FLORIDA PANTHERS ANNOUNCE CONTRACT OFFERS
SUNRISE, FL – Florida Panthers President and General Manager Bill Torrey announced contract information today regarding several Panthers players.
The club offered qualifying contracts to nine players: defenseman Dan Boyle, recently acquired right wing Valeri Bure, defenseman John Jakopin, center Olli Jokinen, goaltender Roberto Luongo, left wing Marcus Nilson, right wing Joey Tetarenko, right wing Rocky Thompson, and defenseman Lance Ward. All of these players are considered Group 2 Free Agents.
By giving these players qualifying offers, the club maintains the right to match any contract offer they may receive, and the Panthers can receive draft pick compensation if there is a signing with another club. If a player is above the league’s average salary, the qualifying offer is the same as last year’s salary. If a player is below the league’s average salary, than a qualifying offer is a one-year contract with a ten-percent raise from last season’s salary.
The Panthers also picked up the option for the 2001-02 season on the contract of center Vaclav Prospal.
In addition, the Panthers did not make contract offers to defenseman Chris Allen, center Len Barrie, defenseman Anders Eriksson, center Andej Podkonicky, defenseman Peter Ratchuk, defenseman Remi Royer, and defenseman Mike Wilson. All of those players will become unrestricted free agents as of July 1, 2001. Also becoming unrestricted free agents are: left wing Greg Adams, right wing Paul Brousseau, defenseman Yan Golubovsky, goa Read more»
The Hurricanes have had a few draft follies. In the last four drafts, only five players, David Tanabe, Tommy Westlund, Niclas Wallin, Josef Vasicek, and breakthrough rookie Shane Willis, have made the NHL.
The Hurricanes are coming off a very positive season, where they made the playoffs, and took the defending champion New Jersey Devils to six games, in a very hard-fought series, and in no small part left their own imprint on the 2001 playoffs, as one of the harder-working teams. Backed by the goaltending of Arturs ‘Archie’ Irbe, the Hurricanes have a franchise goaltender, but he’ll need help in the future, as nobody is ageless. The defense, anchored by David Tanabe and Sandis Ozolinsh, could use a bit of re-tooling, but is solid as an overall unit. The forwards, who are led by cornerstone Jeff O’Neill and nearly-ageless Ronnie Francis, look to be in good shape, as well. A solid, if unspectacular unit overall.
The Hurricanes were in need of another defensive prospect, with Nikos Tselios being their only decent D prospect, and he hasn’t scratched the surface of the NHL thus far.
With the number fifteen selection in the Draft, the ‘Canes selected Russian Defenseman Igor Knyazev.
Knyazev, a solid two-way defenseman, has the body to be a solid D-man on both sides of the puck. He has a good shot from the point, and good overall offensive instincts. Even though his statistics may not dictate that he is offensively-oriented, young defenders in Russian hockey are geared towards solid defensive play first. He was named Captain of the Russian Natio Read more»
The 2001 NHL Entry Draft is now history. It was also historical for the Czech hockey. It was
for the first time that 31 players have heard their names selected. It is doubtful that
everyone of this crop will ever play in the NHL, but there are some, who can turn into the
stars of the future. The last successes of the Czech hockey also helped the overage players
to a chance to play in the big league.
As projected, three Czech players were taken in the
first round of the draft. But especially the lower rounds were rich on Czech picks.
Now I will try to comment every Czech pick, round by round,
with a bigger comment on players not included in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft preview.
No. 13 Ales Hemsky – Edmonton Oilers
Position: right wing
Team: Hull Olympiques, QMJHL
Born: August, 13th, 1983
Height: 6’1” Read more»
Here’s a capsule look at the current status of Toronto’s top 10 prospects based upon their respective performances during the 2000/2001 season:
Mikael Tellqvist (G) – Tellqvist’s outstanding season in the SEL has been well documented here at Hockey’s Future. While leading his club team to a second consecutive Swedish championship and also showing well in several international competitions, Mikael has firmly cemented his place at the top of Toronto’s prospect list. What’s Next: Having already accomplished just about everything that he possibly can at home, Tellqvist is poised to try the North American scene next season. Although there is a outside chance that he might win the back-up job in Toronto, his long term development would probably be better served by starting 40-50 games in St. John’s.SEASON GRADE: A
Brad Boyes (C) – Boyes, Toronto’s first round selection at last June’s draft, was another prospect who saw his rating soar during the course of 2000/2001. Brad led the Erie Otters with 45 goals and 45 assists for 90 points in only 59 games. He was awarded the Red Tilson Trophy as the OHL’s most outstanding player in recognition of a truly dominant season. What’s Next: Brad has one year of eligibility remaining in junior hockey and will almost certainly return to Erie next fall. He will be asked to improve his defensive positioning, skating and upper body strength in order to better prepare for a pro debut in 2002/2003.SEASON GRADE: A
Jeff Farkas (C/W) – Following Read more»
In the 2001 draft, the Ducks took a potential top line star, a player who will fight for a forward position this year, and adding some much needed depth at the blue line. They also drafted small with 7 players measuring 6’0″ and under, 4 Canadians, 2 Russians, and one of each from Finland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. They also drafted very skilled. The following is the list of players the Ducks selected.
First Round – 5th Overall
Stanislav Chistov (Omsk/Russia) – Right Wing (18) 5’9″ 169lbs Shoots: Right
Central Scouting Report
“An excellent skater with impressive speed and agility … and outstanding offensive-minded player who is a scoring threat every time he is on the ice … a creative playmaker with very strong puck handling skills … has the ability to control the puck and maneuver very well at top speed … has good vision and strong hockey instincts … a very good competitor and a hard worker who plays with a lot of intensity.”
The best available player at #5 and arguably the most skilled player in the draft, Chistov is expected to return to Russia next season but commented that he would attend the Ducks camp this season if invited. He has also played center. Compared to both Kariya and Sergei Samsonov, though it’s been said his skating isn’t as powerful as Kariya’s.