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Old 02-13-2008, 05:55 PM   #376
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Default Eight of the NHL's worst trades of all time

As we draw nearer to the NHL trade deadline (Feb. 26), let's take a few moments to look back at some of the dumbest, most ill-advised trades ever consummated between two NHL teams. These aren't the only bad trades ever made, but they are certainly among the worst.

To borrow an adage from another sport, any free-swinging baseball slugger will tell you that two extreme outcomes can happen when you take that big swing at a pitch: You can hit a home run, or you can look silly corkscrewing yourself into the ground after completely whiffing. That's what happened in the following big NHL trades. (Keep in mind, however, that every foolhardy trade on this list made the opposite team's brass look absolutely brilliant.)

Trade: The Vancouver Canucks traded Cam Neely and its first-round draft pick in 1987 to the Boston Bruins for Barry Pederson.

Date: June 6, 1986

Outcome: Neely was 21 when this trade was made and was coming off three pretty good seasons for the Canucks. There was ample evidence that he was about to turn into the prototypical power forward. Instead, the Canucks swapped him for a guy who was three inches shorter, 40 pounds lighter and four years older, who really didn't like to hit or be hit. To compound the idiocy of this trade, the Bruins turned the draft pick they received into Glen Wesley. Not a bad return for Pederson. Had Neely been able to stay healthy in the second half of his career, he would have probably reached the 1,000-point mark.

*

Trade: The Detroit Red Wings traded Adam Oates and Paul MacLean to the St. Louis Blues for Bernie Federko and Tony McKegney.

Date: June 15, 1989.

Outcome: The Wings moved a budding superstar playmaker and a guy coming off a 36-goal season playing on a line with Steve Yzerman and Gerard Gallant for a 33-year-old lifetime member of the Blues who really did not want to move at all and an out-of-shape winger who played all of 14 games with the Wings before moving on. Federko retired after his one season in Detroit (in which he clashed with Yzerman as they jockeyed for locker room leadership superiority), and Oates went on to have a stellar career setting up Brett Hull in St. Louis and Cam Neely in Boston. Oates had his best years in Boston from 1992-96, including a year in which he scored 45 goals, far surpassing his previous (and future) high water marks for goals. As good as he was, Oates got traded often, and during the end of his career became a bit of a center-for-hire at trade deadline time.

*

Trade: The Vancouver Canucks traded Alek Stojanov to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Markus Naslund.

Date: March 20, 1996.

Outcome: Naslund was just coming into his own with the Pens when they inexplicably sent him away for a former first-round draft pick that went on to play just 45 more NHL games before calling it quits. Meanwhile, Naslund has been with the Canucks ever since and will finish his career with his place on every career leaders list for the Canucks firmly secured. This can only be explained as a failure on the part of the Pittsburgh scouts, who not only couldn't see that Stojanov would never be anything special, but also failed to see that Naslund was on the precipice of becoming a feared NHL sniper.

*

Trade: The Boston Bruins traded Pit Martin, Jack Norris and Gille Marotte to the Chicago Blackhawks for Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield.

Date: May 15, 1967.

Outcome: The Blackhawks effectively provided the Bruins with the ammunition to become an NHL superpower for years to come, and for very little return. Pit Martin had a good career in Chicago, but he never put up the kinds of numbers Esposito did, and he never won a Cup with the 'Hawks. The other two guys the 'Hawks got played no major role in the team's fortunes over the next few years, while Hodge had nine very productive years in Boston (twice topping the 100-point mark) and Stanfield, one of that era's most underrated players, scored close to 80 points per season playing on the third line. This trade changed the balance of power in the NHL at the time, and one could make a case that the Blackhawks still haven't fully recovered from this colossal mistake.

Interestingly, Esposito was involved in another hugely controversial trade when the Bruins shipped him to the Rangers, along with Carol Vadnais for Brad Park, Joe Zanussi and Jean Ratelle in November 1975. Espo then slipped into the persona of party animal in the Big Apple, regularly hitting the clubs with teammates like Barry Beck, Ron Duguay and Ron Greschner. Still, he produced on the ice and gave the Rangers six very good seasons.

*

Trade: The New York Rangers traded Kelly Miller, Mike Ridley and Bob Crawford to the Washington Capitals for Bob Carpenter and a second-round draft choice.

Date: Jan. 1, 1987.

Outcome: Carpenter's first five years in Washington were pretty good, but he only had one really outstanding season for the Caps (1984-85). He was also a bit of a problem child; he just needed time to mature. After the trade was made, Carpenter played in just 28 games for the Rangers before they flipped him to Los Angeles. He then played several more years with the Bruins and Devils, with one year back in Washington, but he was never the big scorer for those teams that he had been in his early 20s with the Caps. Miller and Ridley went on to personify the hard-working Caps of the late 1980s and 1990s. Miller played nearly 13 seasons for the Caps, and was incredibly durable and steady. Ridley was the better scorer of the two, and averaged 75 points per season on a team that largely depended on Peter Bondra and Michal Pivonka for the bulk of its scoring. While at the time of the trade Carpenter was considered a budding superstar, subsequent events showed that steadiness and hard work always win out over promise and flash. Carpenter played 28 games for the Rangers; Miller and Ridley played a combined 1,586 games for the Caps. It was the best trade in Capitals history, by far.

