Tomas Kaberle’s Contract Situation A Disaster Waiting To Happen?
He was one of the most underpaid and overworked players in the NHL last season and now Tomas Kaberle may choose to stay in Europe for 2001/2002 – that is if he can’t secure a new deal that would pay him something in excess of one million dollars per season. It is widely speculated that he is seeking a 2 year pact that would take him up arbitration eligibility after the deal expires. However, Leafs management is seemingly not willing to give him that opportunity and they would like to get Kaberle onto a long-term deal (perhaps lasting 3 or 4 years) that would effectively eliminate his first year or two of arbitration rights. Failing this, Toronto is offering the smooth Czech defender only the minimal 10 percent raise mandated by the current CBA. This arrangement would still leave Kaberle’s annual stipend just shy of $300,000 for the upcoming season.
If Kaberle chooses to stay home, maintaining a high level of conditioning and fitness will become a big concern – despite the fact that he intends to play for the Czech National Team and also in the Czech Elite League. The potential impact upon Tomas’ long-term development (bearing in mind that he is coming off a season during which he amassed 6 goals and 40 assists – leading all Leafs’ defensemen in scoring) is another serious concern. Consider similar holdouts from the past.
Fellow Maple Leaf blueliner Aki Berg held out in 1998-99 because of a contract dispute when he was still a member Read more»
It is very refreshing to see more and more future NHLer’s and hockey prospects playing for College and University programs. NHL franchises and their scouts are looking towards the NCAA as a source of fresh, new, young potential talent. In due time, the NCAA will be to American skaters as what the CHL is to Canadian prospects. And, who else to pave the way for this eventual event is none other than the one and only Lou Lamoriello. He, himself, basically made the jump to the NHL through the collegiate ranks, first as a coach, then Athletic Director at Providence College. Also, during his tenure with the Friars, he was one of the founders and first elected commissioner of what is now considered the best conference in college, Hockey East.
Here are seven prospects in the Devils organizations currently enrolled in a collegiate program. And who else better to start with then the teams that meet in the Frozen Four Championship, Boston College and University of North Dakota.
Coach Jerry York has a lot on his plate for the upcoming year. Or maybe had. The defending champs lost speedy sniper Brian Gionta and improving starting netminder Scott Clemmensen to graduation and the Devils. But it also looks like he lost Underclassmen standouts Chuck Kobasew, Brooks Orpik and Krys Kolanos so that they could make a jump to the CHL and the NHL. So that leaves us with 1999 late round selection Justin Dziama. He is entering his sophomore year after only posting one goal, one assist and 36 penalty minutes in 28 games. The 6’3” 220 pound forward hopes he will get more i Read more»
Name: Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Team: Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL)
RN: At what age did you start playing hockey?
PMB: It was when I was three years old.
RN: Where did you start playing hockey?
PMB: I started in Sherbrooke.
RN: What is your favorite NHL team?
PMB: It’s the Colorado Avalanche.
RN: Your favorite NHL player?
PMB: Wayne Gretzky.
RN: Do you have a special team you would like to be drafted?
PMB: I don’t care about the team that selects me.
RN: The biggest success in your previous hockey career?
PMB: Playing major junior.
RN: How does it feel to win the tournament?
PMB: It’s really a good feeling, I enjoy it very much.
RN: Thank you
The Other Goalie
Talk to anyone about goaltending and the Leafs’ draft of 2000 and the first name that is bound to pop out is the aforementioned Mikael Tellqvist. However, 20 selections later the Blue and White nabbed a second puckstopper out of Drummondville by the name of Jean-Francois Racine with much less fanfare. At 6’3″ and now 188 pounds the Voltigeurs netminder is, like many that come out of the Q, a large butterfly style goalie, in the mold of Patrick Roy. He skates well for a big man and his Coach, Daniel Bissonnette, points out that while his charge “is at times too fast to go down he is very good at regaining his feet (once he has done so)”. Not that Racine is helpless once on the ice. The 19 year old is quite accomplished at following the puck in a scramble and keeping his body between the rubber and the mesh. In addition to that he is quick to cover anything near him and has a short pokecheck he uses to good effect when the situation warrants it.
While he has a snappy glovehand, he can be had backing up on the rush at this time. Bissonnette states that “most of the time he’s good but when a player comes in the zone on an angle, he has to improve.” That said, “bad goals don’t stick with him” and although it is true that he sometimes has problems holding onto a third period lead, “he holds up well (in games with) heavy shot counts.” Not a risky player like St. Patrick, he doesn’t get caught wandering often and when he does leave his net he tends to use the forehand to get the puck out of danger. At times he is capable of the outlet pass Read more»