on January, 31st, 2002, is as usual a great event where the top draft eligible players
square off against each other and try to prove that they are the up- and coming NHL stars
of the future. A major change will take place this year. After six years of coaching the
two previous celebrity coaches step down and new two coaches will take their place. Hall of Famer
Bobby Orr and Hockey Night in Canada legend Don Cherry will be replaced by former NHL goalie
Kelly Hrudey and Dave “Tiger” Williams, who skated with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the past. But one
thing won’t change for sure. Presence of the Czech prospects. Highly regarded Czech prospects
have made their way into this event in the previous years, with virtually every of them hearing
his name selected at the NHL Entry Draft (Frantisek Bakrlik being the only exception).
The likes of Jiri Fischer, Pavel Brendl or Filip Novak
dressed up for either Team Orr or Team Cherry in the past years while Lukas Krajicek, Martin
Podlesak, Jiri Jakes and Frantisek Bakrlik competed in the last year’s edition of the event.
This year four
Czech CHL Imports were the lucky ones who will have a taste of this show. Let’s have a look
who is it!
Team Dave “Tiger” Williams
Petr Taticek – the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds rookie raised some eyebrows with his smooth
First of all, big congratulations go out to Artem Chubarov; who, after going sixty-six games without a goal, has two in the last week. He’s been a dynamo in the face-off circle, and has worked incredibly hard defensively to ensure team leads. He’s done a great job on the kill, and has contributed in even-strength situations, too. He’s starting to repay my confidence in him this season. I, along with many other Canuck fans, know that he is well on his way to becoming a stalwart defensive forward for years to come.
All things considered, the Canucks had a pretty good week. Wins against Pittsburgh and Washington were both good, but what I’m here to talk about is the loss to St. Louis. Crawford has to teach his men that there are three periods in a game, not one, not two, but three. You’ve got to give a good, sixty-minute effort every night. As cliche’d as that sounds, it’s as true today as it was when this game was first started. On another note, I think that against Carolina, Peter Skudra is due for a start. Dan Cloutier has played his heart out for this team, and it’s high-time that he get a rest. As I mentioned in my last article, if anyone doubted that Cloutier was the MVP of this team, any doubt has been removed of late.
Another guy I’ve been mildly impressed with thus far has been Bryan Helmer. Despite his poor skating and often bone-headed plays in his own end, I’ve taken a shine to him. He’s been decent defensively, okay offensively, and hasn’t been afraid to throw a check here and there. His skating will forever make him a fringe player, and at hi Read more»
Marek Svatos, Center, Kootenay (WHL)
Kurt Sauer, Defenseman, Spokane (WHL)
Blake Ward, Goaltender, Lethbridge (WHL)
Charlie Stephens, Center, London (OHL)
Danny Bois, Right Wing, London (OHL)
Aaron Molnar, Goaltender, London (OHL)
Agris Saviels, Defenseman, Owen Sound (OHL)
Colt King, Left Wing, Guelph/North Bay (OHL)
Cody McCormick, Right Wing, Belleville (OHL)
Darryl Bootland, Right Wing, Toronto (OHL)
Scott Horvath, Right Wing, Toronto (OHL)
Peter Budaj, Goaltender, Toronto (OHL)
Micheal Leighton made his professional debut with
And in the next several weeks, he will add another achievement to his resume’– the AHL All-Star game for team Canada played in Newfoundland next month.
HF met with Micheal after an 2-2 OT against the Rochester Americans Friday night. As we waited, there was nothing but silence except for the commerical reruns on the office TV. You couldn’t even hear the hum of voices that usually seep through the dressing room walls and doors.
No yelling.. No shouting matches.. Just a flash of coach Trent Yawney quietly leaving in his grey tailored suit, and the sound of the door crashing as he made his exit.
Micheal Leighton appeared and introduced himself. He was damp-faced in a black T-shirt and workout shorts barefooted- answering questions faster than he can turn away opposition shots.
HF: Although you were not a high draft choice, have you
ML: I am a little bit, I have a great team in front of me and that is a big help. All I wanted was to come here and do my best and that’s what I am doing.
HF:What lesson in front of the net have you learned?