Saturday, December 13, 2008

Team Yashin

Team Yashin Starting Lineup

Left Wing
Sergei Mozyakin (30GP - 16G - 22A - 38PTS) Mytishchi Atlant
-Sergei was drafted in round 9 (263 overall) in the 2002 by the Columbus Blue Jackets. He made it as far as the QMJHL but never made it over the pond. With an impressive 16 goals and 38 points in 30 games hes a shoe-in for the starting line-up left wing position. His numbers have been pretty impressive in the old Russian Super League and for the most part point per game.

Captain Alexei Yashin ((30gp - 10G - 12A - 22pts) Yaroslavl Lokomotiv
-Yashin is the KHL's posterboy in the battle agains't the NHL. Everybody remembers when Yashin was bought out
and returned home to play in Russia. Although many North Americans cringe and immidiatly think of overpaid and the typical stereotyle of a lazy Russian, Yashin is not the case. Infact despite the criticism hes had an amazing in North America , International and in Russia. Just look at his numbers! The perfect captain for the Russian side no doubt about it. Been there done that.

Right Wing
Aleksey Morozov (24gp - 19G - 22A - 41pts) Ak Bars Kazan
-Often refered to as the best player outside of the NHL year after year, Aleksey Morozov leads the KHL in scoring once again. Once a member of that devestating Pittsburg line with Mario Lemiuex and Alexei Kovalev. Although his numbers in the NHL were just above average, he makes up for it by blowing away his Russian counterparts in the European leagues. I really don't think theres many players who equal to his talent in the KHL.

Defense #1
Ilya Nikulin (31GP - 6G - 14A - 20PTS) Ak-Bars Kazan
-Nikulin drafted in the 2nd round (31st overall) by the Atlanta Thrashers is yet another Russian born player who was drafted but never made it over. Nikulin is on pace for a career yet with 20 points for an already strong Ak-Bars squad. He's allways been in the late teens to twentys in points. Nikulin is also a fixture on defense for Team Russia for World Cup events.
At the start of this season Nikulin almost landed in Atlanta but pulled out of negotions due to family influence but the World Cup champion still claims to this day that the NHL is still his dream.

Defense #2
Kirill Koltsov (30gp - 4G - 15A - 19PTS) Ufa Salavat Yulayev
-The brother of Konstatin Koltsov was drafted in round 2 (49 overall) in the 2002 draft by the Vancouver Canucks. Koltsov played two seasons in the AHL for the Manitoba Moose and put up some decent numbers. He returned home in 2004 after not being able to make the big squad and has played in Russia since. In 2006 he put up 40 points in 51 games and led all defensemen.

Konstantin Barulin (26GP - 16W - 9L - 6T - 2.45GA) CSKA Moscow
-Selected by the St.Louis Blues in the 2003 entry drafted 84th overall, Konstantin Barulin is having an impressive season for CSKA Moscow in his third full season. Held back by other St. Louis goaltending prospects he has yet to cross over. However in the KHL Team Yashin's goaltending position is pretty much up for grabs as theres no real candidate.

- Line Two -

Left Wing
Alexander Perezhogin (30GP - 20G - 11A - 31PTS)Ufa Salavat Yulayev
-Perezhogin was drafted in round 1 (25th overall) in the 2001 draft by the Montreal Canadians and sucessfully went through the system and on the main club after a few setbacks. Most people remember Perezhogin for his retaliation baseball swing to the face of Garrett Stafford in the 2004 season. After serving his season long suspension he made the big league and then jumped ship for a bigger pay cheque with advice from Bob Gainey after not being able to agree to terms in 2007. The Habs still own his rights.

Andrei Nikolishin (30gp - 7G - 18A - 25PTS) Chelyabinsk Traktor
-An 11 year NHL veteran once drafted by the Hartford Whalers in 1992 47th overall. Nikolishin highest season total was 51 points in his second season with the Whalers. He played in the Stanley cup finals for the Washington Capitals in 97-98. More known for his penalty killing and his face-off skills than his offensive talent and is having a pretty good start so far for Chelyabinsk Traktor with 25 points in 30 games played.

Right Wing
Aleksandr Radulov (30GP - 13G - 15A - 28PTS)Ufa Salavat Yulayev
-You should know this name by now if you are a hockey fan as Radulov is one of the KHL's biggest steals from the NHL. Although that could be highly disputed to whether or not he legally left the Nashville Preditors. After destroying the QMJHL and finished with 175 points in 62 games played. He then was drafted to the Preditors in 2004 in the 1st round 15th overall.
After having two solid seasons he ran out on Nashville to play for Ufa in the KHL while still under contract to the Preds. He is one of todays brightest young exciting superstars and could be a major player in the battle against the NHL.

Defense #3
Dmitry Yushkevich (31GP - 4G - 13A - 17PTS) Novosibirsk Siber
-Yushkevich was drafted by the Philldelphia Flyers in the 6th round 122nd overall in the 1991 entry draft. He started his NHL career after winning a gold medal with Russian at 1992 Winter Olympics. He had an impressive rookie season with the Flyers then eventually was traded to the Leafs where he was on their top pairing. After being one of the leagues best shut down D men
he found himself traded 3 times in the same season before heading back to Russia. Yushkevich has been one of the RSL/KHL's top defensemen since leaving North America. At the start of 2008 he retired due to the death of his first wife so he could take care of their children but announced his unretirement at the start of this season.

