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Rangers News: WJC, Transactions, etc.

by Brandon LeBourveau

Well, it seems as though the Rangers currently find themselves in the midst of yet another 4 game losing streak this season as they head into Dallas for a game on New Year’s Eve. The Rangers should have won their last 3 games, all losses to Nashville, Carolina and Atlanta. The 2nd year Thrashers destroyed the Rangers last night in every category en route to a 4-1 victory. Mike Richter came back from injured reserve, but he didn’t look any better than what he did a week ago. However, as ironic as it may seem, there is some bright spots currently in Ranger Land and it comes from their prized young prospects, who are currently performing well at the World Junior Championships in Moscow, Russia. Here is some news on how they are doing, and some other transactions that have occured in the last few days.

World Junior Championships

  • Jamie Lundmark and team Canada have played 2 games since I last updated. Lundmark scored a goal on a 2-on-1 in Canada’s 2-2 tie with Finland yesterday, and today Lundmark went scoreless in a 3-1 loss to highly touted prospect Ilya Kovalchuk and the mighty Russians. Lundmark currenlty has 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) and 2 penalty minutes in 3 games so far. Canada is currently 1-1-1.
  • Read more »

Vancouver Canucks Prospect News

by pbadmin

Henrik and Daniel Sedin started off the season strong for the Canucks, but their play has really tailed off as of late. It has been said that some of the Canucks players are getting mad at the Sedins for missing checks, not picking up their man, etc. Some conditioning time down in the minors couldn’t hurt. Could it?

Harold Druken has been really playing well for the Canucks. He scored a hat trick earlier in the season in a 6-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. I hope the Canucks hold onto Druken as he could develop into a nice 25 goal, 50 point man in the NHL.

It’s about time that Bryan Allen starts turning his play up a notch. He has been nothing but a bust since being the 4th overall pick in the 1998 Entry Draft. Everyone tagged him as the next Chris Pronger/Derian Hatcher type player, but weird injuries have sidelined him a lot since being drafted. He needs to make a statement soon, or he could be headed out the door if Brian Burke decides to pull the trigger on some sort of blockbuster deal, probably moving Todd Bertuzzi.

Rene Vydareny recently signed a contract, and was assigned to Kansas City of the IHL to get some playing time. He is currently playing for his native land for the World Junior Championships, and there has been wispers that when he returns he will get his chance with the Canucks. If he performs well, he might cause Burke to make a deal and move out someone like Jason Strudwick or Bryan Helmer.

Nathan Smith was recently one of the 1st players cut for the World Junior Championship Canadian team. I’m not too impressed with his developme Read more »

Sens prospect update

by Richard Polonsky

The look at Senators prospects and how they are doing this year.

Petr Schastlivy:

GM G A P +/- PIM
14 12 3 15 3 7

Anton Volchenkov:

Volchenkov is Ottawa’s only first rounder not playing in the NHL (Daigle being the exception). He will need time to develop, so don’t expect him for another couple years. He is physically strong and solid on his skates. He has made the Russian squad for the World Junior Championships while playing for Krylia Sovetov of the Russian second division. Scouts said he was the best blueliner at a recent 1981-born tournament in Sweden.

Teemu Sainomaa:

Playing for Jokerit of the Finnish elite league, Teemu is getting limited ice time because of his age. He has been selected to play for Finland’s National Junior team for the WJC.

Todd White:

Leads Grand Rapids in scoring (27-19-15-25) and is a major reason for their early success.

Alexandre Giroux:

Was invited to Canadian National Junior selection camp but was among first cuts. Among the leaders in QMJHL with 63 points in 38 games playing for the Hull Olymiques.

Simon Lajeunesse:

Having a bad year on a bad team sportng a 3.95 GAA to go with a 9-19-1 record.

Antione Vermette:

Right behind Giroux in the scoring department with 62 points in 41 games for the Victoriaville Tigres of the QMJHL.

Jan Bohac: Read more »

Rangers News and Notes

by Brandon LeBourveau

World Junior Championships

  • Jamie Lundmark had a solid first game for team Canada, notching 2 assists in a 9-0 killing of Belarus. He skated on a line with Dany Heatley, who had 2 goals, and Mike Cammalleri, who was the star of the game as he netted 3 goals. Lundmark also picked up a minor penalty during the game and had 1 shot on goal. The next test for Lundmark and team Canada will be tomorrow against team Finland.
  • Pavel Brendl has 1 goal in two games so far for the Czech Republic. His goal came in the second game, a 9-1 win over Kazakhstan, and happened to be shorthanded. Brendl is tied for first in the WJC tournament with Stanislav Chistov, a top 2001 prospect, and Pavel Duma, both whom are playing for Russia, with 1 shorthanded tally. Brendl also has 7 shots on goal, 2 penalty minutes and is a +2 in the 2 games so far. He is being counted on to score a lot of goals during the tournament.
  • Sven Helfenstein has picked up where he left off at last year’s WJC, dominating the opposition. Helfenstein has 1 goal in 2 games, while getting 4 shots on goal. He missed a penalty shot against team Russia, which could have given team Switzerland a win instead of a 3-3 tie.
  • Read more »

