The Kings and Justin Papineau appear to have gone their separate ways. While Justin Papineau is not the first highly skilled player to re-enter a draft after not being able to come to terms, he may be the most talented individual to leave such a untalented farm system. With Papineau’s departure, the Kings have virtually no playmakers in their system. Knowing this, why would the Kings do this?
The answers are actually a little more clear than they may seem. I, for one, had hoped that they would sign Papineau because of his offensive prowess. The Kings clearly don’t think enough of his game to make him an offer on a larger signing bonus. We all know the knocks about Papineau, but I think there is something the Kings saw when they made their last scouting trip to see him that made their decision final. One of those things may actually have happened here. Scott Barney underwent back surgery and by all accounts, should be ready to race by the start of training camp. The Kings have always thought more of Barney and the fact that they didn’t sign Papineau speaks volumes about their faith in Barney.
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On Tuesday the Sharks announced that Darryl Sutter had signed a contract
extension to return for at least two more years as head coach of the San
Jose Sharks. Ever since Sutter took over the coaching position from Al
Sims, the Sharks have been building a “Darryl Sutter team.” They have made
some major trades and free agent signings in order to bring in Darryl
Sutter type players. During Sutter’s reign, the Sharks have dealt many
players who simply would not have fit in Sutter’s system. Over the past few
years, Sharks fans have seen the likes of Viktor Kozlov, Andrei Zyuzin,
Andrei Nazarov, Ville Peltonen, Vlastimil Kroupa, etc.. leave town.
Meanwhile, the Sharks have brought in players like Mike Ricci, Gary Suter,
Niklas Sundstrom, Stephane Matteau, Bryan Marchment, Dave Lowry, etc.. who
all fit nicely into Sutter’s system. Coupled with the young guns in the
Sharks’ system (Friesen, Stuart, Sturm, Marleau, Korolyuk, and the list
goes on), the Sharks have built a solid team with a great blend of
veterans and young stars. It showed last season when the Sharks were able
to get past the first round for the first time in the Sutter era.
So what does Sutter’s return mean? It means that the Sharks will be able
to continue to build on their SOLID foundation. Had Sutter left, it would
have left a huge hole for the Sharks to fill. The Sharks organization believed in
Sutter’s system, and they have committed to winning that way. Had Sutter Read more »
Unlike the Stars’ parent club, the prospects stayed relatively healthy all
season, and this has resulted in some encouraging progress for the most part.
In turn, this article will attempt to overview many of these positives, and
some of the sparse negatives that occurred this season.
After about two years in minor-pro hockey Richard still has yet to put all
the pieces in place. This is not to say that he is a bust, but rather
suggests that he needs to find a role and stick to it. In other words, is he
an offensive defenseman, or is he a surly two-way d-man? The Stars’ would
like him to be a combination of the two, but his play this year suggests that
this is still to be determined. While he has the great stride and shot, his
future with this team will depend on him making better reads in the defensive
This multi-dimensional forward really came on this season for Prince George
of the WHL. Not only did he increase his overall offensive production, but he
also chipped in 7 game winning goals, and stepped up in the playoffs. Also,
he racked up 183 PIM’s, while also scoring 5 short-handed goals during the
regular season. Looks to be a Grant Marshall or Daren McCarty type player
with speed, and should challenge for a job very soon.
Erskine, a much maligned player, had what might be called a break through Read more »
CHICAGO WOLVES CAPTURE 1999-2000 IHL TURNER CUP.
The Chicago Wolves defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins in Game 6 of the
Turner Cup Finals Monday night and were crowned the 2000 Turner Cup
Champions. It was Chicago’s second title in three years.
After a scoreless first, the Wolves started the scoring on an unassisted
goal by Derek Plante at 6:54 of the second stanza. He followed up with his
second of the game and his fifth of the playoffs just 26 seconds later when
he took a feed from Dan Plante and Glen Featherstone giving the Wolves a 2-0
Grand Rapids narrowed the lead to one as Petr Schastlivy scored at the 13:30
mark of the second with assists from John Gruden and Slava Butsayev, but the
Griffins would never come closer as netminder Andrei Trefilov held strong
for Chicago through the final 26 minutes.
Trefilov’s efforts did not go unnoticed as he was named the Turner Cup
Playoff MVP and will have his name inscribed on the N.R. “Bud” Poile Trophy.
He finished the post-season with a 7-1 record and a 1.20 GAA. It was only
the third time in Turner Cup history that a goaltender was named Most
Chris Marinucci added an insurance goal for the Wolves midway through the
third period even though the Wolves took only two shots on Griffins’
netminder Jani Hurme in the final 20 minutes. Read more »
Welcome to another installment of Future Watch. This time we are featuring the nasty 6-4 190lb defenseman out of Thayer Academy, Ryan Whitney. Whitney has accepted an offer to attend the National Development Program in Ann Arbor and he will be a strong addition to the team. He is excited about playing for new coach Mike Eaves and at a higher level of competition to get him ready for Boston University, which is where he will be attending college. Whitney will be playing at the Select 17 festival in St. Cloud for the Massachusetts squad and is hoping to attend the US National Junior Camp.
Whitney is the #1 rated defenseman for his age in the country. He is already one of the top 20 prospects for the 2001 entry draft but would have to opt in for that and he probably won’t do that because he would lose his college eligibility. Whitney plays a style similar to that of NHL star Chris Pronger. Expect big things in the future from this big, talented, star defenseman who plays the game with a mean streak.
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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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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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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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.
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
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
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