As the sky opened up and dropped buckets of rain on humid South Florida, the most immediate effect was the extinguishing of brush fires near the NCRC. While the draft was never truly in danger of being cancelled, it would have made a nice story for all the visiting journalists, as they drove the beautiful arena with its backdrop of think dense black smoke blocking out the sun.
On the agenda today for the NHL and the media-crazed atmosphere, was shuttling a few top prospects to the twin-ice facility known as Incredible Ice, 7 miles north of Sunrise in Coral Springs…..TOP PROSPECTS HOCKEY CLINIC
No.1 Ranked prospect Jason Spezza, No. 4 ranked Mike Komisarek, and No. 5 ranked R.J. Umberger took part in an ice hockey clinic for members of the Coconut Grove Kings Hockey Program.
This program was presented by the NHL Diversity Task Force and was led by none other than Willie O’Ree, with help from Florida Panther Peter Worrell. About 35 local youths, some quite talented and some working on their skills, got the opportunity to skate around with and work on drills with the fore-mentioned prospects.
All 3 prospects seemed to have a great time just enjoying the ice, without having to worry about what will become probably the biggest day in their lives to this point, which is only 2 days away. Getting away from the media crush, they thought they might have been safe on the ice, but with all the kids skating around….it might not have been the safest place.
Tomorrow Denis Potvin will be hosting the Top Prospects Preview in Read more»
Detroit and the Free Agency market
This years free agency market is probably the most talanted ever, and the most expensive. There are players that will get new contracts worth up to $10 million, like Joe Sakic, Rob Blake, Jeremy Roenick, Alexander Mogilny, Pierre Turgeon. But there are also solid players that are less expensive like Jason York, Mike Sillinger, Donald Audette, Martin Lapointe.
So what should Detroit do?
In my opinion they should sign a top line center (Jeremy Roenick), and a top 4 defenceman (Jason York), and try to trade some of their own guys like Aaron Ward, Steve Duchesne, and Slava Kozlov.
Jeremy Roenick is the most important signing, he wouldn`t cost any draft picks or players but the biggest reason is that Steve Yzerman will probably quit in 2003, and the contract of Sergei Fedorov will expire, and even if thay sign Fedorov to a new contract thay will only have one impact center and that is where Roenick comes into the picture. Roenick is very good both offensively and defensively, he plays a gritty and agressive game and is a huge leader that would fit great in the Red Wings organization. Roenick will probably get a contract worth $7.5, 8 millon and if Detroit makes the right moves they can afford that.
Next signing is the former Detroit Red Wings player Jason York, who`ll not be to expensive to sign, he`ll probably get a contract worth around $2 million. Jason is a good stay home defenceman who could be top 4 in Detroit. And last but not least thay should try to keep Martin Lapointe because he is a very Read more»
Kings GM Dave Taylor was on Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton’s drivetime radio program on XTRA on Wednesday and commented on a variety of subjects, including Scott Barney. Here is a quick rundown:
Scott Barney- Taylor said that Barney is not even skating right now and from what I heard, it seems that Barney’s career is over. DT said that in all likelyhood, Barney will not be able to overcome the two back surgeries and will likely never wear the Kings sweater.
Yannick Lehoux- DT spoke very highly about Yannick and stated that Lehoux is working with the Kings this summer in Los Angeles. He stated that he had another year of juniors but didn’t rule out a possible shot with the Kings.
Jared Aulin- Taylor was moderately positive about Jared. He stated that he needed to complete his game and it didn’t seem that Aulin had a prayer to make the roster this season.
Alexander Frolov- DT spoke highly about Frolov, commenting on his length and classified him as a “finisher”. Taylor seemed excited about Alexander.
Alexey Volkov- Taylor was actually more positive than I anticipated about Volkov. He said that Alexey was moved to the ECHL for playing time and they were pleased with his progress.
Potential Moves- DT said that the Kings were interested in moving up, but were probably night going to be able to get to they spot they desire, so they will likely stay put. He did say that between the picks and an expendable goalie (which will be dealt) that they had some assets to trade. Taylor said their goal was to Read more»
The big “day” is coming…
Draft day is coming in less than 3 days, will Atlanta GM, Don Wadell
trade the pick?
“There is now a 75% chance that I will keep the pick,” Waddell says.
“That’s based on the fact that when you have more time to do your
homework and review your options, this player begins to grow on you. It
just gets harder and harder to trade this pick.”
Wadell had about 1 or 2 tempting offers, to trade the 1st overall draft
The best offer he had received came from the Montreal Canadiens, who
2 draft picks in the first round and 3 goalies. (Jeff Hackett, Jose
Theodore and Mathieu Garon.)
The Thrashers would be most interested in Mathieu Garon.
Don Wadell says he had never discussed with the Sabres organization on
Mike Peca and a goalie.
Wadell has interviewed both Kovalchuck and Svitov, and is interested in
both of them.
But he is more likely to select Kovalchuck. Kovalchuck, 6’2 – 207
pounds, is an incredibly
skilled player with amazing puck handling and checking abilities. “He is
a high-skilled player who can go around players, but he can also go over
them,” Waddell says. “He’s a force. He can take the hit to make the
play, but he is also the guy who can give a hit”
Many compare Kovalchuck to Pavel Bure, except Kovalchuck plays a bit
” NHL Central Scouting described him as someone who already has “shown
the potential to be a franchise player.” “Ilja has all the physical and
technical qualities to become a top-class player, and he’s a strong
character,” s Read more»
Here is a look at Bryan Allen, a well known Canucks prospect.
Bryan Allen was drafted by the Canucks in the 1998 NHL entry draft in the first round, #4 overall.
Allen is a big guy, listed at 6’4 weighing in at around 215 pounds. Allen has the potential to be a Chris Pronger like defenceman, if he hadn’t of run into all those injuries. Remember the locker room one? Where he slipped on a bar of soap in the shower, and broke a bone in his ankle. Injuries like that have made the road to recovery a hard one for Bryan. So many injuries, in such a short amount of time. He has fought through all of the tough injuries, but still has the scars.
Allen had a very solid junior career, for the Oshawa Generals of the OHL. In his first season with Oshawa, he recorded 6 points in 60 games played. Not very good if you ask me. Every year since that year back in 1996-1997 he has improved greatly. The next season for Oshawa, Allen recorded 19 points in 48 games played, including an incredible 126 penalty minutes. His best season with the Canucks organization was last year with the Kansas City Blades, the farm team for the Canucks. Allen played in 75 games, before being called up by the Canucks. He recorded 25 points, and 99 penalty minutes. Then he was called up by the Canucks, and appeared in 6 games, where he was solid.
Kansas-City Blades IHL GP 75 G 5 A 20 P 25 PIM 99
As for the future, I see Bryan Allen as a top 4 defenceman soon. He definitely has the tools to be a rock solid player. He just needs to gain NHL experience. Read more»