Hockey’s Future Interview with Serge Payer
Nearing the halfway point of this NHL season, one of the surprises has been the abysmal start of the Florida Panthers. While there are many reasons for this poor outing so far, most notably a startling amount of injuries that have decimated the team and have never given the Panthers a full roster of healthy players.
Maybe one of the small benefits of a team stricken with this many injuries, is the chance for the unexpected. Having a player get called up to fill in sometimes gives the coaches, management, and most importantly, the fans the opportunity to see a player exceed all expectations and beat all the odds of making an impact in the NHL.
One of these players is Serge Payer. Signed as a free agent in late 1997, Serge was expected to spend time this year in the UHL, but an incredibly strong NHL pre-season turned the heads of Panther brass and Serge was sent to start his professional career in the AHL Louisville Panthers.
What is remarkable is the road that Serge took to get to this point in his early career in the NHL. Jennifer McCarthy of Hockey’s Future AHL report recently did a profile of Serge on her web-site http://www.pantherbytes.com/louisville.html
Recently, I got the chance to sit down with Serge Payer on the day of the Colorado game, and it was apparent during the interview that Serge is in this “I still can’t believe” phase over the realization that he Read more »
The Rangers announced today that goalie Mike Richter will be sidelined for the Rangers next 2 games (23rd vs. Nashville and 27th vs. Carolina) because of an undisclosed injury, and Vitali Yeremeyev has been recalled from Hartford. In my opinion, Richter is not injured at all, but just needs some rest. The Rangers were likely to rest him in their next 2 games anyway, but I guess they decided to bring up Yeremeyev to get a look at him over the next week or so.
Yeremeyev, a 25 year old Kazakhstanian goalie who was selected in the 11th round of the 1994 Draft, has played OUTSTANDING with the Hartford Wolf Pack in 11 games this season. Yeremeyev has posted a 1.65 GAA, .951 Save%, and 2 shutouts. The ironic thing is that this is from someone who started the season struggling with the ECHL Charlotte Checkers (Jason Labarbera is the starter there now), as he posted a 4.23 GAA in only 5 games.
Playing excellent is not anything new to Yeremeyev however. In his last 3 years in Russia, Yeremeyev posted superb numbers. He had a 1.23 GAA with 7 shutouts in 26 games in 99/00 with Dynamo Moscow of the Russian Elite League. The two previous years before that he posted a 1.80 GAA in 19 games with CSKA Moscow of the Russian Tier 2 league, and a 1.16 GAA with Yaroslavl of the Elite league in 16 games. Yeremeyev got teared apart on the National stage though. He was the starter for team Kazakhstan in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. He allowed 28 goals in 7 games, en route to a 5.76 GAA. Yeremeyev can’t be blamed for most of the goals however, as Kazakhstan is not known Read more »
Offense - The RoughRiders are not well known for their offense but they do have a couple of stars. Darren Partch is the leader offensively and is one of the league leaders in the scoring. Partch has 10 goals and 14 assists for 24 points and leads the team in scoring. Partch is the kind of player who is in the right place at the right time and can kill you with precision passing. Gerry Hickey returned to Cedar Rapids after a spectacular season last year. So far Hickey has 8 goals and 9 assists for 17 points but he has an astonishing 120 penalty minutes. Tha Read more »
Patrick Foley has played in pain for the past three years and finally decided enough was enough. Partially tearing both his ACL’s in his junior year of high school football, he elected to continue playing hockey with braces on each knee up until last season. That’s when everything went downhill. After games and practices Foley’s knees had him in so much pain he couldn’t run or even ride a bike. He decided to have Dr. Brett Zarins of the New England Patriots take a look at his knees. The only solution to the problem was surgery. On May 31, 2000, Foley went in and had his right knee operated on. A month later it was the left knees turn to be repaired. Foley was optimistic about a return to the New Hampshire Wildcats this year, however after a November appointment with Dr. Zarins it was in Patrick’s best interest to be redshirted. Foley is rehabilitating his knees and skated for the first time since the surgery this past week. Foley said just feeling the wind blowing against his face was a great feeling. Being part of the team is important to Foley. He helps teammates at team workouts and provides support and the insight of someone not at ice level. What really drives Foley is the chance to play for a national title. The process of rehabilitating both knees is physically and mentally grinding, but you couldn’t find a bettter warrior than Patrick Foley to do it. Determined, Foley is working hard to get his play back to the level exhibited before the surgeries. Don’t be shocked to see him back on the rink next year playing better than ever.
