Zetterberg Enroute to Stardom

by Peter Westermark

Young Henrik Zetterberg led Timrå offensively last year when his newly
promoted team surprised and finished ninth in the Elitserien, a 12-team
league. This year, the points have been harder to come by both for
Zetterberg and his team. Timrå is currently last in the league with only
five wins after 33 games, and they are trailing 11th place Linköping by
eleven points. After coming off a point-a-game campaign last season, the Red
Wings prospect has a disappointing five goals and 14 assists in 32 games.
Still, Zetterberg was among the players named to the Swedish Olympic team,
and few hockey people are surprised.

First of all, observers refuse to put any blame on Zetterberg for his team’s
struggles. “He’s a loyal player and he has assumed a more defensive role
this year,” said coach Peo Larsson who resigned due to the team’s poor start
after four successful years at the helm. “The points will come for him. He
hasn’t performed badly.”

That Zetterberg, who plays centre for Timrå, has a ton of offensive ability
was evident in the last game of the Sweden Hockey Games where Zetterberg
suited up in a more offensive role. He scored four goals against the Finns –
one of them after a beautiful move that gave Swedish fans a déjà vu of Peter
Forsberg’s famous “stamp goal”. Detroit Red Wings General Manager Ken
Holland was in attendance and praised his prospect in the Swedish press
right after the game, stating “I think he’s good enough to play in the
Olympics right now.”

Perhaps there’s a personal agenda reflected in those c Read more»

HF Chats with Hawks prospect Mikhail Yakubov

by Jonathan Litterine

Red Deer Rebels center Mikhail Yakubov was selected 10th overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. This is his first year in North America. He previously played for Lada Togiatti in Russia.

Hockey’s Future: What were your thoughts about being drafted by such a classic team like Chicago?

Mikhail Yakubov: I was just happy to be selected, it really didn’t matter which team.

HF: Many Russians stay at home in Russia and play before trying to crack an NHL roster, why did you come over to North America?

MY: I signed with Chicago and they sent me to Red Deer, they felt I would get more playing time.

HF: How so enjoy playing in Red Deer?

MY: It’s been a lot of fun, the team is good and I get to play a lot. The long road trips are tough though.

HF: Being that this is your first season in North America, how has the lifestyle adjustment affected you?

MY: It’s been a very easy transition. The lifestyle in Canada is a little different than Russia but not that much.

HF: What do you feel the strongest/weakest parts of your game are?

MY: I’m not really sure. I’m always trying to improve both offensively and defensively.

HF: The Blackhawks never even interviewed you prior yo the Draft because they didn’t think you would be there at Number 10, were you surprised they selected you?

MY: I didn’t try to guess who would take me. I just figured I would go in the first round and that’s what happened.

HF: You had Read more»

Centennials On The Move

by Brad Coccimiglio

After 20 years, the city of North Bay is losing their junior hockey franchise.

The announcement was made this morning at an 11 a.m. news conference. Centennials co-owner has sold the team to a Saginaw, Michigan group that is headed by Wren Blair and Richard J. Garber.

Garber is the owner and president of Garber Management Group, which operates Garber Buick as well as seven other car companies in Michigan, Illinois and Florida.

Through their first 15 home games this season the Centennials have reportedly lost around $5000 per game and over the past several seasons have lost more than $200,000 per season. The team was averaging 2,298 fans per home game through the end of November. Only the Kingston Frontenacs, Toronto St. Michael’s Majors and Brampton Battalio have averaged less fans per game.

The Centennials will play out of the 6,000 seat Saginaw County Event Center next fall. The arena underwent a $14 million American renovation project recently as well.

This isn’t the first time that the Centennial franchise has been sold or re-located. The franchise entered the OHL as the St. Catharines Blackhawks in 1973-74, then moved to Niagra Falls before the 1976-77 season before moving to North Bay in 1982-83.

