Showing posts with label CHL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CHL. Show all posts

Monday, February 18, 2013

Absurd Goalie Monday: Pierre Hamel

There were a good amount of odd names when it came to the NHL expansion era and this is another one. While he was destined for minor league purgatory, this week's AGM was able to latch on with an expansion team and get some time in the NHL, even though it didn't show off his best skills. This week, the profile of Pierre Hamel.

Hamel started off in the 1969-70 season, playing for a Junior B team in Quebec, St-Victor Voisons, before getting called up to the QMJHL's Verdun Maple Leafs-- appearing in 15 games and posting a 4-9-0 record. Playing 46 games for Verdun in 1970-71 yielded a 19-25-1 record for Hamel. In the 1971-72 season, Hamel was moved to the Laval National, going 3-12-0 before being traded to the Drummondville Rangers, where Hamel would pick himself up finishing with a 23-9-1 record in 36 games, then going 4-4 in the playoffs.

Graduating from Junior hockey, Hamel moved to the senior ranks with the Trail Smoke Eaters of the WIHL. Hamel will spend the 1972-73 and 1973-74 seasons there, before getting a professional chance during the 1973-74 season with the Central Hockey Leagues Salt Lake Golden Eagles, where he would lose the only game he appeared in.

During the fall of 1974, Hamel signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but would spend the majority of the season in the CHL with the Oklahoma City Blazers, going 22-12-6 in 44 games, while also going 1-2-0 in four games with the Maple Leafs. Full time in Oklahoma City in the 1975-76 season, Hamel played in 39 games and posted a 14-12-6 record while going 0-2 in the playoffs. With the Blazers in the 1976-77 season, Hamel finished with a 5-19-4 record in 33 games.

Hamel was moved to the Dallas Black Hawks in the 1977-78 season, going 15-16-1 in 36 games. However, for the 1978-79 season, Hamel got a promotion to the AHL with the New Brunswick Hawks and posted a 18-12-5 record in 37 games, then 1-2 in the playoffs. Hamel also made an appearance for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but didn't factor in the decision.

Left exposed in the Expansion Draft, the Winnipeg Jets picked up Hamel for the their inaugural roster, where he would go 9-19-3 in 35 games for the Jets. Back in Winnipeg for the 1980-81 season, Hamel only went 3-20-4 in 29 games and would be sent down to CHL's Tulsa Oilers for nine games and posted a 2-5-1 record. Hamel spent five games with Tulsa in the 1981-82 season and going 3-1-0 before moving to the AHL's Fredericton Express and go 5-15-3 in 29 games.

While Hamel played two games for the Sherbrooke Jets of the 1982-83 season in the AHL (1-1-0), he would go overseas to play for Dusseldorfer EG of the West Germany Division 2 league.

Hamel came back to North America for the 1983-84 season with the Atlantic Coast Hockey League and the Carolina Thunderbirds, as well as in the 1984-85 season-- playing a combined 74 games for Carolina before hanging up his pads in retirement.

Even when he was just supposed to be roster spot filler for the Jets, Hamel did get to see some time in front of a poor expansion team. Overall, it seemed that mediocre performances with mediocre teams was the undoing of Hamel, even in the climate of NHL expansion.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Expansion Stat Pack for 01.20.13

There's been a couple of slips, as the Denver Cutthroats in the CHL and the Fort Wayne Komets have lost a little ground since the last check-in, but the Sherbrooke Phoenix are trying to rise from the expansion ashes and are currently in the last playoff spot of the QMJHL. Even the Evansville IceMen are making a small charge, so who knows what could happen down the stretch.

(Stats before the games on 01.20.13; Does NOT include members not on active roster)

Orlando Solar Bears: 17-20-2-2; 5th in South Division, 12th in Eastern Conference
     -Matthew Sisca: 8g, 21a, -5
     -Dan Gendur: 14g, 11a, -15
     -Ryan Cruthers: 11g, 10a, -17
     -John Curry: 15-10-2-0, 2.79 GAA, .911 Sv%

San Francisco Bulls: 14-20-1-4; 4th in Pacific Division, 8th in Western Conference
     -Peter Sivik: 17g, 18a, -8
     -Dean Ouellet: 18g, 15a, -12
     -Rob Kwiet: 6g, 19a, -2
     -Thomas Heemskerk: 11-12-1-2, 3.26 GAA, .899 Sv%

Evansville IceMen: 16-23-1-3; 5th in North Division, 14th in Eastern Conference
     -Josh Beaulieu: 17g. 20a, -10
     -Todd Robinson: 2g, 34a, -22
     -Nathan Moon: 12g, 15a, -9
     -Paul Karpowich: 7-9-1-1, 3.04 GAA, .906 Sv%

Fort Wayne Komets: 22-19-1-1; 3rd in North Division, 7th in Eastern Conference
     -Brandon Marino: 12g, 35a, +7
     -Brett N. Smith: 8g, 23a, -5
     -Jean-Michel Rizk: 15g, 10a, -2
     -Ken Reiter: 12-7-0-1, 2.84 GAA, .913 Sv%

Denver Cutthroats: 19-15-4, 6th in Berry Division/Conference/League
     -AJ Gale: 24g, 27a, +2
     -Brad Smyth: 16g, 29a, +12
     -Troy Schwab: 12g, 30a, +8
     -Kent Patterson: 11-7-2, 2.93 GAA, .915 Sv%

Sherbrooke Phoenix: 12-27-2-4, 6th in Telus West Division, 16th in QMJHL
     -Michael McManee: 14g, 23a, -13
     -Alexandre Comtois: 16g, 18a, -29
     -Denis Kamaev: 9g, 23a, +4
     -Jacob Gervais-Chouinard: 11-16-1-3, 3.87 GAA, .890 Sv%

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Expansion Stat Pack for 12.30.12

