Friday, May 30, 2008

Daily Cardinal excited about 2008/2009

The Daily Cardinal has an early preview of the Men's and Women's 2008/2009 Season.

Its never too early to start talking about next season and getting people excited about Badger Hockey.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

RIP Luc Bourdon

This isn't Badger hockey news but it's important regardless. The hockey community lost a very good hockey player that was only 21 years old. Luc Bourdon, rookie for the Vancouver Canucks died in a motorcycle accident today. The Shippagan, NB defenseman was drafted 10th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry draft but the Canucks.

The sad thing about this is the lack of sincerity from ESPN. If this were a baseball player, a football player, a basketball player, hell even tennis, or soccer, this would be the main story on ESPN.com. While it is the main story on TSN.CA, it's not even on the ESPN.com front page anymore. Pardon my language, but thats bullshit. Deepest sympathies on behalf of the Badger Hockey blog to the Bourdon family.

Wisconsin Recruiting Pipeline

I'm pretty excited about Badger Hockey today. The season is 4 months away, but w/ all this recruiting news I'm pretty pumped up! 60 you fired up? The future looks bright in Madison, and to think only a few months back we were all on pins and needles about making the NCAA tourney. I don't think that will be an issue in the coming seasons.

W/ all the recruiting action, I thought it would be a good time to recap the top notch job the coaching staff is doing bringing in great talent to Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Recruiting Pipeline

2008 (we know they are coming)

F Derek Stepan
F Jordy Murray
F Matt Thurber
F Chris Hickey
D Jake Gardiner
D Eric Springer
D Ryan Little

2009

G Aaron Crandall
F Travis Erstad
F Brock Montpetit
F Craig Smith
F Tyler Barnes
F Derek Lee
D Nick Pryor
D Patrick Wiercioch
D Justin Schultz

2010

F Tyler Lapic
F Jefferson Dahl
F Gavin Hartzog (or 2009)
D Chase Drake

Who's next? If you want to be the best, you can accomplish that by wearing the Cardinal and White at the University of Wisconsin!

Hartzog commits to Wisconsin for 09 or 10

As I told you last night, Milwaukee Marquette forward Gavin Hartzog visited the University of Wisconsin today. It took him all of 10 minutes on his drive home to call coach Eaves and tell him he was ready to be a Badger. Heres the article from Milewski.

Hartzog was a bit of an un-known until his performance for Team Wisconsin at the Chicago Showcase. He had a phenomenal tournament and was named the Most Valuable Player.

Hartzog was drafted #36 overall by the Fargo Force in the recent USHL draft. He will have a great opportunity to grow under a great teacher in Dean Blais.

Hartzog was named First Team All State.

photo from JS Online

Don't Forget!

Don't forget to apply for tickets to the 2009 Frozen Four in DC. Applications must be completed by Sunday, June 1 at 10:59 PM CDT.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Report: Wisconsin to offer Gavin Hartzog

Milwaukee Marquette High School forward Gavin Hartzog will be visiting the University of Wisconsin tomorrow (5/29) and expects to be receiving a scholarship offer for the 2010 season. There were some reports that Hartzog had committed to the University of Maine on a full scholarship offer but now it looks like Hartzog is leaning towards Wisconsin.

Hartzog was a bit of an un-known until his performance for Team Wisconsin at the Chicago Showcase. He had a phenomenal tournament and was named the Most Valuable Player.

Hartzog was drafted #36 overall by the Fargo Force in the recent USHL draft. He will have a great opportunity to grow under a great teacher in Dean Blais.

Hartzog was named First Team All State.

Photo from www.wisconsinprephockey.net

Latest rumors say Mersch, Simonelli commit to Badgers

There is a rumor going around that Team Illinois Minor forward Michael Mersch and Team Illinois Majors defenseman Frankie Simonelli have committed to the University Of Wisconsin this week. On Chris Dilks Western College Hockey 2010 recruiting board, he has Mersch as the third best available forward recruit and Simonelli as the 8th best available defenseman. (Brandon Archibald from Detroit Honeybaked who has been to Madison for a visit is listed as the third best available defenseman)

I'll do some checking around to see what I can find out on these two men.

Update: Here are a few tidbits floating around the net on these two prospects.

Michael Mersch:


This is what his head coach Jon Hull had to say about him: "Michael is big and strong, and his physical play opens up the ice for Nick and Danny," said Hull, who played six years of junior hockey in Canada before evolving into coaching and transplanting to the Chicago area.

Chris Dilks (Western College Hockey): "Power forward with good scoring ability."

He also had this to say about him after the USA Select 15 camp last summer: "Finished the week as the leading scorer. Very active player that always seems to be involved in the play. Showed the ability to hit, as well as score points."

Michael Mersch was also invited to the NTDP Tryout.

USHR had this to say about Mersch at the Beantown Fall Classic: "6’1” late ’92 forward Michael Mersch was excellent, a cut above the rest and a hard worker to boot."

Here is Mersch's Point Streak Page.

Frankie Simonelli:

Simonelli was also invited to the NTDP Tryout Camp.

Chris Dilks at the same link I just listed said this about him: "I saw him at the Elite League NIT, and he didn’t really stand out against older players, but everyone seems to agree that the talent is there."

He was drafted in the 15th round of the OHL draft by the Plymouth Whalers, 290th overall.

Cedar Rapids took Simonelli in the 8th round of the recent USHL draft, 114th overall. He was 1 of only 7 drafted with '92 birth years.

USHR liked Frankie at the Beantown Fall classic.

Here is Simonelli's Point Streak page.

Badgers land great player, great person

When I heard the news last night that Jefferson Dahl had committed to the University of Wisconsin for 2010 I was absolutely elated. As some of you know I am from Eau Claire as well so this commitment hits a little closer to home than most. While I grew up on the other side of the river, Eau Claire Memorial stand out Jefferson Dahl has been one of my favorite hockey players for the past 6 plus years. I've gotten to know him and his family quite well and he and his family have been some of the nicest people I have ever met.

