The Blake Trade- Good for the System?

by Tony Calfo
on
I am one of the many who did not like the Rob Blake trade. Rob Blake is a one-of-a-kind player who will never be replaced by another player. Even as the Kings prosper since his trade, that big force on the blue line is absent.

As time goes on and the trade is further dissected, it is becoming obvious that the Kings had two goals from this trade: 1- Make up for Blake with a solid defenseman and a forward who is defensively responsible. 2- Take a huge step towards resurrecting the farm system by adding as many as three top draft picks. All in all, it seems to be a good idea.

The Kings were faced with the fact that Blake would not resign. The blame may lie with both parties, but the fact was that Blake would not sign with the Kings. Most King fans thought that Taylor would use Blake to get a goaltender. When he didn’t, the Kings were left without their top defenseman and without a goalie who could keep them in games. The acquisition of the steady Aaron Miller and addition of an experienced goaltender in Felix Potvin has at worst put a band-aid on the problem. Potvin may not be as quick with the glove, but he is seldom out of position the way Fiset and Storr often are, and the Kings defensemen have made a commitment to protecting their zone. The result has been the best play by the Kings all season, and maybe even back to last season.

As for the system, it can really feel the effects of the Kings trade. If DT can select the right prospect and draft two more quality players in the first round, the Kings could add these picks to the ot Read more»

Stars prospects notebook

by Keith Riskey
on

Notebook — 3/7/2001

Utah Grizzlies Notes

The Utah Grizzlies are presently mired in a long, so far winless, road trip (0-2-1) that

doesn’t end until three games from now in Chicago (on Sunday). Coach Bourne had publically stated that he expected a

big pick up from the team, given the recent seasoned NHL additions: Roman Lyashenko

and Tyler Bouck. Unfortunately, though Bouck and Lyashenko provided a little offense

in yesterday’s 5-4 loss to the Aeros, the Grizzlies continued their four game losing

streak.

In one interesting Hitchcock-esque move from the game, however, Coach Bourne placed

Richard Jackman (one of the hottest, most dominant players on the Grizzlies) at a

forward wing position for the 3rd period — sparking two additional Utah goals in the 3rd.

Jackman, though he has yet to make his mark as a solid NHL player, has been one of the best

Grizzlies this year in the 40 games he has played, averaging about a point every two games

as a defenseman. Furthermore, defensive coach Craig Ludwig continues to rave about how

solid Jackman has become behind his own blue line.
Read more»

Vaclav Nedorost – an avalanche of talent

by Robert Neuhauser
on

It looks like the Czech great hockey prospect Vaclav Nedorost became a wrong surname. Nedorost,
meaning non-grown in Czech, has no signs of a small frame or a small talent. In fact, this
center is the future star of the Colorado Avalanche…
No doubt, Joe Sakic will depart or hang his skates sometimes. So will Peter Forsberg. After that
it’ll be time for Vaclav Nedorost to take over as the No.1 center for the Avs. Pierre Lacroix
knows which players are among the Colorado prospects and he can count on Vaclav already by this
time.
Vaclav started playing hockey as a small kid for Ceske Budejovice when he was five. He followed
the footsteps of his one year older brother David. The Nedorost guys went together to the rink
and competed in every hockey skill. Of course younger Vaclav wanted to skate faster, shoot more
accurate and be stronger than his older brother. And so they competed, besides the coaches
immediately recognized what a natural talent do these two have. This lasted till Vaclav was
nine. That year David suffered a very serious injury which prevented him from playing hockey
for years till he was eligible to play in the midget league. So Vaclav went to the rink alone.
Soon he played against guys older than him and he was able to dominate also at this level.
Vaclav wasn’t a kid who would love sitting at home and learning, instead of it he played sports.
Till midget age he played soccer besides hockey and is an accomplished player.

He is also a
huge NHL fan who is interested in the theoretical part of hockey. He likes the Read more»

Rangers Make Some More Moves

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Vitali Yeremeyev’s recent play for the Rangers is living proof that success in the AHL does not always translate into success in the NHL. Yeremeyev, who shot up the depth chart this season after playing great down in Hartford, has been roughed up pretty bad so far in his stint in the NHL.

Yeremeyev is 0-4-0 in 4 games in the NHL this season, allowing 16 goals on 120 shots. He has a 4.53 GAA and an .846 Save percentage during those games. Although he has looked very good in practice, he hasn’t played the same during the games. He’ll be excellent for 10 minutes, than he’ll give up 3 goals in 2 minutes, which was basically what we saw Monday night in a 5-2 loss against the New York Islanders. Yeremeyev made some great saves in the first half of the 1st period, but then everything went downhill from there, as the Islanders goals just starting to keep piling up.

One thing I have noticed about Yeremeyev that needs improvement is the fact that he comes out too far on breakaways. He has let up 3 breakaway goals, and all because he was way too far out, allowing the player to just go around him and tuck the puck into the open side of the net. Martin Straka scored against him this way in Pittsburgh, and so did Jason Blake and Kenny Jonsson on Monday at the Garden. I’m surprised though that the Rangers have given up a couple of breakaways with the rookie in net, as you would think the Rangers would tighten up defensively do help their young goalie out. But, that hasn’t been the case and one can only wonder why.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that Yeremeyev will be r Read more»