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What’s Next? – A Look inside the Penguins

by pbadmin
on

On February 22nd Penguins fans were devastated with the news that Pittsburgh’s leading
scorer and beloved captain, right winger Jaromir Jagr, would be placed on injured reserved
with a hamstring injury. The original estimate for games missed was 3 weeks. Considering the
Penguins current struggles, inconsistency both on and off the ice, the last thing this team needed was to lose their leader. At the same time 3 weeks without Jagr would be a good test for the unity of the team, and a chance for individuals such as Alexei Kovalev, Martin Straka, German Titov, and Aleksey Morozov to focus on their talents and break out of scoring slumps. It would also give some of the Jr. Pens, hard working players such as Robert Dome and Martin Sonnenberg a chance to revisit NHL ice.
Unfortunately, the outlook for Jagr’s return soon became grimmer. Few were prepared when it was announced that a blood clot had formed in his thigh and would need to be surgically removed, an incident unrelated to that of the hamstring injury. What did it mean? It meant adding at least a couple more weeks to the overall recovery time. Instead of missing a month of action, Jaromir could end up missing the remainder of the regular season, if not the remainder of the year.
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Editor’s note – New Journey

by pbadmin
on
As much as I’ve enjoyed covering the Pittsburgh Penguins and their farm affiliates in Wilkes-Barre and Wheeling, it is now time for me to go after a dream of my own. Before I do so, I would like to take this moment and say, “Thank you,” to those of you who have followed my work and supported me. Because this dream is rather demanding, and it will take a lot of energy and dedication, I will not be able to write about the Penguins with the frequency you are used to.

You see, for the past seven years I have dedicated my life to writing about hockey, always dreaming of reaching for the impossible and doing what no other journalist has done before. The only problem with my dream was despite effort and determination it lacked a sense of direction. I may have learned a lot about this magical game throughout the journey, but was honestly miles away from “the game winning goal.” Now, after careful consideration and endless hours of research, I have decided to reach beyond the boundaries of North America and specialize in Russian hockey.

Last summer was the first big step in turning this dream into a reality. I was a little frightened and unsure, but I knew if I could find the courage to push myself, I could make anything happen. That’s when I boarded a plane at JFK in New York and headed out on a solo trip to Yaroslavl, Russia. It took ten hours by air and 4 hours by train to get there, but I eventually made it and somehow captured an interview with the management of Torpedo Yaroslavl, elite members of the Russian Hockey League.
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Vaclav Pletka: Having A Breakout Year

by Bill Meltzer
on
Vaclav Pletka is by no means a bluechip NHL prospect, nor is he the type of player that one usually associates with the Flyers system. The type of players that the Flyers are drawn to, whether they are North American or European are big, strong players with grit. Well, that’s not Vaclav Pletka. He’s not big. He’s not physical. And although, he’s been improving his all-around game, Pletka is neither a defensive stalwart nor a regular combatant in the trench wars that occur down low in the zone. Moreover, there are questions over whether he is well suited to the game on the smaller North American rink. Nevertheless, the Flyers 7th round pick in the 1999 entry draft (#208 overall) is one of the more intriguing “sleeper” prospects in the NHL. What Vaclav Pletka has to offer is something that no team in the goal-starved NHL can afford to dismiss without taking a closer look; namely, soft hands, a quick shot release, and good ice vision.
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Two 15 year olds are shaking up the Swiss Amateurs

by Martin Locher
on

The 1st Amateur League is the 3rd highest league in Switzerland. Almost all
the players have a full or part time job or go to school. The league is
split into 3 regional divisions. The winners of each division play a
round robin to determine the Amateur Champions.
In the Eastern division (group 1), two 15 year old school boys have drawn
a great deal of attention. Not in the news, but of coaches and
scouts.
These two boys excel by playing a defensive style of hockey. Offense wins
games – defense wins championships. This could also be written like
this. Offense is gaining the attention of all – defense is gaining the
attention of the experts.
Tim Ramholt and Emanuel Peter are both defensive specialists, but not “defense
only” players. Both were born in 1984, but are already playing in the 80
to 82 born juniors category and in the best Amateur league. Also both
got called up for the U17 national team in February.
Ramholt is currently playing for the Grasshoppers junior team.
His club has signed a so called “Partner Team Agreement”, with Küsnacht, one of the amateur teams.
The agreement indicates that the Grasshoppers junior team can lend its players to Küsnacht if requested by Küsnacht.
According to Ramholt’s junior team coach Richi Jost “Ramholt is
always one of the first players, the Küsnacht coach asks for, when we
talks about the players, who will be sent to them for the next game”.
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Kings Update

by Tony Calfo
on

Dave Taylor has been making a flurry of trades that he is hoping will result in a championship. The only thing is that this championship is in Lowell.
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Top 25 Penguins Prospects

by pbadmin
on

Updated 2-27-00

1.

Name: Jean-Sebastien Aubin

Position: Goalie

Height: 5-11

Weight: 176

Birthdate: July 17, 1977

Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec

Acquired: 1995 NHL Draft, third round (76th overall)

HF Comments: Jean-Sebastien has proven himself to be a future NHL starter. Actually, at the moment, due to Barrasso’s continuous struggle with personal tragedy, he is the number one guy and has shown the team he deserves to be there. He stepped up and did a terrific job when Pittsburgh needed him the most. Granted he’s made a few mistakes and may not have the hottest record in the American Hockey League, but his time on NHL ice has been more than impressive all things considered, including a ride on the yo-yo string between two leagues (AHL & NHL). Unless the goaltending situation changes drastically (i.e. acquisition of a new veteran goalie), expect Aubin to remain in the top spot during the 2000-2001 season.


