Blues Prospect Vikingstad: “No” to Blues

by Evan Andriopoulos

One of Norway`s premier players who has spent the last seasons playing in Sweden for Leksand has decided to pass on the nearly 100.000 USD offer from the Blues as it was a two way offer which did not guarantee a roster spot in the NHL. If Vikingstad was to be demoted he would spend time at Worcester of the AHL and if recalled his salary would increase 5 times.

Vikingstad is now entertaining the thought of playing in Germany with fellow Norwegian Trond Magnussen for a larger one way contract at Dusseldorf. Vikingstad is also looking at his former Swedish club Leksand as well as Fårjestad and a couple Norwegian clubs.

Other News and Notes from Norway: Anders Myrvold of the Springfield Falcons(AHL) and New York Islanders turned down their contract offer and is now an unrestricted free agent. Myrvold played sparingly in New York last season and is said to be entertaining offers from several other NHL clubs.

Toronto’s New Czech Checker

by Stephen J. Holodinsky

Most Bud draftniks greeted the selection of Karel Pilar in the second round with a collective ‘huh?’ when his name was called from the podium in late June. Little was known about the defender in the original media dispatches except for his height (6’1″) his weight (201 to 215 pounds depending on who you believe) and the fact that he played with recent Leaf acquisition Robert Reichel for Litvinov in the Czech Extra League. His stats on the year, 12 goals and 38 assists in 52 games (which lead Extra League defenders) came in shortly there after. But there is more to Pilar than simply statistics and measurements.

According to Robert Neuhauser, HF’s hockey correspondent in the Czech Republic, Pilar is actually a thinking player on the ice. He almost always opts for the safe play when there is any risk involved and is positionally very sound in his own zone. While he has the size to compete physically, his corner work and clearing work do need to improve at this stage in his career. His skating easily makes the grade and his lateral movement and pivot are NHL ready.

Offensively, the Czech rearguard again usually opts for the safe play, never forcing a shot or trying to thread the needle when attacking. That said, his right-handed shot from the point, while not in the Modin/MacInnis class in velocity, has an uncanny knack of getting through to the net and is easily deflected by forwards there. This and his hockey smarts should make him valuable on the Leaf powerplay where, all too often last year, the point shot either never came or never reached its int Read more»

Penguins Payroll Analysis

by Stephen Payne

Here is an overview of what Craig Patrick has to work with for the Penguins’
payroll this season:

Listed below are the players from last year’s team that are unrestricted free
agents that we will most likely not sign (or have already been signed by
another team):

Name/Age/Position/Last Year’s Salary/New Team (If Signed)/New Salary for This

Josef Beranek
, 31, Forward, $770,000, None
Marc Bergevin, 35, Defense, $875,000, None
Bob Boughner, 30, Defense, $950,000, Calgary Flames, 3 years, $6.6 million
Garth Snow, 31, Goaltender, $600,000, New York Islanders, 2 years, $2.3 million

Listed below are the players that have been traded:

Name/Age/Position/Last Year’s Salary/Salary This Year/ New Team

Jaromir Jagr
, 29, Forward, $9,482,708, $10 million, Washington Capitals
Frantisek Kucera, 33, Defense, $1.2 million, $1.2 million, Washington Capitals

Listed below are the restricted free agents that the Penguins have allowed to
sign with other teams:

Name/Age/Position/Last Year’s Salary

Rene Corbet, 28, Forward, $825,000
Steve McKenna, 27, Forward, $450,000

Listed below are Penguin players already with salaries for this year:

Name/Age/Position/This Year’s Salary

Robert Dome
, 22, Forward, $850,000
Andrew Ference, 22, Defense, $400,000
Hans Jonsson, 27, Defense, $800,000
Milan Kraft, 21, Forward, $975,000 Read more»

News on Hecht, Ustorf, Benda and the Oilers

by Oliver Janz


Hecht signed for hometeam Adler Mannheim

Forward Jochen Hecht made a surpising announcement. He signed a one year contract with his former team in germany, Adler Mannheim. The DEL-champion held a press conference and you saw Hecht with his new jersey with the number 77. Why did he sign for Mannheim? The whole story: The 24 year old center became an restricted free agent after the season. He talked to his manager and his agent and they let him know the Blues will sign him to a new multi year contract. But, Hecht went back to germany to marry his girlfriend Christina in his hometown and no one talked to him till he received a message from his agent: The Blues traded him together with Jan Horacek and Marty Reasoner to Edmonton for Doug Weight and Michel Riesen. That shocked Hecht very much. “I know that this can happen, but i don’t like it!”

Jochen Hecht is still without a NHL-contract. So, remember Petr Nedved, he played in the czech republic to set the management under pressure. The only reason fot these movements is the money. One more time Hecht: “It’s a pleasure for me to play for the Oilers, a team Gretzky and Messier played for in the past. I want to play for them and i want to sign a good contract.” Hecht will play for Read more»

European signings

by Lain Babcock
Kevin Lowe took a page from teams like Minnesota and Columbus by drafting and then signing three older European players, all of whom may step in next season:

G Jussi Markkanen: A 26 year old from Finland, who had a breakthrough season with Tappara of the Finnish Elite League. His record was 30-17-5, with a goals against average of 2.09. The organization is very high on him, and they hope he’ll win the job as Tommy Salo’s backup in 01-02.

D Kari Haakana: 27 years old, rock solid at 6’1 and 228 pounds, Haakana has been described by those who saw him last season (he played for Jokerit of the Finnish elite league) as a punishing hitter, and a very physical defender. The Oilers have expressed confidence that Haakana can step right into the lineup.

D Ales Pisa: 24 years old, 6’0 and 195, Pisa is described as being another solid defenseman, who got riled up enough to hit a referre and get a 15 game suspension last season (he played in the Czech elite league for Pradubice, and scored 10-13-23 in 47 games). Pisa has a hard shot from the point, and may eventually get some power play time. Pisa signed a two way deal with the Oilers, implying some time in Hamilton is possible.

In a much anticipated move, Edmonton signed RW Jani Rita, the highly touted Finnish winger that fans have been waiting to see in an Oilers uniform. Rita signed a three year deal, and has a solid shot at making the big club, although some time in Hamilton might be best for him. Rita is from the 1999 Oilers draft class (he was picked 13th overall) that also includes M Read more»

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