The IHL could have a different look next year. Maybe fewer teams, maybe one conference, and maybe NHL affilation. Minor pro hockey is changing and Doug Moss the IHL commisioner knows that.
Moss is so ready for change, he believes that in two short years minor pro hockey in North America could be so different — yet so amazingly sensible — that hockey fans will wonder why it didn’t happen sooner.
“I think it would be very safe to say that minor pro hockey is going through an adjustment,” said Moss.
“In the early ’90s, people believed in the theory, ‘Build it and they will come.’ We expanded all over North America, we moved into new or different buildings, we opened the doors and expected people to show up. I remember, when I worked in Buffalo, (former Sabres owner) Seymour Knox said to me, ‘Doug, there was a time when we could hang out a shingle that read, Hockey Game Tonight, and people would come. It’s not like that anymore.’ Mr. Knox was right and it’s something we all have to accept. The way we do business in professional sport at every level is changing dramatically, and I now believe we have people at the minor pro hockey level who are of the mindset that it’s time for change.”
Perhaps the saddest reality in hockey is that Gary Bettman is the commissioner of the NHL while Doug Moss is the commissioner of the IHL. Bettman doesn’t get it. Although he has a complete and total appreciation for money and what it can do, Bettman still doesn’t understand that hockey is a regional game and that hockey fans are raised, not coerced.
The first round of the USHL playoffs is done. One team left behind is the Defending Clark Cup Champion, Green Bay Gamblers, who were eliminated by the Tri-City Storm in 4 games. Top seeded Lincoln swept their best of 5 series with the Sioux City Musketeers. The 4th seeded Omaha Lancers also swept their series taking 3 in a row over the 5th seeded Des Moines Buccaneers. Finally, the 3rd seed, Sioux Falls Stampede disposed of the 6th seeded Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in 4 games. That leaves 4 teams left standing, all from the rough and tumble Western Division. In the semifinal round the 2 matchups are very exciting. Anderson Cup champion Lincoln will take on the Defending National Junior “A” Champion Tri-City Storm. In the other series the smoking hot Omaha Lancers will face off against the Sioux Falls Stampede. Sioux Falls finished somewhat weak in the regular season but seemed to rise back to form against Cedar Rapids. Here is a preview of the semi-final series.
Lincoln Stars vs. Tri-City Storm
Power against skill is what this matchup boils down to. Lincoln is hands down the top team in the league and wants nothing less than the Clark Cup title. Tri-City, who is in their first year of existence after moving from the Twin Cities where they finished 2nd overall in the playoffs last year and won the Junior “A” National Championship want to continue their surprising run. They knocked off the Eastern Division Champion Green Bay Gamblers and would like to take out the Western Division Champion as well. One thing stands in the way….Li Read more»
House an AHL All-Star: St. John’s Maple Leafs right winger Bobby House has been selected to the American Hockey League’s Second All-Star Team for the 2000-2001 season … House is currently the Baby Leafs’ team leader with 69 points (T-8th in AHL) on 36 goals (T-2nd in AHL) and 33 assists in 65 games … House also leads the team with 11 powerplay goals, 289 shots on goal (3rd in AHL) and is tied for the team lead in plus-minus with a plus 13 rating … earlier this year, House was selected to the starting lineup of the 2001 AHL All-Star Game held in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA where he picked up 3 points (2G-1A) … House joins a list of other St. John’s Maple Leafs selected to the First or Second AHL All-Star Teams … these include; Felix Potvin (First Team, 1991-92), Joel Quenneville (Second Team, 1991-92), Jeff Serowik (Second Team, 1992-93), Chris Snell (First Team, 1993-94), Rich Chernomaz (First Team, 1993-94), Patrik Augusta (Second Team, 1993-94), Jamie Heward (Second Team, 1995-96) and David Cooper (Second Team, 1997-98) … House became a member of the St. John’s Maple Leafs as a free agent in July of 1999 … though he recently signed a new 3-year NHL deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs, House has unfortunately been lost to the organization for the remainder of the season due to a serious hand injury …
Roy joins Baby Leafs: You may have missed this story when first reported 2 weeks ago … the St. John’s Maple Leafs have signed pivot Jonathan Roy from the QMJHL’s Moncton WildCats … Roy, who is signed to an amateur try-out contrac Read more»
When most people think of the Islanders 1999 Entry Draft, they think of
Tim Connolly, Taylor Pyatt, Brandislav Mezi, and Kristian Kudroc. The three
players that most people forget about are Justin Mapletoft, Mattias
Weinhandl, and Juraj Kolnik.
After having four picks in the first round, the Islanders next pick was
in the 3rd round. With that pick, 78th overall, they chose Mattias
Weinhandl. In 2000, he was high-sticked in the left eye by Michal Travnicek,
and had minimal vision. After a recovering enough to return to the line up
for MoDo, his team in the Swedish Elite League, he finished the season strong
while playing with Daniel and Henrik Sedin. This season, while playing for a
rebuilding MoDo team, Weinhandl has 14 goals, 30 points, and 10 penalty
minutes in 44 games.
In the next round, with the 101st overall selection, the Islanders were
thrilled to have to chance to draft Juraj Kolnik. Although he doesn’t have a
great skating stride and he isn’t the most physical player, his scoring
ability and potential was well worth the draft choice. In 2000 Kolnik had a
break through season, where he registered 53 goals and 53 assists in 47
games, for a total of 106 points. After struggling in the beginning of the
year playing for the Lowell Lock Monsters, General Manager Mike Milbury moved
Kolnik to the Springfield Falcons where he regained his form of 2000, and
registered 14 goals and 16 assists for a total of 30 points in 26 games. Due
to the Islanders lack of scoring and amount of injuries, Ko Read more»
The Czech junior Extraleague finally came to the championship battle. Every team, who wants
to compete for the title, muss pass a long way. First there is the regular season, which
consists of 38 games. The teams are divided into two groups, Group A for the teams from the
western cities of the Czech Republic and Group B for the eastern cities’ teams.
Each Group consists of 10 teams. During the regular season the teams meet only opponents from
their own group. Then comes the Final group. To this group advance the top 6 teams from every
Group. In the Final group the teams from group A play only the teams from Group B and every
team meets his opponent twice – home and away. Also the Final group is divided into two parts.
After that the top four teams from every Final group create four quarterfinal pairs and then
it is a regular playoff, the games are best of three.
This year the juniors of HC Pojistovna Pardubice fought their way into the finals, where they
had to face the juniors from HC Slovnaft Vsetin. The Pardubice team seemed to be the favorite
as they were ruling the Extraleague for the whole season. They have an excellent goalie in
Martin Barek, who was the starter for all junior teams of the 1982 born players, the defense
mixes experienced players like overager Petr Mocek or Pavel Dvorak along with young prospects
like Martin Vagner or Tomas Linhart, both 1984 born. Up in the front Pardubice boast an
excellent scoring line of Josef Vitek, captain Albin Podstavek and Jan Kolar, a player with
some experience with the senior Extraleague. Besides Read more»