Saturday, June 22, 2002

Hall of Fame

Didn't I see Clark Gilles playing in the final game in Slap Shot? If it wasn't him, he might as well have been. Thumbs down on the selection to the Hall of Fame.

Congratulations to all the other inductees, but especially Bernie Federko in my latest adopted home town.

Friday, June 21, 2002

Hunter for the Hall: I won't hold my breath. Gilles did not exactly coast into the Hall of Fame... it took a long time. I figure we'll need at least a decade before the voters get over their prejudices against one of the greatest Washington Capitals ever... (after Rod, of course).
Suckers!: This day in 1986 - The Detroit Red Wings use the first overall pick to select Joe Murphy from Michigan State University at the NHL entry draft in Montreal.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

The sound of rising laughter... Eric, give Gillies his dues. He got the big one on this fine fall evening in Montreal.
Now, I Love Clark Gillies. . . And will till the day I die, but I'd love to know what my fellow Puck Hoggers think about his selection to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Sure, he was a member of one of the greatest lines in NHL history (With Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier he formed one-third of the Long Island Lighting Company), but he wasn't anywhere near 1,000 points, never scored 40 goals, or even 100 points in his entire career.

Of course, his presence on that line allowed the other two guys plenty of room to operate, and his physical play and willingness to drop the gloves reduced the effectiveness of other players (like, say, Terry O'Reilly). And four Stanlley Cup rings means a lot too. To me, his career seems good, not great -- with the Cups as the real kicker.

One piece of good news: if they let in Gillies, there is no way they can deny a spot to Dale Hunter.

Encased in the Hall of Fame: Roger Neilson was elected in the coaching category. The players joining him in the class of 2002 will be center Bernie Federko, winger Clark Gilles and defenseman Rod Langway.

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

What do the NY Rangers do with their first draft picks? %^&* all, says Evan Andriopoulos of Hockey's Future:

2001 Dan Blackburn G (current NHL-Rangers netminder with a very bright future- we all know the story)

2000 None

1999 Pavel Brendl RW (After much hype Brendl showed up to camp not just ready for the primetime, his will questioned and quickly fell into the Sather doghouse. Dealt in the Lindros deal along with Jan Hlavac and Kim Johnsson). Jamie Lundmark C (rave reviews after his 1st camp, struggled after demotion, not as good in his second camp, started AHL season slow but finished super).

1998 Manny Malhotra C (A big man, favorite of fans never found niche in New York nor given enough chance. Dealt to Dallas with Barrett Heisten for Martin Rucinsky and Ruslan Lyashenko).

1997 Stefan Cherneski RW (Knee injuries in Hartford, career ended).

1996 Jeff Brown D (the next Brian Leetch-Barry Beck. His stock fell faster than the ride at Splash Mountain. Toiled in the ECHL and even UHL, a bit player in the minors).

1995 None

1994 Dan Cloutier G (The next great Rangers goalie, reminds some of Dan Blackburn. Had a few cups of coffee in New York before being dealt to Tampa with Niklas Sundstrøm and then to Vancouver where he has developed into a top notch young goalie).

1993 Niklas Sundstrom C (A 2 way genious who showed he could play on all lines, his stock went up and down and finally was dealt to Tampa and then San Jose where he has only started to find his niche again).

1992 Peter Ferraro C-RW (Part of the Port Jefferson Ferraro connection w/ Chris. Smallish forward who never found his niche with the Rangers. Played in Boston, Washington among other NHL teams).

1991 Alexei Kovalev LW(The enigma, a great talent that seemingly would only appear when he wanted it to. Kovalev a gifted skater, passer and puck controller also had a lethal shot. Dealt to Pittsburgh where he has developed into an even more lethal weapon).

1990 Michael Stewart D (Borderline NHL ability that faded in his first camp. Stewart ended up spending most of his career in the AHL)

1989 Steven Rice RW (Bruising winger of the Cam Neely model, never had a true shot with the Rangers other than a cup of coffee. Played in Edmonton and for the Whalercanes turned into a bit part NHL winger).

1988 None

1987 Jayson More D (After years of Willie Huber the Ranger decided they needed a tough d-man. More had a cup of coffee in New York but then became an NHL and AHL-IHL journeyman with San Jose and others).

1986 Brian Leetch D (Best of all picks over the past 15 years).

1985 Ulf Dahlen C (A solid, slow moving winger with a sniper`s hands. Dahlen put up nice totals after earning his military release from Sweden. Dahlen returned to the NHL over a year ago with Washington. Spent time in San Jose and Chicago).(ACTIVE)

1984 Terry Carkner D (Another move to get a huge tough d-man to become the newest stay at homer in New York. Played parts of several seasons in New York but never lived up to the role as tough guy-stay at homer. Played in Detroit and Philly among other cities and fashioned a decent NHL career.)(RETIRED)

1983 Dave Gagner C (A sniper that become the Rangers emergency call up. Truly developed after being dealt... played in Calgary, Toronto and Minnesota/Dallas... had a solid NHL career after leaving the Rangers).(RETIRED)