Defense #4
Andrei Pervyshin (29GP - 5G - 12A - 17PTS) Kazan Ak-Bars
-Another St. Louis prospect, Andrei Pervyshin was drafted in 2003 in the 8th round (253rd overall) and has yet to come to North
America. His play has drastically improved over the past season and he is officially back on St.Louis's radar once again. He is not known for his offensive flair but more for his incredible vision and his defensive play. It has only been recent years since hes developed an offensive game. He is undersized for a defenseman but plays with incredible heart and pasion which
more than makes up for it.

-Line 3-

Left Wing
Konstantin Glazachev (30GP - 15G - 11A 26PTs) Astana Bary
-Konstantin was drafted by the Nashville Preditors in the 2003 entry draft 32nd overall (2nd round). Glazachev is an offensive threat
who has struggle the past season but this year he has regained his offensive touch after bouncing around the Super League and is
starting to look like the "2nd line" winger that he was projected to be when he was drafted. Nashville however is cautious towards
him as the Radulov situation and Konstantin Glazachev's lack of a work ethic have apparently soured them.

Aleksei Kaigorodov (31GP - 5G - 18A - 23PTS) Magnitogorsk Metallurg
-Kaigorodov was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the 2002 draft in the 2nd round and made his NHL appearance for the Senators at
the start of the 2006-2007 season after being suspended from the RSL. He had an awesome training camp and showed that he could
be the Senator's help as their second line center. After only playing in 6 games he was demoted to the AHL where he refused to play
and took off back to Russia. The Senator's traded him to Phoenix for Mike Comrie and was place on Phoenix's suspended players list.
Phoenix hoped he would attend their fall training camp but he did not attend. They still hope he will one day return as he has definate
NHL caliber skills.

Right Wing
Maksim Spiridonov (30GP - 12G - 16A - 28PTS) Astana Bary
-Drafted in the 1998 entry draft by the Edmonton Oilers 241st overall (Round 9). Spiridonov played for the London Knights and adjusted to
the North American game by scoring 98pts in 62 games with the Knights. After being drafted he bounced from the IHL and the AHL for his first
professional season before lighting up the ECHL the following season. He played for Hamilton in 2000-2001 season and didn't look out of place
with 15 goals in 65 games. But after not being able to crack the Oilers line-up he signed with UFA Salavat and has played in the European
leagues since.

Defense #5
Vitaly Vishnevsky (29GP - 4G - 8A - 12PTS) Yaroslavl Lokomotiv
-A famaliar face to NHL fans, Vitaly was drafted 5th overall in the 1998 entry draft by the Anaheim Ducks. Vishnevsky has never been regarded
as a offensive defensemen but he allways has a steady smart physical pressence on the blueline. After 6 seasons with the Ducks he was traded to Atlanta he was traded to Nashville. He then signed the following season with New Jersey to a 3 year deal. He barely played the first
season and was furious at his treatment he asked for a trade. Devil's then waived him and after no takers Vitaly Vishnevsky took off back to Russia. He is looking is looking forward to possibly return to NHL next season.

Defense #6
Aleksei Bondarev (32GP - 6G - 8A - 14PTS) Omsk Avangard
-Aleksei Bondarev is undrafted and has been playing in the Russian league since the 2002-2003 season where never really been a solid producer till last season where he had a career year with 16pts. This year after only 32 games played he already has 14pts three shy of another career

Back-Up Goalie
Georgi Gelashvili (26GP - 16W - 9L - 3T - 1.64GA) Yaroslavl Lokomotiv
-Gelashvili is another undrafted prospect who has emerged this season as a star in the KHL. Before this season he only had played one full season in the Elite league. He is a product of the Chelyabinsk Traktor farm system.

-Honorable Mentions-

Left Wing
Oleg Saprykin (27GP - 9G - 13A - 22PTS) CSKA Moscow
Anton Kuryanov (25GP - 7G - 14A - 21PTS) Omsk Avangard
Right Wing
Maxim Sushinsky (26GP - 10G - 14A - 24PTA) St.Petersburg SKA
Defense #7
Denis Kulyash (31GP - 5G - 6A - 11PTS) CSKA Moscow
Defense #8
Oleg Tverdovsky (23GP - 4G - 7A - 11PTS) Ufa Salavat Yulayev

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday Late Night News Hits, the Sundin Saga

Well apparently I thought yesterday was Wednesday so heres the real Wednesdays Late Night News Hits.

->Joe Sakic was involved in a snowblower incident at home on Monday. After a snow jam in his snowblowers chute, Sakic tried to dislodge it by using his hand (the blower was apparently off) and ended up jamming his hand in the process. Tuesday night he had surgery to repair the three broken fingers which needed pins and also repair some tendons. He is expected to miss atleast 3 months.

->The Sundin saga continues and it appears to be almost over. Sundin's agent J.P Barry as announced that December 15th is Sundin's deadline time to when he will make a decesion. I know we've all heard this before but it appears to be legit. Sundin will also be apparently listening to the 4 teams who have shown interest in him from the start first. Toronto, Montreal, New York Rangers, and Vancouver. Right now it looks like Vancouver is the best fit for him as they still have cap space and their deseperate for some offense. They also have that huge offer still on the table for him. If hes looking for a Stanley Cup then Montreal would be the best fit except the cap space is limited and they are already having roster crowding. I personally don't believe Bob Gainey would take him at this point as Sundin dragged his wait on and on while Gainey was awaiting his decesion. The New York Ranger's are making the biggest push for him and have stated they are interested and are willing to clear up cap space if neccessary. Sundin is in New York this week and will use a Rangers private box to watch a game. He would fit but the roster moves are in need first. Toronto is the odd team out they don't seam to be improving and rumour has it Sundin is still bitter with the management after being asked to waive his no trade clause last year. I highly doubt Toronto will be an option. Finally Philly has jumped into this bidding war as well. The Flyers have cap issues as well but they are interested as long as the price tag isn't too high.

