Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Vancouver 2010 Roster Predictions: Finland

The Finns main strength is between the pipes so they'll count on their goalies to win games for them. There also not as well rounded as most nations ether. With a really aging lineup some youth would help. Their looking like a 5 or 6 team.

In Net: The Finns main strength this year is there tandem of goalis. Mikka Kiprusof who hasn't been amazing this year still should get the go ahead over Backup Nicklas Backstrom and third stringer Peka Rinne, although all 3 could easily start.

On D: Their defense is pretty good but anything physical shouldn't be expected at all. Joni Pikanen and his partner Kimmo Timonen will be expected to most of the work. Sami Salo will be utilizing his cannon from the point on the PP and second pairing. Also one of the few right handed shots avaliable to Finland. His partner would be stay at home defenseman Toni Lydman of the Buffalo Sabres. The final pairing of exNHLer Janne Niinimaa of HV71 of the SEL and Philadelphia prospect Lasse Kukkonen of Avangard OMSK of the KHL. Rounding out the D would be fellow KHLer Ossi Vaananen of Dynamo Minsk whose currently playing in the Spengler Cup.

Up Front: The Finns are rather offensively challange from the forward point of view but have a tight defensive unit with some surprisingly physical attributes. The aging might hamper their fun however. LW Tuomo Ruutu will be expected to try and put up numbers but we've been waiting a while for that one. Centering him would be Calgary Flame Oli Jokinen and on the right Niklas Hagman of the Leafs. The second line would feature best friends and Anaheim Ducks RW Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu C. Youngster Ville Leino would represent the left side. Jussi Jokinen of the Carolina Hurricanes would be the shootout expert and the left winger on the 3rd line. Centerman Mikko Koivu of the Minnesota Wild and teamate Antti Miettinen RW. The last line consists of veteran Jere Lehtinen LW, Valtteri Filppula C and pesky Jarkko Ruutu RW. The sub should be Jarkko Immonen of AK Bars Kazan of the KHL who can play the wing and center.

Sleepers: RW Hannes Hyvonen has been playing extremely well as of late Dinamo Minsk in the KHL. Defenseman Sami Lepisto of the Phoenix Coyotes is steady and reliable. LW Sean Bergenheim of the Isles has potential and could be invited.

Vancouver 2010 Team Predictions: Czech Republic

The Czech could have a surprisingly good team and I'm going to place them around 5th place before I seen the finalized rosters. I believe the Czechs have a balanced attack more so than most nations and if their goaltending is stellar then they will steal some games from some of the big dogs of the tournament.

In Net: The Czech usually have pretty strong goaltending and believe it or not Dominik Hasek is still going. Remember him? He's currently playing for hometown club HC Pardubice and should feature as their backup. I don't believe he'll be their starter however as Tomas Vokoun of the Florida Panthers should get the nod while Ondrej Pavelec of the Atlanta Thrashers will be around to gain valuable experience and may even start if he stays hot.

On Defense: Apart from the Canadians I believe the Czech are more than capable of lining up the second best D of the tournament. The top pairing of former Toronto Maple Leaf and current Maple Leaf Tomas Kaberle and Pavel Kubina should carry most of the workload. Kaberle is always consistent while Pavel Kubina has been playing some underrated hockey for the Thrashers this season. The second paring of Roman Hamrlik of the Montreal Canadians if he's still healthy and offensively gifted Marek Zidlicky of the Wild. Zidlicky will most likely run the PP while Hamrlik will provide leadership and experience. Finally the last pair should consist of Filip Kuba of the Ottawa Senators and shut down defenseman Radislav Kesla of the Columbus blue Jackets. The odd man out should be Jaroslav Spacek of the Montreal Canadians or Zbyněk Michálek of the Coyotes.

On Forward: The Czech's have a very underrated offense as well. They have a combination of firepower and experience which should give them an edge over many Nations. The one problem they might run into is the age factor. Many of their forwards I predict are starting to show signs of wear and tear. The top line of RW Martin Havlat of the Minnesota Wild, C Tomas Plekanec of the Montreal Canadians and LW Milan Michalek of the Ottawa Senators should lead the way offensively against the opposition. LW Jiri Hudler of Dynamo Moscow who recently defected to the KHL should be a fixture on the second line with RW Milan Hedjuk of the Avs and center David Krejci of the Boston Bruins. The 3rd line I'll dub the New York, New York line featuring 2 former New York Rangers and 1 current Ranger. RW Jaromir Jagr (Avangard Omsk) who now dominates the KHL after several season with the Rangers should be the team captain and play an important part for his country. He's a future Hall of Famer that still can rack up the points but he is starting to slow. His center Martin Straka (HC Lasselsberger Plzen) plays responsible hockey while having an offensive touch should be an assistant. The last member of this line features current Ranger LW Vaclav Prospal who has resurrected his career in the Big Apple this season. The last line could feature Robert Lang of the Phoenix Coyotes up the middle with Martin Erat of the Nashville Predators to his right and Rostislav Olesz of the Panthers on the left. The spare forward could be Ales Kotalik, yet another Ranger.

Sleepers: There could be a lot of pleasant surprises to make the Czech this Olympic Games but my bets on this trio. Jan Bulis last seen in Vancouver has been playing the past few seasons in the KHL for Atlant Moscow and has been putting up pretty decent numbers. He was a fixture in several International events before this. Another question mark could be youngsters Michael Frolik of the Florida Panthers and Tomas Fleischmann of the caps. Another name to consider could be defenseman Marek Malik who has quietly been having a great season in HC Vítkovice.

Vancouver 2010 Team Predictions: Canada

Tomorrow at noon Hockey Canada will announce the 23 man roster for the Canucks. This has been a much discussed debate even before the Olympic draw. So here it is, my team Canada.
Canada is always a powerhouse in the International scene but recently has looked like a midpack team even with all the choices and talent. This year I think Hockey Canada will carefully select its rosters and quite possibly go in the next generation movement. I expect Canada to erase all doubts and finish in the top 2 if not number 1 in the world.
In Net: Canada always has strong goaltending so that shouldn't be an issue at all. The main issue is who will start? I believe veteran Martin Broduer will be their number 1 guy till he faulters. He's been playing invedible hockey and has been there and back in almost every way possible. Roberto Luongo will be his backup and be groomed for the next tournament. As for the third stringer its a tough call but my gut says Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes. Wards a great goalie and one of the few bright spots in the Canes lineup and future.