New co-owner Wren Blair had initially attemted to bring an expansion OHL franchise to the city of Saginaw but was turned down. The city was reportedly on a list of possible sites for the OHL to expand to but when Blair attempted to bring a franchise to the city the OHL was not yet ready for another expansion.

Blair has been involved i Read more»

WJC games recap – Day 3

by Ivana Paulova

Written by Ivana Paulova and Robert Neuhauser

Another playing day in Pardubice and Hradec Kralove ended by disappointment for Czech players.
Czechs lost to Slovakia 0:1, USA tied with Sweden 2:2, Canada beaten Switzerland 6:1 and Finland
won over Russia 2:1. Team Canada is performing extremly well where as young Czechs are still
struggling. You can read more about each of these games in our report.

Group A

Czech Republic – Slovakia 0:1

33:12 SVK Kopecky (Pohanka, Velebny) 1:0

Czech team started the game with offensive pressure which was due to a high number of Slovak fouls.
But the Czechs were not able to take advantage of three five on three power plays. Goalie of the Slovak
selection Peter Budaj had a great day and thanks to his unbelievable saves none of the Czech 45
shots ended in goal, Peter Budaj’s comment: “The whole team performed really well, we all
promised to work for the team and we were able to do it for the whole game. It was probably the
best game in my career and I’m happy that it was heplful for the team”
. The only goal of the
game was scored by Tomas Kopecky who performed really
well and he appears to be in a great shape at this tournament. On the Czech side Ales Hemsky was
awarded the best player and he responded to the game: I think we played well but didn’t
have luck on our side. We didn’t score so we couldn’t win. During power plays we missed
explosiveness. We were a bit nervous as well”
. He had couple of good opportunities but did not
manage to score Read more»

Western Hockey League – Standings and Scoring Leaders

by HF Staff


	Eastern Conference	 GP	W	L	T	OTL	GF	GA	Pts	Last 10	Streak

East Division

Regina Pats 39 21 11 3 4 130 96 49 8-1-1 1T Brandon Wheat Kings 34 21 11 0 2 127 105 44 7-3-0 3W Moose Jaw Warriors 41 16 20 4 1 125 140 37 4-5-1 1L Prince Albert Raiders 37 13 20 1 3 119 150 30 6-4-0 2W Saskatoon Blades 37 11 20 4 2 101 134 28 1-8-1 1W

Central Division

Swift Current Broncos 38 23 10 3 2 140 113 51 6-4-0 1L Red Deer Rebels 36 21 10 5 0 119 88 47 3-6-1 3W Lethbridge Hurricanes 36 18 12 6 0 132 107 42 3-5-2 2L Calgary Hitmen 36 17 18 1 0 135 139 35 7-3-0 1L Medicine Hat Tigers 40 15 23 1 1 141 181 32 5-5-0 1L

Western Conference

B.C. Division

Prince George Cougars 35 21 9 3 2 130 93 47 5-4-1 1L Kamloops Blazers 34 21 10 1 2 133 109 45 5-5-0 1W Kootenay Ice 38 19 16 3 0 138 121 41 4-6-0 3L Kelowna Rockets 36 14 17 2 3 123 123 33 3-7-0 5L Vancouver Giants 36 9 23 2 2 107 171 22 4-6-0 1W

U.S. Division

Spokane Chiefs 39 22 12 3 2 127 113 49 4-4-2 1W Portland Winter Hawks 35 17 12 3 3 137 117 40 5-4-1 1L Tri-City Americans 37 16 18 3 0 122 135 35 3-6-1 1W Seattle Thunderbirds 36 10 23 2 1 106 157 23 4-4-2 2L LEADING SCORERS Player, Club GP G A Pts +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG Barrett, Nathan, LET 36 24 33 57 6 52 9 3 5 1 Kopecky, Tomas, LET 32 21 28 49 16 58 7 1 2 1 Balej, Josef, POR 33 26 22 48 12 22 12 2 2 0 Jo Read more»

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