Johan Witehall, a 28 year old forward from Sweden, was picked up off waivers today by the Montreal Canadiens. I am not exactly sure why Witehall was put on waivers, but it was likely that the Rangers tried to send him to the minors, thus taking a chance of putting him on waivers. But now it looks like a bad move as Johan is headed to Montreal, which needs all the help they can get.
I am kind of upset by this move. I don’t feel Witehall was given a fair chance by the Rangers. It’s obvious he’s not a goal scorer, but if you give him a decent amount of playing time he’s good for 15 goals a season. He’s a speedy skater and a great penalty killer. He was with the Rangers for the past few weeks, but was scratched in most of the games, and when he was in the lineup he didn’t play much. He was playing extremely well in Hartford before he was called up.
There’s not much else to say except for it was a nice pickup by Montreal and I wish Johan the very best.
News and Notes: Derek Armstrong and Vitali Yeremeyev were recalled from Hartford yesterday. Armstrong will center the 3rd line tomorrow in Boston while it is unsure if Yeremeyev will play in any of the 2 games this weekend. Yeremeyev was on 48-hour recall, but he will likely stay with the team now as a roster spot is open because of Witehall’s departure.
It`s just passed the mid-way point of the BCHL season and as usual college scouts are licking their chops. Considered by most to be the top Junior A league in Canada, the BCHL usually has no shortage of skilled players. You just have to take a quick look at the alumni and this becomes evident. Kariya, Hull and Ray Ferraro just to name a few.
One of the most highly recognized players this season has to Gabe Gauthier of the Chilliwack Chiefs. Born in 1984, Gauthier is in his second season with the Chiefs. Most of the players who played in the BCHL at 15 were first round draft choices in the NHL. Terry Ryan played for the Quesnel Millionaires at 15 and Steve McCarthy (Trail BCHL). Ryan was a first rounder of the Montreal Canadians and McCarthy with Chicago. Gauthier is not a big forward but has speed to burn. A good passer who can get in and out of holes quick. Before his second year, WHL teams were all over this kid from California but Gauthier has decided, so far, to go the U.S. scholarship route. In 29 games with the Chiefs so far this season Gauthier has put up 46 points. At 15 years old last season he put up great numbers. More than a point a game for a guy who should be playing bantam hockey. With the experience last year of a championship in the BCHL with the Chiefs and good numbers again this year Gauthier has a bright future no matter what direction he takes in hockey. College or WHL, you will see this kid in the NHL some day.
Gauthier is not draft eligible until 2003. That should be a good year for him. Next time we will look at an older pla Read more »
It happens every time at this point in the WHL season. Actually, it happens with all hockey leagues from the CHL up into the NHL. It’s a sickness. No, it’s not the onslaught of a violent strain of the flu or a cold. It’s a malady that develops from the annual ritual in hockey leagues everywhere called the trade deadline. This sickness isn’t physical, it’s mental. The main symptom of the affliction is simple. Targeted at the mouth and what comes out of it. More than at any other time of year, it is ripe for gossip, rumor and innuendo. It is trade rumor time.
The WHL’s trade deadline falls on the 15th of January and in the past weeks leading up to it there has been no shortage of rumor frenzy by fans and media alike. Similar to an urban legend whose basis is little in fact and long on speculation, the trade rumor manifests itself out of some small statement or tidbit that was mentioned by someone who works with a particular organization and was overheard by a fan or media type that turns around and mentions it to someone else and so on. As the stated innuendo passes from person to person it grows in size, stature and credibility by the sheer amount of people hearing and passing it on. Thus the rumor transforms itself into fact, without basis, for the simple reason that so many fans are talking about it.
The trade deadline madness I speak of is exclusive to hockey, pro or amateur. In the professional ranks there simply is no comparison. Of the big four, Football, Baseball, Basketball and Hockey, the amount of trades and, by association, the amount of tr Read more »
15.Tim Connolly (Center, New York Islanders)- After almost 30 games with out
a goal, the 19 year-old phenom from Syracuse is starting to regain his play
in his rookie season. With 3 points in 3 games (2 goals, 1 assist), Connolly
seems to be regaining his confidence, and with Brad Isbister set to come back
in the middle of next week, his point production can only go up.
14.Keith Tkachuk (Wing, Phoenix Coyotes)- With the Phoenix’s ownership
situation, Tkachuk has became a vocal leader on the team and 42nd in the
league with 37 points. He won’t stay in Pheniox for long, and the better he
plays, the better the chance he has to land on a team like the Rangers.
