Blue Jackets AHL Player Update

by Aaron Vickers

Mathieu Darche(LW) – Unable to crack the Blue Jackets opening day roster, Mathieu Darche was quickly relocated to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL. Darche, who was called up for a 9 game stint last year, has not gone unnoticed by the Blue Jackets organization. After compiling 8 points in 9 games (6-2-8) for the Crunch, Darche received a call-up to the big club. In limited action with the Jackets, Darche has been held pointless in three games, with 4 PIM and a –3 rating.

Brad Moran(C) – One of Darche’s teammates on the Syracuse Crunch, Moran has not enjoyed the early season success he’d like to. After scoring 120 points only two seasons ago, Moran has had a tough time adapting to the professional level, recording just 34 points in 80 career AHL games, and only 4 points (2-2-4) in 9 games this season. After recording 3 consecutive 100+ point seasons in junior, the Jackets cannot be happy with the production of the former WHL Player Of The Year and Bob Clarke Trophy winner.

Martin Spanhel(RW) – Spanhel has split duty this season between the AHL affiliate Syracuse Crunch and the NHL Jackets. Spanhel, who didn’t make the final cut in the preseason, managed 3 points (1-2-3) in 8 games before receiving his call-up with Darche. Unlike Darche, Spanhel has managed to tickle the twine, with one goal (1-0-1) in four games, while going – Read more»

East Coast Hockey League Weekend Notes

by Ron Valerino

Here are some notes on the Johnstown Chiefs, Richmond Renegades, Louisiana IceGators, Florida Everblades, Dayton Bombers, and the Pee Dee Pride.

Johnstown Chiefs:
Eric Schneider leads the ECHL in goals scored (9), and is tied for second in the league in power play goals (4).
Both of Chad Onufrechuk’s goals have come in the shootout.
The last time the Chiefs had a three game winning streak was 1/27/01-2/2/01.
Jeff Sullivan is ranked 6th on the Chiefs all-time penalty minute list with 547 PIM.
The Chiefs have not surrendered a goal in the two shootouts they have been in this season.
The Chiefs have only one power play goal in their last 15 chances.
The Chiefs are tied (Columbia) for the league lead with 26 major penalties.
Schneider is currently riding a eight game scoring streak. He has 8 goals and 3 assists during the eight games.
Four of the Chiefs five wins have come by one goal.
Tonight is the first game of a six game home stand.

Richmond Renegades:
If Rod Taylor plays tonight he will tie former Chief Bob Woods for most ECHL games played with 599. Taylor has missed the last two games.
Rookie Garrett Prosofsky leads the ‘Gades with 7 goals and 4 assists (11 PTS).
Richmond has been outshot in eight of their eleven games this season.
Former Washington Capital Brad Church was recalled earlier this week by the Portland Pirates (AHL).
The Renegades are 1-3-1 in their last five games. Read more»

The OHL’s Top Defenders

by Robert Moore

“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»

Interview with Craig Button

by William Charlton

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.

Mr. Button;

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»

Dempsey’s agent draws line

by Stephen J. Holodinsky

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»

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