Friday, August 27, 2010

Heading out of Town

I will be heading out-of-town later this evening and will be in Tulsa dealing with some family business and seeing a new baby that my cousin gave birth to earlier this month. So this site will be basically slow till at least September 2 when I return. As you know my grandmother is basically terminally ill and having to take care of family stuff during that time as well.

With that weekend being Labor Day, this site should return to normal which is on September 7 which is the week before the NAHL Season getting underway, as well as the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Maritime Hockey League (MHL) & the North American Hockey League (NAHL) all start that weekend. So it will start getting very busy after that.

I will see you then.

So it maybe slow now, but it will start getting busy again after

2010-2011 Dallas Stars Elites Information

The schedules are coming out in chunks as the schedule for the Dallas Stars Midget Major (U18) and Midget Minor (U16) are slowly starting to come out for the Tier 1 Elite League which is the best Youth Hockey League and System in the country.

For area players playing Juniors & the NCAA in recent years, this is where a majority of the talent is coming from so it's important to track this team to see how their doing and which players could have a shot of getting recognized by leagues like the United States Hockey League (USHL), the Western Hockey League (WHL) and the NCAA.

As for players who are looking to make USHL Rosters include Seth Johnson (Sioux City Musketeers), Christian Frey (Des Moines Buccaneers), Teemu Tiitnen (Youngstown Phantoms) and Tyler Hope (Tri-City Storm) and Jeff Mcminimy (Lincoln Stars) all played for the Dallas Stars Elites in recent seasons and will be looking to use this level as a chance to move up to the NCAA & Professional Ranks, possibly the NHL later in their careers.

This is where the best Youth Players look to play for in the Dallas Area and around the country hoping to get noticed by teams in the Junior Ranks and into the NCAA as well, so it shows you how important it is to make the Tier 1 Elite League to improve your chances.

Last year for the U18's finished the 48 game season at .500 with a 20-20-8 record which was good good for 3rd Place in the League's Mid American Division.

They looking to improve on that and especially the defense where it was a bit leaky at times by giving up 153 goals during the season. And by hoping that the defense improves in a division that has the Madison Capitals, Ohio Blue Jackets, Russell Stover and St. Louis Amateur Blues. This

The season gets underway on September 17 with a 4 game in 3 day weekend set with the teams in the Illinois Division against Team Illinois. They will also play the Chicago Fury, Cleveland Barons and the Chicago Youth Association during the weekend as well.

This was a division where Russell Stover edged out the St. Louis Amateur Blues for the Mid-Am Division title by a mere two points, but the rest of the division was well back where the Dallas Stars finished 3rd by a massive margin of 18 points over the Division Champions. This year thought that Dallas is expecting to see a much more competitive division like the top of the Illinois Division was last year.

As for the defending Champions, the Belle Tires Team out of Detroit are the defending Midget Major Champions with an impressive 36 wins that got them 77 points, edging out the CYA by 3 points.

In the Midget Minor League everyone will be gunning for the Chicago Missions who ran away with the Illinois Division and were an 8 points clear of the Detroit Division Champion Little Caesars.

The full schedule for the most part is not out yet because of how the league is set up. Most teams play at different events where you could have like 6 or 8 of the 25 teams for instance may play something like 3 or 4 games in a single weekend. As it stands right now, they are no plans for the Dallas Stars Elites to host any events yet (At least what we know).

As for the Midget Minor (U16) Team, they looking to put last year behind them with just 9 wins in 38 games last year in the Tier 1 League and had one of the worst offenses by scoring just 67 goals.

However, they did have a strong defense and goaltending which had Christian Frey who was selected by the Des Moines Buccaneers in the USHL Entry Draft back in May.

Things are looking like that he may return to get some more experience, or if he doesn't come back with the Dallas Stars Elites, he may go to a league like the NAHL or one of the Canadian Jr. A Leagues to prepare him for the USHL.

For the U16 Team to be successful, the offense will have to show big improvements on the offense with a lot of new players and put last year behind them. However, can they find the goaltending that they had last year like a Christian Frey type player that can keep opposing teams off the scoreboard.

As I told you earlier the full schedule has not been released yet as 20 of the scheduled 48 games have been official while 20 of the 38 scheduled games are official for the Midget Minor Team as the season is scheduled to start in Mid September.

Here's the Links to follow for the Dallas Stars Midget Major (U18) & Midget Minor (U16) Teams to check out as the season starts next month.

In addition to the current schedule, the Dallas Stars U18 has games against Dallas Alliance on 9/3 at Farmers Branch Starscenter and again on September 24 in Valley Ranch. The U18 Team also has a pair of games this fall against Dallas Ice Jets but those haven't been officially schedule yet.

Nothing yet on any possible friendlies for the Dallas Stars U16 Team yet.

In addition to the Links, here's the Divisions for both the Tier 1 U18 & U16 Divisional Alignments for the upcoming season.

Midget Major (U18)

Illinois Division: Chicago Youth Association (CYA), Chicago Fury, Chicago Missions, Cleveland Barons, Team Illinois

Detroit Division: Belle Tires, Compuware, Honeybaked, Little Caesars, Victory Honda

East Division: Boston Advantage, Buffalo Regals, Philadelphia Jr. Flyers, Pittsburgh Hornets, Team Comcast

Mid-American Division: Dallas Stars Selects, Madison Capitals, Ohio Blue Jackets, Russell Stover, St. Louis Amateur Blues

West Division: Colorado Rampage, Colorado Thunderbirds, LA Kings Selects, LA Selects Hockey Club, Phoenix Jr. Coyotes

Midget Minor (U16)

Illinois Division: Chicago Fury, Chicago Missions, Chicago Young Americans, Clevland Barons, Team Illinois

Detroit Division: Belle Tires, Compuware, Honeybaked, Little Caesars, Victory Honda

East Division: Boston Advantage, Buffalo Regals, Philadelphia Jr. Flyers, Pittsburgh Hornets, Team Comcast

Mid-American Division: Dallas Stars, Madison Capitals, Ohio Blue Jackets, Russell Stover, St. Louis AAA Blues

West Division: Colorado Rampage, Colorado Thunderbirds, LA Kings, LA Selects Hockey Club, Phoenix Jr. Coyotes

Team Links

Tier 1 Elite Hockey League

Dallas Stars AAA

Dallas Stars U18

Dallas Stars U16

Dallas Stars Elite Hockey Club

Pointstreak Links

Dallas Stars U16 Schedule

Dallas Stars U16 Roster/Stats

Dallas Stars U18 Schedule

Dallas Stars U18 Roster/Stats

Mike Heika names the Dallas Mount Puckmore

So far about half of the NHL Teams have been featured in the Mount Puckmore Series where writers, reporters, bloggers and fans have been giving their submissions for their Mount Rushmore's for their teams.

Today Mike Heika gave his report on the Mount Puckmore series and it should be very exciting for Dallas Stars fans as Mike Heika named Mike Modano, Jere Lehtinen, Sergei Zubov and former Head Coach Bob Gainey to the teams list.

For Modano, Lehtinen and Zubov, these were no brainers as they have been the cornerstones of the franchise until recently with Modano heading to Detroit, Zubov heading back home to Russia and Lehtinen's status uncertain about whatever or not he's going to return.

To me it was interesting to see who the 4th member, he made his decision on Bob Gainey as along with Modano, was another huge part of growing and selling the game behind the scenes and getting the area to help build more ice rinks which eventually lead to the Dr. Pepper Starscenter which used to be in Valley Ranch & Duncanville. Now they are currently 5 in Frisco, Mckinney, Plano, Farmers Branch and Euless.

While he was Head Coach and later GM, he pulled off some big trades that brought in Sergei Zubov, Darryl Sydor and Jarome Iginla which later traded him to get Joe Nieuwendyk.

Here's the Report from Mike Heika on the Puck Daddy Blog

As much as the Stars are not in the NHL spotlight right now, they have a strong history in their time in Dallas. Since 1996, their .619 Winning % (583-329-154) is the third best in the NHL (only behind the Detroit Red Wings & New Jersey Devils). They have seven division titles, four appearances in the Western Conference Finals, and the 1999 Stanley Cup.

So there are some pretty good choices for the Mt. Puckmore of Dallas.

We'll start with an apology to Neal Broten. He played in Dallas, scored the first goal in Dallas Stars history, and his association with the Miracle of Ice helped build the sport in Texas. But, the instructions were to pick the top four for the Dallas Stars, so Broten just didn't fit.

So with that in mind, here are the four faces that define this franchise (at least as far as one guys says.)

Mike Modano

A slam dunk, no matter that he will play in Detroit this season. Modano holds pretty much every offensive record in franchise history, and pretty much sold the state on hockey. Maybe somebody would have eventually come to Texas and spread the good word of the sport, but it's difficult to imagine anyone doing it better then Modano.

He's exciting to watch, affable, handsome and accessible. What's more, he was smart enough to adjust his game to the desire of Bob Gainey and Ken Hitchcock, and that allows the two to forge the record, the division championships _ and eventually the Stanley Cup.

Modano's decision to play defense meant that every player on the team had to play defense, and that was the key to the team coming together.