You know his accomplishments: 2008 Wisconsin Mr. Hockey, Team Captain of the 2008 undefeated and state champion Eau Claire Memorial Old Abes, member of the 2008 chicago showcase champion Team Wisconsin, and thats just the start. I'm much more happy to have a recruit that is as good of a person that Jefferson Dahl is. It's rare that you meet a high school kid that is as respectful, mature, and personable as Dahl. While he may never earn a pay check playing hockey, (he very well may some day) I have no doubts that he will be successful in whatever avenue he pursues professionally.

Wisconsin hockey fans will get a good look at Jefferson the next 2 seasons as he plays for the Green Bay Gamblers. There isn't a doubt in my mind that if he isn't captain sometime next season he will be in year 2. It's just the person that he is not only as a leader in the locker room but a leader on the ice.

Jefferson reminds me a lot of Garrett Roe when I watch him play. Maybe it's a little to do with the size. (Roe is 5'8 160, Dahl is 5'9 165) More I think it has to do with his ability to see the ice and see the play happening before it does. He's not going to take that straight line bull rush you way to the net in the way that Jack Skille plays, but his ability to maybe circle back and allow his teammates to come into the play and get themselves open is something that can't be taught. Being a smaller player he has done a very good job of learning to control the puck while taking contact. He's very good when in the corners with bigger stronger players. He'll never be confused with Matt Ford in terms of shot velocity, but he's very quick with it and always puts him self in good shooting lanes and is very good at hitting his spots. His play making ability is probably ahead of his goal scoring ability at this point but hes no slouch lighting the lamp. I think one thing that gets over looked is his ability to draw penalties. He's a greasy player and that sometimes gets confused with diving. While he's not a diver I don't know if another player in the state drew more penalties. Getting your team power play opportunities is something that shouldn't be over looked in my opinion.

Overall this looks like a great fit for everyone. I wasn't sure if Jefferson would wait the two years it was going to take to come to Wisconsin once I found out he was willing to do that it was a no brainer. Like I said hes a very, very good hockey player and 2 years in the USHL will be absolutely phenomenal for him. He will take his lumps like every one does but he will do fine there. Add in the fact that he is one of the best people I have ever met and the match with him and UW looks pretty damn good to me.

It was a no-brainer

"When I went down for the visit (Tuesday), seeing the facilities and meeting with the coaching staff, I really felt comfortable," Dahl said. "I felt like it was a no-brainer."

"I've always wanted to be a Badger," Dahl said, "and when I got notice that they were interested, it was kind of set in stone then."

The above quotes are excerpts from a really nice article by Todd Milewski. In addition to talking about how Dahl committed to the Badgers, the article also mentions how Dahl found out about his trade to the Gamblers (checking the USHL draft online during English class), previous injuries (surgeries on both shoulders), and the success of his baseball team.

Another nice excerpt from the article:

An 18-year-old center, Dahl amassed 36 goals and 76 points in 26 games as a senior at Memorial. His plus/minus rating was plus-59 in his final season and plus-155 for his career.

Dahl believes his defensive awareness is his best asset and credits his hockey smarts for helping him be in the right place at the right time.

Baggot also has a brief article in today's WSJ.


Turris' Fantasy NHL Value

Thanks to the HIW blog for finding this link.

"Turris is expected to be one of the top rookies in the NHL next season after a terrific campaign for the Wisconsin Badgers. Turris signed with the Coyotes at the end of last season and played three games for the Coyotes and picked up one assist. Expect a 40-50 point season from the 19-year old who is often compared to a young Joe Sakic or Steve Yzerman."

I plan to follow KT's rookie campaign very closely next season. If he plays on a line w/ Doan and Mueller, getting to that point plateau shouldn't be a problem for him.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Props to the DU Blog!

Click the link and you will understand why!

Dahl commits for 2010

As reported by Milewski and Baggot, Jefferson Dahl has verballed to the Badgers for 2010. The top prep player in the state, Dahl was named Wisconsin's Mr. Hockey last season and led ECM to the WIAA state title. Dahl plans to play the next 2 seasons with the Green Bay Gamblers.

I don't follow recruits all that closely, so I'll wait a bit for the boys to post more about Dahl, as I'd imagine that Chuck and/or Gandalf will have more to say.

Edited to add: DPlaya has a few brief thoughts in his blog.

More Tony Granato

A few more links on Tony Granato's hiring as Avs head coach:

Real hockey bloodlines (Frei)
Avs were wrong to rush hiring (Frei)
Granato comes full circle with Avalanche (Dater)
Been here, done that (Paige)

Thanks to HIW for the heads-up on the first Terry Frei article. (Nice find!) And don't put out by the title of the second Terry Frei article -- he's criticizing the timing of the hire, not necessarily the choice of Granato.

Terry Frei, by the way, is the author of the "Third Down and a War to Go" about the 1942 Badger football team. Terry's a nice guy, and his book is absolutely fantastic -- I highly recommend it.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A couple Stanley Cup bits

I (gasp) haven't been following the Stanley Cup as closely as I should be (hangs head), especially given that my Wings are playing, with Brian Rafalski and (sometimes) Chris Chelios. But the Wings won Game 1 last night (yay!), with 3 Swedish goals and 1 non-Swedish goal. Cheli didn't play last night -- he missed the previous game due to a leg injury, and apparently the Wings are sticking with their winning line-up. The print WSJ had a blurb about Cheli and a quote, but I can't find it in the WSJ online. Luckily, DPlaya is on the ball and found a similar blurb in the USA Today. Cheli skated yesterday with his 18-y.o. son Dean who's preparing for a USHL tryout, and he claims to be ok with sitting out (which I have a hard time believing, because he hates not playing).

Baggot has a Badger Blog post about Badger ties in the Stanley Cup Finals. Besides Chelios and Rafalski, his post also mentions Bob Johnson, Mark Johnson, Mike Eaves, Mike Blaisdell, and Brendan Smith.

I'm going to have to stop being lazy at some point here and post a little tribute to Brian Rafalski at some time. Or at least a linkorama. Perhaps after the Finals are complete . . .

Saturday, May 24, 2008

USHL Blog 2009 Previews

Wow, 60 you didn't even give me 8 hours to post something hockey related before bringing out the cats.

