Ice Hockey - NHL/KHL/IIHF

Discussion in 'General Football & Other Sport' started by sonofben, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    After the euphoria last night a few corrections on my part. We were in the elite division in 1994 not 1962 and prior to that in 1952. We will be the bottom seeds sixteen out of sixteen and will probably be relegated. But compared to 1994 the situation does look a little bit healthier in terms of youth development.

    It would be great if the EIHL was to be covered by the BBC. A lot still needs to be done to get the team to stay near the top of the sport. From my post last year when we won Group 1B.

    Team GB won all five matches at the World Championships Group IB. They beat previously undefeated Japan 4-0 to secure first spot and replace relegated Ukraine from Group 1A.

    On the way they beat Croatia 4-2, Estonia 5-1, Lithuania 5-2 and Holland 14-0. An impressive effort and blend of youth and experience. However the domestic structure is still a shambles and it is a long way and time before the team can even hope to reach the top group. Facilities, coaching for the most part and access to the sport is still very limited and the lack of ambition of the best British players. Ben Bowns netminder for instance should have tried his luck abroad in Sweden for instance.

    I am surprised that we did get through Slovenia, Kazakhstan and Poland and Hungary are no pushovers either. Ben Bowns was superb. And underlines my conviction he should have gone to Sweden when younger. I am sure he would have been fine in the Allsvenskan and Elitserien. Although we do have a nucleus of gifted youngsters like Kirk, Kieran Brown and the like (who also need to jump ship to Sweden or North America to push themselves) the issues in the sport need resolution.

    Namely a lack of rinks. They don't need to be huge just enough to accommodate 1-2000 people. Get more kids skating there and see who has talent for the sport. Bring in the right coaches as currently the coaching standards in GB are low and juniors will suffer as a result. That requires money and somehow IHUK needs to get that funding going with the help of GB Sport and the private sector. And a return of rinks in areas where there was a traditional hockey presence like Durham, Streatham and Wembley. Currently the only two areas in Britain which have a understanding of the sport are Nottingham and Sheffield along with a local development program. And at a certain age 13-14 get the best kids scholarships to go abroad to play and study or set up more schemes like the Okanagan Academy within the UK. And a restoration of the second tier of British hockey which currently is in a worryingly poor state. Not to mention a limit on imports which unfortunately has been increased. It is all well and good having skilled imports from which juniors can learn but as in football please don't import journeymen for the sake of it instead of giving the spot to a young British player who has talent and ability.

    One swallow does not make a summer but this success must be built on. If everyone in the sport can focus on a common vision of slowly growing the sport from the base, increasing spectator numbers, awareness in the public by more media coverage and increasing the quality of juniors hopefully transitioning into prospects for the top leagues in the world then that will be deemed a triumph over time. It can be done as we have seen with Denmark our erstwhile competitors some two decades ago.

    Once more an amazing game last night. 2-0 down the second a freak goal, a penalty shot saved by Bowns before the dramatic fightback topped off by a shootout win. Amazing resilience and fight.


    Optimistichornet and wfc78 like this.
  2. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    I've always enjoyed watching Ice Hockey, but got really into it in the second half of this season. Went to my first game in March witnessing the Canucks lose to the Coyotes 2-1 in Vancouver. Was not a great game from the canucks, but star winger Boeser was badly injured in the game before. I will always be able to say I got to see the Sedin twins play live though, and loved the whole experience.

    Really interesting off season for the Canucks this year, 7th pick in the draft. I think they will pick the best player available at 7th so there is really 5 or 6 players who they might go for. Very jealous that the Sabres get to draft Dahlin.
  3. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    Can the Golden Knights go all the way? 3-1 up against Winnipeg about to start game 5.
  4. Moosedog

    Moosedog Reservist

    Sweden V Swiss 2-2 going into final period in the gold medal game at the world championships
  5. Moosedog

    Moosedog Reservist

    Sweden v Swiss 2-2 end of 3rd period going into OT, ice is **** puck not running
  6. Moosedog

    Moosedog Reservist

    Sweden won 2-1 on penalties Sweden world champions again, HEJA SVERIGE
  7. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    vegas into the Stanley cup final!
  8. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Stanley Cup Finals. Best of seven games. Vegas Golden Knights 6-4 Washington Capitals in game one.
  9. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Huge celebrations in Washington over the last week or so. Stanley Cup champions at last. A comfortable series win 4-1. Now onto the draft where Filip Zadina, Evgeny Svechnikov and Rasmus Dahlin are expected to go in the top three picks.

