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Blue Jackets AHL Player Update

by Aaron Vickers
on

Mathieu Darche(LW) – Unable to crack the Blue Jackets opening day roster, Mathieu Darche was quickly relocated to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL. Darche, who was called up for a 9 game stint last year, has not gone unnoticed by the Blue Jackets organization. After compiling 8 points in 9 games (6-2-8) for the Crunch, Darche received a call-up to the big club. In limited action with the Jackets, Darche has been held pointless in three games, with 4 PIM and a –3 rating.

Brad Moran(C) – One of Darche’s teammates on the Syracuse Crunch, Moran has not enjoyed the early season success he’d like to. After scoring 120 points only two seasons ago, Moran has had a tough time adapting to the professional level, recording just 34 points in 80 career AHL games, and only 4 points (2-2-4) in 9 games this season. After recording 3 consecutive 100+ point seasons in junior, the Jackets cannot be happy with the production of the former WHL Player Of The Year and Bob Clarke Trophy winner.

Martin Spanhel(RW) – Spanhel has split duty this season between the AHL affiliate Syracuse Crunch and the NHL Jackets. Spanhel, who didn’t make the final cut in the preseason, managed 3 points (1-2-3) in 8 games before receiving his call-up with Darche. Unlike Darche, Spanhel has managed to tickle the twine, with one goal (1-0-1) in four games, while going – Read more »

Predators news and notes

by Brian Roe
on

Line of Erat, Orszagh, Arkhipov

Prospects Martin Erat, Vladimir Orszagh, and Denis Arkhipov are
making some serious noise in the National Hockey League this year. Erat
leads the Nashville Predators in assists (8) and points (10). He is
also second among rookies in scoring in the NHL. Orszagh, the former
New York Islander, has 3 goals and 6 assists this season while playing
in 14 contests. Arkhipov has 3 goals and 3 assists while centering this
new, exciting line.

Martin Erat, 20, was the biggest surprise out of training camp this
season. The winger has given the
Predators a very nice offensive boost early on in the season. Vladimir
Orszagh, who played last season in the Swedish hockey league, has also
become an offensive force. Orszagh has shown very high intensity and is
not afraid to shoot the puck. Denis Arkhipov played 40 games last
season with Nashville, scoring 6 goals and 7 assists. However, this
year he is getting increased ice time, has moved from winger to the
center position and already has half the points that he had all of last
season.

This line has thrown in almost one-third of the team’s offense and is
giving Nashville fans some exciting hockey to watch. Orszagh is
considered the veteran of line at 23. The
future of the Predators organization could be on the sticks of these
three young players. Orszagh is on pace for
53 points, Arkhipov is on pace for 33 points and Erat on pace for 60
points.

Missing Hartnell

The future captain of the Predators, Scotty Hart Read more »

Hockey’s Future New Column: Game Misconduct

by Tony Bryson
on

It has become a yearly tradition for the marketing
wizards at the NHL offices. No, I’m not talking about
the introduction of another series of extremely horrid
third jerseys by several of the member clubs. I’m
talking the fall release of fan selection ballot for
the mid-season All Star game. Every year the league
releases the ballot, and every year there is some
controversy surrounding those names available for
selection. Why should this year’s game be any
different? Well maybe because the controversy
surrounding this year’s ballot is such an obvious
blunder that it really makes the league look bad.

Normally the NHL has a leg to stand on when it comes
to omissions in the All Star ballot. There is a
surprise player or two who come out of the gate hot
and lead the league in several categories, or the
unknown rookie who makes a big splash and comes out of
no-where, or the aging veteran who has a career year
while he winds down towards retirement. All of these
situations are ones where the league office can be
excused for its short sightedness. But this year the
league really left itself open for criticism by
leaving Calgary Flame poster-boy, and rising star
player, Jarome Iginla, off the ballot.

When you scan the list of leading scorers a few names
jump out at you. Mark Parrish and his twelve goals in
thirteen games is a surprise. Iginla’s team mate
Craig Conroy, and his sixteen points in fourteen games
is a surprise. And perched up at the top of the
scoring race is a surprising Jarome Iginla.
Surprising? To be sitting a Read more »

Dempsey’s agent draws line

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on

Art Shoots the Breeze

In case you haven’t heard, Art Breeze is at it again. Breeze, Nathan Dempsey’s agent, has communicated a ‘play me in the NHL or trade me’ request to Leaf management. He’s gone so far to say on the FAN 590, a local radio station in Toronto that if he isn’t traded “he will play (in the NHL) next year and well beyond and come back to haunt some people.”

Without a doubt, there are many who would support Dempsey’s promotion to the ACC among followers of the Blue and White. In limited duty, he has impressed. But let’s be clear here, we are talking about ‘limited duty’. Ripping apart the blueliner’s game it’s fairly easy to add up the pluses and minuses. He’s a puckmoving defenseman who makes a snappy first pass, knows when to shoot, and can fill the role of powerplay quarterback on the second unit. On the downside is an utter lack of size as he is whisper thin at 6’0″ and 170 pounds. Despite good effort, this leaves him vulnerable in the corners and in front of the net.