Anyway, the Unofficial USHL Blog has been doing 2009 Previews of all the teams in the USHL. So far, everyone besides Omaha and Waterloo has been covered.

The recent Lincoln Stars Preview talks some about Travis Erstad and how prehaps next season will be a breakout season for him.

The Sioux City Stampede Preview doesn't have much, just that under key departures Eric Springer is listed as the team's best defenseman for this past season.

The Des Moines Buccaneers Preview mentions Nick Pryor who will man their blueline next season since his time w/ the NTDP is over.

The Green Bay Gamblers Preview mentions three future Badgers. Ryan Little as a key departure, and then Aaron Crandall and Chase Drake. Aaron has since been traded to Des Moines, so that changes things.

I'm interested to see what the blog's thoughts are on Omaha and Waterloo. Waterloo will feature three future Badger forwards next season in Brock Montpetit, Craig Smith and Tyler Barnes, unless of course something changes in the off season.

Posting the Cat

I was listening to the radio the other day, and there was a commercial (not sure what it was for, some kind of pepsi sweepstakes, perhaps?) in which they were giving examples to illustrate how big of a number 1 billion is. If you had a billion of these, it would this big, or if you had a billion of those, it would weigh so much, etc.

Anyway, one example went a bit like this:

If you had a billion cats . . . and stacked them on top of each other . . . in a big cat tower . . . it would reach all the way to the moon . . . and that would really be something . . . especially for the cat on top . . .

What does this have to do with Badger Hockey? Absolutely nothing. But I'm easily amused, and I'm out of town for the weekend and won't have much of a chance to post. And more importantly, it gives me an excuse to post one of my favorite pictures.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Evening Odds & Ends

  • Baggot has a blog post in which he speculates about Mark Osiecki leaving the Badgers to coach with fellow alumnus Tony Granato, who has recently been named head coach of the Colorado Avalanche.

  • AJ Degenhardt has been named head coach of the Twin Cities Northern Lights. Congratulations, AJ! (Edit: Thanks to milzie on uscho for the link!)

  • DPlaya shares his thoughts on Badger line combinations for next season.


  • I feel famous. We've received an acknowledgement in The Icehouse's post about AJ Degenhardt.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tony Granato Named Avs' Head Coach

Congratulations, Tony Granato! (I can't believe nubeetle hasn't posted this yet.)

Tony's been named Head Coach of the Colorado Avalanche. Here's the Avs' announcement and a similar article in TCT, and here's the press conference. And, ooooh lookie, a photo gallery!

As a rule, I'm not an Avs fan. But now I think I just might have to start cheering for them.

Chris Chelios: A Genetic Freak

Well, that's what Steve Yzerman called him, anyway, in an article that tells us just how old Chelios really is. Or if you think "genetic freak" is a bit harsh, you could instead call him an "ageless wonder".

Chelios holds the NHL record for playoff appearances, breaking the record previously held by Patrick Roy. I don't know how many appearances Chelios has now, but he set the record of 248 on April 12 v. Nashville in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Chelios didn't play in Detroit's last game of the Western Conference Finals @ Dallas, but I'd expect we'll see him in the Stanley Cup Finals.

And apparently (although I think it might be a bit of a stretch) he's eyeing the 2010 Olympics. If he made the team, it would be his 5th Olympic Games, as he's participated in the '84, '88, '02, and '06 Olympics.

You can read more about his workouts here:
Chris Chelios' Hour of Power
Chris Chelios Workout

And here are a few other articles that you may or may not have seen before:
Chelios pedals to longevity in Red Wings sauna
Chelios has no intention of calling it quits
So not done

And I know you've all seen this before, but I can't complete this post without a reference to Puck Fiction.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Looking for something to do this summer?

Badger days are coming up . . . for $25 a person (kids 12 and under are free), you can visit with Badger coaching staff, including Mike Eaves and Mark Johnson.

Eau Claire -- Thurs, May 29, 5-7 PM
Milwaukee -- Mon, June 2, 4:30-6:30 PM (get in half-price to following Brewers game)
Green Bay -- Tues, June 3, 5-7 PM
Wausau -- Thurs, Jun 5, 5-7 pm


You can golf with the Badger Men's coaching staff and players on Thursday, June 26 . . . $200 for lunch, golf, dinner/reception, and gift . . . $25 for dinner/reception only.

Gardiner remains in ISS Top 30

Jake Gardiner is #29 in the International Scouting Service's Top 30 for May 2008. As noted by HIW, Gardiner has been consistently in the top 30 -- he was #25 in February, #3o in March, and #26 in April.

When Gardiner debuted as #25 in February, he was listed as a Rising Prospect, with the following being written about him:

Jake Gardiner, DMinnetonka HS (MN-HS)
Height: 6.02 Weight: 170
Best player on the ice. Every time he touches the ice he creates plays. He can't be left alone or he'll take over the game. Has a jump in his stride that makes him hard to grab onto or tough to play 1 on 1. Still believe he'll go first round, high. Dynamic player. Good showing for a half dozen NHL scouts.

Several Badgers earn Canadian U-22 camp spots

I recently posted regarding Team USA's U-22 summer camp, but I neglected to post about Team Canada's U-22 camp when it was announced on May 9. Several current and future Badgers will be among the 51 players participating in the strength and conditioning/skating camp that will take place May 28-31.

Defencemen (15)
Brittany Haverstock, 1990, Hammonds Plains, NS/ Stoney Creek, PWHL
Alycia Matthews, 1987, Robson, BC/ University of Wisconsin (WCHA)

Forwards (28)
Mallory Deluce, 1989, London, ON/ University of Wisconsin (WCHA)
Jasmine Giles, 1988, Ottawa, ON/ University of Wisconsin (WCHA)
Carolyne Prevost, 1990, London (PWHL)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Few Tuesday Evening Links

  • Adam Burish, who was set to become a restricted free agent, has resigned with the Blackhawks. No details on the contract yet. (Wojo, you're always paying attention, aren't you? Thanks for the heads-up.)
  • Badger alumni Chris Chelios and Brian Rafalski are hoping to have their names engraved on the Stanley Cup for the 3rd time, as Detroit faces Pittsburgh in the Finals. A Detroit championship would tie Chelios and Rafalski with fellow Badger Brian Engblom, whose 3 Stanley Cups puts him at the top of Badger alumni.

