Friday, July 31, 2009

Edmonton formally pulls Heatley offer

So, are the Oilers really finally giving up hope of acquiring Dany Heatley?

Looks like it. [TSN, Faceoff, PuckDaddy, Lowetide]

McDonagh confirms he'll play for Badgers this season

"I told [the Rangers] we had a strong team coming back [at UW] and another year of development would benefit me. They said they strongly believe in letting their prospects develop where they feel comfortable."
-- Ryan McDonagh
Ryan McDonagh had previously indicated that he'd be returning to the Badgers for his junior season, but after his rights were traded this summer there was a little bit of speculation that the change in his situation could affect his decision. Not a lot of speculation, but rather an acknowledgement that his situation had changed.

Yesterday, the Badgers released their 2009-10 roster, and McDonagh was included on the roster. Today, Andy Baggot has a blog post that confirms McDonagh's return.

Now, I know that nothing is completely assured until the season starts, but this sounds as close to certain as things could be.

(Photo from uwbadgers.com)

Johnson, Friesen announced as Badger Women's assistants

The UW has officially announced Peter Johnson and Jackie Friesen as this year's Badger Women's Hockey assistant coaches.

The announcement indicates that these are interim positions; no word on who will more permanently fill Dan Koch's former position next season when Mark Johnson resumes his head coaching duties and interim head coach Tracey DeKeyser returns to her assistant coaching position. I'm wondering if keeping Friesen on will be an option that will be considered at that point.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday evening linkorama

  • The NCAA has announced the NCAA Women of the Year Award conference winners, and Jessie Vetter was picked for the WCHA. Out of the 132 conference winners, the top 30 will be considered for the national award. I gotta think Vetter will be in the running. (Thanks to Boscacci for the heads-up.)
  • The Badger Men have been invited to open the 2010-11 season in St. Louis at the Icebreaker Invitational. Other expected invitees include Boston University, Holy Cross, and Notre Dame. Sounds fun to me!
  • Two Badgers have made THN's Top 10 American-Born Players: Mike Richter (#10) and Chris Chelios (#1). How 'bout that, Ma?
    10. Mike Richter, G
    Richter makes the grade here less for his NHL resume than for his international one. Richter did win a Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1994 and has the third-most NHL victories (301) amongst American netminders. But he answered his country’s call on 11 separate occasions, playing in world juniors, world championships, three Olympics, a Canada Cup and a World Cup – in which he led the U.S. to a gold medal and was named tournament MVP. Richter even left the University of Wisconsin after just one season to play for the U.S. national team for a year-and-a-half in preparation for the 1988 Olympics. His NHL career began the next season.

    1. Chris Chelios, D
    Chelios has been playing in the NHL since 1983-84. He is fourth all-time in games played and is the 10th-highest scoring blueliner ever. Chelios has never been the most prolific scoring rearguard – his best season came in 1988-89 when he totaled 15-58-73 in 80 games – but scoring was never the best part of his game. Chelios is one of the NHL’s all-time nastiest players, as his 2,891 penalty minutes – 12th most ever – attest to. But with that nastiness came skill, too. Chelios is a five-time first team all-star and a two-time second-teamer. He’s played in 11 all-star games and, most impressively, won three Norris Trophies. He’s also a three-time Stanley Cup-winner who has played for the U.S. at 12 international events, including three Canada Cups and four Olympics.
  • Andy Baggot has a bit on Tony Hrkac's involvement in the Badgers' high school development camp. He also mentions the other coaches on the camp's staff.
  • Davis Drewiske recently blogged from the Kings Fans Cruise. Among other things, we learned that he swims like a rock. (Thanks to Capobianco for the heads-up.)

Meet Your 2009-10 Wisconsin Badgers (sort of)

Uwbadgers has the full Badger Men's roster posted, with updated bios for returning players. Freshman players are listed on the roster, but their bios are still "coming soon".

FYI, Jordy Murray will be wearing #28 this year (previously #18).

And I'm almost positive that freshman John Ram(p)age is the 1st Badger to wear a non-traditional number -- he'll be wearing #55.

The team includes 7 new players (6 freshmen and 1 transfer):
G: #33 Brett Bennett, #35 Mitchell Thompson
D: #6 Justin Schultz, #55 John Ramage
F: #15 Craig Smith, #23 Derek Lee, #26 Keegan Meuer

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday evening linkorama

  • Paul Capobianco indicates that the Badger Men's roster will be released soon, probably Friday. In addition to freshman additions, he says we can also expect one number change for a returning player.