Vitali Yeremeyev Solid in NHL Debut

by Brandon LeBourveau

When Kirk McLean was pulled after giving up 3 goals on 16 shots, Rangers coach Ron Low gave Vitali Yeremeyev the news that he would be taking over between the pipes.

Yeremeyev was solid in his debut, although he picked up the loss. When he entered the game it was currently 3-1 Carolina, and Yeremeyev made a flurry of saves within the first 30 seconds of action that made him feel more comfortable in the net. He did not have to be flashy, as Carolina’s play slowed down the rest of the game. The Rangers were able to tie the score at 3-3 on goals by Radek Dvorak and Theoren Fleury. But with 4:09 left in the 3rd, the ‘Canes were able to finally get one by the 25 year old goaltender.

You can’t really blame Yeremeyev on the goal. It was one of those across the crease tap-ins that not even the best goalies can make the save. Yeremeyev kept the Rangers in the game from the time he took the ice, and the Rangers did not capitalize on their chances, as Mike York hit the post on an open net and they failed to score on a 3rd period power play. With Mike Richter scheduled to come off injured reserve today, I wonder what will happen to Yeremeyev. I wouldn’t pass on the thought of trading Kirk McLean. He’s a UFA at season’s end and could be worth a mid-round draft pick to a team in need of a backup goalie. Time will tell, as they say..

Is Mike Comrie about to sign with the Oilers?

by Jeff Bromley
That, in a nutshell, is the million dollar question both in Edmonton and Cranbrook this week. With the
January 1 deadline looming for the Oilers to sign the WHL’s leading scorer if they want Comrie to play for
them this season, a report in both Edmonton daily newspapers suggest that a counter offer was tabled by
Mike Comrie’s agent Rich Winter on Boxing Day and, if accepted by the Oilers, would have the Kootenay
ICE captain in Oiler colors by the week’s end.

The deal, sent to Oiler G.M. Kevin Lowe by Winter, encompasses a three-year pact for the NHL’s rookie
salary cap maximum ($1.025 million per season) would also include a lucrative bonus structure that could
push the total money to somewhere in the neighborhood of between $10-$11 million over the three year life
of the contract.

So the jousting continues. Will he or won’t he? At this point it appears that Comrie is leaning more to the
will side. They countered with an offer that is acceptable to Mike Comrie. If Lowe signs off on it, Comrie is as
good as gone. The puck is squarely in the Oilers end. Is the deal imminent? That all depends now on Oiler
G.M. Kevin Lowe.

But there still remains many questions. Number one that list is the one seemingly everyone is asking: Why
would Mike Comrie give up the chance at unrestricted free agency in June by signing with the Oilers right
now? I’ve said it before in this space and I’ll say it again, why would you give up the bargaining leverage
you have when thirty teams are bartering for your services as opposed to just one? Read more »

Getting Straight to the Point

by Michael Theodore
As the Former Rangers editor {other jobs within the industry have taken my time, prompting me to shift my focus to scouting instead of overseeing} I have watched the results of the past three drafts closely and have acquired a knowledge and understanding of those players drafted. Most of the stories in the New York area papers tend to be off beat and mis-informed about “future” Rangers. So for this article I’ve decided to respond to some rumblings I’ve heard as of late.

1. Jamie Lundmark is not going anywhere. Though the Rangers brass was less then pleased about his trade demand, they have seen Jamie turn the entire Seattle team around with his presence and performance.

2. Sather knows better then to ship Lundmark out in any deal, Lundmark is still the first line center of the future regardless of what writers 3,000 miles away might try to say.

3. Malhotra on the other hand is more likely to be traded. He hasn’t been bad but let’s be honest Muckler probably wasn’t very far off on his assessment of Manny. Manny should be a bigger, more aggressive version of Tim Taylor. 20 Goals is about his limit.

4. One of the Rangers goaltending prospects is the one who is the future. It is still Holmqvist on the inside track, but LaBarbera is a dark horse.

5. Pavel Brendl will not be a flop, it’s better to bring a 20 year old to the NHL then an 18 year old. In 5 years no one will remember the fact that he didn’t play as an 18 year old.

