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Giguere is gone

by pbadmin
on
Jean-Sebastien Giguere was traded today to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks for a second round pick, the 42nd pick overall, in this years draft. The reasoning behind the move is that the Flames could only protect 5 forwards and 3 defense man if 2 goaltenders where protected which under the circumstances was unacceptable. Losses at the forward and defense position would most likely cause too much damage in the long run. The players they could of lost play a vital role on the team as checking forwards and number four defensemen which initially does not look like a lot but becomes irreplaceable when trying to make a playoff run.
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Columbus Enters NHL with Denis

by pbadmin
on
The Columbus Blue Jackets are now officially part of the National Hockey League. They have a very agressive General Manager/President in Doug MacLean. They have several very talented scouts who have already led the Jackets to sign several young players (Reich, Schill, Nielson, Moran). And now, pre-expansion draft, the Jackets have a number one goalie. Marc Denis is the newest member of the Blue Jackets. He was traded from Colorado to Columbus for a second round draft pick.

“We never would have considered making this trade, but we had Marc Denis rated as the premier young goaltender in the National Hockey League,” said MacLean. “We think he will be an outstanding goaltender for the Columbus Blue Jackets for many years to come.”

Who am I to argue? Denis posted 9 wins last season, including 3 shutouts. He appeared in 23 games and posted a sparkling 2.54 goals against average and a .917 save percentage. Denis, if not traded, would have been one of (if not the) top pick in the expansion draft. He is only 22 years young, and showed signs of brilliance last season.

“I’m excited about the opportunity. It is indeed a challenge, but I’ve never been a person who shies away from challenges,” said Denis. “The trade is a little bit of a shock, but that doesn’t mean it is a negative. I think this is a positive for me. I’m looking forward to visiting Columbus this summer and playing there next season.”
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Behind the Bench with…….Red Berenson

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on

If you played in the NHL around the time of the first expansion and you were up against the Detroit Red Wings or the St. Louis Blues, the last person you wanted to see on the ice in the final two minutes was Red Berenson. If you did, it invariably meant that your team was down a goal and there wasn’t going to be much you could do about it. Once his playing career came to a close, and after a short stint in Buffalo, Berenson took his modus operandi to his alma mater, the University of Michigan. There he continued to build upon a championship tradition. Recently, Hockey’s Future had the opportunity to talk with Coach Berenson about the Wolverines and hockey in general in the state of Michigan. Here is what he had to say.

Hockey’s Future: While you had a pretty good season, you can’t help but feel some disappointment for not attaining the ultimate goal of the NCAA Hockey Championships which is to win the Frozen Four. How would you qualify the Wolverine’s 99/00 season in terms of offense, defense, and goaltending and what do you think you can expect next year in this regard?

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Ottawa Goaltending Moves

by Nathan Estabrooks
on
The Ottawa goaltending plans are slowly taking shape. It still is unsure what the Senators will do in the long run but these are the early sketches. To begin with the Senators have officially split with prospect, Mathieu Chouinard. He will re-enter the draft in Calgary. One bad year doesn’t ruin a career and this is most true with netminders. Don’t be surprised if a team looks back to his QMJHL Defensive player of the year award. He still has the tools.

The Senators acquired goaltender Rich Parent from the Tampa Bay Lightning for a 7th round pick. Parent saw limited duty with both Tampa and St. Louis yet unless his game drastically improves, he’ll be a career minor leaguer with a few NHL backup stints. This move is strictly a expansion draft slight of hand. Parent was promptly signed to a one year deal and will most certainly be left unprotected on June 22nd. The Parent trade is a sign the Sens are planing to protect two goaltenders.

Hartford has a Champion

by Evan Andriopoulos
on

The State of Connecticut and the New York Rangers have a Champion in the
Hartford Wolf Pack, the top minor league affiliate of the New York Rangers.
Not only did the Rangers of New York win… but the state of Connecticut and
the city of Hartford, the former home of their beloved “Whale”, have won. After a
season of up and down crowds, usually nearing 6,000, the Pack held the season
records for attendance per game in the finals drawing 11,000 and 12,000 in
their last two home games and much to the ire of Hurricanes Owner Peter
Karmanos, who fled Hartford for the southern climates of North Carolina
three seasons ago, and the NHL for allowing such a move. These crowds would
have made both the NHL and Peter a very happy party.

After 25 years of professional hockey, minus the last few years when the
Whalers played under its last ownership… Hartford has a champion, and
it was brought in by Ex Rangers-Whalers player and current Pack GM Don
Maloney.

Hartford skated to a 4-1 win over Rochester in the Calder Final on away ice
giving the brass and new GM in New York hope of future riches with this win.
Sadly enough as the face on minor league hockey continues to mimic it`s NHL
parent many of these players will be gone via expansion, retirement, release
or what have you… but for at least a summer… everyone has something to
smile about.

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Sparta’s promising prospects

by Ivana Paulova
on

Of the hundred European players expected to be drafted this year, approximately 20 of them will be Czech players. The most highly rated Czech player is Vaclav Nedorost followed closely by Jan Bohac. But there are many more talented players who were not observed in such detail by scouts but who still can make it to the NHL. By the CSB ranking on 66th and 73rd position there are 2 Czech defenders who together play in the junior team of Sparta Praha. Their abilities show they are the best defending pair in Sparta and therefore are high in the draft.

