In a tourney that answered the question "What would happen if a hockey tournament was held in Skelleftea, Sweden and no one showed up?", the Buffalo Sabres had ample representation amongst several teams taking part in the 2000 World Junior Championships. In total, five Buffalo Sabre prospects- LW Barrett Heisten and D Doug Janik (USA), RW Jaroslav Kristek (Czech Republic), D Matt Kinch (Canada) and LW Milan Bartovic (Slovakia)- took part in this year’s WJC. Unlike last year’s stellar showing by Sabre rookie Maxim Afinogenov, there were no spectacular performances put forth by these prospects, although a couple of the players played solidly enough to merit some mention.
IHL RECAP FROM THURSDAY JANUARY 6, 2000
Kansas City Blades 2
Orlanado Solar Bears 7
Kansas City Blades lead the IHL with 57 major penalties.
Utah Grizzlies lead the IHL with 9 shorthanded goals which have been scored by 7 different players.
Mike Crowley of the Long Beach Ice Dogs is 2nd among IHL defenceman with 4 goals and 21 assists for 25 points.
THE IHL LOCKEROOM: THROUGH THE EYES OF A PLAYER
For some the dressing room is just another room to get changed into your hockey gear and go out on the ice and play hockey. For the players its more
than just a place to change. “Its kinda like going to the office everday only thing is you wear hockey gear instead of a three piece suit.” said Moose
defenceman Brett Hauer on describing the dressing room. Going to the office and play hockey all day. How many of you can say that? For most
players its a way to relax and get away from everday life. ” I love coming here and just relaxing on the huge couch and watching the tv and talking with
the guys.” said Moose winger Jimmy Roy. For Moose goalie Jason Elliot just coming to the rink everyday is exciting enough. ” I love coming to the
rink everday and playing hockey, hanging out with my teammates, being in the dressing room is like a getaway from everyday life.” All players regard
it as a home away from home. For some players it just holds a special something. Read more»
As we approach the halfway mark of the season, here are the highs and lows of the system.
The best story so far is Joe Rullier. He is quickly emerging as the top defensive prospect in the Kings system. He has shown the grit the Kings like at the blue line and has added some solid offense. Rullier was the only Kings’ representative on Canada’s WJC team and has put up solid numbers for Rimouski of the QMJHL.
The most concerning story is Scott Barney. The Kings have been so hush-hush about this that one can only wonder what the problem is. To the best of my knowledge, Barney is still nursing a back injury and is not even skating right now. This is the big centerman the Kings have longed for. An unfavorable diagnosis would make a thin pipeline even thinner.
What to watch out for is firstly, Barney. Will he play this season? Secondly is how Pavel Rosa emerges. He has been decent in Long Beach, but where is the goal scoring? Is he moping in Long Beach or is this what the guy is? The Kings seem like they would have to at least give him a cup of coffee this season, even if it is to show him for trade.
Darryl Laplante, 58th overall selection in 1995 by Detroit, posted the NHL’s fastest time in the skating portion of the skills competition. He edged out Red Wing forward Sergei Fedorov (13.670 ) and Carolina’s Sami Kapanen (13.716 ) with a time of 13.597. Laplante was one of the last Red Wings to skate and wowed the crowds by edging out 1994 champion Sergei Fedorov who jokingly claimed a clock error and challenged Laplante to a rematch.
The youngster from Calgary gave credit to his mother who forced him to take figure skating lesson from ages 5-12, something that Laplante was a bit shy about admitting. Laplante also turned in a great showing in the agility competition but was finally edged out by Detroit captain Steve Yzerman who gave the rookie a hug following the closely contested skate through the cones.
Laplante was Detroit’s final cut following training camp this fall and was assigned Cincinnati of the AHL. There, Darryl lead the team in goal scoring and following a plethora Detroit injuries, was recalled by the Red Wings in November.