Compare him to Tomas Kaberle, who is an inch taller, 8 pounds heavier, and five years younger. Kaberle fits the bill almost to a ‘T’ with the exception of a reluctance to shoot at this point in his career. However, more importantly that that is the age difference. Whereas Dempsey is always going to be 170 pounds, the Czech is still young enough to pack on some pounds and get up towards 200 where he will be better able to handle the action near the blue ice in his own zone. And for Dempsey’s value within the Leaf organization, Read more »

Interview with Craig Button

by William Charlton
on

The following is the brief interview with Flames GM, Craig Button. This is the first of what will become a quarterly interview with Mr. Button asking him the most up to date questions confronting fans – particularily Flames fans today.

Mr. Button;

First of all I would like to report that the web site I write for Hockeysfuture has been tremendously surprised by the early success as a result of your trades. On behalf of the Flames fans on that site I would like to say “Thank-you for sticking to your guns and doing what you knew was right even though times were tough.”

I have a few questions I woudl like to ask you. Read more »

Updated Player Rankings for the Kings

by Tony Calfo
on

With a hot start, Alexander Frolov has jumped to the Hockey’s Future #1 Kings’ prospect position. While Lehoux and Aulin have both shot out of the gate with great starts, it appears that Frolov may be something special.

Other movement included returns to the top 10 for Jason Crain and Alexey Volkov, both of whom seem to be returning to top prospect form. Parros, Clarke and Olynick have also climbed.

Jaroslav Bendar has also moved into the “graduated” section.

Feel free to offer any feedback.

Q & A With the Chiefs Kurt Sauer

by Glen Crichton
on

Following a tough 3-2 Spokane Chiefs loss to the Kamloops Blazers in WHL league action, Chiefs defenseman and Colorado Avalanche prospect Kurt Sauer was kind enough to do an interview with Hockeysfuture.

Born in St. Cloud, Minnesota, on January 16, 1981, Kurt started playing hockey at six in used equipment and skates that were a couple sizes too big however, this hasn’t deterred the big defenseman from pursuing an NHL dream. Playing for North Iowa in the USHL during the 98-99 season, Kurt intended on attending college, but was listed by the Western Hockey League’s Spokane Chiefs. After a visit to Spokane, Kurt opted to join the Chiefs for the 99/00 season and it appears to have been a wise decision.

Kurts rookie season saw him finish eighth overall in the WHL with a +36, but it lead the western conference and all WHL rookies. Kurt was also voted as co-rookie of the year in Spokane. Following the season, Kurt entered the NHL Entry Draft and Colorado used it’s fifth pick, 88th overall to snare Kurt.

A punishing hitter and rock solid stay at home defenseman, Kurt is a top prospect in the Avalanche system and when asked about Kurt, Chiefs general manager Tim Speltz said, “he’s a quality kid both on and off the ice, just a great guy.” Players around the league praise Kurt’s punishing physical prowess by saying they avoid, “going along the wall on Kurts side of the ice if at all possible.”

When asked if he was surprised that Kurt, considered by most, along with Dan Hamhuis of Prince George, to be the elite defenseman in the WHL this season, Speltz replie Read more »

“Dustin Brown: Tale of a Sniper”

by Robert Moore
on

Dustin Brown has always been a sniper, but no one knew who he was until last
year. That’s when the then 15 year old broke into the OHL as a second round
pick of the Guelph Storm. But at the time of the 2000 OHL draft, Brown was
not very well known. He didn’t have the high profile of some of the other
2000 draftees like Patrick Jarrett, Rick Nash, Tim Brent, or Bryan Rodney.

In fact almost all of the OHL teams didn’t even have him ranked anywhere on
their draft lists. The story is well know now. At the 200 OHL priority
selection when Guelph GM Alan Millar called the Ithaca, New York native’s
name, everyone was stunned (much to the same effect as at the ’98 draft,
when Erie Otters GM Sherry Bassin called then little known Brad Boyes in the
1st round). Figuring it was a waste of a pick. Fast forward through last
season, and the 6’0″-193lbs right winger is an early concensus top five pick
for the 2003 NHL entry draft.

Brown combines speed and pillow soft hands to account for his almost
goal-a-game pace this season. Brown, who just turned 17 is also in
consideration for team USA, who will compete at the WJC. Although the US
team doesn’t usually take younger playerse, it would be hard to ignore Brown
is he keeps up the play he has been displaying this year.

Brown and linemate Marty St.Pierre have been ripping up the Ontario League
scoresheets this season, and the prospect of both of them being in Guelph
for another 2-3 years is great for Guelph fans and management. Brown could
stand to get a little more physical (0 fights i Read more »

Calder Corner for the week ending Nov 4th

by HF Staff
on
Calder Corner for the week ending Nov 4th

The Calder Corner

Heatley: 4 Games, 2 Goals (3, 4) 1 Assist
Kovalchuk: 3 Games, 1 Goal (7), 1 Assist

BUF
Hamel: 3 Games, 1 Assist

CAL
Clark: 2 Games, 1 Goal

CHI
Bell: 4 Games, 1 Goal (3), 4 Assists

COL
Willsie: 3 Games, 2 Goals (2,3)

Detroit Red Wings
Datsyuk: 4 Games, 1st NHL Goal, 1 Assist
Kuznetsov: 4 Games, 1 Assist

Florida Panthers
Huselius: 3 Games, 4 Goals (6,7,8,9)
Ference: 3 Games, 2 Assists

Los Angeles Kings
Bednar: 1 Game, 1 Assist

Minnesota Wild
Schultz: 4 Games, 1 Assist Read more »