*

Trade: The Philadelphia Flyers traded Peter Forsberg, Kerry Huffman, Steve Duchesne, Mike Ricci, Ron Hextall, a draft pick they turned into Jocelyn Thibault, Chris Simon and $15 million to the Quebec Nordiques for Eric Lindros.

Date: June 30, 1992.

Outcome: Where do we start with this one? Lindros didn't want to play in Quebec, and basically forced the Nords' hand. In return, they received two serviceable defensemen, one of the most creative forwards of all-time, an agitator who played a big role in the Colorado Avalanche's initial success, and a goaltender that they packaged in a deal for Patrick Roy. Lindros had several great seasons in Philadelphia, but he never could deliver the Cup. This trade enabled the Avalanche to win two Cups within five years, with Roy leading the way. How can this not be considered one of the most lopsided trades in NHL history?

*

Trade: The St. Louis Blues traded Rob Ramage and Rick Wamsley to the Calgary Flames for Brett Hull and Steve Bozek.

Date: March 7, 1988.

Outcome: On the surface, this trade at the time did not seem so one-sided. It's only when you apply retrospect to it that it begins to seem ridiculous. The Flames won a Cup soon after this trade was made, but Hull went on to have a Hall of Fame career as the premier sniper of the 1990s, won two Cups and was still excelling in the league long after Ramage and Wamsley hung up their skates.

*

Trade: The Detroit Red Wings traded Garry Unger and Wayne Connelly to the St. Louis Blues for Red Berenson and Tim Ecclestone.

Date: Feb. 6, 1971.

Outcome: Unger was traded basically because he wouldn't cut his hair. The Red Wings' old school coach at the time, Ned Harkness, would brook no threat to his authority, and he viewed Unger's long locks as a major abrogation of his iron hand. Berenson had a couple of decent seasons in Detroit, but the team was so bad by this time that he had no major impact on its fortunes. Ecclestone and Connelly were basically throw-ins, but Unger went on to set the Iron Man record at the time, and to lead the 1970s-era Blues in every offensive category. Harkness was gone soon after the trade was made, but he harbors the blame for one of the worst and most short-sighted trades in NHL history.
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:36 PM   #377
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Trade: The Philadelphia Flyers traded Peter Forsberg, Kerry Huffman, Steve Duchesne, Mike Ricci, Ron Hextall, a draft pick they turned into Jocelyn Thibault, Chris Simon and $15 million to the Quebec Nordiques for Eric Lindros.

Date: June 30, 1992.

Outcome: Where do we start with this one? Lindros didn't want to play in Quebec, and basically forced the Nords' hand. In return, they received two serviceable defensemen, one of the most creative forwards of all-time, an agitator who played a big role in the Colorado Avalanche's initial success, and a goaltender that they packaged in a deal for Patrick Roy. Lindros had several great seasons in Philadelphia, but he never could deliver the Cup. This trade enabled the Avalanche to win two Cups within five years, with Roy leading the way. How can this not be considered one of the most lopsided trades in NHL history?
i love lindros on the ice, off the ice not so much, but i have always said that this trade is the reason the avs won the cup twice, i wonder if things would have been different if we gave into the then nordiques and gave them brindamour instead of forsberg, hes a good player and all just nowhere near as skillful as peter.

altho the trade i hate the most isnt really a trade btu a free agent signing, friggin cheaped out and saved 2 mil, instead of 6 mil on cujo went fot the 4 mil beezer, i still hate that, and that signing alone is why i hated bobby clark as a GM.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:13 PM   #378
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I thought trading Recchi for LeClair, Desjardins and Gilbert Dionne was a pretty lopsided deal as well. Especially considering we got Recchi back a year later. I can't remember who we gave the Habs for Recchi though.
LeClair was a perrenial 45-50 goal scorer for years and Desjardins is probably a top 3 Flyers defensman of all time. Dionne never panned out but who cares.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:25 PM   #379
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WOW...How did this trade not make the list

Kings trade Wayne Gretzky (The Great One) to the Blues for garbage (Craig Johnson, Patrice Tardif, Roman Vopat, St. Louis 5th round choice Peter Hogan in 1996 Entry Draft and 1st round choice Matt Zultek.)