Jan Hanzlik

His play during the whole year earned him an invitation to the U18 year Championship in Switzerland. The team did not have an exceptional performance. The team did not work as a team which nowadays is the most common reason for non-success. Hanzlik, however, was 2nd among defensemen in the plus/minus statistics.
His size is not ideal for defense in the NHL but he possesses excellent puck technique, ability to read the game as well as a good hockey sense. This year he was strong support for his team (junior team of Sparta Praha) and for the national team as well. And he is really happy with his performance now. He is not in a hurry to go to the NHL even though he does want to go there one day. He is not prepared to leave the security of home for the insecurity of North America. Read more »

Will Sather Help The Future?

by Evan Andriopoulos
on
With the horrific season known as 1999-2000 over the Rangers ship had to be righted, not in order to sail in New York for OpSail 2000 but to save the club from prolonging the embarrassment that they had now become.

Glen Sather the builder of champions in Edmonton has landed in Manhattan and it could not have come at a better time. Sather the designer of the Oilers` dynasty in the 80`s that featured his drafting and nurturing of Wayne, Mark, Kevin, Charlie, Jarri, Paul, Glen and Grant among others (no last names needed)… has an even more daunting task. That being to rebuild the Ranger ship in as short as time as possible with the ever opinionated media on his back, the ownership that wishes to run the club “hands on” and the pressure from Gary Bettman and the NHL to build a new winner in New York…and not New Jersey or the Island. The Rangers have become the flagship team on the American Side of the National Hockey League.

For the Rangers kids, Sather`s entrenchment could not have come at a better time. Neil Smith restocked a few shelves with prospects… Mike York, Kim Johnsson, Radek Dvorak and Jan Hlavac at the NHL level… Pavel Brendl and Jamie Lundmark at the development level and a couple Euro Prospects in Johan Holmqvist and again Rudolf Vercik, in addition with the Baby Rangers in Hartford (AHL) with Tomas Kloucek and Johan Witehall and then there is Manny Malhotra… perhaps Sather is his savior.
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It’s Decision Time For The Class of ’98

by pbadmin
on
After studying hard for 2 years, GM Larry Pleau came to a conclusion concerning the draft class of 1998. The crop of young talent that everyone gets excited about on draft day, just never materialized. Christian Backman has not improved like the Blues had envisioned, Maxim Linnik is a bust in every sense of the word, Brad Voth?, what was that? The jury is still out on Andrei Trochinsky, however, the Blues still own his rights. Brad Twordik didn’t show enough to warrant a pro contract so he is gone as well. The best player may be, John Pohl, who was the last player drafted with the 255th pick. He will be in his junior year at the University of Minnesota next season.

Out of the eight players chosen, the Blues signed one. Defenseman Matt Walker, who attended training camp last fall, showed enough improvement this season to draw some attention his way. At 6-2, 222 pounds, Walker has good size. Playing for Kootenay in the WHL, Matt has made great strides this year both defensively and offensively. After training camp, he will return to Kootenay for his last season of junior hockey.

Christian Backman may turn into a serviceable player someday, but that day will not be this year. Backman, who’s name has been mentioned in numerous trades, may not get his chance with the Bluenote or even Worcester. The Blues want him to sign a contract and play in North America next season, however, he has shown little interest in doing so. If Backman comes to camp this season it will be a miracle.
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1997 NHL Draft Progress Report

by Paul MacDonald
on

Statistics are updated through Saturday’s Games. The season is finally over.

First Round Selections


1. Boston Bruins - Joe Thornton, C


TEAM LGE GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Boston NHL 81 23 37 60 -6 87


Season over.


2. San Jose Sharks - Patrick Marleau, C


TEAM LGE GP G A PTS +/- PIM
San Jose NHL 81 17 23 40 -10 36


Playoffs NHL 4 0 1 1 -2 2


Season over.


3. New York Islanders - Olli Jokinen, C


TEAM LGE GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Islanders NHL 82 11 10 21 even 80


Finland WHC 9 1 3 4 -- 6


Season over.


4. New York Islanders - Roberto Luongo, G


TEAM LGE GP MIN GAA W L T EN SO GA SV SP
Lowell AHL 26 1517 2.93 10 12 4 1 1 74 733 .908

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Blue Jackets Sign WHL MVP and College Standout

by Bill Drake
on
The Blue Jackets are slowly filling out their roster, even before the
expansion draft. Two more roster spots were filled with the signings of
Brad Moran, formerly of the Calgary Hitmen (WHL); and Blake Bellefeuille,
Boston College (HE).

Brad Moran was this years WHL Most Valuable Player, leading the league
in scoring with 120 pts, capping off his WHL career with three straight 100
pt. seasons. Moran finished 9th all time in the WHL with 204 goals, and 4th
all time in playoff assists and points, 48 and 82. The Buffalo Sabres, who
drafted Moran in the 7th round of the 1998 Entry Draft (191st overall),
decided not to sign the 21 year old junior player, leading Mr. Breeze,
Moran’s agent, to issue the following tirade to the Associate Press: “Never
in my 15 years (as an agent) have I ever seen a player, and especially of
Brad’s elite status, treated with such cavalier indifferent arrogance.” Why
then would Buffalo pass on such an outstanding junior player, and Columbus
sign him?

Buffalo did not sign him for three main reasons: his age, his physical
abilities, and money. Moran is 21, playing in a league typically filled
with 18 year olds; this coupled with the fact that few overage junior
players go on to have solid NHL careers leaves Moran with one strike against
him. The second strike is his size and skating ability. Listed at 5-11 and
175 lbs, Moran must bulk up in order to succeed at the NHL level; combine Read more »