13.Rob Blake (Defence, L.A. Kings)- Another player in the mist of changing
teams. Being 28th in the leauge in points, this super-stud Defenceman has 50
penalty minutes, and with the return of Ziggy Palffy, will have a significant
end to a career with the Kings.
12.Donald Audette (Wing, Atlanta Thrashers)- Jeez, this guy came out of
nowhere. After playing under-achieving hockey in L.A and Buffalo, Atlanta has
struck jackpot with Audette. Being 3rd in the leauge in scoring and playing
with a revitalized Ray Ferraro, Audette is on pace for a 40 goal 100 point
11.Peter Bondra (Wing, Washington Capitals)- After a off-season of trade
rumors including the Caps winger, Bondra has managed to regain his scoring
touch of a couple years ago. With a 4 goal game about a week ago, Bondra’s on
10.Marian Hossa (Wing, Ot Read more »
Former NHL journeyman Michel Petit was released by the IHL’s Chicago Wolves on Tuesday January 9th.
The 36-year-old defenceman, who was plagued by concussions throughout his career, played for 10 NHL teams in a 16-year career. In 1992, he was traded from the Maple Leafs to the Calgary Flames as part of the deal that brought Doug Gilmour to Toronto.
Wolves Rlease Petit
The trade — Gilmour, Rick Wamsley, Jamie Macoun and Ric Nattress to Toronto for Petit, Gary Leeman, Alexander Godynyuk, Jeff Reese and Craig Berube — was seen as one of the most disastrous in Flames history.
Petit, suffered about seven concussions during his career.
In 827 games with Vancouver, the New York Rangers, Quebec, Toronto, Calgary, Los Angeles, Tampa Bay, Edmonton, Philadelphia and Phoenix, Petit recorded 90 goals, 238 assists and 1,839 penalty minutes.
In 23 games with the Wolves this season, he had two goals and three assists.
Orlando Solar Bears 4
Clevland Lumberjacks 0
Scott Fankhouser made 22 saves and Mark Beaufait had a goal and two assists to lead the Orlando Solar Bears past the Cleveland Lumberjacks, 4-0. Fankhouser, who returned to Orlando after spending nearly two months with the Atlanta Thrashers, earned his first shutout of the season to even his record to 4-4-0. After J.P. Vigier’s power-play goal with 2:59 left in the first period gave the Solar Bears a 1-0 lead, Beaufait earned his team-leading 26th and 27th assists on second-period markers by Herbert Read more »
IHL ROOKIE PROFILE
Player: Jeff Heerema
Birthday: January 17, 1980
Hometown: Thunder Bay, Ontario
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 190 lbs
Position: Right Wing
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
1997-98 Sarnia Sting OHL 63 32 40 72 88
1998-99 Sarnia Sting OHL 62 31 39 70 113
1999-00 Sarnia Sting OHL 67 36 41 77 62
2000-01 Cincinnati IHL 34 7 7 14 24
Jeff was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 1st round (11th overall) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. Jeff is an excellent skater who has a great shot and the ability to put the puck in the net. Has a sense where his teamates are at all time. Reads plays and sees the ice well. Jeff must learn that in the pro leagues, consistency and playing without the puck are essential. Maybe a season or two away from making the big team but when he does Hurricane management think Jeff can make a big contribution to the team.
TONIGHT IN THE IHL
Cleveland Lumberjacks 3
Utah Grizzlies 4
John Purves scored the game-winning goal early in the third period to rally the Utah Grizzlies past the Cleveland Lumberjacks, 4-3. Purves’ goal 6:20 into the third period broke a 3-3 tie and was the fourth unanswered goal scored by Utah after Cleveland took a 3-0 lead midway through the second frame. Ryan Christie scored Utah’s first goal with 4:56 remaining in the second period and Steve Gainey scored just 28 seconds later to make the score 3-2. Pat Neaton tied the game at 3-3 5:11 int Read more »
Notebook — 1/8/2001
Ott has blast in World Juniors
Canadian sparkplug Steve Ott has returned home from his bronze-winning World Juniors team and named an official CHL all-star representative. He will play for the OHL side in the WHL-OHL all-star clash on January 24th.
Steve has thoroughly enjoyed his tour of duty for the Canadian World Juniors team — grinning from ear-to-ear all the while, poking fun at the Russian announcers who couldn’t pronounce his name, high-fiving players on the bench, playing his high octane, smack-talking best, and just having a rip-roaring great time.
For the tournament’s 7 games, Ott compiled 3 points (2 g, 1 a), 26 penalty minute (team leading), and earned Canada-wide recognition for his performance in a Canadian victory over the U.S.