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Old 02-14-2008, 07:02 PM   #380
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Default 10 questions for hockey fans

1. Did the players participating in the new “Breakaway Challenge” know anything about the contest before they stepped on the ice?
2. Is there any explanation as to why the league would announce the games to be held in Europe next fall before the Players gave their approval?
3. Did the camera guy skating behind the players at the All Star Super Skills competition realize that he was providing the worst camera angle in television history?
4. Did Barry Melrose actually pick the Montreal Canadiens to win the conference, or was that just his mullet talking?
5. Did Dallas really give Mike Ribeiro $5 Million a season? His stats look good, but I haven’t seen much of him this season - Maybe because have seats in the corner!
6. Does it even matter who the Leafs hire as a GM?
7. Is anyone in the league better than Alex Ovechkin…Really?
8. Does Gary Bettman look like Pee-Wee Herman to you?
9. Will Forsberg return to the NHL this season?
10. The Ducks are visiting the White House to be honored by President Bush - Do you actually think he gives a crap?
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:30 PM   #381
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4. Did Barry Melrose actually pick the Montreal Canadiens to win the conference, or was that just his mullet talking?


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Old 02-15-2008, 08:37 AM   #382
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7. Is anyone in the league better than Alex Ovechkin…Really?
no, nobody is, its not even close
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:59 PM   #383
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Default Zednik recounts his brush with death


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Wow! hot wife zeddy!


Richard Zednik barely felt the skate slice into his throat, but the blood that immediately gushed from his neck gave him all the information he needed. He knew he was in grave danger if he didn’t skate to the Florida Panthers’ bench. He was well aware he could be facing death.

“I knew I was in trouble,” Zednik said Friday before leaving the Mansion on Delaware, where he spent Thursday night after being discharged from Buffalo General Hospital, and flying back to Florida. “I didn’t feel anything, but there was just so much blood. I was like, ‘Whoa.’ I knew I had to get to the bench.”

Jessica Zednik had barely slept last Saturday night after caring for their 4-year-old daughter, Ella, and spending all day Sunday in Delray Medical Center in South Florida. Ella, who had been battling a high fever, had begun feeling better in the afternoon and was well enough to go home later that evening. It already had been a long two days. Jessica wanted to plop on the couch.

Little did she know that her husband already had been rushed to the hospital after having his carotid artery severed by a skate in a game against the Buffalo Sabres. In the hours and days ahead, Zednik and his wife came to realize how fortunate he was to survive. Lucky man, Richard Zednik. Lucky man.

Looking back, it was strange. Hours earlier, someone at the hospital had asked Jessica whether she worried about her husband’s safety. In fact, she had. Zednik had suffered concussions, had his nose broken and had stitches numerous times. But major injuries, she told her acquaintance, were extremely rare.

“In my mind, I’m thinking, ‘Never,’ ” she said.

She had been home for 10 minutes when the telephone rang. It was injured left wing Jozef Stumpel, a good friend who didn’t make the road trip with the Panthers. He asked Jessica if she was watching the game. No, she said. He told her to sit down. This was serious. Richard had an accident during the Buffalo game. His carotid artery had been severed.

Jessica Zednik immediately thought the worst. Severed artery meant death. She was going to lose her Slovak husband in Buffalo, making her a young widow and leaving Ella without a father. In an instant, what seemed a charmed life had been flipped upside down.

“All I heard was, ‘Your husband had a really bad accident. His throat was slashed.’ And then it was total panic. I’ve never seen that happen in life. I imagined what I saw in movies. They said, ‘major artery,’ and I didn’t think he was going to make it. I was panicking and screaming and crying.

“So many thoughts go into your head. You think, ‘I didn’t get to have another baby yet. I’ll always be alone. Please give him another chance. Why him? Why him?’ ”

In Buffalo, Richard was worried, too. Dr. Leslie J. Bisson, a man he just met and will never forget, had put pressure on his neck to help slow the bleeding as the ambulance began snaking its way through the streets toward the hospital. Zednik was already in surgery by the time Jessica took the call.

The hospital staff had been watching the game on television, knew Zednik was on his way and immediately sent for blood. Zednik had been stabilized, but he was far from being safe. There could be complications in surgery. Death was less likely but still possible.

“I remember everything,” Zednik said. “I remember the doctor holding my neck and telling him, ‘Don’t push so hard. I can’t breathe.’ I talked to my trainer [Dave Zenobi]. I remember them saying, ‘OK, go to surgery.’ ”

Jessica was instructed to get to the airport for a charter to Buffalo to be with her husband. She packed her bags and made arrangements for someone to stay with Ella, who had no idea her daddy’s life was in danger.

The thought of having someone else drive her to the airport never crossed her mind. She threw her suitcase in the car and began speeding toward the airport, driving more than 100 mph and ignoring police on the way. What could they do, give her a ticket? First, they had to catch her.

“Now, when I think back,” she said. “I don’t even remember seeing the road.”

Five minutes before she boarded the airplane, she received good news. Richard was in stable condition after successful surgery. Richard’s artery was intact, and he was going to survive. Jessica would be fine. Ella’s daddy would come home.

“She’s waiting for us,” Jessica said with a laugh. “She thinks we went to the movies.”

Surgery a success

Richard came through surgery as strong as could be expected. Dr. Sonya Noor repaired the artery that had been hanging by a thread. Had it been cut all the way through, it likely would have recoiled in his neck, and death would have been back in the equation. He was lucky.