  • DPlaya has amended his list of Wisconsin players / (potential) Badger recruits selected in the USHL draft, as one player was initially inadvertantly omitted.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Lawler, Knight earn U-22 camp spots

The 34-player roster for Team USA's U-22 camp is set, and Badgers Erika Lawler and Hilary Knight are included. The players at the camp will be competing for 22 spots on the U-22 Select Team. Current Badger Meghan Duggan and future Badger Brooke Ammerman, as well as 2 players from other schools, were also invited but are unable to attend. They will still be considered for the U-22 Select Team.

The camp will run from June 24- July 1. The U-22 Select Team will participate in the USA Hockey Women's National Festival in August and will play Canada in the U-22 Series.

Nice to see the Cap Times mention this. Just a little blurb, but it's nice to see them providing some coverage of women's hockey. TCT had begun to expand it's women's coverage last year, and I hope this trend continues!

USHL Recruit Wrap Up Part I

Since we have ten USHL recruits, I thought I would break this up into two posts.

Aaron Crandall spent last season w/ the Green Bay Gamblers where he split time w/ Neil Conway.

Stats: 32 games, 5 wins-21 losses-2 overtime losses, 1 shutout, 3.50 GAA, 0.882 Save%, 17 PIM

I don't have much more to say about Aaron since Chuck did a great job talking about him a few weeks back. At the start of the recent USHL draft, Aaron was traded to Des Moines. Des Moines also kept one of their goalies from last season, but Aaron should get plenty of ice time next season. His stats this season were not very good, but he played for a bad team. Badger fans should take heart, he has three more years of development (1 in the USHL and 2 under Coach Howard) before he'll be called on to backstop Wisconsin.

Chase Drake only spent the last 10 games w/ the Green Bay Gamblers after completing his senior year at Mosinee.

Stats: 10 games, -5, 4 PIM

Senior Year including playoffs: 24 games, 12-19-31 w/ 20 PIM

Don't know much about Drake since he is a recent addition to the stable of top recruits coming to Wisconsin, but I look forward to seeing him play often next season in GB.


Chris Hickey spent the season w/ the Tri-City Storm, and I'm sure he's happy to get out of Nebraska.

Stats: 55 games, 15-16-31, -24, 34 PIM, 2 PPG, 2 GWG, 12.5% shooting

If you read the blog, you know Chris is the recent addition to the 2008 recruiting class.




Travis Erstad played last season w/ the Lincoln Stars. His playoffs stats are here.

Stats: 52 games, 9-10-19, -10, 104 PIM, 3 PPG, 3 GWG, 11.4% shooting

Travis was the 2007 "Mr. Hockey" in Wisconsin. When I was compiling these stats the other night the one thing that stuck out at me was that his +/- was much improved compared to earlier in the season, where I remember it being around -25.



Ryan Little finished his third season w/ the Gamblers and will be on Wisconsin's blue line this Fall.

Stats: 58 games, 2-11-13, -21, 100 PIM, 1 PPG, 2% shooting

Career USHL Stats: 162 games, 7-23-30, -28, 251 PIM

Ryan wore the Captain's C this past season for the Gamblers and should provide Wisconsin w/ a solid, more defensive Dman down the road after some solid tutoring by Coach Osiecki. Don't let his +/- fool you either, Green Bay was not a very good team this season. Little was also selected to the USHL All-Star game.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

1980 Olympic Team Honored

From left: IIHF President René Fasel, IIHF Vice-President Walter L. Bush Jr., Miracle on Ice player Mark Johnson, Hall of Fame inductee Art Berglund, IOC President Jacques Rogge. Photo: IIHF/HHoF/Jukka Rautio


The IIHF has listed the top 100 stories of the century, and at their Centennial Gala last night they counted down the top 10.

The top story? "Miracle", of course!

Mis à jour: Un blaireau dans la Ville de Québec

Earlier today, Canada lost to Russia 5-4 in overtime in the IIHF WC gold medal game at the Colisée Pepsi. Dany Heatley scored his 12th goal of the tourney, giving him the modern-day Canadian record for goals scored in one tourney. (Record previously held by Eric Lindros for 11 goals in the 1993 IIHF WC.) The goal was also his 20th point for the tourney (he also had an assist earlier in the game), tying him with Steve Yzerman for Canadian record for total points in one tourney. He was named the tourney's Top Forward and the tourney's MVP. He is the 1st repeat winner of the MVP award.

15 F HEATLEY Dany 1G 1A, 0PIM, 3SOG, E, 18:29 TOI (23shf, 0:48 avg)

Hockeycanada coverage:
Game summary
Team Canada wins silver, Dany Heatley is Top Forward and MVP


IIHF coverage:
Game summary
Dany Heatley the best

Jake Gardiner, Cody Goloubef in THN's top 60

Apparently the 2008 NHL draft preview edition was just released, and while I haven't paid $5.99 to purchase the edition, Baggot tells us that Jake Gardiner and Cody Goloubef were profiled among the top 60 prospects. Gardiner was listed 39th, and Goloubef was listed 42nd.

I thought I'd provide you excerpts from Baggot's blog post, as well as a little linkorama for each player.

Jake Gardiner

THN skinny on Gardiner, who played last season at Minnetonka (Minn.) High School: Gardiner was a forward until moving to defense two years ago, but he retained his offensive mentality on the blueline. Scouts agree he's one of the best skaters available, but there are other concerns.

"He's a great skater, but his hockey sense isn't great,'' a scout said. He's a bit of a riverboat gambler.''

Gardiner has some filling out to do, but his smooth skating
has scouts intrigued.

"He's lean, but he sure can skate,'' another scout said. "I think he has lots of potential.''

Gardiner is slotted as an early to middle second-round selection and a team might just get him as a steal in that spot. However, one scout thinks a team that has him rated too highly might be disappointed.

