As with the Waterloo Blackhawks last year, Velebny looks to be struggling somewhat with the mental aspect of the game at this point and perhaps moving him up to the CHL might have been a bit too much too soon. That said, there is still over half Read more »

The Youngins are the Talk of the League

by Chapin Landvogt

Ahhh, no matter what league we’re referring to, whether it be the NHL, AHL, CHL, NCAA, the leagues throughout Europe, and all those many leagues in between, there’s always a curiosity for every true fan as to what new faces will establish themselves into household names through the course of the season. Let me get more specific considering that *new faces* can also include older, experienced players that are just new to that respective league. What I’m focusing on are the kids…the rookies…the first year players. Every year there are high expectations for kids who often crumble under the pressure. Then again, every year sees its share of kids that seem to come out of nowhere to become shooting stars. In the international realm, these types of kids often become the targets of NHL scouts who are looking to bolster the depth, and hopefully, the successfulness of their franchise by taking a flyer. This type of exuberance and the joy of discovering talent is something that, for the most part, takes place all over the hockey world, but I’d like to inform y’all about a league where this exuberance and the joy of discovering talent is all the rage at this very moment. Yep folks, there’s the DEL in Germany – a league that has pretty much become a second home for many IHL, AHL and even NHL veterans who have gotten up there in age and are looking for a last hurrah (and a few extra pennies along the way). However, this trend has been changing recently and young German born talent has been getting the chance to prove themselves as good and as profitable as the many Nor Read more »

Game Misconduct: Patrick Roy’s Olympic Meddle

by Tony Bryson

Patrick Roy’s Olympic Meddle

The Canadian Olympic men’s hockey team was dealt a blow when Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche announced that he would not be participating in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, choosing instead to focus on the NHL season and the playoffs in the spring. The announcement came as a bit of a shock to the hockey world, but upon further examination it is not really much of a surprise when you consider the sum of the parts that make up the most successful goaltender in NHL history.

There are a few things you quickly notice about Patrick Roy as you watch him. First is his immense talent. The guy really knows how to stop a puck. He has combined lightning quick reflexes with an uncanny ability to out think a shooter to become a wall in goal. He has taken advantage of every technology change possible to keep his game at a level that few have ever managed to attain. He uses his over-sized equipment to cover as much of the net as humanly possible and makes the shooter fire at targets that aren’t there. It’s hard to believe that his six foot, one hundred and ninety pound frame, can be so intimidating to NHL snipers, but when you add on the largest pads in the game it becomes clear as to a portion of where his success stems. When you combine these features together you have a package that is the most successful goaltender that has played the game.

The second thing you notice about Patrick Roy is his competitive spirit. He hates to lose. You don’t put together the numbers he has without having the desire to go ou Read more »

Canadiens’ weekly prospects update

by Chris Boucher

Ron Hainsey -D (Drafted-00(1/13))

Hainsey remains unable to play. He suffered a wrist injury on October 24th, and could return to action within the next few days. Overall, the 6’3″, 200-lbs defenseman has played 7 games. He has 6 points (3-3-6), and is +3 with 6 minutes in penalties.

Mike Ribeiro -C (Drafted-98(2/45))

Riberio managed 3 points through 3 games since our last update. His best offensive game came against St. John. He scored 1 goal and added 1 assist during the 3-2 win. Overall, the shifty center has played 12 AHL games. He has 12 points (5-7-12), and is +7 with 18 minutes in penalties. One of his goals was scored on the powerplay, while another was scored shorthanded. He’s also directed 29 shots on goal.

Michael Ryder -W (Drafted-98(8/216))

Ryder was shutout through 3 games this week. Overall, the 6’1″, 195-lbs winger has played 13 games. He has 4 points (2-2-4), and is +2 with 2 minutes in penalties. He’s also managed 13 shots on goal.

