A perfect nickname for this towering Russian prodigy who has played his third season for the Sudbury
Wolves. Last season Alexei Semenov was named OHL defensive defenseman of the year and by all accounts this season should result with the same accolads.
A steady marked improvement in all aspects of his game will give him a legitimate chance of cracking the Oilers roster next season.
His most appealing attributes are a perfect fit for the needs of the present Oilers blueline. His best qualities include his devastating open ice hits and menacing presence in front of the net. Alexei also provides a excellent shot from the point and would be an excellant alternativeon the second powerplay unit along side Tom Poti. Whats even more appealing to the Oilers managemnt is his wing span and mobility will make it near impossible to beat him one on one.
A nice progression in his point total over the last two seasons give the coaching staff reason to believe some of that talent will come forth to the next level.
99-00 GP-65 G-9 A-35 Pts-44 Pim-135
00-01 GP-67 G-21 A-42 Pts-63 Pim-106
00-01 Playoff’s Gp-12 G-4 A-13 Pts-17 Pim-17
Adding Semenov to the mix could allow the Oilers to have 3 solid units on defense and pair the two offense defense with a solid efensive partner without tearing up the Jason Smith and Igor Ulanov duo. By pairing Alexei Semenov and Tom Poti together it would allow Tom to be more offensivly creative without having to worry about the backend. Plus an added bonus is since both of them are young they wi Read more»
The Manitoba Moose are cashing in on the rise of former goaltender Johan Hedberg, who is making a name for himself – and the Moose – while guarding the nets for the Pittsburgh Penguins in their current NHL playoff battle with the Washington Capitals.
A career minor leaguer, Hedberg became an immediate fan favourite after posting a 7-1-1 record for the Penguins down the regular season stretch, then securing the starting role for the playoffs.
“They’re buying anything that has `Hedberg’ on it,” said Tim Scott, the Moose vice-president of marketing, communication and corporate development.
“They’re buying Moose antlers. They’re buying $300 US game jerseys. They’re buying Moose foam No. 1 hands. They’re looking for Moose-call horns.
“It’s turning out to be fun, that’s for sure.”
It’s also turning out to be profitable, while generating exposure for the Moose across North America.
That’s largely due to the fact that Hedberg is still wearing his Moose mask in Pittsburgh.
Scott believes the sale of Moose gear will grow exponentially in Pittsburgh – where the fans chant “Moose” every time Hedberg makes a big save – if the Penguins advance further in the NHL playoffs.
“It’ll continue because this Moose mania was created by the fans,” Scott noted. “It wasn’t created by the team or a marketing guy.”
For example, the Moose have just sent the Penguins 200 Hedberg playing cards in exchange of a game-worn, autographed Mario Lemieux jersey, which they will probably auction off for Read more»
On April, 12th, 2001, was the time to start the biggest event for the Under-18 teams in the
season. The Under-18 WJC began in the Finnish cities of Lahti and Heinola on that day. The
Czech team appeared in the Group B along with teams from Russia, Sweden, Norway and Germany.
Those were the opponents they had to beat if they wanted to win the group. All the players
were eager to jump into the action and show something to the NHL scouts, but the main task
remained the victory of the team.
There was one change on the roster during the last minute. Peterborough Petes Lukas Krajicek
suffered a shoulder injury recently, which prevented him from playing at the Under-18 WJC.
He was replaced by Ondrej Danicek, 2001 eligible defenseman who played this season for the
juniors of Zlin. Danicek is a steady defenseman with good positional play, good passing skills,
but only average shot. But he did fit into the team quite well, he played at most of the
tournaments of the Under-18 teams this season.
The first opponent were the Russians, a team stocked with NHL prospects. Ilya Kovalchuk shouldn’t
be picked lower than second at this year’s draft, Stanislav Chistov is a projected top 5 pick,
Alexander Perejougin could also slip into the first round just like the goalie Andrei Medvedev
and the defense boasts top prospects Fedor Tyutin or Viktor Uchevatov. Russia is the hottest
favorite at this WJC and a solid game with them would boast the Czech confidence a lot.
But it didn’t look like that. Igor Grigorenko scored a shorthanded marker in the last minute Read more»
The Curtain falls on Kootenay’s season
Signaling the finale of the 2000-01
season, the Kootenay ICE returned to
their Cranbrook Rec/Plex dressing room
this past Thursday to clean out their
stalls and attend individual departure
meetings with management before
scattering to their respective hometowns
for the summer. It is an arduous process
unless you happen to be the last team
taking part in the tedious task and for
some, it would be the last time in their
junior careers that they would do so.
For Dean Arsene, the last remaining
member of the club that came with the
club from Edmonton, the sun has set on
a long and prosperous junior career. A
career of which by his own admission
was chock full of successes,
disappointments and some incredible
memories. “It’s been the best time of my
life, playing five years for this team,”
said the popular ICE captain. “Even
though I’m an old guy and the guys joke
around about it, it’s been the best time of
my life playing in this league and
especially here in Cranbrook with the
teammates I’ve got and all the fans and
all the support I’ve gotten throughout
the years, it’s been quite unbelievable.”
Arsene, who along with Bret DeCecco
and Mike Lee will be graduating from
the WHL was quick to point out and
thank the fans of Cranbrook as was
evident during the goodbye skate Arsene
did after the seventh game loss against
Swift Current. Arsene, while receiving a
rousing ovation from the ICE faithful,
gave the fans themselves a round of
applause in return in recognition of their
support. “If Read more»
A season worth remembering
Just before the puck was dropped on
game seven of the WHL semifinal series
between the Kootenay ICE and the
Swift Current Broncos this past week I
asked ICE minority owner Jim Stypula if
he was nervous as to the outcome of the
deciding game. “Win or lose,” he
replied. “The sun will still come up
tomorrow.” In the aftermath of a
heartbreaking seventh game loss by the
ICE at the hands of the Broncos, those
words of obvious truth were of little
consequence to fans, players, coaches,
management and even a partial media
that never seems to be able to put the
‘im’ in front of it as the curtain came
abruptly down on what was a season full
of incredibly entertaining highs and
lows. A wild ride that didn’t include that
dizzying climax that puts the end on the
story the way a league championship did
only one year earlier.
The end of a season enables everyone to
reflect on the year that was or perhaps,
wasn’t. Reflection is always a subjective
process. All the what ifs and the things
that could’ve been done differently come
to the forefront as most put on their
twenty-twenty hindsight glasses and
suddenly become experts at what is
becoming an increasingly perfect science
of looking back and saying ‘things would
be different if only…’
In fact the season could be deemed
overwhelmingly successful with the only
noted exception being that the club
failed to repeat as WHL champions, a
feat that most everyone would agree is
much harder than actually winning the
thing in the first place. From Read more»