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Stingrays Win Kelly Cup

by Wil Kirwan
At the start of the 1999-2000 season, The Hockey News picked the South Carolina Stingrays to win it all in the ECHL. As it turned out, they were a year off. Additions to the team like Ryan Brindley, Zach Ham, Joel Irving, and Scott Swanson proved to be the difference between the team that underachieved, and the team that over achieved to beat the Brabham Cup Champion Trenton Titans. The Stingrays saw a season that had an initially bleak outlook when the team started 1-3-1 turn into the stuff dreams are made of through a season with plenty of ups and downs.

The season for the ‘Rays was filled with call-ups, and when Leading scorer Jason Sessa was called up to St. John’s of the AHL, many writers wrote off the Stingrays as having the ability to make a run deep into the playoffs. As it turned out, the loss of Jason Sessa was not something that would slow the team down. With Jason Sessa out of the lineup, Coach Rick Adduono made a call to Chad Remackel about playing for the Stingrays. Remackel, who drives a cement truck, and wasn’t able to play with the Stingrays for the whole year because he wouldn’t be able to support his wife and children was happy to say yes.

Apparently, it was an intangible Trenton had not counted on. When Trenton played South Carolina in the final meeting before the playoffs, South Carolina was an injury-riddled team, also suffering from 5 call-ups, including Adam Calder to Norfolk, Ryan Brindley to Rochester, and Scott Swanson to Springfield. With so many Stingrays players out, Trenton humiliated the team 8-0. With t Read more »

Panthers Retain 4 Prospects at Deadline

by Mark Fischel

SUNRISE, FL – Florida Panthers President and General Manager Bill Torrey announced today contract information for several of the team’s recent draft picks.

The club submitted qualifying offers to the following four players: D Chris Eade, G Davis Parley, RW David Morisset, and LW Mathew Sommerfeld. As a result, the Panthers retain the rights to these players for one more year.

Eade played in 40 games for North Bay of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) this season totaling three goals and 26 assists (29 points). Parley played in 52 games for Kamloops of the Western Hockey League (WHL) earning a 27-16-3 record and a 3.46 goals against average. Morissett played 61 games for Seattle of the WHL scoing 32 goals and 36 assists (68 points). Sommerfeld registered 62 games with Swift Current of the WHL totaling five goals and five assists (10 points).

The Panthers’ have declined to offer the following five players contracts: G Jean-Francois Laniel, RW Morgan McCormick, D Brad Woods, D Rod Sarich, and C Travis Eagles. These players are now eligible to re-enter the NHL draft.

From the Panthers Press Release

2001 Draft Profile: Lukas Krajicek

by Jonathan Litterine
There are a ton of very very solid defensemen in this upcoming
draft. Probably the top two who come to mind are Mike Komisarek and Dan
Hamhuis. Yet look for Lukas Krajicek to fly up draft boards in the next few
weeks leading up to the draft. At 6’1 , 183 Krajicek might be the top
offensive defenseman in the draft. Lukas moved up 10 spots to 6th overall on
the CSB North American Skater Board. Remember what your getting here though
folks, Krajicek is not a physical force. He will bang if necessary but don’t
look for him to go out and look for a fight. The Hockey News has him rated
21st overall which i believe is way too low. Look for Krajicek to be a
possibility for Nashville with the 12th pick or Phoenix with the 14th
selection. Krajicek was a standout as a OHL rookie this year on what is just
a so-so team in Peterborough. Look for Krajicek to be one of the players you
see flying up draft boards all around the NHL from now until draft day. He
would make nice nice addition for any National Hockey League Defensive Core.

Season review of Detroit Red Wings Swedish Prospects

by Zoran Manojlovic

Here is a look back at the best Red Wings prospects past season in
Sweden, it includes also a prospect ranking.

1. Henrik Zetterberg

Position: Center
Team: Timra
Born: 1980
Height: 6.0
Weight: 185
Drafted: 8th round in the 1999 draft (210 overall)
Rating: 8 / 10
Last season: 47 games 15 goals 31 assists 46 points 24 pim

This was a breakthrough season for the 20 year old Zetterberg. He had an
outstanding season in the Swedish Elite League, were he put up
impressive numbers. In Timra he played in every possible situation, in
most of the games he played on two lines and averaging about 20-25
minutes pro game. He was also voted as the player of the game most of
the time.

After the first 20 games he had a huge slow-down and registered only 2
points in 7 games. But he finished the season strongly with 7 points in
his last 3 games, and ended up with 46 points in 47 games, not bad for a

He also played all year long for the national team (Three Crowns), were
he scored 4 goals and 4 assists in 24 games, including 1 goal and 3
assists in 7 games at the World Championships in Germany, were Sweden
took a bronze medal. He played really well when the coach gave him solid
ice time, he received a award as the player of the game in the first game
of the tournament, but towards the end of the tournament he saw less ice
time, and in the two final games he didn`t play at all, because of a late
arrival of Mats Sundin.

He is one of the best prospects in the world today, and
that he has a very bright future in the NHL. He has great skat Read more »

Panther Draft History Analysis

by Mark Fischel
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.

1993 Draft

5th – Robbie Neidermayer
41st – Kevin Weekes
47th – Chris Armstrong
67th – Mikael Tjallden
78th – Steve Washburn
83rd – Bill McCauley
109th – Todd MacDonald Read more »

IHL To Fold This Week and Merge To AHL.

by Andrew Bourgeois
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 »

The cavalry is on the way!!

by Richard A. Plisco
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 »

Kyle Wanvig and Barrett Heisten: Future Rangers?

by Brandon LeBourveau

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 »

Marcel Goc, german’s top prospect

by Oliver Janz

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 »

Changes coming to the Nailers

by Erik Johnson
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.

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