->The Lightning have placed Radim Vrbata and Chris Gratton on waivers. Radim Vrbata's expensive tag might cost him a pick-up but it is rumoured he has decided to go back over seas to the Czech Repubic to finish the season. Gratton on the other hand might find a home with the Minnesota Wild who are interested in obtaining a checking center. Another possible option is the Atlanta Thrashers who are desperate for anybody who can help out. If nether player gets claimed then expect to see them report to the AHL.

That's it for now, more coming a bit later!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday Late Night News Hits, Vokoun to Ottawa?

Well after a rough weekend I'm back, a company Christmas party and the flu has decided to hit me. Luckily not a lot has happened except some more injuries surprise surprise.

-> Montreal's Mathieu Dandenault is out for up to 2 months with a broken arm after being hit to the ice. The hit looked fairly harmless except he landed akwardly and clearly breaks. after he gets up he stayed on the ice with his arm dangling to finnish the play. Although Dandenault is not even close to being one of my favorite players it shows alot of heart that he actually tried to finnish his shift.

->Another Montreal injury in that Calgary game, it looks like Chris Higgins will be out again indefinatly has he appears to have injured his wrist. Higgins is expected to have an MRI tommorow morning.

->Pittsburgh's Hal Gill will miss two to 4 weeks after suffering a shoulder injury in Ottawa this weekend.

->Canucks traded D James Sharrow to the Hawks for a conditional draft pick. Sharrow was originally drafter by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 4th round of the 2003 entry draft.

->Rumour has it that the Panthers are preparing to shop goaltender Tomas Vokoun. One of the usual top goalies in the league before this season and now he has taken the backseat to Craig Anderson. I hear Ottawa again as a possible trading partner but I really don't believe his 5.5 mil salary would go down well, not unless Martin Gerber was part of the package. Los Angeles is another possible destination which would make sense but I'm pretty sure that La is wants in on the Tavares sweepstakes. Also they believe next season Jonathan Bernier will be their Carey Price.

Well thats it for tonight, I need some rest but I'll be back tomorow with the KHL all star teams I keep putting off. Hopefully some OJ and bed will get rid of this so I can finally feel normal.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Avery Affair

In the last few years you'd blind deaf, blind or dumb not to notice Sean Avery's on and off ice antics. From waving his stick in elite goaltender Martin Brodeur's face to apparently making racial slurs to at the times Pittsburgh's Georges Laroque to calling out the NHL brass for not marketing the game properly. In recent days Sean Avery has once again been in the spotlight with his mouth getting him in trouble again. Last week Sean Avery before a Dallas vs Calgary game not only defended his comments against the Flames captain Jarome Iginla but also took shots at Dion Phaneuf who is currently dating Avery's ex Elisha Cuthbert. Avery claimed that "it's a common thing in the league for players to fall in love with my (his) sloppy seconds." Not only is it a direct shot at Dion Phaneuf and also Mike Komisarek but also to Jarrett Stoll of the L.A Kings who is currently engaged to Avery's other ex Rachel Hunter. After being suspended indefinatly by the NHL it was revealed that he would be suspended for 6 games by the NHL but also disaplined by his current team the Dallas Stars. Everyone from Marty Turco to the Dallas managment are also sick of his antics and it seams like Brett Hull is the only one willing to defend him

Now I cannot defend all of his actions including possible racial slurs but Sean Avery is doing his job and the suspension is a little unfair. Sure Sean did say "sloppy seconds" and it may not be a family friendly term but really how many 5-12 year olds really know what that means? With movies and television getting progressively worse contentwise kids these days are subjected to far worse than a simple comment. How many kids really watch Sportscenter daily? I highly doubt very many. Besides that wouldn't you say fighting is far worse (I personally wouldn't because its part of the game but still) ? Or how about showing Richard Zednik get his throat cut by a skate blade over and over? Is that what you want your kids to see? I blame the media for over blowing this whole thing. Within twenty minutes almost every sports station was replaying the incident over and over. Kid's wouldn't see or hear his comments if it wasn't for the huge media push but no Gary Bettman chooses to ignore that fact. He also chooses to ignore the fact that far worse things are said on the ice. Mathew Barnaby claims thats not even close to the worst hes said or even heard players chirp each other with. This is really not about family friendly though this is about egos.

Sean Avery has taken direct shots at the leagues big guns for years and they had to just sit back and take it because they knew they had no grounds. Now that the media has exploded over this and listed "sloppy seconds" as on the most heinous phrases of all time, they had their oppertunity to try and put Avery back in his place. Although I don't agree with Avery on Jarome Iginla I do believe he is right about the NHL not marketing the right players. Why doesn't guys like Alexander Semin, Jonathan Toews, Ilya Kovalchuk, Martin Hanzal and Carey Price get pushed the same way we see Sidney Crosby get pushed? I'm personally sick of Sid the kid's crybaby mug all over the media. Just put a mic in his hand and he say what ever you want him to say. Hes simply the NHL's puppet. It's guys like Brett Hull, Jeremy Roenick, Ryan Smyth and Sean Avery who speak their mind and offer way more to the game even though it may offend some. The NHL should be happy about this incident because Sean Avery is marketing the game. It may be contraversial but it is still selling hockey to the world. Television stations like Fox who normally don't give two cents about hockey was showing Avery's clip. TMZ a celebrity based show did a piece on it and and helped push. Bettman ever heard of the saying "Bad headlines are better than no headlines"?

