Star Gazing – Prospect Review

by pbadmin
on

Unlike the Stars’ parent club, the prospects stayed relatively healthy all
season, and this has resulted in some encouraging progress for the most part.
In turn, this article will attempt to overview many of these positives, and
some of the sparse negatives that occurred this season.

Richard Jackman-D

After about two years in minor-pro hockey Richard still has yet to put all
the pieces in place. This is not to say that he is a bust, but rather
suggests that he needs to find a role and stick to it. In other words, is he
an offensive defenseman, or is he a surly two-way d-man? The Stars’ would
like him to be a combination of the two, but his play this year suggests that
this is still to be determined. While he has the great stride and shot, his
future with this team will depend on him making better reads in the defensive
zone.

Tyler Bouck-W

This multi-dimensional forward really came on this season for Prince George
of the WHL. Not only did he increase his overall offensive production, but he
also chipped in 7 game winning goals, and stepped up in the playoffs. Also,
he racked up 183 PIM’s, while also scoring 5 short-handed goals during the
regular season. Looks to be a Grant Marshall or Daren McCarty type player
with speed, and should challenge for a job very soon.

John Erskine-D

Erskine, a much maligned player, had what might be called a break through Read more»

Darryl Sutter Returns and Other Sharks News

by pbadmin
on

On Tuesday the Sharks announced that Darryl Sutter had signed a contract
extension to return for at least two more years as head coach of the San
Jose Sharks. Ever since Sutter took over the coaching position from Al
Sims, the Sharks have been building a “Darryl Sutter team.” They have made
some major trades and free agent signings in order to bring in Darryl
Sutter type players. During Sutter’s reign, the Sharks have dealt many
players who simply would not have fit in Sutter’s system. Over the past few
years, Sharks fans have seen the likes of Viktor Kozlov, Andrei Zyuzin,
Andrei Nazarov, Ville Peltonen, Vlastimil Kroupa, etc.. leave town.
Meanwhile, the Sharks have brought in players like Mike Ricci, Gary Suter,
Niklas Sundstrom, Stephane Matteau, Bryan Marchment, Dave Lowry, etc.. who
all fit nicely into Sutter’s system. Coupled with the young guns in the
Sharks’ system (Friesen, Stuart, Sturm, Marleau, Korolyuk, and the list
goes on), the Sharks have built a solid team with a great blend of
veterans and young stars. It showed last season when the Sharks were able
to get past the first round for the first time in the Sutter era.

So what does Sutter’s return mean? It means that the Sharks will be able
to continue to build on their SOLID foundation. Had Sutter left, it would
have left a huge hole for the Sharks to fill. The Sharks organization believed in
Sutter’s system, and they have committed to winning that way. Had Sutter Read more»

Kings Update

by Tony Calfo
on
The Kings and Justin Papineau appear to have gone their separate ways. While Justin Papineau is not the first highly skilled player to re-enter a draft after not being able to come to terms, he may be the most talented individual to leave such a untalented farm system. With Papineau’s departure, the Kings have virtually no playmakers in their system. Knowing this, why would the Kings do this?

The answers are actually a little more clear than they may seem. I, for one, had hoped that they would sign Papineau because of his offensive prowess. The Kings clearly don’t think enough of his game to make him an offer on a larger signing bonus. We all know the knocks about Papineau, but I think there is something the Kings saw when they made their last scouting trip to see him that made their decision final. One of those things may actually have happened here. Scott Barney underwent back surgery and by all accounts, should be ready to race by the start of training camp. The Kings have always thought more of Barney and the fact that they didn’t sign Papineau speaks volumes about their faith in Barney.
Read more»

Giguere is gone

by pbadmin
on
Jean-Sebastien Giguere was traded today to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks for a second round pick, the 42nd pick overall, in this years draft. The reasoning behind the move is that the Flames could only protect 5 forwards and 3 defense man if 2 goaltenders where protected which under the circumstances was unacceptable. Losses at the forward and defense position would most likely cause too much damage in the long run. The players they could of lost play a vital role on the team as checking forwards and number four defensemen which initially does not look like a lot but becomes irreplaceable when trying to make a playoff run.
Read more»

Ryan Whitney Future Watch

by Erik Freeman
on
Welcome to another installment of Future Watch. This time we are featuring the nasty 6-4 190lb defenseman out of Thayer Academy, Ryan Whitney. Whitney has accepted an offer to attend the National Development Program in Ann Arbor and he will be a strong addition to the team. He is excited about playing for new coach Mike Eaves and at a higher level of competition to get him ready for Boston University, which is where he will be attending college. Whitney will be playing at the Select 17 festival in St. Cloud for the Massachusetts squad and is hoping to attend the US National Junior Camp.

Whitney is the #1 rated defenseman for his age in the country. He is already one of the top 20 prospects for the 2001 entry draft but would have to opt in for that and he probably won’t do that because he would lose his college eligibility. Whitney plays a style similar to that of NHL star Chris Pronger. Expect big things in the future from this big, talented, star defenseman who plays the game with a mean streak.