Since we last left you-- the Fort Wayne Komets seem to be the only consistent team out there. Many of the other teams have slipped just a bit, though their standings don't necessarily say as much. However, one surprise is that the Sherbrooke Phoenix are playing pretty well and after the Christmas break should have healed them up-- they'll make a run at the last spot of the QMJHL playoffs, as they are just behind the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

(Stats before the games on 12.30.12; Does NOT include members not on active roster)

Orlando Solar Bears: 14-15-2-2; 5th in South Division, 11th in Eastern Conference
     -Matthew Sisca: 8g, 18a, E
     -Michael Wilson: 2g, 19a, +1
     -Dan Gendur: 10g, 9a, -7
     -John Curry: 12-7-2-0, 2.61 GAA, .913 Sv%

San Francisco Bulls: 10-14-1-2; 3rd in Pacific Division, 8th in Western Conference
     -Dean Ouellet: 16g, 12a, -9
     -Peter Sivik: 11g, 17a, -7
     -Justin Bowers: 8g, 19a, -14
     -Thomas Heemskerk: 11-12-1-2, 3.26 GAA, .899 Sv%

Evansville IceMen: 11-19-0-3; 5th in North Division, 14th in Eastern Conference
     -Josh Beaulieu: 13g. 16a, -11
     -Todd Robinson: 1g, 22a, -22
     -Dylan Clarke: 10g, 12a, +1
     -Paul Karpowich: 4-7-0-1, 3.49 GAA, .890 Sv%

Fort Wayne Komets: 16-13-1-1; 3rd in North Division, 6th in Eastern Conference
     -Brandon Marino: 10g, 28a, +8
     -Josh Brittain: 13g, 14a, +10
     -Brett N. Smith: 6g, 13a, -8
     -Ken Reiter: 8-6-0-1, 2.90 GAA, .911 Sv%

Denver Cutthroats: 18-11-2, 3rd in Berry Division/Conference/League
     -AJ Gale: 18g, 22a, E
     -Brad Smyth: 16g, 23a, +10
     -Troy Schwab: 9g, 26a, +7
     -Kent Patterson: 10-5-0, 2.87 GAA, .911 Sv%

Sherbrooke Phoenix: 10-21-2-3, 6th in Telus West Division, 17th in QMJHL
     -Michael McManee: 9g, 19a, -14
     -Denis Kamaev: 8g, 18a, -1
     -Alexandre Comtois: 10g, 15a, -24
     -Jacob Gervais-Chouinard: 9-12-1-2, 4.06 GAA, .882 Sv%

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Look At The Minor League Lifer

In the course of a week, there has been two different articles talking about players being the "Crash Davis" of minor league hockey. talked about Darren Haydar's time in the AHL, while Adrian Dater was all about Brad Smyth's cross-continent approach when playing.

Haydar has played 23 NHL games over four seasons over an 11-year career and Smyth has 88 over eight seasons over an 18-year career; so I would give an edge to Haydar when it comes to the Crash Davis tag since he has much more of a "cup of coffee" status rather than Smyth.

The idea of having two Crash Davis's confuses me because, much like the Highlander, there must only be one. Aside from the 1980s movie references, it got me thinking who could be the most minor league of minor league players. There has been many lifers in the lower leagues without getting the most notoriety when all is said and done.

You have to go to the record books, obviously, to see who has the most games played and how they go about the minor league approach. The AHL has the types like Willie Marshall, who played in the 50's and 60's where the AHL itself was a very competitive league and had talent almost like the NHL, but were hooped because of the limited amount of teams in the NHL. Marshall did play 33 games with the Maple Leafs over four seasons, his last game during the 1958-59 season and didn't retire until 1971-72, finishing with a record 1,205 games in the AHL.

Harry Pidhirny could be the biggest proponent of the Crash Davis tag, playing only two games in the NHL and 1,071 in the AHL. Fred Glover was in the older era as well, but played 93 games in the NHL and 1,201 in the AHL; as well Mike Nykoluk who played in 1,069 in the AHL and 32 in the NHL. More recently, Jody Gage and Bryan Helmer are over the 1,000-game plateau in the AHL, though Helmer did see 145 NHL games to Gage's 68.

The ECHL has a lot of older soldiers of the minor league lifers, Cam Brown playing 789 ECHL, one NHL game, two IHL seasons, and 15 in the AHL; almost making him very much the lifer of all lifers. That is, until you see Louis Dumont's stat line, having him play 771 in the ECHL and only 10 games above the "AA" league system (5 AHL, 5 IHL) and 318 in the CHL, plus 14 in the British Leagues. Wes Goldie only played 697 games in the ECHL and only two AHL games to show for his career, as well as a stint in the Quebec Semi-Pro League.

On the horizon, Boyd Kane is at 891 games (as of 12.17.12); but probably won't catch the 1,205 of Marshall, but could top the 1,000-game mark. You have Sam Ftorek chasing Brown's ECHL record and only 36 games away from surpassing Goldie's games played, while Randy Rowe would be on the list if he didn't have extended stints in the AHL a couple of times. Tyler Fleck is chasing Travis Clayton's CHL record of 880 games, but Fleck is at 733 and has Scott Wray (646) and Sebastien Thinel (591) on his tail-- though Thinel could be a little more set-up to overtake Clayton as he is a bit younger-- but injuries can halt many things.

There's plenty of lifers in the minors that people don't know about, but all it takes is a lockout and need for news that makes these names come to light and makes people take notice to guys who have led a vibrant career in the minors, but may never get the chance to take NHL ice for a long time, if at all.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Expansion Stat Pack for 12.14.12

Since we last left you, the Denver Cutthroats have made HUGE strides in the CHL, going from 9th in the League all the way up to 3rd on the back of AJ Gale and Brad Smyth. Even the Sherbrooke Phoenix have made some impressive strides to get into the playoff chase, but still have a lot of ground to make up. The ECHL has the steady up and down of Orlando and San Francisco while the Fort Wayne Komets are the only playoff team out of the four new ECHL teams thus far.

