The Other Ka-Chuck: An Update On Blues’ Prospect Daniel Tkaczuk

by Larry Deutsch
As the 2001 NHL trade deadline drew near, a call to action was issued by St. Louis Blues fans to oft-maligned general manager, Larry Pleau. From the online forums, to the call-in radio programs, and even to Pleau’s e-mail inbox, their message was overwhelming, “Get us Tkachuk or get out of town!” And he managed to land the big fish, outbidding several suitors so fans could see Captain Coyote don the Blue Note. On the eve of the NHL entry draft, Pleau acquired center Daniel (also pronounced “ka-chuk”) from Calgary in a deal that sent stumbling netminder Roman Turek charging toward the Stampede City. In a matter of just three months, the Blues went from being utterly “ka-chuck”-less to cornering the market on the NHL’s active “ka-chucks.”

The latter Tkaczuk, who turns 22 in October, hails from the Toronto
suburb of Mississauga, Ontario. He played his junior hockey for the Barrie Colts, and at the age of 17 was the OHL’s youngest captain during the 97-98 season. He currently holds the Colt franchise records for total career points, goals, assists, short-handers, and game-winners. Chosen sixth overall in the 97 draft, Daniel felt plenty of pressure to step in quicky for the Flames and lead them back into the postseason. Tkaczuk confused the Calgary brass with his flashes of brilliance at the lower levels tempered by mediocre showings during his many call-ups. Frustrated with his lack of production at the NHL level, this cerebral center kept a positive outlook toward his relegation to the minors. Bouncing back from a late season concussion, Dan was absolu Read more»

Jean-Philippe Cote has intangibles

by Stephen J. Holodinsky

Cote’s One for the Gene Pool

Talking to Cape Breton Screaming Eagles Coach Pascal Vincent about blueliner Jean-Philippe Cote, the two things that stick out in his mind about his defenseman are “leadership and work ethic.” Vincent can’t say enough about his player when it comes to intangibles. He “puts his mistakes behind him” on those rare occasions that he does make one and is more or less the glue that holds the team together. Proof of this, the coach points out, can be seen in the fact that in the two games his Captain missed last year due to injury, the Screaming Eagles were outscored 14-2.
While some of this is to be expected seeing as he is the son of former NHLer, Alain Cote, Vincent nonetheless applauds Cote for his dedication to the game especially in the off-season.

That said, all of the dedication in the world does not an NHL player make if he has nothing else, but the coach, who first saw him when he was the bench boss for the U-17 National Team, knows there is more to him than that. “90% of the time he makes the right decision when he passes the puck” and his passes are “usually on the tape.” What’s more, the defenseman knows enough to trail the play after making that pass and has demonstrated “good decision-making when it comes to the pinch.” While Vincent admits that Cote “is not an elegant skater” he rates his speed above average and his lateral movement as excellent stating that “he rarely gets beat one on one”. While his pivot easily makes the grade in the Q though, he feels that Cote will have to speed Read more»

2001-02 Season Previews: Bryan Allen and Artem Chubarov

by Kirk Pedersen

Thoughts and forcasts for my top two prospects, a preview of the upcoming seasons for Bryan Allen and Artem Chubarov.

Bryan Allen was the Canucks’ top pick in 1998, the #4 pick overall, and, despite numerous injuries in his second season of junior, was expected to step right in, and help a poor defense, which had decliners in Dave Babych and Dana Murzyn, but had two young rays of hope, in Bryan McCabe and Mattias Ohlund. (McCabe being obtained toward the end of the season, along with Todd Bertuzzi, in exchange for Captain and team leader Trevor Linden)

Allen was not looked at as an offensive player, but as a stay-at-home type, who could provide some toughness when needed. He was badgered with comparisons to current NHL’ers, such as Derian Hatcher, which would scare most youngsters, but the cool, confident Allen was unshaken by this. All he needed to do was play his own game, and, despite a lack of offense, he’d be a very good NHL Defenseman.

To this day, however, Allen’s promise remains unfulfilled. After missing almost the entire 1999-2000 season due to injuries, he came on strong in ’00-01, spending the entire season injury-free, something he hadn’t done since his rookie season with the Oshawa Generals in 1996-97. He racked up 25 points (5g, 20a), and nearly hit the century mark in penalty minutes in his first full pro season. He began to show why he was such a high draft pick, and was one of the top vote-getters for the IHL’s final Rookie of the Year award, which ended up going to Atlanta property Brian Pothier. He also recieved Read more»

Questions from readers

by Michael Theodore
The past four seasons have all started with the same glimmer of hope, an improved roster and the long awaited end to the Rangers playoff layoff. This year however there is no big name signing, no huge blockbuster trade, and importantly no lofty expectations. There is however something that is at least partially refreshing, the first legitimate chance to phase in some prospects without the fear that they were being rushed.

Jamie Lundmark and Pavel Brendl have both graduated from Juniors and both will once again get long looks in camp. Lundmark is stronger then ever and so far in rookie camp has looked extremely sharp and poised to make it to the show this season, whether it is straight out of the gate or as a call up later will remain to be seen. The swift skating center checked into the rookie camp at muscular 195 pounds, most of which was concentrated in his upper body. Jamie’s body has finally matured enough for him to carry the extra weight without slowing down any or drastically changing his game. Still {as predicted} his eventual playing weight figures to be in the 200 pound region as it would best serve him as a big league center. Jamie didn’t wait for the rookie camp to get into shape and it’s paid off, he’s the best conditioned prospect there and figures to possibly even challenge for the team fitness award as well.

Pavel Brendl on the other hand figures to need the rookie camp just to get ready for the regular camp. The enigmatic winger is exactly the type of player the camp was developed for. Brendl probably will never be a fitness champion Read more»

A Change of Events… SC Bern says “NO” to Myrvold

by Evan Andriopoulos

“It is meaningless” Anders Myrvold was quoted as saying to Norwegian daily VG. “Now I am just pissed off and irritated!”. Wednesday Myrvold decided against the New York Islanders as the contract was greater from SC Bern, however with the offer pulled Myrvold now has to look back across the pond at perhaps the Montreal Canadiens who he was also dealing with just before the SC Bern agreement or to other Swiss and or German clubs.

Myrvold was to receive about 175000 USD in payment after tax along with a car and apartment. The SC Bern club ended up selected a Swedish player instead. Myrvold has the possibility of opening new discussions with the Islanders and Canadiens as well as a host of other NHL and Internation Clubs.

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