Modano played 1,142 of his 1,159 games wearing the sweater of the Dallas Stars, and that in itself him face of the franchise. The fact he did it with the style he did make him an icon and a One-Man Mount Puckmore if that was possible.

It also makes his departure all the more painful.

Former Head Coach/GM Bob Gainey

Like Modano, he brought plenty of success from his time in Minnesota, and expanded upon that in Dallas. He also helped sell the game (and teach the game) in his own special way. Gainey was a product of the Montreal System, and he built the Stars in his image: as a defensively-responsible, tough-to-play against, do-it-the-right-way organization.

Gainey swung what can only be called tremendous steals in trading for Sergei Zubov (for Kevin Hatcher) Darryl Sydor (for Shane Churla and Doug Zm0lek), Guy Carbonneau (for Neal Broten) and Mike Keane and Brian Skrudland (for Todd Harvey and Bob Errey). He also had the guts to trade a very young Jarome Iginla for Joe Nieuwendyk.

But just as important, Gainey had the strength to stand up to a very veteran team and demand that they toe the line for Ken Hitchcock. While he left in 2002, the truth is, Gainey vision defined the organization for the first 15 years in Dallas.

D Sergei Zubov

It is only his absence that the Stars see just how lucky they were to have Sergei Zubov for 12 seasons. All he did was quietly log 25 minutes a game for 839 games and toss in some dynamic playoff performances in 114 post season contests. He made everyone around him a better player, and he made the Stars stifling defensive system bearable for players like Mike Modano and Brett Hull.

Zubov was so valued, so intelligent and so good that he was the only person former defensive assisted Rick Wilson trusted to freelance. He led a power play that was ranked in the top 8 in the league five times in a six year span and he was a plus 107 in his career with the Stars.

His trade from Pittsburgh for Kevin Hatcher in 1996 might be one of the lopsided trades in recent NHL History.

RW Jere Lehtinen

This was probably the toughest choice. You could have put Broten in here, or Derian Hatcher or Ken Hitchcock or even Ed Belfour. But Lehtinen has been so quietly consistent for his entire career that he deserves a spot.

Lehtinen has played 875 games in 14 injury plagued seasons. In that span, he has won three Selke Trophies as best defensive forward in the league and also has led the Stars in goal scoring in three different occasions. He is a plus 176 for his career.

Lehtinen has worn down over the years and has played in 48, 48 and 58 games in his last three seasons. He is contemplating retirement, and at this stage, I think he will probably hang up the skates. But has also defined an organizations defensive play for more then a decade, and he established a work ethic in the training room that rubbed off his teammates.

He's not a sexy pick, but he has earned his spot on the Mount Puckmore.

Just missed the Cut

Derian Hatcher: This is the one guy I would have really liked to get in. Hatcher has his critics, and even more Stars fans didn't always appreciate his slow footed style of play, but I loved the big guy. He led on the ice, he led in the locker room and he followed nicely in the footsteps of Mark Tinordi.

Many Stars Insiders believe that the team took a huge step forward when Hatcher's hit broke Jeremy Roenick's jaw in 1999 as an answer to a skirmish that Stars and Coyotes had in a previous game. It sent the message not only to the league, but to his teammates, that it was time to get serious. His 2002-03 season (When he was a 2nd Team All-Star and a Norris Trophy Finalist) showed how complete a player he could be.

Ken Hitchcock: As much as anyone, Hitchcock was aggressive in spreading the word of hockey in Texas. He loved the fans, he drew in the media, and he simply made the game fun. He's a great coach, but an even better salesman.

Ed Belfour: He played just five seasons for the Stars, but he is second all time in franchise history in career regular season victories (160-95-44) and holds pretty much every playoff goaltending record the franchise, going 44-29 in the post-season. It's not only he could have realistically been the Conn Smythe Trophy Winner in both 1999 and 2000, it's that he went head-to-head with Grant Fuhr, Patrick Roy (Twice) and Dominik Hasek, and was the better goaile. That was some high drama.

Neal Broten: He sort of fell between the cracks, but Broten made a lot more to Minnesota then he did with Dallas. Still, he was a very popular player in the first two seasons, and the trade that sent him to New Jersey in 1995 (Where he won a Stanley Cup) was maybe the first time Stars Fans started to really get serious about hockey talk.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sources: Nicklas Grossman signs to a two Year Deal

Just after the Television schedule came out earlier today with that on everyones mind. Varying Sources including ESPN Dallas have basically announced and recently confirmed that Stars Defensemen Nicklas Grossman has signed a two year contract worth $3.25 Million Dollars that will take him through the 2011-2012 season.

ESPN Dallas Article

Mike Heika's Nicklas Grossman Profile

Dallas Stars Press Release

This upcoming season he will be getting 1.5 Million while the 2011-2012 Season will get him 1.75 Million.

This past season for the Stars, Grossman was paired with Stephane Robidas playing in 71 games where he posted 7 assists with 32 penalty minutes.

"We are very happy to sign Nicklas to this new contract," Nieuwendyk said. "He is a solid NHL Defensemen and is an important part of our young core."

This is a great job getting him secured. However, with the young d-core we have, he seems to be a bit overwhelmed and he is being asked to do much. If he could get in a position where he could be on the 2nd D Paring this is where he could really blossom for a long time to come.

Dallas Stars National & Local TV Coverage

The National TV Schedule for the National Hockey League and for the Dallas Stars, it's only going to be a handful of games on National Television as Versus has only scheduled 3 Games for the upcoming season as they have one in November, one in January and one in December.

In addition to the Versus Games, theirs 2 that the Dallas Stars are being looked at for games on NBC Late in the regular season. One of them is on the last day of the regular season as the Stars are looking at the March 13 game against the LA Kings and on April 10 against the Minnesota Wild which would end the regular season before the playoffs are scheduled to get underway on April 13 this season.

For the NBC Games, some of the dates are on a Flex Package so it could depend on how both teams are looking heading into the last few weeks of the regular season. With both teams out of the playoffs last year, don't be surprised to see this game in particular to be switched to get a game that could get playoff or division title possibilities.

This stinks that the team could possibly be on National TV 3-to-5 Times this season as the team could still possibly struggle again, especially with the current ownership situation being in the air. I also blame the NHL where they seem to be so stinking biases towards the big East Coast Teams like Pittsburgh & Washington to get Ovechkin & Crosby on TV More.

Also teams like the NY Based Teams (NYR, NYI, NJ), Philadelphia and Boston. They still had very few big time Western Conference Teams like the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks and the Colorado Avalanche just to name a few.

Hopefully when the Dallas Stars get out of the ownership situation this season, they will start getting out of the valley and get stronger and ultimately back on National TV a lot more.

Here's the expected National TV Schedule for the Dallas Stars. To see the full NHL Television Highlights, Click Here

In addition to the NHL Website, Greg Wyshynski who does the Puck Daddy Blog has an interesting take on this as well.

Puck Daddy's Scheduling Takes

NHL Notable Dates

Games on Versus

11/29: @ Carolina Hurricanes

1/17: VS. Los Angeles Kings

2/22: VS. New Jersey Devils

Games that could be on NBC

3/13: VS. Los Angeles Kings

4/10: @ Minnesota Wild

Rest of Dallas Stars TV Coverage

As for the rest of the season, for the 11th straight season and for the 18th season overall. The vast majority of the games will be on FSN Southwest as they will provide coverage for 62 of the team's 82 games during the regular season with about a dozen of the games being on FSN Plus which is the Networks Alt. Network if they is a scheduling conflict. The official dates to find out which games will be on FSN Plus will be announced a later date.

Here's the Dallas Stars Press Release

The Dallas Stars announced today that the National Hockey League club local television schedule for the 2010-2011 season. All 82 games will be televised in the D/FW Market and, for the first time, all games will be on available in HD.

"We are very excited about providing our fans all 82 Dallas Stars Games for local television with every one offered in HD," said Stars Exc. VP Geoff Moore. "I'd like to think our great partners - Jon Heidtke of FOX Sports Southwest and Gary Schneider of CBS 11 & TXA 21 - in working together with us to make that happen. Along with Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket, we have an all star line up for our viewing and listening public. With Ralph and Razor again calling the action, we look forward to a great broadcast season for the Dallas Stars."

Fox Sports Southwest: returns for its 18th season of carrying Stars Television Coverage, with 62 regular season games scheduled on the network. 12 of these games will be on FSN Plus, the network's alt. channel which is provided by participating cable and satellite providers. Specific channel info. for ind. carriers will be announced a later date.

FSN Sports Southwest provides quality local sports programming for over 10 million cable and satellite TV Subscribers in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and parts of New Mexico. The Stars Regular season opener is on Friday, October 8 at New Jersey is featured on FOX Sports Southwest schedule, as well as the team's home openers on October 14 vs. the Detroit Red Wings.

FOX Sports Southwest comprehensive coverage includes "Stars Live" pre and postgame shows before and after ever game, a weekly "Stars Insider" magazine show, and interview and documentary specials airing throughout the season.