(Stats before the games on 12.14.12)

Orlando Solar Bears: 10-11-2-2; 5th in South Division, 9th in Eastern Conference
     -Nick Petersen: 11g, 13a, E
     -Matthew Sisca: 5g, 13a, -3
     -Ryan Cruthers: 8g, 7a, -5
     -John Curry: 9-5-2-0, 2.64 GAA, .911 Sv%

San Francisco Bulls: 10-14-1-2; 3rd in Pacific Division, 6th in Western Conference
     -Dean Ouellet: 14g, 11a, -6
     -Justin Bowers: 6g, 19a, -9
     -Peter Sivik: 10g, 13a, -5
     -Thomas Heemskerk: 9-10-1-1, 3.41 GAA, .897 Sv% 

Evansville IceMen: 10-14-0-2; 5th in North Division, 12th in Eastern Conference
     -Josh Beaulieu: 11g. 10a, -7
     -Todd Robinson: 1g, 17a, -15
     -Nathan Moon: 9g, 7a, -7
     -Rod Madore: 4-7-0-0, 3.11 GAA, .905 Sv% 

Fort Wayne Komets: 12-9-0-1; 3rd in North Division, 8th in Eastern Conference
     -Brandon Marino: 9g, 20a, +7
     -Josh Brittain: 10g, 9a, +7
     -Colin Chaulk: 2g, 15a, +2
     -Ken Reiter: 5-4-0-1, 2.78 GAA, .919 Sv% 

Denver Cutthroats: 14-8-1, 3rd in Berry Division/Conference/League
     -AJ Gale: 13g, 18a, -2
     -Brad Smyth: 13g, 16a, +7
     -Troy Schwab: 7g, 18a, +3
     -Kieran Millan: 7-4-1, 2.25 GAA, .929 Sv% 

Sherbrooke Phoenix: 8-20-2-2, 6th in Telus West Division, 17th in QMJHL
     -Michael McManee: 9g, 17a, -10
     -Cole Hawes: 8g, 17a, -5
     -Alexandre Comtois: 6g, 14a, -25
     -Jacob Gervais-Chouinard: 7-12-1-1, 4.19 GAA, .878 Sv%

Friday, November 23, 2012

Expansion Stat Pack for 11.23.12

(These stats are for before the games of November 23rd)

While some things change, some things stay the same. Most teams have been standing pat when it comes to positioning, but there's other teams who make small advances and making up ground. The San Francisco Bulls seem to be the most bi-polar of teams, trying to find their identity in the ECHL and the Pacific Division.

Orlando Solar Bears: 8-7-2-1; 3rd in South Division
     -Nick Petersen: 9g, 11a, +1
     -Olivier Fortier: 8g, 9a, -1
     -Matthew Sisca: 5g, 12a, -1
     -John Curry: 7-5-2-0, 2.82 GAA, .907 Sv%

San Francisco Bulls: 6-10-0-2; 3rd in Pacific Division
     -Justin Bowers: 5g, 12a, -4
     -Dean Ouellet: 6g, 7a, -5
     -Sacha Guimond: 5g, 8a, -1
     -Thomas Heemskerk: 5-7-0-1, 3.65 GAA, .893 Sv%

Evansville IceMen: 5-11-0-1; 5th in North Division
     -Todd Robinson: 1g, 15a, -16
     -Josh Beaulieu: 7g. 5a, -7
     -Patrick Kennedy: 4g, 6a, -3
     -Rod Madore: 3-6-0-0, 3.23 GAA, .899 Sv%

Fort Wayne Komets: 8-5-0-1; 3rd in North Division
     -Brandon Marino: 7g, 15a, +6
     -Colin Chaulk: 2g, 13a, +5
     -Josh Brittain: 6g, 4a, +6
     -Charlie Effinger: 4-3-0-0, 3.63 GAA, .891 Sv%

Denver Cutthroats: 6-7-0, 9th in Berry Division
     -AJ Gale: 9g, 11a, -5
     -Brad Smyth: 6g, 9a, +3
     -Troy Schwab: 3g, 11a, -4
     -Kieran Millan: 4-3-0, 2.36 GAA, .926\Sv%

Sherbrooke Phoenix: 4-18-1-1, 6th in Telus West Division
     -Cole Hawes: 8g, 15a, -3
     -Michael McManee: 8g, 14a, -9
     -Alexandre Comtois: 6g, 8a, -28
     -Jacob Gervais-Chouinard: 3-11-0, 4.80 GAA, .859 Sv%

Monday, November 12, 2012

Absurd Goalie Monday: John Adams

Many goalies crave for the chance to actually get to the championships, but to do it for four straight seasons is amazing-- more amazing that a guy would go 0-for-4 in those appearances. Even so, the small-town guy was able to get his chance in the NHL and would bounce around from minors to minors. This week, the profile of John Adams.

Adams stayed close to home while starting his journey, playing for the hometown Port Arthur North Stars in the Thunder Bay Junior League in the 1963-64 season, helping them to the Memorial Cup tournament and went 3-3 in six games at the Memorial Cup. In the 1964-65 season, Adams went 13-8-1 in 22 games, against going to the Memorial Cup tournament and going 1-3 in five games. The 1965-66 season saw Adams play the regular season with Port Arthur and compile a 18-6-2 record in 26 game, but was loaned out to the Port William Canadiens for another Memorial Cup, but go 6-4 in 11 games played.

The North Stars changed their name to the Marrs, where Adams would play in the 1966-67 season, having a 20-8-2 record in 30 games, then 4-1 in five playoff games-- going to yet another Memorial Cup, as Port Arthur would lose in the Finals in five games, but Adams would go 11-8 in 19 tournament games. Adams is one of the few players to reach the Memorial Cup for four consecutive tournaments.

