Nearly every team in the NHL covets a big defenseman. A big cannon at the point on the power play is something that teams are always seeking. An aggressive, hard hitting, nasty blueliner is a staple for any successful team. The Los Angeles Kings got all of that when they signed the best defenseman outside the NHL, Jere Karalahti, two years ago. Now Karalahti is a healthy scratch and seems destined to make his NHL mark in another city.
Granted Karalahti has his shortcomings. His discipline off the ice has always come into question ever since his drug problems in Finland in the mid 90’s. Reports of Jere’s behavior have been Internet fodder ever since his NHL arrival. No one would argue that Karalahti’s drug problems are behind him and he has stayed out of harm’s way with the exception of an alcohol related incident in 2000. On the ice, he is not the most fleet of foot and his decision making has come into question. He has been learning to play defenseman in the NHL on the fly and while it is an ongoing process, it is an evolving one.
Karalahti’s skills are undeniable. He is a fierce hitter and has a heavy shot. The Kings knew this when he came over and he showed it for spurts in his first season. He had a couple blue line power play goals in his first season and he was relentless in the physical game- he would hit anyone who came near him. These traits did not blend with the Andy Murray style. Jere would often leave his responsibility to make the hit or take the shot and the result was often an outnumbered attack or an unattended forward waiting for Read more»
NEW EDITION OF INSIDE THE CHL WILL BE AVAILABLE SHORTLY
Edition number four of Inside the CHL, the Canadian Hockey League’s audio
show, will be available late Friday afternoon at the official website of the
Inside the CHL is an audio program featuring interviews and news from around
the CHL, hosted by the league’s Director of Information, Roger Lajoie. On
the new show, members of Team Canada’s national junior team talk about
getting ready for the World Junior Hockey Championships, which take place
starting Christmas Day in the Czech Republic.
Pascal Leclaire, goaltender with the Montreal Rocket of the Quebec Major
Junior Hockey League, Stephen Weiss, forward with the Plymouth Whalers of
the Ontario Hockey League and goalie Shane Bendera of the defending Memorial
Cup champion Red Deer Rebels, all talk about their experiences at the camp,
playing for Canada and their current CHL teams.
Also on the show is a feature interview with Eugene Melnyk, who took over as
owner of the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors of the Ontario Hockey League
before the 2001-2002 OHL season began. Melnyk, a St. Michael’s College
School alumnus and successful businessman, talks about his reasons for
buying the historic franchise and his plans to construct a new arena for the
team within the next two years.
Inside the CHL is available during the season every two weeks, usually on
Fridays, at www.chl.ca. The program is also heard on junior hockey radio
broadcasts across the country as an intermission feature, with CHL media
members e Read more»
With the first 5 cuts over with there was little time to relax for those players still fighting for a spot on Team Canada. Most of the players who are assured a spot on the squad sat out the first game against the OUA All-Stars on Thursday night. Sitting this one out were: Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Hamhuis, Jay Harrison, Mark Popovic, Jason Spezza, Mike Cammalleri, Steve Ott, Jarrett Stoll, Brad Boyes and Brian Sutherby. We can assume these players will be around for the team picture on Saturday.
It was not an awe-inspiring game for the juniors who lost 4-3 to the more senior team made up mainly of ex-OHL’rs.
All four goalies were solid but I think it is safe to say that Shane Bendera and Pascal Leclaire will be the ones left standing come Saturday. Olivier Michaud played well but he tends to give up more rebounds than the others, while Ray Emery is solid but in my opinion just isn’t at the skill level of the other two.
Rick Nash was one of Canada’s best players showing a large improvement over Wednesday night. He showed great puck control and scored and end-to-end goal that had the crowd ooying and ahhing. If he continues to play as he did, he will definitely make the roster.
Duncan Keith just won’t go away. I thought there was no way this guy was going to compete with the top d-men in the country but he has been an offensive and defensive force so far. He is a good skater and passer and he works very hard. I believe he m Read more»
By Mike Buskus
“First period” report
This started out as a “first quarter” (20 games out of 80) report but,
variety of reasons, got delayed in writing and editing. This writer
somewhat arbitrarily, have limited the writeup to the first 20 games,
ignoring the next five that have been played did not seem to make
instead of four “quarterly” recaps, there will be only three,
with approximately equal “thirds” of the season. So, it is now a
period” report, or a recap after “one third” of the “game”. Since the
Albany River Rats have played 25 out of their 80 regular season
this is a grade report to date.
Not since the Albany River Rats won the Calder Cup in their second year
existence (1994-1995) (Mike Dunham; Corey Schwab) has the minor league
affiliate of the New Jersey Devils been so blessed with goaltending
The River Rats actually have three prospects who probably have a future
the NHL. The trio of Ari Ahonen, J.F. Damphousse and Scott Clemmensen
wowed the fans, and impressed the scouts.
Damphousse currently is in New Jersey, as backup to Martin Brodeur.
most experienced of the three netminders, Damphousse worked five games
the River Rats (1-1-1; 3.62 GAA; .883 save percentage), plus one start
(Tampa Bay) and one relief effort (Washington) with the Devils.
Damphousse got a real “trial by fire” last year (2000-2001) with the
River Ra Read more»
Dear Mr. Campbell;
In regards to the latest news coming from the NHL offices, surrounding the Saturday game between Anaheim and Calgary, allow me to offer the following comments.
Congratulations for the job you have done in making the NHL offices look even more ridiculous than they have in the past. I didn’t think that anyone could do a job worse than Brian Burke, but you definitely surpassed his level of incompetence. Your approach to dispensing “justice” has taken on a life of its own and has spurned much debate in regards to your approach for cleaning up the game. As opposed to formulating a consistent methodology in dealing with offenders, you have allowed many an ugly precedent to slide, instead choosing to deal with the perpetrators on a case-by-case basis and allow your own personal feelings and relationships to cloud your judgment. The perfect example was this past weekend’s clash between Anaheim and Calgary, where you suspended three men from the Flames organization and only one from the Ducks.
The game in question was very rough from the outset, and the officiating was some of the worst that has been seen in a good long time. The frustrations were high on both sides of the ice and something was bound to happen. Zero control of the game was displayed by either referee (Greg Kimmerly and Brad Meier), which exacerbated an already dangerous situation. Had either of these officials been competent in their duties the end result never would have transpired. Unfortunately neither official showed they had the ability to handle a game at the NH Read more»