TXA 21: Seventeen games will be broadcast locally on air on TXA 21 which enters its first season of a four year contract agreement to televise Stars Games. Stars Broadcasts on TXA 21 will air primarily on Saturday Nights, beginning on October 9 when the Stars visit the NY Islanders. Stars Games will have a 30 minute pregame and postgame shows.

The Stars join an extensive sports lineup on TXA 21, including Texas Rangers, Friday Night HS Football, Dallas Mavericks Basketball, as well as BIG 12 Sports, SEC Football and the HS Football Game of the Week. If its local sports in D/FW, it must be TXA 21

For more info on on TXA 21, click here

Versus will exclusively televise three Stars Contests: Monday, November 29; Monday January 17 VS. Los Angeles; and Tuesday February 22 VS. New Jersey. Versus is the exclusive national cable home for the National Hockey League.

NBC Sports has the option to choose from two games on the Dallas Stars local TV Schedule during the Spring. First introduced in 2007, NHL on NBC will feature flexible scheduling for regular season dates on the network. NBC will have nearly two weeks in advance of a particular weekend to select which games to air. No matter what NBC Decides on possibly picking up Dallas contests, all 82 Stars Games will be televised locally in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Area

Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket enters its second season as the flagship home of the Dallas Stars Hockey and will broadcast all 82 regular season contests and all playoff games, with extensive pre and post game shows planned for most games with studio host Matt Mcclearin, and home post game shows with Bob Sturm and Dan Mcdowell. The Ticket will also broadcast one Stars Preseason Game - September 30, 2010 vs. the Colorado Avalanche. The all sports broadcast on both 1310 AM & 104.1 FM.

Forming the broadcast team for the Stars 15th straight season will be Ralph Strangis and Daryl Reaugh. Strangis begins his 21st season as a Stars Broadcaster while Reaugh will serve in his 15th season as the Stars Color Analyst.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Comments by Hockeys Future on Southwest NHL Prospects

The great Prospects Website called Hockeys Future are in the process of updating their Top 20 Prospects for every NHL Team and so far, 2 of the 3 NHL Teams that have Southwest Prospects have been featured and the good news is that the news seems to be positive that the Southwest Prospects continue to make their way to the NHL.

Austin Smith & Matt Donovan have already been featured while Chris Brown's assessment with the Phoenix Coyotes will be coming soon. The big thing with Chris Brown is to see if he cracks the top 5 after being ranked #6 back in the spring during the CCHA & NCAA Tournaments.

Also with Collin Jacobs and possibly Jeff Mcminny in the 2011 Draft, plus Seth Jones in the 2012 Draft Year. The Future of big time hockey talent coming from the Southwest looks bright.

Hockeys Future

For Austin Smith, even he dropped 2 spots on the Dallas Stars Top 20 from 10th to 12th. The team still seems to like his progress as he looks ahead to his Junior Year at Colgate University as he will be looking to make a much bigger impact after one of the big offensive linemates in David Mclntyre to help out with the offense.

Here's the Official Hockey's Future Comments on Austin Smith

Ranked #12 with DAL: Another strong season for Austin Smith for Colgate University is certainly enticing to the Stars brass. He led his club in points with 41 points in 36 games. Smith will have a challenge ahead of him in 2011-12 as he will no longer able to rely on older linemate and friend David Mclntyre for offensive support. He will likely have the services of Brian Day but even more of the offensive load is going to fall on the speedy Juniors shoulder.

Smith is a ball of energy and should meet the challenge quite well. He seems passionate for the game and displays an excellent compete level. In terms of translating his skills to the next level, Smith will need to continue to put on some size without sacrificing his speed and agility. Its likely that Colgate will live and die with the talents of Smith for the next two seasons.

Matt Donovan had a stellar year for the University of Denver which included scoring 5 points (2G 3A) at the World Junior Championships in the road to winning a gold medal. Overall the offensive defensemen which is starting to fill out on his physical ability to play and create opportunities for his teammates along the boards.

He moved up 3 spots from 17-to-14 since the last rankings back in the spring and with another strong year while avoiding the sophomore slump, and any remaining doubts about his NHL Chances should start going away.

Here's Matt Donovan's Comments from Hockey's Future

Ranked #14 with NYI: Donovan had a stout freshman season with the University of Denver, leading all WCHA Rookie Defensemen with 7 goals and adding 14 assists for 21 points in 36 games. He also played a key role for the USA at the 2010 World Junior Championships, posting three goals and two assists in five games. The 6'0" 195 LB Oklahoma Native is good all around defensemen with good mobility, strong offensive instincts, and a hard shot from the point.

Despite his size, he isn't afraid to get physical is often willing to get dirty in the corners and along the boards. The upcoming season is important for Donovan as many young players are prone to the dreaded sophomore slump. If he can continue playing at a high level, he should erase any lingering doubts about his NHL Potential.

Chris Brown right now to me is the closest of the Southwest Prospects from making his debut at the Pro Ranks (Esp. the AHL) as he was ranked #6 in the last rankings in the Phoenix Coyotes organization. After a strong freshman year for the Michigan Wolverines that saw him take a huge step up in his hitting ability.

He could bring the perfect match of scoring ability and physical ability to be a high quality NHL Prospect and possibly being the first Southwest Player to reach the pro ranks and possibly the NHL. After my discussion with San Antonio Rampage Head Coach Ray Edwards, some on his staff think he may not be that far off towards at least making his AHL Debut.

He had 28 points (13G 15A) last season, but he had 58 PIM last year and he will need to improve on that part of his game to be in the box less. And he had the same issue during the World Junior Camp earlier this summer in Lake Placid, NY.

Here's Chris Brown's from Hockeys Future.

Ranked #8 with PHX: A team-mate of Summers at the University of Michigan, Brown enjoyed a very successful freshman season in Ann Arbor. Brown was one of the top scoring freshman in the nation posting 13 goals and 28 points in 45 games. Those 28 points were the fourth highest total on the team as Brown became a go-to-guy for head coach Red Berenson as the season progressed.

A rare hockey prospect hailing from the State of Texas, Brown heads into his sophmore season looking to become a top player in the country for the Wolverines who will look to return to national prominence.

Brown is a prototypical power forward on the wing with great size and strength with good speed and an ability to find loose pucks around the goal area. The 19 year old is also unafraid to mix it up was one of the team's most aggresive players on a consistent basis.

Which OT Format should the NHL look at?

With the NHL's Research & Development Camp that just wrapped up. The league looked at numerous different rule changes that the league could implement sometime within the next few years.

One of the biggest items of discussions is how to reduce the number of shootouts after the 5 Minute 4-on-4 OT that's been going on since the league returned from the Lockout back in 2005.

However, 2 of the Canadian Jr. A Leagues in both British Columbia & Alberta are already looking to take the lead in the OT Rules as the BCHL introduced theirs last year while the Alberta Junior Hockey League will be doing it this year.

AJHL OT & SO Format

Should the NHL Adopt the BCHL OT Format?

The question is not just about reducing the shootout, but which format is better?

When the BCHL introduced theirs last year, they made theirs a combo of both a 4-on-4 and a 3-on-3 as the BCHL is going to have a 5 minute 4-on-4 period, then if it's still tied, a 5 minute 3-on-3 to open up ice and give teams better chances to score and win the game.

However, the BCHL is one of the few leagues left anywhere in the world that doesn't go to the tie-breaker shootout (The NCAA Among them as well).

One of the big pluses on this format is that you can implement different strategies with a both 4-on-4 and a 3-on-3 as well. However, they seems to be a lot of issues that can up such as if a fighting major erupts or how will power plays turn over from the 1st to the 2nd overtime period.

Could you actually have a 3-on-2? That would be spell doom for Penalty Killing Teams and its just doesn't look like real hockey because that would give the defending team near impossible odds of killing the penalty and coming back from it.

On the other hand, the split format has been working as according to Shawn Mullin who does play-by-play for the BCHL's Trail Smoke Eaters, only 7 games ended in ties last year (BCHL Doesn't do the Shootout).

With the 10 Minute format, it not only seems to be working, but it doesn't have a lot of gimmicks at all like the shootout has been at times.

The Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) will be introducing their 3-on-3 OT Rules this season as the league will dive right in and won't have many chances of stopping opposing offenses from looking to win the game in the extra frame. Like the BCHL, the AJHL didn't have the shootout to break ties, they were 14 tied games last year with the Camrose Kodiaks leading the way with 4.

However, the Tied Game is a thing of the past with the Shootout coming into play this year. During the preseason which gets underway tonight, every game will have a shootout so teams can practice it and get used to take a look at which players could be used and ones to leave out of the shootout.

With no experience using the SO, it will be hard to tell how the teams will do, but with the AJHL keeping the 5 minute format, I would expect a few more SO's then something like the BCHL.

If the Number of Shootout Games is a little bit high, maybe something like increasing the length of OT Minutes to perhaps to something like 8-10 minutes to decide games during the regular season.

One of the big concerns with 3-on-3 could be that teams could still be to Conservative to protect the goalie and the blueline from getting shots on goal. As for possible strong points, they will be no chance to get used to the new rules and teams will be forced to dive right in to the OT Rules.

I'm going to be checking both of these very closely and when the Canadian Jr. A League Regular Season wraps up in March! I will provide stats and a better opinion on which way the NHL should maybe go to.