    As usual a superb HNIC montage of the Stanley Cup finals.

    Liam Kirk has gone over to North America and is looking to be imported into one of the Canadian junior drafts.

  10. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    So in the Stanley Cup playoffs a couple of real shocks as the President Trophy Winners Tampa Bay Lightning led by top points scorer Nikita Kucherov and last seasons winners the Washington Capitals crashed out in the first round.

    Meanwhile Team GB have been preparing for the World Championships with practice matches against teams from the Kontinental Hockey League of Russia. They beat Dinamo Riga 3-1 back in February but won last night 5-4 to Watfords twin town Torpedo Nizhny Novogorod in the first of a double header.

    Team GB's preparation has been hindered by injuries and a couple of odd player selections. The injuries do mean that Joey Lewis who plays in the German second league DEL-2 is picked at last while a couple of Canadians with dual nationality have been naturalized.

    Liam Kirk has been going from strength to strength in the Canadian junior Ontario Hockey League with the Peterborough Petes and is a draft selection of the NHL Arizona Coyotes. Fingers crossed he carries on and gets his crack at the NHL. In doing so he would be the first ever British player to do so. A miracle considering how disorganized IHUK is at any long term development strategy when compared to a nation like Denmark for example.
    Optimistichornet likes this.
  11. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    Don't forget the leafs, watching them crash out was absolutely hilarious. So much media hype in Canada about Toronto all season with Matthews and Tavares, and they lose in the 1st round AGAIN.

    Canucks had a better season than anyone believed they might, Elias Pettersson looks a shoe in for the Calder, Boeser had a good year after an initial slump and Horvat is looking more and more like captain material. Even got to see Quinn Hughes on ice towards the end of the season, with those four the beginning of a cup contender core is starting to take shape.
  12. onion8837

    onion8837 Reservist

    Oi! Maple Leafs are my team !
  13. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    So the conference finals have been decided. Boston play Carolina and lead after winning game one 5-2 with a four goal third period. The Sharks lead the Blues after a 6-3 game one win. All teams are slightly surprising packages although the Blues have been on an incredibly great run.

    At the World Championships in Czechia and Slovakia Team GB held Germany to 1-1 late into the third period before losing 3-1. A magnificent effort with Ben Bowns in net showing why he should be playing at a higher level than the EIHL. The Team GB fans were incredible as well. Failure to clear the zone accurately or retain puck possession long enough was a real issue at times. Tomorrow GB take on Canada. Not a full strength Canada by any means but a daunting prospect.

    This is the World Championship youtube channel where you can watch games live and highlights.
  14. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    NHL Stanley Cup final will be Boston v St.Louis. At the IIHF World Championships Italy and France were relegated. Which means GB stayed up. Team GB played well against the USA a 6-3 loss and competed hard against Finland and Slovakia. They played poorly against Denmark a 9-0 loss. And in the crucial match against France at 0-3 they were down and out even against a team minus Roussell and Auvitu from the NHL. But how they stormed back to win in overtime and stay another year in the top division.

    The fans were great as well. However the long term future needs so much work. This is perhaps as good a time as any for IHUK and the other bodies in British Ice Hockey to get together and form a national plan on how to develop the sport in this country over the next two decades with the aim of becoming a consistent top team with prospects playing in the top leagues in Russia, Sweden and North America. It can be done as Denmark have shown. There needs to be more rinks and proper junior programmes not only in Nottingham, Sheffield and Cardiff currently but areas which have no ice hockey presence at all. Bristol, Hampshire, Birmingham, Liverpool for example. Get kids to skate, see who has ability and then get a better calibre of junior coaches in and then give these kids the oppurtunity to play real minutes in the EIHL, EHL. And if needs be get them shifted abroad.

    Fingers crossed some of the juniors unsure about playing for GB like Scott Conway might think differently now. And then there are some very decent players like Lewis Hook and Jordan Cownie coming along as well.

    Despite the success of staying up against the odds the media coverage was disappointing. BBC Sport in particular should have at least allowed more coverage on the website but there was precious little. It remains a struggle for the sport to get the attention it needs.
  15. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    St.Louis win their first ever Stanley Cup beating the Boston Bruins 4-3 in a thrilling finals series with a 4-1 win in the final game at Boston. Vancouver will be returning to their old jerseys for next season when the Russian Rocket Pavel Bure led them to a Stanley Cup final. Seattle will join the NHL in 2021 with a new arena being built. No confirmation of the teams name or jerseys as yet.

