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Recycling Slovaks: Slovak Pack Sent Packing

by Larry Deutsch
on
Join me, if you will, for a trip back to March of the year 2000. The Blues were comfortably cruising along to their first President’s Trophy. The goaltending duo of Roman Turek and Jamie McLennan manned the nets, allowing fewer than two goals per game. Marc Bergevin, Rico Persson and Dave Ellett patrolled the blueline while Craig Conroy and Scott Pellerin handled the penalty killing duties.

Seems like decades ago, doesn’t it? It’s only been eighteen months. If the St. Louis Blues team of a year and a half ago were to take one look at today’s offering, they probably wouldn’t be able to recognize half of them. In fact, over that short period, the Blues have for one reason or another, parted ways with a group of players large enough to start their own franchise; complete with 3 goaltenders, 18 forwards, and 12 defensemen.

For the duration of that record-breaking season, the talk of the town was the Cycling Slovak line, consisting of Pavol Demitra, Michal Handzus, and Lubos Bartecko. Best known for their puck-moving style, the Slovak Pack, as they were also known, would buzz around the opposing faceoff circle and with a series of short drop passes, making defenders utterly dizzy. Their circus-like moniker, highlight-reel goals, and undeniable chemistry made the entertaining Slovaks the most recognizable symbol of Blues’ hockey in ’99-’00.

A singular moment in March of 2000 would forever change the face of the organization, not to mention that of winger Pavol Demitra. The
scintillating success of the Cycling Slovaks came to a screeching
halt a Read more »

Albany River Rats Report

by Mike Buskus
on

Albany Week in Review #1

Devs’ AHL Club starts 9th season

Coaching changes highlighted the off-season activity of the Albany River Rats, who this week began their ninth American Hockey League season, all as the affiliate of the New Jersey Devils. Bob Carpenter was promoted to head coach of the Albany River Rats, from associate coach. Hired as assistant coaches were Geordie Kinnear, who retired last year from the Rats due to injury and who holds a number of defense records for Albany, and Chris Terreri, recently retired from NHL goaltending, to serve as goaltender coach for the Rats.

Carpenter’s promotion to top bench boss followed two years under the tutelage of John Cunniff, who resumes scouting duties for the Devils after a five-year tenure as Albany coach. Carpenter began his post-NHL playing days as an assistant coach in Albany on August 12, 1999, with a promotion to associate coach the following season.

The former standout centerman who was the first American player ever drafted in the first round (3rd overall in the 1981 entry draft), Carpenter gained notoriety by making the cover of Sports Illustrated as a high school senior. He retired from play in 1999, after 728 points (320G; 408A) in 1,178 NHL games.

For a hockey guy new to the coaching business, Carpenter was in the right place at the right time for some on-the-job training. When the Albany River Rats were eliminated in the first round by Rochester in the 2000-2001 Calder Cup playoffs, Carpenter got called up by recently-hired Devils’ coach, Larry Rob Read more »

AHL Report Launch News

by Mark Fischel
on

To kick off the beginning of the AHL season, Hockey’s Future has merged with the AHL Report to bring you full and complete coverage of the primary minor league for the NHL, the American Hockey League!

We launched the redesigned AHL Report yesterday, and while it is not fully up to speed yet, the AHL Report writers are starting to send their reports from the games. So go over to the http://www.ahlreport.com or click on the link below in “Affiliates” section and it will take you there.

Please do keep in mind that the site, especially the team pages are not completed yet. The efforts of the AHL Report Editors, Doug Manners and Andrew Bourgeois, and team editors will have the page fully functional over the next few weeks, so please enjoy it in it’s “Beta” state.

Over the next month, AHL Team message boards will be functional, a regular power-poll, articles appearing on both AHL Report and HF, and player profiles will be appearing.

So as they say at places under construction “Pardon our Dust, we are making improvements” is applicable here, we hope you visit our new feature and enjoy it while it evolves!

Mark Fischel
Managing Editor
Hockey’s Future

Calder Corner for Oct 6th

by HF Staff
on
Calder Corner for Oct 6th


The Calder Corner

Ilya Kovalchuk: 1st professional goal, 4 shots, -2
Kamil Piros: 1 Assist, -2


CAL
Clark: 1 Assist, 2 Shots, +1


Montreal Canadiens
Mike Ribeiro: 1 goal, 2 Shots, -1


New Jersey Devils
Boumedienne: 1st professional goal, -1


Phoenix Coyotes
Krys Kolanos: 1st Professional Goal, 2 Shots, -1

As a general rule, I will always list goals and assists and other noteworthy stats. If there is more to be noted or we missed something, HF encourages our readers to talk about them below!

Calder Corner for Oct 5th

by HF Staff
on
Calder Corner for Oct 5th


The Calder Corner for Oct 5th

Erik Cole: 1 Assist, +1


Dallas Stars
No prospects with points


Nashville Predators
No prospects with points


New York Islanders
No prospects with points


New York Rangers
No prospects with points


Tampa Bay Lightning
Olvestad: 1 Goal, +1, 3 Shots

As a general rule, I will always list goals and assists and other noteworthy stats. If there is more to be noted, HF encourages our readers to talk about them below!

Colorado-Pittsburgh Opening Night prospects recap

by HF Staff
on

Monday, a known face came to Pittsburgh to see the Penguins practicing. Jaromir Jagr couldn’t choose a more ironic day to show up at the Civic Arena. Kris Beech, the key players of the trade just started to play on the first line with his ex-teammate, #66.