But for now, I think the AJHL gets the nod for me because the OT periods would be shorter and more non stop action to make games more exciting and provide winners before games get to the shootout. This will force teams to be more attack minded and with just 6 players on the ice at the most, they is no excuses for teams to be defensive minded to get the game to the shootout.

The problem with the BCHL is that they may treat the 4-on-4 period to much on the defensive side to set up a chance to play in the 3-on-3 OT Period. It will be interesting to see which format wins out this upcoming season when both the BCHL & AJHL Seasons starts up on September 10.

Be sure to check out with updates during the year to compare the 2 leagues during the season.

AJHL Opening Weekend Schedule

Like the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) and a handful of games for the North American Hockey League (NAHL) before the League's Blaine Showcase, the Alberta Junior Hockey League will officially unleash the league's new OT Rules which is going to 3-on-3 followed by a shootout if the game is still tied.

In addition to the AJHL, the BCHL revelled new rules last year where you have 5 minutes of 4-on-4 and then another 5 minutes of 3-on-3. Unlike most other leagues around the world, the BCHL still has no shootouts during the regular season and will end games in tie if the 3-on-3 OT Periods ends in a tie.

Alberta Junior Hockey League

Alberta Junior Hockey League OT Format

Here's a look at the AJHL Divisional Alignment and the opening weekend schedule

North Division: Bonnyville Pontiacs, Drayton Valley Thunder, Ft. Mcmurray Oil Barons, Grande Prairie Storm, Lloydminster Bobcats, Sherwood Park Crusaders, Spruce Groove Saints, St. Albert Steel

South Division: Brooks Bandits, Calgary Canucks, Calgary Mustangs, Camrose Kodiaks, Canmore Eagles, Drumheller Dragons, Okotoks Oilers, Olds Grizzlies


Ft. Mcmurray Oil Barons VS. Canmore Eagles 8:00 PM

Drumheller Dragons VS. St. Albert Steel 8:00 PM

Okotoks Oilers VS. Camrose Kodiaks 8:30 PM

Bonnyville Pontiacs VS. Lloydminster Bobcats 8:30 PM

Sherwood Park Crusaders VS. Grande Prairie Storm 8:30 PM


Ft. Mcmurray Oil Barons VS. Calgary Mustangs 3:15 PM

Drayton Valley Thunder VS. St. Albert Steel 8:00 PM

Lloydminster Bobcats VS. Bonnyville Pontiacs 8:00 PM

Olds Grizzlies VS. Canmore Eagles 8:00 PM

Drumheller Dragons VS. Grande Prairie Storm 8:30 PM

Spruce Groove Saints VS. Camrose Kodiaks 8:30 PM


Ft. Mcmurray Oil Barons VS. Sherwood Park Crusaders 3:15 PM

Drayton Valley Thunder VS. Lloydminster Bobcats 3:30 PM

The American Hockey League Schedule comes out Today

In about 3 hours the full 2010-2011 AHL Schedule is expected to come out today as the final major league in North America will start getting ready for the new season in October. Be sure to find links for all 4 Southwest Teams when the schedule is expected to come out around 3:00 PM Today.

I will show the links when they come out. In addition I will also post the records from last season as all 4 teams will compete in the West Division this season.

Full AHL Schedule

AHL Season Highlights

Texas Stars Schedule

Texas Stars Schedule Highlights

Season Opener: 10/10 @ San Antonio Rampage

Home Opener: 10/16 VS. San Antonio Rampage

Longest Home Stand: 11/24-12/7 7 Games

Longest Road Trip: 2/14-2/26 8 Games

The Texas Stars will get underway on Sunday October 10 with a road game in San Antonio followed by a 5 game homestand as the Stars will look to start their 2nd season on a strong note with another game against San Antonio along with 3 games against the Peoria Rivermen on 10/17, 10/23 and 10/26 along with a match against the Lake Erie Monsters on October 22.

Some of the interesting schedule highlights include a 7 game homestand which starts the day before Thanksgiving on November 24 against the Houston Aeros.

As for long roadtrips this season away from the Austin Area, the Stars will embark on a season long 8 game roadtrip in February starting out with a weekend set against the Lake Erie Monsters along with visits to Grand Rapids, Chicago, Milwaukee & Peoria before returning to Texas with games against the both the Aeros & Rampage.

Another long set of road games will be coming up just after Christmas and in to Mid-January where they play 8-of-9 on the road.

Overall the Texas Stars, this seems to be a pretty balanced schedule full of different homestands and roadtrips through the year. For the team that's been raided since the Calder Cup Run back in June. Expect a step or two back this season for the Stars

hey hoping that the Stars will bring a strong 2nd act to the Austin Area. However, I don't expect the Stars will have quite such as a strong season as they did last year because of the massive departures of players like Matt Climie. They maybe fighting it out for a playoff spot and a lot less like the team that came within 2 wins of winning a Calder Cup last season.

Houston Aeros Schedule

Houston Aeros Schedule Highlights

Season Opener: 10/9 VS. Oklahoma City Barons

Home Opener: 10/16 VS. Peoria Rivermen

Longest Home Stand: 5 Games 3/6-3/19

Longest Road Trip: 6 Games 12/10-12/21

Houston gets underway with a pair of roadgames a week apart on October 9 & 15 up in Oklahoma City before their October 16 home opener with 2 against the Peoria Rivermen and another game against the Oklahoma City Barons as the last year's Last Place Team in the West Division and the league's new boys will get used to each other a lot in the opening month of the season.

November will be a heavy road month for the Aeros as the team will embark on a trip where they will play 6-of-7 on the road with trips to Abbotsford, Peoria and Grand Rapids on this trip.

The Aeros home schedule won't be a benefit it seems like til late in the year where late February and March will have lots of home games where a possible playoff chase could be benefited here as they will be playing a lot of teams that either just barely made it or were just awful last year including the Rockford Icehogs, Syracuse Crunch and the Manitoba Moose.

San Antonio Rampage Schedule

San Antonio Rampage Schedule Highlights

Season Opener: 10/8 VS. Chicago Wolves

Road Opener: 10/16 VS. Texas Stars

Longest Home Stand: 6 Games 3/5-3/18

Longest Road Trip: 9 Games 2/4-2/25

If San Antonio is looking to return to the playoffs for the first time in 2008 and they hoping that a favorable home start will help out. The Rampage will start the year with 9 of their first 11 at home with the Chicago Wolves on October 8.

Their only road trips in the first 11 are to Texas Stars and the Oklahoma City Barons so travel will be minimal when they do hit the road. In addition to the first 11, a 3 game road trip that will take them Abbotsford, BC and OKC.

As for the annual "Rodeo Road Trip that has the team out of the building for most of February will see them have a 5 game roadtrip with a break in between with games against Abbotsford & Chicago.

This year's Rodeo Road Trip will see them have a 9 game will see them head to Lake Erie & Manitoba for a pair of games each, also included will be a trip to Syracuse then the 2 Ontario Teams in Hamilton who came within one win of beating Texas & Making the Calder Cup.

Then a game against the Toronto Marlies that were badly affected by injuries despite being in the playoff chase til about the final month of the season where they dropped off and miss the playoffs by 9 points over the Manitoba Moose.

Oklahoma City Barons Schedule

Oklahoma City Barons Schedule Highlighights

Season Opener: October 9 VS. Houston Aeros

Road Opener: October 17 VS. Houston Aeros

Longest Home Stand: 8 Games 11/5-11/23

Longest Road Trip: 9 Games 3/15-3/27

Like the San Antonio Rampage, the Barons will also have a heavy home schedule early on with 6 of the first 7 games at the Cox Convention Center with the Barons & Aeros hooking up 3 times in the first 5.

Between that opening stretch and an 8 game home stretch that takes up a majority of November, An interesting 5 game roadtrip will be their big road test of the season which includes the Hamilton Bulldogs and the Chicago Wolves who finished on top of the West Division Standings at the end of the regular season last year.

Some interesting roadtrips will include a season long 9 game road trip late in the year which includes a 3 straight games against the Houston Aeros and a pair of games for the Chicago Wolves which could be huge for their playoff hopes as these teams will be looking to turnaround from a bad 2009-2010 season. Overall, that starts a very tough end of the season where 12 of the final 14 games where all but one will be against Divisional Matchups.

This schedule has a lot of huge chunks, and not just a whole lot of just one or two game homestands so they will have plenty of time in advance to find out what to expect ahead of time.

AHL Schedule Comes out Today

Here's a look at the opening weekend schedule for the American Hockey League which will get underway on October 8 as the San Antonio Rampage will play host to the Chicago Wolves. While the other Southwest Teams for the most part will get underway with Houston & Oklahoma City will get underway on October 9 at the Cox Convention Center.

Finally the defending Western Conference Champion Texas Stars will look to start a strong 2nd season in the Texas Capital on October 10 in the I-35 Rivalary against the San Antonio Rampage.

As for other games the expansion Charlotte Checkers will head to Conn. to play the Hartford Wolfpack while the Albany will make their AHL Return against the Adirondack Phantoms.

In addition to the Schedule, here's the Conference Alignment after the changes were made over the offseason.