On The Backend: Needless to say Canada easily has the best defense in the world and its a hard selection because there is way too many great Canadian defensemen of all molds.Veteran Chris Pronger will be Canadas main physical threat from the point. He can put up numbers while intimating the opposition. His partner I believe will be Ottawa native and San Jose Shark Dan Boyle, who is always deadly. Scotty Niedermayer will be the captain for one last tournament and should feature in the 2nd pairing with Mike Green of the Washington Caps. The last pairing of Jay Bouwmeister of the Calgary Flames and Brent Seabrook should be equally as deadly as the 1st 2 pairings. I believe that Duncan Keith, Robyn Regher or Shea Weber will be the last man in. Its a tough call and in my gut I still don't trust it as I've gone through this about 100 times before this post. Dion Phaneuf of Calgary Flames shouldn't be counted out ether.

Up Front: Canada always has a balanced forward attack with much skill and much grit as well. Canadas top line looks more like the top line of an allstar team and would gaurentie a cup for any team lucky enough to have all 3 players. Sydney Crosby I believe will be forced to the left as that's Canadas only weak position. Joe Thornton will center this group with Assistant captain Jerome Iginla on the right. On the second line former Senator Danny Heatley will play with International linemate Ryan Getzlaf and RW Rick Nash. Corey Perry could feature on the right but I have him one line day down with Vincent Levavalier C and LW Martin St Louis. Long gone are the days of Draper and Maltby frustrating and shutting down opponents. Welcome to the LW Ryan Smyth, C Eric Staal and RW Shane Doan days. A Pretty talented 4th line that would compare to any 1st line in the league. The Odd man out was a hard selection as there was about 20 players who could or should be on this squad. Many people are going to laugh when they are my selection but Ill stand by it. Mike Cammalleri of the Montreal Canadians. He's talanted and can play in all situations. He can play LW which Canada is short on and play center equally as good. A key trait in my opinion. He's also finally breaking out and showing why the Habs tried so hard to sign him. He's also consistent and has shown he can carry a offensively starved team. Love it or hate it he's my pick for the forward sub.

Sleepers: Half of the NHL roster could be considered sleepers but Ill limit it to a couple. Dion Phaneuf who I mentioned before could be a candidate. He's a talented hockey player despite his struggles with the Flames. One of the most feared hitters in the game. Jeff Carter is another bubble player to think about. Finally Milan Lucic. The brass are high on his physical play and determination. He's more likely a real sleeper than the other 2. If you wanna go by those standards you may wanna consider Paul Kariya who has loads of international experience and plays left wing. Brad Richards is another guy who could easily be there as well. Not so much a sleeper though.

Ice Scoopz: Tuesday Afternoon

A few quick ones as I'm stuck working til late and its extremely busy here. I,ll post my predictions for Canada, Czech Rep, Germany, Finland and the Swiss tonight starting around 10:30PM eastern. As for Latvia, Norway and the Slovakian rosters which were officially released this morning, Ill start the reviews tomorrow evening. As for CA's article I'm having a little delay due to formating issues so hopefully have them resolved tonight.

Anyone else excited about tomorrows Canada Roster unveiling?

*-> The Vancouver Canucks have taken the first step in moving Mathieu Schnieder this morning by placing him on waivers. He is expected to clear so they may place him on reentry waivers so another club can claim him for half price. The Ottawa Senators are still in the mix reportedly, as are the Los Angeles Kings, Detroit Red Wings and the Washington Caps believe it or not. Some people are still reporting Columbus looking for a D but after yesterdays move its unlikely. We'll have to wait and see tomorrow at noon.

That's it for now I'll try to have another post this evening.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Vancouver 2010 Predictions: Norway And Latvia

Both extremely hard to predict but here's my best guess for Latvia and Norway....


In The Net: The starting goalie should be "The Carpenter" Pal Grotnes (Stjernen) and his backup should be Ruban Smith (Storhamar Dragons) . Third string could be Andre Lysenstøen (Stavanger Oilers)

On Defense: The defense will be anchored by the only Norwegian in the National Hockey League Ole-Kristian Tollefsen of the Philadelphia Flyers. He'll provide a physical catalyst for Norway which will be must needed. Tommy Jakobsen (Graz 99ers Austria) will captain this squad like usual. Longtime team Norway rep Mattias Livf (Storhamar Dragons) should be his assistant. The rest of the blueline filled out by Anders Myrvold (Stjernen), Lars Erik Lund (Vålerenga), twin Mats Trygg (Färjestad) and his defense partner Jonas Holos (Jonas Holos).

On Forward: The forwards are pretty thin as well but many of these guys have been playing International hockey together for a while so chemistry may help them out a little. Their best forward of the bunch is LW Patrick Thoresen of Salavat Yulaev Ufa in the KHL. He has been showcasing his skills in the KHL and has finished high in scoring the past 2 seasons. Another former NHLer RW Marius Holtet of Färjestad of the SEL. The center of the top line should be Mads Hansen of Brynas. Centering the second line should be Dallas Stars prospect Scott Winkler (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders USHL) with Vancouver prospect Mats Froshaug (Luleå) to his left and Kristian Forsberg (Modo) on his right. The third line will feature should be assitant captain RW Pal Johnsen (Storhamar Dragons), C Tore Vikingstad (Hannover Scorpions), and LW Per-Åge Skrøder (Modo). Finally the last line will feature LW Martin Roymark (Frolunda), C Morten Ask (Nurnberg Ice Tigers DEL) and RW Mats André Zuccarello Aasen (Modo). The other Trygg twin will be the odd man and sub Marius Trygg (Stavanger Oilers).

Sleepers: Goodluck!! Espen Knutsen might return from coaching to lead his Nation?

