To Say that the Stingrays are going to have a new look for the 2000-2001 season would highly understate the situation. The ‘Rays are looking different with both new uniforms, and an influx of new talent. The Stingrays have already filled three of their five available veteran slots with Brett Marietti,
Jared Bednar, and Greg Schmidt. However, these older talents are quickly being complemented by some excellent prospects with NHL potential. One of the best offseason moves made as of this writing was the re-signing of Adam
Calder, a prospect with potential to move up to the AHL/IHL. Calder has the skills to be a major player for any team he plays for, and should add
excitement to the upcoming season. The only other prospect currently signed by the Stingrays is Zach Ham, a former collegiate player from Bowling Green. Ham Should add to a great Second or third line for the Stingrays, playing on
the wing with Adam Calder centering.
The combination of Calder and Ham looks to be a very productive line, and
the two could score more than their fair share of goals. Least season,
Calder averaged more than a point per game with 44 points. In 41 games with
the Rays, the Portage La Prairie, Manitoba native scored 22 goals and
chipped in 22 assists. The feisty forward also added 84 penalty minutes.
With the additon of a rough-and-tumble player like Ham to help take the
concentration of the defense away from Calder. Should Calder spend his whole Read more »
Espen Knutsen-Columbus Blue Jackets(NHL), Hartford(NHL DRAFT), Anaheim Mighty Ducks(NHL 1997), Cincinnati (AHL).-Djurgarden Stockholm(Swe. 1998-200)
Anders Myrvold-Quebec (NHL Entry), Colorado(NHL),Boston(NHL), Providence (AHL)-AIK (Swe.1998-)
Tore Vikingstad-St.Louis Blues (1999 NHL Entry Draft), Farjestad (Swe. 1998-)
Trond Magnussen- (Undrafted)(Farjestad-Sweden 1997-)
Lars Peder Nagel-(Undrafted)(MS-Nor. 2000-)
Marius Andersen- (Undrafted) (ECHL,UHL 2000?)
The Lightning have dipped into the free agent market and snagged a little one. The Bolts have signed Calgary Flames free agent Martin St. Louis. St. Louis is a 5’9” 180 lb. C/RW that registered 18 points for Calgary in 53 games last season. He was exposed for the expansion draft then his contract was bought out making him a free agent. GM Rick Dudley thinks he has an offensive upside that hasn’t appeared yet. The one thing he has is speed. What Dudley has done is what he has been doing since he arrived in Tampa adding young and speedy players.
Other than St. Louis, the Bolts have been quiet in free agency. They have opted to sign their own this summer. Players like Brian Holzinger, Dwayne Hay, Fredrik Modin, Steve Martins, Dan Cloutier and Todd Warriner have all re-signed. This has created an environment that the Bolts have not had for several years. Unlike the past few years the major makeup of the team won’t drastically change in the off-season. This allows this young group to continue to gel.
So for the rest of the summer don’t look for the organization to go after any big name free agents (probably because that cupboard is dry), but don’t be surprised to see a few key player to be added via trade. Dudley and staff seem content to build around this group adding more young complimentary players to bolster the line-up.
Even though it’s the middle of summer, Washington’s prospects have already started the new season. From July 17th to 28th, the Caps held a summer mini-camp to help their young players get ready for training camp. Nineteen top prospects gathered at Piney Orchard Ice Rink in Odenton, Maryland to practice under the guidance of the NHL coaching staff.
More important than impressing the management, was the chance to learn several new techniques and skills. Nutritional counselling, boxing and jujitsu were on the schedule for the two week camp. It was all about making the players into more complete athletes and getting them better prepared for the long season. The boxing and jujitsu were not introduced to teach fighting skills, but to improve conditioning, balance and on-ice awareness.
Last year’s camp was the launching pad for Jeff Halpern’s sensational rookie season, and this time around it was Alexei Tezikov and Kris Beech who are looking to get a head start. A sprained ankle kept Beech out of the first week of camp, which consisted of daily workouts with Strength and Conditioning Coach Frank Costello. However, once the skating portion started, Beech was ready to go. Halpern himself opted to take part in the camp as well – as he couldn’t wait to begin the season.
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Marcel and Marian Hossa were born in the town of Stara Lubovna in
Slovakia. Both have the same build at 6’1 and 200 pounds. They look like
there identical twins. The only real difference is that Marian is 2 and a
half years older. Both played there junior hockey with the Portland Winter
Hawks of the Western Hockey League. When Marian was drafted 12th overall in
the 1st round of the 1997 draft by the Ottawa Senators the happiest person
was Marcel. Then when Marcel was drafted by Montreal in the 2000 draft the first person
who was there to congratulate him was Marian. It’s fitting that
they are both so close to each other in Canada. Marian is without a doubt the
bigger scorer of the two. Marcel is a great defensive player and a good
penalty killer. The Hossa family may not be as recognized as the Howe’s or
some of the other big family names, but I promise you in 10 years (barring
injury) you will hear Marian and Marcel Hossa being talked about as one of
the greatest brother duo’s ever in the NHL, WHL or Slovakian Hockey History.
