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Rangers Ink 3: Part II

by Evan Andriopoulos
on
As the summer heats up the Rangers are looking for the right pieces to fix the problem now and for the future. The signing of Mark Messier was one move that was welcomed by all in Rangerland but the signing of enigmatic Vlad.Malakhov is one that caused the good shipmate Schneider too look elsewhere for employment and so continues the questions of which direction the Rangers are headed.

RANGERS INK 3:

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Grizzlies team up with Steelheads

by Andrew Bourgeois
on
Boise’s West Coast Hockey League franchise the Idaho Steelheads announced that it had signed an affiliation agreement with the International Hockey League’s Utah Grizzlies on Tuesday.
The Grizzlies are the top minor league affiliate of the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League.
The Steelheads announced that Utah’s training camp for the 2000-2001 season will open in Boise on Sept. 20 and that the Grizzlies will practice through Sept. 26. Most of the Steelheads players will be included in the Grizzlies’ camp.
The Grizzlies and Steelheads will play a pair of exhibition games at the Bank of America Centre in September.
Grizzlies coach Bob Bourne said he intends to take full advantage of the agreement, sending younger players to Boise to get more skating time and giving other players “a wake-up call.”
Bourne said he will also benefit from having a true affiliate nearby.
Steelheads coach John Olver said that he expected four to six players to be signed to two-way contracts and that those players would move back and forth between the Grizzlies and Steelheads.
He added that there is also the possibility for some three-way contracts, where a player could potentially play for the Steelheads, Grizzlies and Stars in the same season.
Olver thinks the new deal will have an immediate impact in bringing better players to Boise.
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Prospect Profile: Alexei Tezikov

by Jeff Charlesworth
on
Although Washington seems intent on icing a veteran lineup in 2000-01, there is a possibility that some rookies will be given the chance to earn a spot on the roster. Some of the names mentioned include: 1999 first-rounder Kris Beech, newly-acquired defensemen Stephen Peat and Remi Royer and 28-year old Swedish blueliner Bjorn Nord. However, the prospect with the best shot at sticking with the Capitals is Alexei Tezikov.

Tezikov was acquired at the trading deadline in March 1999 from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Joe Juneau and a switch of draft picks. The Sabres were looking to bolster their team for a run at the Stanley Cup, and figured Juneau was the missing piece. The Caps insisted on including Tezikov in the deal, as Chief Scout Ross Mahoney remembered Alexei from his days on the Buffalo scouting staff. The story of Alexei’s journey from talented nobody to the next big thing for the Capitals involves a lot of moves in a very short time.

Even though Alexei had been named the Russian Junior League’s best defenseman twice, he was not rated by Central Scouting Bureau in his draft year of 1996. The Sabres were impressed enough to select him in the 5th round (115th overall). The following season, he decided to stay in Russia and played for both Nizhny Novgorod and his hometown team of Lada Togliatti.
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The Weekend Warrior

by Randy Nicholson
on
Another in a series of weekly articles designed to summarize activities in Leafland during the previous 7 days – with some personal observations, commentary, prospect updates and fun thrown in for good measure.

What’s next: After several weeks of intensive activity featuring the Entry Draft, the successful pursuit of new players in the unrestricted free agent market and negotiating with their own restricted free agents, off season activity down at the ACC seems to have abated somewhat… Coach/GM Pat Quinn is currently relaxing on a friend’s yacht somewhere off the Greek Islands… however, when he returns, Quinn must deal with the following pieces of unfinished business…

- Hire a second Assistant Coach to replace the recently departed Alpo Suhonen

- Hire/promote 1 or more front office types to fill several holes in the Hockey Department

- Lock up free agents Perreault, Karpovtsev and others on new multi-year contracts

- Find someone who can quarterback the team’s anemic powerplay

- Decide whether or not to get involved in the upcoming Eric Lindros Sweepstakes
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1999-2000-A Season Full of Ups And Downs

by Brad Coccimiglio
on
Despite the fact that the OHL season finished up over a month ago it’s never too late to look back at the season past. In this season summary you will find almost everything you need to know about the 1999-200 OHL season.

