The glory years conjur up names like Coffey, Murphy, and Samuelsson. Regal defenseman, who in thier prime brought Lord Stanley to the Steel City with graceful stick-handling, pin-point passes, and viscious face-washes. One instant they held the prestigious Cup above thier heads and fans anxiously dreamt of a dynasty in the making, the next instant they were gone. Replaced by mediocre journeyman defenders that could barely skate let alone clear the crease. Several years whisked by with faint glimmers of hope that soon turned to bitter disappointment. All that is about to finally change.
Enter the new guard. An exciting generation of blueline talent that was carefully homegrown to fill the skates of heroes past. They have honed thier craft in the recesses of the minor leagues and are now prepared to unleash thier fury on the unsuspecting NHL.
Meet the two-way phenom Andrew Ference, already battle tested in the war zone that is the NHL playoffs. Behold the brick wall that is Josef Melichar. Keep your eyes fixed on the shifty playmaking Chris Kelleher.
Andrew Ference has not let the franchise down since the 5’10” 190lbs. Edmonton native was drafted in 1997. Although short, he is solid and absorbs a lot of punishment. He exhibits enormous poise with the puck and is not afraid to put a shot on net. He plays an in your face style that continually has bigger and stronger opponents pounding him into the corners and he never loses balance or control. He is physical, mobile, and above all else dependable. Andrew has produced at every level and i Read more»
When the Pittsburgh Penguins drafted rugged winger Boris Protsenko in
the third round of the 1996 NHL entry draft they figured they had
recruited a top-notch power forward prospect. On his Tier II junior club
Boris notched 52 points in 47 games and backed up the offense with 199
penalty minutes. The Pens were banking on this young man to come into
his own as a close range sniper that was not afraid to grind in the
corners and along the boards. The Ukrainian was not to disappoint early,
compiling an impressive 229 points in 208 games with Calgary of the WHL.
Those same 3 seasons saw Boris chalk up 328 minutes in penalties. That
Boris was sent to Syracuse of the AHL, the former Penguins
developmental affiliate for the 1998-99 campaign. That season was the
beginning of the downward spiral. Playing with bigger, stronger
competition and the added pressure of being that much closer to the NHL
ranks, Boris began to flounder. He managed a mere 48 points in 65
appearances and his penalty minutes were a meager 84. The Penguins
carried Boris over to Wilkes-Barre’s roster for their debut season in
1999-00 and he produced even less. Protsenko put up a meager 36 points
in 64 contests and tallied a very non-aggressive 41 penalty minutes.
All was not lost however, as the Penguins invited the 5′-11″ 195lbs.
forward to the 2000 training camp with the hope that he would show a
glimmer of the potential the team had seen in the past. Protsenko was
there…his promising talent was not. Boris spent 48 games this season
with the Wheeling N Read more»
Stats and short comments about Slovak draftees playing in the European
leagues. As you can see some players belong to top ones in the leagues
but other ones play in curious leagues and cannot even dream about NHL.
(Name, year of birth, position, last team – year of selection, NHL team,
No. of pick)
Ivan Matulik (1968, F, Cardiff - 1986, Edmonton, #147) - skates in U.K.
for several years yet. The NHL is closed chapter for him.
Regular season 48GP 13 - 17 - 30 N/A 48 PIM
Playoffs 6GP 2 - 1 - 3 N/A 33 PIM
Roman Kontsek (1970, F, Havirov - 1990, Washington, #135) - captain of
the team helped to save Extraliga for Havirov but mediocre season.
Regular season 43GP 7 - 13 - 20 +11 24PIM
Playoffs 0GP 0 0 0
Martin Strbak (1975, D, Vsetin - 1993, Los Angeles, #224) - very good
season with Czech champion team. Hey Kings, don't you need solid
Regular season 49GP 2 - 6 - 8 +6 46PIM
World championship 6GP 0 - 1 - 1 +5 6PIM
Jan Lipiansky (1974, F, Vsetin - 1994, Philadelphia, #270) - solid
season but I don't think he will play on NHL ever.
Regular season 49GP 12 - 11 - 23 +19 39PIM
Playoffs 13GP 2 - 2 - 4 N/A
Radovan Somik (1977, F, Zlin - 1995, Philadelphia, #100) - impressive
rookie season on Czech Extraliga.
Regular season 46GP 15 - 10 - 25 +18 22PIM
World championship 6GP 0 - 0 - 0 -1 0PIM
Robert Dome (1979, F, Kladno - 1997, Pittsburgh, #17) - shown some Read more»
At a press conference today, the Wheeling Nailers announced that they have entered into a management agreement with the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins and the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
The Penguins will take over all day-to-day operations of the franchise, including on and off-ice activities. After this season, the Pens will have the option to a) extend the contract, b) buy the Nailers from the local owners, or c) end the relationship.
The Pens and Nailers announced that former NHL GM, coach, and goalie Eddie Johnston will be the team’s new Vice-President and General Manager. Johnston is currently the Penguins Assistant General Manager. As well, Jeff Barrett will be inserted as the team President, the same position he holds with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton franchise.
Current GM Fred Traynor will assume the title of Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer.
The team also announced that they have hired John Brophy as the 9th head coach in team history. Brophy is the ECHL’s All Time leader in regular season games coached and won. He’s also won the most playoff games in ECHL history and has won 3 ECHL league championships. Brpohy also has 964 professional coaching wins in his 27 years of coaching (including time in the NHL), which ranks 2nd all time.
The Canucks haven’t always been a very good team at the Draft table. They have opted a few times to go for the “safe” choice, rather than picking someone who seems to be more of a gamble, but turned out to be a better player. Hindsight is 20/20, but there have been a few blunders at the draft in the past ten or so years, which are particularly bad.
1990: The Canucks had two first-round picks, the #2, and the #18. The consensus best player going in was Cornwall Royals forward Owen Nolan.
With their first selection, the Canucks chose Petr Nedved.
Players chosen after Nedved:
Analysis: Going into the draft, the Seattle Thunderbirds forward seemed to have everything going for him, and he was taken, which in hindsight, seems erronious, when you see the calibre of players taken after him. He shattered junior scoring records with Seattle, and the big Czech forward was going to be a star in the NHL.
What went wrong: Nedved seemed like a huge gamble, being that he only played one season of major junior hockey. Nedved had two miserable seasons with the Canucks in ’90-91 and ’91-92 before finally breaking out in ’92-93, wrapping up seventy-one points. All was looking up, until a holdout sparked the end of his days in Vancouver. He could have been one of the best Canucks ever, but his attitude prevented that from happening. He only lasted 19 games in St. Louis, before becoming a Pittsburgh Penguin, where he Read more»