Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Turnover in goalie coaches

Hey look, I wrote something! Seems like a long time in between both articles and posting, but I've been busy doing Top 20 ranks for about four different teams and took a little vacation in there too. Tonight I finished something on all the goalie firings/hirings this summer.

The Panthers and Avalanche still have openings. It would seem reasonable that Melanson, Hackett, and Marcoux would be candidates. But then again, jobs don't seem to go to the obvious people. And a lot seems to be who you know.

I do think goaltending coaching is far more important than people realize. Which is why I'll be writing more about this in a few weeks.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Portland Winterhawks are now one word in case you missed it

Every so often teams adjust their names for no apparent reason. It happened again in May. I missed it then because I was focused on the entry draft.

The WHL Portland Winter Hawks became the Portland Winterhawks. They now join the Chicago Blackhawks, but not the the USHL Waterloo Black Hawks, on the one-word bandwagon. Copy editors around the world rejoice.

Here's their trying-hard-to-be-cute press release about it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Photos from Nashville conditioning camp

Here's a photo gallery from Saturday's session of Nashville Predators conditioning camp. I've already put up a Q&A with Roman Josi and Chet Pickard at HF. I will have another with Nick Oliver coming. I really enjoyed talking to Pickard. And he's very even keel, which you want in a goalie.

Funny story. I was looking for Nick Oliver in the locker room afterwards, and couldn't find him. The PR guy pointed him out. I went over Oliver, who was visually heckling Blake Geoffrion during an on-camera interview. I tapped Oliver on the arm and his face was the look of someone caught red-handed. Guilty! Then he proceeded to talk my ear off. The kid is not shy.

Taylor Stefishen. When I went up to see Ohio State last November he was out of the lineup with mono so it was good to see him out there this time.

Charles-Oliver Roussel. He was the only defenseman who came out as a shooter for the goalie ice work. That's telling. Hopefully he got some sun before leaving the south.

Cameron Reid.

Jani Lajunen reacts to a puck going out over the glass. Patrick Wellman looks like John Cusack.

Milwaukee coach Lane Lambert.

Lambert at the board.

Taylor Beck and Ryan Ellis are towards the front of this group shot.

Bruce Lauer, assistant coach of the Admirals, helped out during the goalie session.

Mitch Korn poses with Chet Pickard, Anders Lindback and Jeremy Smith. Atte Engren didn't skate in the afternoon due to a groin pull. He toughed it through the morning but was held out later.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Worthwhile prospect free agents

There are a few names among the non-tendered RFA's that are worthwhile.

1. Travis Morin -- Washington was so deep at center through its system that Morin never got much of a chance at the AHL level and just kept racking up the points in the ECHL. It was a tragedy to see. Some AHL or NHL team will snatch him up this summer. Very good locker room guy.

2. Peter Mannino -- let go after one year with the Islanders mostly at the AHL level. He was a star at DU. Worth another look.

3. Lukas Kaspar, Taylor Dakers -- I don't know these prospects much, but San Jose cleaned house this summer and may be throwing some babies out with the bathwater.