As the Detroit Red Wings’ training camp got underway in Traverse City on Sunday, there were several unexpected faces of note. Sandy Moger, Randy Burridge, and Jeff Sharples were all late invites to camp, and along with a half dozen other hopefuls, they will battle in search of a Red Wing contract. Because the team does not have a dedicated minor league affiliate this year, the Red Wings’ are only expected to sign one or two players. The competition in Traverse City should reach a very high level as contract hopefuls try to get an edge.
The most noteable player in search of a contract is 30 year old Sandy Moger. At 6’3″ and 218 lb., Moger is ideal for the Wings’ fourth line with Darren McCarty holding out. Moger spent last season with the Los Angeles Kings, appearing in 42 games but notching only 5 points. Moger has good hands and an excellent release, and he plays a strong physical game. Although his skating is weak, he is strong on his skates and has good balance. With a solid training camp he could begin the season with Detroit.
Thank you to our correspondent Sarah Lindenau, who is attending camp in Traverse City and continues to provide us with valuable prospect information.
Team A vs. Team C
Final Score: 3-1 for Team B.
Team A Notes
Team A features regulars Fedorov, Yzerman, Chelios, Ward and Brown.
Team A features top prospects Jason Elliott and Darryl Laplante.
The top line featured Fedorov centering Yzerman on the left and Brown on the right.
Jason Elliott, the Red Wings’ fourth rated prospect, was solid but not spectacular. He displayed a good glove hand but didn’t cover up loose pucks well.
Laplante played well, throwing several heavy hits. One in particular sent 18th rated prospect Toivo Suursoo flying into the bench.
Greg Labenski, a contract hopeful, was unimpressive, and was caught out of position several times.
Team C Notes
Team C features regulars Lidstrom, Osgood, Shanahan, Larionov and Lapointe.
Team C features prized prospect Jiri Fischer along with Yuri Butsayev, Maxim Kuznetsov, Toivo Suursoo, Alexandre Jacques, and contract hopeful Mike Hurley.
Scoring: Shanahan, Hurley, and Jacques.
The top line featured Larionov centering Shanahan on the left and Lapointe on the right.
Fischer was impressive paired with Lidstrom. He showed great poise, vision, and made great passes under pressure. Read more»
Over the past few seasons there have been a lot of people
questioning what direction Canadian hocky was heading in. With an eighth
place finish at the 1998 World Junior Championships, and fourth at the
Nagano Olympics, many people in hockey crazed Canada were left with reasons
That’s when Canadian hockey decided that something needed to be done to get back on track, so to speak. Canada is still the number one player producer for the NHL as 60%-70% of NHL players call the “Great White North” their home. The problem lays in that
European players are becoming more dominant, and Canada is not producing talented players at a rate comparable to smaller countries like Sweden and the Czech Republic.
To try and figure out how to get back on
top, Canadian Hockey held the Open Ice Summit, the first of its kind, from
August 25-27. Some of the best hockey minds in the country like Toronto Maple Leafs president Ken Dryden, Canadian Hockey Association president Bob Nicholson and Canadian Hockey League president David Branch were in attendance.
Talk about a roller coaster ride. This team went from terrible to excellent and then squeaked in a period and a half of decent hockey before the wheels came completely off. They reached a new low in this game against Ottawa. Outplayed, outshot and outscored, they came out in the third period looking extremely tired, then all but gave up with about ten minutes to go. With the score 7-2 and only a few minutes remaining, I can’t recall ever watching a team wanting to playout the clock the way these guys did. They iced the puck at every opportunity, and stayed almost completely out of Ottawa’s zone. I guess you could blame it on exhaustion as the team played with a short bench most of the game. Gordie Dwyer didn’t play due to an injury, Alexander Buturlin left the game mid way through the second with a knee injury and Aaron Asham didn’t play in the third after he had two fights in the second period. Konstantin Sidulov was inserted in the lineup in place of Dan Watson on defense and Sebastien Thinel played for the injured Dwyer. Once again, Jason Lehoux and Olivier Morin did not dress for the game nor did goaltender Dan Murphy. Three games in three days with practices every morning is tough, but I didn’t notice the Ottawa team slowing down.
One might wonder if the ice was that bad, or if there was that little talent. After
a hard fought match between Florida and Montreal, where the brawn outshone the talent,
the Ottawa Senators prospects took on the Tampa Bay Lightning prospects in what seemed
to be a slip and slide matchup due to a sheet of water covering the ice. These were the
final two games of a four-day tournament which featured two games per day, with
each team playing in one of those daily two games.
In the Panthers’ four games, they deteriorated from giving the impression of being
a fairly strong, experienced and mature team to revealing themslves as an
undisciplined, immature and flat out joke of a squad. Their top player, Novoseltsev
was injured for all games aside from Game 2 versus Montreal in which he notched the
only two Panther goals. The pressure was then placed on Florida’s number one draft
pick, Denis Shvidki, to lead the way offensively for the talent-challenged Panthers.
But after a respectable opening game against the Senators, Shvidki trailed off and
disappeared for the rest of the tournament. Receiving some PK time, and tons of
powerplay time, Shvidki remained unsuccessful and mainly a liability defensively.
Perhaps too much was expected from the supposed feisty young player. It may
be that not only his numbers but his stock was blown out of proportion while Read more»