"It all goes back to the U.S. high school thing,'' a scout said. "You look at a guy like Blake Wheeler and if somebody had taken him 20th, they'd probably be happy, but at fifth maybe not so much.

Links:
- profile in the NHL 2o08 Entry Draft Guide
- Central scouting final rankings (includes a brief profile) (5/4/08)
- TCT: Recruit won't wait to join UW (4/22/08)
- uwbadgers.com: Men's Hockey signs 6 to national letters of intent (4/21/07)
- MNSUN: Minnetonka's Gardiner eyes bright hockey future (3/19/08)
- Star Tribune: New role turned out to be jolt he needed (3/4/08)
- THN: The Hot List (1/29/08)
- wcco.com: Hockey star plays senior year at Minnetonka (1/11/08)
- Star Tribune: NHL scouts flock to watch Skipper's Gardiner in action (1/8/08)
- Let's Play Hockey: Tonka's Gardiner thriving in senior year (12/07)
- WCHA Blog: 2007 Upper Midwest Elite League video (9/8/07)
- HIW: Jake Gardiner v. Marion Gaborik (8/31/07) (startribune link no longer works)
- Chanvillager: Minnetonka hockey star commits to Wisconsin (8/27/07)
- HIW: Jake Gardiner picks Wisconsin (7/1/07)
- WSJ: Gardiner grows on UW's staff (7/1/07)



Cody Goloubef

THN skinny on Goloubef, who played 38 games last season for the Badgers: There are precious few true freshmen in U.S. college hockey these days, but Goloubef is the exception, cracking the lineup at Wisconsin as a 17-year-old.

And the fact he did it on such a talented defensive corps, which includes 2007 first-round picks Ryan McDonagh and Brendan Smith, makes it more impressive. He managed to work his way into the regular rotation right away and impressed with his poise.

In fact, Goloubef has drawn favorable comparisons to Smith, who was drafted by the Red Wings out of Jr. A hockey last season.

"He's already doing it at the college level and that's quite an accomplishment for a kid that age,'' one scout said. "He's very mature.''

Goloubef is seen as a solid defensive prospect who has no discernable weakness, but no prominent strengths, either. Some like his ability to find the open man.

Links:
- profile in the NHL 2008 Entry Draft Guide
- THN: The Hot List (3/25/08)
- Hockey's Future 2008 Prospects: Cody Goloubef (1/16/08)
- The Badger Herald: Blueliner gets offensive in 1st year with Badgers (11/15/07)
- Goloubef making his mark (10/18/06)
- 60's 2007 pre-season profile/linkorama (This is a profile that I originally posted on Buckyville and HIW, but the Buckyvill forum doesn't archive old threads, and the links on HIW are messed up and I can't get back in to edit. Luckily, I posted it on USCHO, so it's still available for your reading pleasure. Even if you don't want to read what I wrote, you should check it out because it includes a number of cool links.)

Wiercioch makes Hot List

Patrick Wiercioch made the #2 spot on the recent The Hockey News Hot List. This was due to his hot play since returning from injury and especially during the Clark Cup playoffs where he helped lead the Omaha Lancers to the Championship.

They list him as a 2008 recruit, which would only happen if another Dman leaves. As much as I want to see him in Madison, I don't want to see McB or McD signing NHL contracts this summer.

Patrick is ranked #77 by NHL Central Scouting, which projects him as a 3rd to 5th round pick when you add in European players. Due to his size and huge potential, I could see someone taking a chance on this kid, maybe even in the late 2nd round.

When Omaha visits Green Bay next season, or another USHL city near you, I highly suggest you go to see him play, he's a good one and his stay in Madison might be short.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

minnesota coaching issues

About a month ago, Mike Guentzel resigned as an assistant coach of the gophers. Who could blame the guy? Normally I wouldn't even bring this up, but I came upon an interesting article by Pat Reusse of the Star Tribune that is definitely worth mentioning.

The article basically states the Guentzel was forced out by Don Lucia following a very sub par season, someone had to take the fall. There is no concrete evidence of this of course, but Reusse paints a pretty good picture of the whole thing. Guentzel has a son at Notre Dame playing hockey and another recently committed to Colorado College. Funny that a spot was found on minnesota's roster for Tony Lucia, who in my opinion wouldn't be good enough to play 4th line for the Badgers.

What I really found interesting about the article was on the 2nd page, Reusse rumors that perhaps Mark Osiecki would be a good replacement in the Twin Cities and states that:

"Those same WCHA circles that are certain Guentzel was run off say that the amped-up, hard-nosed Eaves makes him harder to work for than Lucia."

I've heard that Eaves is task master of sorts, but why would Osiecki think of leaving? I've heard that he hopes to stick around to take the reins of the program when Eaves moves on or retires. He is doing great things w/ the Wisconsin Dmen here, and by now is recognized by NHL teams as shaping NHL caliber talent. I think next season's Dman roster, along w/ the recruits lined up, are a testament to that. Good NHL caliber Dmen want to come to Wisconsin.

Reusse further conjectures that Patrick is frantically trying to get out of town to escape Eaves:

"One Wisconsin assistant, Kevin Patrick, has tried twice in two years to become the head coach at Alaska-Fairbanks (St. John's is a better job than that), and Osiecki might have had all a person can take of Eaves."

Perhaps Patrick instead is trying to find a good D-I coaching job to advance his career?

Personally I couldn't understand why anyone, especially a UW assistant, would want to leave for a job at minnesota. Even when Wisconsin is not doing so well, the fans still love you, especially Osiecki as an alumni. If you don't score 7 goals a night, the fans in minnesota don't even get out of their seats to cheer you.

As an aside, I have been up North on construction for a few weeks, and on tuesday I took a drive over to Grantsburg, WI to gather information on some hiking trails. As I'm driving down State Highway 70, I realize that there is nowhere to turn around until I cross the St. Croix River into minnesota. Crossing the river was similar to having an allergy to a bee sting, I couldn't breath due to the poison that emanates from the very land, and my condition did not relent until I was once again safely w/ in the borders of Wisconsin.

