“OHL’s Top Defenders”
Defensemen usually don’t get the praise that they rightfully deserve. They
battle hard, game in and game out, and are seldom rewarded. That’s why I
have composed a list of (in my opinion) the top ten rearguards in the OHL
(in no particular order). I stress that this is my opinion. I know some
people won’t be happy that I have left out Guelph’s Kevin Dallman and his
points. But I feel that there is more to a defenseman than points. I have
“honourable mention” list of players that I thought of putting on, but
didn’t have the room for them. Enjoy, and pick apart my list all you want.
The first five are below, and the next five will be posted tomorrow.
Mark Popovic (6’1″ – 194lbs) Mark is one of the most skilled d-men in the
entire league. He is the unquestionable leader on the Majors hockey club.
After a terrific camp with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, he was sent back the
the “O” for more seasoning. He is rounding out his game very well. His
skating and his offensive skills are top notch. He is an excellent puck
mover that needs to work on gettingmore physical in front of his net. But
nonetheless, Mark plays a terrific all-around game.
Malcolm Hutt (6’0″ – 195lbs) Malcolm is probably the most underated
defenseman in the OHL. While he is in the top ten in d-man scoring, that
not his calling. Malcolm is an exceptional defensive player who makes a
great first pass. Two words used most often to describe Malcolm are
and “dependable”. He rare Read more»
The following is the brief interview with Flames GM, Craig Button. This is the first of what will become a quarterly interview with Mr. Button asking him the most up to date questions confronting fans – particularily Flames fans today.
First of all I would like to report that the web site I write for Hockeysfuture has been tremendously surprised by the early success as a result of your trades. On behalf of the Flames fans on that site I would like to say “Thank-you for sticking to your guns and doing what you knew was right even though times were tough.”
I have a few questions I woudl like to ask you. Read more»
Art Shoots the Breeze
In case you haven’t heard, Art Breeze is at it again. Breeze, Nathan Dempsey’s agent, has communicated a ‘play me in the NHL or trade me’ request to Leaf management. He’s gone so far to say on the FAN 590, a local radio station in Toronto that if he isn’t traded “he will play (in the NHL) next year and well beyond and come back to haunt some people.”
Without a doubt, there are many who would support Dempsey’s promotion to the ACC among followers of the Blue and White. In limited duty, he has impressed. But let’s be clear here, we are talking about ‘limited duty’. Ripping apart the blueliner’s game it’s fairly easy to add up the pluses and minuses. He’s a puckmoving defenseman who makes a snappy first pass, knows when to shoot, and can fill the role of powerplay quarterback on the second unit. On the downside is an utter lack of size as he is whisper thin at 6’0″ and 170 pounds. Despite good effort, this leaves him vulnerable in the corners and in front of the net.
Compare him to Tomas Kaberle, who is an inch taller, 8 pounds heavier, and five years younger. Kaberle fits the bill almost to a ‘T’ with the exception of a reluctance to shoot at this point in his career. However, more importantly that that is the age difference. Whereas Dempsey is always going to be 170 pounds, the Czech is still young enough to pack on some pounds and get up towards 200 where he will be better able to handle the action near the blue ice in his own zone. And for Dempsey’s value within the Leaf organization, Read more»
It has become a yearly tradition for the marketing
wizards at the NHL offices. No, I’m not talking about
the introduction of another series of extremely horrid
third jerseys by several of the member clubs. I’m
talking the fall release of fan selection ballot for
the mid-season All Star game. Every year the league
releases the ballot, and every year there is some
controversy surrounding those names available for
selection. Why should this year’s game be any
different? Well maybe because the controversy
surrounding this year’s ballot is such an obvious
blunder that it really makes the league look bad.
Normally the NHL has a leg to stand on when it comes
to omissions in the All Star ballot. There is a
surprise player or two who come out of the gate hot
and lead the league in several categories, or the
unknown rookie who makes a big splash and comes out of
no-where, or the aging veteran who has a career year
while he winds down towards retirement. All of these
situations are ones where the league office can be
excused for its short sightedness. But this year the
league really left itself open for criticism by
leaving Calgary Flame poster-boy, and rising star
player, Jarome Iginla, off the ballot.
When you scan the list of leading scorers a few names
jump out at you. Mark Parrish and his twelve goals in
thirteen games is a surprise. Iginla’s team mate
Craig Conroy, and his sixteen points in fourteen games
is a surprise. And perched up at the top of the
scoring race is a surprising Jarome Iginla.
Surprising? To be sitting a Read more»