During the summer of 1967, Adams signed with the Boston Bruins, but would be assigned to the Dayton Gems of the IHL for the 1967-68 season for 45 games and for 32 games in the 1968-69 season (no records given), though Adams did share the James Norris Memorial Trophy for the fewest goals against with Pat Rupp.

In the 1969-70 season, Adams went to the Central League to play for the Oklahoma City Blazers and would go 18-26-7 in 51 games with five shutouts. Adams was also called up for the Bruins Stanley Cup run and despite not playing a game, his name is engraved on the Stanley Cup-- being one of the few players to have their name on the Cup before playing a NHL game.

Adams returned to Oklahoma City for the 1970-71 season and play 57 games and finish with a 25-22-10 record and 1-4 playoff record, while in the 1971-72 season; Adams went 15-15-3 in 41 games, being named to the CHL First All-Star Team and letting in the fewest goals against in the CHL.

The Bruins would use the services of Adams 14 games in the 1972-73 season, as he would post a 9-3-1 record, but he would be sent to the AHL's Boston Braves after that for 23 games (no record) and eight playoff games (4-4).

In the summer of 1973, Adams would be sent to the WHL's San Diego Gulls as the player to be named later in the Ken Broderick trade that happened in March of 1973. In the 1973-74 season with the Gulls, Adams would post a 38-26-4 record in his 69 appearances, then 0-4 in the playoffs.

The Gulls would trade Adams to the Washington Capitals in the summer of 1974 for cash, while Adams would go 0-7-0 for the first-year franchise in Washington. The Caps would send Adams to the AHL's Richmond Robins where he would play in 28 games and post a 7-13-3 record.

Adams would leave the pros to be a player/coach for the Thunder Bay Twins in the Ontario Senior League and would play from the 1975-76 season until the 1979-80 season before retiring. It was almost a decade before Adams got back into the hockey landscape, becoming an assistant coach for the Colonial Hockey League's Thunder Bay Thunder Hawks in 1991.

Adams has stepped out of the big limelight for hockey, but still gets around the Thunder Bay area. In fact, Adams still keeps in touch with the Bruins organzation, even talking to Tim Thomas when he was in a slump and lost his starting job.

Though he was able to get to the championships for four straight seasons-- it was the season he didn't play a game in which he would be forever remembered for. After that, it was a lot of shuffling and a lot of bad opportunities before Adams would finally go where his heart was-- home.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Absurd Goalie Monday: Ron Scott

Not many guys are able to move from Major Junior to the NCAA, no matter how hard the CHLPA tries to make you think they have the power to. However, this week's AGM was a bit of a nomad in the start-- going from major junior to NCAA to a team with no home at the end of the season. He wasn't lost in the shuffle there, but later on in his career. This week, the profile of Ron Scott.

Scott started his trek with the Cornwall Royals of the QMJHL in 1978-79 and would play in 56 games and compile a 21-24-6 record, while then going 3-4 in the playoffs. During the 1979-80 season, Scott played in 41 games with a 19-11-3 record, then went 11-5 in the playoffs to help Cornwall win the President's Cup for league champion. In the Memorial Cup, Scott went 3-2 to help the Royals win the Memorial Cup.

In a time were the NCAA still allowed major junior players to be eligible for college hockey, Scott moved to the Michigan State Spartans to play in the 1980-81 season, posting an 11-21-1 record in his first season, which was able to get WCHA Freshman of the Year honors and WCHA First All-Star Team. Scott vastly improved to 24-13-1 in the 1981-82 season. The 1982-83 season had Scott go 29-9-1 in 40 games. In both the 1981-82 and 1982-83 season, Scott was awarded CCHA First All-Star Team honors and NCAA West First All-Amercian Team honors.

In the summer of 1983, Scott signed with the New York Rangers and would play in nine games with the Rangers in the 1983-84 season (2-3-3), but he would spend most his season with the Tulsa Oilers; going 13-13-3 in 29 games and would help the Oilers win the Adams Cup for CHL champion-- despite the Oilers not having a home rink to play in during the last six weeks of the season. Scott and John Vanbiesbrouck would share the Terry Sawchuk Trophy for fewest goals against on the season.

Scott spent the 1984-85 season with the New Haven Nighthawks, playing in 38 games and finishing with a 13-18-4 record. Back in New Haven for the 1985-86 season, Scott would only play in 19 games (8-8-1), while also appearing four games with the Rangers (0-3-0). Another split season in the 1986-87 season, playing in New Haven for 29 games with a 16-7-0 record, while appearing in one game with the Rangers, which was a tie.

The 1987-88 season saw Scott all over, playing 17 games in New Haven (8-7-1), eight games with the Central League's Colorado Rangers (3-4-0; 1-4 playoff), and two games with the Rangers (1-1-0). The 1988-89 season had Scott stay in the Central League with the newly named Denver Rangers, playing in 18 games with a record of 7-11-0.

The Rangers opted not to re-sign Scott, so he was a free agent until the Los Angeles Kings signed him in January 1990, where he would play in 12 games with the Kings and go 5-6-0; as well as go back to New Haven to play 22 games and post a 8-11-1 record. Scott stayed in New Haven for the 1990-91 season, finishing the season with a 5-15-4 record before hanging up the pads for good.

From champion in the major juniors to a solid college career-- Scott made his name for a solid player, but was also lost in a deep shuffle of prospect in the Rangers ranks, while not being able to make his way into the mainstream for the Kings later on in his career.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Absurd Goalie Monday: Frank Caprice

The success in this week's AGM was only hampered by fate and injuries. One injury begot another and made him lose his spot in the NHL due to others in the pipeline that were bypassing him. Even with that, he did find his way overseas and still chugged along into the new millennium. This week, the profile of Frank Caprice.