    In the same post, Capobianco reminds us that we can follow the Badger Men on twitter, and he also rounds-up a number of items that he had previously posted on twitter. Most of them we've already posted here, but one of the exceptions is this 2001 USA Today article about the UM-MSU Cold War game which fortells a Badger Hockey game @ Camp Randall.
  • The Badgers high school development camp, which is "open to all and any participants", is taking place this week, and the top players in the state are there. DPlaya reports he is hearing that there may be some unhappy campers, saying that 'the camp may be trying to be "all things to all people" and not finding the mark with some campers.' That's unfortunate for players on both ends of the spectrum.
  • UNO's new head coach, Dean Blais, reportedly has an "out" in his contract that allows him to apply for the Gophers head coach position should it become available. Thanks to Goon for pointing out the brief mention in the News-Chronicle. As Goon says, it's interesting, but nothing that Mavericks or gophers fans should worry about yet.
  • Schlossman tells us that the WCHA's agreement with the Xcel Energy Center to host the Final Five runs out after this season but will likely be renewed. Talking about moving the Final Five to different sites is like beating a dead horse, it's not going anywhere. Fwiw, I don't really have a problem with it being at the X each year.
  • The Blackhawks Confidential blog has a post that speculates Hossa's injury may open up a spot in Chicago for Jack Skille. (Thanks to the anonymouse who pointed it out.)

    Without Hossa's 71 points (40 goals) for Detroit last season, and with Martin Havlat's 77 points departed for the wilds of Minnesota, the Blackhawks are missing a big bopper that leads the orchestra.


    Jack Skille isn't that big bopper, but read on to see why I think this slow developer might be Hossa's early replacement and come riding to the rescue out of nowhere. Rockford is nowhere, isn't it?

    .
    .
    .

    That could open a chance for 2005 first-round draftee Skille to break into the NHL and see what he has to give after the 22-year-old scored 20 goals and 45 points in 58 games for Rockford last season. He comes at the right price for this squeezed salary cap and some think he can be an offensive force.


    Skille has rated uneven evaluations for his play in Rockford. He has been inconsistent, but with a strong training camp, he could turn around the way he is viewed and put all that behind him.


    The Hawks have to find out about Skille sooner or later after taking him as the seventh player chosen overall in the '05 draft. It might as well be sooner with Hossa's absence lighting the way for coach Joel Quenneville to tutor Skille in the first couple months while Hossa heals.

    The Madison-born Skille, who played for the University of Wisconsin, has appeared to some observers to be maturing slow step by slow step into a NHL-ready player. As long as he delivers a strong effort in camp, he should be in line for a promotion. But he has to rise to the moment.

  • Guy Flaming implies that the blogger who started a rumor about an Oilers/Panthers trade might have been inhaling/drinking too much ether. (Ok, Guy didn't really imply anything about ether abuse; that's more an inference on my part.) The likely bogus rumor includes a number of players, including Tom Gilbert.
  • The Edmonton Journal and the Ottawa Sun are both now indicating that (gasp) the Oilers haven't really given up hope or run out of patience regarding the Dany Heatley deal. Their trade offer is reportedly still on the table.
  • The above Ottawa Sun article also has the following blurb about Brian Elliott:
    The indication on Monday was that the Senators and 24-year-old goalie Brian Elliott are close to an agreement on a multi-year deal. It could be announced any time soon.

    Elliott, who made $757,700 U.S. last season, will serve as a backup to Pascal Leclaire next season. Leclaire has two years left on his contract. He'll be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2010-11.

    By then, if not sooner, Elliott is expected to be ready to be the No. 1 goalie.

    If he's not, then the hope will rest on 6-3, 220-pound Swedish goalie Robin Lehner, who was selected in this year's entry draft.
  • Jonathan @ the Copper and Blue has a post about the best goaltenders since the lockout. As part of his discussion of "youngish goaltenders who have had good results but don't have a long track record", he says the following about Els:
    Brian Elliott has had a very nice run the last few years; his college numbers and AHL numbers are very good and would seem to indicate that his performance this past season isn't an aberration. Ottawa brought in Pascal Leclaire as insurance but I would be very surprised if Elliott doesn't win out over the next few seasons (particularly given Leclaire's injury woes).

Chris Hickey to Dartmouth?

GreatLakerMowahk has pointed out that the Strib's Michael Russo is reporting via twitter that Chris Hickey is going to Dartmouth. Given that Hickey is a Wild prospect, I figure Russo has a clue, and I figure we'll hear more about this shortly.

Hickey played 8 games for the Badgers last season, including a game @ the DUMP where he delighted the No Alibis No Regrets crew by scoring his first collegiate goal.

Best of luck, Chris.

