The Kings left Calgary with more questions than answers last week after taking a serious blow in the loss of Sean O’Donnell and the rumours about Eric Lindros coming to Los Angeles. Where do the Kings go from here, and just how did they do in Calgary?
The weekend didn’t exactly get off to the best start when the Kings lost Steve McKenna and Sean O’Donnell to the expansion Minnesota Wild on Friday. The Kings went through some painful growing pains with Sean O’Donnell to see him become a solid defenseman. Now another team, almost certainly a contender by year’s end, will enjoy the fruits of the Kings labors. On paper, the King lost their #3 defenseman who is in his prime, was a feared fighter, and was a leader in the clubhouse. They also lost a fringe enforcer in McKenna. The biggest losses will be felt in the locker room where Mac and Odie were well liked and looked to as leaders. McKenna will be a hit with Minnesota because of his size and personality, and I personally saw some improvement in his skills this season. On a team with other enforcers, McKenna could grow into a contributor. O’Donnell has become a physical, stay at home defender who could either be a captain or great trade bait to a contending team. Either way, it leaves the Kings already softening lineup with no enforcer and no blue liner who will drop the gloves. With Galley, Odie and a likely Berg holdout, the Kings are in trouble where they were once strongest.
Read more »
If the 2000 NHL Entry Draft did anything, for the Lightning, it added
depth to a young talented pool of prospects. The Bolts went in with three
goals: add a goaltender that will contribute immediately, add some
goaltending depth, and add a group of talented forwards to the system. All
of these goals appear to be accomplished. By trading the number five
selection (plus a fourth and seventh round picks), the Lightning added
goaltender Kevin Weekes and defenseman Kristian Kudroc from the New York
Islanders. Instead of adding a veteran to mentor Dan Cloutier, the lightning
added another kid to push Cloutier. The throw in to the deal is Kudroc. He
simply adds to the already ample defense core of the Bolts. He does.
However, bring a big body (6’6” 230 lbs.), more physical style of play, and
the ability to put up some points.
Once the Lightning were done playing the trading game, they were able to
draft an entire line of Russian forwards. With the eight overall selection
GM Rick Dudley chose Nikita Alexeev. Alexeev is big and fast, and hopefully
able to generate some offense. He will score most of his points from in
close, but also has the speed to create his own offense. He will need to
improve his puck handling before he is able to blow by opponents. He is
compared to Calgary Flames winger, and ex-bolt, Andrei Nazarov but with
better hands. In the second round, Dudley took solid 6’2” 202lbs. Winger Read more »
Boston College is a school that is full of hockey history and tradition, one of those traditions has been a winning hockey program. So it should come as no surprise to find out the man responsible for upholding said legacy is one who once played for the Eagles himself, Jerry York Since returning to his alma mater, York has lead the team to back to back Frozen Fours and with his recruiting haul this year, widely conceded to be the best in college, there is no doubt even more pressure, justified or not, on him to come home with the NCAA Championship. Recently Hockey’s Future had the opportunity to talk with Coach York about last season, this season, and all things Boston Hockey.
Hockey’s Future: While it’s obvious that it would have been nice to win the NCAA Frozen Four, how do you rate the season just passed? What were some of the things you had set out to accomplish with your team at the beginning of the year and did you get those things accomplished?
Jerry York: I think it was an excellent year from our perspective because our goal was to be among the elite of college hockey. I think traditions are built upon post-season play. We understand how difficult it is to win a national championship, but we also understand how hard it is to just get to the Frozen Four.
HF: Your team is a perennial threat in Hockey East. How would you compare this past season with the two before it?
Read more »
CANUCKS MOVE FARM CLUB TO KANSAS CITY
The Vancouver Canucks have changed their farm team from the Syracuse Crunch
of the American Hockey League to the Kansas City Blades of the International
Kansas City’s proximity to Vancouver factored into the switch, Brian Burke,
general manager of the NHL Canucks, said Monday.
The Canucks have signed a two-year agreement, the second year being
Vancouver’s option, with the Blades. Under terms of the deal, Vancouver will
supply 18 players to the Blades, plus a coaching and training staff.
Stan Smyl, who guided the Crunch to a 35-36-9-1 record in his first season
as a head coach, will be the Blades coach.
On January 17, 1962 the Saint Paul Saints win the most lopsided game in IHL
history, a 20-3 drubbing of the Toledo Mercurys.
IHL TEAMS PLACE IN IHL HISTORY
Detroit Vipers: The Vipers had a league high 122 points in 1997 on their way
to capture the Turner Cup. That championship allowed the city of Detroit to
be the first city to capture two cups as the Detroit Red Wings won the
Stanley Cup the same year.
TODAY IN HOCKEY
June 28, 1985 the Detroit Red Wings sign undrafted free agent Adam Oates.
DID YOU KNOW
The St. Louis Blues are the only team to be swept in the Stanley Cup finals Read more »
In the press conference announcing Ivan Hlinka as the new Pens head
coach, Ivan talked about needing to get a little bigger at both the
forward and defensive positions. It didn’t take very long for the new
coach to have an impact on the draft as the Pens stocked up on tough,
gritty, hard hitting players.
