The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim have had a wonderful off sesaon. They have made some new acquistions, watched prospects mature and for once, they had a relatively quiet off season unlike the past which was full of contract squabbles, ego trips, coaching changes and the occassional front office swap. The only problems this year stem from the possible sale of the Ducks by Disney to the billionaires Henry, other wise known as Henry Nicholas and Henry Samueli. The Ducks dont seem to care about what happens up top, instead they are focusing on the future and getting ready for the season.
The Ducks’ training camp motto is “Take the Next Step”. Apparently the fans are ready. A capacity crowd showed up at Disney ICE when camp opened bringing plenty of energy to camp. Heres a look at those trying to take the next step and make the big club and those who are on the verge of being there this time around. And a note for those wondering the “borderline” monikers, etc, it is only meant as their chances of making the team out of camp this year, not in the future or their future as an NHLer.
Niclas Havelid, D
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Numerous factors must go into a young person’s decision to make a change in his or her life. Is it best to stay close to home? Where will I have the best chance to succeed? How do I find out all that I need to know? When is it the best time to make the big changes?
Confusing questions to anyone, but imagine then having to make a change which requires you to move halfway around the world to a foreign country when you are just 17 years old. Konstantin Kalmikov, who hails from the Ukraine, made such a decision when he came over to North America to play in the Colonial Hockey League in the 1995-96 season.
“The hockey system is not very well organized in the Ukraine. I felt that to best develop my game, a move to North America would be helpful”, states the soft-spoken Kalmikov.
Following a 4-goal, 13-assist season split between Flint and Detroit in the CHL in the 1995-96 season, the Maple Leafs drafted Konstantin in the 3rd round of the 1996 NHL entry draft with the 68th overall selection. He moved to Sudbury of the OHL for the 1996-97 season, scoring 22 goals and adding 34 assists in 66 games. His second year with Sudbury saw a rise in his production to 32 goals and 32 assists during the 1997-98 season.
“While in Europe, we constantly worked on our skating, so I felt pretty good about that part of my game. My last two years I have worked more on my shot, trying to quicken my release and increase the power. That part of my game has improved a lot, but I have a ways to go”, states Kalmikov.
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All in all, the Sharks are looking much more like a cohesive unit this year. The Sharks are famous for slow starts, look for that trend to end this year if they can maintain the momentum.
1: Johan Hedberg: Looking solid, but clearly AHL material for now. Given that he’s already 26, and will be fighting for time in Kentucky, don’t look for him to be anything more than a team’s 3rd goalie.
3: Bob Rouse: Actually looking pretty strong, better than last year. I’m hoping the Sharks can use him in a situation where he only plays perhaps every other or every 3rd game to keep him fresh. Although with smaller rosters now, not sure if that will be possible. May be odd man out if rookies earn a spot.
5: Jeff Norton: Looking better defensively than offensively which is opposite of what I expected. Haven’t really seen much on offense, but has made several very nice defensive plays.
8: Jarrod Skalde: Haven’t really seen much one way or another about him. Solid play on both ends, no big mistakes.
10: Marcus Ragnarson: A jammed ankle has slowed him a little bit, but has looked solid paired with Mike Rathje again. He’ll be back in time for when they count.
11: Owen Nolan: Miracle of miracles, I have not seen him go postal yet. When last year he was hitting posts and missing all together, he’s right on this year. Looking sharp around the net during practices. Haven’t seen him much in scrimmage or games yet though.
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One of the most interesting match-ups of the year, if you are a prospects fans, is between these two talented teams.
Kloten is building on young players. As they are still playing with only 2 foreign players, one more roster spot is kept for a young player until the 3rd man arrives (it will most likely be Sergei Brylin, if he fails to make the NJ Devils roster).
Swiss Champ Lugano has the deepest roster in the league, but still has quite a few good talents under contract.
