Boyes follows up strong

by Stephen J. Holodinsky

How Buoyant is Boyes?

It was just over a year ago that the Leafs drafting 24th overall in the first round, through good fortune and in some cases miscalculation on behalf of other teams scouting staffs, found themselves calling out the name of Brad Boyes with their selection. Going into the draft the Erie pivot had been labelled as too small and too slow despite 82 points in his first campaign out from under the shadow of Tim Connolly. His follow-up season netted him OHL MVP honours and a place on the WJC team, not to mention 90 points evenly split amongst goals and assists.

This comes as no surprise to Erie Coach Dave MacQueen. “He wants the puck when the game is on the line.” His offensive number are also nothing out of the ordinary according to his coach as he has a “great release on the snapper (and his) passes are very accurate and timely.” While the benchboss concedes that Boyes “needs to improve first step” he also maintains that his “overall speed is average.” Further, he goes on to point out that his center is “very shifty at close quarters” and this ability enables him to excel at deking defensemen or goaltenders. That same quality “reduces chances for opponents to get him in trouble physically” although they will find even when standing still the Erie forward “rarely gets knocked off the puck (due to a ) great stance.”
Still, though he “does the job well” when in front of the net, MacQueen acknowledges that this “isn’t his game.” Rather Brad Boyes is a motion player, one who needs to be moving to be most effective. To that end the coach Read more»

WHL Preview

by Tom Hoffert

With the pre-season firing on all cylinders, it is time to look into the new rules of play for the WHL. Junior hockey fans are in for a real change this season with new procedures like the “Fast Face-Off” and “4-on-4” regulation play. Yes, this may be the season fans learn to love our gifted men in black and white stripes. This year may put them in better graces with fans due to a host of contraversial rules handed down by the Canadian Hockey League. These rule changes will be in effect during the pre-season and regular season in all three CHL umbrella leagues: the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

New Rules Overview:

“Fast Face-Off”- This procedure will essentially give the linesman the ability to drop the puck on face-offs, regardless of whether both centres are ready for the drop. The rule is based on a 5-second line change (per team) and an additional allocation of 5-seconds to prepare for the puck drop. When the team line changes are complete, the linesman will blow his whistle, indicating no more than five seconds until the puck drop will occur. The obvious result of this rule will be that players must quickly get in position for face-offs, knowing the other team may gain control of the puck if they are not prepared. Face-offs are the beginning step in garnering control of the play, thus teams will emphasize the importance of this new rule to their teams. Fans will definitely be divided on their thoughts about this new regulation. Some will love the quicker speed, others will publ Read more»

Bridgeport Report

by Steve Feldman


NHL Cancels Weekends Games

The National Hockey League announced today that all games through Sunday, September 16 have been canceled. The regular slate of pre-season games will start on Monday, September 17.

Sound Tigers Attend Norwalk Oyster Festival
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers front office, players, and mascot attended the Norwalk Oyster Festival. Fans were able to meet players, purchase merchandise, and purchase tickets for the upcoming season. The team was on hand at the Big Boy Toy Show Tent.

The oyster festival is a major fundraiser for the revitalization of the Norwalk Harbor area. The celebration is held in Veteran’s Park in East Norwalk. Proceeds from each year’s festival also provide year-round funding for the Norwalk Seaport Association’s environmental Education Programs.

Emile Francis and Norman Poile Honored with New AHL Trophies Read more»

Panthers Training Camp Q&A’s

by Mark Fischel

Panther Training Camp Reflections

With the Panthers training camp getting the opportunity to move to the National Car Rental Center for the next few days, Panthers coaching staff turned up the intensity of the practices with a few new drills for the team. Working on up-tempo drills that emphasized puck movement, reduced space on the ice, and physical play, several of the Panther prospects had a chance to show off their skills. Hockey’s Future had the chance to ask some questions to a few of the players who will be playing tommorow in the intra-squad game.

Niklas Hagman

Hockey’s Future: Niklas, What has been your initial impressions of the training camp so far?

Niklas Hagman:Well last week I was at the rookie camp and that was ok. I got the chance to get used to the smaller rink and the more physical game style. I have been here three times on the ice and it has been nice to get to know the guys, and go to the ice and figure out the playing style. Its going okay.

Hockey’s Future: What do you feel the adjustments are that you will have to make from playing the Euro style to the North American style.

Niklas Hagman: Of course it is so different here than back in Europe. The rink is smaller and everyone is shooting everywhere. In Finland and in Europe, they try to pass it the open guy. I don’t see that there is too much for me to change the game, but you got to be ready because there will be more hits, and you got to shoot the puck more Read more»

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