Author Archives: DG
As reported in this week’s edition of the Hockey News, the WHA has officially announced that the league will start with 10 franchises and play its first game in December of this year. And to distinguish the league from others, one of those teams will consist entirely of Russian players, based in a Canadian city.
What Happened in Game 1 Through Game 41.
Nashville has gotten off to the best start in team history. Many were expecting the Predators to fall by the wayside after dumping almost all of the experience from the defensive corps including Bill Houlder (UFA to nowhere), Andy Delmore (Buffalo), Karlis Skrastins (Colorado), and Cale Hulse (Phoenix). The remaining experience left on the blueline – The under-appreciated Kimmo Timonen and Jason York. The replacement players – Journeyman Mark Eaton, Freshmen Dan Hamhuis, Marek Zidlicky, Thomas Kloucek. and Robert Schnabel. Last years Major Change had been the trade of Mike Dunham to the Rangers and the Emergence of Tomas Vokoun as the teams #1 netminder. Initially Jan Lasak of the Slovakian national team was expected to be the backup, but inconsistent play in the preseason led to the resigning of former Predator backup Chris Mason. Forward Lines did not change much. Additional experience was added with grinding enforcer Jim McKenzie. The major prospect surprise was Jordin Tootoo, the first NHL player of Inuit descent to play in the NHL.
Ok, so the focus of posts recently has been on the ideas of change in the NHL and contraction as the way to fix the myriad of problems in the current system. Here is the opinion of an adult kid from one of those non-traditional hockey markets that host a current team (and the one most often mentioned by contraction lovers.)
TSN reports: “A freak goal credited to Patrick O’Sullivan of the OHL’s Mississauga IceDogs with 5:12 remaining capped a U.S. comeback in a 4-3 win over Canada in the final of the world junior hockey championships Monday.
I was sitting back recently and just watching the leafs beat the Rangers again to extend this streak, and thinking to myself… could this be the year? (This was before the Islanders loss. Not that I am jumping off the bandwagon)