I find the whole article quite humorous. I think a good replacement for Guentzel would be FSN doormat Kevin Gorg.

17 Forwards?

W/ the recent news of Chris Hickey joining the 2008 recruiting class, the number of forwards on Wisconsin's roster for next season now sits at 17. Last season we had 14 or 15 depending upon Josh Engel's role on the team.

Last month, after the initial 2008 recruiting class was announced I talked about what I thought the lines would be for next season. Since I enjoy prognostication, I thought I would take another look at things, from a slightly different view point.

Looking at the UW roster, I feel the following players are locks to play every night and will only sit due to injury or disciplinary action:

Ben Street (C)
Blake Geoffrion (C)
Michael Davies
Patrick Johnson
John Mitchell
Sean Dolan
Ben Grotting
Aaron Bendickson

Some might argue that Dolan or Grotting, or even Johnson or Bendickson could spend some time on the bench. Those four were some of the most consistent players on the team last season, and I don't think its a stretch that the Mitchell/Dolan/Grotting line was the best line game in and game out.

Out of the freshman, I think Eaves and company will have a very hard time keeping Derek Stepan, Jordy Murray and Matt Thurber in street clothes for more than a handful of games this season. As a trio they should provide some much needed scoring and playmaking to Wisconsin next season.

So that leaves one spot open and a few starts here and there when one of the above sits. That doesn't leave a lot of playing time for the following guys:

Podge Turnbull
Andy Bohmbach
Zach Bearson
Tom Gorowsky
Chris Hickey
Tom Bardis

Looking at this group of players, being a senior I'm hoping Tom Gorowsky will see a lot of ice time, and I know that would make the matriarch of this blog very happy as well. Podge Turnbull didn't sit much last season and the "Bomber" Andy Bomhbach was playing quite well toward the end of the season. Zach Bearson only saw the ice once last season. Chris Hickey should battle for ice time since he can provide both a grinder in the corner and some scoring touch. Lastly, Tom Bardis, I don't really know much about Tom. He transferred from St. Lawrence last season, practiced w/ the Dmen most of the year, but will be a forward for the Badgers. I would like to know more about him, hopefully Todd at TCT or someone else will have a write up about him at some point.

I've seen comments in various places that this additional depth will be good for the World Juniors, but how many forwards could we actually lose to the WJC team? Blake Geoffrion is now too old to play on that team, and I don't see any other returning Badger forwards making the team. It certainly is a possibility that freshman Derek Stepan and/or Jordy Murray could make the team, but I don't think either are locks, not like Ryan McDonagh is on defense. If he doesn't make the US WJC team that would be a crime, of sorts.

I have also ran across posts in message boards from a fan or two who think Eaves should go w/ all returning players to start the season and sit the freshman. I think that is ridiculous. Though we didn't lose too much in the scoring department, Turris being the only major lose on offense, the freshman coming in (maybe not Hickey as much as Stepan, Murray and Thurber) all have pedigrees as scorers and/or playmakers. No doubt that Wisconsin has been off to some slow starts the last 2 seasons, and both seasons had to integrate a large number of freshman into the team, but I think one of the main things missed out of last year's team especially was upperclassmen leadership. W/ only 4 seniors and 3 juniors last year, there weren't enough people showing the way, this year's junior class should go a long way to mitigating that problem. Also, it didn't take long for Kyle Turris, Patrick Johnson and Sean Dolan to adjust last season and I think our freshman won't have much problem this season either.

There is a lot to happen in the coming months and it will be interesting to see who makes leaps and bounds in their game by next Fall.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Good evening Womens Hockey Fans

60min beat me to it , here is the IIHF HOF story link on Cammi going into the Hall. http://www.iihf.com/channels/iihf-world-championship/news/news-singleview-world-championship/article/iihf-hall-of-fame-adds-seven.html?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=1573&cHash=784b1a78bf

Next item is an obsession of mine as can be confirmed by 60min, it is the NCAA investigation of the eligibility of Ilya Gavrilova of the UMD Bulldogs. Here is a pre investigation story with UMD bragging about recruiting Ilya. http://umdwomenshockeyfans.blogspot.com/2008/01/great-news-tribune-iya-gavrilova.html

For those of you that have not been reading the USCHO womens fan forum for the "opinions" on the NCAA UMD eligibility situation here is a link.
http://board.uscho.com/showthread.php?t=78286
The NCAA continues to drag it's feet on this matter. I would think the judgement on this mess has been made but the punishment phase is yet to come before an anouncement is made.

Friday Evening Odds & Ends

  • Uwbadgers.com has a nice article about Matthew Ford. Matt will be graduating tomorrow with a degree in consumer science. He indicates he will be playing hockey next year, but he doesn't indicate where. I haven't heard anything lately on where Matt might be playing next year -- the Hawks own his rights and have until Aug 15 to sign him, after which he would become a free agent. I'm hoping that the Hawks sign him and that I'll be able to watch him in Rockford. (Gandalf, next year I'm getting your picture with the big giant red pig.)

  • On Monday, the uwbadgers.com Badgers blog posted their second installment of "Around the World of Badger Hockey". (I missed it at first, because I saw the title and erroneously thought it was the first installment and not a new post.) It talks about Badgers playing for the Stanley Cup and Badgers playing in the IIHF World Championships.

  • I know she wasn't a Badger, but she should've been one, and she would've been one if the Badgers had a D-I team when she was in college. Besides, doesn't everyone in Wisconsin love the Granato family? Anyway, Cammi Granato was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame yesterday. Congratulations, Cammi!

  • While on the usahockey website, I stumbled upon this blog from Brooke Ammerman and Kendall Coyne from the U18 Championships in January. Team USA, of course, won the Gold!