The OHL sure had it’s share of turmoil this year. The Barrie Colts had plenty of run-ins with Commissioner David Branch’s office over the course of the 1999-2000 season. The Colts were the OHL’s version of “Team Turmoil”. With all of the problems that they had it was surprising that they were as successful as they were. We won’t get into those problems though. Many teams did better than expected this year while some weren’t quite as successful. Here is a brief look back at each team’s season:

Barrie Colts

Regular Season: 43-19-6-1, 93 points, Division-1st, Conference-1st, Overall-2nd

Playoffs: Won league title, Lost in Memorial Cup final to Rimouski (QMJHL)

Leading Scorer: Sheldon Keefe (48-73-121)

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Wheeling hires Alain Lemieux

by Erik Johnson
on

The Wheeling Nailers, ECHL affiliate of the Pens, hired Alain Lemieux as
their new head coach replacing Murray Eaves (who is the brother of
former Pens asst. Mike Eaves).

Lemieux is, of course, the older brother of Pens owner Mario Lemieux.
Alain was the coach of the ECHL’s Jacksonville Lizard Kings last year
before they suspended operations at the end of the season.

The Pens also announced that they will be making more of an effort to
help the Nailers on and off the ice. The Pens signed a 5 year management agreement with Wheeling 2 yeaes ago, but interaction between the organizations has been limited the first 2 years because of off-ice bankruptcy problems with the Pens and the startup of their own AHL franchise last year. The Pens plan on sending 5 to 6
players to the Nailers this season, as opposed to the 1 player (Tom O’Connor) that they sent
each of the last 2.

They will also be doing some cross-promotions with Wheeling on their
respective websites.

What! Another Year, Not a Norwegian Drafted?

by Evan Andriopoulos
on
With Tore Vikingstad likely to partake in the St.Louis Blues minicamp before returning to his Swedish club, the Norwegian Hockey Community was excited when they heard much rant and rave about Trond Magnussen and his brilliant World Championships but as draft day closed in…his name was not found on any of the ratings boards even as an “overage” player. The smallish Magnussen, a player in Fårjestad of Sweden showed a dominating team oriented performance against the Canadians at the World`s and was being scouted by Nashville, Islanders and others…but was not taken or offered a contract. Per Skroder of Frolunda (Sweden) was joined by Anders Myrvold (AIK) as other possible players of interest to the NHL clubs but none was offered a deal.

The next generation of Norwegian players includes Patrik Thoresen, son of long time Norwegian star Petter, Dan Tanges-Rogle(Sweden) and Anders Fredriksen lead the way. Lars Nagel who had been a bright spot in NEJHL was offered scholarships to atleast one Division One University (Yale) but there is no word on whether he will attend school there or stay home and play in Norway. The future is somewhat brighter with Espen Knutsen`s return to the NHL (Columbus) and the fairings at the 2000 World`s by Team Norway. But again time will tell.

Former Canadian Junior and Montreal Pick Jarl Ygranes who played solid hockey for Frisk(Nor.Elite) has been training like a monster and is headed back to a strong Frisk side led by former NHLer Serge Boisvert.

SUMMER HAPPENINGS:

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Capitals trade Baumgartner for Royer

by Jeff Charlesworth
on
It was bound to happen eventually. Former first round pick Nolan Baumgartner just wasn’t a part of the Capitals future anymore. After Nolan’s contract expired at the end of the season, there didn’t seem to be much reason to re-sign him.

Capitals’ GM George McPhee traded Baumgartner to the Blackhawks for defenseman Remi Royer in an exchange of headaches. Chicago fans had made Royer a target after watching him make several mistakes in his brief NHL stint in 1998. Both these players seem to hold a wealth of potential, but neither has put it together enough to secure a job in the big leagues.

The Capitals have made it their mission to acquire more toughness this off-season. They started by trading for defenseman Stephen Peat, and drafted Ryan VanBuskirk a month later. Two weeks ago, they brought back a familiar face by signing Free Agent Craig Berube. Now, with this deal for Royer, the Caps are certainly a tougher team – but it remains to be seen if they are better.

The Capitals main problem now seems to be an abundance of defenseman. They currently have 15 blueliners under contract, and two more ready to turn pro, in Bjorn Nord and Ryan VanBuskirk. Added to that are their three Restricted Free Agents: Sergei Gonchar, Ken Klee and Brendan Witt. With NHL teams carrying seven defensemen and AHL teams employing eight, the Caps have to find a place for the five extra defensemen to play.
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