The talent is there. The desire is there. But most important, Marian and
Marcel are there for each other. And even they will tell you, that is more
important than anything else…even hockey.
Keeping it close to home and within the organization has been an Oiler trait since the the team arrived in the National Hockey League. This shows loyalty, not only to the players and staff, but the fans as well.
Both new assistants bring different but valuable skills and experiences which will aid in forming a strong team concept with the emphasis on improving every time you hit the ice. Both coaches believe in the system in place and will add little wrinkles to the plan by bringing out the best qualities in each player.
Adding another former Oiler dynasty teammate in ex-defenseman Charlie Huddy was a fine choice, with his experience with the Rangers coaching staff and five Stanley cup rings, he brings a lot to the table. His first project this year is to personally tutor the likes of Tom Poti, Eric Brewer and Sean Brown which is the perfect opportunity fot the trio to take their individual games to the next level. I would not be suprised to see Poti make it to the All-Star Game this season, while Eric may have the break out year the scouts have been waiting for, since the style of play in Edmonton suits his talents. And maybe most importantly, guiding Sean into a dependable tough defensive defenseman that plays with more discipline.
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Another in a series of weekly articles designed to summarize activities in Leafland during the previous 7 days – with some personal observations, commentary, prospect updates and fun thrown in for good measure.
Pat’s Back: Pat Quinn returned to the Toronto area this week for a charity golf tournament and was heard complaining bitterly about the unwelcome influence of New York basketball types upon his beloved sport… frankly its great to see Mr. Quinn feeling so ornery and let’s hope that he can succeed in transferring this attitude to the troops in September… in organizational news, Quinn revealed that a new Director of Scouting and a 2nd Assistant Coach should be in place by the end of next week… former Flames boss, Al Coates, is no longer in the running for the front office position as he has already accepted a posting with the New York Rangers… John Anderson and Stan Smyl are thought to be front runners for the vacant coaching position…
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The Kootenay Ice were known as a threat around the
WHL two seasons ago but were ousted by the Hitmen in first round
7 game thriller. A year later they returned the favor to the Hitmen
in the WHL semi-finals by brushing them aside in 5 games.
What was the difference?
Was it the “Money Line” who made the biggest impact. Sure
Mike Green, Jaroslav Svoboda and Zdenek Blatny made a difference
but they were not the answer.
Possibly the emergence of a group of d-men that complemented
each others game better then no other team in the Dub. Once again
the defense were a piece to the puzzle but not the most important.
The answer is a kid from Canmore, Alberta who was turning heads when
he hit the ice in rookie camp.
Dan Blackburn was the Ice’s first round pick in the 1998 Bantam Draft.
He was the highest goaltender ever selected in the WHL Draft when Kootenay
snagged him with the 3rd overall choice. Little did Ice management know but just
2 short years later that baby faced 15 year old would carry them to the WHL title
and a birth in the Mem Cup.
Blackburn made many jaws drop and heads turn as he started to perform brilliantly
in the early games at the Memorial Arena (a.k.a Silver Dome) in Cranbrook
He plays a a cross between a Patrick Roy butterfly and Martin Brodeur paddle
on the ice style that seems to be very effective. Blackburn is always in position Read more »
This title may not make sense at first glance, but the “bubble teams” love
it. The NCAA Ice Hockey committee has voted to
award an automatic bid to the MAAC conference. The committee also stripped
one automatic bid from each of the “big four”
conferences…WCHA, Hockey East, CCHA, ECAC. The committee has been trying
to push a plan through that would have
expanded the number of teams in the national tournament to 16 team (12
currently) but that proposal has failed each of the last
two years. While the regular season champion and the post season champion
were awarded bids in the past, only one team in
each conference will receive the automatic bid now. Each conference can
decide if they want that bid to go to the regular
season champ or the tournament champ.
While it may not seem like this will make that big of an effect, the
tournament selection committee may shy away from giving a
bid to a team that wins the regular season title, then, say, losses in the
first round of their tournament. Or, they may not give a
bid to a team that finishes in the middle of the pack in the regular season,
then wins a couple of upsets and wins the
tournament. The decision of the individual conference as to which team will
get the automatic bid will be a tough one…and one
that has huge implications.
In 1999 Denver beat North Dakota in the WCHA “Final Five” and received an
automatic bid. Even though they won their last Read more »