Un blaireau dans la Ville de Québec

Canada's Dany Heatley jumps for joy after opening the scoring for Team Canada. Photo: IIHF/HHoF/Matthew Manor


Today, Canada defeated Sweden 5-4 in their semifinal match at the Colisée Pepsi in Québec City. Dany Heatley scored Canada's 1st goal and had an assist on their 4th goal. Canada will play Russia for the Gold Sunday at the Colisée Pepsi at 12:oo PM CDT


hockeycanada recap (n/a yet -- I'll add the link later)
IIHF recap




15 F HEATLEY Dany 1G 1A, 0PIM, 3SOG, +1, 19:05 TOI (22shf, 0:52 avg)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Nanuckleheads pick Ferguson

Polar bears are now listed as a threatened species, and the Polar Bears in Fairbanks have chosen Dallas Ferguson to take the reins of their hockey program.

Clearly I'm biased, but I think KP would've been a better choice for the Nanooks to elevate their hockey program to the next level. As HTTGS noted on the uscho fan forum, "KP's resume is like 50 pages long and the other guy could fit his on a bar napkin". Ok, KP's resume is really only 3 pages long, but HTTGS is right about Ferguson's resume. (Does Ferguson even have a real resume? The Nanooks website listed it as a resume, but it's really just more of a profile.)

KP has been coaching since 1993, including 9 years in Division I, and his resume is pretty impressive.

Ferguson has been assistant coach with the Nanooks since the 2004-05 season. His other experience includes 2 years as assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs of the NAHL.

I'm not saying Ferguson isn't a good coach and wouldn't make a great head coach down the road. It just seems to me that he could use some additional experience before taking the reins of his own program.

EDIT: Here's Milewski's report, in which KP indicates he won't be pursuing any other options this offseason, as the UAF and GB positions were the 2 that he wanted.

ANOTHER EDIT: Here's the official announcement from UAF, and here's the Newsminer write-up.

Thoughts on NHL Draft Rights

Ok, I'm trying to figure this all out.

Andy Baggot has another article on Chris Hickey, which sheds some more light on NHL draft rights for NCAA players. From the Baggot article (the quote is from Hickey):

"By signing with UW, Hickey said his homestate team will retain his rights "all the way to the end of my college eligibility." "

The article also says the following:

"The CBA gives NHL teams a four-year window to tender a qualifying contract offer to draftees."

So which one is it? The four-year window for the Wild would be up after the 2009/2010 Badger Season, but according to Hickey's quote, the Wild would retain his rights all the way through if he plays four seasons w/ the Badgers which would be 2012.

This is all rather confusing, and I have searched the web, but haven't really found any hard evidence either way, the only thing I could find was from the following website:

"NCAA players are an exception: NHL teams retain the rights to a college player until 30 days after the player has left college."

Now this is under the heading "Re-entering the Draft" which a player can't do once they reach 20 years of age. This "30 days" issue has come up w/ Blake Wheeler of minnesota, because usually a team retains a players rights until August 15th.

If any readers have some more knowledge on this, please leave a comment below.

Based on things I've read, I'm led to believe that draft rights for NCAA players extend through their NCAA eligibility as long as they are entering school w/ in 2 years of their Draft year, otherwise they would become a free agent first since they would be considered like any other North American player. So looking at Chris Hickey, now that he is coming to Wisconsin next Fall, his draft rights w/ the Wild extend 6 years.

Edit: I just found the NHL CBA which is written by lawyers or something since it sounds stupid. Anyway, on Page 19 they explain the draft rights of college players. As I read it, as long as Chris Hickey is a student at UW as of June 1, 2008 the Minnesota Wild retain his 2006 NHL Draft rights until August 15th of 2012. This will likely apply for Chase Drake in 2010 and Travis Erstad at this time next year.

2008 NHL Entry Draft Guide - more player profiles

Gandalf had already posted the link to Jake Gardiner's profile in the Draft Guide, which at the time only profiled the top 30 North American players. Apparently they've been adding profiles, as Cody Goloubef, Justin Schultz and Derek Stepan now have profiles as well. (Thanks, DCB and wojo!)

I've pasted the scouting reports below, but go ahead and check out the profile links as well, as there's a lot of fun stuff there.

23 Jake Gardiner

NHL Central Scouting’s Jack Barzee
“Jake’s biggest attribute is that he might be one of the best skaters in the draft – he is just a pure skater. He used to be a forward and they made him a defensemen a few years ago and he loves being a defenseman. He is smart with the puck, unselfish and he’s careful. He is another one that has grown all year, I had him measured at 6’0” -- he might be almost 6’2” and that’s been not even a year. He’s a greyhound right now, wiry, but he’ll fill out. He is dynamic when he grabs the puck and goes. He has a very quick dangerous wrist shot – he gets it away like Joe Sakic does. The dimension of his quickness fools goalies. I liken him to Brett Hedican when he was in high school but maybe a little more polished. He’s an easy player to like.”
34 Cody Goloubef

NHL Central Scouting’s Jack Barzee
“When I first saw Cody I really liked his game. He is compact and he’s strong with a wide stance. He’s a good, powerful skater. He thinks the game well, has a really good shot and makes that first pass consistently. He is a solid two-way player that is going to play on your power-play. He played for a defensive style team at Wisconsin. His conservative play meant that I don’t think a lot of scouts have seen the offensive side of him enough, but he’s a potential top-four defensemen in the National Hockey League, maybe top-three. He’s playing against guys who are at least three years older than him - if he was playing in the USHL he might have the puck all the time and be dominating, but he handled it well -- he’s a solid kid.”

38 Justin Schultz

NHL Central Scouting’s Blair MacDonald
“Justin has really developed quickly as he was only playing midget hockey last year. He’s more of an offensive type defenseman, but is a really smart player. He knows when to move the puck at the right times and for defensemen that is a really hard thing to teach. Also, he has a nice knack for knowing when to jump up in the play – he can turn an even rush into an odd-man rush very easily; he knows when to jump up."


58 Derek Stepan

NHL Central Scouting’s Gary Eggleston
“Derek is a very good skater who accelerates quickly, pulling away from his opponent. He is quick on the forecheck and he possesses a surprising reach. He has very good hands with a quick-release shot and excellent passing. He is a smart player who will continue to improve.”


EDIT: I initially missed Justin Schultz, but I have now added him. Sorry, Justin!