In The Net: The Latvians lack a quality and have ever since Arturs Irbe retired. Unless he decides to break out the old school pads and bucket again don't count on quality. Expect Edgars Masaļskis (Dinamo Riga) to start. His back up it's a toss up although Dmitrijs Žabotinskis (Liepājas Metalurgs LAT) has had more experience in International play. Although Ervīns Muštukovs (Dinamo Riga) plays in a way higher level of play in the KHL.

On The Backend: The Latvian's actually have an alright defense squad and many have had experience on the North American ice. It's not a great defense but it will beat out many of the basement teams defensive corps. They may surprise a few. Captain former San Jose Shark Sandis Ozolins (Dinamo Riga) will be their goto guy on the point and should quarterback their PP. Dallas Stars shut down defenseman Kārlis Skrastiņš will be counted on to log heavy minutes and be their penalty killer from the point. Oskars Bārtulis of the Philly Flyers should feature on the second pair with Atlanta prospect Arturs Kulda (Chicago Wolves). The final pairing should consist of brothers Jēkabs Rēdlihs and Krišjānis Rēdlihs both of Dinamo Riga in the KHL. Fellow Dinamo Riga member Rodrigo Laviņš should be the 7th man.

Up Front: This is where the Latvians willl hurt well other than in the net. Not many teams are going to respect this lack luster offense that counts on most of Dinamo Riga's forwards (which is struggling in the KHL) and a couple of prospect to do damage. Ottawa Senator prospect LW Kaspar Daugavins (Binghamton Senators) should feature on the top line with former NHLer C Janis Sprukts (Dinamo Riga) and Martin Karsums of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The second unit should be anchored by C Armands Bērziņš (Dinamo Riga) and have tough guy Raitis Ivanans of the Los Angeles Kings to his left and former prospect Juris Štāls (Quad City Mallards IHL) to his right. The 3rd line will feature the third Rēdlihs brother Miķelis (Dinamo Riga) on the left and Herberts Vasiļjevs (Krefeld Pinguine DEL) up the middle and Aleksandrs Ņiživijs (Dinamo Riga) on the right. Finally the last line will have C Roberts Bukarts (Dinamo Riga), LW Mārtiņš Cipulis (Dinamo Riga) and Guntis Džeriņš (Dinamo Riga). The forward substitute could be Lauris Dārziņš (Dinamo Riga).

Sleepers: Well not many sleepers out there for the Latvians but Ģirts Ankipāns of the HK Riga 2000 squad could be a longshot. Forwards Ronald Cinks and Roberts Bukarts both of the CHL could be allowed to play. Both were leading scorers for the Latvians last World Juniors.

Vancouver 2010 - Team Slovakia Predictions

On the eve of the unveiling of the Slovakia, Norway and Latvia rosters I thought I'd do a preview of each of them and make some predictions. Norway and Latvia are going to be pretty difficult but I'll try. Slovakia I'll do right now while later this evening I'll post a Latvia/Norway combo posting.

As for team Slovakia....

The Slovak's are pretty thin in most aspects of their roster so there really isn't many choices. The fact is most of their most talented players are in the NHL and very little stay in the Slovak Extraliga. However saying this that doesn't mean their squad doesn't have a chance or isn't a good team. I think they could be a sleeper team to surprise a few but most likely wont make the top 5.

On Forward: Obviously the leading goal scorer and 2nd in point producer Marian Gaborik will be leading the charge. His good pal and countryman Pavol Demtra will center the top line if he's healthy. On the Left side expect former star NHLer and recently unretired Zigmund Palffy. Palffy has been light up the Extraliga and last season shattered it's record books in almost every category. The second line will consist of both Hossa's. Marian of the Chicago Blackhawks on the right while little brother Marcel of Dinamo Riga in the KHL on the left. Michael Handzus will likely get the call to center the second line. On the third line it should feature another KHL member Ladislav Nagy of Severstal Cherepovets on the left. Up the middle former Florida Panther and KHLer Jozef Stumpel of Barys Astana and to his right the enigmatic Marek Svatos of the Colorado Avs. On the 4th line another KHLer Branko Radivojevic of Spartak Moscow. Up the middle Tomas Kpoecky of the Chicago Blackhawks . Finally on the right side another former NHLer and now KHLer Richard Zednik of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. Subbing in should be center/left winger Peter Sejna of the ZSC Lions of the Swiss League.

On Defense: Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins will be his countries main source of well everything from the backend. He'll add the grit, offense, defense and anything else the Slovaks need. Lubomir Vishnovsky of the Oilers should be Chara's partner and in attendance if hes healthy. The second pairing most likely will consist of the inconsistent Andrej Mezaros of the Tampa Bay Lightning and shut down D Boris Valabik of the Atlanta Thrashers. On the last pairing freshly traded Milan Jurcina of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Andrej Sekera of the Buffalo Sabres. The 7th man should be Martin Strbak of HC MVD of yes the KHL.

In Net: This is the easiest one since theres literally no options avaliable to the Slovaks. Obviously Jaroslav Halak of the Habs will be the Slovak's goto guy between the pipes. Next in line is Colorado's Peter Budaj. Finally this is a gamble but I think youth experience is very important so I'm going to go with World Junior Allstar Jaroslav Janus of the Erie Otters. If not it's Jan Lasak of the Slovak Extraliga as usual.

Some sleepers to watch: I'm going to say for my 3 sleepers Tomas Tatar of the Grand Rapid Griffins and Detroit Red Wing prospect. He might make it if he has an incredible World Juniors and or if the Slovaks decide to go youth. My next sleeper is Richard Panik of the Windsor Spitfires and Tampa Bay prospect. Same deal as Tatar, if it's a youth movement or he impresses he could steal a job. Finally another KHLer and NHL defector Marek Zagrapan of Severstal Cherepovets and Buffalo Sabres prospect.

What do you guys think? Let me see your predictions. Post Away...

Ice Scoopz: Team Russian 2010

The Russians I previously predicted way back in July and I was failry close. A almost couple mid season surprises have happened though. The Russians announced it would feature a half KHL half NHL roster which surprised many but I deep down knew this would happen since the International management are in bed with the KHL and their obviously going to promote their own league which they believe is the best hockey in the world.

