Thursday, July 31, 2008
Look at me breaking Mad Hatters news before it hits anywhere else.
(DANBURY, CT) – The Danbury Mad Hatters of the Eastern Professional Hockey League (EPHL) have announced the signings of defenseman Shawn Breaker and forward Erik Kent. As per club policy, the terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Shawn Breaker is a 25 year old defenseman from Strathmore, Alberta. Shawn’s only professional season was in 2004-05 and was split between Huntsville and Winston-Salem in the SPHL. He racked up 2 goals, 16 assists, and only 17 penalty minutes in 51 games. After his first professional season, Shawn decided to return to school in Alberta. He played 2 seasons at Grant MacEwan College, playing in 40 games with 4 goals and 24 assists.
General Manager of Hockey Operations Brendan Tedstone said of Breaker, “Shawn came to me from a high recommendation. He’s a stay at home defenseman that is very smart in his own zone. He's excited to join our back liners and start working towards a championship. His past experience in the SPHL should help bring a few rookies along throughout the season.”
Also joining the Mad Hatters fold is forward Erik Kent. Kent is a 26 year old native of Newburyport, MA. Kent has played a total of 5 professional games over the last two seasons: 2 with Huntsville of the SPHL, and 3 with Jamestown of the MAHL. In those 5 games, Erik has scored 6 goals and added 6 assists with 9 penalty minutes. Before his professional career, he played 4 seasons for the University of Southern Maine. In 102 games, Erik notched 42 goals and 37 assists, each season eclipsing his previous seasons goal and point totals, with 150 penalty minutes.
“Erik is a guy that will put the puck in the net, pure and simple,” Tedstone said. “I expect he'll be a first liner and get his points this year. He's the type of player I'd like to model my whole team after. He is great in open ice and loves the corners. He's excited to come to camp in October.”
The Mad Hatters are also still accepting players for open tryouts for this season. Please visit www.madhattershockey.com for more information.
The Mad Hatters have also set a date for the release of the schedule for their 2008-2009 inaugural campaign. Team and league officials have slated July 31 as the date for the release of the Mad Hatters’ schedule. As soon as the schedule is released, fans will have the ability to view it online at the team’s website. Individual tickets will go on sale approximately 1 week after the schedule is released.
Opening night for the Danbury Mad Hatters is November 1 at 7:30 p.m.
The Mad Hatters are scheduled to begin training camp on October 22, and will play 50 games in their first season.
Two more players signed to the team. Shawn Breaker (good name for a defenseman) sounds like a good stay at home defenseman who is defense first and is a young guy that maybe could learn a thing or two on the offensive side of the puck to boost his stats up. Hopefully his last name reflects his style of play.
Erik Kent (Blue guy in picture) sounds like the kind of guy who will be in the box score every night. I mean 12 points in 5 games is nothing to shake a stick at on any hockey level. The Hatters will need guys to put the puck in the net. Kent definitely sounds like a guy who will be doing it alot.
Tomorrow I will break the schedule down a bit and see where the Hatters will be going and the format of the schedule for this new league. I am excited as hell for November 1st to roll around.
Image found here
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
The likelihood of this happening is slim to none. I am not going to make it sound like this is actually going to happen considering it probably won't. But a rumor was whispered that the Coyotes may be in the hunt for the services of former Winnipeg Jet Teemu Selanne.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Well this is one of the closer polls that has been up here but it seems Peter Mueller will be the highest scoring player among this group. It will definitely be between Mueller and Zherdev. If Zherdev gets it going with Gomez as his center then I could definitely see him taking this race but with Peter Mueller playing on a line with Olli Jokinen and Shane Doan, he has to be the early favorite. Dubinsky and Turris will both have good years but not to the point that Mueller and Zherdev will. But stranger things have happened.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Here is some minor league hockey tidbits from the Danbury Mad Hatters:
(DANBURY, CT) – The Danbury Mad Hatters of the Eastern Professional Hockey League (EPHL) have announced the signings of three more players. Forwards Mykul Haun and Brett Riley, and defenseman Mike Utzig have all signed contracts to join the Mad Hatters this season. As per club policy, the terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Mykul Haun, a native of Oakland, CA, is a 26 year old forward who plays primarily the center position. He played his first professional season in 2007-08 between Jamestown of the MAHL and Richmond of the SPHL before succumbing to injury. In 3 seasons at Plymouth State University, Mykul appeared in 70 games racking up 9 goals, 22 assists, and 141 penalty minutes.