KP Watch: press conference today

The UAF athletic department will be announcing the Nanook's new head coach during a press conference this morning at 8:30 AM ADT (11:30 AM CDT). Hopefully I won't get called into work today and will be able to post the announcement right away.

Update: Badgers in Halifax

In another poorly officiated game, Team USA falls again to Finland and is knocked out of the tourney. Dany Heatley scores his 10th goal of the tourney, and Canada advances to the semifinals in Quebec city.


CAN 8 - NOR 2
hockeycanada recap
IIHF recap
15 F HEATLEY Dany 1G 2A, 0PIM, 7SOG, +2, 15:45 TOI (17shf, 0:55 avg)

FIN 3 - USA 2 (OT)
usahockey: game notes, game blog, recap
IIHF recap
37 F BURISH Adam 0G 1A, 0PIM, 0SOG, +1, 8:58 TOI (13 shf, :41 avg)
77 D GILBERT Tom 0G 0A, 0PIM, 1SOG, E, 21:11 TOI (32 shf, 0:39 avg)

Up Next: the Semifinals in Quebec City
FIN - RUS 4/16 @ 12 PM CDT
CAN - SWE 4/16 @ 4 PM CDT

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Odds & Ends

  • Todd has a post on future Badgers involved in today's USHL draft, and DPlaya has a post on future Badgers / potential recruits / Wisconsin kids selected in today's USHL draft.
  • In today's TCT, Todd has even more on incoming Badger Chris Hickey.
  • Speaking of the World Championships, Team USA faces Finland shortly (6:15 CDT). Team Canada already defeated Sweden 8-2 in their quarterfinal earlier today. I'll have the usual links and Badger stats for both games after the Team USA game is completed.

More on Chris Hickey

Andy Baggot has more on Chris Hickey on the Badger Blog.

Andy brings up some interesting points. At a roster of 29 the Badgers would eclipse the UW's roster management policy. Also, it appears that Chris' entry into next season's class has something to do w/ the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

I've been trying to figure out for several days how NHL draft rights work. Under the current CBA, the Minnesota Wild (who drafted Chris in the 7th round in 2006) hold his rights for 4 years. Reading various things on the internet, I thought I gathered that that clock starts ticking once the player enters college. Apparently that is not the case, and 2 years have already expired on Hickey's NHL draft rights. Therefore, after his sophomore year he either will have to sign w/ the Wild or if he doesn't and stays at UW, he will become a free agent. This will not only impact Chris, but it will impact other recruits in the future (unless the rules change) like Travis Erstad and Chase Drake. More on that another time though.

Just for reference on NHL draft rights, players from the CHL or North Americans who are not headed the NCAA route have draft rights for only 2 years. Take Karl Alzner who plays for the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL and was drafted by the Washington Capitals in 2007. His draft rights expire in 2009, where Brendan Smith's draft rights w/ the Red Wings expire in 2011.

Edit: As was pointed out in the comments, if Chris Hickey wouldn't have came to Madison this Fall he would have been considered like any other North American player (like Karl Alzner) and his draft rights would have expired this summer either forcing the Wild to sign him or allow him to become a free agent. Thanks to those who commented that correction.

Carolyne Prevost Link-O-Rama

Following recruiting for the Badger Women is a bit tougher than following recruiting for the Badger Men, simply because there's less media coverage. Which is really too bad, as I'd like to know more about our future Badgers. I find Carolyne Prevost especially intriguing, as she's a 7-time Canadian national champion in 3 sports (2 hockey, 1 soccer, 4 tae kwon do).

When Prevost committed to the Badgers, Mark Johnson said the following:
“Carolyne is just a very gifted athlete, which you can see by the fact that she’s a fourth-degree black belt and a Canadian tae kwon do national champion. She is dedicated, disciplined, hard-working and unbelievably quick. She’ll bring a lot of energy to our team.”

Here are some highlights from the past few seasons:

2007-08 season
Prevost won a silver medal (with future Badger Brittany Haverstock) with Team Canada in the 2008 IIHF World Women's U18 Championships (Jan 2008). In 5 games, she had 6 goals and 3 assists and finished +8. (Future Badger Brooke Ammerman won the gold with Team USA.)

Prevost won a gold medal with Ontario Red in Canada's 2007 U18 National Championships (Nov 2007).

2006-07 season
Prevost won a gold medal (along with Badger Mallory Deluce) with Team Ontario in the 2007 Canada Winter Games (Mar 2007). The 2007 CWG website has a really nice profile of Prevost.

2005-06 season
Prevost won a silver medal with Ontario Blue in Canada's 2005 U18 National Championships (Nov 2005). She was named Most Sportsmanlike Player for Ontario Blue.


In case you didn't feel like clicking on all the above links, I'd just like to emphasize her CWG profile. I think you'll like it. And if anyone has any more info about Prevost to share, please email me at sixtymin@gmail.com.

Update: Calder Cup Badgers

(photo by Steve Woltmann on icehogs.com)

Rockford was eliminated from the playoffs last night, meaning the season is done for 2 more Badgers -- Jake Dowell and Jack Skille.

The Conference Finals are now set, with Portland v. Wilkes Barre-Scranton in the East and Chicago v. Toronto in the West.

Here are playoff stats for Badgers still competing for the Calder Cup:

Player

Team

GP

G

A

Pts

+/-

PIM

Brian Fahey

CHI

13

2

6

8

-1

14

Andy Wozniewski

TOR

14

2

5

7

+6

8


And here are playoff stats for Badgers no longer in the running for the Calder Cup:

Player

Team

GP

G

A

Pts

+/-

PIM

Jake Dowell

RFD

12

1

1

2

-3

6

Jack Skille

RFD

12

1

2

3

-4

6

Jeff Likens

MCH

4

0

0

0

E

6

Joe Piskula

MCH

4

0

0

0

+1

4

Davis Drewiske

MCH

4

0

1

1

-3

6

Andrew Joudrey

HER

5

0

1

1

-4

0

Josh Engel*

ALB

1

0

0

0

E

0

Ross Carlson

HOU

4

0

0

0

-1

0

Kyle Klubertanz*

POR

1

0

0

0

E

0

*Released from ATO