6. Mike Mottau is not and never will be the next Leetch. No w Read more »

The Blake Situation- Do or Die?

by Tony Calfo
It is a situation that seems to be accepted as commonplace. A star player approaches the end of his contract and the former team is poised to trade him before he leaves for nothing. Ray Borque, Mark McGwire, Wayne Gretzky and Mike Piazza are a few of the sports legends that have been in this situation and now Rob Blake of the Los Angeles Kings is the latest player to join the list. Like the others, Blake has postured himself as caring so much about the organization that he is going to sacrifice himself by taking a trade to another team so the Kings will have something to show for all his years of service. Blake’s cavalier act will not include signing an extension though, virtually eliminating any chance of acquiring any quality players in return. I for one am tired of this trend that holds franchises hostage for the wishes of one player. Despite these feelings, history has shown that the Kings need to sign Rob Blake.

Los Angeles has seen two of these exact situations. Wayne Gretzky left the Kings for St. Louis and the Kings made what was considered a blockbuster trade for his services. Prospects Roman Vopat, Craig Johnson, Patrice Tardif and a first round pick, who became Matt Zhultek, came to the Kings for the Great One. Only third line winger Craig Johnson remains, with no remaining compensation for any of the other players. A third line center for the greatest player in NHL history is not what franchises are built on. The Los Angeles Dodgers also traded Mike Piazza and have seen the franchise stagger ever since.

The Kings claim the mone Read more »

Pens Junior Prospects Update

by Erik Johnson

Prospect Note: 2 Pens prospects will be participating in the 2001 WJC tournament starting on Tuesday. Konstantin Koltsov for Belarus and Tomas Skvardilo for Slovakia. As well, Pittsburgher RJ Umberger is on the US team.

Junior Player of the Year 12/4 thru 12/10


Peter Hamerlik (Kingston)- 3 games, 2-1, 2.33 GAA, .923 SvPct


Jeremy Van Hoof (Ottawa)- 1 game, 2 PIM
Darcy Robinson (Saskatoon)- 3 games
David Koci (Prince George)- 1 game, 2 PIM


Joel Scherban (London)- 2 games, 1 goal, 3 assists
Tomas Skvardilo (Kingston)- 3 games, 2 PIM
Steve Crampton (Moose Jaw)- 3 games, 2 assists, 6 PIM
Shane Endicott (Seattle)- 3 games, 3 goals, 2 assists
Jan Fadrny (Kelowna)- 2 games, 1 goal, 2 assists
Michel Ouellet (Rimouski)- 3 games

Player of the Week

1st: Endicott
2nd: Hamerlik
3rd: Scherban


Ouellet 30 (4)
Hamerlik 23 (2)
Endicott 14 (2)
Fadrny 13 (2)
Crampton 10 (1)
Skvardilo 4
Scherban 3
Robinson 1

Junior Player of the Year 12/11 thru 12/17


Peter Hamerlik (Kingston)- 1 game, 0-1 16.36 GAA, .571 SvPct (11 mins played)(attending Slovak WJC tryout camp)


Jeremy Van Hoof (Ottawa)- 3 games, 1 assist
Darcy Robinson (Saskatoon)- 1 game
David Koci (Prince George)- 4 games, 4 PIM

Read more »

Czech Republic WJC roster, schedule

by Robert Neuhauser
On Saturday, December, 23rd, the Czech Under-20 team left for Moscow to defend the championship title, which he won last season. Some of the players from that team are already NHLers, some play in the Extraleague and three of them returned to compete for gold once again. Tomas Duba, Michal Sivek and Vaclav Nedorost dream of being two-time WJC champions. When you look at this years squad, you can see that their dreams may not be impossible.

The young Czechs played two exhibition games before the WJC. In the first game, they defeated Pardubice junior team 6:2, when Vaclav Nedorost was the first star with 2 goals. The CHL players already made their presence felt when Radim Vrbata and Martin Erat scored their markers, Pavel Brendl was left off the score sheet. The second game was a game against a mixed team of Pardubice juniors and seniors. Pavel Brendl scored in the first minute of this game and Radim Vrbata gave the Czech juniors a two-goal lead five minutes later, but the game turned out to be a 3:3 tie. The Under-20 team looked quite in shape in those games, CHL scorers kept their pace and the defensemen looked ready for the big time. Only one thing I worry about is that the Czechs have no exhibition game right before the WJC starts and have to wait for their first game on December, 26th, and spend time only with practices. And let’s take a look who will spend that time!


Tomas Duba (HC Sparta Praha) – Tomas was the second goalie behind Zdenek Smid last year and this experience will help him a lot as he’ll be the starter this y Read more »

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