As the summer heats up the Rangers are looking for the right pieces to fix the problem now and for the future. The signing of Mark Messier was one move that was welcomed by all in Rangerland but the signing of enigmatic Vlad.Malakhov is one that caused the good shipmate Schneider too look elsewhere for employment and so continues the questions of which direction the Rangers are headed.
RANGERS INK 3:
Boise’s West Coast Hockey League franchise the Idaho Steelheads announced that it had signed an affiliation agreement with the International Hockey League’s Utah Grizzlies on Tuesday.
The Grizzlies are the top minor league affiliate of the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League.
The Steelheads announced that Utah’s training camp for the 2000-2001 season will open in Boise on Sept. 20 and that the Grizzlies will practice through Sept. 26. Most of the Steelheads players will be included in the Grizzlies’ camp.
The Grizzlies and Steelheads will play a pair of exhibition games at the Bank of America Centre in September.
Grizzlies coach Bob Bourne said he intends to take full advantage of the agreement, sending younger players to Boise to get more skating time and giving other players “a wake-up call.”
Bourne said he will also benefit from having a true affiliate nearby.
Steelheads coach John Olver said that he expected four to six players to be signed to two-way contracts and that those players would move back and forth between the Grizzlies and Steelheads.
He added that there is also the possibility for some three-way contracts, where a player could potentially play for the Steelheads, Grizzlies and Stars in the same season.
Olver thinks the new deal will have an immediate impact in bringing better players to Boise.
Although Washington seems intent on icing a veteran lineup in 2000-01, there is a possibility that some rookies will be given the chance to earn a spot on the roster. Some of the names mentioned include: 1999 first-rounder Kris Beech, newly-acquired defensemen Stephen Peat and Remi Royer and 28-year old Swedish blueliner Bjorn Nord. However, the prospect with the best shot at sticking with the Capitals is Alexei Tezikov.
Tezikov was acquired at the trading deadline in March 1999 from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Joe Juneau and a switch of draft picks. The Sabres were looking to bolster their team for a run at the Stanley Cup, and figured Juneau was the missing piece. The Caps insisted on including Tezikov in the deal, as Chief Scout Ross Mahoney remembered Alexei from his days on the Buffalo scouting staff. The story of Alexei’s journey from talented nobody to the next big thing for the Capitals involves a lot of moves in a very short time.
Even though Alexei had been named the Russian Junior League’s best defenseman twice, he was not rated by Central Scouting Bureau in his draft year of 1996. The Sabres were impressed enough to select him in the 5th round (115th overall). The following season, he decided to stay in Russia and played for both Nizhny Novgorod and his hometown team of Lada Togliatti.