“I knew right away he was in such good hands,” Jessica said. “They briefed me a little bit and made me feel safe. When I saw him, it was a big shock. But everybody made me feel safe. He was OK, and everything was perfect.”

The scariest and most horrific scene in HSBC Arena was just that, a scary and horrific scene, but nothing more. He had cheated death. Jessica was on her way with Panthers owner Alan Cohen’s wife, Karen. Two women from vastly different worlds who had never met quickly became friends. There would be more.

Her two sisters arrived from Montreal on Monday and spent two days here before going back home knowing everything would be fine.

Zednik was discharged from Buffalo General on Thursday evening, spent Valentine’s Day night with his wife and was anxious to get home to Florida on Friday.

“It makes you appreciate,” Jessica said. “I didn’t really care about the chocolates.”

‘Life is so fragile’

For five days, Richard and Jessica Zednik learned plenty about life from his brush with death. His stay in Buffalo General gave them time to take a step back and examine their lives. They were always in such a hurry, with him playing a fast game and her staying busy back in South Florida.

Jessica was raised in Montreal, a hockey city. She is an actress and mother who bears a striking resemblance to actress Eva Longoria. She speaks French, English, Spanish, Italian and Slovakian, a bright woman many would envy on most levels.

It was time to slow down and take a look around. Hockey had been such a huge part of their existence together, but it was nothing. Jessica saw a replay of the incident on television from a distance, turning her head the moment Olli Jokinen’s skate inadvertently clipped her husband’s neck.

“Life is so fragile, and you don’t own it,” Jessica said. “You never know and take everything for granted. Not anymore, believe me. It’s a reality check.”

For her, the worst part wasn’t the blood. It was the thought of her husband being scared of dying. She had yet to see the images of his frightened, ashen face.

“I was so scared of seeing his face,” Jessica said. “I was so afraid to see the panic in his eyes. He’s a father. I can’t imagine him thinking, ‘I can’t die, I can’t die, I have to see Ella growing up.’ He’s such a strong man. Just seeing him like a little boy . . . was too much.”

New friends for life

What the Zedniks realized, as much as anything during their stay in Buffalo, is how much people care about one another. Richard marveled Friday before boarding a flight for Florida how so many people came together in so little time. They saved his life, helped his wife and nursed him back to health.

It was a rare hat trick. He craved chicken wings, so a Kaleida Health employee ordered out from Picasso’s Pizza. He needed a pair of sneakers, so someone took a ride to Fleet Feet Sports. He needed privacy, so they slipped the Zedniks into the Mansion on Delaware and out of town Friday morning with barely a whisper.

“Last night, I had a lot to think about,” Zednik said. “You never know. It was like a dream, this feeling that I can breathe. I’m here. We have a game [Friday] night. One week happened so much. Everything just went so well. You look at it like that, and I was lucky. They saved my life. After surgery, they were amazing.”

Jessica couldn’t say enough about the staff at Buffalo General for how they treated Zednik and calmed her nerves when she was shaken and unsure. People she never would have known under any other circumstances came to her rescue.
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:09 PM   #384
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Default Vikings Go On Rampage At Lodge


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2/15/2008 - Presumedly seeking revenge against the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League for calling it quits in the middle of the season, several players with the Jamestown Vikings trashed the historic Vikings Lodge on the corner of Washington and West Fourth Street early Thursday, leaving most of the building in shambles.

Trash and debris were everywhere, especially on the second and third floors where the stench of beer and rotting food was almost overpowering. Bar stools were smashed through doors, and virtually every piece of glass in the building had been shattered, the broken shards unavoidable underfoot.

‘‘They were on a drunken rampage,’’ said Greg Moran, a building inspector with the city Department of Development, who was called to the scene once police learned of the destruction. ‘‘I was absolutely appalled. ... Some of this stuff is probably irreplaceable.’’

For police, the first sign of trouble was a chair that had been thrown through the storefront window facing Washington Street. When police arrived to investigate, they found the place a wreck and more than a dozen people — players as well as their friends — passed out drunk throughout the building.

‘‘We were called here early this morning at about 7:30 after we received a report that a chair had been thrown through the window,’’ said Lt. Todd Isaacson of the Jamestown Police Department. ‘‘The unit on scene initially observed a significant amount of criminal mischief as they entered the building. ... After the officers arrive at the scene, they realized that numerous players were involved and additional assistance was needed.’’

Police removed the individuals from the building after they had been identified.

Isaacson and other officials with the Jamestown Police Department spoke to reporters in the ballroom on the third floor of the century-old, four-story building. The ballroom was littered with junk and paint had actually been thrown about the space, but luckily, the intricate woodwork that decorates the hall remained intact.

‘‘To see the condition of this building was more than disappointing,’’ said Det. Art Osterdahl, who has been a member of the Order of Vikings for more than two decades. ‘‘When I was downstairs, seeing some of the rooms the children used to play in, it really hit close to home.’’