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division: Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Hartford Wolfpack, Manchester Monarchs, Portland Pirates, Providence Bruins, Springfield Falcons, Worcester Sharks

East Division: Adirondack Phantoms, Albany Devils, Binghamton Senators, Charlotte Checkers, Hershey Bears, Norfolk Admirals, Syracuse Crunch, W-B/Scranton Penguins

Western Conference

North Division: Abbotsford Heat, Grand Rapids Griffins, Hamilton Bulldogs, Lake Erie Monsters, Manitoba Moose, Rochester Americans, Toronto Marlies

West Division: Chicago Wolves, Houston Aeros, Milwaukee Admirals, Oklahoma City Barons, Peoria Rivermen, Rockford Icehogs, San Antonio Rampage, Texas Stars

Here's the Full American Hockey League Opening Weekend Schedule.


Abbotsford Heat VS. Grand Rapids Griffins 6:00 PM

Adirondack Phantoms VS. Binghamton Senators 6:05 PM

Springfield Falcons VS. Providence Bruins 6:05 PM

Syracuse Crunch VS. Lake Erie Monsters 6:30 PM

Chicago Wolves VS. San Antonio Rampage 7:00 PM

Manitoba Moose VS. Peoria Rivermen 7:05 PM


Rochester Americans VS. Toronto Marlies 2:00 PM

Manitoba Moose VS. Rockford Icehogs 4:35 PM

Adirondack Phantoms VS. Albany Devils 6:00 PM

Worcester Sharks VS. Bridgeport Sound Tigers 6:00 PM

Charlotte Checkers VS. Hartford Wolfpack 6:00 PM

Manchester Monarchs VS. Portland Pirates 6:00 PM

Providence Bruins VS. Springfield Falcons 6:00 PM

Norfolk Admirals VS. Binghamton Senators 6:05 PM

Hershey Bears VS. W-B/Scranton Penguins 6:05 PM

Lake Erie Monsters VS. Syracuse Crunch 6:30 PM

Abbotsford Heat VS. Milwaukee Admirals 7:00 PM

Houston Aeros VS. Oklahoma City Barons 7:05 PM


Manchester Monarchs VS. Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2:00 PM

Worcester Sharks VS. Hartford Wolfpack 2:00 PM

Charlotte Checkers VS. Springfield Falcons 2:00 PM

Texas Stars VS. San Antonio Rampage 3:00 PM

Chicago Wolves VS. Oklahoma City Barons 3:05 PM

Milwaukee Admirals VS. Peoria Rivermen 3:05 PM

Hershey Bears VS. Rochester Americans 4:05 PM

Grand Rapids Griffins VS. Rockford Icehogs 4:05 PM

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

BCHL Opening Weekend Schedule

Like the QMJHL, AJHL & NAHL, the British Columbia Hockey League which has been home to the 2 time Canadian Jr. A National Champion Vernon Vipers and perhaps the most successful Jr. A League in North America when it comes out to turning out talent for both the NCAA & Professional Ranks.

The League looks to continue their strong showings as the league's 16 teams will look to knock off the Vernon Vipers for the BCHL Title and a shot at the RBC Cup which will be in Camrose, Alberta this season.

As for the divisional alignment, basically no changes were made but a team called the Williams Lake Timberwolves were disbanded after numerous violations of league rules in their first couple of years.

The Conferences are named the Coastal Conference which is along the Pacific Coast and on Vancouver Island. While the Interior Conference has the Vernon Vipers and teams like the Prince George Spruce Kings and the Westside Warriors which is located near the city of Kelowna.

British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) Divisional Alignment

Coastal Conference: Alberni Valley Bulldogs, Coquitlam Express, Cowichan Valley Capitals, Langley Chiefs, Nanaimo Clippers, Powell River Kings, Surrey Eagles, Victoria Grizzlies

Interior Conference: Merritt Centennials, Penticton Vees, Prince George Spruce Kings, Quesnel Millionaires, Salom Arm Silverbacks, Trail Smoke Eaters, Vernon Vipers, Westside Warriors


Langley Chiefs VS. Surrey Eagles 9:00 PM

Pentiction Vees VS. Westside Warriors 9:00 PM

Salom Arm Silverbacks VS. Vernon Vipers 9:00 PM

Coquitlam Express VS. Victoria Grizzlies 9:15 PM

Alberni Valley Bulldogs VS. Powell River Kings 9:30 PM

Merritt Centennials VS. Trail Smoke Eaters 9:30 PM


Quesnel Millionaires VS. Prince George Spruce Kings 9:00 PM

Surrey Eagles VS. Langley Chiefs 9:00 PM

Vernon Vipers VS. Salom Arm Silverbacks 9:00 PM

Westside Warriors VS. Pentiction Vees 9:00 PM

Coquitlam Express VS. Cowichan Valley Capitals 9:30 PM

Merritt Centennials VS. Trail Smoke Eaters 9:30 PM

QMJHL Opening Weekend Schedule

With the first of the Junior Hockey Leagues starting up on the weekend of September 10-12 in a just a few weeks. Here's a chance to see the opening weekend schedule for the leagues that will be starting as the QMJHL will be the first of the Major Junior Leagues will be starting while the WHL & OHL will be starting basically 2 weeks later on September 23 & 24.

In addition to the schedule, the Division Format has been changed over the last season. They will be 3 divisions of 6 teams with the Maritime Division staying the same.

While the Central Division was officially dissolved as the Drummondville Voltigeurs and Shawinigan Cataractes moved to the West Division, while the Lewiston Maineaics and Chicoutimi Sagueneens are heading East as the teams that were effected.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

West Division: Drummondville Voltigeurs, Gatineau Olympiques, Montreal Juniors, Rouyn-Nornda Huskies, Shawinigan Cataractes, Val-dor Foreurs

East Division: Baie-Comeau Drakkar, Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Lewiston Maineiacs, Quebec City Ramparts, Rimouski Oceanic, Victoriaville Tigers

Maritime Division: Acadie-Bathurst Titans, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, Halifax Mooseheads, Moncton Wildcats, P.E.I. Rockets, St. John Seadogs

QMJHL Opening Weekend


Acadie-Bathurst Titans VS. Moncton Wildcats 5:00 PM


Cape Breton Screaming Eagles VS. Halifax Mooseheads 5:00 PM

Rimouski Oceanic VS. Lewiston Maineiacs 6:00 PM

Shawinigan Cataractes VS. Montreal Juniors 6:05 PM

Chicoutimi Sagueneens VS. Baie-Comeau Drakkar 6:30 PM

Gatineau Olympiques VS. Drummondville Voltigeurs 6:30 PM

Quebec City Ramparts VS. Rouyn-Nornda Huskies 6:30 PM

P.E.I. Rockets VS. St. John Seadogs 5:30 PM

Victoriaville Tigers VS. Val-dor Foreurs 6:30 PM


Acadie-Bathurst Titans VS. Halifax Mooseheads 5:00 PM

Rimouski Oceanic VS. Lewiston Maineiacs 6:00 PM

Cape Breton Screaming Eagles VS. St. John Seadogs 5:00 PM

Quebec City Ramparts VS. Val-dor Fourers 6:00 PM

Victoriaville Tigers VS. Rouyn-Nornda Huskies 6:30 PM


Gatineau Olympiques VS. Montreal Juniors 2:05 PM

Shawinigan Cataractes VS. Baie-Comeau Drakkar 3:00 PM

Chicoutimi Sagueneens VS. Drummondville Voltigeurs 3:00 PM

P.E.I. Rockets VS. Moncton Wildcats 2:00 PM

Monday, August 23, 2010

Q&A with Tulsa Oilers Head Coach Bruce Ramsay

In this edition of "They Said It", the Tulsa Oilers are looking to turn around what's been several disappointing seasons in a row as the team have been out of the playoffs every since the 2005-2006 season as the Oilers have been near the bottom of the Conference and have been struggling to not just be competitive but getting fans and media attention in the Tulsa Area as battling for one of the last playoff spots would be a huge deal.

Currently Bruce Ramsay took over last year as he hopes to turn around what's been a culture of losing and playing in front of an empty BOK arena in Tulsa. One of the big pluses for Oilers fans was the play of Rob Hisey where he called up to the Springfield Falcons and that lead to him signing a two way contract with the New York Islanders org earlier in the offseason. Where he will start the year next year with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) but with some strong play and a touch of good fortune, he could find himself playing in Long Island for the New York Islanders.

He will be looking to get the team back to the playoffs as the Oilers are now heading to the Berry Conference (South) as they will play the 5 Texas Teams along with the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, Arizona Sundogs and the Mississippi Riverkings who are also switching from the North to the South this upcoming year.

Here's a look at how the Tulsa Oilers have done in the last 3 seasons.

2007-2008 Season

Regular Season: 25-35-4 54 PTS, 4th Place in Northeast DIV, 8th Place in Northern Conf.

Playoffs: Out of Playoffs

2008-2009 Season

Regular Season: 18-38-8 44 PTS, Last in Northeast DIV, 7th in Northern Conf.

