Who will play with Mario???
Coming off a Cinderella comeback, “Le Magnifique,” Mario Lemieux, wants to
win the scoring title this upcoming season. To do this, he must have some
quality linemates. So far, none of them have been announced. Here is a
detailed look at a few candidates:
Kris Beech: Read more»
In just eight days, the Philadelphia Phantoms will begin their sixth season of play in the American Hockey League. As training camp winds down, the team’s roster is all but set, barring a few last-minutechanges. This preseason has been a rather quiet one for the Phantoms, devoid of any major surprises or unexpected happenings.
Perhaps the biggest surprise thus far has been Pavel Brendl’s eye-popping play with the Flyers in exhibition action. Considering the depth the organization has at the NHL level, the Czech right wing was originally considered a lock to start the year with the Phantoms. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen at this point.
While the final decision on where Brendl will start the season is still up in the air, most of the Phantoms’ primary concerns have already been addressed. With the regular season looming, the team has already taken shape.
As expected, rookie Maxime Ouellet is set to take the reigns as the Phantoms’ new starting goaltender. After yet another terrific season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the 20-year-old phenom will get plenty of work in his first full season of professional hockey (he appeared briefly with the Flyers at the start of last season). Neil Little, the Phantoms’ all-time wins leader, will return in the role of backup netminder. Dan Murphy may stick around as a third-stringer between the pipes or else be loaned to the Trenton Titans (Philadelphia’s ECHL affiliate) .
Team captain Mark Greig is back, as is fellow veteran forward Mark Freer. Veteran defensemen John Slaney and
Brad T Read more»
The pre-season is almost over and rookies are making things difficult for Larry Robinson and the rest of the coaching staff come decision time.
The New Jersey Devils have played five games against Atlantic Division foes thus far with only about two weeks remaining until the start of the season in Washington against Jaromir Jagr and the Capitals. During these games, a lot of new and young talented faces have laced up the skates and put on the red and black sweater, and all have impressed coach Larry Robinson in one way or another. Over the next week or so, Robinson and the rest of the staff are going to have to make some very difficult decisions on the open roster spots that were not filled via free agency over the summer. The Devils trimmed the roster to thirty-six over the weekend. Fifteen players were sent to the Albany River Rats and another six were re-assigned to their respective junior clubs. Those joining the Rats are forwards Scott Cameron, Brett Clouthier, Sylvain Cloutier, Ted Drury, Jason Lehoux, Carlyle Lewis, Richard Rochefort and Rob Skrlac with defensemen Daryl Andrews, Joel Dezainde, Alex Johnstone, Mikko Jokela, Andre Lakos, Lucas Nehrling and Victor Uchevatov. Those returned to the Canadian Junior Leagues are Phil Cole (Lethbridge, WHL), defenseman Deryk Engelland (Moose Jaw, WHL), right wing Robin LeBlanc (Baie-Comeau, QMJHL), center Warren McCutcheon (Lethbridge), center Brandon Nolan (Osahawa, OHL) and right wing Igor Pohanka (Prince Albert, WHL). Although most of these players did not see action, the ones who did took full advantage of Read more»
Alexander Drozdetsky : Drozdetsky, who dazzled onlookers at the Flyers rookie camp in August, has been playing regularly for his club, CSKA Moscow (the former Red Army club). In the early going, CSKA is in 10th place in the 17 team Super League. Drozdetsky scored his first goal of the season on Monday; the game winner. On the young season, Drozdetsky has 2 points (1G, 1 A) and 2 PIM in 5 games.
Andrei Razin : Razin, who will turn 28 next month, was the RSL scoring champion last season. Like Drozdetsky, Razin is with a new team this season. Centering the top line for 4th place Dynamo Moscow, Razin has 3 points (1 goal) in his first five games. Razin, who has a reputation for being careless with his stick, also has 10 PIM.
Konstantin Rudenko : The Lokamotiv Yaroslavl winger has not played in a game. Lokamotiv is in 6th place currently.
Antero Niittymäki : Fredrik Norrena started the last game for defending champion TPS Turku, which has just a single win (Niittymäki’s shutout of SaiPa) to show for their first six games. In three appearances to date, Niittymäki has a 1.99 GAA and a .940 save percentage.
Marko Kauppinen : Kauppinen continues to struggle mightily in the early going. He was on the ice for all three goals against in TPS’ last game; a 3-0 blanking by league leading Tappara Tampere. In 6 games in the young season, Kauppinen is pointless and has a minus-six rating.
Jussi Timonen: No report.
Da Read more»
An expanded American Hockey League has entered a new era. There now are 27 teams, up from 20 following absorption of six clubs from the dissolved International Hockey League and addition of a new franchise, and the AHL’s status as the No. 1 developmental league for NHL-bound players has been accentuated by the demise of the IHL.
League president David Andrews is beaming as he awaits the opening Oct. 4 of the AHL’s 66th season. The AHL will have a Canadian Division comprised of the returning St. John’s Maple Leafs, Saint John Flames and Hamilton Bulldogs, as well as two clubs adopted from the IHL – the Manitoba Moose and the Quebec Citadelles.
The change in leagues will be a financial boon to the Moose, who now will travel in Canada instead of making extended trips into the United States as they did in their IHL days. Projected savings for the Moose are at least $250,000.
“It’s great for us,” says public relations director Matt Frost. “Before, we only had one direct flight, into Chicago. Now we can pretty much fly directly to most of our cities, plus we’ll be paying Canadian dollars now on many of our road trips. It will make a huge difference on our bottom line.”
Things are looking up on the ice as well. General manager Randy Carlyle used to piece together a lineup with free-agent signings and players assigned by a grab bag of NHL teams. He was an independent operator. Now he’s getting 15 of Vancouver’s top prospects in an arrangement to be the main Canucks farm club.
“We’re excited about it,” Carlyle says of the partne Read more»