In net for the Russian's is pretty easy to call. Evgeni Nabokov (Turin 06) will obviously be the starter with plenty of international experience. Backing him up will be the tandem of Ilya Bryzgalov and rookie sensation Semyon Varlamov. Ether of the 3 choices the Russian's are good in between the pipes. I doubt Varlamov will see action but it's good exposure for him. I had Nikolai Khabibulin in the mix too but as he's injured it doesnt make sense and I'd still had Varlamov ahead of him.

On the blueline possible captain Andrei Markov (Turin 06) will be their cornerstone and play heavy minutes. Could have been a risky pick because he was injured but Markov is the Russians best defenseman
and has rebounded nicely. Another Turin member is offensive catalyst Sergei Gonchar who also was sidelined. Fedor Tyutin (Turin 06) will help carry the load as well. Anton Volchenkov (Turin 06)will be the Russians shut down weapon. He'll lead the tournament guarantied in blocked shots and could catch a few Canadians with their heads down. Dmitri Kalinin of the KHL will also be in charge of shutting down the big guns. Denis Grebeshkov is an Olympic newcomer and is quite capable of playing. Another Olympic rookie is KHLer's Konstantin Korneyev of CSKA Moscow and Ilya Nikulin of Ak Bars Kazan. while Korneyev I'm surprised in, I'm not so much surprised in Nikulin who I had on my draft copy before I posted on my predictions. The blueline is pretty stable and has been a weak point in many years but I think now it's more well rounded than before. They are missing a lot of grit and jam in vicious Darius Kasparaitis who had every International star watching for a head shot or knee. Another name I thought I'd see is Sergei Zubov but I see the point in taking youth over experience since the Russians have a lot of experience on the backend already.

A couple shockers on the forward lists but the Russian's probably have the most firepower in the tournament. My only concern is they have a pretty soft line-up up front which may hurt them agains't Canada. It's going to be a Finesse vs Physical battle and the Russian's better hope their boys aren't afraid and can fill the net more than the Canadians. Alexander Ovechkin (Turin 06) will help provide the physical play while lighting the lamp. He's quite capable of carrying even an International team on his back as we've previously seen. Thats about it for physical play however. Their attack will be the main focus with Evgeni Malkin (Turin 06) and Pavel Datsyuk leading the way. Ilya Kovalchuk will turn heads once again. He's playing the best hockey of his career and in the World Championships made Canada fear the Russians offensive capabilities. He'll be in top 3 for scoring is my prediction. Veterans and KHL stars Sergei Fedorov (Turin 06) of Metallurg Magnitogorsk and Viktor Kozlov (Turin 06) of Salavat Yulayev Ufa are no stranger to the Olympics. Fedorov will be counted on to balance the attack and provide some defense. By the way he can also sub on the backend of needed which is valuable. Another player who will be counted on to help out in his own end is Alexei Morozov (Turin 06) who is considered one of the best players outside the NHL. He consistantly leads the Russian leagues in scoring. Very underated in my opinion. KHL defector Alexander Radulov adds to the offense as will the enigmatic Maxim Afinogenov (Turin 06) who is also adds blinding speed. Max has been playing incredible of late and it's hard to believe he was struggling to find work at the start of this season. Alexander Semin fresh off a new contract will make his Olympic debut as will KHL stars Danis Zaripov of Ak Bars Kazan and Boston draft pick Sergei Zinoviev of Salavat Yulayev Ufa. A pretty scary offense but a soft almost invisible defensive forward cast. A few big names left off that surprised me was usual captain Alexei Kovalev who should be there over Zaripov and Zinoviev but politics gets in the way. Also I'm surprised KHL poster boy Alexei Yashin was left off as well as he's having a decent season in the KHL. Alexander Frolov is another head scratcher but maybe his inconstant play, bad attitude and oh....NHL status scared off the brass. Maxim Sushinsky is another name I expected to make the squad as he provides defensive coverage and has the most International experience out of any of the Russians. did I mention he currently is leading the KHL in scoring? Might be a bad decision to leave him off this one. Nikolai Zherdev could be another KHL defect to consider as is Nikita Filatov whose murdering the KHL at the moment. A good youth player to showcase the future. Sergei Mozyakin is also nother KHL name that should have been considered.

Overall the Russian's have one of the best teams in years and baring any injuries should be in the top 2. There only struggles may come agains't the physical play of Canada. They can out gun most of the teams in the tournament and have incredible experience as well most of their squad was in Turin and Nagano. I was pretty damn close to calling this one but then again this was an easy team to call I'm sure.

Ice Scoopz: Trade

Bob McKenzie was once again right on yet another deal. This is why I think he's one of the most impressive analysts in the game today. He consistently reports nothing but gold and his insight to the game is incredible. One of my main influences and nothing but awe and respect for him.

*-> The Washington Capitals have traded captain Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jason Chimera.

It's not a blockbuster like most pundits were predicting involving blue chip prospects but hey it's a steal for the Blue Jacket's in my mind. The Jackets get a great dressingroom guy in Clark and someone who will help motivate the room. A great turn around move and Jurcina will also add some grit. Not too sure why the Capitals want Chimera? Maybe a cap clearing move for something bigger?

Ice Scoopz: Team Sweden 2010

As we all know several Olympic rosters were named for Vancouver 2010 so I've decided to a quick recap and Ice Scoopz review of each one. The good and the bad will be judged starting with the Swedes.

The Swedes for will have credible goaltending again in Henrik Lundqvist (Turin 06), Stefan Liv (Turin 06) and newcomer Jonas Guvstafsson. This is a well rounded group who will mainly rely on Lundqvist to carry the load although Liv can handle the weight as well. The Monster is another good choice because he will or hopefully should be Sweden's future in net.