Andrew McKim, Martin Plüss, Adrian Wichser
Sébastien Reuille, Tomas Strandberg, André Rufener
Felix Hollenstein, Matthias Schenkel, Sven Helfenstein
Thomas Widmer, Sven Lindemann, Christian Wohlwend
Martin Bruderer, Benjamin Winkler
Samuel Balmer, Arne Ramholt
Martin Höhener, Marco Klöti
Oskar Szczepaniec, Mattias Wüst
Reto Pavoni (backup Christian Wepf)
Injured: Thomas Heldner (out until February)
Phillipe Bozon, Christian Dubé, Marcel Jenni
Misko Antisin, Gian-Marco Crameri, Régis Fuchs
Gilbert Flüeler, Igor Fedulov, Trevor Meier
Andy Näser, Jean-Jaques Aeschlimann, André Doll
Sandro Bertaggia, Peter Andersson
Julien Vauclair, Marc Astley
Olivier Keller, Rick Tschumi
Lars Weibel (backup Christobal Huet)
Injured: Marc-Pierre Tschudy, Geoffrey Vauclair
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I authored an earlier article dealing with the Tampa Bay Lightning’s drafting of Sheldon Keefe in this summers draft. In that article I mentioned that there were a few rumors swirling around Sheldon that had affected his draft position. I also pointed out that most, if not all, of those rumors had been deemed by the Lightning’s management as either false or not worthy of worrying about. They decided to take a chance on the young Mr. Keefe and have not been disappointed so far. Here is a short interview I had with Sheldon during the first week of training camp.
RH – Sheldon, I have to ask you about the draft and some of the things that were said about you before it. I know that it’s now been proven the rumors surrounding you and Mr.Frost were inaccurate and you would rather put that whole fiasco behind you, so I won’t ask you about him. I would like to know though what was your reaction to dropping so far in the draft.
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The first three roster cuts are complete and the remaining Nashville Predators prospects are entering the most important weekend of their careers. Nashville plays three games in as many nights and the trio of contests will offer the final chance for most prospects to earn roster spots. Here is the first of two reports that will provide updates on all the notable prospects who have participated in the Predators rookie camp and NHL training camp …
David Legwand (8.5)
Believe it or not, David Legwand is already at a crossroads in his career. After a quiet season in the OHL, Nashville expects Legwand to show the intangibles that he focused on at the expense of his offensive production last year. According to Legwand, his statistics suffered last season because he focused on improving his defense, physical play and faceoff ability. As a continuation of that effort, Legwand spent much of the off-season working with a strength and conditioning coach in Nashville, after the organization made it clear that he needs to add muscle and get stronger.
Legwand will definitely make the Nashville roster this season and will likely play on a checking line to start the year. That would give him an opportunity to prove that his work on the intangibles has been worthwhile. It would also allow him to start his NHL career gradually, much like Joe Thornton and Vincent Lecavalier did with their respective teams. A conservative approach is probably best for Legwand, who is not yet ready to be a star player.
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Note: Not all tryouts are included on this list.
Goaltenders: Christian Brosnard, Tim Keyes, Alfie Michaud, Garth Snow, Kevin Swanson, Mike Valley, Kevin Weekes.
Defensemen: Chad Allan, Bryan Allen, Murray Baron, Rick Bertran, Doug Bodger, Ryan Bonni, Clint Cabana, Regan Darby, Darrell Hay, Kevin Kellett, Zenith Komarniski, Kevin Mackie, Mattias Ohlund, Chris O’Sullivan, Ryan Shannon, Brent Sopel, Jason Strudwick, Rene Vydarney, Greg Hadwood, Peter Allen.
Centers: Steward Bodtker, Andrew Cassels, Artem Chubarov, Matt Cooke, Harold Druken, Darby Hendrickson, Josh Holden, Mark Messier, Reggie Savage, Steve Shrum, Jarred Smithson, Lubomir Vaic, Harry York.