Caprice started in Junior B with the Hamilton Kitty B's in the 1978-79 season before making the jump to the OHL's London Knights in the 1979-80 season where he would go 3-7-3 in 18 appearances; then going 1-1 in three playoff games. During the 1980-81 season, Caprice appeared in 42 games for the Knights, but only go 11-26-0. However, the Canucks would draft Caprice in the 1981 Draft in the ninth-round, which would lead to a bounce-back for Caprice in the 1981-82 season would compile a 24-17-2 in 45 games, then 1-3 in four playoff games, while also going 3-0-0 in three WJC games for Canada-- helping the Canadians take their first WJC titles.

Also during the 1981-82 season, Caprice would move to the Central League for the Dallas Black Hawks and go 0-3-0 in his three games.

Caprice would join the Canucks organization for the the 1982-83 season, but spend most of his time in the AHL with the Fredericton Express, playing in 14 games with a 5-8-1 record, then appearing in one Canucks game in relief, but didn't figure in the decision. For the 1983-84 season, Caprice would split his time between Fredericton for 18 games (11-5-2) and then appearing in 19 games for the Canucks (8-8-2).

Incumbent goalie Richard Brodeur would be sent to the minors for the 1984-85 season, which gave Caprice the chance to take over the top spot. Yet, Caprice struggled at the start, then tore his hamstring-- making him miss three months-- and in 28 games, Caprice would finish up with a 8-14-3 on the year.

The 1985-86 season had Caprice once again split time between Vancouver (0-3-2) and Fredericton (12-11-2), with a knee injury in between. For the 1986-87 season, Caprice would spend more time in Vancouver, posting a 8-11-2 record in 25 games, while turning over a 5-5-0 record in 12 games with Fredericton. Caprice would back up a young Kirk McLean for the 1987-88 season, playing in 22 games and post a 7-10-2 record for this troubles.

Caprice was sent to the IHL for the 1988-89 season, playing for the Milwaukee Admirals while going 24-12-0 in 39 games. The 1989-90 season saw Caprice traded to the Boston Bruins and placed in Milwaukee for 20 games (8-6-3) and then being moved to the Maine Mariners of the AHL for 10 games and finishing with a 2-6-1 record, a bounce back from a broken hand he suffered in training camp.

After taking a few years off, Caprice would resurface in Europe, playing from the 1992-93 season until the 1995-96 season with the Italian League's HC Gardena where he would play 77 times in that span. During that time, Caprice would return to Vancouver....but with the Voodoo of Roller Hockey International for two games, going 0-0-1. For the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons, Caprice would head to Britain and play for the Cardiff Devils, helping them to the 1997 British championship and a third place finish in 1998.

The 1998-99 season, Caprice would come back to North American to play in the Central League's Corpus Christi Ice Rays for 15 games and post a 9-5-1 record, but would relocate back to the British League with the Ayr Scottish Eagles, going 2-5-0 in seven games, then 0-3-1 in four playoff games. After that, aside from  an appearance in the 2001 Allan Cup to help out the Dundas Real McCoys, Caprice retired from hockey.

Thanks to one major injury, it changed the career of Caprice and may have changed his career and the history of the Canucks if he was able to grasp the chance at taking over the #1 goalie spot. However, his loss was Kirk McLean's gain and helped the Canucks build themselves up to a contender-- who knows what could have been if Caprice was in that spot.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Expansion Stat Pack For 10.19.2012

With me, I enjoy running bits and this one will be no different. Rather than get hung up on the NHL scuttlebutt, it's time to keep up with the new teams in the minor league ranks. Overall, the expansion teams have budded up over the ECHL this year, while the CHL had some teams taken and introduced a new team to their fold of teams. On this, we'll put the records, placement, and top scorers/goalie on their team. Something to expand your mind about the place of expansion teams.

Orlando Solar Bears: 0-1-1-0, 3rd in South Division
     -Nick Petersen: 2g, 2a, -2
     -Ryan Cruthers: 2g, 1a, E
     -Matthew Sisca: 1g, 1a, -4
     -John Curry: 0-1-1, 4.00 GAA, .881 Sv%

San Francisco Bulls: 1-1-0-1, 2nd in Pacific Division
     -Justin Bowers: 2g, 5a, +1
     -Sacha Guimond: 2g, 2a, +1
     -Jordan Clendenning: 1g, 3a, +2
     -Thomas Heemskrek: 0-1-0-1, 3.86 GAA, .893 Sv%

Evansville IceMen: 0-1-0-0, 5th in North Division
     -Brett Sonne: 1g, 1a, E
     -Tyler Shattock: 1g, 0a, E
     -Jason Dale: 0g, 1a, E
     -Rob Madore: 0-0-0-0, 1.57 GAA, .875 Sv%

Fort Wayne Komets: 1-1-0-0, 4th in North Division
     -Brandon Marino: 3g, 2a, +2
     -Colin Chaulk: 0g, 3a, +1
     -Eric Giosa: 2g, 0a, -2
     -Ken Reiter: 1-0-0-0, 1.50 GAA, .958 Sv%

Denver Cutthroats: Season starts tonight, October 19th

Sherbrooke Phoenix: 2-8-0-1, 6th in TELUS West Division
     -Cole Hawes: 3g, 7a, E
     -Michael McNamme: 5g, 4a, -9
     -Alexandre Comtois: 4g, 2a, -16
     -Jacob Gervais-Chouinard: 2-6-0-0, 5.22 GAA, .835 Sv%

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Better Know A Junior League: Canadian Hockey League

With the impending lockout doom-- DOOOOOOOM-- it's probably for the best that the actual NHL fans actually get acquainted with some other leagues out there. Yes, that's right, folks-- there's other hockey leagues out there besides the NHL. Crazy, I know. So, here we go. 

When you want to talk about the next rising stars that come to the NHL, you have to look at the Canadian Hockey League for the best bang-for-your-buck prospects feeder system for the pros. In the past few years, the CHL has been a cash-cow, growing in exposure and popularity thanks to the products they have developed.

