Thursday, July 31, 2008

Vermette staying in Ottawa

According to RDS, Vermette accepted a 2 year deal for $5.525 million ($2.525 mil. the first, $3 mil. the second). We can scratch him off our list.

Leclaire has signed.

Thank God!!! I hated this not for sure thing. And wouldn't it be a waste when I bought a Leclaire jersey and not really be able to use it much this season. I can get a good three seasons out of it now.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

USA U-18 Team to play against the Indianapolis Ice

2008-09 NTDP Schedules Announced
The U.S. National Under-18 Team opens its season at home against the Indiana Ice
of the USHL on September 12 at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube before heading to Blaine,
Minn., for the sixth annual NAHL Showcase from September 17-20.

This would be interesting to watch if I had time to get to Ann Arbor (I loved Ann Arbor. It reminded me of Madison, Wisconsin. In both of these places my other half somehow seeked out his fellow countrymen without even knowing them, without knowing they even existed. He's weird that way.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

NHL prospect headed to Indiana

It is always nice to see future talent come to our humble state. Keep an eye out for Ethan Werek this season.

Stouffville forward will play in USHL, then Boston University
By: Mike Hayakawa, Staff Writer

Ethan Werek is leaving the Stouffville Spirit.

The 17-year-old Stouffville-area resident, who has accepted a scholarship to attend Boston University in the fall of 2009, will be in the United States Hockey League tier one circuit with the Indiana Ice in Indianapolis this season.

“It was a hard decision,” he said Friday. “In the end, I sat down with my family and said Indiana will be a great place for me to develop before I go to Boston University and hopefully get drafted in the National Hockey League. It’ll definitely be hard to leave home. But I’m excited.”

Making the decision more interesting is that fact that his father, Zeev Werek, has co-owned the Spirit for 10 years.

Ethan, who started in the Whitchurch-Stouffville Minor Hockey Association, is a projected high-end pick in next June’s NHL draft in Montreal.

He was picked in the first round of the 2006 Ontario Hockey League draft by Kingston, after telling teams he was going the college route and would not report. (U.S. colleges consider OHL teams as professional. Playing in one game makes a player ineligible for college hockey. The USHL is not considered pro.)

The thought of moving south was planted last year when Werek was Indiana’s first pick in a USHL draft.

Several pro and amateur scouts recommended the USHL to him as the top league south of the border and of similar quality to the OHL, Werek said.

As well, the Boston University coaching staff suggested he take the USHL route.

Last month, Werek made a visit to Indiana and met the Ice coaching staff.

“I liked the program they were running. It’s like a major junior A program and the club was one of the top teams in the league last year and they have good resources there,” he said.

The Ice had three players taken in this year’s NHL draft for the second straight season, including first-rounder John Carlson (Washington Capitals). They average more than 3,500 fans per game.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why not here?

New league plans for a team in Indy (Indianapolis Star)

The Indianapolis Trax would play in the startup four-team Midwest Hockey League, set to begin play in November. Other franchises are to be located in Evansville, Ind., Columbus, Ind., and Louisville, Ky., league president Wade Stuckey said Tuesday.
OK, Indianapolis & Louisville I can see. But Evansville & Columbus? Why not Lafayette? That would be so cool. Population wise, I'm not sure Columbus could support it for sure. Evansville, maybe. Also, geographically, Indianapolis, Columbus & Louisville are all on I-65, but getting to Evansville from Indy or Columbus becomes a pain in the derriere.

Although Indianapolis is already home to the Indiana Ice of the United States
Hockey League, Stuckey said he isn't worried about saturating the market.

"We're not looking to put anybody out of business," Stuckey said. "This league will offer something different. What the Ice have done is give people in Indianapolis knowledge of our sport. We see it as a very viable market."
The Indiana Ice had the 2nd largest average in attendance in the USHL last year. However, it is also the only hockey team in town. This won't help the Indiana Ice, especially if the games are at the same time. This IS Indiana, not Canada. And the USHL doesn't have the same prestige at the Q, OHL, WHL, so getting people to pay attention and giving them respect is hard to do (even though an Ice player did get drafted in the first round this year, defenseman John Carlson by Washington).

The league will include players 18 and up. Unlike the USHL, which is an amateur league, players in the Midwest Hockey League will be paid. Stuckey said players will make roughly $150 to $300 a game. Each team is scheduled to play 40 games and will be permitted to have a maximum of four players with more than 180 games of professional experience.
Even though I would have called it this before, I think the USHL won me over. I hate the term amateur league. It's a junior or developmental league.

"We'll be able to keep our costs down because of the geography of the teams," Rossetti said. "With a smaller facility and reasonable prices, this league can appeal to families looking for affordable entertainment."
Well, I will have to give that a plus, especially for Evansville & Columbus. In Indianapolis, tickets for the Ice games cost 11 & 16 dollars, which I think is pretty cheap for a decent hockey game.

I'm not sure yet what to think of this. I love hockey to grow in Indiana, however, not at the expense of the Indiana Ice. I think what they and the USHL are doing is extremely valuable to hockey (in developing American players, though not exclusively American) and valuable to the community (they do a lot of charitable work in Indianapolis). I would probably like it more if Lafayette would have a team, so I can go without paying too much for gas, but really, we don't have a facility except for a really small outdoor skating rink in a park (The Purdue Hockey Club has to travel to Danville, Illinois - an 1.5 drive - for practice and games).