Left Wings: Todd Bertuzzi, Donald Brashear, Mike Brown, Marcus Gustaffson, Steve Kariya, Brad May, Ryan Ready, Randy Rowe, Peter Schaefer, Jonas Soling, Ryan Thorpe.
Right Wings: Paul Ferone, Martin Gendron, Pat Kavanagh, Trent Klatt, Mike Lee, Brad Leeb, Vince Malts, Alex Mogilny, Bill Muckalt, Rob Pearson, Larry Shapely, Jarkko Ruutu, Markus Naslund.
U of Maine UFA signee Steve Kariya impresses. He’s got that great speed. He was always buzzing around the puck. Looked very very tiny.
Bryan Allen and Doug Bodger were paired. Allen was pretty much invisible.
Greg Hawgood, IHL megastar, returns to the NHL to replace Adrian Aucoin to QB the VC power play.
Derek Diener, a tryout from Burnaby, got a broken arm when he crashed into the boards. Read more »
Forty-two Hurricanes and hopefuls gathered in Cary, North Carolina on September 5th for physicals and photos. From there they flew to Ft. Myers, Florida for the opening of Carolina Hurricanes training camp. Veterans and rookies took the ice at the TECO Arena on September 6th. Twenty-four returning Canes from 1998-1999, three NHL’ers signed over the summer, four players from juniors, two collegiate players, and nine minor leaguers practiced on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday the squad split to play an intrasquad game. The Hurricanes White team defeated the Red 2-1 in overtime. Jaroslav Svoboda and Jeff Heerema scored regulation goals, while Kent Manderville netted the winner during an overtime using the NHL’s new four on four format.
On Saturday the preseason schedule began with the Hurricanes hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning. Canes fans were treated to physical play and a Carolina 2-1 victory. Arturs Irbe played all sixty minutes. Ron Francis, Robert Kron, and Gary Roberts each tallied for the home squad. The following night, Tampa Bay hosted the Hurricanes. This time the Hurricanes came up on the short end of a 2-1 score.
Camp was set to leave Florida after a September 14th game versus the Florida Panthers. However, an uninvited hurricane, Floyd, threatened the state and the game was canceled. Before returning home, the Canes returned Jeff Heerema to Sarnia, Jaroslav Svoboda to Kootenay, and Josef Vasicek to Sault Ste. Marie in the Juniors.
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The Los Angeles Kings training camp has been filled with positives to date. There are some “knowns” in camp so far- the line of Palffy, Stumpel and Robitaille will give the kings their best offensive line since the Gretzky era- and some unknowns- who will fill in the last two defensive spots and when will Jere Karalahti arrive in camp?
The lines seem to be taking shape without much input from young prospects. Donald MacLean played about as quiet an exhibition game as possible against Colorado on Tuesday, and has not yet impressed the new coaching staff. Younger players like Kip Brennan and Brian McGrattan showed some spark but have already been returned to their respective teams, and none of the leftover prospects seem to have done enough to warrant their stay on the big club. The good news is that the Kings seemed prepared for this and have filled the potential voids with more savvy players who know Coach Murray’s system. Players like Brad Chartrand and Len Barrie have shown some spark and Chartrand will likely make the squad. 27-year-old winger Marko Tuomainen has shown an aggressiveness that should make him stick. He plays a sound defensive game, and has the grit needed to dominate a player on that side of the ice.
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One’s first impression upon meeting Luca Cereda is, wow!! This guy looks
like he’s 17 years old!! Then you realize, he is just 17 years old (He
turned 18 on September 7th, 1999)!! When you watch him on the ice, he
looks anything but 17 years old.
The Leafs chose Luca in the first round of the 1999 NHL entry draft with
the 24th overall selection. He was the youngest player chosen in the
entire draft, but according to former NHL coach and GM, Pierre Page, he was
the “smartest” player in the draft.
He certainly had a whirlwind tour last season, playing on 4 different teams
in his native Switzerland. Luca played for his country in the World Read more »