“Mykul had a great camp last season in Richmond and was the last guy released. He went to Jamestown and was having a great season there until he broke his wrist and ended his season,” General Manager of Hockey Operations Brendan Tedstone said of Haun. “He's one of those players that plays bigger then he is.”
The Mad Hatters also signed Brett Riley. Riley is a 22 year old native of Rochester, NY who can play both wings. In Brett’s first professional season, he saw action in 5 games for Richmond of the SPHL, but registered on 2 penalty minutes. His second professional season numbers were much improved. In 30 games for Wooster of the MAHL, Brett had 13 goals and 11 assists while amassing only 32 penalty minutes, a number among the lowest in the MAHL for players appearing in 25 or more games.
“Brett's a wiry little guy that zips all over the ice. He has a knack for the net, and is a guy that gets as many assists as he does goals,” Tedstone said. “With his discipline, he'll be a good 2nd liner and great on the penalty kill.”
Mike Utzig, a 6’ 3”, 29 year old defenseman from Buffalo, NY, was the third player signed by the Mad Hatters. Mike has played three seasons in the SPHL with Huntsville, Winston-Salem, and Fayetteville, playing in 54 games, scoring 1 goal and adding 7 assists while racking up 111 penalty minutes. Before turning pro, Mike played 2 seasons for SUNY-Brockport playing in 47 games, scoring 6 goals and adding 16 assists and recording 121 penalty minutes.
“Mike's a smart, steady defensive defenseman. He's surprisingly mobile for a big man. He's got a cannon from the point and is tough as nails,” Tedstone said. “He's had offers elsewhere, but he wants to win a championship and sees Danbury as his best shot.”
With the addition of these three players, that brings the number Mad Hatters signed to 8: Forwards Hutcheon, Payne, Cook, Haun, and Riley, and defensemen Hickman, Fiddler, and Utzig.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Daniel Carcillo has signed a 2 year deal with the Coyotes....money has not been disclosed but I will post it here whenever it becomes available. Check out the Coyotes website for more information on this great news here.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Chris Chelios, Jeremy Roenick, Keith Tkachuk, Bill Guerin, Brian Leetch, and Mike Richter. All of these names were the headliners of the USA Hockey team in almost every international competition in the 1990s and early 2000s. But with a few retirements and age catching up to these guys (despite the fact Chelios refuses to accept it) the old guard of USA hockey is vanishing into the annals of hockey history.
When it comes to die hard sports fans, there is always a time of year that they dread. For hockey fans, that time is just beginning now as the free agent frenzy dies down into the doldrums of summer.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The Phoenix Coyotes blue line went through a major overhaul this offseason when Keith Ballard and Nick Boynton were traded to Florida as the main pieces of the Olli Jokinen trade. Going into free agency, Don Maloney was certainly going to be looking at a deep defensive crop.
Nigel Dawes has re-signed with the New York Rangers on a 1 year $587,500 contract. This is a great signing, allowing Dawes to have a contract year this upcoming season and show the Rangers what he can really do. The Rangers also signed restricted free agent Dan Fritsche, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Fritsche was acquired earlier this offseason along with Zherdev from Columbus.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
This is arguably one of the tougher things I have done in terms of writing when it comes to anything, let alone hockey. A top 10 list of any Original 6 team is going to be tough to make considering how long they have been around and the numerous players that have played for them. This is my list but by no means do I think it is concrete. Many of these players could be moved up with a bunch of them easily considered for number 1. So here we go:
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
The Coyotes have had some great players in their history starting back in 1979 when the organization came into the NHL as the Winnipeg Jets. This is going to be a two part thing with the second article coming at some point after this one. Not sure when but here are 10-6.
10. Alexei Zhamnov: Zhamnov was a catalyst at center for the Winnipeg Jets in their later years and led the team in numerous offensive categories during the 1994-1995 season and had his best years of his career with the Jets.