Midwest Hockey League

Also mentioned in: IceMen are 'flagship franchise' (Evansville Courier & Press)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Breakfast burritos with Columbus Sports Icons - Sports

Breakfast burritos with Columbus Sports Icons - Sports

Also presenting his case was the general manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Scott Howson. He had a chance to discuss his free agency moves.

"To get good players, you have to give up good players and I feel like we really improved our puck handling in the back end," Howson said.

In the first week of July the Blue Jackets traded forwards Nikolai Zherdev and Dan Fritsche to the New York Rangers for defensemen Fedor Tyutin and Christian Backman.

Howson also provided an update on contract negotiations with the Blue Jackets talented young goaltender, Pascal Leclaire.

"Negotiations are all about changing people's expectations, and we worked on Pascal's expectations and now he's working on ours," Howson said.

I am really hopeful to see good defense this upcoming season.

Yet another reason why I WILL REALLY like Commodore!!

Blue Jackets: New hire hoping to drop anchor (Columbus Dispatch)

"I didn't pick a place where I would come, lay back, pick up a paycheck and go
to Buckeye games," he said. "I came to a place where I thought we could win."

I'm glad he won't be wasting time at college football games because I HATE college football games myself.

I am getting extremely excited. Is it hockey season YET!?!?!

I think I am going to REALLY like Commodore!

10 Questions with... Mike Commodore What were your first impressions after you signed with Columbus?
Mike Commodore: I was excited, of course. I chose to come here. I was excited about the moves they were making — they told me there was a plan in place, and they were going to execute it. I guess my first experience with the city has really been the last couple of days (visiting for the first time). It’s been great, it’s a nice city and everyone has been welcoming.

It is nice to hear a player say he is excited & chose to be in Columbus. This is a great change from that Adam Foote bailing out on us. I'm so excited that Commodore is so excited. :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

New Home

This is my new home. I was previously on WordPress ( but didn't like the few options I had there of sprucing this up, and it is easy to post here from work than on the WordPress website. So here I am.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Poll: Which Blue Jackets, Blackhawks, and Indiana Ice games should I go see?

EDITED: Post your answers in the polls to the right for each team.

I narrowed it down to games which are feasible for me to go see from late September to mid-October (while my other half is away visiting family). Considerations I made in narrowing it down are the following:

  • Is it a Monday-Thursday game or Friday-Sunday game?

  • What time is the game?

  • Do I have time to drive there (if working that night) and get home at a decent hour?

  • Can I afford it?

  • How much vacation time will I have?

  • Chicago is a 2 hour drive; Indianapolis is 1 hour, and Columbus is 4 hours

  • I am on Eastern Time, Chicago is on Central Time

  • I work 9-5pm, M-F

  • I can afford more Indiana Ice (USHL, junior hockey) games than NHL games (or at least can afford better seats at Indy)

  • At least one game in Chicago, one game in Columbus, maybe one game where Chicago & Columbus are playing against each other, and maybe 2-3 games in Indianapolis

So, the game choices are:

  • Pre-Season Games

    • Columbus @ Chicago, Tuesday, September 23, 8:30 pm ET (I will probably be in Chicago that day anyways)

    • Minnesota @ Chicago, Friday, September 26, 8:30 pm ET

    • Nashville @ Columbus, Friday, September 26, 7pm ET

    • Dallas @ Chicago, Sunday, September 28, 7pm ET

    • Buffalo @ Columbus, Thursday, October 2, 7pm ET

    • Colorado @ Chicago, Sunday, October 5, 7pm

    • Toronto @ Columbus, Sunday, October 5, 5pm

  • Regular Season Games

    • Nashville @ Chicago, Monday, October 13, 8:30 pm

    • Nashville @ Columbus, Friday, October 17, 7pm

    • Vancouver @ Chicago, Sunday, October 19, 7pm

  • Indiana Ice Games (all games at 7:30 pm)

    • Cedar Rapids @ Indy, Saturday, October 4

    • Fargo @ Indy, Friday, October 10

    • Fargo @ Indy, Saturday, October 11

    • Waterloo @ Indy, Friday, October 17

    • Des Moines @ Indy, Saturday, October 18

Good Luck in Buffalo...

Patrick Lalime. It was such a delight watching you play for Chicago. I will certainly miss that, and too bad I didn't get to see you play in person.

Welcome to Columbus....

  • Kristian Huselius

  • Mike Commodore

  • Christian Backman

  • RJ Umberger

  • Raffi Torres

  • Fedor Tyutin

  • Nikita Filatov

  • (and although drafted last year) Jakub Voracek

I wish you all the luck and success in Columbus and hope that you will finally get us into the playoffs very soon :-)

(still waiting on Pascal Leclaire to resign.....)

Oh Captain My Captain (Chicago Style)

Jonathan Toews named captain of the Blackhawks squad, becoming the third youngest in league history.

So though Kane has the Calder Trophy, Toews got the big C on his uniform.