Lighting lose Bierk, sign Konstantinov

by pbadmin
on

Bolts lose Bierk, may replace him in Weekes

Just hours after the Lightning lost goalie of the future Zac Bierk, the
Bolts have reportedly replaced him and added a defenseman in the process.
The Tampa Tribune is reporting that a deal has been completed between the Lightning and Islanders. The Lightning would give the Islanders the number 5
selection in today’s draft, while the Islanders would send goaltender Kevin
Weekes and a prospect (reportedly monster 6’9” 255lbs. defenseman Zdeno
Chara).

Weekes played outstanding following his trade to the Islanders from
the Canucks a season ago, posting a .902 save percentage on the island.
Coach Steve Ludzik is very familiar with Weekes after coaching him with the
Detroit Vipers in the 1998-99 season where he posted 19 victories. Chara
brings the Lightning what they severely lack on defense, size. However it
also just creates a larger logjam on the Bolts blueline. This will lead to
trade speculation involving some of the younger defensemen in the Lightning
cupboard, especially if they add a veteran D-man.

The deal will also leave the Bolts with the number 8 selection,
which they should use, on a scoring forward. Alexei Smirnov, Martin
Samuelsson, and Nikita Alexeev are just a few of the prospects that should be
available. But GM Rick Dudley’s wheeling and dealing may not be over. There Read more»

Van Ryn Bids Adieu To Devils

by pbadmin
on

In a decision which could affect numerous NCAA players and NHL teams, an arbitrator declared 1998 New Jersey first round draft choice Mike Van Ryn to be an unrestricted free agent.

Van Ryn, drafted after his freshman year at the University of Michigan, left college after his sophomore season to play for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League. He and his agents argued that a loophole in the NHL collective bargaining agreement made the young defenseman a free agent.

Arbitrator Lawrence Holden agreed with Van Ryn, a bitter pill to swallow for both the Devils and the NHL. It was hoped New Jersey would avoid an arbitrator’s decision and settle with Van Ryn.

The Boston Bruins had a similar situation in 1999 with former draft choice Ben Clymer who left the University of Minnesota in order to play in the Western Hockey League. However the Bruins relented after receiving pressure from the league, allowing Clymer to become a free agent and sign with Tampa Bay. This avoided the inevitable arbitrator’s decision setting a precedent for the future.

Van Ryn, a solid two-way defensman, should generate considerable interest from other NHL teams. He is certain to receive more lucrative offers than he had received from New Jersey.

Blues Lose Goalie McLennan And Forward Pellerin

by Chris Irvine
on

The Minnesoata Wild Selected both goaltender Jamie McLellan and winger ScottPellerin. Both players should be solid contributors with the Wild this upcoming season. McLellan has proven himself as a solid NHL backup and Pellerin is a great checking forward. With a drop in production from last season when Pelly scored 20 goals, the blues elected to expose him and as expected the Wild jumped at the opportunity.

Many side deals have taken place throughout the day and many may still be in the making. For the blues, they must now focus on signing the two significant UFA’s, Tyson Nash and Mike Eastwood. The two are likely to recieve significant raises due their importance with the Blues organization and even more importance now since Pellerin has been lost.

In terms of Blues prospects, it looks like Brent Johnson will get a crack at the back-up job with the big club. There are rumors floating around stating that the blues may sign a veteran goalie in terms of insurance in the event of a call up due to injuries to Turek or Johnson. Cody Rudkowsky would be the third string and is certainly not ready for the jump to the big club as he had a so-so season as a backup to Johnson in Worcester.

The blues oragnization have stated on many occasions that they will be active in the free agent market come July 1st but for now, Draft day lies ahead of us. Read more»

NTDP Ramblings

by Erik Freeman
on
After Jeff Jackson was fired, Mike Eaves was the prime candidate to take his job and he is now the USA NTDP’s Under 18 Coach. Eaves approach to his new job is this, my assistants and I will set goals, work towards the goals, and make sure we are having fun. Mike’s son Patrick, who is one of the top 84’s in the country is following his dad out there and will be playing for the Under 17 team. Some of the players Eaves has high expectations of include Eric Nystrom, Dwight Helminen, Justin Maiser, Brian McConnell, Barry Tallackson, and newcomers Jesse Lane and Ryan Whitney. “I haven’t seen much of the team yet, only on a few tapes and from talking to scouts,” Eaves said. Expect the Under 18 team to have a strong year in the USHL and turn some heads during international competition.

Also of note Keith Allain has been rumored to be the new USA National Junior Coach but no official announcement has come from USA Hockey. USA Hockey must come up with a coach soon because of the National Junior Camp set for August as they need to invite the top players to Lake Placid for the camp.

Senators Early Round Picks

by Nathan Estabrooks
on
After trade speculation all week long the Ottawa Senators took a conservative stance and decided to wait for their first round pick; 21st overall. Anton Volchenkov, the 6′ 210lbs defenseman from the Central Red Army farm is an imposing physical specimen and was ranked as the second best defenseman available in Europe by CSB and was 6th our own hockeysfuture.com list. There are major weaknesses on the Senators blueline that Volchenkov will help to alleviate a year or two from now. At first 6′ appears too small for a NHL defenseman but rest assured that Volchenkov makes up for this with a thick 210 frame; think Kasparaitis of Pittsburgh. A note of interest is that hockey runs in Anton’s blood, as his father was a regular with Red Army in the seventies. Senators GM Marshal Johnstone said he was very pleased Volchenkov was still available so late in the first round, and so it appears the Senators’ draft luck continues.
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