Playoffs: Out of Playoffs

2009-2010 Season

Regular Season: 28-29-7 63 PTS, 6th Place in Northern Conference

Playoffs: Out of Playoffs

Here's the Other "They Said It" Features on the Central Hockey League Website.

Chris Brooks: RGV Killer Bees

Laredo Bucks: Terry Ruskowski

Quad City Mallards: Frank Anzalone

Rapid City Rush: Joe Ferras

Dayton Gems: Brian Gratz

Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs: Scott Muscutt

Here's the Q&A from the Central Hockey League Website

Give us a snapshot of how your first season with the Oilers went?

My first season with the Oilers was like hiking through the Rocky Mountains. At certain points we were on a summit then at other times we were in the valley. We did not develop the consistency needed in order to be a playoff contender. Missing the playoffs for the first time as a head coach was very disappointing. All in all there were many positives introduced last season that we are going to exercise to propel the Oilers Organization back to the summit of the mountain.

Your team got off to a great start and had arguably the MVP of the first half of the season with Rob Hissey (later called to the Springfield Falcons, AHL), how tough was his departure on the team?

Our first indication of Rob Hissey's value to our club prior to his call-up when he was injured. During his injury we lost 5 games in a row. When you lose your #1 powerplay, penalty kill and forward player, it is going to affect the team in a negative fashion and as an organization, we certainly felt the effect.

There is a fine line with the development of players and trying to win hockey games, does losing a player to the AHL seem more like a good thing or is it more of a disappointment?

Losing players to the AHL should never be considered as a disappointment. One of the main focuses of a coach is to push and motivate their players to strive to be their best and that includes playing at the highest possible level. It is nearly impossible to replace a player of Rob's caliber during the season so you hope that his ability at the next level motivates and inspires his teammates to follow suit.

Rob recently signed a two way contract with the NHL/AHL and he called me and told me that I was a big part of his signing and that in and itself worth its weight in gold as a coach for the Oilers Organization. Also, having more players move up to the AHL is a positive recruiting tool for high caliber player to sign with Tulsa as they there are opportunities to get noticed and advance in their hockey career.

Your signings this off season show you are putting together a competitive, young and fast team. Is that the game plan you want to put together?

Our goal and philosophy as an organization this season has changed from a team stocked with veteran players to a team of younger players whose goals are to play at the next level.

Your defensive signings has been very solid, is this a team you see being defense first?

Our defensive signings to the point have been very solid. As the old saying goes "Championships are won on the defensive side of the ice." It comes down to the fact that if you can't get the puck out of the net, it's going to be tough to create offense. In the game as its played today, coaches look for mobility in the d-corps and with our signings so far, we definitely have added significantly to this theory.

Who do you look up to for their coaching staff, who is one of your coaching mentors/hero's?

I have worked under some great coaches that have had a positive influence on my coaching philosophy. Dave Allison and Danton Cole are two coaches that have helped me out along the way. When it comes to style of coaching I would have to say that Todd Nelson, the new head coach of the Oklahoma City Barons, and one of greatest friends, would be someone that I resemble the most.

The Oilers are one of the teams that moved conferences heading to what is essentially the South, do you see this as more of an advantage or disadvantage?

I believe it's too early to tell which conference will be stronger. The only real disadvantage I can relate to is that the new teams from the IHL had a late start recruiting due to the merger thus inhibiting them from early recruitment. Either way, to accomplish our team goal, you have to beat everyone and there will be some very strong teams in both conferences.

AHL Schedule to come out on August 25

Pending an official league approval from the league's Board of Governors, the Texas Stars, San Antonio Rampage, Houston Aeros & Oklahoma City Barons Schedules will be officially released at 3:00 PM CDT on August 25.

It will be interesting to see how the American Hockey League (AHL) season pans out and especially the 4 Southwest Teams in the AHL's West Division as the Texas Stars finished 2nd in the West that spurred an amazing playoff run that got them to the Calder Cup Final in their very first year.

Meanwhile, the Houston Aeros & San Antonio Rampage are looking to get back to the playoffs after finishing 6th & 7th in the West Division and look for stronger years. Finally the Oklahoma City Barons are looking for a strong debut this season.

In the meantime, here's the schedule for the preseason so fans in Austin, San Antonio, Houston & Oklahoma City can get an early look at their teams before the regular season gets underway in Mid-October.

Texas Stars

San Antonio Rampage

Houston Aeros

Oklahoma City Barons

Corpus Christi Icerays to bring 28 Players to Training Camp

With the start of the NAHL Season coming up in a little over 3 weeks, the Corpus Christi Icerays have named their Training Camp Roster where 28 players will fight it out over the next few weeks to make the final 23 man roster which will be mandatory by the beginning of October.

Corpus Christi will start the season like most of the rest of the league at the NAHL Blaine Showcase on September 15 against the Traverse City North Stars, in addition to the North Stars, the Icerays will also play the Chicago Hitmen, Owatonna Express & Dawson Creek Rage throughout the Showcase Week.

After the Icerays come back to Texas from the Twin Cities, it's a 3 game roadtrip the next weekend with a pair of games against the New Mexico Mustangs in Albuquerque, then one game against the Amarillo Bulls on September 26 before the team's home opener on October 1 on the Wichita Falls Wildcats.

Of the 28 players, 27 of them are US Born with the only foreigner is goaltending hopeful Marco Weiser who's from Austria.

Corpus Christi Icerays Website

Corpus Christi Icerys Schedule

Corpus Christi Icerays Press Release

The Corpus Christi Icerays home-venue training camp opens at the American Bank Center in the first week of September, and 28 players have been invited to attend, Icerays GM Pat Dunn announced on Friday. The Icerays can still add to their list of invitees, by NAHL Rules mandate the Icerays roster can be no larger then 25 players by opening day on September 15, and no more then 23 players by October 1. For more info on the Icerays Roster of the upcoming season, please call the Icerays office at 361-814-PUCK.

The Icerays 28 players training camp list currently consists of 16 forwards, 9 defensemen, and 3 goalies. The Group includes 27 American Born Players, hailing from 12 different states, and one European Born Goaltender, Marco Wieser, who is from Austria. Four of the invited players are from Texas. They are goaltender Taylor Heifetz (Coppell), defensemen Kyle Hughes (Round Rock), and forwards Alex Rosado (Cypress) and Derrek Schartz (Plano).

The state which is rep. by the most players is Michigan with five players. The oldest player is Ryan Gaffney, who will turn 21 on January 2nd. Gaffney edges out Josh Munford by two days for that honor. The youngest player is Las Vegas native Cody Milligan will turn 17 on September 7. Munford is one of three players measures in at 6'4", tying for the tallest on the team. He is also the heaviest at 228 LBS. 21 of the 28 players stand six feet or taller, exhibiting that size and toughness will not be lacking in the new look Icerays.

Ten of the 28 players played in the NAHL last season, including six for the Alpena Ice Diggers - the franchise that was moved to Corpus Christi. Three of the Icerays Players drafted earlier this summer made it through the South Texas Camp. They are Alex Rosado (4th Round), Alex Parizedk (7th Round), and Daniel Swank (10th Round). The additional 15 players were recruited as free agents by Head Coach, Brent Hughes, and assistant coach, Justin Quenneville. The current Icerays Training Camp List is provided below.

Icerays Hockey returns for a brand new season in September. The Icerays will make their home NAHL Debut on Friday, October 1 at the American Bank Center. Don't miss the action of Icerays Hockey as they enter one of the top developmental leagues in the country. For more info on tickets, sponsorships, and scheduling, please call the Icerays at 361-814-PUCK or visit them online at

Here's the Training Camp List

Phoenix Copley
Taylor Heifetz
Marco Weiser

Tommy Dowell
Ben Hughes
Kyle Hughes
Preston James
Brett Losey
Luc Neitenbach
Jason Souva
Alec Wihelmi
Shane Gleason

Michael Benedict
Sam Cheraso
Navarone Copley
Jacob Diamond
Ryan Gaffney
Brendon Marshall
Cody Milligan
Josh Munford
Joey Parizek
Terry Portra
Alex Rosado
Jonathan Sdao
Derrek Sharts
Daniel Swink
Beau Walker
Joe White

Hockey's Future Dallas Stars Fall 2010 Rankings

Hockey's Future is in the middle of releasing their team-by-team rankings for the prospects of 30 NHL Teams as teams look forward to training camps and the start of the season which for some leagues like the QMJHL is right around the corner.

The Dallas Stars rankings were revelled on Saturday and the teams top Draft Pick Jack Campbell has gone to #1 on the draft rankings. While Scott Glennie who was the top prospect back in the spring was down to #2 while Philip Larsen is currently at #3 as the teams top defensemen prospect.

Unfortunately, the Stars are ranked 29th in their prospect list as the team is low on solid blue chip prospects when you get past the top 3. The only exceptions seem to be Tomas Vincour who moved up 4 spots from #11 to #7 as he will be play his first full season with the Vancouver Giants after being traded from the Edmonton Oil Kings.

And that's for a good reason, with 3 GM's in the last 4 years and some questionable moves made by Dallas Stars Head Player Personal Les Jackson, don't expect to see a lot of these players in the NHL Any time soon with the exception of Glennie, Larsen and possibly somebody like Tomas Vincour.

