I had the chance to speak with Rochester Americans’ defenseman Luc Theoret following the Amerks 12/14 game vs. Cleveland. Luc signed a contract with Buffalo in ’99, but he is only now getting his first AHL action due to injury or illness the past 2 seasons. Prior to turning pro, Luc spent most of his junior career with Lethbridge of the WHL, while seeing only limited action the past 2 seasons with South Carolina of the ECHL.
The following is a transcript of our conversation, with “HF” referring to the interviewer, and “LT” being Luc.
: Luc, you’ve finally gotten the chance to play in the AHL this year. Any thoughts on the games you’ve played in so far?
: Well, I haven’t played in too many, so far. It’s definitely an adjustment from the ECHL, as the ECHL was from junior. I’m sure it would be a little bit more fun if the team was doing better, but we’ve had kind of a rough start here. I think it is a good experience, and I’m trying to work as hard as I can to get better this season, and hopefully stick around for a few more years.
: What are the differences between the ECHL and AHL? Is it mostly speed?
: I think it’s the speed and the skill. I think there is a lot more skill and better goaltending (in the AHL). Everything is just a notch better. The size of the players is not much different, but definitely the work ethic is better. There are a lot of younger guys that are trying to work their way up to the NHL, so it’s definitely a tougher league.
Marek Svatos, Center, Kootenay (WHL)
Kurt Sauer, Defenseman, Spokane (WHL)
Blake Ward, Goaltender, Lethbridge (WHL)
Charlie Stephens, Center, Guelph/London (OHL)
Danny Bois, Right Wing, London (OHL)
Aaron Molnar, Goaltender, London (OHL)
Agris Saviels, Defenseman, Owen Sound (OHL)
Colt King, Left Wing, Guelph/North Bay (OHL)
Cody McCormick, Right Wing, Belleville (OHL)
Darryl Bootland, Right Wing, Toronto (OHL)
Peter Budaj, Goaltender, Toronto (OHL)
Pierre-Luc Emond, Center, Cape Breton (QMJHL)
Sergei Klyazmin, Left Wing, Halifax (QMJHL)
Brian Fahey, Defenseman, Wisconsin (WCHA) Read more»
#1 Benjamin Voigt
Voigt is 19 years old and catches with the left hand. He is currently the back up for the DEL team Krefeld Penguins and he will also be the back up during the Under-20 world championships. The reason why Krefeld signed him at the start of the season was due in part to his strong season in the second league for SC Bietigheim, when he shared time with Tim Schnelle, also a goalie born in 1982. His current stats are: five games, 263 minutes played, 13 goals against, 2,96 GAA and a .908 save percentage.
Draft: Good enough to be in the DEL, but good enough to be on the Draft List?
#20 Dimitri Pätzold
Pätzold is a 1983 born player and his second Under-20 world championship may not be his last. He can also play in next years’ tournament. Pätzold possesses excellent reflexes and no major weakness. He will help the German team very much on their way back into the elite of the Under-20 national teams. Pätzold has played in five games for the DEL-team from Cologne so far this season. 180 minutes played, ten goals against, GAA 3.33 and a .882 save percentage. Five games aren’t much for a talent like him, but his coach doesn’t want to burn him out and Pätzold will end up playing 10-20 games during the season. Possibly followed by 10 more games per season for the next couple of ye Read more»
Nearly every team in the NHL covets a big defenseman. A big cannon at the point on the power play is something that teams are always seeking. An aggressive, hard hitting, nasty blueliner is a staple for any successful team. The Los Angeles Kings got all of that when they signed the best defenseman outside the NHL, Jere Karalahti, two years ago. Now Karalahti is a healthy scratch and seems destined to make his NHL mark in another city.
Granted Karalahti has his shortcomings. His discipline off the ice has always come into question ever since his drug problems in Finland in the mid 90’s. Reports of Jere’s behavior have been Internet fodder ever since his NHL arrival. No one would argue that Karalahti’s drug problems are behind him and he has stayed out of harm’s way with the exception of an alcohol related incident in 2000. On the ice, he is not the most fleet of foot and his decision making has come into question. He has been learning to play defenseman in the NHL on the fly and while it is an ongoing process, it is an evolving one.
Karalahti’s skills are undeniable. He is a fierce hitter and has a heavy shot. The Kings knew this when he came over and he showed it for spurts in his first season. He had a couple blue line power play goals in his first season and he was relentless in the physical game- he would hit anyone who came near him. These traits did not blend with the Andy Murray style. Jere would often leave his responsibility to make the hit or take the shot and the result was often an outnumbered attack or an unattended forward waiting for Read more»
NEW EDITION OF INSIDE THE CHL WILL BE AVAILABLE SHORTLY
Edition number four of Inside the CHL, the Canadian Hockey League’s audio
Inside the CHL is an audio program featuring interviews and news from around
Pascal Leclaire, goaltender with the Montreal Rocket of the Quebec Major
Also on the show is a feature interview with Eugene Melnyk, who took over as
Inside the CHL is available during the season every two weeks, usually on