The Rangers’ defensive depth can not be overlooked. Although the Rangers’ defense was horrible last season (they gave up the most goals against in the NHL), the future blue line does look bright on Broadway. I fully expect at least one rookie defenseman to stick with the team this year for the entire season. Glen Sather added veteran defenseman Igor Ulanov and Dave Karpa to the club, therefore taking away the opportunity for more youngsters to make the team on defense. Last year’s rookie defensemen, Tomas Kloucek and Dale Purinton, were bright spots on a bad team, while others such as Mike Mottau and Peter Smrek impressed in a few games towards the end of the season. Tomas Kloucek will be out until around December, as he is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered in a game late last season against the Atlanta Thrashers when his leg slammed awkwardly into the boards, but, it will take him longer than that to get back to the level where he was last season.
Unless a trade is made, there is a log jam at defense for the Rangers. Brian Leetch, a fully recovered Vladimir Malakhov, Kim Johnsson, Igor Ulanov and Dale Purinton appear to have spots locked up to start the season, while Dave Karpa will likely stay on as a 7th defenseman. Kloucek will still be recovering, as will Sylvain Lefebvre who had shoulder surgery this off-season. The 6th spot is up for grabs during training camp, and whoever plays the best will likely wind up being the one who stays with the big club. Mike Mottau and Peter Smrek s Read more»
Myrvold originally one of Norway`s brighter prospects said no thanks to an offer from Mike Milbury`s Islanders earlier this summer. His agent was working out a deal with the Montreal Canadiens when Myrvold decided the after tax salary of 175,000 USD was enough to make him say yes to Bern of the Swiss league.
In 2000-01 he recorded (69gp 5g 24a 29tp 129pim) with Springfield and in 13 games with the parent Islanders he notted 1 assist.
So for this Viking, the journey to the NHL now goes through Switzerland and SC Bern.
Other News and Notes: American Defender Matt Jarret ex. UConnecticut defender is back in the states after some tryouts in France and Norway. Jarret hopes to return to Norway for a tryout with VIF-Hockey and some other clubs later this summer.
Aker Hockey has signed up several new players for the Norwegian 4th division including American center Eirk Olsen (5-11 180) and Canadian winger Ryley MacKenzie(5-10 175). These players along with a new Swedish sniper should help Aker move back up to a higher division next season and they join American player-coach Evan Andriopoulos (def.6-2 220).