At the start of the 1999-2000 season, The Hockey News picked the South Carolina Stingrays to win it all in the ECHL. As it turned out, they were a year off. Additions to the team like Ryan Brindley, Zach Ham, Joel Irving, and Scott Swanson proved to be the difference between the team that underachieved, and the team that over achieved to beat the Brabham Cup Champion Trenton Titans. The Stingrays saw a season that had an initially bleak outlook when the team started 1-3-1 turn into the stuff dreams are made of through a season with plenty of ups and downs.
The season for the ‘Rays was filled with call-ups, and when Leading scorer Jason Sessa was called up to St. John’s of the AHL, many writers wrote off the Stingrays as having the ability to make a run deep into the playoffs. As it turned out, the loss of Jason Sessa was not something that would slow the team down. With Jason Sessa out of the lineup, Coach Rick Adduono made a call to Chad Remackel about playing for the Stingrays. Remackel, who drives a cement truck, and wasn’t able to play with the Stingrays for the whole year because he wouldn’t be able to support his wife and children was happy to say yes.
Apparently, it was an intangible Trenton had not counted on. When Trenton played South Carolina in the final meeting before the playoffs, South Carolina was an injury-riddled team, also suffering from 5 call-ups, including Adam Calder to Norfolk, Ryan Brindley to Rochester, and Scott Swanson to Springfield. With so many Stingrays players out, Trenton humiliated the team 8-0. With t Read more»
June 1st, 2001 may go down as one of the darkest days in Bruins’ history. The Bruins failed to come to terms with all four of their prospects eligible to either reenter the draft or leave for unrestricted free agency. When next season rolls around, chances are good that none of Seamus Kotyk, Kyle Wanvig, Donald Choukalos, or Martin Grenier will be wearing black and gold. Goaltender Kotyk and behemoth defenseman Grenier will become unrestricted free agents by virtue of age (both are 21, buck the 20-year-old age cutoff for North American draft-eligible players). Right wing Wanvig and goaltender Choukalos will re-enter the draft.
Of the four, Choukalos is the easiest loss to justify. While at times looking solid, the WHL Regina Pat’s netminder was far from a standout. With John Grahame, Andrew Raycroft, and Seamus Kotyk appearing to be solid prospects, the need for depth in goal wasn’t quite as urgent as at other positions.
What makes Donald’s loss painful, however, is the subsequent failure of Bruins’ management to sign Kotyk. The smallish Ottawa 67’s netminder (5 feet, 11 inches, 185 lbs.) wasn’t considered anything special coming into this season, but steadily improving play and a fantastic Memorial Cup tournament saw his value increase significantly. Many Bruins’ fans were excited over the prospect of a Kotyk-Raycroft tandem in Providence of the AHL. Alas, it will never be. While there is still an outside chance Kotyk will sign with Boston as a free agent, odds are good that another team will offer significantly more m Read more»
First steps with three years
Calw, a small town in germany between Stuttgart and the french border. And it is also the birthplace of Marcel Goc, the biggest german talent now and possible the biggest german talent ever.
He was born there in August of 1983 and start skating with just three years. Starting to play hockey comes one year later. Searching for a hockey club near Calw he find a team in Esslingen, a district of Stuttgart. There he played for the ESG Esslingen in his PeeWee- and Bantam-age till the summer of 1997. The coaches and scouts from Schwenningen saw Goc’ big talent. His smooth stick-handling and his skating are unique for a german player in his age. So, Marcel Goc joined the Schwenninger ERC youth team. Their pro team appear in the highest german hockey league, the DEL. The club isn’t a rich one and gave cheaper players and some natives a fair chance to get a spot. A good future and a goal for him.
Needing more competition
Playing in the youth team from Schwenningen helped him in his developing progress, but he need more than that level. The german youth leagues aren’t so good. Especially the 23 goals in 12 games in his second season there says: He need more competition at a higher level.
His first option is to play in the german junior league, the ‘normal’ way for a hockey player her Read more»
I’m sure the Rangers were excited to see two blue-chip prospects unable to come to terms with their respective teams before Friday’s 5:00 PM deadline for 1999 draftees to be signed who were drafted out of major junior (OHL, WHL or QMJHL). Those two players are Kyle Wanvig, a 6’2 220 pound winger who was drafted in the 3rd round (89th overall) of the ’99 draft by the Boston Bruins, and Barrett Heisten, a 6’1 195 pound winger who was drafted in the 1st round (20th overall) in ’99 by the Buffalo Sabres. Kyle Wanvig will re-enter this month’s draft while Barrett Heisten will become an unrestriced free agent.
Kyle Wanvig is a dominating power forward who had an outstanding season this year in the WHL with the Memorial Cup winning Red Deer Rebels, notching 55 goals, 101 points and 202 penalty minutes in 69 games during the regular season. He was awarded as the Memorial Cup MVP after he totaled 2 goals and 6 points in 4 games during the tournament. It appeared as if he was going to be Toronto Maple Leafs’ property after they supposedly acquired the rights to Wanvig for Jonas Hoglund and a 6th round pick, however the NHL nixed the deal at the last minute as they didn’t receive a fax of Wanvig’s signing with the Leafs until 5 minutes after the deadline. Wanvig will now re-enter the draft, and it is anyone’s guess where he could be picked. It is unlikely he will go in the 1st round, but the 2nd round is a definite possibility. Some scouts question whether Wanvig’s skating is NHL-calibre, and many feel that could hold him back from developing into a dominate power forward. Howev Read more»
The glory years conjur up names like Coffey, Murphy, and Samuelsson. Regal defenseman, who in thier prime brought Lord Stanley to the Steel City with graceful stick-handling, pin-point passes, and viscious face-washes. One instant they held the prestigious Cup above thier heads and fans anxiously dreamt of a dynasty in the making, the next instant they were gone. Replaced by mediocre journeyman defenders that could barely skate let alone clear the crease. Several years whisked by with faint glimmers of hope that soon turned to bitter disappointment. All that is about to finally change.
Enter the new guard. An exciting generation of blueline talent that was carefully homegrown to fill the skates of heroes past. They have honed thier craft in the recesses of the minor leagues and are now prepared to unleash thier fury on the unsuspecting NHL.
Meet the two-way phenom Andrew Ference, already battle tested in the war zone that is the NHL playoffs. Behold the brick wall that is Josef Melichar. Keep your eyes fixed on the shifty playmaking Chris Kelleher.
Andrew Ference has not let the franchise down since the 5’10” 190lbs. Edmonton native was drafted in 1997. Although short, he is solid and absorbs a lot of punishment. He exhibits enormous poise with the puck and is not afraid to put a shot on net. He plays an in your face style that continually has bigger and stronger opponents pounding him into the corners and he never loses balance or control. He is physical, mobile, and above all else dependable. Andrew has produced at every level and i Read more»