Texas Native Chris Brown dropped two spots from 10-to-12 but has continued to thrive after his sophomore season with Colgate University (ECAC).

As for the other new draft picks from June's Draft include 2nd Round Draft Pick Patrick Nemeth has him ranked at #13 who's scheduled to play for AIK Stockholm in the Swedish Junior Elite League while Alex Theriau was a 4th Round Pick who's currently with the Everett Silvertips (WHL) was stocked at #18.

As for the big fallers on the updated list include Sergei Korostin who fell 8 spots after having little part in the Texas Stars Calder Cup Run and his defense being less then average. Also falling off a lot is Perttu Lindgren as he looks to play in Finland with Lukko Rauma (SM-Ligga) for the upcoming season after a decent, but not great season for the Texas Stars this past season.

In addition to the Dallas Stars, look for the rankings of the other 2 Southwest Based Players in NHL Systems with Chris Brown (PHX) & Matt Donovan (NYI)

Here's the full top 20 from Hockey's Future They will also be the team that they expected to play for this year barring they don't make the Dallas Stars.

To see the Full Article, Click Here

1 (NR). Jack Campbell, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

2 (1). Scott Glennie, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

3 (2). Philip Larsen, Texas Stars (AHL)

4 (3). Alex Chiasson, Boston University (Hockey East)

5 (4). Ondrej Roman, Texas Stars (AHL)

6 (5). Curtis Mckenzie, Miami (OH) (CCHA)

7 (11). Tomas Vincour, Vancouver Giants (WHL)

8 (6). Richard Bachman, Texas Stars (AHL)

9 (13). Reilly Smith, Miami (OH) (CCHA)

10 (12). Tyler Beskorowany, Idaho Steelhounds (ECHL)/Texas Stars (AHL)

11 (5). Perttu Lindgren, Texas Stars (AHL)

12 (10). Austin Smith, Colgate University (ECAC)

13 (NR). Patrick Nemeth, AIK Stockholm (Sweden)

14 (17). Hubert Labrie, Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)

15 (8). Colton Sceviour, Texas Stars (AHL)

16 (16). Tristan King, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)

17 (9). Sergei Korostin, Texas Stars (AHL)

18 (NR). Alex Theriau, Everett Silvertips (WHL)

19 (19). Aaron Gagnon, Texas Stars (AHL)

20 (NR). John Klingberg, HC Frolunda (Sweden)

Puck Podcast: August 21 Episode

On what happens to be one of the slowest news weeks in the NHL of the year. Eddie & Doug discuss the NHL's Research & Development Camp that's going in Toronto as they testing possible new rules. The ongoing saga's of the Kovalchuk and Thomas Kaberle. Also a new statue of the St. Louis Blues as the team will be honoring Brett Hull this upcoming season. Plus as always emails and posts including Hockey Roasts.

Puck Podcast Website

August 21 Episode

Friday, August 20, 2010

NHL Testing New Rules at RDO Camp Part 1

When Brenden Shanahan recently retired and become a league executive to look at ways at how the NHL Game could be improved. One of his big moves is taking place this week in the Toronto Suburb of Etobicoke at the Maple Leafs Practice site.

Thirty five players who were recently drafted or will be drafted in the next year or so are testing out some new possible rule changes that the NHL May look up in the new future.

Some of them have been tossed around for years like changing up the icing rule to a hybrid icing rule that they recently started using in the United States Hockey League, to different ideas for OT and the SO.

Others possibly being looked at include a Non-Drop Faceoff to different nets that are both wider, narrower and maybe a bit taller to make it more challenging for goalies to stop pucks.

Here's the Blog from the Research & Development Camp

Here's some links on some of the possible rule changing.

Overtime Rules

This is my biggest thing that needs to be changed as the number of teams playing for the shootout instead looking to win the game in OT. The number of games heading to SO's has been increasing scginfitanlty as to many coaches are playing OT to consvertalety as many current and former head coaches are saying that the current OT Rules need to be changed.

Among them include former Dallas Stars & Columbus Blue Jackets Head Coach Ken Hitchcock who's current working in Toronto at the NHL Research & Development Camp said in an article written by Nicholas Cotsonika back on Wednesday said "I don't like where four-on-four's going to, because it's going nowhere," said former NHL Head Coach Ken Hitchcock, who is behind one of the benches during the RDO Camp. "You're playing to get to the shootout, where you've got more strategy and more control. I don't like where it's going to go in the next few years. To me, it's going to the wrong place."

Here's some other quotes from the Nicholas Cotsonika Article

From Brendan Shanahan: "The three-on-three was interesting to me," said Shanahan, the NHL's VP of Business Development, who is running the camp. "That caught my eye."

To see the entire Nicholas Cotsonika Article, Click Here

Speaking of three-on-three, I'm betting that the NHL is going to pay close attention to the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) as the league announced that they are going to be starting three-on-three overtime this season.

In addition to the 3-on-3 OT, they were one of the few leagues left anywhere in North America that still ended games in ties, but they are going to start having SO's to break dead locks this season.

Once the NHL finds out about this, expect the National Hockey League to follow this closely to see will it works and given the fact that many coaches and games seem to at least have an interesting view on this, could this be a sign of things to come over the next few years for the National Hockey League and other major Leagues like the AHL & Major Juniors here in North America.

I'm making a prediction that this will go very well to give the NHL the idea to-go-to 3-on-3 sometime in the next few years. I expect the NHL, AHL & Major Juniors to seriously consider this. But I applaud the AJHL for taking a bold step in something that could change how many hockey leagues and competitions around the world how they look at their OT & SO Rules.

This is just the beginning of what you will hear of leagues going to 3-on-3, especially if this can reduce the number of shootouts. I will take a look from time-to-time to see how many games go to the SO to see if this works. And this could be something that other leagues may look at when the AJHL Season starts on September 10.

Here's the AJHL New OT Rules


This is the other big thing that I would like to see changed, currently in the USHL they recently introduced a hybrid icing rule which takes a different position between the current rules where the opposing player has to touch it and the no touch rule that is currently used by the IIHF.

This is partly a game pace issue, part of a safety issue. If you have seen NHL Hockey long enough, you have probably seen a fight to either get or refute an icing where a player a big hit among the boards have resulted in major injuries, it doesn't happen often, but it happens and it's something that can be prevented a majority of the time.

One of the biggest possible changes could be the icing rules where they taking a look at a hybrid icing rule that the United States Hockey League (USHL). This was introduced back in 2009 where the ref uses his best judgement to determine whatever to blow it down or let the players fight for it. If the defending team is clearly in front, then the ref will blow it down quickly, if the attacking side is ahead or if it's a dead heat, then the ref will let them fight for the puck.

Of all the rule changes, this is the one that seems to be getting the most steam among coaches and coaches.

Here's some of the Quotes Chris Johnson's Report from the Canadian Press

"Anything we can do with icing to protect our players we should do," Ottawa Senators GM Brian Murray said Wednesday. "If the linesmen can make the call earlier, then obviously it will benefit the good players in our league.

"Its a competitive and safe way of playing," said Ken Hitchcock. "You would almost completely eliminate those big injuries that come and yet you're still creating competition for the puck... For me, it's a really good idea.

"There's no worse feeling then what happened to a guy like Kevin Foster." Who got injured with a broken leg and had to missed a majority of the 2008-2009 season.

Click Here to see the entire Chris Johnston Interview

Stars Move Leads to Prospects and a Bright Future for Dallas Hockey

Adam Gretz is in the middle of a 5 part series taking a look at the growth of hockey in some non-traditional markets where the game has been growing and starting to produce some prospects. Players like Seth Jones, Austin Smith amongst others. In addition to the DFW Area, Gretz is taking a look at places like California, Florida and Washington D.C. Areas as well this week. This Part 4 of that look.

In addition to the DFW Area, you can find links to the other stories on the website which was done by Fan House.

Stars Move South leads to Bright Future

New Poll Question: Who do you want to Become the new Dallas Stars Owner

With the Forbes Report saying that a possible sale of the Dallas Stars is starting to become more of a reality. Today's new poll question deals with who do you want to see become the team's new owner.

The two main players are both Western Canadian Billionaires in the Western Hockey League as Bill Gallacher (Portland Winterhawks) & Tom Gaglardi (Kamloops Blazers) are going to be fighting each other to become the new owner hopefully by the October 8 Season Opener against the New Jersey Devils and the NY Islanders the next night.

I would love to see either one of these guys owning the team as turning around Junior Teams to their former glory has a huge part of both their resumes and they will be looking to turnaround one of the most successful hockey franchises, not only in on-ice success, but growing the game and being a major part of the city of Dallas. They would both have the ability to bring in big name free agents and make the players, fans and team staff excited to be with the Stars.

The Major Wild Card right now is Mark Cuban where with his forward thinking style and his ability to make the Mavericks a NBA Powerhouse. He would give the National Hockey League a badly needed names to bring some new ideas to help make the game more reverent in the USA on a full time basis. Eventhough he's denied interest in the Dallas Stars, his name keeps coming up and with how close he came to getting the Texas Rangers, they're a lot of reasons why he would be interested in possibly getting involved in the Dallas Stars.