Allegedly, Ott skated up to touted U.S. goalie Rick DiPietro before the match-up and with Messier-eque confidence “guaranteed” that he would score a goal that very game. Naturally, Ott scored during that very game — erasing the U.S.’s 1-0 lead in the 1st period. Canada went on to win 2-1.
(source: Toronto Sun, Terry Koshan)
London Knights Trade Rumors
According to London Free Press writer Morris Dallas Costa, defenseman/captain Dan Jancevski is the subject of trade rumors in London.
Read more »
They came so close. As in one goal, one period, one shot from glory
that this Michigan Technological University hockey team and 15 or 16
others have never known…the glory of a Great Lakes Invitational title.
Perhaps one shot could have gone their way in a thrilling overtime match with the No. 1 ranked Michigan State Spartans, but that was not the case, as MSU collected their fourth consecutive GLI championship with a 3-2 OT win over the Huskies.
The loss was devastating for the young team, only because they had done so well all weekend, beating one of the top five teams in the nation (handing No. 4 Michigan their worst loss in the GLI and maybe anytime in the recent past with a 7-3 pasting in the first round) and outplaying the Spartans in the tournament final.
These Huskies made a major statement and were looking to start a streak that MSU and U-M have had ahold of for the last decade or so…at least since those outstanding John MacInnes-coached MTU teams that won five consecutive GLI titles from 1976-1980 and nine GLI championships total from the late 1960’s until 1980.
In fact, the Huskies hadn’t even appeared in the GLI final since 1991. This group of Michigan Tech hockey players rose to the occasion and played like champions all the way through.
MTU head coach Mike Sertich called the weekend a major steppingstone for the program.
“This is a process that a program takes to become a top-notch college hockey program,” said Sertich, who replaced fired head coach Tim Watters in November. “Commitment is po Read more »
The Wolf Pack of Hartford, Connecticut are also struggling thanks to a myriad of injuries and call ups and to yet stiffer competition but there are some bright spots in Hartford.
THE SCORING: AHL journeyman Derek Armstrong who was so close to signing a contract to play in Europe to start the season is the Pack`s leading scorer with 14 goals and 44 points through 36 games. Brad Smyth continues to hit the net with 26 goals and 40 points through 36 games while center Mike Harder has registered 10 goals in 33 games. Mike Mottau leads the way on defense with 5 goals and 21 points while fan favorite Kenny Gernander with 7 goals and 20 points lead the way. Looking through the roster…defender Burke Henry continues to play better hockey registering a tough 87 penalty minutes, 4 goals and 14 assists. Newcomer Jeff Ulmer(7-10-17) and veteran Tony Tuzzolino(7-9-16)have also been noteables. Veteran defender Drew Bannister (4-14-18) has been positive. Ryan Bast acquired waivers from the New York Islanders started out quickly but then has down a major slump registering only one goal in 29 games.
THE NETS: Have seen many pucks this year due to the call ups and injuries to Jason Doig but Vitali Yeremeyev (6-5-1 1.94gaa 2sho) has shined in the pipes. With the bright play of Vitali, Swedish import Johan Holmqvist has posted (10-5-2 2.71 1sho) totals.
OTHER NEWS AND NOTES: The Pack have struggled a bit this year at the gate average just over 6000 per game. For those who would wish to catch a glimpse of a few prospects take the trip up to Hartford for Read more »
Cherneski calls it quits
A promising young career came crashing to an end as the year 2001 hit when Rangers prospect Stefan Cherneski called it quits after trying to battle back from a serious knee injury. Simply put it was a career ended before it could fully get started and an example of just how hard it truly is to make it to the big show.
A first round pick back in 1997, Stefan had all the makings of a solid, if not star winger for the Rangers. A physical force with skills he was projected as a player part John LeClair and part Adam Graves, he would become neither. A devastating knee injury two years ago put Stefan’s career on hold and though for a while it seemed hopeful he would make it, in the end there was no happy ending. Missing two whole seasons would throw anyone’s career off a cliff but it was Stefan’s heart and soul that lead many to believe that maybe, just maybe he could make it.
Though he trained hard, the lost development time proved too much to overcome and Stefan decided he should take a 2 million dollar insurance option and move on. Though his playing days are done, Stefan’s legacy may just be the work ethic he instilled in blue chipper Pavel Brendl who worked harder then ever before in his life this past summer with Cherneski and winger Adam Graves. So though there will be no 35 goal, 140 pim seasons from Stefan we might want to send him a thanks if Brendl ever becomes the 40 or 50 goal sniper scouts believe he can be.
Lundmark: Destination the Show
Read more »