That a fact, Kris Beech has a great career in front of him. But what a surprise, especially for him, to know that the No. 1 line of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the opening game is composed of Kris Beech, Mario Lemieux and Stephane Richer. The young Canadian will also play on the first unit of the powerplay with Lemieux, Stevens, Kovalev and Straka.

Moreover, the Penguins will play the Stanley cup champions Wednesday at 7 pm. The complete roster is right below IF the Monday’s practice was any indication.

Penguins Line-up:

Beech-Lemieux-Richer
Straka-Lang-Kovalev
Hrdina-Kraft-Morozov
Stevens-Petersen-LaCouture

Wilson-Ference
Kasparaitis-Moran
Melichar-Rozsival Read more »

Morrison Applies Trade in Winnipeg

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

AHL NEWS

Justin Morrison is the evidence of Wayne Gretzky’s effect on hockey in Southern California. Morrison grew up in Los Angeles. It was not exactly known as hockey hotbed when he was a kid. Now he is in Winnipeg as a member of the Manitoba Moose. Definitely known as hockey hotbed.

“Nobody in my family played, none of my friends played. I just started on my own and I took it from there,” said Morrison. “No one in my high school played. A lot of people thought I was cool because I was doing something different.”

Just like Canadian kids, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound right-winger caught the puck bug early. “I was going public skating, just learning how to skate, and after the public session was over I’d always see the recreation hockey players coming on afterward,” recalled Morrison. “I’d just sit there and watch. I was just amazed, I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know much about it at all, but right after I saw them play with all the equipment and stuff. I just went straight home and told my mom that’s what I wanted to do.”

“They thought I was crazy. They didn’t know anything about the sport of hockey,” said Morrison. “They were saying, ‘No way.’ I finally had to convince them I wanted to play and after that they loved it.

“I only played at a local rink for one year and then after that it was select teams and we would practise all over Southern California. It took a lot of work for my parents.” “I didn’t really notice the Kings, or know much about them, until Gretzky came to L.A.,” said Morrison. “There are a lot more rinks now than ther Read more »

Czechs, Vets Lift Phantoms Over Ice Cats in Opener

by Bill Meltzer
on

For the first time in the team’s relatively short history, the Philadelphia Phantoms have a crew of young, potentially NHL-caliber prospects to go along with their usual foundation of veteran minor league standouts. In defeating the Worcester Ice Cats 4-3, Philadelphia got contributions from youth and vets alike.

The Phantoms got goals from four different players, including young Czech players Tomas Divisek and Vaclav Pletka. The other two goals were scored by veterans Mark Greig and Kirby Law. Rookie goaltender Maxime Ouellet turned back 27 of 30 shots to get the win.

Prior to the game, Phantoms coach John Stevens said, “I’m really excited about our club this season. There’s a real good mix of players. You never know what can happen in the American League with callups and injuries, but I think we’ve got a lot of depth and a lot of talent.”

Tonight’s performance from Philadelphia was a bit uneven, with a rather listless first period. The active whistle of referee Jay Sharrers didn’t help matters, either. The flow of play– for both clubs– was broken up by the frequent special teams play. The Phantoms, however, played much better hockey over the final forty minutes.

Game Summary

The Ice Cats’ Justin Papineau opened the scoring with a powerplay goal late in the first period. Hanging out at the red line, he caught defensemen Bruno St. Jacques and John Slaney napping. Papineau took a lead pass from ex-Flyer Darren Rumble and split the gap over the middle to go in all alone on Ouellet. Max made the first stop, but Papineau f Read more »

Spotlight is on now on ICE Goaltenders

by Jeff Bromley
on


Spotlight is on now on ICE Goaltenders

Let’s face it. If you asked every Kootenay ICE fan, those in the administration and any local pundits and purveyors of comment, no one really had processed the realization that all-everything goalie Dan Blackburn wouldn’t be back between the pipes for the Kootenay ICE. ‘Oh he’ll impress them,’ said anyone and everyone. ‘But there’s no way that he’ll make the New York Rangers. Goalies don’t make the NHL at eighteen anymore.

Well, guess what? Someone forgot to relay that information to Dan Blackburn and the New York Rangers.

In the end, and for arguments sake we’ll assume that Blackburn is indeed not coming back anytime soon, it really didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Ranger’s goaltending situation wasn’t the deepest part of the organization. And if Blackburn played well enough in camp he would join the squad as the elder incumbents young apprentice. Ranger’s G.M. Glen Sather’s inability or unwillingness to address their depth at what most consider the most important position in the game all but assured Blackburn’s ascension into the NHL.

Needless to say it is all water under the proverbial bridge for the Kootenay ICE’ fortunes in the WHL and life must go on. But in their quest for their second WHL title in three years, it begs the obvious question. In Jeff Harvey and Bryan Bridges does Kootenay have the capability to compete with the big boys in their division in Kamloops and Kelowna? Never mind Red Deer, Portland, Spokane and Swift Current throughout the r Read more »

Calder Corner for Oct 4th

by HF Staff
on
Calder Corner for Oct 4th


The Calder Corner

Timo Parssinen: 1 Assist


ATL
Dany Heatley: 1 Assist, 1 Shot, +1


BOS
Nick Boynton: 1 Goal, 5 Shots


BUF
No prospects with points


CHI
No prospects with points


CMB
Rotislav Klesla: 1 Goal, +2, 3 Shots


Detroit Red Wings
No prospects with points


Florida Panthers
Kristian Huselius: 1 Goal, 2 Shots


Los Angeles Kings
No prospects with points


Montreal Canadiens
No Prospects with points

Read more »

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