The Calder Corner: Handicapping the Field-November
It’s time again for Hockey’s Future to answer the question “If the Calder Trophy were awarded today, based on what you have seen so far this season, who would your Top 10 Rookie Finalists be?” We’ve recruited several of HF’s finest to take part this month and totalling up their votes, here is this month’s version of ‘Handicapping the Field’:
||Dany Heatley: The Thrashers’ 2nd overall pick in 2000 has finally caught up and at least for the moment surpassed his more celebrated counterpart picked 1st overall in 2001. It’s only a matter of time until his physical game catches up to his offensive one and then he’ll be a real handful. Read more»
Lightning Hope for a Princely Return on Investment
It’s not much fun working for the Tampa Bay Lightning right now. The boss isn’t in a very good mood. Rick Dudley is a little steamed right now and no one is sure what has put his mood in such a bad state. It could be the fact that his shopping of Vincent Lecavalier has gone public, or maybe just Vince’s (le) cavalier approach to the game since signing a fat new deal at the start of the season. What ever it is, Rick is not a happy camper.
Then again, who could really blame a guy for being in a surly mood when he’s contemplating dealing away a guy that was called, “the Michael Jordan of hockey” by previous team owner Art Williams? Especially when he’s completely unsure of what he can, or should, expect back in return. There have been a number of high profile players change teams in the past nine months, and Dudley wants to be sure he makes a good deal. So what is a good deal for Tampa? Should they go after one guy, or try and scramble for as many guys as they can get? It’s an interesting conundrum, one worth examining and picking apart.
There are those that look at the player movement in the past year to point to a trend of players not returning what they traditionally have in trade. Jaromir Jagr going to Washington for three unproven prospects is usually the first example that is trotted out to defend this stance. If one of the best players in the world were to garner such a poor return, why would an unproven pup like Lecavalier return more? Well, those that use that a Read more»
The 2001-2002 USHL season is already heading into December and getting towards the Christmas break. Most teams have played about a third of their games and position in the league standings is still undetermined at this point. Currently in the Eastern division the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders stand at the top of the mountain. A 14-6-1 records gives them 29 points to lead the way. However, the Des Moines Buccaneers are not far behind with 26. Des Moines has not played up to preseason expectations but remain in the hunt for the time being. The Green Bay Gamblers who year in and year out are tops in the Eastern division until this season, are tied with Des Moines for second place. Cedar Rapids has been rather impressive to start off the season. Cedar Rapids has posted a league high 10 wins on the road. What that means is that the RoughRiders are getting many of their road games out of the way early this season and they will have a favorable schedule the second half. If the Eastern division hopefuls do not get moving, Cedar Rapids may end up running away with the Division title.
In the Western division the Sioux City Musketeers have been magnificent. The Musketeers have experienced unprecedented success at home posting a 13-0 record so far en route to a Western division and league leading 37 points. Their rink is very small and their big forwards and defensemen use that to their advantage to make it quite difficult for a visiting team to come in and win a game. That advantage will be monumental heading into the playoffs should they end up with home ice adva Read more»
Tracking the exploits of
selected prospects plying their trade in the Czech Extraliga.
We will monitor prospects already drafted by NHL teams, as well as 2002 and
2003 draft eligible prospects who have made their way onto Extraliga rosters.
The Czech Extraliga is one of the top European league
in terms of level of play and overall competitiveness. Although the Extraliga
lacks the physical play of the NHL, it takes a high level of skill to get
into the Extraliga and then succeed on top of that. As we monitor these
prospects, keep in mind that many of these prospects are kids playing among
men, gaining valuable game experience and developing the tools to
possibly succeed in the NHL.