All in all it could have been worse and if it wasn't for the media it could have been alot better as well. Ether way it's selling hockey to non hockey markets and pushing other sports out of the headlines. Sean Avery may be annoying, crude and irratating but whatever he does seams to work. He might as well coined the term superpest because he is the best there ever was even if it means his teamates even hate him..... but I really think they just need something, someone to hate since their season has be a disapointment. Sean Avery is the NHL's scapegoat and only because they need somebody to take the fall and the chance to get the upperhand. In the end Bettman needs to put ego's aside and realize like it or not Avery's just doing his job and like it or not it's good for the game.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Saturday Afternoon New Hits + Corey Murphy?

Well I'd figure I'd get this one out while watching the Pittsburg/Ottawa game this afternoon. I don't know if anybody else was watching but they had curling on before and it ran late so they waited for curling to finnish. It was kind of a piss-off because curlings not exactly a main attraction sport and they've been pushing this afternoon game all week. They should have just split screened it but no we had to see each boring shot full screen. Oh well! Another slow day and nothing big going on but heres so fars new.

->Owen Nolan of the Minesota Wild has suffered an undisclosed upper body injury but is expected to miss atleast 2 weeks. I'll try and get more on this one as it comes.

->Yet another injury with Oilers Sam Gagner who suffered a mild concussion in Dallas Wednesday. The Oilers apparently are taking this very slow and don't expect him to be rushed back. My estimation is probably a week and a half.

->The final conclusion to the Sean Avery ordeal is in and the NHL has handed him a 6 game suspension. The Dallas Star's will not appeal the suspension but the NHLPA will. According to reports the NHLPA feels the suspension was a bit too harsh for a few selected words. Rumours have it that this season the NHL brass has had all eyes on Avery waiting for a moment like this to try and settle him down.

->The KHL has decided that they are going to try a familiar All-Star game format this year when they played their annual all-star game. On January 11th the game will be played outdoors in Moscow's Red Square in keeping with the outdoor game trend. The game's roster format has been chosen as well and will be a Russia vs the World format which is pretty interesting since alot of foreign players has now been lured to the KHL. Former Islander Alexei Yashin will be the team captain of the Russian side while a former Ranger Jaromir Jagr will captain the foreign teams squad. The rosters will be released mid-December. I'm personally excited for this one because I really do believe the KHL officials are playing this exactly how they should. Their marketing former NHL stars agains't their former league and using their name's which had been made popular in North America to stir a buzz and grab headlines in North America. Another interesting thing is that they are showing they can keep out with the lastest hockey fads by showing the NHL and North America that they arn't the only ones who can market an outdoor game. The KHL isn't budging, I truely believe this summer it could present another dangerous threat to the NHL. Especially if they expand to Europe like planned. I can wait to see how this is going to play out. Tomorow afternoon I will debut my Team Yashin (Russia) roster and who I expect to make the squad. There's alot of familiar faces, more than I expected. Tuesday I'll preview my prediction for Team Jagr and the Foreign side.

->Last little thing is that Corey Murphy noise is starting to happen. There are a few teams that are trying to make something happen with the Florida Panthers for the offensive specialist. Corey Murphy is an extremely talented offensive defenseman and clearly can work a power play. Although he's undersized and a bit injury prone a few teams who are desperate to get things started have shown interest. Two that I've heard are the powerplay struggling Montreal Canadians and the well just struggling Sens. Montreal loves these kind of players, with Mark Streit being gone and nothing clicking on the point he could easily be a good fit for an already talented line-up who needs someone to set-up Kovalev and Markov. Ottawa on the other hand has been just plan struggling and all season have been pushing for an offensive defenseman to replace Redden. Alexander Picard is a complete bust and Brendan Bell clearly isn't made to play at this level. Kuba's good but he needs help. This could be a good fit and I know Bryan Murray is ready to start shopping Antone Vermette a Jacques Martin favorite. Stay -tuned on this one.

Well that's it for now but a final comment to anyone who watches CBC broadcast games. Has anyone else noticed that P.J Stock can barely get a sentence together? I enjoy his commentary because he's been through the grind of the NHL and really knows the players sides but he sounds like a punch drunk boxer sometimes. Today he took about 3 minutes to say "Maxime Talbot knows what hes doing and know he has two players....". they should use him more to his strengths and use him for their rumours and breaking stories instead of trying to break the game down sentence by sentence or more like word by word.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thursday Late Night News Hits and Something To Sleep On

Another slow day today, not much actual confirmed news today except a few injury updates so I'll start with that.

->Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche will be out up to six weeks with an undisclosed back injury.

->Chris Chelios will be back in action soon after recovering from a broken leg. This weekend he will be reporting to Grand Rapids of the AHL for a conditioning stint untill further notice. I really hope Chelios keeps going, I once read in an interview he wants to play till hes 50 or as long as he can physically.

->Raffi Torres of the Blue Jacket will have arthroscopic knee surgery friday and is set to be out for 3-4 weeks.