Mid-Atlantic Hockey League officials announced Wednesday that they would be cancelling the rest of the season to re-organize and start fresh in 2008-09, though many of those associated with the league believe that is unlikely to happen. Ticket sales were reportedly extremely low for three of the new league’s five teams — though they were reportedly much more competitive for the Valley Forge Freedom from Oaks, Pa. and the Jamestown Vikings.

But across the board, the league has reportedly been buried underneath a growing pile of debt with thousands of dollars owed to players. That has resulted in hostile relations between players and league officials like Andrew Haines, league president and Vikings owner.

Many believe the hostile relationship was what drove the players to trash the Vikings Lodge late Wednesday, though officials with the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena said they made it clear to them that Haines did not own the building.

‘‘It has historic significance to everyone,’’ said Michael Ferguson, ice arena general manager. ‘‘I said this building had been there for generations in the community, and one of the excuses I got from one of the players was, ‘Well, we didn’t believe that. We thought it was Andrew’s.’ ’’

But Ferguson said he didn’t believe that excuse, since he had told players repeatedly that Haines didn’t own the building. The building is actually owned by a Florida resident who acquired it when it was auctioned by the Order of Vikings in recent years.

In the early 20th century, the building was home to the Eagles Temple, and then to the Jamestown Business College. It wasn’t until 1941 that it was sold to the Order of Vikings.

The owner is reportedly en route to Jamestown to inspect the damage.

Ferguson was saddened to learn of the season’s sudden cancellation and offered the arena’s help to the players in the wake of the announcement — though he was not prepared to get the call early Thursday and learn what some of the players had done.

‘‘I’m ashamed, and it broke my heart when I walked in this morning,’’ Ferguson said. ‘‘When we addressed the team yesterday when they had been abandoned by the league, we were trying everything we could to support them.’’

But not all the players were involved, according to Ferguson.

‘‘To tell you the truth, a good portion of the team had already left town. A lot of the players already knew they weren’t going to get money out of the league and had already packed up,’’ Ferguson said.

For Zach Kane, a Jamestown native who played as a defenseman with the Vikings, that’s the worst of it — the fact that the wreckage of the Vikings Lodge has hurt the reputation of the entire team, even those who weren’t involved with the incident.

‘‘They more or less disgraced themselves and the team,’’ said Kane, who had a handful of players who wanted no part in the mayhem over at his family’s house that night. ‘‘The players were fed up from the beginning. ... But still, what happened last night had no reason for happening.’’

Police say they will work with the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office and pursue charges against those involved with the incident. Most importantly, according to Isaacson, they hope to ensure the building is restored to the condition it was in before the players relocated there.

‘‘Obviously, the goal here for everyone in the community is to get this up to the way it was,’’ said Isaacson, who conservatively estimated the damage to be at least $25,000 and described the act as ‘‘egregious’’ and ‘‘intolerable.’’

Though many of the players have left town, Isaacson said police will be able to make contact with them if need be. He also said it is possible that some of those responsible may end up serving jail time.

‘‘I don’t think that would be a stretch,’’ Isaacson said.
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:53 PM   #385
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Some USA Hockey facts with this being "Hockey Weekend Across America"

-Approximately 600,000 USA Hockey members ranging in ages from 2 to 80.

-Last year, adult hockey registrations surpassed 100,000, a growth of over 36% in two years.

-There are 217 NCAA Divison I men's and women's varsity teams and another 373 in the American College Hockey Association.

-The total number of girls/women playing hockey has increased 103% in the last ten years.

-Team USA has won six medals in the past four years. The USA juniors, inline (2), women, and U18 men (2) have all left competitions with medals.

-During the 1976-77 NHL season, there were 40 US-born players in the league. Last season, there were 202 Americans playing in the NHL.

-USA Hockey magazine has the highest circulation of 430,000 in the world.

-There were 63 Americans selected in the 2007 NHL Draft, 30% of all draftees, the highest in Entry Draft history.

-There have been 6 US-born players selected first overall in the NHL Entry Draft, starting with Brian Lawton in 1983.
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Old 02-18-2008, 09:46 AM   #386
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Default Malone, Umberger prove local kids can make it in the NHL

Malone, Umberger prove local kids can make it in the NHL

Thirty years ago, it was a snap decision.

Kids growing up in Western Pennsylvania put on their football pads, buckled their chinstraps, emulated Terry Bradshaw in their back yards and dreamed of being the starting quarterback for the Steelers.

Very few considered lacing up their hockey skates, becoming the next Jean Pronovost or quarterbacking the Penguins' power play.

But once Mario Lemieux arrived in town in 1984 and led the franchise to two Stanley Cup championships, that attitude suddenly started to change.

Mr. Lemieux, the Penguins' Hall of Fame center and owner, gets a big assist for helping Pittsburgh-area kids realize that they, too, can excel at something other than football.