every Christmas at the World Junior Hockey Championships had brought home the gold medal. A bronze
last year after falling to the dreaded Russians in the semifinal game, a silver in 1999 at Winnipeg in a
heartbreaking overtime loss, once again to the Russians. The 1998 edition was a forgetful eighth place
showing. So from failing hands the torch is passed to this years crop of teenage talent. Pressure? What
world junior entry doesn’t win the yellow hardware, it will only further signify that Canada has fallen further
of its perch of hockey supremacy. I beg to differ. If the boys don’t come home with gold around their necks,
I maintain that it is exactly the opposite. We haven’t fallen further off the perch, it’s just that the perch has
become much bigger and now hosts more than the just the one or two dominant countries that occupied it
in the past. Canada, Russia, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Finland are all dominant countries on the
international hockey scene. With the addition of up and comers such as Slovakia, Latvia and Belarus it only
promises to become even more crowded at the top. Suffice to say that the days of one country dominating
at the international level, such as the way Canada did from 1993 to ’97, five gold medals in a row at the
WJC’s, are over. Every year from now on will more than likely be a crap shoot w Read more »
currently in the NHL. I hope to provide some stats and updates on Canuck prospects at all levels every couple of weeks, as they play a major role in the future of
the Canucks’ organization.
impact on the Vancouver Canucks in his third line role. His ability to cycle
the puck in the offensive zone with twin brother Henrik, continues to
generate scoring chances. Recently Daniel missed four games due to a
shoulder injury. Coach Crawford babied him into returning to the lineup, to
many this raises questions about how Daniel has adapted to the rigours of
the NHL. Being held pointless in three games since his return, team and fans
alike hope that now that the league is getting to know the
Sedins’ style of play they won’t hit the wall a la Bill Muckalt or Steve
Kariya. Overall though,
Daniel is doing an excellent job in his first season, and is expected to
continue as a favorite in the Calder Cup run.
PROJECTION: Daniel looks like he’s going to be an excellent player in the
Week Of 12/10 to 12/20
Player Team League GP G A P PIM +/- Pavel Brendl Calgary WHL 26 29 23 52 24 21
This Week: No Games Played
Player Team League GP G A P PIM +/- Jamie Lundmark Seattle WHL 20 17 17 34 19 +3
This Week: 1 GP, 2 G, 0 A, 2 P, 0 PIM, +2
Player Team League GP G A P PIM +/- Filip Novak Regina WHL 34 12 22 34 38 12
This Week: 3 GP, 1 G, 0 A, 1 P, 5 PIM, +1
Player Team League GP G A P PIM +/- Garret Bembridge Saskatoon WHL 35 24 20 44 12 -13
This Week: 3 GP, 1 G, 0 A, 2 P, 0 PIM, -6 Read more »
Jamie Lundmark was selected to the under-20 Canadian team for the upcoming World Junior Championships in Moscow, Russia, and he hasn’t disappointed so far. Team Canada left for Sweden a couple of days ago to play 2 exhibition games against the Sweden team before taking off for Moscow for the championships.
In the first exhibition game, Canada defeated Sweden 6-4. Lundmark had 2 goals and 3 assists and 2 PIM. One of his goals was an empty net goal at the end to close out the game. All 3 of Lundmark’s assists were primary assists and they also all occurred while Canada was on the power play.
Lundmark made a name for himself in last year’s WJC with a solid all-around performance and looks as though that will happen this year as well. Canada and Sweden face off tomorrow, so stay tuned to what Lundmark will do!
News and Notes: The only other 2 players in the Rangers organization that I know of that are participating in the WJC are Pavel Brendl and Sven Helfenstein. I will try and find out tomorrow if there is anyone else, and there probably is, so stay tuned.
The Rangers finally have made a move to help their defense defensively, but it did not come in form of a trade as many thought it would. Tomas Kloucek, a 6-3 220 pound 20 yr old defenseman, was recalled from Hartford on Sunday to patch up the Rangers defense. Kloucek played in 4 games with the Rangers earlier in the season, and he played a very steady, solid game and did not make any mental errors at all, as most rookies do. He registered no points and 2 penalty minutes while with the Rangers.
The Rangers have decided to give Kloucek a huge chance to prove how good he is, as they have him penciled in to play about 15 minutes tonight against the Florida Panthers at the garden. Before possibly making a trade, the Rangers want to experiment with the defenseman they already have to see if they can fix the problem with the players in their organization. If the stay-at-home defenseman Kloucek can not make much of a difference, than we will likely see a trade happen soon. However, the Christmas trade freeze takes place tomorrow, so any immediate deal will have to happen tonight.
To make room for Kloucek, the Rangers sent forward Manny Malhotra to Hartford. I think this is only temporary while Kloucek gets his chance to impress the management. They originally wanted to send Bert Robertsson down to Hartford, until they found out he would have to clear waivers. So with that, Malhotra was an option that they had to take. He should be recalled soon if Kloucek can’t cut it with the big club, or if Kloucek impresses and the Rangers move some bodies to get Manny back on the t Read more »