Thats it for news but heres a major rumour to think about before you sleep tonight.

->From what I've been hearing Don Waddell is starting to think about his major situation next year. By his major situation I mean Ilya Kovalchuk and his unrestricted free agent status at the end of the next season. Now I'm sure deep in his mind he knows that the Atlanta Thrashers cannot compete with the players they have now and it's definitely going to be a "ground-up" project. Come trade deadline really what do they have to offer this season? Todd White? Marty Reasoner? Not really anything that's gonna bring in change. Now what happens if he shops Kovalchuk at the deadline? Atlanta would definitely benefit greatly. I've seen reported on a few sites how Atlanta is shopping Kovalchuk right now. I hardly see that as Todd White's not exactly going to bring in the fans. Also does Waddell really want the image of him throwing in the towel already? The fans and players both would be upset so if he waits till deadline day when the Thrashers are already out of the picture it makes perfectly good sense. He still would get a higher than normal value because Ilya would be under contract for another year. The other team would still have an entire season to try and sign him plus 2 sets of playoffs. Not bad at all! I truly believe Kovalchuk could bring in a gold mine of prospects and draft picks. My guess would be 2 1st round draft picks, a support player and a prospect or Don Waddell could go the other way and aim for an impact player and two 1st rounders to try and improve the team right away. Like it or not Atlanta wont be in contention for at least another season and this deal could give the Thrashers a really big head start.

Who would be the possible trading partners? I'm sure almost every team in the league would be interested but 4 teams come to mind. The Ottawa Senators as they need that little extra offense to spread out. the only problem is they don't have very much room to move. They do have a few prospects to spare and a couple big guns to shop. Imagine a Kovalchuk Spezza combo. What about this?

Atlanta sends Ilya Kovalchuk and Todd White
Ottawa sends their 09 1st round, 2010 2nd round, Mike Fisher and Nick Foligno

The second team that could really be interested is the Chicago Blackhawks. Their a young core ready to take off. With that extra fire power they could be pretty deep and have that extra flair to edge their opponents. Kovalchuk - Toews - Kane ? That would be incredible. Their also a West coast team so Atlanta wouldn't have to look at Ilya that much after the deal.

Atlanta sends Ilya Kovalchuk and a 2010 3rd round
Chicago sends 09 1st round, Cam Barker, Martin Havlat and Ben Eager

The third team is another west coast team in the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks have nobody really to put the puck in the back of the net as sad as it is. The Sedins cant be counted on to do everything. What happens if they get that little extra offense to back up Luongo's stellar play? It would make a huge difference if teams were scared of them offensively and defensively.

Atlanta sends Ilya Kovalchuk
Vancouver sends 09 1st rounder, Mason Raymond and Micheal Grabner

My last team is once again another western conference squad. The Minnesota Wild. The Wild are on the cusp of having a really good team that can possibly contend. Their in a really tough pack though with Detroit and San Jose, both of those teams have incredible offensives while Minnesota's just average. Give them another big gun to play with and it might be a different story. Kovalchuk has that game breaking ability that could turn them into an instant cup favorite. They could go easily two ways about it. They could sign Gaborik to what ever he agrees then turn around and trade him to Atlanta for Kovalchuk and a 1st round. That gives the Wild Kovalchuk and Atlanta a star player back plus a bit of future in return. The second option is to say screw it and keep Gaborik but get Kovalchuk to compliment him.

Atlanta sends Ilya Kovalchuk and 09 5th round
Minnesota sends a 09 1st round, Benoit Pouliot, Chris Hickey and Martin Skoula

We'll see how this one plays out and I'll definitely keep my ear open for anything because as far as I'm concerned this would be the smartest move Waddell could make this year. Well that's it for now but more will come tomorrow. I waited on doing the Avery incident article because I really want to see the final results of it before I dissect it which i figured would be today but ya. I also have the KHL piece almost done about their version of the all-star game which brings back a few old faces. You'll have to wait till tomorrow night though. Peace for now and don't stay up all night thinking about that doozy.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday Late Night News Hits

Ok not really a busy night tonight but hey theres a few major news hits anyways..

-> The Carolina Hurricanes fire Peter Laviolette after being hired in 2003 to replace Paul Maurice. Now strangly enough guess who now is replacing Peter Laviolette? Paul Maurice! It's kind of a strange move but the Hurricanes were stale. I don't really see why Paul Maurice for a second run but he is a decent coach so maybe he can turn around the squad. He does know the city and know what the ownership expects so maybe he knows what they need to win. I have a feeling Laviolette won't be out of work for longer than a season.

->The Coyotes have aquired Joakim Lindstrom from The Ducks for Logan Stephenson. Joakim Lindstrom has 7 goals and 14 assists for the Iowa Stars this year while Stephenson has 1 goal and 1 assist in 19 games for San Antonio. I like this deal for the Coyotes as I'm not quite sold on Logan Stephenson's skill set. He seams to be more of a 9th D type of player.

->Stefan Legein has decided to return to hockey, in a recent interview he has announced he'll return to the Columbus Blue Jackets in January and hopes to report to Syracuse of the AHL. After some time off apparently Legein feels ready to resume his career. The main reason for quitting he cited was due to a lack of passion but after sitting out for a few months he began to miss hockey. The Blue Jackets are opptimistic and willing to give him a second chance as long as hes commited.

