The Kings Ahead of the IHL’s Failure

by Tony Calfo
Reports say that six IHL teams will move into the AHL for the 2001-2001 season. While I for one will miss the IHL, the new AHL will give teams a great league to develop young players. At the head of this move is the Los Angeles Kings Organization.

Since the demise of the Phoenix RoadRunners, the Kings have gradually steered their prospects away from the IHL and towards the AHL. The AHL had traditionally been a proving ground for young NHL hopefuls while the IHL was built for has-beens and never-will-be’s with a few prospects sprinkled in. I personally lived in an IHL town and was able to see alot of NHL players in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Teams like St. Louis were able to build solid IHL franchises and have players who were used to playing an NHL-style game just a bus ride away. The Kings were able to do this with an agreement with the Long Beach Ice Dogs, formerly of the IHL. When the Ice Dogs moved out, the Kings focused solely on the AHL for player development.

The Kings seemed to see this coming. An agreement with Springfield preceeded an agreement with Lowell. Now the Kings will own and operate their own AHL team, just in time for the development of this “super” minor league. The Kings may miss the chance to move older players into an IHL-type league (like Boucher this season and Modry last), but to have their perverbial ducks in a row like this just in time for this potential new AHL is another feather in the cap of the Kings.


Look for the Kings to let Matthieu Schneider go the way of free agency. He Read more»

Soo Greyhouds Season in Review 2000-01

by Brad Coccimiglio
It all started with Ryan Healy being sent home for “philosophical
differences” with head coach Paul Theriault and finished with a 5 game
losing skid. In between it was like riding a roller coaster.

There were some high expectations for the Soo Greyhounds coming in to
the 2000-01 season. The goaltending and defence were expected to be
solid while the offence, although a question mark, was seen as something
that was not going to be a huge problem.

In hindsight the goaltending was solid, the defence was suspect at best
and the offence… well let’s just say the offence didn’t come to play.

To start the season the Greyhounds did have some offensive spark in
guys like Preston Mizzi, Ryan Held and Cory Pecker. The Greyhounds also
featured some potential in Jeff Richards, who showed up to camp in great
shape, CHL Import Pick Martin Bonda as well as defenceman Trevor Daley
and rookie Brett Trudell. There was a lot of potential but,
unfotunately, not all of it was realized.

The defence was suspect but did come up with some great efforts against
some of the OHL’s top teams. The defensive corps was somewhat young with
three 19-year-olds, two 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old.

The Greyhounds goaltending was solid during some games and off during
others. Ray Emery was solid during the stretch run but the team lost
some key games at the end of the year which knocked them out of playoff

The turmoil all began during training camp in September. During one of
the scrimmages rookie Jorda Read more»

IHL Playoff Summary

by Parker Neale

Battle for Turner Cup down to Four Teams

The IHL’s Eastern and Western Conference Finals are now well underway. There could, potentially be a rematch of the Chicago-Grand Rapids final that we witnessed last season as both teams are still alive and well. Let’s take a look at the match-ups and quickly summarize how each team advanced.

In the East, Grand Rapids swept Cleveland aside in four straight games. The Griffins, the IHL’s top team this season continue to ice a lineup that consists of a nice blend of youth and veteran talent. Chris Neil and Petr Schastlivy consist of the former while David Oliver, John Gruden, Todd White and Kip Miller have all spent a decent length of time in the NHL.

The Orlando Solar Bears carried their momentum from a solid second half of the season to roll over the Cyclones in five games. They are a very offensive-minded group that relies on league-MVP Norm Maracle to provide a solid final line of defence. Top players are Curtis Murphy, Todd Richards, J.P. Vigier, Hugo Boisvert, Brian Pothier and Jarrod Skalde.
The Solar Bears won the first game of this series 4-3 in triple overtime. The Griffins then rebounded with a 4-2 win in game two. And, Orlando bounced back for a 5-3 win in game three. The series now switches back to Grand Rapids for the next two games as arena booking conflicts called for a 1-2-2-1-1 format rather than the usual 2-2-1-1-1. Expect Mike Fountain to redeem himself in game four after a poor showing in game three and look for the Griffins to take this series.

In the We Read more»

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