It may be a vacation for many including players, families and many others but not quite a vacation for the likes of Larry Pleau. Pleau has been very active throughout the summer and the following is a recap of his moves thus far.
The first bit of news was the announcement to some veterans that they would not be a part of the blues future. These players included: Center Bob Bassen, Right Wing Stephane Richer, and Defensemen Dave Ellet and Rudy Poeschek. It was also made clear that minor leaguers Jim Campbell and Derek King would not be offered contracts and would become unrestricted free agents.
Next was the signing or releasing of the 98 draft picks. For junior draft picks, you retain their rights for two years after the draft, for European draft picks, you retain their rights for four years after the draft and for college players remain your rights until their college eligibility is up. In keeping with the rules, no decision had to be made at this time on defensemen Christian Backman, Andrei Trochinsky, Yvegeny Pastukh and John Pohl. For the remaining players in the system the blues elected to sign only defensemen Matt Walker of the Kootenay Ice of the WHL. For others, Maxim Linnik, Brad Voth and Brad Twordik were all released. Along with the 98 draftees, 21 year old James Desmerais was not given a contract and became a free agent, he was selected in the final round of the 99 draft.
The Atlanta Thrashers have agreed to terms with forward Dmitri Vlasenkov, according to Don Waddell, vice president and general manager for the
team. Vlasenkov’s rights were acquired from the Calgary Flames along with Hnat Domenichelli on Feb. 11, 2000 in exchange for Darryl Shannon and Jason Botterill. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Vlasenkov, 22, led Yaroslavl and tied for fifth overall in the Russian Hockey League with 35 points (15 goals, 20 assists) in 38 games last season. He also led the club in playoff scoring with seven points, tallying three goals and four assists in 10 games. The 5-11, 185-pound left wing has spent the majority of the last five seasons with Yaroslavl, amassing 40 goals and 31 assists for 71 points
in 168 games. He has also played for Yaroslavl’s division two team. Vlasenkov led the 1998-99 club with 11 goals and tied for fifth in scoring, registering 16 points in 41 games. The native of Olenigorsk, Russia, was originally selected by the Flames with their fourth choice, 73rd overall, in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.
This installment of Future Watch is featuring Matt Gens out of Baudette, MN.
Gens, is a mobile defenseman with a good offensive sense of the game.
“The NTDP has been fantastic for me,” said Gens. Gens and his teammates
willl have a great solid returning team next year and look for them to do
some damage at the U-18 world championships. Gens is looking at staying in
the WCHA for his college options. “I really like Wisconsin, Minnesota, and
North Dakota; they are all great schools with great tradition,” Gens
exclaimed. As far as the summer goes Gens is taking a break off from the
ice and just training to get stronger and gain some bulk to his frame.
Nick Beverly off to the Windy City: Leafs Director of Player Development, Nick Beverly, left the team this week in pursuit of new challenges with the Blackhawks (Late note: Director of Pro Scouting, Joe Yannetti has also left to join the Hawks)… Nick is said to enjoy a very close working relationship with Chicago’s de facto General Manager, Mike Smith… Beverly, a respected executive, will be missed… perhaps more importantly, the Maple Leafs lately can’t seem to keep a management team intact for more than a year or so… expect Toronto to move slowly in securing a replacement as Pat Quinn and Bill Watters remain on hand to conduct all necessary business… 30-year-old Mark Hillier may be in line for expanded responsibilities… former Flames execs Al Coates and Nick Polano are also said to be interested in coming to Toronto… these options are all very viable ones as Hillier is widely regarded as a rising star in the Leafs’ front office and Calgary, under the guidance of Coates and Polano, has quietly built one of the league’s very best player development programs…