The defense features several newbs but also has a veteran feel including both Nicklas Lidstrom and Mattias Ohlund who will be making their 4th Olympic squad. Henrik Tallinder who is no rookie when it comes to experience will be in charge of shutting down the oppositions forwards along with the injured Nicklas Kronwall who is a risky decision as he may not be healthy in time for the games. Rookie Tobias Enstrom will give some offensive support along with Johnny Oduya from the Devils. Magnus Johansson of the Swedish Elite league and Douglas Murray will round out the defense. I'm surprised to see Kim Johnsson left off the list but I can understand the decision to get younger and make way for the new generation. I like the defense but a lot will hinge on Kronwall's recovery. I'm kinda surprised to see big Victor Hedman discluded but he may indeed not be ready for the International scene yet although he was increidly head strong while in the World Juniors. If Enstrom is there, I'm sure he could play a minor role too.

As for the forwards the biggest news is the selection of "Foppa" aka Peter Forsberg. After many botched comebacks he has returned to the hockey scene and is reportedly healthy for the first time in nearly 4 years. How effective can he be with little to no serious competition? is the question to ask on top of how healthy is he really? and how long will he stay healthy? A big risk that could pay off in a gold medal if he can return to his dominant form. He was after all a gold medalist in 06. Returning from the 2006 Turin roster is also Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson, Henrik Zetterberg, the Sedin's, and shut down forward Samuel Pahlsson. It sounds like an All-Star line up but it's really the Injury Reserve line-up in reality. Zetterberg is currently nursing a shoulder injury and Daniel Alfredsson will be out untill the games take place also with a shoulder injury. The bad news is that Alfie has stated he will chose Sens over Sweden if he still isn't 100%. Speaking of injuries the often injured Fredrik Modin who was also in Turin and also injured made the club. A strange pic as Modin hasn't exactly been lighting it up the past few seasons and is fresh off a serious injury. Youngster Nicklas Backstrom will of course be there along with newcomers Loui Eriksson, and Patric Hornqvist. The steal of the roster is however in former NHLer and playing in the KHL for Dinamo Moscow.....Mattias Weinhandl who has been tearing up the KHL the past two years. Definitely a name that deserves to be there and should make an impact despite doubts. The Modin pick I feel is a bad one. Modin is fading away slowly and I'd rather have seen Tomas Holmstrom in the line-up. Holmstrom would have added much needed grit and crease presence the Swedes will need to be sucessful. Another big name left off was the injured Johan Franzen for obvious reasons. Mikeal Samualsson also was overlooked and caused quite a stir by saying "F*** them" in requards to Sweden's management. I feel he'd be a bit better than Hornqvist but thems the breaks as they say.

Overall I think Sweden's got a great mix of young and old. Their experience is impressive and they have the goaltending to steal games. If their injured players can return to form, they may end up repeating. But if they don't I place them around the top 4.

Ice Scoopz: Monday Afternoon

More rumors for you on a snowy Monday Afternoon.

*-> Bob Mckenzie has twittered that the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Washington Capitals are talking in reguards to Milan Jurcina. I've heard also the Toronto Maple Leafs are involved but highly unlikely because they already have a ton of the same mold defensemen. I doubt Burke wants yet another D. The other name being sent around is Nikita Filitov and the Ottawa Senators are reportedly in on this one. I'm also hearing Karl Alzner could be the return for Filitov who the Caps are also high on.

*-> The Edmonton Oilers are looking for a shake-up and could be close to dealing Andrew Cogliano once again. The LA Kings are looking to replace Justin Williams so they have been linked as a potential suitor but its highly unlikely they'll want Cogliano. Gilbert Brule may be the better option for them although he has tailed off. The Kings want someone to help run the powerplay from the wing.

*-> On the subject of the Kings it's been reported that the Kostitsyns are in the rumor mill to L.A and Edmonton once again. The city of angels is reportedly to be sending Alexander Frolov to the Habs for both brothers. This makes sense as Brian Gionta has returned and Sergei will once again be unhappy in Hamilton. I do think Matt D'Agostini or Tom Pyatt would be the better to send down. I also don't think Bob Gainey is ready to give up Andrei as he's been one of the more consistant scorers as of late. As for Edmonton, what would the Canadians want from them? The only offerings are Brule, Cogliano, and most of their defensemen all of which the Habs don't need. They could however offer their soon to be high draft pick but the Habs need help now.

Ice Scoopz: Monday Morning

I'm back after an awesome few days off for Christmas. Merry Christmas to all the Ice Scoopz followers and I hope your Christmas was as good as mine.

*-> Montreal's Jaroslav Halak's stock has sky rocketed as he was named the NHL's 1st star this week. Halak has faced over 40 shots in each of his last 4 games and has stolen the number one job away from Carey Price. although the other teams have not started contacting Montreal it's been well known that there is a ton of interest and come deadline day, he is more than likely gone from Montreal. Halak has stated many times to the media he is a starter and doesn't wanna play 2nd string to Price. His agent over the course of the season has taken many knocks on Price to try and cause controversy. The rumor on the streets is that Halak would rather play in the KHL next season than another season behind Price. In fact he's so adamant to be starter, it's to the point where it's Price on the team or him. Personally I feel Halak is more proven than Price. Halak has shown multiple seasons he can put the struggling Habs on his back and carry them. If you all remember when Cristobal Huet went down to injury down the stretch a few seasons back it was Halak who stole the show. It came down to the last game against the Leafs and Carbs chose to start Huet fresh off injury and the Habs lost because Huet was shaky. Halak has the tools to be a starter and the confidence, the main thing Price lacks. Carey Price was rushed into the lineup and I truly believe it hindered his development. He's not the goalie that was drafted and if I was in Gainey's shoes I would seriously consider trading Price while his stock is still high. I'm not saying he'll never become the superstar goalie he was predicted to be but I am saying it's a long road ahead and Halak may be the better of the two now and the near future. Price's return would be incredible and could help the Canadians now instead of later as in Halak's case. Montreal still has a credible 3rd stringer in Curtis Sanford so a trade could put Montreal back into the playoff picture. the Los Angeles Kings have huge interest in Price and the Habs could wield a pile of prospects or maybe even Alexander Frolov and a high pick. If they were to go that route I'm sure more than a handful of teams would be bidding on Price. If they went with the Halak route they may get a 2nd rounder back as they did with Huet. There still is a ton of interest for Halak and as he heats up he might warrant a better return. The struggling Flyers have had their eyes on him for most of the season and there's no doubt the Detroit Red Wings would also love to have a future starter as they've all but given up on Jimmy Howard. Despite what many media pundits are saying the St.Louis Blues are also looking for a credible starter. The L.A Kings are also in the mix but more for a back-up/post season insurance role.

