Hockey’s Future Interview with Lance Ward

by Mark Fischel
Hockey’s Future recently had the opportunity to speak with Lance Ward, who played 30 games as a rookie defenseman for the Florida Panthers last season. Ward was given his opportunity to play against Carolina last year, and he quickly found himself playing on the top defensive unit with veteran Robert Svehla. But just as it appeared that unit was going to be together the rest of the year, Lance came down with an unfortunate back injury which ended his season.
Ready to put all that behind him, Hockey’s Future caught up with Lance Ward while he was attending a Panthers strength camp in preparation for a training camp in Thunder Bay next month. Lance was able to reflect on his past season, the perils of re-entering the draft, his upcoming season, and the Panthers entertaining radio announcer, Randy Moller.

HF: At what point in your life did you realize that you would be able to have aspirations to play hockey on the professional level?

LW: As long as I can remember, I’ve always loved playing hockey and that’s why I still play. It’s turned into a job now, but it’s something that I love and I would be doing it even if I weren’t a professional.

HF: Was there any player that you emulated growing up?

LW: No, not really. I grew up watching the Edmonton Oilers and watched guys like Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier and they were the kind of guys that I was a fan of when I was young.

HF: To this point, what has been your most cherished memory as a Hock Read more»

The Thrashers draft preview

by pbadmin

by Dan Perrault

The Thrashers have a very young and bright future. In the past two drafts,
Atlanta was selecting very high in the first round. In 1999, they
obtained Patrik Stefan, who jumped into the NHL pretty quickly, and
last year, in the 2000 entry draft, Atlanta picked second and selected Dany
Heatley. This year, the Thrashers have the top pick in the draft. What
will they do? Trade it for some immediate help to the team? Or keep it
and select someone who could be helpful in the future. Let’s take a look
at some of the rumors that are going around on what the Thrashers will
do in the next week or so.

Scenario 1:
The Thrashers trade their first overall draft pick to the
2001 entry draft for a young goalie, which they need badly. The Montreal Canadiens are very interested in trading
young goalie Jose Theodore for the first pick. The Canadiens have veteran
goalie Jeff Hackett and promising goalie, Mathieu Garon. This could be
the best possible scenario for the Thrashers who have a lot of young
talent, but need a goalie.

Scenario 2:
Mike Peca. Big trade talks in the last few days between
Buffalo and Atlanta. Peca who hasn’t been getting along with the
Buffalo organization, after many disputes over contract negotiations,
could possibly make his way to the Thrashers, who are weak at center.
Peca is a great defensive forward who plays with a lot of intensity in
his game.

Scenario 3:
The Thrashers keep the draft pick.

These three players are probably players the Thrashers are really looking

1 Read more»

Pens ink another young defensman

by Richard A. Plisco
The Pittsburgh Penguins continue to sign young defensive talent. They recently came to terms with 1998 draft pick Robert Scuderi. Scuderi, a New York native, is 22 and stands at 6’2″ 195lbs.

Scuderi recently completed his college career with the Boston College Eagles. He assisted that team on the way to an NCAA championship. Last season he put up 4 goals, 19 assists, and 42 PIM in 43 games. In 169 career games, Scuderi has accumulated 7 goals, 63 assists, and 96 PIM.

The fifth round pick has demonstrated his durability, missing only one game in his four college seasons.

Leafs Deal Markov To Phoenix

by Randy Nicholson

What promises to be one of the busiest and most interesting off-seasons ever has gotten started early here in Toronto. The Maple Leafs have already completed a trade that was disallowed by the NHL (but may yet happen), signed a coveted junior free agent (more on this tomorrow) and have now completed a second very significant transaction with the Coyotes. Coming to Toronto are centermen Robert Reichel and Travis Green along with minor league right winger Craig Mills. Both Reichel and Green were immediately signed to new multi-year deals by the Maple Leafs.

Robert Reichel, who had been a restricted free agent, has been playing in the Czech Extra League for the past 2 seasons after failing to come to terms with the Coyotes in 1999. This hiatus, by the way, marked the second time that Reichel had been motivated by a contract impasse with his NHL team to play in Europe. Jan Buben, HF’s European Correspondent, calls Reichel an “electrifying offensive talent with superlative playmaking skills” and further states that his stature in the Czech Republic rivals that of anyone ever produced by that hockey mad nation – including Pittsburgh’s Jaromir Jagr. Reichel has recently served as the captain of both his club team in Litvinov and also of the Czech National Team. His presence in the Toronto line-up next season greatly improves the team’s chances of opening up a consistent second offensive front behind the Mats Sundin troika.

Travis Green brings a very different set of skills to the Maple Leafs. Although he has scored 20 or more goals in 3 different NHL seaso Read more»

Interview with Adam Calder

by Wil Kirwan

Part 1: The background.

Flash back to the 1997 Frozen Four championship game. A sophomore at North Dakota, named Adam Calder was given the assignment of Hobey Baker Runner-Up and Boston University junior Chris Drury. Alongside Jeff Ulmer and Matt Henderson, Drury was taken from Hobey Baker runner-up to virtual anonymity on the score sheet. After that game, and through the next two years, Calder helped North Dakota become poised for another title, which they won in 2000. Every year Calder played, the Fighting Sioux made it to the Frozen Four, benefited by his strong two-way play. In 2000, Calder had moved on to help rebuild a team for a Championship.

In 1997, eight weeks after the Fighting Sioux won their NCAA Championship, the South Carolina Stingrays won the ECHL’s Kelly Cup, becoming the first team in the league to win both the regular season and playoff crowns. Four years later, Calder and Drury both played for championships in their respective leagues, and both were successful in their endeavors, but the question that still remains is why a very talented two-way forward with an excellent hockey IQ remains in the lower echelons, while other players with less talent and lighter work ethics have made the jump to the AHL and NHL.

Calder, a 5’11 185lb. forward, went undrafted and was found by South Carolina Stingrays head coach Rick Adduono three weeks before the ECHL began training camp. Calder had an immediate impact on the Stingrays, despite missing almost two months of the season with a knee injury and Call-up to Rochester. On the first road trip of Read more»

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