On June 1st, the Capitals announced the signings of 1998 draft picks Krys Barch (4th round, 106th overall), Nathan Forster (7th round, 179th overall) and Rastislav Stana (7th round, 193rd overall). These signings prevented them from re-entering the 2000 entry draft. With the signings of Michael Farrell (8th round, 220th overall) after the season and Mike Siklenka (5th round, 118th overall) last off-season, the Capitals only lost three players to re-entry.
Goaltender Jomar Cruz (2nd round, 49th overall), as well as forwards Todd Hornung (3rd round, 59th overall) and Blake Evans (9th round, 251st overall) have all re-entered the 2000 draft. However, none of them are expected to be re-drafted and will try to work out free agent deals after the draft.
The Capitals also announced that they have acquired defenseman Stephen Peat from the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in exchange for a 2000 fourth-round pick. Peat was unable to come to terms with the Ducks and was going to re-enter the draft. The Capitals were able to sign him before the deadline and he will attend training camp in the fall. Peat was the Ducks’ 2nd round pick in 1998 (32nd overall) and is one of the WHL’s most feared enforcers.
Mike Van Ryn wants to be a free agent. The New Jersey Devils want Van Ryn to remain Devils’ property. Others want Van Ryn to go back into the draft.
It remains to be seen whether Van Ryn hits the jackpot. With the NHL draft right around the corner, the former University of Michigan and Sarnia Sting defenseman’s status remains in question. After playing two seasons at Michigan, Van Ryn, a 1998 first round draft choice of New Jersey, decided to play a year in the Ontario Hockey League. The young defenseman and his agent claim this path should lead to free agency.
An arbitrator still has not decided Van Ryn’s case and an answer may not be forthcoming until mid-July. However Van Ryn and his agent, Don Meehan, remain patient and hopeful.
“We have a hearing scheduled for June 13,” according to Meehan. “The arbitrator then has thirty days to hand down his decision.”
Both New Jersey and the National Hockey League are quite anxious about the final decision in this case. The Devils are concerned they could lose the rights to one of their top prospects. The NHL is worried about the precedent that could be set by this case. If Van Ryn wins, a U.S. college hockey player who is drafted in the future could attain free agent status by playing a year for a Canadian junior team.
According to Meehan, “We remain very optimistic about the results of the arbitration hearing.” The Devils, along with the NHL, can only hope the optimism of Meehan and Van Ryn is misguided.
IHL TURNER CUP FINALS RECAP FROM SATURDAY JUNE 3, 2000
Grand Rapids Griffins 6
Chicago Wolves 4
Chicago Wolves lead Turner Cup Finals 3 games to 2 games.
Jani Hurme turned away all 23 shots he faced as the Grand Rapids Griffins
defeated the Chicago Wolves, 6-4, to stave off elimination in their
best-of-seven playoff series. Hurme, who replaced Mike Fountain at the start
of the second period with Grand Rapids losing 4-3, stopped 14 shots in the
second and all nine in the third for the win. Phillippe Plante’s marker with
6:55 left in the second period tied the score at 4-4 for the Griffins. Ed
Patterson snapped the tie 11:10 later with his second goal of the contest, a
power-play tally for Grand Rapids. Kevin Miller chipped in a pair of
first-period goals and assisted on a score in the third for the Griffins,
who will host Game Six on Monday. Niklas Anderson’s power-play goal 9:53
into the first capped a four-goal period for Chicago, which still has a 3-2
lead in the series. Wendell Young surrendered all six goals on 35 shots for
Chicago now leads the series 3-2 after the Griffins pulled out a 6-4 win in
tonight’s game. Tuesday night, Chicago’s Chris Marinucci and Grand Rapids’
Ed Patterson each scored a pair of goals. Wolves Steve Maltais added his
second game-winning goal of the series and is tied for the playoffs scoring Read more»
STEVE LAROUCHE WINS JOHN CULLEN AWARD.
Chicago Wolves’ center Steve Larouche has been selected as the International
Hockey League’s Comeback Player of the Year. He will receive the John Cullen
Award, which is given annually to the player deemed to have been a key
contributor to his team, while overcoming injury, illness or other personal
setbacks. The award was voted on by a “blue ribbon” panel of general
managers, broadcasters and beat writers.
Larouche played in only 33 games last season, posting 13 goals and 25
assists for Chicago, before suffering a season-ending knee injury on
December 29, 1998. Larouche rejoined the Wolves for the 1999-2000 season,
where he tallied 88 points (31 goals, 57 assists). He was second in league
scoring, just two points behind teammate Steve Maltais. Larouche led the
league with 57 assists, and was tied for second overall with teammate Chris
Marinucci, netting 14 power-play goals. His efforts helped his team earn the
IHL’s Western Conference Championship, and a chance to compete in the Turner
Cup Finals for the second time in three years. Larouche has played admirably
for his team in the post-season, earning 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists) in
13 playoff games, including two assists in three games in the Turner Cup
Larouche is in his ninth professional season and sixth in the IHL. He has Read more»