Eric Chouinard -F (Drafted-98(1/16))

Chouinard was shutout through 3 games this week, and is currently on a season-high 3-game scoreless streak. Overall, the 6’3″, 207-lbs forward has played 18 games. He has 18 points (7-11-18), and is +3 with 2 minutes in penalties. He also has a team leading 52 shots on goal.

Francois Beauchemin -D (Drafted-98(3/75))

Beauchemin scored 1 goal through 2 games since our last update. Overall, the 6’0″, 201-lbs defenseman has played 7 games. He has 4 points (2-2-4), and is -1 with 8 minutes in penalties Read more »

Home Sweet Home for the Monarchs

by Kristy Gleason

The long-anticipated arrival has occured, and the results have been very promising. The Manchester Monarchs finished their extended season-beginning road trip with a dismal record of
2-8-2. The team’s new arena, the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH, was christened on November 16, 2001 with a renewing of the Monarchs-Lock Monster rivalry. Before the first game puck was dropped, the Monarchs and Kings’ banners were raised to the rafters. Then the Monarchs and the fans paid tribute to our every day local heroes, the police and fire department, who unfurled a huge American flag that covered almost the entire space between the blue lines, which the Lock Monsters and Monarchs lined, and received a long and well-deserved standing ovation. A lengthy moment of silence was held in memory of Garnet “Ace” Bailey and Mark Bavis, both of whom were scouts with the LA Kings organization, and the thousands of others who lost or gave their lives in the September 11th tragedies in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC. All 27 teams in the AHL have dedicated the 2001-02 season in their memory. Rene Rancourt serenaded the masses with a dramatic rendition of the national anthem… and then it was game time.

The Monarchs began the season in the Lock Monsters’ arena, and had lost to them twice in their 14-game journey on the road. The tables were turned, however, on that night of firsts for the Monarchs and their fans. They soundly beat the Lock Monsters, 3-1, in the home opener. The first goal ever to be scored in the VWA was by Monarchs defenseman, Joe Corvo. Read more »

The Pittsburgh Forge Update

by Ron Valerino

Find all the info you need on Pittsburgh’s new Junior A team at:

The Pittsburgh Forge had a very busy 3 game week playing a rare Wednesday
night road game in Cleveland and hosting the USA National Under-17 Team in a
weekend series.

Forge 5 Cleveland 8 :
The Forge trailed 6-2 after 2 periods with Carson Strang and Andy Cote
netting goals. In the third Ken Trombetta netted his sixth goal of the
season to cut the deficit to 6-3. Andy Cote and Carson Strang both added
their second goals of the game, but the rally wouldn’t be enough. The Barons
scored a late goal and added an empty net score with a little over a minute
left. The newest Forge acquisition, Larry Sterling, relieved starter Tim
Heneroty and stopped 17 of 19.

Forge 2 USA 3 (Shootout) : Read more »

Jackets AHL Player Update

by Aaron Vickers

First, transactions that have taken place between the Blue Jackets and their AHL affiliate the Syracuse Crunch. The Jackets have reassigned goaltender Karl Goehring to Syracuse(from Dayton). Goehring, finished up his NCAA career last season, posting an 80-20-13 record in the NCAA ranks, setting a new record. Goehring replaces Gardner, who is reassigned to Dayton.

Columbus has returned forward Mathieu Darche to Syracuse of the AHL after being called up on November 1st. Darche tallied for one goal (1-0-1) in 7 games with the Jackets.

Defenseman Darrel Scoville is still expected to miss 4-6 weeks after suffering a 3rd Degree shoulder separation a few weeks ago.

Stats as of Thursday, November 22nd

Mathieu Darche(LW) – Darche was just recently relocated to Syracuse after an unsuccessful stint with the Jackets. Darche had 7 points (6-1-7) in 9 games before being recalled. What has he done since being returned? About as much as I have in Syracuse…nothing. He’s only played 2 games since his return, but has yet to put up any points.
Read more »

Too Deep on D?

by Megan Sexton

That’s a foreign concept to the Tampa Bay Lightning and their fans. The Bolts are just grasping the need for depth and beginning to acquire it. Now, to tell them their blueline is too deep is likely to daze and confuse them.