The CHL is broken up into three leagues-- the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Western Hockey League. Each of them have their own style of play and it shows when the winners of the three league championships and the host city meet in the Memorial Cup playoffs to determine the top team in the CHL.

Starting in the QMJHL, the league itself is more of a finesse league from what I've seen. While they do have some contact, the primary focus is on the scoring side of things, more offensive driven game-plans, and overall highlight reel kind of goals. While 12 of the 18 teams are in the Province of Quebec and take up two divisions, the QMJHL has a third division for the other six teams in the Maritime provinces (three in New Brunswick, two in Nova Scotia, and one on Prince Edward Island).  The past two Memorial Cup champions came from the Q-- the Saint John Sea Dogs and Shawinigan Cataractes.

Moving to the other side of Canada, the WHL is a very blue-collar league. It's a grittier, tighter checking, very physical side of the CHL, but also has the ability to be a skill league with such players a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Scott Niedermayer, Mike Modano, Joe Sakic, and Ryan Getzlaf to come out of the league. The most spread out league in the CHL, the WHL has 22 teams-- six in British Columbia, five in Alberta, five in Saskatchewan, four in Washington state, one in Manitoba, and one in Oregon. The spread out nature gives prospects a chance to experience the rigorous NHL travel schedule.

The Ontario Hockey League is a blend of both the QMJHL and WHL style. A lot of finesse players with a gritty edge to it as well. Five of the last six 1st Overall Picks in the NHL Draft have been from the OHL-- Nail Yakupov, Taylor Hall, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, and Patrick Kane. All except three teams of the 20 member teams are based in Ontario-- two are in Michigan and one in Pennsylvania. With a solid display of both physicality and finesse, the OHL brings the best of both the QMJHL and WHL to Ontario.

While there is a great upside to watching the CHL, the downside is the fact it isn't that accessible to the masses to go see unless you visit the Great White North of Canada or some border states that they land in. However, if you do have the chance to go see a game (which is perfect for the family and quite inexpensive), I highly suggest it because there's action across the leagues for kids who have a lot of determination to get to that next level.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Absurd Goalie Monday: Bill Oleschuk

This week's AGM could be one of the more well travelled players on this list. From all the travels in the minors to playing for the same organization in two different locations-- this week's AGM definitely was able to see North America. though his career wasn't what he could have hoped for, he did keep hacking at it when the chips seemed to be down-- including many teams folding during the season. This week, the profile of Bill Oleschuk. 

The Edmonton native started in the 1971-72 with the AJHL's Edmonton Maple Leafs, while playing one game in the WCJHL with the Winnipeg Jets. The 1972-73 season allowed Oleschuk to go back to Edmonton to play for the Mets, while in the 1973-74 season, he moved to Saskatchewan to play 10 games with the Prince Albert Raiders in the SJHL, then 11 games for the Swift Current Broncos of the WHL. The 1974-75 season allowed Oleschuk to play for the Lethbridge Broncos of the WCJHL for two games, then his rights sold over to the Saskatoon Blades-- playing 44 games, putting up a 24-12-5 record, then going 7-5 in the playoffs. Oleschuk got WCJHL top goaltender honors for his efforts. 

In the 1975 Draft, Oleschuk was drafted 110th overall by the Kansas City Scouts, where he would only play one game in the 1975-76 season for them, a loss. The rest of the 1975-76 season, Oleschuk played in the IHL with the Port Huron Flags for 44 games. The 1976-77 season saw Oleschuk play three games in the CHL for the Oklahoma City Blazers (0-3-0), but spent the majority of the year with the Southern League Baltimore Clippers, finishing with a 15-14-1 record for the season in 30 games, but the team folded before the season ended. 

When the Scouts move to Colorado to become the Rockies, Oleschuk's rights went there, too. He would only play two games with the Rockies that year, both loses. The rest of the 1977-78 season, Oleschuk bounced around the minors-- playing nine games with the CHL's Phoenix Roadrunners (2-6-1) before that team folded, 11 games with the Hampton Gulls of the AHL (1-9-1) before they folded, two games with the Philadelphia Firebirds of the AHL (0-1-0), and 13 games with the IHL's Flint Generals to end the year.

The 1978-79 season was a bit more grounded for Oleschuk-- playing with the Rockies for the entire season; getting in 40 games and putting up a 6-19-8 record. Oleschuk would play 12 games for the Rockies in the 1979-80 season (1-6-2), but would spend the rest of the season with the CHL Fort Worth Texans, going 24-14-3 in 43 games. Staying in Fort Worth for the 1980-81 season, Oleschuk went 10-22-1 in 36 games. 

It was a short-lived 1981-82 season, as Oleschuk played only seven games all year with the CHL's Dallas Black Hawks, going 2-4-0. The 1982-83 season, Oleschuk played 29 games for the IHL's Peoria Prancers, then one game with the Fort Wayne Komets in the 1983-84 season before he would hang-up this pads for good. 

With all the teams folding around him, you may think of him as a kiss of death for some organzations. That said, the well-travelled goalie was able to see North America and experience every kind of setting. He got lost in the shuffle of an expansion team and one that relocated in the NHL; but was able to try and do his best with not-so-good minor league teams, too. 

Monday, February 06, 2012

Absurd Goalie Monday: Gord McRae

Not much to say that hasn't been said here before-- however, this week's AGM is a guy who advanced through the NCAA ranks in a time where that wasn't the normal fashion. Hell, he even toiled in senior hockey and low minors waiting for his chance. This week, the profile of Gord McRae. 

McRae came onto the scene with the Michigan Tech Huskies in the 1967-68 season and would play for three years until the 1969-70 season. He totaled 71 games through his three years, helping the Huskies win the WCHA title in 1969, while putting up the best single-season save percentage in school history at .928 in the 1967-68 season, which is one that still stands today. 