For only the 3rd time in the 11 drafts that Craig Patrick has presided
over, the Pens took a non-European player in the first round (the others: Chris Wells 94 and Craig Hillier 96) when they drafted hard
hitting Boston College defenseman Brooks Orpik with the 18th overall
selection. The Pens were so sure that Orpik would be drafted before
their selection that they didn’t even conduct a pre-draft interview with
him. The Pens, however, were thrilled that he was around to select as
he was a unanimous selection at the draft table.
The Pens have needed a strong physical defenseman ever since Ulf
Samuelsson was traded to the Rangers in 1995 and they could have that in
Orpik. His hard-hitting style is likely to make him an immediate fan
favorite. The Pens were sold on his talent at the NCAA Western Regional
Final when he was paired against #2 pick Dany Heatley.
Orpik still has two years left at Boston College and the Pens aren’t known
as a team that pressures kids to leave school early. Orpik seems to
love the college atmosphere and it’s a good bet he’ll stay at BC for at
least another year.
Read more »
Mikael Tellqvist Update
Mikael Tellqvist (Djurgarden, Sweden) – The Leafs clearly felt a need to replenish the goaltending ranks during this draft and actually selected two of them in Round 3 (see J-F Racine below). The selection of Tellqvist was a major surprise in that he was completely overlooked in the final CSB rankings. This much is known about him; he missed the World Junior Tourney because of injury, he is already 20 years old and he played sparingly yet strongly in the Swedish Elite League during this past season. Given Toronto’s recent ability to uncover unknown gems in Europe (Markov, Kaberle, Berezin, Antropov etc.), I wouldn’t bet against this guy.
Mr. Tellqvist’s representative, Mr. Michael Deutch, was kind enough to supply me with the following facts that will be of great interest to all Maple Leaf fans.
· Mikael did miss the 1999 WJC due to a fractured skull but he recovered quite quickly and now feels no ill side effects from the injury.
· This past season Mikael became the number one netminder in Djurgarden, supplanting former NHLer Tommy Soderstrom. Djurgarden won the Swedish championship, due in no small part to Mikael’s performance in goal. He played every game.
· Following the end of the Swedish season, Mikael was selected to back-up Tommy Salo of the Oilers’ at the World Championship Tournament in St. Petersburg, where he played in one game.
Read more »
Day two saw the Flames still thinking BIG, three of their six picks on Sunday were a massive 6’2″, 6’3″, and 6’4″. “I had a plan. I wanted us to get bigger” says Mckenzie. And did they ever. Think back to the glory days in Calgary, size does matter. Mckenzie also stole another gem of a netminder in Levente Szuper of the Ottawa 67′s, taking Ottawa to the memorial cup in 99.
116th overall , Calgary selected Ottawa 67′s netminder Levente Szuper. This 5’11″ 20 year old has sensational speed, and is excellent on his feet. At 187 lbs Szuper has tremendous endurance, logging over 50 games last season. His 2.56 GAA gave him 3rd overall in the OHL , also boasting a .918 save percentage tying him for the league lead. With Szuper playing two full seasons with Ottawa we’ll most likely see him in Saint John playing for the baby Flames next season.
In the fifth round Calgary added to their list of WHL prospects choosing Wade Davis of the Calgary Hitmen, and Travis Moen of the Kelowna Rockets. Davis is a solid defensive defenseman recording 3g-15a and an impressive +32 rating last season for the Hitmen. Central Scouting ranked Davis 51st before saturdays draft. At only 18 this 6’4″ giant has some time to progress and develop into a major force on the blueline.
Travis Moen was selected 155th overall, Calgary’s fourth WHL prospect. Playing for the Kelowna Rockets last season Moen tallied 9g-6a in 66 games. At 6’2″ and 198lbs Moen loves the physical play. Look for Moen to continue developing with the Rockets squad next season.
Read more »
The United States Hockey League had 15 players selected in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft over the
weekend. More than any other Tier 2 Junior A league in North America. Proving once again that
the USHL is the premiere league for scholarships with over 100 this year and also a great league
to get noticed by NHL scouts. These players will try to follow former USHL players now NHL
players Gary Suter, Phil Housley, Greg & Ryan Johnson, Peter & Chris Ferraro, Trent Klatt and
Leading the USHL draft crop was David Hale a defenceman from Sioux City who was selected 22nd
overall by the New Jersey Devils. Hale will attend the University of North Dakota next year.
Other selections where
Team Round Pick Player Pos Team 2000-01 Team
Dallas 2nd 60 Dan Ellis G Omaha Nebraska-Omaha
Ottawa 4th 122 Derrick Byfuglien D Fargo North Dakota
St. Louis 4th 129 Troy Riddle F Des Moines Minnesota
Nashville 5th 154 Matt Koulska C Twin Cities Minnesota
Ottawa 5th 157 Grant Potulny C Lincoln Minnesota
Chicago 6th 177 Michael Ayers G Dubuque New Hampshire
Carolina 6th 181 Justin Forrest D US U-18
Florida 6th 190 John Olson LW Omaha North Dakota
Chicago 6th 193 Joey Martin D Omaha Minnesota Read more »