"I started watching the Penguins in the late '80s, and it was because of Mario Lemieux that I started skating," Philadelphia Flyers center R.J. Umberger said. "All my friends were playing football and baseball, and I was for a while, too. But I fell in love with hockey because of Mario, and have been playing it ever since."

Mr. Umberger was the first Pittsburgh-area player selected in the first round of the National Hockey League Entry Draft in 2001, the 16th overall pick.

Two years later, forward Ryan Malone became the first born-and-trained native of the area to play in an NHL game, debuting with the Penguins, who had selected him in the fourth round of the 1999 draft.

Mr. Umberger got his start on skates at Plum High School, Mr. Malone at Upper St. Clair.

"Mario created the first renaissance of hockey in Western Pennsylvania," said Penguins president David Morehouse, who grew up in Beechview and attended South Hills Catholic. "And now what we're seeing is Renaissance II with Sidney Crosby.

"Pittsburgh has always been known as a place that produces Division I college football players and NFL players. But now, you've had this development of hockey in Western Pennsylvania.

"Pittsburgh is becoming an epicenter for hockey."

Make no mistake, Western Pennsylvania will never be confused with U.S. hockey hotbeds such as Minnesota, Michigan or New England, but players no longer get a chilly reception when they tell their friends they are playing hockey.

"[Pittsburgh's] not arrived as a hockey town ... but it's definitely on its way up," said Mr. Malone, who now makes his offseason home in Minnesota. "The hockey explosion here in Pittsburgh is a great thing to see.

"I think you've got to give a lot of credit to the hockey associations for continuing to develop players. And with Robert Morris having Division I hockey now, that's a big plus."

In addition to Mr. Umberger and Mr. Malone, four other players who went to school in the Pittsburgh area have played in the NHL this year. They include Phoenix's Bill Thomas (Fox Chapel), Philadelphia's Nate Guenin (Hopewell), Los Angeles' John Zeiler (Thomas Jefferson) and Buffalo's Mike Weber (Seneca Valley).

Also, 19 Pittsburgh-area players are competing in hockey at the Division I level and another seven have committed to Division 1 schools for next season.

"Did I think I'd ever see the day when we'd have this many good hockey players coming out of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania? Probably not," Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League commissioner Ed Sam said. "It's unreal."
More rinks, more leagues

Youth hockey has experienced a significant boom since Mr. Lemieux landed in Pittsburgh.

There were only six indoor ice rinks in the region then as opposed to more than 30 now. The number of high school players has climbed from 500 to 3,000.

Nine amateur associations fielded approximately 70 or so teams back then. Today there are 30 amateur associations with more than 250 teams, involving approximately 4,000 players.

"You're going to see more and more kids like Ryan Malone and R.J. Umberger come out of this area because the facilities are not only better, so is the skill level," said Dave Hanson, general manager of the Robert Morris' Island Sports Center.

Stiffer competition and better coaching also have helped improve the on-ice product, said Mr. Hanson, whose son, Christian (Peters Township High School) plays for Notre Dame.

"Around here in the early '70s, coaches would throw a bag of pucks on the ice and say, 'Go get 'em,' " said Mark Shuttleworth, director of amateur hockey for the Penguins. "In the '80's, the coaching started to get a little bit better. And now it's top shelf."

Mr. Umberger and Mr. Malone are among 11 former Pittsburgh Hornets who have been drafted by NHL teams. Mr. Malone also had a stint with the Amateur Penguins. The Hornets and Amateur Penguins are the two largest and most prominent travel teams for young hockey players in the region.

A year ago, a group of local high school players representing Team Pittsburgh won the prestigious Chicago Showcase tournament.

"The hockey teams around here are producing a lot of high-end kids," Robert Morris coach Derek Schooley said. "Pittsburgh is starting to get noticed for its talent."

Like most players from here, Mr. Umberger and Mr. Malone had to leave the area for more extensive training before entering college.

Mr. Malone departed Upper St. Clair after his junior year to play for hockey powerhouse Shattuck-St. Mary's in Minnesota -- the same boarding school Mr. Crosby attended at age 15. Mr. Malone then played with Omaha in the United States Hockey League prior to an outstanding college career at St. Cloud State in Minnesota.

Mr. Umberger moved away after his sophomore season at Plum to join the U.S. national team development program. He also played three years at Ohio State.

"I was born into hockey," said Mr. Malone, whose dad, Greg, is a former Penguins' player and scout now working in a similar capacity for Phoenix. "I've had a Penguins jersey and helmet on since I was a little kid. As soon as I started skating at age 2, I had a stick in my hand."

Prior to Mr. Malone's NHL debut, three players born in Western Pennsylvania had played in the league -- Pete Babando (1947-53), Gerry O'Flaherty (1971-79) and Bob Beers (1989-97) -- but all left the area at a young age.

The first two local kids drafted by NHL teams were Chuck Chiatto (North Catholic) and Andy Cesarski (Latrobe). Mr. Chiatto was picked in the 12th round by the Detroit Red Wings in 1983, while Mr. Cesarski was a 10th-round selection of the St. Louis Blues in '87, but neither played professionally.