Or it could be someone that we don't know yet that could steal the show and jump in to make things very interesting.

So the Question who do you want to see become the new Dallas Stars Owner?

Bill Gallacher (Portland Winterhawks Owner)

Tom Gaglardi (Kamloops Blazers Owner)

Mark Cuban

Somebody Else

Be sure to vote on the poll and leave comments both on the website and on my twitter page at

Thursday, August 19, 2010

AHL Preseason Schedule

All 3 Texas Teams in the American Hockey League have announced a series of preseason games against each other in mid-to-late September as the Texas Stars begin to prepare to defend their AHL Western Conference Championship while the San Antonio Rampage & Houston Aeros look to get back to the playoffs.

Some of these games will be played at the San Antonio Rampage & Houston Aeros Practice Facilities while the Texas Stars will have all their Games at Cedar Park Center. It was also announced yesterday that the Texas Stars will also have a game against the Oklahoma City Barons as the Barons get ready for their first season of play this year.

As for the regular season, that is expected to come out early next week with the AHL Season expected to start on or around October 8 which is the same night as the National Hockey League Season gets underway.

Northwoods Ice Center

Sugarland Ice & Sports Center

Texas Stars

9/30: @ San Antonio Rampage at Northwoods Ice Center 7:00 PM

10/2: VS. Oklahoma City Barons 7:00 PM

10/3: VS. Houston Aeros 5:00 PM

San Antonio Rampage

9/30: VS. Texas Stars at Northwoods Ice Center 7:00 PM

10/1: @ Houston Aeros at Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center 7:00 PM

10/2: @ Texas Stars 7:00 PM

Houston Aeros

10/1: VS. San Antonio Rampage 7:00 PM at Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center

10/3: @ Texas Stars 5:00 PM

Oklahoma City Barons

10/2: @ Texas Stars 7:00 PM

Nothing to confirm or deny in the Stars Sale

After Forbes Magazine reported that a sale of the Dallas Stars was close yesterday, many reporters around the National Hockey League, and in particularly Mike Heika with the Dallas Morning News, weren't able to confirm or deny anything big or this huge puzzle that is the Dallas Stars Sale and who is ultimately going to own this team for the 2010-2011 season which gets underway on October 8 against the New Jersey Devils.

To me, if we don't hear a report of a new owner by the start of Training Camp when the Stars head to Charlottentown, PEI on September 17, then were going to get some angst as fans will want to see a new ownership by the start of the season or at least in the early part of the season so he can get used to his surroundings and have the ability to have the flexibility to sign current contracts, have the ability to trade, cut or add players to make the team more competitive and get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

If this turns into a dejavu like the Texas Rangers did until recently, the results will be a lot worse then with the Rangers. With sagging ratings the last 2 years, only a handful of sell out crowds when teams like Detroit when they invade the AAC (Which they will on October 14 for the Stars Home Opener).

Even if the new owner doesn't throw a lot of money to start out, getting players signed like Brad Richards and Loui Eriksson are important to make sure they stay with the Stars for the long term and to continue the youth movement the team is doing, and maybe get the ability to get some veteran leadership and ability to help out players like Jamie Benn, Loui Eriksson and James Neal as these guys grow and mature to become the next big forward trio to build around for the Stars.

Some of the major issues outside the Stars themselves include the 5 Dr. Pepper Starcenters, some of the property around the Ballpark in Arlington, and perhaps the trickiest part of all this could include the Cedar Park Center (Home of the Texas Stars) which is a separate entity.

So was this possibly some of the reasons why the price went up to nearly $300 Million after many thought that the team would go around $225 Million Dollars earlier this month. We will have to wait and see, it will be interesting to see which parts will go and what will stay with Hicks. I would not be surprised to see these groups involved, the Dr. Pepper Starcenters have been huge towards growing the sport of hockey in the D/FW Area. My prediction is that these properties will bring up the amount that whoever owns the team will play a major factor in all this.

And with the success of the Texas Stars seeing them to the Calder Cup Championship and with a strong future it's looking like they would be a lot of interest from just about anyone who's looking at buying the Dallas Stars.

So it sounds like a second false alarm after a report by Ken Campbell that was reported earlier this month that had to be taken out. So for now, were back into the unknown about who will be the owner of the Dallas Stars this season. But something better happen soon, or your going to start seeing a lot of angry and frustrated Stars Fans that could be trapped into a Texas Rangers Type Situation.

We need to have an owner in place so he can be ready to make any important roster moves needed to come around.

The other major role could be the creditors, after the Rangers sale, hopefully that part will be done with. If not, then the creditors will be just plain greedy and will trap the Stars into a bad situation that would see them possibly miss the playoffs for the 3rd straight year.

Mike Heika can't confirm anything on Stars Ownership

AT&T Metroplex HS Hockey League introduces new Concussion Policy

The AT&T Metroplex HS Hockey is taking an aggressive stance to prevent and reduce the number of concussion injuries among players who play in the league. And to educate players, coaches and parents about the dangers of concussions and how to treat them and the danger of ignoring symptoms and after effects of concussion and brain injuries.

As for the 2010-2011 AT&T Metroplex HS Hockey League season, they has been no official word on how many teams will play this season. Also even though no schedule has been released, the season traditionally starts on the Thursday in October which this year is on October 7.

The league back in 2003 went to a two Tier Varsity Level with a separate Gold & Silver Tier Divisions. They will also be a new Varsity Elite League with 6 Regional Teams looking to find the best possible HS Players that could find themselves playing in the higher level travel teams like the Alliance Bulldogs, the Dallas Ice Jets and the Dallas Stars Selects if they are talented enough. Junior Varsity will also have the Gold & Silver Tier Formats as well this season.

All these divisions are separate and for the most part will not play games against different tiers except for a handful of preseason games which will happen during a preseason showcase coming up in Mid-September.

Look for the schedule and Division Alignment when they come out, also the schedule for the Dallas Stars Elites which plays in the Tier 1 Elite League is scheduled to come out sometime this week.

From the Dallas Stars Website

AT&T Metroplex HS Hockey Website

Talk of teens and the dangers of concussions conjures up images of high school football players and the violent collisions seen on football fields across North Texas every fall.

But the regions leading concussion experts are calling for more awareness and new prevention programs for high school athletes in other sports, especially youth hockey leagues. Together, Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine and the Dallas Stars are implementing a strict, new concussion policy for the AT&T Metroplex HS Hockey League.

"It is critical that we treat young athletes more conservatively then we have in the past." said Dr. Jim Sterling, a physical medicine physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas who severed as head physician for the 2006 Winter Olympic Team. "New evidence-based research on concussion gives health care professional guidelines for not only safe return to play but, more importantly, optimal return to classroom learning. Academics should be consideration of any conservation concerning sports concussions."

The new concussion policy for the AT&T Metroplex HS Hockey League will be implemented for the 2010-2011 season. The new policy requires an ImPACT baseline test for all athletes prior to starting play. The computer based ImPACT Test est. each athletes baseline neuro-cognitive function.

If a player has signs or symptoms of a concussion, they can't go back into the game - and are automatically put on a 14 day disabled list. They may return sooner if they see an ImPACT credentialed physician who can use the post injury ImPACT test comparison to their baseline test. "Concussion symptoms can be very subtle," Dr. Sterling said, "But can significant enough to pose a great risk to the athlete. That's why this new policy is so important."

A player who hasn't sufficiently healed from his initial concussion is vulnerable to a second impact Brain injury. The second concussion - even if it's less force or impact then the initial head injury - can lead to brain swelling and cause long term disabilities. In extreme cases, the second injury, called second impact syndrome, can cause death.

Any player who suffers a concussion can only return to the rink after he receives written permission from his physician and delivers the note to the team's athletic director. The athletic trainer notifies the league as well as the team managers and coaches that the player has recovered from the contact.

Skaters are also required to report any concussions that occur in practices or competitions not sponsored by the AT&T Metroplex HS Hockey League.

"Hockey is a tough physical sport and has been known for athletes toughing out injuries," said Keith Andersen, Senior Director of Hockey Programs for the Dallas Stars/Dr. Pepper Starcenters. "But concussions among young athletes can't be swept under the rug. Teens brains are still developing, and we know know that they don't recover from concussions as fast as the pros."

Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine, which started its concussion Management Program in 2008, is the region's leader preventing and treating concussions among local athletes.

  • In January 2008, Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine was the first organization to begin offering neuro-congnitive testing to schools and clubs in the DFW Area for sports concussions.
  • The program currently has 105 schools and sports clubs using ImPACT.
  • The Program had administered more then 23,000 baseline and post-injury tests.
  • 28 Physicians on the medical staff at Texas Health Resource Hospital are credentialed ImPACT consultants.

"Concussions are a serious problem if untreated or misdiagnosed," said Dr. Damond Blueitt, a sports medicine specialist on the medical staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Ft. Worth. "We have to remember, these are student athletes. There's no excuse for putting them at risk for serious brain injuries when there are tools out there to improve how we can care for them. We want athletes to have a fun experience in a sport."

To have more info on the ImPACT Concussion System at Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine Center. You can also call them at 214-345-5010 to get more info.