After his three years in college, McRae moved to the Eastern Hockey League in the 1970-71 season, playing in 24 games between the Jersey Devils, Jacksonville Rockets, and Charlotte Checkers; but no record was recorded-- sans a 7-0 playoff record with the Checkers to help win the championship. 

The 1971-72 season had McRae bounce around all over-- starting with the Ontario Senior League's Orillia Terriers for two games, then to the AHL's Providence Reds for three games and putting up a 2-1-0 record. However, McRae would settle down with the Central League's Tulsa Oliers, playing in 17 games, finishing with a 5-5-6 record, then going 3-4 in seven playoff games. 

In December 1971, the Toronto Maple Leafs signed McRae to a deal, but allowed him to stay in Tulsa. In the 1972-73 season, McRae split his time between Toronto, where he would go 7-3-0 in 11 games, and Tulsa, posting a 18-19-6 record in 42 games. McRae would stay in the Central League in the 1973-74 season, this time with the Oklahoma City Blazers, going 20-14-4 in his 39 games of action that season. 

The 1974-75 season saw McRae start out with the Blazers, playing in 29 games (4-16-4) before spending the rest of the season in Toronto; playing in 20 games with the Maple Leafs and finishing with a 10-3-6 record and then going 2-5 in the playoffs. McRae stayed with the Leafs in the 1975-76 season, mainly in a back-up role, finishing 6-5-2 in 20 appearances. 

However, the 1976-77 season, McRae only saw two games in Toronton (0-1-1), spending most of his time in the Central League with the Dallas Black Hawks, playing in 30 contests and compiling a 17-6-7 record, but only going 1-2 in three playoff appearances. Yet, McRae was still able to get the Terry Sawchuk Trophy for fewest goals-against and First-Team All-Star honors in the CHL. 

McRae went back to the Maple Leafs in the 1977-78 season, going 7-10-1 in 18 appearances, which would lead to his retirement after the season. Currently, he resides in Centennial, Colorado. In 2004, McRae was inducted into the Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame. 

While his minor league career is what many may remember and give him accolades for, the fact he was in the NCAA and was able to make a decent career as a back-up in Toronto despite being through obscure leagues and travels. Makes it more impressive that through those toils, he was able to make it to the show. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Absurd Goalie Monday: Mike Sands

Considering we're past 60 AGMs, we're definitely going to get into the deep tracks of things. We're getting a bit more absurd, especially with guys some people haven't heard from before. This week, we'll start that part of the trend with a guy who seemed to look like he was about to emerge as a solid back-up, but lost it due to one decision he may or may not regret. At least he had some kind of back-up for his hockey career being over. This week, we discuss Mike Sands.

Sands began his career in the Ontario Junior "B" system with the Streetsville Derbys, which could be one of the best names out there. Sands played 20 games with the Derbys in the 1979-80 season, finishing with a 3.26 GAA. Sands would get a call-up to the Junior "A" Dixie Beehives for four games, going 2-1-0 with a 3.55 GAA and a one shutout.

Sands would start his major junior career with the Sudbury Wolves in the OHL in the 1980-81 season. Sands would be the starter for the Wolves, playing in 50 games and going 15-28-2 on a dismal Wolves' team. Even so, the Minnesota North Stars picked Sands in the second round of the 1981 Entry Draft at 31st overall. Sands would continue on with the Wolves for the 1981-82 and they would continue to be a bit of a bad team, going 13-33-1 in his 53 appearances-- though he would have six assists on the season. Also in 1981-82, Sands would go to the Nashville South Stars of the Central League, where he would play in seven games going 3-3-1.

For the 1982-83 season, Sands would again be on the Wolves and again they would be a bit horrific, as he would go 11-27-0 in his 43 games; but it would be able to gain a spot on the 1983 Canadian World Junior Team, getting the starting gig over Mike Vernon in the tournament. The Canadian team would pick up a bronze, while Sands went 2-2-1 for the Canadians. After his junior season was over, Sands would go to the Birmingham South Stars of the Central League and go 0-4-0 in his four games he played there.

For his first full foray into the professional game was in the 1983-84 season when he took to the road with the Salt Lake Golden Eagles of the Central League, playing 20 games alongside of Jim Craig and Wendell Young. Sands would go 7-12-1 in the rotating system. He would have a good enough camp to start the 1984-85 with the North Stars, but would only play two games (losing both) before he was sent down to the AHL's Springfield Indians. Sands would get plenty of time and actually succeed, going 23-17-3 with a 3.24 GAA in the season. He would be called back up for another game for the North Stars, which was another loss. He would play in the playoffs for Springfield where he would lose all three games he would play in. For the 1985-86 season, Sands would get a limited time while playing in Springfield, only getting 27 games in while going 8-15-1 for the year. As the 1986-87 season rolled around, Sands would go on to be a back-up starter Don Beaupre, as former AGM Kari Takko was out of the line-up. Sands would get three games in going 0-2-0 before he was shipped back down to Springfield, where he would play 19 games, going 5-10-1 for his season.

The real issues came for the 1987-88 season with Sands. He was sent down to the AHL again, this time to the Baltimore Skipjacks. Sands would play in four games, losing all four, before he would leave the Skipjacks without the permission of the Skipjacks or the North Stars. He was subsequently suspended by the North Stars and then released in March of 1988 by the North Stars. Sands would be picked up by the Kalamazoo Wings of the IHL, playing three games and going 0-2-1 in those appearances.

Without a professional job in his sight, Sands would play for the Canadian National Team in the 1988-89 season. He would split time between the other goalies, Warren Skorodenski and Randy Hansch, and get in 21 games-- where he would go 6-13-1 in his games. After that year, Sands would hang up the pads and move onto other ventures at the age of 26.

After his playing career, Sands would go into the scouting realm. He had worked with the NHL Central Scouting Bureau and would then move onto the Calgary Flames staff, first as an amateur scout; then to the Director of Amateur Scouting. However, during the wholesale changes before the 2010-11 season, Sands would get sacked by the Flames during the summer.