->Daniel Briere of the Fylers is out once again, due to a severe groin strain. 4 to 6 weeks is the estimated time on the shelf this time. He's already been out for 15 games with an "abdominal injury". He injured his groin on tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. I have a funny feeling it's going to be a long season for Briere.

->Georges Laraque has a new column "Rock Talk" on and it's actually pretty cool. So far only one article but was actually pretty interesting and educated for a man many refer to as a "goon". Check it out it's worth the read.

->On other online hockey news, hockey monster David Frost has started a new website . For all those who have been living under a rock the past year, Mr. Frost was Mike Danton's agent and one time coach. After changing his last name due to the request of David Frost in a bizarre turn of events apparently hired a hitman to kill his agent. Other than possibly brainwashing and home-wrecking Frost is also accused of engaging in many disturbing acts of sexuality, humiliation, and abuse to/ with many of his former players he coached.........anyways back to the website , he claims to have hockeys insider information and fantasy picks but so far its just a publicity stunt. Infact it's got nothing really useful unless you need Mike Danton photos and videos. I'm not an expert or anything but if someone tried to kill me I wouldn't have their pictures and videos plastered all over my website. A little creepy. Check it out just for water cooler conversation.

Well thats it for tonight. I'll have a KHL posting tommorow night and a column on the recent suspension of Sean Avery. Stay tuned!

I'm Back!

Well I'm back again folks! It's been a rough few weeks and I'm finally ready to start this thing up for good. The last few weeks I've been caught up at work and with personal matters so I was unable to forfill my hockey blogging obligations. Now that everythings been cleared up I'm really pumped to get this thing to take off. From this post on you can expect 2 posts gaurentied daily and a post as soon as any breaking news hits. Expect a weekly educated column related to a weekly top story. Expect frequent updates from the top leagues around the world. Expect a weekly fantasy hockey pool tips. I will gaurentie you'll hear rumours here first before anywhere else. I've got alot more ideas and plans for the future so make sure to stay tuned. You can e-mail me any suggestions or comments ! Prepare for the best damn hockey site people. If you like hockey then this will be your one stop I promise!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

In Memory Of Alexei Cherepanov

For all those who hasn't already heard the heart breaking news, Alexei Cherepanov the talented Russian prospect of the New York Rangers passed away Monday evening during a KHL game between his club Avangard OMSK and Vityaz Chekhov at the young age of 19. From what is understood Alexei collapsed on bench where he then was carried by teammate Jaromir Jagr and trainers to a medical station where they then attempted to use the defibrillator on him which wasn't working at the time. He then was rushed to where the ambulance should have been but it apparently left the game early and took over 20 minutes to get back and to bring him to the hospital.

It saddens me deeply especially because I was in the process of writing an article on how the KHL is really taking big steps to becoming a truly equal league to the NHL on Monday night. I'm shocked to hear the blatant negligence on behalf of both the league and the paramedics. Enough with that though because I'd really like to tribute Alexei Cherepanov from all his accomplishments and for being truly an exciting player to watch.
Alexei Cherepanov was born on January 15th 1989 in Barnaul Russia. The "Siberian Express" as he was nicknamed by his teammates and fans first broke through at the age of 15 for Avangard 2 the farm team of Avangard OMSK. That season he embarassed the competition by putting up 61pts in only 28 games. He was instantly put on the map and was recalled to the Russian Super League in 2006. He then broke the Russian Super League record for most goals scored by a rookie with 18 goals which believe it or not was set by NHL superstar Pavel Bure. In 2007 the spotlights were on him and he continued to shine in not only the Under 18 championships where he won gold, the World Juniors where he received a silver medal and also in his first full RSL season. Many scouts referred to him as the best player outside the NHL and he was said to be the best offensive player in the 2007 NHL entry draft. He was ranked in the top 6 all season but with no transfer agreement between the NHL and the RSL he slipped to 17th and was a huge steal for the New York Rangers. In the 2008 season Alexei was off to an impressive start with 13 points in 15 games with 8 goals on the season.

Alexei Cherepanov touched many people in his short life, including many coaches in a short period of time. Rangers coach Tom Renney was seen wiping tears from his eyes at the ceremony held by the New York Rangers when they learned about this horrific incident. Jaromir Jagr was said to have been in contact with the Rangers staff and consistently informed Glen Sather that not only was Alexei like a younger brother to him he thought the youngster had tremendous talent and thought he was one day going to be a real star in the NHL. Despite Alexei's cocky image portrayed on the ice, it was in fact self-confidence in his abilities not cockiness. I watched many Avangard games last season and Alexei was a lot like Pavel Bure but had a way better defensive game. I was in awe every time I watched him with the puck. I remember watching the draft and screaming at the TV and my buddies wondering when someone would take a "risk" on drafting him although it was hardly the case. He had a tremendous upside and the game will definitely be hurting because of it. What if the KHL had better medical staff? What if the paramedics had been there when they were supposed to? What if Alexei had played in the NHL? What if he could have been one the games greats? For all these "what ifs" there is something we do know and that is Alexei Cherepanov was robbed of his life by incompetence and poor planning. We also not only was Alexei a great human being but a tremendous hockey player who will be missed across the globe by many people on and off the ice and we will forever remember him...

Alexei Cherepanov

January 15, 1989 – October 13, 2008

For Alexei's full stats please check out Hockey Database or TSN

Thursday, September 18, 2008

September 18th News Hits Part 2

-> The Phillidelphia Flyers have signed free agent goalie Jean-Sabastien Aubin to a one year deal. J.S Aubin split the season in L.A and the AHL.