Year Team League GP GAA W L T SO
1999-00 Wilkes-Br AHL 9 4.35 2 7 0 0
Pittsburgh NHL 36 2.53 16 16 1 2
1998-99 Kansas City IHL 13 3.27 5 7 1 0
Pittsburgh NHL 17 2.22 4 3 6 2

2. Read more »

Washington Capitals Prospect Report

by Jeff Charlesworth
on
Hello and welcome to my latest Capitals Prospect Update. I will give you all the latest news and up-to-date statistics on all of the players on the top 50 list.

The Portland Pirates are still sitting atop the AHL right now, with only a little over a month until the playoffs begin. Their record stands at 37-17-9 which totals 84 points and places them first overall. They are followed closely by Hartford (N.Y. Rangers) in their own division who are only 5 points back. The Pirates are still without Alexei Tezikov – who is in the NHL, and have five players assigned to Hampton Roads (ECHL): forwards Mike Omicioli and Mike Siklenka, and defensemen Gerad Adams, Steve Shirreffs and Dean Stork.

It is getting near playoff time in the CHL, and the Capitals will be well represented. In the OHL, it looks like a three-way battle for the last playoff spot with ten games to go. Charlie Stephens (Guelph) and Krys Barch (London) will be battling each other and Owen Sound to get to the post-season.

Most of the Caps junior players are in the WHL, and a lot of them are headed to the playoffs. Kris Beech and Rastislav Stana (Calgary), Todd Hornung (Swift Current), Roman Tvrdon (Spokane) and Nathan Forster (Seattle) have all clinched playoff spots. While Ross Lupaschuk (Red Deer) and Michal Sivek (Prince Albert) are as good as in. Tri-City (Jomar Cruz and Blake Evans) and Kelowna (David Johansson and Nolan Yonkman) are going to have to fight to make it, but hopefully they can pull it off.

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Kings: Who’s Going to Help First?

by Tony Calfo
on

It’s been made pretty clear that the Kings system is depleted at best. With that in mind, assume the Kings will lose a few players during the off-season to expansion et all, and there seems to be a few open roster spots. The question is who will make a run at these spots? In past seasons, the Kings have signed guys like Len Barrie to fill “fringe” positions on the third or fourth lines. Thirty year old players with some skill are stop-gap solutions at best. So who will help the Kings soonest? Here is a stab:

If the question was who is going to play in the NHL soonest, Pavel Rosa would be the answer. Rosa seems poised to be a top pick in the expansion draft. Rosa has had several opportunities to sparkle and has done nothing with them. Barring involvement in a trade- which seems to be growing more and more unlikely, Rosa will spend next season in Columbus or Minneapolis. Rosa is probably the only sure shot for next year, albeit with another team.

Donald MacLean is in another resurgence. He is starting to play better in Lowell and as I saw him play last week I am reminded that he has one thing that many others do not- tremendous size. A third or fourth line center with size is a premium. MacLean has to either commit himself to one side of the ice or develop a nasty streak because his game has not developed to the point where he can excel offensively as well defensively. I would not be surprised if MacLean makes a move to the big club next year as the fourth line center.
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Penguins Future – Coming On Strong

by pbadmin
on

Numerous problems have plagued the Pittsburgh Penguins this season. From personal
tragedies, to injuries, to coaching changes and inconsistency on the ice,
it never seemed to stop. Fortunately, despite the chaos, the team as a whole never stopped believing in the impossible. Classed as an ordinary talent, a struggling team whose playoff chances are slipping away, the Pittsburgh Penguins are far from quitting. The truth is they will do whatever it takes to build a winner, and positively reinforce their farm system, even if it takes a year or two longer to be recognized for their efforts. At the moment a trail of disappointment ripples through the system, but there is hope on the horizon. No team is more capable of making a statement than Pittsburgh. When they decide to do something, they usually go all out.
On February 7th, the Pittsburgh Penguins named Ivan Hlinka associate head coach, with the intention of making him successor to Herb Brooks as head coach next season. Ivan, who is a world-class talent behind the bench and led the Czech National team (including Jaromir Jagr) to Olympic gold, will become the first European coach to take the helm of a NHL team. It’s fitting considering the Penguins are credited for being the first NHL team to draft heavily from Europe and build their current roster around such. It will take some getting used to, especially for those players who are not from the Czech Republic, but the common opinion is it’s a huge step in the right direction.
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Washington Capitals Prospect Report

by Jeff Charlesworth
on
Hello and welcome to my latest Capitals Prospect Update. I will give you all the latest news and up-to-date statistics on all of the players on the top 50 list.

The Portland Pirates are still rolling along full steam ahead. Their record stands at 32-14-9 (73 pts.) which puts them first overall in the AHL, four points ahead of Kentucky (San Jose) who have played one more game. Portland will be without Alexei Tezikov for a while as he has been recalled to the NHL. The Pirates currently have five players assigned to Hampton Roads (ECHL): forwards Mike Omicioli and Mike Siklenka, as well as defensemen Gerad Adams, Steve Shirreffs and Dean Stork.

Misc. Notes: The Capitals continued to restructure their minor league system by trading forward Alexandre Volchkov to the Edmonton Oilers for a third or fourth round pick in 2001 (depending on how he performs). The Washington scouting staff feels that the 2001 draft is very deep, and are stockpiling picks. There are only two major injuries in the Capitals’ system at the moment: forward Trevor Halverson has missed the entire season so far with a concussion, while defenseman Nathan Forster has sat out the past few weeks with a thigh contusion.

A++ players – performing above and beyond the call of duty.

5. Jason Shmyr: impressive numbers for this tough guy.

4. Patrick Boileau: +16 rating leads Portland.

3. Alexei Tezikov: earned his way back into the NHL.
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