Optimism about prospects

by pbadmin
on

Although it has been preached at nausea, the Flames do have a tremendous core of young players of which to build around. Today’s crop of prospects is very encouraging; the blueline is stacked. Calgary has one of the best young groups of D-men in the NHL. The only problem is inexperience. Robyn Regehr and Denis Gauthier are similar players who are on top of their respective games when they have a chip on their shoulder, and are playing mean, assertive hockey. They let up, however, when, their play becomes apathetic. However, with time comes experience, which will see these two blossom. Toni Lydman had a promising rookie year.

Although he was a little shaky to being the campaign, he improved greatly towards the end of the season. He played as well as could be expect from a rookie at the beginning of the year, but his defensive game really improved toward the final games when he began initiating physical contact. Also, his offensive game improved dramatically towards the end of the year. For a team that had only about 12 or so goals from the point, Lydman is god-sent. Like Gauthier and Regehr, he will only improve with time.

With these three under the tutelage of Brad ‘Sarge’ MacRimmon, they will improve. Derek Morris is the key to this group. This young man is outstanding in nearly all facets of the game. He’s responsible defensively, initiates offense, works the power play, plays physically, logs mammoth ice time, and has character. He will emerge as an all-star soon enough. However, he would have been even better had he started the year in Read more»

IHL Ceases Operations and Folds

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

IHL NEWS

The International Hockey League announced today it was folding after 56 years of operation.
The 11-team league will immediately cease day-to-day activities but six of those teams will continue to play in the American Hockey League.

“It is with great sadness that I make this announcement,” IHL president and CEO Douglas Moss said in a statement. “With the landscape of minor-league hockey continuing to evolve, the league’s board of governors determined that this was a necessary decision.”
The governors voted to fold the league during a conference call on Friday.

For next season, the AHL will take in the Manitoba Moose, Chicago Wolves, Houston Aeros, Milwaukee Admirals, Utah Grizzlies and Grand Rapids Griffins from the IHL. Grand Rapids has a player development arrangement with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators while the Moose becomes the new farm club for the Vancouver Canucks.

Monday’s announcement means the IHL will not be coming to Toronto. The Toronto Roadrunners were to begin play in the 2002-03 season at a refurbished CNE Coliseum.
The IHL was founded at a meeting at the Norton Palmer Hotel in Windsor, Ont., on Dec. 5, 1945. It had just four original teams – two in Detroit and two in Windsor.
The Detroit Auto Club beat Detroit Bright’s Goodyear 2-1 in the final series to win the first Turner Cup the following spring.

The league expanded over the next 30 years, but remained mostly a regional circuit based in the U.S. midwest.
After Thomas Berry was named commissioner in 1989, the IHL, which had reached Indianapol Read more»

Islanders Get One Right: Sign Mapletoft

by Jonathan Litterine
on
The Islanders make a lot of mistakes. Last year they blew their Top draft
pick. But this week they got one right. They signed center Justin Mapletoft
to a three year deal. Yet in typical Islanders fashion, they made everyone
sweat it out. Had the Islanders not been able to reach a deal with Mapletoft, he would have had to re-enter this month’s 2001 Draft. Mapletoft who had 43
goals, 77 assists and 120 points this year lead his Red Deer Rebels to the
CHL Memorial Cup. In addition to that, Mapletoft was named the WHL’s Most
Valuable Player. Mapletoft was a 5th round selection of the Isles, 130th
overall in 1999. I wouldn’t even want to see the faces of Islanders fans if
Mike Milbury couldn’t come to terms with this kid. He is considered by many
to be the steal of the 1999 draft. Smartly the Isles paid him what he wanted
and locked him up for 3 seasons. Hopefully for most Islanders fans, You will
see Mapletoft on the Nassau Coliseum ice for a lot longer then 3 seasons.
With a guy with Mapletoft’s skill and desire it makes you wonder how all the
teams ahead of the Islanders missed Mapletoft?, Mike Milbury credits his WHL
scout Earl Ingarfield for finding this diamond in the rough. The Isles make a
lot of mistakes, and most 5th round picks turn out to be mistakes. But the
Islanders are going to be winners for a long time with this one.

Habs Sign Two of Five

by Chris Boucher
on
The June 1st deadline came, and the June 1st deadline went. Although contract offers were made to all five of the Canadiens’ draft picks affected by the deadline, only Marc-André Thinel, and Jerome Marois were actually inked to deals.

Thinel and Marois were each signed to 3-year deals. Financial terms were not disclosed. By not signing Dusty Jamieson, Matt Carkner, and Sean Dixon the Canadiens renounce all rights to these players. Jamieson and Dixon will both re-enter the draft, as they had not turned 20 by the age-deadline. Carkner however will now become a free-agent.

Alexander Buturlin, the Canadiens’ 2nd round pick in the ’99 Draft does not fall under this deadline. He is considered a European player, as he was still playing in Russia when the Canadiens drafted him. Other ’99 draftees not affected by the deadline are Matt Shasby and Chris Dyment who both play US College hockey. As well as Vadim Tarasov and Mikko Hyytia who (as of this moment) play in Europe.

The possibility still exists that the Canadiens could re-draft Jamieson or Dixon during this year’s draft. However for that to happen, either player would have to be ranked higher by Habs’ scouts than all other players still available at that point in the draft.

Feel free to e-mail me with any questions or comments. Just click on my name at the top of this page. I am a former goaltender with writing, scouting, and coaching experience.

Kings Kick Three More to the Curb

by Tony Calfo
on
The Kings annual right of summer, losing once-heralded draft picks because they don’t sign them, continued with two pretty significant names slipping by. In addition to J.F. Nogues, the Kings lost two promising draft picks in Cory Campbell and Brian McGrattan.

Brian McGratten was having a career year until suffering a serious injury, and that can be the only reason they would let him go. McGrattan was showing signs of a true NHL game and would complement the other prospects the Kings are grooming, but that will not be. The Kings are tight-lipped about these maneuvers, but this one raises some eyebrows.

The other move was the Cory Campbell decision. Campbell seemed to overcome some confidence issues to show some solid play this season, but that has now gone to the wayside. I guess another Jamie Storr psyche in the crease was too much of a risk for the Kings.

While I personally find these two maneuvers troubling, it is the trend that concerns me most. While the Kings are loading up on draft picks, the question is what good will they do if we never sign them? Coming off a season in which great strides were made, and a season where many Kings’ fans learned to trust Dave Taylor through what looked like some questionable moves, Kings fans are again forced to trust that management is sticking to the plan.

While this is one I don’t see, here’s hoping I am wrong. Keep your eyes out for more on this story.

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