During that period, Dee Rizzo (Allderdice) was one of the few Pittsburgh-area players competing in major college hockey. He was a member of Michigan State's 1986 national championship team.

Robert Morris has a long way to go to reach that lofty status, but Mr. Schooley has had some success with his fledgling program since it debuted in the 2004-05 season.

The Colonials, one of 59 Division I teams, upset No. 2 Notre Dame last season and No. 8 Boston University earlier this year.

"It's been a great opportunity for me here at Robert Morris," said Sean Berkstresser (Kiski Area), who previously played for the Pittsburgh Forge, a defunct Junior A Tier II team. "I've been able to stay at home and play hockey, and we've beaten some really good teams along the way."

In mid-November, Robert Morris played Ohio State at Mellon Arena. Five local players were on the rosters, including Mr. Berkstresser, Eric Trax (Peters Township) and Denny Urban (Baldwin) from Robert Morris and Sergio Somma (Plum) and C.J. Severyn (Beaver) from Ohio State.

Mr. Severyn, a seventh-round draft pick of the Calgary Flames last year, played for the Hornets as a youngster and Mr. Somma for the Amateur Penguins.

"More kids are getting scholarships from Pittsburgh and moving up the ranks, which is nice to see," Mr. Severyn said.

"I'm 20 years old, the same age as Sidney Crosby, and he's the best player in the NHL," Mr. Somma said. "It's pretty easy to relate to him and want to follow him."

Robert Morris and VisitPittsburgh, with backing from the Penguins, are preparing a bid to host the 2013 Frozen Four, hockey's equivalent of basketball's Final Four, in the Penguins' new, yet unnamed arena.

In the meantime, Mr. Schooley hopes to lure more Western Pennsylvania players to his program.

"Wouldn't it be unbelievable if a kid from Pittsburgh could play his youth hockey here, his high school hockey here, his college hockey here and his pro hockey here?" Mr. Schooley said. "It's a long shot, but it could happen sometime."


(On the site, there's a list of players, etc that are in the NHL from western PA, interesting stuff though)
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Old 02-18-2008, 03:09 PM   #387
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Forsberg's agent Don Baizley has begun advising NHL teams that Forsberg doesn't have enough confidence in his wonky foot to commit to a return to the league this season.

''The prospect of Peter having enough confidence in the foot-skate issue to commit to being able to play in the NHL this season isn't where it needs to be at this moment,'' Baizley told TSN. ''As a result, teams are being told it is unlikely he will be able to commit to return to the NHL this season.''

The five-time All-Star played in 57 games in 2006-07 with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Nashville Predators last season, posting 13 goals and 55 points. He was dealt to the Predators at the trade deadline for Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent and first and third-round draft picks in 2007.

Prior to the trade, Forsberg was limited to 40 games with the Flyers because of a lingering foot injury, but still managed to register 11 goals and 40 points. He has been slowed by injuries over the last few seasons, undergoing surgery on both ankles last summer.



Forsberg was originally drafted sixth overall by the Flyers in the 1991 Entry Draft. He was dealt to the Quebec Nordiques in 1992 as part of a blockbuster deal that saw Philadelphia acquire centre Eric Lindros.

In his first NHL season, Forsberg won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie, scoring 50 points in 47 games.

In ten seasons with the Nordiques and Avalanche, he recorded 216 goals and 741 points. He won the Stanley Cup twice with the Avalanche (1996 and 2001) and won the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player in 2003 when he recorded 106 points in 75 games.

In August of 2005, Forsberg returned to the team that drafted him when he signed a two-year $11.5-million contract with the Flyers.

The six-foot, 205-pound centre has played in 697 regular-season games over his 12-year career, recording 248 goals and 871 points.

He is also a veteran of international play, having represented Sweden at four Winter Olympics (1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006) - winning gold twice. He's played in five World Championships (1992, 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2004), two World Cups (1996 and 2004), and two World Junior Championships (1992 and 1993).
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Old 02-18-2008, 03:30 PM   #388
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The canucks and oiler don't like eachother
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:54 PM   #389
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That reminds me a bit of this.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1-25s4uwFQ
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Old 02-18-2008, 09:09 PM   #390
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that was a fun game, i still cant believe that neil went after somik, what a p***Y
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Old 02-18-2008, 09:48 PM   #391
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that was a fun game, i still cant believe that neil went after somik, what a p***Y
Yeah, that was kind effed up. The big dummy Chara taking on Timander was kinda gutless as well.
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:52 PM   #392
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Default Kings trade Modry to Flyers for 3rd Round pick.

So it begins...Dean is stockpiling picks.

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/...rom_Kings.html


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By Tim Panaccio

INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Flyers, having failed in their attempts to get Tomas Kaberle who would not waive his no-trade clause with Toronto, struck a deal today for Kings defenseman Jaroslav Modry.

The Flyers gave up an undisclosed draft pick.

