Guy Carbonneau takes in the Stars prospects at the WJC

By Simon Richard

CHL well represented at the WJC


There are 150 or so scouts and management of NHL
teams present in Finland for the WJC. Guy Carbonneau is among those visitors
who are looking very carefully not only at prospects yet to be drafted but also
to the current members of their organization. The 18-year veteran, winner of
three Stanley Cups, acts as the Special Assistant to the General Manager of
Dallas Stars.


The Stars have four players drafted involved in the
WJC. This is not the highest number of prospects among NHL teams but the Stars
may have one of the best groups in Jarkko Immonen, Martin Vagner, Vojtech
and Loui Eriksson. Each of these four young players have a
reasonable chance to reach the NHL. If Tobias Stephan were not injured,
this Stars prospect would also be at the WJC and been the number one goalie for
the Swiss Team.


on Stars prospects


At the old Helsinki Arena during the Canada-Ukraine
game, Carbonneau said he is proud of the four Stars players at the WJC, and
that they are important for the organization because the team has not had a lot
of prospects lately.


On Vagner, Carbonneau said he had an excellent
performance at the Stars Camp. "The move from Czech Republic to the QMJHL
Gatineau Olympics was good for him. He improved a lot,” said Carbonneau.


Carbonneau also commented about Eriksson,
who he had seen play in one game in Finland. "There is a great difference
with last year,” said Carbonneau. 
"I like him. He has a great natural born talent. He has fast hands
and skate very well. He will also get bigger with the time."


The impact
of a possible lock-out on the Stars organization


Asked what will happen for the team’s prospects if
ever a lock-out is declared in NHL, Carbonneau didn’t have many answers.
"Nobody knows what will happen if such a scenario becomes real,” he said,
adding that some owners may also want that AHL activities stop.


"If this happens, we don’t know yet what we will
do with AHL players. Fortunately, numerous of our prospects are Europeans and
they won’t be affected if AHL activities are frozen. Vagner could easily go
back in Europe. Some of them are also just 18 and could continue to play in
CHL. But we also have three excellent goalies in Utah and Boise and it will be
difficult to find them a place to play,” concluded Carbonneau.



prospects at the WJC after two games


Sarkko A. Immonen has 0 points and is -1.

Martin Vagner has 1 assist and is +3.

Vojtech Polak has 1 goal and is even.

Loui Eriksson has 1 assist and is +1.


Simon Richard
is the author of La Serie du siecle, Septembre 1972, a book about the
Summit Series published in 2002. At the 2003 WJC, he collaborated for the
Montreal newspaper La Presse. This year, he is collaborating with Radio-Canada.