    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
  16. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Bracknell Bees are no more. Moving to Slough as their ice rink is being shut down. A real shame as they are one of the more progressive clubs in trying to develop British youngsters and giving them plenty of ice time. Seattle will join the NHL next season with an expansion draft and will be known as the Kraken.

    Currently very little ice hockey in Europe. The NHL draft is still suspended until the Stanley Cup finishes. The Western and Eastern Conference finals are being held in two biobubbles in Edmonton and Toronto. All draft arrivals from the previous season have been quarantined before the next regular season starts.

    For those with a betting penchant the Avalanche, Canucks are looking dangerous. With the Canucks adding Podkolzin in the near future their wait for a SC may soon be over.
  17. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Hope no one put money on the Canucks and Avalanche as they went out in a full seven game series. Western final will be Dallas Stars versus Casino Golden Nights. Eastern will be NY Islanders versus the now red hot favourites the Tampa Bay Lightning who crashed out as Presidents Trophy winners in the first round last year.
  18. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    So the Lightning won and celebrated wildy back in Tampa with no care for social distancing.

    They lost Kucherov for the entire regular season with a long term injury which will hurt them. This season which started in January has been shortened to 56 games rather than 82. To minimize travel the traditional divisions were reorganized so for example all the Canadian teams are now in one division. Rules for preventing any viral outbreak have been very strict. Persistent breaches will result in teams being fined heavily and losing draft picks. Nonetheless we still have idiot players who as in the case of the Capitals decided to gather for a prolonged period together without masks for a road game. The Russian on the team Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, Samsonov and Orlov were all fined and had to complete a mandatory isolation period.

    Last seasons top draft pick Alexis Lafreniere is off to a slow start but only to be expected. Connor McDavid the finest player the NHL has seen since Pavel Bure for sheer skill and speed is once again leading the points race. Meanwhile this idiot Pierre Luc-Dubois agitating for a trade decided to pull an Andre Gray. No effort or commitment. He was benched with angry exchanges between him and what is a disciplinarian coach in John Tortorella. Dubois got his wish and has moved to Winnipeg with Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic coming the other way.

    The situation for hockey in the UK looks grim at the moment. All leagues suspended until next season. It's always in a fragile state and this situation does not make things any better. Our top prospect Liam Kirk was sent to Sweden by the Peterborough Petes in Ontario to avoid rustiness. We do have several kids in North America who are highly promising as well. It is just a shame as with Josh Waller who spent time in Czechia that the facilities and coaching are not up to scratch here. Indeed Ben Bowns who has moved to Graz was sent to Canada in the off season to improve his technique while other coaches have sent players there to improve skating technique and other areas of their game.

    The organization of the domestic game remains a mess. Both the Scottish and English associations refused to merge with the governing body IHUK which would facilitate a long term development programme rather than individual clubs and associations deciding to only do what is in their best interests.

    Team GB will be in the World Championships. All other divisions below the top group have been cancelled so there is no relegation this season. The tournament was to be held jointly between Latvia and Belarus. However after sponsor pressure notably Skoda and Nivea the IIHF removed Belarus citing security and COVID concerns.
  19. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Nasty concussion. Shame for the young Czech working his way from Brind'Amours checking line. Ovechkin surpassed Gartners goal record for the Capitals and only a few behind Phil Esposito on the all time goal scoring chart at number six..
  20. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    McDavid and Draisaitl lead the points race in the NHL. As I have mentioned before the teams have a smaller season and altered groups to minimize travel. So part of the reason could be the weaker teams in the Canada group. The Canucks, Flames and especially the Senators are in the parlance dumpster fires. The Edmonton duo for instance have scored 33 points in seven games against them.

    Kirill Kaprizov leads the Calder race for rookies and has taken tothe NHL like a duck to water and is the Minnesota Wild's first superstar in a long while. Add to that their draft picks of Austrian Marco Rossi and US national development player Matthew Boldy they could be going places.

    Marco Rossi has played for ZSC Lions in Switzerland as a teenager before moving to junior hockey in Canada with the Ottawa 67s. Ninth pick in lastyears draft he is a salutatory warning about the effects of COVID. Fit as a fiddle he contracted the virus late in 2020 and has suffered the effects of long COVID since then notably myocarditis which has placed a large question mark over his future.

    Limited attendance is now in place for NHL games. Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay Lightning raised the banner the other day. They still are at the top of the standings despite the season absence of last years top scorer in the NHL Nikita Kucherov.