*-> Mathieu Schnieder has reportedly asked for a trade out of Vancouver siting he is being used sparingly and would like to play or retire. The veteran d-man is infact being shopped but there is little interest. The Canucks are rumored to be willing to take almost anything just to clear his cap hit off the books. The Columbus Blue Jacket's are reported to be interested but I don't think thats the case as the Jackets already aquired Brendan Bell to help out on the PP. They still could use a veteran presance but it's highly unlikely as they'd be seeking someone who could log regular minutes. The L.A Kings are another name mentioned as they would like some experience for their young crew to lean on down the stretch. The Ottawa Senator's are also interested in a powerplay quarterback as their struggling powerplay is costing them games. The pathetic combo of Erik Karlsson. Chris Campoli and Alexandre Picard is embarassing and till Karlsson gets NHL ready, they need somebody to step in and run the show. Cory Cloustons love for using AHLer Ryan Shannon on the point is also quite sad. The Sens would first have to ship out Campoli or Picard the latter who they've tried all season long to no success.

*-> Dion Phaneuf's unrest in Calgary is still an issue although most Calgary media sources have laid off at the request of the Flames. Phaneuf has been the target of Sutter most of the season and could be dealt if the price is right so to speak. Now that the Flames have Bouwmeister, Phaneuf seams expendable especially with his play of late. He could bring in a fortune to a team looking for instant help and a cornerstone player. The Flames would love to re-up Rene Bourque for next season and will need cap space for him and the rest of the season. Many NHL teams still covet Dion and with the exception the cap space starved teams most would love to get the hard hitting Phaneuf. It's a long shot he's moved but I believe if a team can step up and put out an offer that will stock Calgary for the future and for the present the Flames could be tempted. What do you guys think?

More to come, The I.R, more rumors, plus an awesome article written by C.A one of our dedicated fans.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ice Scoopz: Thursday Afternoon

*-> GM Brian Murray of the Ottawa Senators is reportedly looking to make a deal now that his 2 best players are out for extended time and his team is lacking offensive depth. Ray Whitney is a guy the Sens covet and has been linked in the rumor mills to the Sens as has Alexander Frolov. Another name mentioned has been Kanata native Todd White whose role in Atlanta has been shrunken dramatically now Nick Antropov and Bryan Little are in the fold. He is a 60pt guy given the right situation and Ottawa has littrally no offensive centers other than Spezza. Anothe longshot option could be Michael Nylander if he was place on reentry waivers by the Capitols.

*-> The New York Rangers are trying desperately to land Phoenix Coyote Peter Mueller. Glen Sather has tried multiple attempts to land him but have come up short. The asking price is rumored to be Brandon Dubinsky and a 3rd. Something the Blue Shirts arnt willing to give up...yet.

The IR: Thursday

*-> The New Jersey Devils defenseman Paul White is expected to miss yet another 4 weeks after he was still experiencing difficulty skating.

*-> Daniel Alfredsson of the Ottawa Senators will be out for atleast 3 weeks with an undisclosed shoulder injury suffered last night. He's expected to go for x-rays today to see the extent of the damage.

*-> Cam Barker of the Chicago Blackhawks is day to day with a lower body injury.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ice Scoopz: Wednesday Lunchhour

I took 2 days off to prepare for Christmas and to spend time with my overseas family who has stopped by and I'm ready to start reporting the rumors today. God knows Ill have lots of time today as I wait for a locksmith to unlock the keys in my car with it running! Allways a rush with xmas and stuff like this is the result. Oh well on to the news.

*-> The Dallas Stars are reportedly trying to get a deal done with Marty Turco. He is a UFA at seasons end and there isn't much in elite goalies on the market or even a decent goalie in their system. Reports have Turcos camp wanting to stay in Dallas but the managment are tempted to look elsewhere. I'd he's not signed and Dallas is out of the mix expect a deadline deal to bring in a goalie prospect and picks.

*-> On the subject of goaltenders its rumored that Anaheim,s JS Giguere will be moved by the deadline. The Leafs are the front runners by are held back by JS's no movement clause and Vesa Toskala,s hefty salary. The Ducks are willing to take him in return but will expect more in return for to compensate. Another option would be a buyout. He is UFA afterall. The no movement clause shouldn't be a problem as long as Toronto is in the playoff mix, can gaurentie he'll start and they prove they want to take the team to the next level. When you think of it it makes sense. Francois Allare who is JS's longtime friend and mentor is there and his former GM who have him his shot is also there. The only thing missing is the warm Californian weather!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ice Scoopz: Sunday Afternoon

*-> Several rumors have John Michael Liles headed to the Buffalo Sabres as he's falling out of the Colorado Avalanche managements goodbooks. Kyle Quincey has essentially stolen his job and he is expendable at this point. The only negative to this rumor is that he holds a no movement clause which would make him almost unshoppable unless he was unhappy in Denver.
*-> The Flyers appear to be standing pat and waiting to see if the team pulls itself back together. The dressingroom is rumored to be in termoil so Philly is looking for a good lockeroom guy to shake things up and add a punch. Ray Whitney could be that guy. The Flyers have also revealed that Montreal reportedly asked them for Jeff Carter in return for Jaroslav Halak and a 2 round. I doubt that they would ever accept that but they are indeed shopping Jeff Carter to clear up some cap space and also bring in some consistent help.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The IR: Friday

*-> Keith Tkachuk will
miss a game due to an undisclosed lowerbody injury for the St.Louis Blues.

*-> Nick Foligno of the Ottawa Senators is also day to day with a lowerbody injury.

