Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday afternoon catch-up

It's time for me to catch up on some things that have accumulated over the last week or so.
  • First, props to DPlaya for finding yesterday's Windsor Star article indicating that the Windsor Spitfires are still pursuing and "keeping a close eye on" future Badger Jordan Schmaltz. Apparently the Spitfires selected him in the 7th-round of this year's OHL draft. It seems to me that the OHL likes to talk a lot, and so I don't pay a whole lot of attention in most cases, but I simply list it as an item of interest.
    “He doesn’t know a lot about the OHL, but he’s quite a player,” Spitfires general manager Warren Rychel said. “I would say he’ll likely not be here this season, but maybe next year.”
  • Mike Chambers of the Denver Post has WCHA head coach salaries, and Mike Eaves is near the top of the list with a 2008-09 salary of $229,511. It's difficult to put the salaries in exact order, as only 2007-08 (rather than 08-09) salaries are listed for Lucia and Hakstol, and Scott Owens salary isn't given. Puck Swami reminds us that the salaries listed don't take into consideration performance bonuses, hockey camp income, TV/radio show income, and other compensation package perks. UPDATE: Gwozdecky says that his salary listed in Chambers' original post includes incentive-based compensation, whereas the other salaries listed are base salaries He further says that his base salary places him 5th in the WCHA.

  • Earlier this week, Badger alumni Robbie Earl and Joe Piskula accepted qualifying offers from their respective clubs. Earl signed a 1-year deal for $550,000 with the Minnesota Wild, and Piskula signed a 1-year deal for $650,000 with the LA Kings (contract values per CapGeek).

    Speaking of Joe Piskula, I see that his Hockey's Future profile was last updated in March of this past year. While I don't know how subsequent transactions have affected things since then, at that time HF made the following statement about Piskula's position in the Kings' system:
    Piskula is a defensive defenseman with good size. For a man who is 6’3/212, he skates remarkably well with deceptive speed and can move the puck quite effectively. His smart, sound defensive zone play and great mobility are two of Piskula’s attributes that have gotten many in the scouting community taking notice.
  • On July 2, the Charlotte Checkers announced that they made a qualifying offer to Badger alum Matt Ford. I haven't seen anything since then about whether he accepted or declined the offer.

  • Hockey's Future has released their Nashville Predator's draft review on Thursday, including of course their take on incoming Badger Craig Smith:
    Craig Smith, C – USHL Waterloo
    98th Overall 4th Round
    6’1 189 lbs
    September 5, 1989 Madison, Wisconsin

    An over-ager not ranked by Central Scouting at midseason, Smith’s game saw improvement in the second half, as he finished ranked 177th among North American skaters.

    Smith is a hard-hitting center with strong offensive abilities, though he does have a tendency to take many penalties. Through 54 games with Waterloo of the USHL, a team that Smith captained, he scored 28 goals and 48 assists, with 108 penalty minutes. In three playoff games, Smith recorded four points and 26 penalty minutes.

    Smith played for the East Division at the 2008 USHL All-Star game, and also captained Team USA at the World Junior A Challenge, winning the gold medal.

    Smith will be attending the University of Wisconsin next season.
  • Last week, Schlossman listed some 1st-round draft picks that will need to make decisions in the next month or so, and he included Ryan McDonagh as needing to make a decision between returning to the Badgers or signing with the Rangers. I'm curious as to what prompted Schlossman to include McDonagh.

  • In the same post, following up the assertion by Sioux Women's head coach Brian Idalski that the Sioux are "on the radar of a lot of top players in the country", Schlossman indicates that potential Badger recruit Amanda Kessel might be looking at UND. On one hand, I chalk this up as Idalski promoting his program, but on the other hand I wouldn't be surprised if top recruits are starting to consider UND a bit more -- UND seems to be a team on the rise, showing improvement last season over previous seasons and landing the Lamoreux twins as transfers from minnesota. (Unlike new Badger Geena Prough, the twins will have to sit out this season because they transferred within the WCHA.) As far as Kessel goes, I haven't heard much chatter about where she might end up collegiately.
  • has released their list of North American Players to Watch for the 2010 NHL draft. WCH says, "It's a pretty good start to the list, though apparently they didn't get out to see the NTDP U-17 team last year, since a number of those kids should factor into the draft somewhere." No future Badgers on the list yet. Hayward's Nolan Kirley (about whom I know absolutely nothing) is included as a "B list" player and is the sole WI player on the list.