-> Jason Pominville signed a 5 year extenstion with the Buffalo Sabres. Terms were not announced.

-> Earlier I was wrong when I stated that Mathieu Schnieder would be sent to the AHL apparently they will keep him on the roster till a deal is in place.

-> Vincent Lecavalier was named the Tampa Bay Lightnings new captian this season.

-> Mike Richards has been named Phillys new captain as well.

Rumours On The Wire

-> Nikolai Khabibulin is reported being shopped secretly by the Chicago Blackhawks. The two rumoured interested teams are the Ottawa Senators and the L.A Kings. I've heard this one before and it's the same two teams coming up. I also heard Ottawa tried to make a deadline deal last season with Chicago for Khabibulin and Lapointe. I don't really see this happening because of the cap situation but maybe if Ottawa unloads a hefty contract (Chris Kelly and Martin Gerber) it could get done. I see L.A as a better option because they need the cap hit bad. Also the fact that they still don't have a number one goalie yet.

-> Now that Justin Williams is out for most of the season Carolina is looking to Fill that void. Mark Parrish could be a possibility to replace him. I believe Mark Parrish is the best option out there for the Canes. The other name I hear whispered is Jeff O'Neil who is on a try-out basis with the club. If it was up to me I'd say stick with Parrish.

September 18th New Hits

Well sorry folks I've been pretty busy the last few days as I've been recovering from knee surgery so I haven't had time to post anything but expect a steady flow of blogs and rumours as I've had alot of ideas and stuff to report. So here goes a quick flash of what we missed...

->Robert Lang has been traded from Chicago to Montreal for the 2nd round pick Montreal acquired from Toronto for Grabovsky in the 2010 draft. This officially means Montreal is out of the Sundin sweapstakes. I really feel still though Montreal was one of his considered options and now it has forced him to rethink his options. From what I'm hearing is the Vancouver offer is sounding awfully good right about now. Also expect a few other teams with cap room to step up and make a few offers.

->Anaheim's Mathieu Schnieder has successfully cleared waivers and will report to the AHL. This is a move so they can bring Teemu Selanne in. I really expected someone to jump on him but maybe this is a chance to get him for a steal because teams now know Anaheim has really no other choice. If they do decide to keep him down in the minors thats utterly disrespectful to a great defensemen wiith alot of life left in him still. Expect a re-entry waivers claim from Los Angeles or even Ottawa I'm hearing?

->Marcus Nilson from the Calgary Flames has been placed on waivers and is expected to clear by noon tomorow. This is pre-arranged so he may play in the KHL for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, he however will still be paid by the Flames for this season but will not count towards the cap. Also the lucky bastard by be paid as well by Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.

->Detroit has re-signed Darren McCarty to a one year deal, terms were not mentioned but I'm figuring about $825k?

->Darren Hatcher is reportedly not going to be ready for the Flyers camp next week or even the start of the season. GM Paul Holmgren has stated he expects Hatcher to stay on the IR for quite some time before his knee heels and he'll be back in the orange again.

->Vancouver Canucks assigned C Mario Bliznak and D Patrick Coulombe to Manitoba (AHL), G Morgan Clark to Red Deer (WHL) and C Prab Rai (WHL). Released D Jordie Benn, F Oren Eizenman, G Julien Ellis, LW Scott Howes, D Travis Ramsey, D Shawn Boutin, LW Tyler Matheson, F Tom May, RW Kyle Neuber and LW Jordan Skellet.

->Hurricanes forward Justin Williams will be out for 4-6 months because he tore his Achilles tendon in practise on Wednesday. That's a big blow to the Hurricanes.

That's it for now, tomorrows a new day or at least there's more of a day..

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11th News Hits

Not much really to report yet except a few minor things..

->Eric Staal has signed a 7 year $57.75 mil deal to stay in Carolina. The deal works out to be $8.25 mil per season. Not bad at all.

->As previously reported Montreal will honor Patrick Roy by retiring his number "33" on Novemeber 22nd in a pre-game ceremony. It's about time if you ask me. (Check back later for an article about Roy).

-> Richard Zednik of the Florida Panthers is ready to take the ice and fully recovered after his horrible incident last season.

->Tsn has released their top 10 Draft Picks for the 2009 Entry Draft. At number one Swedish defender Victor Hedman was chosen. At number two the obvious choice John Tavares. Number three is defensive defenseman Jered Cowen followed by Matt Duchene. Number 6 Luke Schenn's younger brother Brayden Schenn. Everyone's acting like Hedman at number 1 is a big surprise but really I think Hedmans the whole package. I watched him at the last world juniors and he looked like a man among boys. He has been highly touted for a while as Tavares but he has the size and the maturity to go with the talent. Tavares still has alot of growing up to do. It all really depends on what team ends up with the first pick of course. If it's Toronto I believe Tavares will be there pick. Same with L.A but a team lacking a solid d-man then Hedman will be the guy.

->Last of all Carolina has unveiled their new third jersey which consists of a new logo on a black sweater. I actually like it better than their red jersey. Check it out and let me know what you guys think!

Anyways that's it for nothing anything new I'll post it. Spread the word to our friends about this site. Expect a Patrick Roy tribute later on and sometime this week a list of the remaining free-agents and my predictions where they'll end up.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

September 9th News Hits

->Keith Ballard of the Florida Panthers just signed a 6 year $25.2 mil contract.