*-> Wayne Simmonds of the Kings is sidelined for atleast 6 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgury.

*-> The Montreal Canadians have lost yet another defenseman. Roman Hamrlik is out indefinitely with a knee injury suffered last night.

*-> Steve Downlie of the Bolts will miss a week due to a concussion suffered this week.

*-> The Boston Bruins will be without Mark Stuart till January as he's suffering with a sternum injury.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ice Scoopz: Wednesday Afternoon

*-> Aaron Ward has officially cleared waivers. Its expected he'll be sent down to Albany of the AHL or out on reentry waivers. Several teams are interested but are waiting to see if they can get him at a bargain price or later on in the year when his salary doesn't hit as hard.

*-> The Canadians are looking at inquiring Alexander Frolov. These rumors have been consistent all season long. Bob Gainey would love to add Mike Cammalleris former linemate to his club. The LA Kings are still unsure about dealing him however especially since they are playoff bound. The Kings would need an offensive player in return or quite possibly a reliable starter. This ones still a long shot.

*-> While on the subject of the Canadians the apparent target in Philadelphia is Claude Giroux. The Flyers I don't believe are willing to part with a key player for a UFA unsure goalie. Montreal does have several picks and prospects to spare however.

*-> A lot of media sources are reporting a major deal coming out of St Louis and Carolina. Carolina is rumored to be trying to dump salary in an effort to rebuild. Eric Staal is the center of attention and the Blues would love to build around Staal. They have a high pick this year and could dangle it along with some of their young NHL bound players such as Patrick Berglund. I highly doubt this one as the Canes are likely to build around Staal themselves. They already have 10 UFA's they could shop and rebuild with instead.

More this afternoon..

The IR: Wednesday

*-> The Jason Spezza,a injury turns out to be a knee injury not an ankle injury as previously reported. The turn around is still up to 8 weeks however.

*-> Milan Lucic was once again placed on the IR by the Boston Bruins. A nagging undisclosed injury appears to be the case. He's expected to miss the rest of the month.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ice Scoopz: Tuesday Afternoon

*-> According to TSN the Montreal Canadians are offering goalie Jaroslav Halak around the league. The report states Bob Gainey has put in several calls to say he is available and Halak had asked to take the next step in gaining a starter status. The Philadelphia Flyers were listed as the main team being approached but have not made any offers yet. TSN is reporting off a 3rd party site so this may not be accurate as I still believe Halak might stay as the Habs may need the duo down the stretch. The asking price is a 2nd rounder or a top 6 gritty forward.

*-> The Philadelphia Flyers have claimed goaltender Michael Leighton in an effort to replace there backup/ overall goalie woes. This could mean the Halak reports are just kicking tires.

*-> No news yet on PA Parenteau but I,ll stay tuned. Its expected he'll be claimed. The Habs might have interest as do the Wings and Preds.

*-> Aaron Ward was placed on waivers last night as well by the Carolina Hurricanes. He should get picked up. The Ottawa Senators have shown interest in the gritty defenseman as have the Vancouver Canucks and the Phoenix Coyotes.

*-> Michael Nylander has been loaned to Grand Rapids of the AHL. This situation is finally over or atleast for now....

The IR: Tuesday

*-> Jason Spezza will miss up to 8 weeks with an ankle injury sustained last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. This is a huge blow to the Ottawa Senators playoff hopes.

*-> Dan Boyle of the San Jose Sharks is day to day after suffering an undisclosed injury.
*-> Braydon Coburn will miss a game for the Flyers with an ankle injury.

*-> Montreals Marc Andre Bergeron is day to day with a facial laceration its being reported. Highly doubtfull hell miss any time though.

Ice Scoopz: Late Night Monday

*-> The New York Rangers have placed forward P.A Parenteau on waivers this evening. He is expected to be claimed. Several teams are linked. I expect him to be claimed. He's an intelligent player whose has tremendous upside.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The I.R: Monday Morning

*-> Martin Gerber of Atlant Mystichi suffered a serious injury this weekend when he collided with a player during a game against Vityaz Chekhov. According to Russian Media reports Martin Gerber had to leave the ice on a stretcher and the injury is believed to be a fractured cervical vertebra. This means the former Leaf/Sen and Cane will be off the ice for atleast 6 months. It could also mean the end of his professional career. Heres to hoping Gerber has a swift and speedy recovery so we may see him on the ice again.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ice Scoopz: Sunday Morning

Rough morning but a great night last night. Went to Opera for a buddys birthday but on my way home now.

*-> The Atlanta Thrashers have set a hard deadline on talking to Ilya Kovalchuk. The reported deadline is the end of January. They will reportedly listen to offers after the imposed deadline. The Boston Bruins are reportedly eagerly waiting to make their pitch. I don't see him being shopped yet. Last night is the perfect example of what Kovalchuk means to the Thrashers. On the other hand loosing him for free would be devestating. I think if he's not signed before the deadline he'll be gone to the highest bidder.

*-> The John Grahame situation is still on going. The signing was premature but they are on track to sign him. He's on a professional tryout with the Phantoms.

*-> Some sources are reporting Jeff Carter of the Philadelphia Flyers is being shopped by the club. Anaheim Ducks and the Nashville Preditors have been linked but I don't believe this one has any backing as Carter has just had a slow start.

*-> Chris Chelios of the Chicago Wolves has stated he's had several NHL suitors but all for a 7th defenseman role which he isn't ready to accept. He went on to state if it was the right conditions he'd sign and hopes to return to the NHL but he's still quite content in the AHL.

*-> Speaking of waiting for a phone call Michael Peca is reported to be entertaining a few offers from around the league. He's not waiting around but however has been entertaining offers still and is carefully choosing what could be his final stop. The Florida Panthers, Buffalo Sabres, and the Ottawa Senators all have been rumored to be in touch.

*-> Michael Nylander could be heading to Finland after he cleard waivers this week. A Finnish TV station reported that several team including Oula and Karpat could contact the Washington Caps about his services.

