Flyers European Update (10/28/01)

by Bill Meltzer

Updates on Flyers prospects playing in Europe.


Antero Niittymäki: Defending champion TPS Turku is off to their worst start in years. One of the bright spots, however, has been the early-season resurgence of goaltender Antero Niittymäki, who encountered a sophomore slump last season after a Rookie of the Year season in 1999-2000. Niittymäki has been splitting starts roughly in half with veteran Fredrik Norrena. In 8 starts to date, “Antsu” has a miniscule 1.69 goals against average and a .948 save percentage. However, those numbers have only been good enough for 4 wins (against 3 losses and a tie). Likewise, Norrena has played well (2.09 GAA, .926 save percentage) but has also suffered from lack of goal support, as his 2-5-2 record attests.

Marko Kauppinen : Defenseman Marko Kauppinen struggled terribly out of the gates for TPS, but has come on nicely over the last three weeks. In 17 games to date, he has 3 goals and 5 points. A few weeks ago, Kauppinen had a team-worst minus-five rating, but he now is the plus side of the ledger, with a plus-3.

Jussi Timonen : Playing for KalPa in Division One, Kimmo Timonen’s younger brother is playing his first season at the senior level. He has three points (all assists) in 12 games.


David Printz: Hulking defenseman David Printz was set to play college hockey for Northern Michigan this season, but opted instead to accept an offer to play for AIK in Elitserien. Printz, who was originally trained in the AIK junior developme Read more»

Goaltender plot thickens; ICE trade for Kolewaski

by Jeff Bromley

Goaltender plot thickens; ICE trade for Kolewaski

Ever since the New York Rangers decided that they were keeping standout goaltender Dan Blackburn on their NHL roster, the goaltending pendulum for the Kootenay ICE has been swinging back and forth between Jeff Harvey and rookie Bryan Bridges.

That pendulum just added another direction for it to swing.

The Kootenay ICE decided to add some depth to their goaltending department by acquiring Tony Kolewaski in a trade with the Saskatoon Blades on Thursday that saw the ever popular ‘future considerations’ go the other way. It was a move that Kootenay ICE G.M. Jeff Chynoweth says can be best construed as both a reflection on the current goaltending situation with the ICE and as an insurance policy. “I think it’s a little bit of both,” said Chynoweth. “You look at our record (6-7-2), we’re giving up less than 25 shots a game which is pretty impressive for Major Junior hockey.”

“Goaltending is such a key part and not to place all the blame on the goaltenders but at times this year it’s been a little weak.”

Weak, inconsistent, inexperienced call it what you want. The pleasant surprise of the play of rookie Bryan Bridges aside, the familiar rant throughout the corridors of the Rec/Plex all season long had a common ring to them – the goaltending, or lack thereof. After being treated to the stellar netminding of Dan Blackburn for the past two seasons, perhaps the ICE faithful were just spoiled. At any rate Chynoweth felt that something had to be done. “We felt this was an opportunity to get a look-see,” he sa Read more»

Avalanche Notes & News

by pbadmin

Here are some of my random notes and observations from the Avs season so far.


Unfortunately, I did not get to see as much of the rookies as I would have like to this year. The Avs spent most of their time in Sweden or Hershey and I mistakenly planned my vacation around a failed attempt to check out the USA Olympic practice in Colorado Springs. Little did I know that they would not let me in to watch. So I drove up Pike’s Peak to over look the World Arena and to get closer to the Hockey God’s. I ask them for good things to happen for team USA. Little did I know that less than a week later, patriotism would take on a whole new meaning. What I did see of the rookies were in their 3 preseason games:

Mikhail Kuleshov: By now everyone knows about the impression he made on Dallas Star goalie Ed Belfour. Kuleshov scored two spectacular “goal scores goals” in a short period of time. Both goals were unassisted goals in which he picked the pocket of a Dallas defender and whisked the puck past Belfour before he knew what had happened. After a very moving moment of silence and a great rendition of “ God Bless America” the crowd was ready and willing to show Eddie our love with a big round of BELLLLLLL-
FOOOOOORRRR chanting. Looking down on the bench from my nose-bleed seats, I distinctly remember Coach Hartly discussing some strategy with Kuleshov and he was listening very intensely. To me, this was a good sign that these two flashy goals weren’t going to his head.

Czech mates: It can’t really be call Read more»

Bolt Bits

by Megan Sexton

Lobb to Guelph

2001 4th round draft pick Aaron Lobb was traded
from the London Knights to the Guelph Storm.
A much needed change for the struggling prospect. Through the first ten games of the season,
Lobb posted one goal and two assists for the Knights. Since his trade, he has added two more assists in three games,
both on game winning goals.

“He needed a change,” said London General Manager Mark
Hunter of Lobb. “Sometimes a player
gets in a rut and it becomes an anchor on his back. I’ve been there myself.”

Ollie Slowly Making His Mark

Rookie Jimmie Olvestad has not scored since opening night in
Tampa Bay, but the young Swede is making his mark in other areas. He led the team in hits for most of the
season and is currently ranked second behind Pavel Kubina, with 10 hits in 8
games. While averaging 13:25 minutes a
game, Olvestad is one of only seven Lightning players ranked in the plus side
of the goal differential category.

Invitee Inked & Brother Tags Along

The Lightning have signed camp invitee Gaetan Royer and
assigned him to the Pensacola Ice Pilots of the East Coast Hockey League.Read more»

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