It has become a yearly tradition for the marketing
wizards at the NHL offices. No, I’m not talking about
the introduction of another series of extremely horrid
third jerseys by several of the member clubs. I’m
talking the fall release of fan selection ballot for
the mid-season All Star game. Every year the league
releases the ballot, and every year there is some
controversy surrounding those names available for
selection. Why should this year’s game be any
different? Well maybe because the controversy
surrounding this year’s ballot is such an obvious
blunder that it really makes the league look bad.
Normally the NHL has a leg to stand on when it comes
to omissions in the All Star ballot. There is a
surprise player or two who come out of the gate hot
and lead the league in several categories, or the
unknown rookie who makes a big splash and comes out of
no-where, or the aging veteran who has a career year
while he winds down towards retirement. All of these
situations are ones where the league office can be
excused for its short sightedness. But this year the
league really left itself open for criticism by
leaving Calgary Flame poster-boy, and rising star
player, Jarome Iginla, off the ballot.
When you scan the list of leading scorers a few names
jump out at you. Mark Parrish and his twelve goals in
thirteen games is a surprise. Iginla’s team mate
Craig Conroy, and his sixteen points in fourteen games
is a surprise. And perched up at the top of the
scoring race is a surprising Jarome Iginla.
Surprising? To be sitting a Read more»
Line of Erat, Orszagh, Arkhipov
Prospects Martin Erat, Vladimir Orszagh, and Denis Arkhipov are
making some serious noise in the National Hockey League this year. Erat
leads the Nashville Predators in assists (8) and points (10). He is
also second among rookies in scoring in the NHL. Orszagh, the former
New York Islander, has 3 goals and 6 assists this season while playing
in 14 contests. Arkhipov has 3 goals and 3 assists while centering this
new, exciting line.
Martin Erat, 20, was the biggest surprise out of training camp this
season. The winger has given the
Predators a very nice offensive boost early on in the season. Vladimir
Orszagh, who played last season in the Swedish hockey league, has also
become an offensive force. Orszagh has shown very high intensity and is
not afraid to shoot the puck. Denis Arkhipov played 40 games last
season with Nashville, scoring 6 goals and 7 assists. However, this
year he is getting increased ice time, has moved from winger to the
center position and already has half the points that he had all of last
This line has thrown in almost one-third of the team’s offense and is
giving Nashville fans some exciting hockey to watch. Orszagh is
considered the veteran of line at 23. The
future of the Predators organization could be on the sticks of these
three young players. Orszagh is on pace for
53 points, Arkhipov is on pace for 33 points and Erat on pace for 60
The future captain of the Predators, Scotty Hart Read more»
Dustin Brown has always been a sniper, but no one knew who he was until last
year. That’s when the then 15 year old broke into the OHL as a second round
pick of the Guelph Storm. But at the time of the 2000 OHL draft, Brown was
not very well known. He didn’t have the high profile of some of the other
2000 draftees like Patrick Jarrett, Rick Nash, Tim Brent, or Bryan Rodney.
In fact almost all of the OHL teams didn’t even have him ranked anywhere on
their draft lists. The story is well know now. At the 200 OHL priority
selection when Guelph GM Alan Millar called the Ithaca, New York native’s
name, everyone was stunned (much to the same effect as at the ’98 draft,
when Erie Otters GM Sherry Bassin called then little known Brad Boyes in the
1st round). Figuring it was a waste of a pick. Fast forward through last
season, and the 6’0″-193lbs right winger is an early concensus top five pick
for the 2003 NHL entry draft.
Brown combines speed and pillow soft hands to account for his almost
goal-a-game pace this season. Brown, who just turned 17 is also in
consideration for team USA, who will compete at the WJC. Although the US
team doesn’t usually take younger playerse, it would be hard to ignore Brown
is he keeps up the play he has been displaying this year.
Brown and linemate Marty St.Pierre have been ripping up the Ontario League
scoresheets this season, and the prospect of both of them being in Guelph
for another 2-3 years is great for Guelph fans and management. Brown could
stand to get a little more physical (0 fights i Read more»
Following a tough 3-2 Spokane Chiefs loss to the Kamloops Blazers in WHL league action, Chiefs defenseman and Colorado Avalanche prospect Kurt Sauer was kind enough to do an interview with Hockeysfuture.
Born in St. Cloud, Minnesota, on January 16, 1981, Kurt started playing hockey at six in used equipment and skates that were a couple sizes too big however, this hasn’t deterred the big defenseman from pursuing an NHL dream. Playing for North Iowa in the USHL during the 98-99 season, Kurt intended on attending college, but was listed by the Western Hockey League’s Spokane Chiefs. After a visit to Spokane, Kurt opted to join the Chiefs for the 99/00 season and it appears to have been a wise decision.
Kurts rookie season saw him finish eighth overall in the WHL with a +36, but it lead the western conference and all WHL rookies. Kurt was also voted as co-rookie of the year in Spokane. Following the season, Kurt entered the NHL Entry Draft and Colorado used it’s fifth pick, 88th overall to snare Kurt.
A punishing hitter and rock solid stay at home defenseman, Kurt is a top prospect in the Avalanche system and when asked about Kurt, Chiefs general manager Tim Speltz said, “he’s a quality kid both on and off the ice, just a great guy.” Players around the league praise Kurt’s punishing physical prowess by saying they avoid, “going along the wall on Kurts side of the ice if at all possible.”
When asked if he was surprised that Kurt, considered by most, along with Dan Hamhuis of Prince George, to be the elite defenseman in the WHL this season, Speltz replie Read more»