Big Change in Utah
A week ago, the Stars completely vaporized the Grizzlies coaching staff. Head coach Bob Bourne and assistant coach Jason Taylor were both fired, while popular assistant coach Craig Ludwig was promoted to the Dallas Stars organization as an assitant. Now, ex-Calgary Flames coach Don Hay, who is a good friend of Stars coach Ken Hitchcock, is rumored to be one of
the leading candidates to take over the job. Ex-Islanders coach Butch Goring, another member of the Islanders dynasty team,
has also been mentioned as a possibility.
More shockingly, in the wake of these events inthecrease.com is reporting that the Stars are in the midst of dramtically scaling back
their minor league operations. The Stars are expected to share their affliate Utah Grizzlies, who have just moved from the disbanded IHL to the AHL, with the Florida Panthers.
Apparently, the Stars will join forces with Florida in running the team and stocking it with
talent next year, and Dallas is now expected to scale back the number of under-contract minor leaguers — keeping only a handful
signed for next year. The money they will save is reportedly going to be used to help Dallas sign free agents this summer
and increase the salaries of their NHL’ers. This combined with the expected 10% budget increase (around $5 million) and the money
saved on players like Hull (over $7 million), Donato, Maclean, and Ledyard should free up serious budgetary room for Gainey.
Short preview of Slovak players mentioned in CSB ranking:
North America - players
#33 Tomas Malec 13/05/1982 6'1" 185 D Rimouski QMJHL
#36 Igor Pohanka 05/07/1983 6'3" 185 C Prince Albert WHL
#73 Marek Svatos 17/07/1982 5'9" 170 RW Kootenay WHL
#103 Frantisek Skladany 22/04/1982 5'11" 180 LW Boston Univ. HE
#117 Milan Jurcina 07/06/1983 6'4" 190 D Halifax QMJHL
North America - goalies
#8 Peter Budaj 18/09/1982 6'0" 200 G Toronto OHL
#14 Jan Chovan 07/09/1983 5'11" 178 G Belleville OHL
Europe - players
#21 Tomas Slovak 05/04/1983 6'1" 191 D Kosice Extraliga
#48 Tomas Surovy 24/09/1981 6'0" 191 C/W Poprad Extraliga
#60 Ivan Kolozvary 16/02/1983 6'0" 169 W Trencin Jr. Juniors
#73 Peter Polcik 23/07/1983 6'4" 187 LW Nitra Jr. Juniors
#83 Michal Kolarik 08/10/1982 6'3" 196 C Trinec Jr. Czech Jrs.
#87 Peter Macek 13/05/1983 6'1" 165 D B.Bystrica Division I
#96 Lukas Srnka 25/02/1982 6'3" 176 W Trencin Jr. Juniors
#108 Rene Jarolin 16/09/1981 6'3" 191 C S.N.Ves Division I
#109 Dominik Granak 11/06/1983 5'11" 163 D Trencin Jr. Juniors
#113 Martin Zajac 25/10/1981 6'2" 212 D Trencin Extraliga
#121 Tomas Frolo 26/01/1982 6'1" 194 D Vsetin Jr. Czech Jrs.
#122 Karol Sloboda 16/05/1983 6'0" 172 D Trencin Jr. Juniors
In spi Read more»
The Vancouver Canucks are selecting 16th in the 2001 NHL entry draft.
With this pick they don’t have much of a chance at getting a goalie that will help them in the long run. Dan Blackburn and Pascal Leclaire are two goalies that are highly rated and have been highly scouted. They both have promising careers in the NHL. With the Canucks selecting 16th this year, the chances of either one of them getting drafted by Brian Burke and the Canucks very unlikely.
The only way that the Canucks would have a chance at getting either one of them was if a team like the New York Rangers made a deal. Since the Rangers are in need of a young goalie in their system, this is very unlikely. The Canucks need a team that does not need a goalie to make a deal with a team that needs a young goalie. Rumors are already swirling about the possibility of Jagr going to the Rangers, but there also is the possibility that Mike Peca or one of the Sabres many good young goalies to be dealt. Anything is possible. But the chances of the Canucks getting either Blackburn or Leclaire are very unlikely.
I also think that the possibility or the Canucks trading their pick if a goalie is not available a very likely situation. The Canucks obviously lack penalty killing strength, and a point man on the power play. With the pick they have this year it is possible that the Canucks could deal it for a power forward type right winger. Someone like a Brad Isbister.
With the Rangers holding the 10th overall pick, the needs are clear, first a banging, physical forward with size and skill. In order to show what the Rangers really need one has to analyze what they have as of draft day.
The prospect roster is stocked with goaltending with Johan Holmqvist, Vitali Yeremeyev, Johan Asplund and Jason Labarbera leading the list. This is an area that does not need any tinkering and any one of these can step in as back up to a “healthy” Mike Richter or whomever G.M. Sather crowns as No.1 in 2001-02.
DEFENSE: The defense has some solid prospects in Mike Mottau, Pat Aufiero, Filip Novak and recovering Tomas Kloucek but this area is not as deep as one would like either. As we wait for Wes Jarvis and Burke Henry to develop one knows that with each passing month they are not with the big club, chances are they will not make a steady contribution to the Rangers in the “show”.
Forward: The Rangers forward stock is thin at best. An active off season will have to me made via free agency and trade and not less important via the draft to fill the cabinets not only in NY but for their AHL affiliate in Hartford, Connecticut. The past year’s drafts of smallish players like Christian Dube (Switzerland) and Marc Savard (traded to Calgary) must shift to a higher gear, one that looks for bigger players that CAN contribute at the NHL level.