Saturday, July 18, 2009

A few more items . . .

  • Part 2 on Scanlon's interview with Badger Women's Hockey interim head coach Tracey DeKeyser indicates that the 2 vacant assistant coaching positions for this season have been filled:
    With respect to the upcoming season, I will be surrounded by another solid, albeit new staff, that is looking forward to the challenge ahead. Fortunately, both coaches have ties to Badger Hockey so it should be a pretty seamless transition since they’re familiar with the UW campus and the rest of our support staff.
    Not sure who the 2 coaches are. Names that have been mentioned by the lunatic fringe include Phoebe (Monteleone) Turner (F, 2003-07) and Jackie Friesen (F, 2001-05).

    Another name that had been mentioned is Tom Osiecki, but it's not surprising that he's been named interim assistant for the gopher women while Natalie Darwitz is with the US National Team. (Thanks to the kids on the uscho women's forum for the link.)
  • In other WCHA coaching news, Scott Sandelin has received a 2-year contract extension at UMD. Going into (and during) last season, I thought he might be on the hot seat soon if the chumps didn't have a good season, and a 7th-place WCHA finish wasn't exactly what I had in mind. But when they defeated Princeton 5-4 in OT in the West Regional semifinal, I said to myself "Congratulations, Scotty, your boys just kept you from soon being out of a job". A bit simplistic on my part, perhaps, but it's the first thing that jumped into my head.

  • Hockey's future released their Oilers' draft review this afternoon, including their take on future Badger Troy Hesketh:
    Troy Hesketh, D
    6’2 178 lbs, Minnetonka Skippers
    3rd Round, 71st Overall

    With their third pick in this year’s entry draft the Oilers took high school defenseman Troy Hesketh. Hesketh was unranked by Central Scouting for the draft. Critics of this pick, and there have been many, argue that Edmonton took a flyer on the young defenseman way too early in the draft. But a perceived competition for his services made him the 71st pick.

    Hesketh’s biggest asset is his size. At just under 18 years old, the Oilers feel Hesketh has the potential to develop into a hefty 6’4 blue liner. With the Skippers, Hesketh plays in all situations including the power play. Despite the heavy ice time, his numbers are not great given that he is playing at a lower level than many other players in this year’s draft.

    One advantage both Hesketh and the Oilers have is that there is absolutely no rush for him to develop. Hesketh has committed to playing his NCAA hockey at the University of Wisconsin, however, he hasn’t yet started his senior year of high school. Hesketh is a boom or bust type prospect that the Oilers will give every opportunity to develop properly.
    I think it's a bit unfair to judge a stay-at-home defensemen on his numbers. Hesketh isn't one of those players who's going to put up a ton of numbers. Now, that's not to say that he'll be a liability for the generation of offense -- interviews indicate that he understands the importance of a good 1st pass out of the defensive zone to generate offense, and he's not unwilling to jump into an offensive play when appropriate. Plus, he sounds like a very smart player, and that's always a good thing.
  • The NHLPA is advising NHL players not to participate in any on-ice activities at the various Olympic orientation camps. Something about "unwarranted and unnecessary risk" and insurance concerns.
    The NHLPA doesn't believe the federations are providing enough insurance to cover players' current contracts and potential future earning power in the event of an injury.
    Badgers at the US Olympic camp include Tom Gilbert, Joe Pavelski, Ryan Suter, and Brian Rafalski. Dany Heatley is the sole Badger representative at Canada's Olympic camp
  • Coming Down the Pipe had an interview last Tuesday with Preds' scout Rich Knickle. With 2 Badgers drafted recently by the Preds -- Craig Smith this year and Blake Geoffrion in 2006 -- it's interesting to hear from one of their scouts, even if it's just generalized information on one particular scout's scouting philosophy. Knickle, who scouts the WHL for the Preds, stresses the importance of hockey sense in a prospect. He also mentions that, in general, the Preds are not an organization that rushes players up the the NHL because they want the players to succeed.