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June 1, 1999

June 1, 1999

The Hockey News has been providing the most comprehensive coverage of the world of hockey since 1947. In each issue, you'll find news, features and opinions about the NHL and leagues across North America and the world.


Focus likely fixed on ’D’

What’s this? An NHL entry draft in which theColorado Avalanche has only one first round pick? Yes, the Avs will just have to struggle through this year in Boston, after a 1998when Colorado took four players out of the first 20 picks. The Avs lost one of those picks (Robyn Regehr) to the Calgary Flames when they acquired Theo Fleury in February. But they signed the other three (Alex Tanguay, Scott Parker and Martin Skoula) and are well-stocked with young talent. Still, there’s always the need for moreand the Avs again will look for the hid-den gems they’ve done a good job atuncovering. Calling The Shots: Former chief scout Dave Draper is in semi-retirement and now serves as a consultant for the Avs. His role was assumed by Bryan Mac Donald, who apprenticed…


Thrashers think Euro

Furrow your brow as you repeat the following phrase: “Who the heck is this guy?” Now say it again, and again, and again. Congratulations, you’re now prepared for the Atlanta Thrashers’ expansion draft. Thrashers’ GM Don Waddell is going to raise a few eyebrows June 25 in Boston, no doubt about it. Teams’ available lists will be stacked with NHL veterans, yet Waddell has promised to take four or five players nobody has heard of from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Waddell knows plucking 25-goal scorers off NHL rosters in the expansion draft is like hunting for wooden nickels, so he’ll try to get them from overseas. Europeans who were drafted by an NHL team in 1995 or earlier but remain unsigned, are eligible to be selected. The relative success of late-round…


Top-rated goalie has nerves of steel

Steel isn’t the only thing being molded in Sault Ste. Marie these days. In a Northern Ontario town already well known for its steel production, there’s also a goaltending factory rolling top junior prospects off its assembly line. The Ontario League’s Sault Ste. Greyhounds have produced their share of iron-clad goal tenders with Kevin Hodson (Tampa Bay Lightning), John Vanbiesbrouck (Philadelphia Flyers) and Dan Cloutier (New York Rangers). But when it comes to homegrown talent, not since the days of Tony Esposito has there been a bigger goaltending prospect than Brian Finley. While Sault natives Seamus Kotyk of the Ottawa 67’s, Gene Chiarello of the London Knights and Patrick Dovigi of the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors all starred for their respective OHL teams, no goaltender has attracted more attention from NHL scouts then…


Calm after trade storm?

Most drafts need years to be evaluated. The Detroit Red Wings can already rate their 1999 draft, before they even make a pick. Let’s see: Chris Chelios, Wendel Clark, Ulf Samuelsson and Bill Ranford. Hmmmm. Let’s see. A Norris Trophy winner. A 300-goal scorer. A 15-year veteran defenseman. A Conn Smythe winner. As drafts go, not bad. “We got what we were looking for,” said GM Ken Holland, even if meant sacrificing the team’s first three picks this season at the March 23 trading deadline and a fourth-rounder if Ranford played at least 10 playoff games. As a result, don’t look for much activity around the Wings’ table during the early rounds in Boston. Calling The Shots: Senior vice president Jimmy Devellano and Holland both have served as chief scouts, which gives them insight…