9. Phil Housley: Certainly one of the best American born players of all time,Housley definitely deserves to be on this list. He only played 3 years but ended up with 259 points in a Jet uniform and was an anchor for their power play all three years.
8. Nikolai Khabibulin: The best goaltender in Jets/Coyotes history comes in at number 8. His dominating play led the Coyotes in their early years to the playoffs until he was traded to Tampa where he won a Stanley Cup. While not a leader in any statistical category, his 126 wins are 2nd all time (1 behind Bob Essensa) and his Goals Against Average of 2.75 is one of the better marks in the history.
7. Teemu Selanne: It is a shame that Selanne left Winnipeg after almost 4 seasons. His rookie year remains the best rookie year in the history of the NHL with 76 goals and 56 assists for 132 points. An absolute remarkable year that hasn't been broken yet. While this was his best year with the Jets, it still puts him on this list. It is too bad that he was traded.
6. Shane Doan: The only remaining Jet on the Coyotes roster is now the captain and slowly climbing the ranks as one of the greatest players in Coyotes history. He is 4th on the career points list and 5th on the goals list. He is one of the best captains this organization has ever had and could end up being their best ever, especially if he can lead the team to its first ever Stanley Cup.
5. Jeremy Roenick: My favorite player to this day comes in at number 5. He came to Phoenix from Chicago and was an instant sensation to Phoenix. In essence, he brought Phoenix Coyotes hockey to life with his play and his attitude. He ranks 8th in all time points for the Coyotes franchise. Without him, the Phoenix Coyotes don't have the kind of start and popularity they had back in their early years.
4. Keith Tkachuk: He came to Phoenix from Winnipeg and continued his scoring ways in the desert. The last season in Winnipeg he scored 50 goals and the first year in Phoenix he topped that with 52 goals. He ranks 2nd in goals with 323 and 3rd in points with 623. He was a captain and certainly another big piece to a successful start in Arizona for the Coyotes.
3. Thomas Steen: This choice and the next one were the hardest to put in their spots but Thomas Steen comes in at number 3. A career Jet, Steen ranks 2nd on the all time points list and probably would have ended up in first if not for an injury plagued career. He was a captain for the Jets and is one of the few to have his number retired.
2. Teppo Numminen: Teppo comes in at number 2 and is the best defenseman the franchise has ever had. He has the most games played for the franchise with 1098. He ranks 5th on the all time points list with 534 but was more known for his defensive play and despite playing in the most games on a team that had some very bad years, he maintained a +42 in all of his years as a Jet which is second all time. His number 27 will certainly be retired one day by the Coyotes.
1. Dale Hawerchuk: The best player in the history of the Coyotes/Jets franchise is Dale Hawerchuk. He is the career leader in points and goals for the franchise. He was a captain and managed to score 100 or more points in all but one of his seasons as a Jet with his highest point total being 130 points (57 goals, 77 assists). He managed to score all these goals and points on mostly mediocre teams and were the best years of his career. Dale set the mark for all Coyotes players to reach and hopefully someday break.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
For the New York Rangers, young players have recently been given alot of time to develop as the big club has big free agent signings lead the team with a few young players filling holes. That was until recently considering the majority of this team is now made up of home grown players Henrik Lundqvist, Brandon Dubinsky, Nigel Dawes, Ryan Callahan, Petr Prucha, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, and others have become the core of this team and will lead it into the future with high hopes. But these guys aren't the biggest excitement surrounding the Rangers organization but rather a bunch of players who will be joining the ranks someday.
Friday, July 11, 2008
When it comes to young players, the Phoenix Coyotes have very few competitors in terms of quality. An emphasis on a young team has been the emphasis since Don Maloney came to be the general manager. His self imposed age restriction on player signings, which is about 32 years of age, has led to Phoenix becoming one of the most exciting young teams in the league.
Maybe I am a little bias on this. I'm not going to pretend that I like Sidney Crosby. I hate him. Everyone who knows me knows I hate him. He is my least favorite player ever. I never want him on the New York Rangers or the Phoenix Coyotes no matter what and that is the truth.