Well, here we are again at the beginning of another OHL season. I love this time of year, so much to look forward to on ice rinks around the world. Before I get going on the outlook for the Belleville Bulls this season, I would just like to congratulate Canada’s under-18 team on bringing home the gold medal, proving that we still have great talent in this country and the resources to develop it. I would also like to extend my deepest sympathies to all those affected, in whatever way, by the tragic events this past week.
I see that The Hockey News has picked the Bulls to finish last in the division for the second straight year. Pin it up in the locker room next to the division title won by last year’s team. I have contended in the past that it is a futile exercise to rank junior league teams because of the high turnover of players and the steep improvement some players make from one season to the next. Examples on last years team alone can be sited to make this point. Kyle Wellwood went from a promising young player to one of the best players in the league. Randy Rowe began his career in Belleville as a 4th line checker and ended up as the leagues top sniper. If prognosticators last year would have known these two players would have turned out that kind of season, I’m sure they would not have been picked last. So any way, let’s see what surprises the Bulls have in store for the league this year.
Mike Renzi Kyle Wellwood Nate Robinson
David Silverstone Matt Stajan Cody McCormick
Marc Rancourt Andre Read more»
The final installment of the 2001-02 previews, for unranked prospects.
Fedor Fedorovthe former Port Huron Border Cat was selected by the Canucks in the third round of this year’s draft. He re-entered the draft, after failing to come to terms with his original team, the Tampa Bay Lightning. Let me first start out by saying that all Fedorov’s are not created equal. Fedor doesn’t have the talent of his older brother, Sergei, but that doesn’t mean that he’s not a talented player in his own right. Fedor is big (6’4″) and 217 pounds, and uses his size to his advantage. He had a great season in Sudbury, leading the Wolves in scoring, after being relegated to a checking role the season before. A fast skater with great balance, Fedor can open up the ice with his skating ability, much like his older brother, Sergei. He has good basic offensive skills, but nothing to suggest that he’ll be much more than an average offensive contributor at the NHL level. Fedor could possibly become a part of the Canucks future, he’s one of the few solid wingers in the system. He’s already played one season of minor-pro, and has worked hard at improving his game in Sudbury. He might make an impact if he goes to Manitoba this season. He remains unsigned as of today.
Will: Play hard, no matter where he ends up.
Can’t: Shake the shadow of Sergei.
Expect: Hard work, and good results, hopefully in the AHL.
Don’t Expect: An NHL promotion right away. Read more»
Bad days for all of us
New York and Washington were attacked by terrorists on Tuesday morning. The peoples here in Germany and all over the world are shocked, too. In an announcement german chancellor Gerhard Schröder told us that this wasn’t an attack against the USA, they attacked the whole world. In the darkest time of our whole lifes, our thoughts are with the relatives of the innocent killed people and with the helpers in these places of mourning and destruction. We would like to offer our condolences to the victims. Let us remember them and their families in our prayers.
Bad days for hockey, too
Saku Koivu, finnish center of the Montreal Canadiens, has cancer. This announcement shocked the Canadiens’ fans and hockey fans all over the world. Many peoples died due to these illness, others, like well known athletes Mario Lemieux or the winner of this years Tour de France, Lance Armstrong won the fight against it. Saku, we all hope that you will win the fight against the horrible illness and we wish you all the best.
Ian Young, a 32 year old former hockey player died in a car crash near Calgary at the end of the last week. Young played for several german team Read more»
Life still goes on despite the attacks yesterday, the most tragic day in
American history. The Detroit Red Wings took to the ice for their first
day of training camp in Traverse City, MI.
“We’re here and we’re working out, but everybody’s heart and soul in
our organization are with the families of those who were lost yesterday”
said the Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland.
Holland also said that there was much discussion the night before to
decide whether or not to hold training camp as scheduled. The final
decision was to hold camp as planned to offer a little happiness to
those who had planned on coming and give them the opportunity to take
their minds off of the attacks for awhile.
The fans got their first glimpse of Dominik Hasek, Luc Robitaille, and
Brett Hull practicing as a team with the Detroit Red Wings.
Darren McCarty brought a smile to a young boys face as he gave a playful
punch to the glass where the boy was leaning his chin on the boards.
The veteran Igor Larionov and prospect Paul Ballantyne battled along the
boards this morning in a drill in Team C’s practice. Ballantyne defended
Larionov amazingly well, keeping Larionov from passing the puck out from
behind the net. The 19 year old Ballantyne will most likely be seen as a
regular on the Detroit blue line in coming years.
When Team C’s practice was over teams A and B came onto the ice for two
scrimmage games. Each scrimmage consisting of one twenty minute period.
The crowd cheered as the players skated onto the ice recognizing their
favorite Read more»