Adam Mair

by Tony Calfo

When the Kings gave up on Aki Berg last season, the Kings seemed pretty happy about getting rid of Berg and getting a draft pick. They also acquired left wing Adam Mair and while most hockey pundits don’t give Mair much of a chance to contribute, he will help the Kings this season.

There isn’t much to Adam Mair. He stands about 6-0 and weighs about 190 pounds. He has a pretty good shot and loves to play the body. He will drop the gloves if need be, and he is defensively responsible. That description fits not only Adam Mair, but about half of the Kings’ potential line-up. What makes Adam Mair stand out among the others?

Mair has never been a scorer. His career high 25 goals in 56 OHL games in 1997-98 is his high water mark. He is not a great distributor of the puck- his 35 assists in 1996-97 were the most he’s ever had. How can Mair help the Kings?

Adam Mair has the potential to be what the Kings need- a gritty player who can get both his team and his fans into a game with one hit. He has only one speed- extra high intensity. The Kings and their fans know what a player like this brings- they have seen Ian Lapperriere develop into a fan favorite and a vital cog in the Kings’ machine.

Trying to make a team over from the offensive team that feature Luc Robitaille to a grinding, playoff-style team with players like Steve Heinze and Adam Deadmarsh sets the table for a guy like Adam Mair. He can offer the open ice hitting, the defensive intensity and even pop in some goals with his heavy and accurate shot. Mair didn’t get much of a chance last Read more»

2001-02 Season Previews, from Bonni to Branham.

by Kirk Pedersen

The Canucks 31st Training Camp gets underway September 11th in Burnaby, and they are still without a goaltender. There are many options for the Canucks, however, most exist in the form of possible trades. A couple of guys who interest me are Tomas Vokoun from Nashville, who is roadblocking young prospects Jan Lasak and Brian Finley, and Jamie Storr, who had a terrible season with the Los Angeles Kings. Storr may come cheap, but not until the Kings get Felix Potvin under contract. Also, there’s old vet Kirk McLean. He’s aging, and declining in effectiveness, but McLean could be good at keeping the seat warm for Alex Auld, who might be ready after this coming season.

Canucks 2001-02 Player Previews Installment Number Four

Ryan Bonni was a second-round pick in 1997 by the Canucks, a draft which also yielded current Canucks Harold Druken, Matt Cooke, and acquired from the Flyers in 1999, Pat Kavanagh. Bonni was thought of as a rock-solid defender at that time, and not much has changed. He’s limited offensively, which is obvious, if you look at his junior and minor-pro scoring totals, but that’s not what he’s on the ice for. Bonni is a tough, stay-at-home Defenseman. His puck-moving skills are below average, and he’s not a particularly good skater, but Bonni does the job on the defensive end. He took a big step back in his development this season in Kansas City, posting poor offensive totals, but, once again, that’s not his game. He improved little by little as the season wore on, but has nonetheless slipped on the Canucks defensive depth ch Read more»

Washington’s Potential 2001 NHL Rookies – Forwards

by Rick Davis

Last year, Washington’s camp was relatively mellow. More than a few veterans did not play the best hockey they could have, because they were virtually guaranteed roster spots no matter how hard they played. Notable exceptions to this were Jeff Halpern, Ulf Dahlen, and Steve Konowalchuk. The overall lack of fire continued into the regular season, and the Caps went 3-8-6-1 in their first 18 games.

Fortunately for Washington and their fans, the Caps eventually won the Southeast Division in spite of the poor start. However, it is certainly in Washington’s best interests not to have that kind of a start again.

Last year, the Capitals had some things working against them that should not be a problem this year. Multiple holdouts hindered the progress of the team – neither Sergei Gonchar nor Chris Simon attended camp. Brendan Witt was still upset about his arbitration hearing, and Peter Bondra had requested a trade.

This year, Jeff Halpern and Glen Metropolit have not been signed yet, but are expected to sign before camp starts. Halpern attended Washington’s rookie camp even though he doesn’t have a contract, and it’s certainly a possibility that he would attend Washington’s main camp without one as well. His leadership has been exemplary over the last couple of years and it would certainly not hurt his chances to become a future captain. Adam Oates, the current captain, has requested a trade. It’s not known whether he will show up at camp or not.

While Halpern’s contract and Oates’s discontent are certainly of paramount i Read more»

Islanders Training Camp Review

by Bill Bennett
Lot’s of things changed with the New York Islanders over the summer, one of
the things that did not change was the amount of games the team will play in the
preseason. The team will play only six games, with the difference
being these games will be played over nine days. (Sept 20-29) Colorado is
the only other team to play as few as six games.

Not a lot of days to give the veterans who will be on the team a chance to
get some time playing together and even less to determine who will fill the few
openings on the roster. Some quick judgements will have to be made by rookie coach Peter Laviolette and his staff. (Greg Cronin, Jacques LaPerriere new goaltending coach Billy Smith)

Like last years training camp (Lake Placid Sept 11th-18th) practices and team scrimages will play a big part in who is going to get the best look in those early exhibiton games. At this time there is no word of the Isles sharing a rookie camp with another organization. Training camp for the Isles will last one week. Many teams will have started their exhibiton schedule while this is going on and have camps that will last only three or four days in some cases.

What will be different is that the Islanders staff after several years of shared affiliates will have the Read more»

The Later Rounds

by Jake Dole
Each and every year, the NHL season offers it’s own surprises. It can be a blockbuster trade, a player holding out, a head coach getting fired, or an overachieving team. It is equally important to note that ever so often, a player makes an impact whose name previously seemed unfamiliar. Players like Andreas Dackell, Brian Smolinski, Tomas Holmstrom, Steve Rucchin and Todd Marchant all have something in common. At one point of their careers, their NHL futures were in question. However, at this moment, all of them have successful (although by no means perfect) careers.
Some players get overlooked, whether at the NHL draft, or as a free agent. How many times do we see a career rejuvenated through a trade, or expansion draft? Certain players make their respective teams as grinders and fourth-liners, and eventually make their way up into larger and more serious roles.
Hockey critics like to rank prospects differently. Some like to divide them in half; there are the prospects that are likely to make the NHL, and there are those who probably won’t get a sniff. Using the Rangers as an example, we are likely to see Jamie Lundmark in the big show sometime soon, maybe as early as next year. Where does Layne Ulmer fit in? He’s got the numbers, the finishing ability, but his skating is getting in the way of his pro career. Scouts say he is too slow, pros are harder than juniors, he is too soft… When you hear all the experts pile on these prospects, it almost seems like a youngster cannot shake off that price tag.
Plodding, not skilled e Read more»

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