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November 16, 2004

November 16, 2004

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.


Stars’ group of developing youngsters not impressing management as hoped

A team that hopes to be building a solid base of young players has not been blown away so far by the prospects it has sent to the minor leagues. The Stars had planned this season to build their depth around players such as John Erskine, Steve Ott, Trevor Daley, Antti Miettinen, Junior Lessard and one of two goalies Mike Smith or Dan Ellis. So far, their best American League performer has been European newcomer, right winger Marius Holtet. “That was the one player who we really were unsure about,” said Stars GM Doug Armstrong. “We were concerned just because it was his first year over here, but he has fit right in.” As for the others, Armstrong said it was too early in the season to make judgements. “I…


Quartet ot goaltending prospects gets Blues excited about future

In a series of moves over the draft weekend last June, the Blues drastically reshaped their goaltending depth chart. And a few weeks into the seasons of leagues that are playing, it’s clear the Blues have at least one promising prospect at each level. Curtis Sanford, who could back up new Blue Patrick Lalime when the NHL resumes, is starring at Worcester of the American League. Sanford won five of his first six decisions and had a 1.50 goals-against average through seven games. The Blues view his backup, Jason Bacashihua, as a raw talent who could push Sanford. Meanwhile Chris Beckford-Tseu, 20, a gifted athlete, is a pro rookie at the ECHL level, learning while playing alongside veteran Alfie Michaud. In the Western League is prized Czech goalie Marek Schwarz,…


Holik fully supports Goodenow & Co.; rips salary cap as road to ‘mediocrity’

With approximately $25 million remaining on his contract, center Bobby Holik has about as much to lose as any player in the NHL if Gary Bettman cancels this season. After attending an eight-hour NHLPA meeting in Toronto Nov. 2, the outspoken Ranger put his mouth where his money is - in complete; 7 support of Bob Goodenow and the players union. H"I will put my word to it - the proposals we already have made to the league contain significant concessions that address every one of their issues,” Holik said before returning to his off season home in Wyoming. “It is very clear to me the owners expect us to bear the burden alone of solving the problems they have brought on themselves by showing a lack of control. We…


Bulls’ goons vs. Golden Jet’s wig

This is an excerpt from The Rebel League, a recently released book by Ed Willes which traces the follies of the World Hockey Association during its existence from 1972 to 1979. In the first round of the ’77-78 WHA playoffs, the Winnipeg Jets, who’d put together the best team in the league’s history, met the Birmingham Bulls, who’d put together the scariest. The Jets were led by ‘The Hot Line’ featuring Bobby Hull, Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson and had added rookie sensation Kent Nilsson that season. All four players would finish the season with 100 points. The Bulls, coached by Glen Sonmor, countered with four players who accumulated at least 200 penalty minutes that season: Frankie ‘Seldom’ Beaton, Gilles ‘Bad News’ Bilodeau, Dave Hanson and Steve Durbano. Before the series, and…