  21. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Tragically cut down in his prime with his whole career ahead of him and having been made captain of the junior team. The incident itself was innocuous looking. I only watched once because it was distressing much like the incident with Phil Hughes. It seems the puck which was being dumped in across the ice hit Timur just below the ear shattering the lower temporal bone and causing the carotid which comes up underneath through the neck to tear. Despite frantic attempts by rinkside staff the injury was not survivable.

    It makes me wonder if the head gear worn by hockey players is still not protective enough when you consider the speed of the puck. In a way it is more surprising there have been no other incidents. Daymond Langkow then of the Calgary Flames took a slapshot to the back of the neck and had damaged cervical vertebrae that left him without movement from which he eventually recovered although he retired shortly afterwards.

    Perhaps as with cricket helmet design they could add flaps to cover the ears. Some players already wear ear protecting covers that still only barely cover the lower temporal bone. I sincerely hope as after the Phil Hughes incident authorities look at helmet design and make sure also that visors and cages are worn at all times by the relevant age groups. The NHL as well. It took the death of a young girl spectator in Colorado hit by a puck from the ice to force them to put up netting in addition to the plexiglas round the rink. Just nineteen. One has to feel for the opposition player who will have to live with the undoubted guilt they feel.

    All KHL games (the season being at the playoff stages) will hold a minutes silence.

  22. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    @Irishorn @WatfordÉire As this has been the week where St.Patricks Day has been celebrated I thought I would post a link to this article about the Toronto St.Pats the forerunners to the dumpster fire and laughing stock of the current NHL that is the Maple Leafs. Lots of Irish for various reasons such as the famine, persecution and ill treatment not only emigrated to the USA but Canada particularly in the area of growing Toronto where the name was used to attract spectators. Toronto still has a large Irish community and a super club in Markham RUFC that has provided internationals to the Canadian rugby national team.

    Numerous players or Irish descent play in the current NHL such as Kevin Rooney of the Rangers and Charlie McAvoy of the Bruins.

    @sonofben will not be happy this week. The Flyers were badly beaten by both NY sides the Rangers and Islanders by a combined score of 15-1. Elsewhere the IIHF have cancelled all group u18 tournament except the top group which will be held in Frisco Texas under strict biosecurity guidelines. This is the arena where players usually make a name for themselves prior to draft selection for the NHL. Connor McDavid for instance played as a double underager ie at sixteen and was dominant even then.

    Russia appears to have unearthed a player on a similar trajectory in Matvei Michkov. Amazing stick handler, great wrist shot and incredible hockey IQ and will grow and improve his skating no doubt as well. He and Ivan Miroschnichenko destroyed Canada, the USA and Finland at the Youth Olympics in Lausanne in January 2020 where highly rated prospects like Adam Fantilli and Hunter Brzustewicz also played. Michkov has played in the MHL this season a junior league in Russia at the age of fifteen often against opponents three years older than him. He has broken the scoring record of that league formerly held by none other than Nikita Kucherov the top points scorer in the NHL last season. How he compares to Canadian Conor Bedard currently playing in the Allsvenskan is the talk of scouts and fans alike.

  23. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Four teams from the EIHL will compete in a mini tournament. Nottingham Panthers, Sheffield Steelers, Manchester Storm and Coventry Blaze. They will play each other eight times and allow Pete Russell head coach of Team GB time to prepare the side to compete at the World Championships in Riga. And given there was no Division 1A GB will not get relegated either extending their stay at the top division for three years.

    All matches will be streamed and played at the Panthers Motorpoint Arena. Four of the best British prospects all of whom have had their seasons affected.

    Jack has impressed in Germany with his shifty speed and stick handling skills. Liam Steel just sixteen went abroad to develop and has played for Stanstead College in Canada where he must have caught the eye of one of the best NCAA teams the Big Red namely Cornell University which have some notable NHL alumni. Liam has size, speed, skill and a ferocious right hand shot and I hope he develops the way he should he has a chance at the NHL. He has yet to suit up for GB due to the u18 Division 2A being cancelled last year due to the pandemic. I just hope he does not get his head turned to say play for the US or Canada. Daniel Sprong born in Holland but also went to Canada to develop has constantly refused offers to play for the Netherlands which is a shame as it could ignite interest there and in youngsters. Given their propensity to enjoy the ice it is odd how Holland have not developed a decent national side.
  24. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Kirk impressed at the mini tournament. Nottingham Panthers reached the final to play the Sheffield Steelers and then swept them to win the mini series Cup aimed at giving British players a chance to lose some rustiness ahead of the currently ongoing World Championship in Riga.

