Thursday, October 15, 2009

NHL prospects in the ECHL for 2009-10

Just finished my yearly "prospects to watch" in the ECHL for HF. It's a lot more work than it looks like. Not all the NHL prospects are mentioned, just the best ones -- the ones who will be there half a year and move up, not the guys who are just playing out the string.

The ECHL teams range from nine NHL-contracted prospects (Bakersfield) to none (Johnstown). Here's the full list, near as I could come up with. You can't use transaction logs because those are often misleading.

Alaska (STL): T.J. Fast, Ryan Turek, Anthony Peluso, Tomas Kana
Bakersfield (ANA): Maxime Macenauer, MacGregor Sharp, John de Gray, Stu Bickel, Timo Pielmeier, Justin Pogge, Bobby Bolt, Logan MacMillan, Shawn Weller.
Charlotte (NYR): Ryan Hillier, Chris Chappell. None from Colorado.
Cincinnati (NAS): Jeremy Smith. None from Montreal.
Elmira (OTT): Michael-Lee Teslak, from Philly
Florida (CAR): Rob Hennigar. None from the Panthers
Gwinnett (ATL): Chad Denny, Michael Forney. None from Columbus
Idaho (DAL): Guillame Monast, Michael Neal, Richard Bachman
Kalamazoo (PHI): Jeremy Duchesne. None from San Jose
Las Vegas (PHO): Nick Ross, Matt Watkins, Joe Gistedt
Ontario (LA): Dwight King
Reading (TOR and BOS): Kevin Regan and Stefano Giliati
South Carolina (WAS): Braden Holtby, Joe Finley, Josh Godfrey
Stockton (EDM): Jordan Bendfeld, Bryan Pitton
Toledo (CHI and DET): Alec Richards, Jordan Pearce, J.C. Sawyer
Trenton (NJ): Myles Stoesz
Utah Grizzlies (NYI): J.D. Watt (CAL)
Victoria (VAN): Dan Gendur
Wheeling (PIT): Alex Grant, Joey Haddad, Casey Pierro-Zabotel

Monday, October 12, 2009

Head injuries, football and dogfighting

This is probably the only football-related story I've read all year, and it's a good one. It compares football and dogfighting, for their destructiveness to the participant. It's by Malcolm Gladwell, one of today's best thinkers and writers.

From The New Yorker:

Much of the attention in the football world, in the past few years, has been on concussions—on diagnosing, managing, and preventing them—and on figuring out how many concussions a player can have before he should call it quits. But a football player’s real issue isn’t simply with repetitive concussive trauma. It is, as the concussion specialist Robert Cantu argues, with repetitive subconcussive trauma. It’s not just the handful of big hits that matter. It’s lots of little hits, too.

There is nothing else to be done, not so long as fans stand and cheer. We are in love with football players, with their courage and grit, and nothing else—neither considerations of science nor those of morality—can compete with the destructive power of that love.

Hockey is of course much more of a skill game than football. But it does raise the specter of head injuries and the responsibility of the league and the fans to spare the players.