Wednesday, August 27, 2003
While I've been quiet -- just one more day of super-slow dial-up, woo-hoo! -- Tim Harvey hasn't. Check out his Rinkblog for a round-up of recent ECHL and NHL labor news.
Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Thursday, August 21, 2003
So what is the mystery of Henrik Bergfors?
Anyway, if the club really needs to erase all evidence of its press release, better get those e-mails in to this here site (successfully removed as of Friday morning) as well as In the Crease.
Monday, August 18, 2003
Greetings from the land of 24.6 dial-up.
Ominous news for the Bats: Idaho's affiliation with Dallas and Utah could include up to seven players.
Hasta luego, Jim Talamonti. The Bucks have some muy grande shoes to fill up in the booth. I mean, there's lots of guys who can score 30 goals like Eric Schneider -- how many bilingual minor league hockey announcers are there? When the language is Spanish, that is.
Saturday, August 16, 2003
I think I'm on a blog vacation (which apparently started this past Monday).
But check out this story on the ACHL to SEHL transformation, which mentions that the CHL (or rather, the league office formerly known as the WPHL) may want its pound of flesh before the Tupelo T-Rex returns to minor pro.
I really do go on a trip tomorrow (flew to both Detroit and Newark yesterday without incident, go figure). Whether I'll post or not, dunno. If news demands it and/or my Internet access allows it.
I leave you with this really nice letter I received from former Amarillo Wrangler Doug Allan.
Monday, August 11, 2003
R.I.P, Herb Brooks. What a shame.
First of all, here's the article in question that mentions Kralj might get a shot with Minnesota.
But what it reminded me of was a talk with Tracey Egeland in the spring, when the Killer Bees coach said he wouldn't tell me who his club hoped to affiliate with, but if I looked over his history it wasn't hard to figure out.
At the time, I didn't have the patience to click through his extensive stats, looking for a former coach or teammate who was now important at a higher level.
But the answer was more obvious than that, if you go back to the day Egeland took over the Cotton Kings, as well as the press release announcing his move to Rio Grande.
Which begs the question -- is RGV chasing down the same affiliation as the Rayz?
And, going back to Kralj, you gotta wonder, if Egeland worked with this kid all year and got him a try-out with the Wild, do his CHL rights get traded to the Bees if Houston picks him up?
Either way, it appears that Austin is completely separated from the Aeros -- a process that began with Houston's move to the AHL -- only Bobby Brown, Shawn Legault and short-timer Dominic Forget had actual two-way deals since then -- and concluded with the respective departures of Brent Hughes and David Barr.
So will the Bats' Dallas-connected owners make that logo on the web page meaningful? An even stranger thought -- might the team's Florida-connected owner also work the Rampage angle?
This concludes the latest episode of As the CHL Southeast Affiliations Turn.
Sunday, August 10, 2003
No sooner had I written the last entry than I discovered this Nekkid Amazon Hockey thread. Apparently, in the course of admitting that the Rayz had trouble shutting Laredo's top line down, Al Sims mentioned Schneider wasn't coming back.
So there's a little unconfirmed gossip. IIRC, Schneider wasn't under contract with the Panthers, so he can seek out the most attractive opportunity, whether that means a higher salary or greater likelihood of call-ups. He could also stay put with the Rampage -- his loyalty is to assistant coach Scott Allen -- on a two-way with the "E."
Meanwhile Michel Periard is still Panthers property -- I don't see where he's signed an actual contract, but he was tendered the standard offer for restricted free agents (Andy Lundbohm, on the other hand, is unrestricted).
Anyways, the Augusta vs. Laredo situation bears watching. But given that -- except for Grenville -- Ruskowski has signed nothing but defensemen, rookies and third-liners, he's clearly got a bunch of hole cards. Could be October before we get to see 'em all.
Friday, August 08, 2003
Is it time to underestimate the Bucks already?
It's true, other than Grenville, none of Laredo's best offensive players have been re-signed, affiliated or otherwise. But there's no reason to assume Schneider and Periard will not be back -- even if there's no reason to assume they will be either.
Those two aren't necessarily gonna become full-time AHL players -- if I were a Laredo fan, I'd be much more concerned that Periard might get another shot in the ECHL, now that Rick Dudley/Steve Ludzik protege (and former Rampage interim assistant) Stan Drulia has landed in Augusta.
Still, it's hard to beat Laredo when it comes to travel costs, or the job Ruskowski did. And the thing about affiliation is there's always new young players coming in. When the Bucks started training camp last year they didn't have Schneider, Gove or Periard, to say nothing of Ask, Lundbohm and Gilmore. I didn't think they'd make the playoffs. I'm not ready to make that mistake again.
So now we just need to see official confirmation that the Rampage-Bucks deal will renew -- Memphis took care of that formality today (and, for obvious reason, the Kings will continue to have priority over any ECHL deal the Maple Leafs may make).
Thursday, August 07, 2003
The Rayz have signed Brent Belecki and Brad Wingfield. No words are minced in Greg Rajan's report, regarding both Winger's feelings for Davidson and Hall and his assault charge in Elmira.
Looks like Derek Clancey for the Reading Royals.
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
The CHL's tight connection to the NHL's officiating pool continues, as recently retired linesman (and Phoenix resident) Wayne Bonney steps in for Leon Stickle.
Bonney has officiated approximately 2400 professional hockey games at the highest possible level, but as of today, is dumber than 17 minor league coaches and several thousand outraged fans. Congratulations!
Here's an interview he did a while back.
It's funny, when I was out reporting Zamboni Rodeo I remember how pissed off the first-year Jacks fans were that their favorite had been traded. It took him two years to get back.
If he does, that could mean the end of Don Margettie's Jackalopes career.
Confused? Me too. It's true that hockeydb lists Sjerven as a non-vet, but those stats are not complete.
For that, we need the Eurohockey data, which is also quite confusing, as it mistakenly repeats two seasons.
But according to the CHL, all those B&H, Challenge and Express Cup games count. Sjerven went to Wichita last season with 259 games played, and thus has crossed the threshold.
So which is it? Will McKee opt for a familar, proven goalie over Margo or any other vet? Or was this just a nothing-for-nothing deal: the Thunder get a promising guy who McKee decided wasn't gonna be his #1, while the Jacks get a safety net (literally!) they may not really sign.
"It's important to stress that we have not yet signed Grant," McKee says. "We have gained his playing rights and we are negotiating with him. That, in itself, is a pretty exciting development for our hockey club and our fans."