    In the KHL Avangard Omsk of the Eastern conference beat CSKA Moscow the Western champions and team that topped the regular season standings by 4 games to 2 to claim their first Gagarin Cup. In the NHL the Carolina Hurricanes claimed the Presidents Trophy topping the regular season points totals. The playoffs which are ongoing line up like this with Kucherov and Stamkos returning for the defending champions the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    In the regular season Patrick Marleau tied Gordie Howe for most regular season appearances 1767, Alexander Ovechkin moved closer to overtaking more illustrious names on the all time scoring list and may overtake Gretzky although on an adjusted points system he is already deemed the better goal scorer. Connor McDavid who may also be in contention to overtake the Great One exceeded a hundred points despite the curtailed number of games. Granted the Canada division was relatively weak say compared to the Eastern one but he is exceptional.

    The NHL and namely the Arizona Coyotes also showed their caring side again inducting cancer victim Leighton Accordo a keen girl hockey player into their Ring Of Honour. RIP little one.

    Team GB commenced their World Championship yesterday. It was against Russia and predictably a loss but a creditable one. 7-1. Most teams at this championship are reliant on domestic based players as opposed to the NHL and Canada suffered a shock 2-0 defeat to the hosts. The games are being streamed on the IIHF channel


    Liam Kirk was impressive again yesterday. He he is unlikely to break the NHL but Mora in the Allsvenskan have lined him up. Should he impress there and given his age he could still well be given a chance two or three years on. Brad Steele as with a couple of others are also extremely exciting prospects too.

    Last edited: May 27, 2021
  25. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    There have been some bizarre results at the World Championships with Canada struggling badly and Sweden not firing. Probably down to under strength squads which have affected many teams. Team GB have been impressive led by equal top goal scorer in the tournament Liam Kirk. Perhaps his efforts may impress Arizona enough to offer an ELC as they are in a rebuild.

    GB beat Belarus 4-3 last night and only lost to Denmark in overtime.

    In the NHL playoffs the Penguins and Capitals are out while the Hurricanes hold a 3-2 series lead over the Predators. The Colorado Avalanche have looked impressive while the Wild and Knights series is now tied 3-3 with winner takes all in game seven. Fans have returned to arenas and there was no shortage of passion on the ice as the Islanders knocked out the Penguins. Also time for some series thinking in Pittsburgh as Crosby and Malkin near the end of their careers.

  26. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Lithuania produced one of the all time greats (I believe) Darius Kasparaitis. The country seemed to have a very schizophrenic attitude to the sport - it was played by a lot of kids of the frozen lakes during winter (and pissed-up ex-pat TEFL teachers:)) - and there was only one functioning club/rink in Elektrėnai because the game was viewed as not basketball too Russian but the national new programmes were always running articles about how he was performing in the US (when I was in Vilnius he primarily played for the Pittsburgh Penguins). I notice that on his wiki page he's been 'allowed' to represent the country of his birth (as he always played for Russia) and there's a actually a nascent Lithuanian National Ice Hockey League...
  27. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Dainius Zubrus is the other notable player from Lithuania Bwood. There are a couple of very decent youngsters as well playing in Sweden at present and a developing junior programme but it still has a long way to go. Kasparaitis was a skilled fierce defenceman who could be counted on to put in a big hit. He recently as you say played for his nation of birth before retiring.

    Latvia leads the way of the three Baltic republics in regards to ice hockey and Viktor Tikhonov coached Dinamo Riga before moving onto coach the legendary Red Machine of the time. Funnily enough ice hockey was very popular in the Baltic republics given the climate but the occupation changed things. After the war the Soviets decided to learn about ice hockey and become a force to be reckoned with. They like Sweden were more au fait with bandy which is still enormously popular. They used know how from the Baltic republics but also created innovative training regimes and skills development that led to a distinct style of possession based, highly skilled stick handling hockey as opposed to the more physical crash. thump and dump Canadian style. Many of those innovations are now central to juniors development across the world. In particular the US NSDTP , the training programme for the top American juniors uses large sections of the Soviet manual.