1982 Chris Kontos C (A playoff favorite rode to success in the early 80`s after a call up in 84. Kontos eventually appeared for the expansion Lightning and scored 20 goals. After turning down a contract from the Lightning he played himself to Europe for several seasons before retiring).(RETIRED)

1981 James Patrick D (A solid puck moving defender, the next Brad Park. James whose brother Stephen also played for the Rangers, played for a decade in New York before heading west and then to Buffalo among other places. A true Canadian National Team member having appeared in 8 world championships. Fashioned a solid NHL career as a powerplay quarterback).Still acitve with Buffalo.(ACTIVE)

1980 Jim Malone C (Never received a cup of coffee with the Rangers. Spent time with Tulsa and New Haven).(RETIRED)

1979 Doug Sulliman LW (High rated pick of the Rangers, ended up in Hartford and fashioned a solid career with the Whalers in the early 80`s)-(RETIRED)


1977 Lucien DeBlois RW (The man who could shoot and not pass. Delois once scored 22 goals and added 8 assists. Had 2 seperate campaigns in New York sandwiching a career in Winnipeg and Montreal).

1976 Don Murdoch RW (If not for a serious drug problem in the 70`s and his home away from 54 along with Ronnie Duguay, Stevie Vickers and Phil Esposito...Murdoch may have developed into a super NHL player. Tried to revive his career with Detroit but that failed. Became an NHL scout with the Tampa Bay Lightning).

1975 Wayne Dillon C (Never caught on, played in a couple late season games like many rookie call ups.)

1974 Dave Maloney D (Along with brother Donnie, Dave became one of the true Blue Rangers. A tough defender who was a Ranger, he played hurt and the day he was sent to Buffalo to conclude his career for Stephen Patrick...many in greater New York cried).

1973 Rick Middleton RW ("Nifty"...An NHL superstar while in Boston in the 80`s, Nifty as he was called, starred with Boston with Barry Pederson. Traded from New York to Boston for Ken Hodge Sr. A true bomb. Hodge`s light was already dim whilst Middleton had a stellar rookie season in New York. Middleton retired as one of the great Bruins).

1972 Al Blanchard RW Bob MacMillan C (Fashioned a career with the Devs in the early 80`s)

1971 Steve Vickers LW (A super star in the making, retired near the top of his career..a super Rangers pick).

Steve Durbano D 1970 Normand Gratton RW

1969 Andre Dupont D("The Moose", he never forgave the Rangers for dumping him and ended up killing the Rangers with the Broadstreet Bullies in the 70`s).

1968 None

1967 Robert Dickson LW (?)

1966 Brad Park D (Outside of Brian Leetch perhaps the best pick ever made by the Rangers. Many remember Brad Park as a Bruin but he had 8 seasons of All Star hockey with the Rangers. Traded to Boston along with Jean Ratelle and Joe Zanussi for Phil Esposito for Carol Vadnais. NHL Hall of Famer and one of the top 6 defenseman ever to have lived).

1965 Andre Veilleux RW (bit part minor league player)

1964 Robert Graham D (?)

1963 Al Osborne RW (Never played a second in the NHL)
NHL Awards Ceremony will be Thursday at 8pm. Us Americans can see it on ESPN2.

Flyers trade Dopita to Oilers: Center Jiri Dopita was traded from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday for Edmonton's third-round selection next season and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2004.

Sometimes you feel like Tugnut! Sometimes you don't! The Columbus Blue Jackets traded goalie Ron Tugnutt to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday for the 20th pick in this weekend's draft. Dallas also acquired Columbus' second-round pick, the 32nd overall choice. (See analysis from LCS Hockey and from Columbus)

Granato gets to coach: The Colorado Avalanche hired Tony Granato, a 13-year NHL veteran and former U.S. Olympian, as an assistant coach Tuesday. He replaces Bryan Trottier, hired June 6 as coach of the New York Rangers.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Bob Clarke, hockey genius, has let Adam Oates walk for absolutely nothing. The AP reports:

The Philadelphia Flyers have decided not to re-sign center Adam Oates, acquired in March for a top goalie prospect and draft picks. General manager Bob Clarke said the team had expected to re-sign Oates, 39, whose asking price is expected to be around $5 million. But that changed last week when the Flyers acquired center Michal Handzus in a trade with Phoenix.

"I talked to Adam a couple of days ago, after we traded for Handzus," Clarke said. "We told him we would not be signing him. He thanked us for letting him know."

To get the 39-year-old Oates from Washington, the Flyers gave up top-rated goalie prospect Maxime Ouellet, as well as draft picks in the first, second and third rounds.

Oates only played 14 regular-season games and five playoff contests with the Flyers, knocked out of the postseason in the first round by Ottawa. At the time of the trade, Philadelphia was beset with injuries to centers Keith Primeau and Jeremy Roenick, which left their playoff status in question.

"In hindsight, we're all a lot smarter," Clarke said. "We had made a decision if there was some player who could help us do better in the playoffs it was Adam Oates. We paid a pretty high price for him." Oates had three goals and nine assists with the Flyers.

Monday, June 17, 2002

Today in 1989: The Quebec Nordiques select Mats Sundin at the NHL entry draft in Bloomington, Minnesota. Sundin is the first European player to be selected first overall.