The notion of excessive prospects in the Tampa Bay organization is a rare one, but it is a challenge that the team is currently experiencing and one that could case a major traffic jam in the system. A shared affiliation, enough veterans to fill the big club and a few too many defensive prospects has gotten the Bolts in quite a predicament that will have to be rectified–soon.

Due to the dual affiliation between Phoenix and Tampa Bay, the Lightning can only place ten prospects with their AHL affiliate in Springfield. The rest will have to go down to the ECHL and even the UHL. Last season, this situation would have been ideal for the baby Bolts, who played much of the season with virtually half a team. As GM Rick Dudley trudges on with Tampa Bay’s rebuilding process, he continues to add quality prospects to the system, hence our dilemma.

For the first time in the Davidson era, the Lightning are able to fill their blueline with–get this–NHL-quality players. Of course they don’t have a Stevens or a Pronger or even a Hamrlik, but they are not playing with three and four rookies either, as they were forced to do in past years. Off-season additions have pushed the rookies down the depth chart to the minor leagues, where they belong.

The season began with relative ease: Mike Jones arrived to camp with heel fractures, s Read more »

All current NHL-Players with a german history

by Oliver Janz

24 Players found the way (back) from Germany into the NHL

24 Players found the way (back) from Germany into the NHL. Here are the teams and some interesting stats from their spell in Germany:

Sergej Berezin (Phoenix Coyotes)
1994-96 Kölner Haie/DEL (120 GP, 184 PTS)

Pavel Bure (Florida Panthers)
1994-95 EV Landshut Cannibals/DEL (1 GP, 3 G)

Vincent Damphousse (San Jose Sharks)
1994-95 EC Ratinger Löwen/DEL (11 GP, 12 PTS)

Jiri Dopita (Philadelphia Flyers)
1992-95 Eisbären Berlin/1.BL and DEL (96 GP, 122 PTS)

Sascha Goc (Tampa Bay Lightning)
1994-96 Schwenninger ERC Juniors/GER Jr.
1996-98 Schwenninger Fire Wings/GER3
1996-98 Schwenninger Wild Wings/DEL

Dany Heatley (Atlanta Trashers)
His father, Murray Heatley, played for EHC Freiburg as Dany was born. Dany isn’t a german citizen and didn’t played for a german team, but he was born in Freiburg, Germany.

Jochen Hecht (Edmonton Oilers)
1993-94 Mannheimer ERC Juniors/GER Jr.
1994-98 Adler Mannheim/DEL

Jaromir Jagr (Washington Capitals)
1994-95 Schalker Haie/GER3 (1 GP, 1 G, 10 A)

Olaf Kölzig (Washington Capitals) Read more »

Reviews of Canucks defensive prospects

by Kirk Pedersen

Now that the Canucks have acquired another ‘top-six’ forward, and with Andrew Cassels due back in two weeks or so, our biggest weakness is clearly on defense.

What do we have in our organization in the way of defensemen? Not too much, almost all of our NHL-calibre Defensemen are already in the NHL, and we have a lot of wild-cards. (See Komarniski, Zenith; Vydareny, Rene.) Here is the Canucks’ depth on defense, with seasonal reviews to this point for the defensive prospects.

Bryan Allen was supposed to arrive this year. He began the season with the Canucks, going scoreless, and being victimized on several plays early in the season. Marc Crawford and his assistants decided that it’d probably be best for Bryan to go back down to Winnipeg, and play for the Moose until the Canucks need him again. He’s still a top-drawer defensive prospect, and he’s on pace for a better offensive season than last year in Manitoba, but he’s not much more than a sixth or seventh defenseman on the Canucks now, even in our poor state of affairs on the blueline. More was expected out of him this season, but there’s still time to recover. But it’s better to play 20-25 minutes per game in Winnipeg, than 5-10 minutes in the NHL.
Grades Thus Far:
AHL: B+ Read more »

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