Lightning add five new faces to Tampa Bay Russian community

by pbadmin
on
If the 2000 NHL Entry Draft did anything, for the Lightning, it added
depth to a young talented pool of prospects. The Bolts went in with three
goals: add a goaltender that will contribute immediately, add some
goaltending depth, and add a group of talented forwards to the system. All
of these goals appear to be accomplished. By trading the number five
selection (plus a fourth and seventh round picks), the Lightning added
goaltender Kevin Weekes and defenseman Kristian Kudroc from the New York
Islanders. Instead of adding a veteran to mentor Dan Cloutier, the lightning
added another kid to push Cloutier. The throw in to the deal is Kudroc. He
simply adds to the already ample defense core of the Bolts. He does.
However, bring a big body (6’6” 230 lbs.), more physical style of play, and
the ability to put up some points.

Once the Lightning were done playing the trading game, they were able to
draft an entire line of Russian forwards. With the eight overall selection
GM Rick Dudley chose Nikita Alexeev. Alexeev is big and fast, and hopefully
able to generate some offense. He will score most of his points from in
close, but also has the speed to create his own offense. He will need to
improve his puck handling before he is able to blow by opponents. He is
compared to Calgary Flames winger, and ex-bolt, Andrei Nazarov but with
better hands. In the second round, Dudley took solid 6’2” 202lbs. Winger Read more»

Kings Post Draft Analysis

by Tony Calfo
on
The Kings left Calgary with more questions than answers last week after taking a serious blow in the loss of Sean O’Donnell and the rumours about Eric Lindros coming to Los Angeles. Where do the Kings go from here, and just how did they do in Calgary?

The weekend didn’t exactly get off to the best start when the Kings lost Steve McKenna and Sean O’Donnell to the expansion Minnesota Wild on Friday. The Kings went through some painful growing pains with Sean O’Donnell to see him become a solid defenseman. Now another team, almost certainly a contender by year’s end, will enjoy the fruits of the Kings labors. On paper, the King lost their #3 defenseman who is in his prime, was a feared fighter, and was a leader in the clubhouse. They also lost a fringe enforcer in McKenna. The biggest losses will be felt in the locker room where Mac and Odie were well liked and looked to as leaders. McKenna will be a hit with Minnesota because of his size and personality, and I personally saw some improvement in his skills this season. On a team with other enforcers, McKenna could grow into a contributor. O’Donnell has become a physical, stay at home defender who could either be a captain or great trade bait to a contending team. Either way, it leaves the Kings already softening lineup with no enforcer and no blue liner who will drop the gloves. With Galley, Odie and a likely Berg holdout, the Kings are in trouble where they were once strongest.
Read more»

Pittsburgh Penguins 2000 Draft Review

by Erik Johnson
on

In the press conference announcing Ivan Hlinka as the new Pens head
coach, Ivan talked about needing to get a little bigger at both the
forward and defensive positions. It didn’t take very long for the new
coach to have an impact on the draft as the Pens stocked up on tough,
gritty, hard hitting players.

For only the 3rd time in the 11 drafts that Craig Patrick has presided
over, the Pens took a non-European player in the first round (the others: Chris Wells 94 and Craig Hillier 96) when they drafted hard
hitting Boston College defenseman Brooks Orpik with the 18th overall
selection. The Pens were so sure that Orpik would be drafted before
their selection that they didn’t even conduct a pre-draft interview with
him. The Pens, however, were thrilled that he was around to select as
he was a unanimous selection at the draft table.

The Pens have needed a strong physical defenseman ever since Ulf
Samuelsson was traded to the Rangers in 1995 and they could have that in
Orpik. His hard-hitting style is likely to make him an immediate fan
favorite. The Pens were sold on his talent at the NCAA Western Regional
Final when he was paired against #2 pick Dany Heatley.

Orpik still has two years left at Boston College and the Pens aren’t known
as a team that pressures kids to leave school early. Orpik seems to
love the college atmosphere and it’s a good bet he’ll stay at BC for at
least another year.
Read more»

IHL News

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

IHL NEWS

CANUCKS MOVE FARM CLUB TO KANSAS CITY

The Vancouver Canucks have changed their farm team from the Syracuse Crunch
of the American Hockey League to the Kansas City Blades of the International
Hockey League.
Kansas City’s proximity to Vancouver factored into the switch, Brian Burke,
general manager of the NHL Canucks, said Monday.
The Canucks have signed a two-year agreement, the second year being
Vancouver’s option, with the Blades. Under terms of the deal, Vancouver will
supply 18 players to the Blades, plus a coaching and training staff.
Stan Smyl, who guided the Crunch to a 35-36-9-1 record in his first season
as a head coach, will be the Blades coach.

IHL FASTFACTS

On January 17, 1962 the Saint Paul Saints win the most lopsided game in IHL
history, a 20-3 drubbing of the Toledo Mercurys.

IHL TEAMS PLACE IN IHL HISTORY

Detroit Vipers: The Vipers had a league high 122 points in 1997 on their way
to capture the Turner Cup. That championship allowed the city of Detroit to
be the first city to capture two cups as the Detroit Red Wings won the
Stanley Cup the same year.

TODAY IN HOCKEY

June 28, 1985 the Detroit Red Wings sign undrafted free agent Adam Oates.

DID YOU KNOW

The St. Louis Blues are the only team to be swept in the Stanley Cup finals Read more»