Even though he didn't have the best records, he always seemed to get some good things fallen into his lap at times. He did have a bad falling out with the North Stars' at the end of his pro tenure, which probably shortchanged the career he could have had. Albeit, he did get held back in the minors for the longest time, he didn't have the chances to really show his worth. His confidence could have broken become of it, which probably let to him leaving the Skipjacks and the professional ranks in the end.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Absurd Goalie Monday: Michel Plasse

There are few times were the AGM can be listed amongst the "firsts" of something, but this week's AGM did something in the minors before the any NHL goalie had a sniff of it. Plus, this AGM has been on three teams that now no longer exist, which could be a record in this category. In any case, this week, we look at the career of Michel Plasse.

Plasse started out his venture to the NHL with the Junior A Drummondville Rangers. He would play in Drummondville from 1965 until 1968, getting the Rangers to a Memorial Cup play-down in the 1967-68 season, though they would lose in the Quebec Finals to Verdun.

Plasse was picked first overall in the 1968 NHL Amateur Draft by the Montreal Canadiens, but would start out his pro career with the IHL's Cleveland Barons for the 1968-69 season going 2-4-0 in his seven games of action. For the 1969-70 season, Plasse would go south to the Jacksonville Rockets of the Eastern Hockey League, where he would play 61 games with a 4.87 GAA to show for it in the regular season, while getting swept in four games and sporting an 8.75 GAA in those four games. The Canadiens loaned out Plasse to the Kansas City Blues of the Central Hockey League for the 1970-71 season, where he would actually get a dubious distinction during his 16-game tenure there.

On February 21, 1971, Plasse would cement himself in the history books. While playing against Oklahoma City, Plasse would intercept a pass across the crease, batting the puck down the ice, where it could go into an open-net. Plasse became the first goalie in modern era history to be credited with a goal. Billy Smith of the New York Islanders would be the first NHLer to be credited with a goal in the NHL while Ron Hextall would be the first to shoot and score in the NHL.

Someone saw something in Plasse, as he was trade from Montreal to the St. Louis Blues for a cash prize. While he would see mostly back-up duty to Ernie Wakely, he would play one game during the 1970-71 season and get a win during it.

Plasse would be traded by St. Louis back to Montreal for cash...again. However, Plasse would be headed to the AHL and the Nova Scotia Voyageurs. Plasse would finally come into his own during the 1971-72 season. Plasse would play 36 games behind Wayne Thomas and would go 17-13-4, but would get the call for most of the Calder Cup Playoffs, going 12-3-0 in those playoffs, though the Voyageurs would lose in the Calder Cup finals in five games.

Plasse would get the call up to the Montreal Canadiens for the 1972-73 season, seeing 17 games in his first season behind Ken Dryden and would go 11-2-3 and get a Stanley Cup ring despite not seeing any game time. Plasse would play second fiddle again to Dryden, playing 15 games in the 1973-74 season, going 7-4-2.

Plasse was left unprotected by the Canadiens for the 1974 Expansion Draft, which lead him to be claimed by the Kansas City Scouts. The 1974-75 season was a mixed bag for Plasse, who would get 24 games of action in and would go 4-16-3 for his troubles with the expansion team before getting a bit of a reprieve.

Plasse would be on the move again, as the Scouts would trade Plasse to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Denis Herron and Jean-Guy Lagace in January of 1975. Plasse would play 20 games behind former AGM Gary Inness and improve to a 9-5-4 record. Plasse would stay in Pittsburgh for the 1975-76 season playing 55 games in a starting role for the Penguins, going 24-19-10 and getting the Penguins to the playoffs-- where they would be outed in three games with Plasse going 1-2. Plasse would also play with the Hershey Bears for five games in the 1975-76 season, losing four of the five games there.

In some bizarre turn of events, there was a condition to the trade to Pittsburgh for Plasse, as he was return to the Kansas City Scouts as Herron re-signed with Pittsburgh in the summer of 1976. The Scouts, however, would move and become the Colorado Rockies for the 1976-77 season. Plasse would be the starter for the Rockies, playing 55 games for the still terrible team going 12-29-10 with the Rockies for the season. Plasse would only player 20 games (3-12-8) for the Rockies in the 1977-78 season, as Doug Favell would step up. Plasse would also be sent to the AHL and the Hampton Gulls for two games, going 0-1-1. Plasse would get more time in the 1978-79 season with the Rockies, playing 41 games, but the record was more of the same for the horrid Rockies, with Plasse ending with a 9-29-2 record. Also, Plasse would spend time with the Philadelphia Firebirds AHL team, playing seven games, going 0-6-1. Plasse would start the 1979-80 season with the Rockies, but after six games (0-3-2), he would be sent to the Fort Worth Texans of the Central League. Plasse went 9-13-3 in 32 games with the Texans, but would have a decent post-season, going 8-5 in the 14 games he played in.

Plasse would sign on with the Quebec Nordiques for the 1980-81 season, seeing 33 games as a starter before getting replaced by Dan Bouchard. Plasse would go 10-14-9 in his 33 games. At the start of the 1981-82 season, Plasse would start with the Nordiques, but would only play eight games (2-3-1) before being traded.

Plasse was traded to the Hartford Whalers for John Garrett in January of 1982 and would be sent down to the AHL's Binghamton Whalers. He would play eight games for Binghamton, going 3-3-1 before deciding to retire from the game.

Plasse didn't seem to be a part of the game much after retiring. Sadly, Plasse would pass away due to a heart attack on December 30, 2006. He was only 58.

While he had his moments in the sun, Plasse was only as good as the team in front of him, which didn't seem to be the case in most of his travels. However, he didn't seem to give up, even when the going was tough. He played to the utmost of his ability and when he was on, he was on. Plus, he was the first goalie to score a goal in the modern era, which no one can take away from his legacy.