    Given the association of hockey with the occupying Soviets the sports died a death in Lithuania and Estonia and was kept alive in Latvia by Russians. In recent years there has been a momentum building along with popularity in these two countries for the sport. Estonia is relying on it's links with Finland to develop it's programme with Robert Rooba the best known Estonian playing in the SM-Liiga while Leo Komarov chose to play for Finland rather than Estonia and is currently with the Florida PantherS in the NHL. The Lithuanian programme is also utilizing links with Sweden, Finland and Russia. The main teams are based in Vilnius, Kaunas and Elektrenai. There were aborted attempts to join the Belarus league but it will take more development for this to be attained and in the long term a team in the KHL perhaps. Arvidas Domeika plays junior hockey in the US while Mantas Armalis has been a top netminder in the Elitserien in Sweden. In time they could return to the level they were in the 1930's. Latvia continues to produce players that play in the NHL still although not at the level of quality they were under the Soviet system. Namely players like the sadly passed away Karlis Skrastins and Helmuts Balderis.
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  28. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Fiercesome hitter but also a genuinely skilled offensive defenceman. No goon at all.
  29. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    The Hurricanes and Golden Knights are through. The former squeezing past the Predators the latter against the Wild. In the World Championship Team GB put in another creditable performance losing 4-1 to Sweden with Liam Kirk scoring his fifth taking him to the lead in the goal scoring department. Perhaps a bit fortunate not to be waived off but Bowns in the British net was superlative again. He could easily and still might play in a higher league.

    Last edited: May 30, 2021
  30. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    It’s been a pretty depressing season being a Canucks fan.

    Management has been poor again, genuinely think Jim Benning is the worst GM in the league. We are struggling to sign the exceptional goaltending coach Ian Clark back down to a new deal. He was solely responsible for turning Jacob Markstrom round, and now is doing the same to Thatcher Demko. Because of Clark the Canucks have one of the best young GKs in the business. It is imperative he gets a new deal.
    Smudger likes this.
  31. luke_golden

    luke_golden Space Cadet

    Always my first trade on NHL 99.
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  32. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    A lot of hopes being pinned on Podkolzin as well having signed his ELC. A lot of exciting young players but like Buffalo directionless. Maybe a trade here or two in terms of an experienced centre would help. Given the weakness of the Canada division it does make the Canucks performance even worse in relative terms. Not sure if having the Sedins in the management role is really a huge help to be honest.

    GB lost to Czechia 6-1 last night but still performed creditably. Jackson Whistle showed why he is only a backup to Bowns. Kirk was impressive again. Now he has to play a waiting game.

    Optimistichornet likes this.
  33. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    a big part of the issue is that the media and the online fan base is very toxic. podkolzin is another young talented player to join petterson, hughes, hoglander, boeser and horvat. But the bottom 6 and defense as a whole is tied down with terrible contracts that cripple the ability to trade.

    the northern division was just ridiculous though. The Canucks typically never play well against any of the other Canadian teams. It was not a great year.

    who do you support @Smudger ?
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  34. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    It is indeed Opti. I remember thinking Canadians don't behave like this back in 2011. McDavid must be wondering what is going on as well given another whitewash in round one. I do wish the Canucks well but it must be incredibly frustrating with the over long contracts and little cap space to work with. However next season will start the local rivalry with Seattle Kraken across the border.

    I just watch the teams Opti but if pushed would be a NY Ranger. Not a great season either but the draft picks are young, the netminding situation with Shestyorkin is great and promise from Miller, Lafreniere and Kravtsov with Fox outstanding on the blueline. Buchnevich had a breakout season and was great on the penalty kill while Panarin was his usual amazing self. He may be ruled out of contention for Team Russia though given his anti-Putin stance and declined to attend the WC having been hit hard by Wilson acting like a goon. Zibajenad was a disappointment with Kaako while Chytil also looked great.

    Reckon with another top six centre and trading one of the blue chips for them could be a good ride down the line and the front house has been really shaken up with Chris Drury taking over and looking for a new coaching team while keeping the great Benoit Allaire as netminding coach.
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  35. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    Yep something to look forward to. Can’t wait until the Kraken beat us handsomely in the first game!

    Unfortunately you are right there are some really bad contracts that have completely hamstrung the team; Erickkson, Beagle, Roussel, Myers. The GM also offered an improved deal to Jake Virtanen, and let Tyler Toffoli walk to Montreal. Was fuming.

    Good news is that Erickkson, Beagle and Roussel all come off the books at the end of next season. Baertschi is off this year and I reckon they will probably buy out Virtanen. We should have cap space to play with next year if we can get Petterson and Hughes signed up to bridge deals.

    Life as a Rangers fan is not easy at the moment. The Islanders have a very exciting young core, and the Rangers have ground to make up. That being said the city will always have a great pull, and you should have plenty of cap space to play with.
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