After a long, drawn out, miserably hot and oppressive summer without hockey and no zamboni in sight, the only thing us Devils fans could do was discuss the upcoming season and speculate on what events that could possibly unfold via the message boards. Well, all of that is finally over and after an excellent training camp and pre-season, especially for the rookies and minor leaguers, there is only one thing that the Devils HF staff can do before the season gets into full swing and start filing reports about our favorite future Devils. And that is reconsider and re-rank the Devils top 20 prospects for the upcoming season. To probably no one’s surprise, there was some movement within the rankings, but nothing major nor nothing unanticipated. The largest climb in position was about 8 spots and the largest drop was 6 places, but most other movements were, on average, only one or two spots. One player graduated and one player was removed from the top twenty. Well, without further due, we would like to present the new top 20 prospects currently in the Devils organization.
1. Ari Ahonen- Goalie- River Rats, 6’2”, 172 lbs. Previous Ranking: #1
After signing a contract with the Devils last spring, Ari has completed his first training camp in New Jersey. Ari did, however, spend some time in Albany with Jacques Caron and the rest of the Rats. Although he did not receive any ice time during the pre-season for the Devils, he did have a solid camp. Ahonen will be working closely with newly hired Rats assistant coach and former Devils’ net minder Chris Terreri for the Read more»
Well, they say that first impressions count for a lot. The first time you come home with an “A” paper. That first kiss in the tree fort out in your back yard and of course the first time you witness a credulous, proficient hockey team playing in your own rink.
Fans of the Lowell Lock Monsters got just that this past weekend. They were treated to what looks like an superbly experienced hockey club.
What’s diffrent, you might ask? Almost everything is the answer. The Lowell Lock Monsters are newly affiliated with the Carolina Hurricanes. Which means a complete new team (mostly comprised of former IHL Cinncinatti Cyclones), new uniforms (incorporates the Carolina look) a new head coach,assistant coach,trainer, front office staff..so on and so forth. Most noticible though, is a new winning attitude.
Games played this week featured division rivals Manchester Monarchs and long time foes St. John Leafs.
Lowell 6 Manchester 3
Home town hero Greg Koehler opened the scoring, taking a pretty dish from between the net from Mike Zigomanis, with a one-timer in front at 6:38. Lowell and Manchester both played with a lot of pep but Lowell seemed to get the breaks when they were needed.
Manchester scored 55 seconds apart on tallies by Jerred Smithson and Eric Healey to go up 2-1.
Newly appointed captain Byron Ritchie would put Lowell ahead. Ritchie scored the final two goals of the period, including a shorthanded tally with 10 seconds left that deflected off the stick of Tomas Zizka and between Fiset’s pads.
Ritchie’s fir Read more»
The Calder Corner
Ilya Bryzgalov: Replaced Shield in middle of 2nd period, 12 shots, 11 saves
As a general rule, I will always list goals and assists and other noteworthy stats. If there is more to be noted, HF encourages our readers to talk about them below!
Albany Week in Review #1
Devs’ AHL Club starts 9th season
Coaching changes highlighted the off-season activity of the Albany River Rats, who this week began their ninth American Hockey League season, all as the affiliate of the New Jersey Devils. Bob Carpenter was promoted to head coach of the Albany River Rats, from associate coach. Hired as assistant coaches were Geordie Kinnear, who retired last year from the Rats due to injury and who holds a number of defense records for Albany, and Chris Terreri, recently retired from NHL goaltending, to serve as goaltender coach for the Rats.
Carpenter’s promotion to top bench boss followed two years under the tutelage of John Cunniff, who resumes scouting duties for the Devils after a five-year tenure as Albany coach. Carpenter began his post-NHL playing days as an assistant coach in Albany on August 12, 1999, with a promotion to associate coach the following season.
The former standout centerman who was the first American player ever drafted in the first round (3rd overall in the 1981 entry draft), Carpenter gained notoriety by making the cover of Sports Illustrated as a high school senior. He retired from play in 1999, after 728 points (320G; 408A) in 1,178 NHL games.
For a hockey guy new to the coaching business, Carpenter was in the right place at the right time for some on-the-job training. When the Albany River Rats were eliminated in the first round by Rochester in the 2000-2001 Calder Cup playoffs, Carpenter got called up by recently-hired Devils’ coach, Larry Rob Read more»
Join me, if you will, for a trip back to March of the year 2000. The Blues were comfortably cruising along to their first President’s Trophy. The goaltending duo of Roman Turek and Jamie McLennan manned the nets, allowing fewer than two goals per game. Marc Bergevin, Rico Persson and Dave Ellett patrolled the blueline while Craig Conroy and Scott Pellerin handled the penalty killing duties.
Seems like decades ago, doesn’t it? It’s only been eighteen months. If the St. Louis Blues team of a year and a half ago were to take one look at today’s offering, they probably wouldn’t be able to recognize half of them. In fact, over that short period, the Blues have for one reason or another, parted ways with a group of players large enough to start their own franchise; complete with 3 goaltenders, 18 forwards, and 12 defensemen.
For the duration of that record-breaking season, the talk of the town was the Cycling Slovak line, consisting of Pavol Demitra, Michal Handzus, and Lubos Bartecko. Best known for their puck-moving style, the Slovak Pack, as they were also known, would buzz around the opposing faceoff circle and with a series of short drop passes, making defenders utterly dizzy. Their circus-like moniker, highlight-reel goals, and undeniable chemistry made the entertaining Slovaks the most recognizable symbol of Blues’ hockey in ’99-’00.
A singular moment in March of 2000 would forever change the face of the organization, not to mention that of winger Pavol Demitra. The
scintillating success of the Cycling Slovaks came to a screeching
halt a Read more»