->The Sedin twins are meeting with Vancouver's GM Mike Gillis to talk about his plans for the pair in the future and also contract exstensions for the duo. Both players would like to stay in Vancouver but their asking roughly $6 mil per season.

-> Mathieu Schnieder is almost definatly on his way out, the Ducks are $2 mil over the cap and his $5.6 mil salary for a 3-4 pairing d-man is not exactly worth it. Expect the deal to go down before training camp. Possibly targets include L.A where he once played and are still under the salary cap. I also hear that Montreal could be interested in making a pitch if they loose out on Sundin.

->The Globe and Mail has reported that two more teams are interested in Mats Sundin and apparently the Lightning are among the two. Good luck as Tampa Bay is ether gunna have to make some trades or magically create cap space. Also on the Mats front apparently Bob Gainey has given him a deadline. J.P Barry says Mats could be seriously interested.

-> Teemu Selanne is believed to be re-signing with the Anaheim Ducks sometime this or next week once the salary cap issue is solved. He is believed to be asking for $2 mil or under.

->Chris Chelios has signed a 1 year deal for $750 000 with the Detroit Red Wings, it was reported last week but made official today.

->Free Agent Brendan Shanahan is rumoured to still be in talks with the New York Rangers, he has been attending team practices though. Rumours again have resurfaced about an offer to play in the KHL. Highly unlikely as the Rangers are desperate to have him back.

That's it for today!

The Sundin Sweepstakes

So every hockey fan by now knows about the Sundin Sweepstakes because he is really the last high end free agent left out there and it doesn't hurt that every media outlet has been covering the story since way before Christmas aka trade deadline day. Its been almost 3 months and Sundin has yet to announce what could be his final destination and shot at the cup. rumours have been everything about the apparent 6 teams interested in his services. They are in no specific order,

New York Rangers
Toronto Maple Leafs
Montreal Canadians
Vancouver Canucks
Detroit Red Wings
Philadelphia Flyers

So who will land Mats? Well as of two days ago according to Sundin's agent J.P Barry it's down to and has only been about two teams. That doesn't tell us much really. Most Media sources seem to believe it's between the Canucks and the Habs. However it was recently revealed it's between the Leafs and another team. So who is that other team? Well what does Mats want? He clearly wants to win a Stanley Cup that is for sure. A lot of pundits say he wants a final pay day but I'm not so sure about that as Sundin who had jumped all over that 20 mil deal from the Canucks. But saying that he's not going to settle for peanuts ether. The last stipulation is that Mats most likely only wants a 1 year deal. If it's taken him this long to decide then he's obviously leaning towards retirement because doing this as a strategy doesn't pay off when all the teams interested bail and your stuck with nothing.

I highly doubt the Red Wings can afford Mats unless Lidstrom and co. can convince Mats to play for a bottom end contract. Although he would get his cup, the payout wouldn't be that great or even of half his worth for a year. Count them out in my opinion.

Now the Flyers have even said there are not interested in Mats so that is a pretty big clue to whether or not he is going to sign there. Besides I think Forsberg is there Swede...

On to Vancouver, I really do believe they had a big shot but I think the Pavel Demtra signing was an indication that they were on the outs. I really don't think they have the talent or made an significant moves to put them in a contenders spot yet. Mats is a smart man and I'm sure he knows that they may have money but they don't have the odds hes looking for. Also he wants a one year deal and there dangling a 2. Why get trapped there?

So that leaves two besides Toronto. The Rangers already have two top centres in there organization. Gomez is being paid a ridiculous amount and could be targeted for a trade which I have heard rumours off. But right now who is really able to accept a trade going into training camp? While the Rangers are a cup contender in my mind, they are pretty close to the cap and still have to re-sign Shannahan which will happen by the way. All in all I don't see him ending up in New York without a deal to send Gomez elsewhere.

Montreal is my personal pick of the lot including Toronto. Sundin also met with Gainey this weekend as well as Fletcher in Toronto so that might be a tip-off. Why else? Because they will be a contender even more so with the summer additions. They can offer him the money hes asking plus they only want a 1 year deal out of him anyways. The 100th anniversary is the perfect year to win a cup. Not only is it close to Toronto it's almost the same kind of media-frenzy atmosphere that is second to none. Toronto is no where near a cup and although they do have the money Mats also left on bad terms remember. They tried to force him out via a trade and he end up refusing to waive the no-trade clause. Toronto isn't the answer, it's more like the last option for Mats. He's played there, they'll take him no matter how late this drags on and it was his home. His new home shortly will be Montreal.

A New Beginning...

To start things off I wanted to talk bit about this blog. Although right now this blog is pretty plain and there is a thousand better layouts and gimmicks, I really hope people give it a chance. I have a lot of big plans for this site. My goal right now is to just get the feel of it and hopefully attract the true hockey fans. What do I have to offer that's better than the rest? Well I really feel that I can compete with the most die-hard hockey fans in engaging and intelligent hockey related conversation. I also feel I can analyze and break the rumours as well as any other blogger. Over the next little while I intend to post as much and as frequently as possible and encourage feedback and comments. Here's what I plan to include...
+Breaking News
+Fantasy Hockey Advice
+Opinions and Observations
+Anything Hockey Reviews
+Weekly Polls

Over time this site will change for the better, I have many many big plans so please be patient. Give me time and I guarantee this site will grow and you'll have to look nowhere else but here for everything and anything hockey! This is after all a new beginning so check back!