*-> Lucas Krijick cleared waivers yesterday surprisingly and is expected to be headed to the AHL. He is bitter about the situation and could bolt to the KHL unless the Lightning can find him an NHL team according to sources.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ice Scoopz: Saturday Night

*-> It looks like that 3 way deal was false as the Philadelphia Flyers have signed veteran goalie John Grahame to a 1yr deal worth 500K. Grahame who has spent time in Russia should be a reliable backup and a cheap replacement should the Flyers have to waiver when Ray Emery returns.

Ice Scoopz: Saturday Night

Well on my way to Montreal for a birthday jam, should be a goodtime. I really wanted to check out a Habs game but I might have to settle with a Montreal Juniors game instead.

*-> On the topic of the Montreal Canadiens, they are reportedly shopping
Jaroslav Halak. Halak has attracted a lot of interest but the Habs are worried about getting rid of him because Carey Price hasn't been able show he can handle long stretches. The LA Kings are really high on him and believe he can be their number 1 till Steve Bernier is ready. The Edmonton Oilers are also debating making a pitch as well. The Red Wings are keeping the door open but they'd rather Martin Biron. Biron would be their number 1 chose. I still think that the Wings are guna wait out the Jimmy Howard / Chris Osgoode experiment. The Red Wings brass still have high hopes he'll be their intended starter.

*-> Another Rumor is that the Blackhawks, the Flyers, and the New York Islanders are in talks. The deal is rumored to be Chicago sending Cam Barker to the New York Isles for Martin Biron and a 2nd while the Hawks turn around and send Biron back to Philly for a 1st. This ones hard to say because the Hawks do need to dump cash and Cam Barker is their best sell but would rather dump Brent Sopel. The Flyers want Biron back bad especially with Sugar Ray out for a month and a bit. The Isles will have a goaltending drama once DiPietro returns and Biron would get the most value back. So it does make sense a 3 way deal would be hard to work out but isn't necessarily impossible. Ill keep my ears out for more on this one.

The IR: Saturday

*-> Brian Pothier of the Washington Capitals with miss the next 2 games with damaged ribs.

*-> Marc Andre Vlasic will miss until late December with a lowerbody injury. The Vancouver Canucks will promote within the club instead of looking on the outside.

Heading to Montreal for the night so more soon.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The IR: Friday

*-> The Red Wings have taken another hit due to injuries. Detroit has lost Dan Cleary for a month. This is bad news for the Wings who are already bruised up and hurting from key injuries. Kenny Holland claims to be not interested in a trade but something tells me he'll be forced to make a depth move.

*-> Mark Popovic of the Atlanta Thrashers will be out for a week due to a foot injury from blocking a shot.

*-> Tim Jackman of the New York Islanders will miss the next game due to a hip injury suffered last game.

*-> The Flames will be without Craig Conroy for a week with an undisclosed upperbody injury.

*-> Semen Varlamov of the Washington Caps is day to day with a lowerbody injury.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ice Scoopz: Wednesday Afternoon

*-> A small trade to report. Brendan Bell is on the move again. The St.Louis Blues traded the Ottawa native to the offensevly challanged Columbus Blue Jackets for minor leaguer Pascal Pelletier. Tomas Kano also went to the Jackets.

*-> Michael Leighton of the Carolina Hurricanes cleard waivers today.

*-> Ville Koistinen is on the move again the Florida Panthers have placed him on reentry waivers. The New York Islanders are extremely interested. Expect somebody to claim him as he's a bargain at half price. The New Jersey Devils have also been looking at acquiring an offensive dman so they could be another suitor.

The IR: Wednesday Morning

*-> Ray Emery will miss the next 6 to 8 weeks with a torn abdominal muscle. This means that the Flyers will turn to backup Brian Boucher. Philadelphia may also turn to an outside source for help but Boucher has proven to be worthy of stepping into action for long periods of time.

*-> The Carolina Hurricanes have reactivated goaltender Cam Ward as he's set to make his return this week.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ice Scoopz: Saturday

A little catch up today, a few waiver claims Thursday to report plus a hiring and firing.

*-> Jay Leach of the Montreal Canadians was claimed Thursday off waivers by the San Jose Sharks.

*-> John Stevens was fired by the Philadelphia Flyers then quickly replaced by former Carolina Hurricane bench boss Peter Laviolette. The reason for the sudden firing was because the team was struggling badly and needed a new change of direction.

*-> Rick Dipietro is set to take to this ice this week with the Bridgeport Tigers on a conditioning stint. This means the Islanders are going to be forced to trade ether Martin Biron or Dwayne Roloson within the 2 weeks. My guess is Biron will be the easier sell with his affordable salary.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The IR: Friday

*-> The Ducks will be without Teemu Selanne for 4 to 6 weeks with a broken bone in his hand. Bad news for Anaheim.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


*-> Toronto Maple Leafs have traded Jiri Tlusty to the Carolina Hurricanes for prospect Phillipe Paradis.

This looks like a pretty even one both teams get a decent player. The main plus however for Carolina is that Tlusty is pretty much NHL ready and could step in now while Paradis is a waya yet to go.


*-> The Montreal Canadians have trade Kyle Chipchura to the Anaheim Ducks for a 4th round draft pick.

This is a good deal for the Ducks. They get a future captain and a key roleplayer. Montreal should have aimmed for a higher pick but I believe teams knew Montreal was faced with a logjam and Chipchura would never surpass Lapiere, Metropolit or Pyatt. It was a necessary deal but a higher pick would have been better.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The IR: Wednesday

*-> Jonas Gustafsson of the Toronto Maple Leafs left last nights game with a rapid heartbeat. He was released from the hospital late last night and has flown back to Tdot to see his heart specialist. As we all remember he had heart surgury this summer during camp.

*-> After that unfortunate teamate stick swinging incident Thomas Vokoun will miss a weeks work load while he gets a specialty mask constructed for him so his stitches may heal. No concussion or hearing loss however.

*-> Joe Corvo will miss 8 weeks after his leg was severly cut by Karl Alzners skate blade. The Canes loose an important piece and some of their best tradebait for 2 months.

*-> Also the Carolina Hurricanes will loose Chad Larose for a week with an upperbody injury.