A number of team were interested in getting Kaberle.

The Flyers would like to be able to get potential free-agent defenseman Dan Boyle from Tampa Bay but it appears he may be on the verge of re-signing with the Lightning.

Modry helps the Flyers but he is not the stud defenseman they need.

"We might not be able to get that kind of guy right now," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said earlier before the trade.

Modry has only six points, including one goal, in 61 games this season. He will turn 37 on Feb. 27. He has a total of 49 goals after starting his career with the New Jersey Devils in 1993.

The Flyers had some interest in Kings defenseman Brad Stuart but general manager Dean Lombardi does not appear willing to trade him.
TSN reports it is a 3rd round pick. Not bad for a 37 year old...

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=230038&hubname=
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Old 02-21-2008, 02:14 PM   #393
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So it begins...Dean is stockpiling picks.

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/...rom_Kings.html




TSN reports it is a 3rd round pick. Not bad for a 37 year old...

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=230038&hubname=
Not bad is right maybe a bit too much for a guy his age.
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Old 02-21-2008, 02:47 PM   #394
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Not bad is right maybe a bit too much for a guy his age.
i would agree, BUt the flyers just shipped vandermeer off to calgary for a 3rd, so basically they traded vandermeer for modry and a swap of thirds with calgary. if you had watched him play youd consider anything an upgrade, he is a turnover machine.
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Old 02-21-2008, 05:03 PM   #395
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Not bad is right maybe a bit too much for a guy his age.
Maybe, but Modry has playoff experience and is a good clubhouse player. Everyone gets along with him. So its a good pickup for both sides.

You know at the draft, Bettman's gonna get sick of saying, and with the ___ pick, the LA Kings select...

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Old 02-21-2008, 05:19 PM   #396
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Maybe, but Modry has playoff experience and is a good clubhouse player. Everyone gets along with him. So its a good pickup for both sides.

You know at the draft, Bettman's gonna get sick of saying, and with the ___ pick, the LA Kings select...


So hes a rental for the playoffs basically and it cost em a 3rd, question is they traded 3rds with calgary did they move up the draft or down with the 3rd swap?
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Old 02-21-2008, 07:46 PM   #397
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they keep playing the way they are it will be a move down in the draft.

in other news JR was honored tonight by the flyers organization before the game for getting his 500th goal way back when earlier in the season, altho JR only played 3 seasons in philly he is still one of the fan favorites, and still one of my favorites.
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:11 PM   #398
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in other news JR was honored tonight by the flyers organization before the game for getting his 500th goal way back when earlier in the season, altho JR only played 3 seasons in philly he is still one of the fan favorites, and still one of my favorites.
JR is a POS.
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:24 PM   #399
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I can't hear you i have two stanley cup rings plugging my ears.
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:33 PM   #400
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The on ice banter is kinda funny sometimes

Ben Kuzma, The Province
Published: Friday, February 29, 2008

Alex Burrows must dig into his wallet for more than spare change, but vows not to change his agitating game after being fined an undisclosed amount Thursday.

In a telephone conversation with NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell following practice, the Vancouver Canucks winger was informed his pre-game incident with Detroit Red Wings pest Aaron Downey at centre ice Saturday at GM Place has not escaped closer scrutiny.

"I thought we had moved on from that incident and I don't know how much [the fine] will be and I'll probably get a letter," said Burrows. "Hopefully, the next pay cheque will be in."



When Burrows checked in for work Saturday, he and Downey sparked a brief scrum during the warm-up.

"He wanted to get his team going and he said he was going to take care of me," recalled Burrows. "I was ready for him. I asked him how his potato farm was doing. He probably likes the french fries the most because he's a little chubby."

Downey responded by spearing Burrows in the pad.

"[Campbell] said I speared him back, but I don't think I did," added Burrows. "He looked at it one way, but they've got a tough job to do and they have to look at the incident and make sure nothing goes on. They've got to do their job and I've got to do mine."

That said, Burrows didn't look like he agreed with the decision. He threw his equipment into his stall and composed himself before facing the media.

"It's a tough one," he said. "I'm looking forward to seeing what [Downey] gets [fined] and what I get. If we both get the same, I'll disagree probably. If he gets more, I'll agree because I was involved."

Regardless, don't expect Burrows to approach tonight's game with Columbus any differently. He has got under the skin of some of the game's better players -- including Ilya Kovalchuk and Vincent Lecavalier -- and will probably target Rick Nash tonight.

"I had a good talk with Colin and he knows what my game is all about," said Burrows. "I'm not going to change any aspect of it."

The NHL had warned teams after the Sean Avery pre-game jawing incident with Darcy Tucker on Nov. 10, in Toronto. They went face-to-face in a heated exchange and fought during the first period.

Avery was fined $2,500 and Tucker $1,000.

"The league sent a memo out after the Avery incident and warned every team and every player that if something happens, walk away," said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault. "Burr has a tough time turning the other cheek and walking away."
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