UPDATE:
Wild prospect Chris Hickey, who played last season at Wisconsin, is "completing arrangements to transfer to Dartmouth," said assistant GM Tommy Thompson. Hickey, a former Cretin-Derham Hall player, was drafted by the Wild in the seventh round of the 2006 draft. [Star Tribune]

Peter Johnson is new Badger Women's assistant

Andy Baggot is reporting that Peter Johnson has been tabbed as the new assistant coach for the Badger Women.

Being who I am, I must point out that Peter was an assistant on the 1990 Men's National Championship team. Sixty minutes, no alibis, no regrets, and all that. And he played for the Badgers for 4 years. And since I'm stating the obvious, I might as well also mention that he's Mark Johnson's brother.

In addition to his 4-yrs as a Badger Men's assistant, he also spent 2 years each as an assistant for the Cornell Men and the Bowling Green Men. He then spent 9 years as a scout for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Baggot says we can expect an official announcement from the university later this week.

WHKY Blogger tells us that Jackie Friesen will also be an assistant. I haven't seen anything official about this, but WHKY Blogger's info is typically good and so I have no reason to doubt this.

Oh, and regarding the women's schedule, it doesn't look like it's posted yet on uwbadgers. However, the WCHA has released the composite women's schedule.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New rink construction and other items

  • Baggot tells us that construction for the Badgers' new on-campus hockey facility is slated to begin around Aug 1, 2010.
    The $27.7 million project will provide a game site for the women’s team and a practice facility for the men’s team. It will have between 4,000 and 5,000 seats, offices for the women’s coaches and a 200x90 ice sheet. It will be located adjacent to the Kohl Center and will be connected to the nearby Southeast Recreational Facility by an enclosed walkway.
  • Earlier today, Chuck posted a nice article from the Sharks' website about Joe Pavelski's partial ownership of the NAHL's Janesville Jets. (Pavs always has the nicest quotes! Gotta love his commitment to supporting and growing hockey in Wisconsin.) Looking at the Sharks website, I also see that Pavs is having a little meet and greet on Aug 11 at the Sharks Store.

    Oh, and speaking of Pavelski, I stumbled upon a quote that's about 2 months old from Sharks GM Doug Wilson. We're not surprised to hear that Pavs is just the type of player that Wilson is looking for.
    But in response to another question about his meetings with players, Wilson revealed what he was looking for to determine whether they should stay or go.

    "The first thing you want to hear," Wilson said, "is the word 'I' — that 'I' could have done better, or this is what 'I' could have brought to the table. You want to make sure there's no deflecting of issues. You want to hear someone look at it honestly and say, 'You know, I didn't bring this.' For example, Joe Pavelski ... he says, 'I'm a second-line guy, I could have brought this, I could have helped this team win. That, in essence ... you know this kid is going to bring it, that he's a winner."
  • Looks like a defensive defenseman committed to minnesota. Who'd 've thunk? No word yet on if he's self-respecting or not.

  • Dany Heatley rumors abound. Earlier today Chuck mentioned a Heatley to San Jose rumor. The main reason I discount this rumor is because Eklund supports it. Eklund says "there are rumours of a completed Heatley deal with San Jose not including Marleau". He further says "Marleau to Montreal may need to happen first". I suppose even Eklund has to be right every now and then, but let's be clear -- it's Eklund.

    While looking for Heatley rumors, I also stumbled upon a Heatley to Nashville rumor. On the Forecheck calls the rumor "milk-blowing-out-your-nose hilarious; at least, if the author is just being sarcastic."

    The same person that brings us the Nashville rumor also tells us that Heatley absolutely will not return to Ottawa.

    A week ago or so, the Senators set the stage for Heatley's return and the Oilers said they had "given up hope" on the Heatley deal -- while at the same time making the conflicting statement that the deal wasn't necessarily dead in the water and wooing Heatley with videos.

    Heatley is still keeping a low profile. Apparently he hasn't even talked to Sens' coach Cory Clouston.
    “Yeah, it’s a little bit surprising,” Clouston said Thursday of the lack of communication. “I’m willing to listen and talk to anybody, but no, nothing has changed (since the draft a month ago, the last time Clouston spoke on the topic). I really don’t know what else to say, to be honest.”
    Clouston says he'll have no problem working if Heatley if he returns to the Sens.
    “Whatever cards we’re dealt, I’ll work with whether that’s with or without Dany. It doesn’t matter who comes through that dressing room door. We’re going to try and make them a better player and make them into a better team.”
  • By the way, this year's US HHOF class also includes (posthumously) the inventor of the first self-propelled ice resurfacing machine -- Frank Zamboni. NHL.com tells us that he made the 1st Zamboni by "modifying a tractor -- adding a blade that shaved the ice smooth, swept up the shavings into a tank and rinsed the ice while leaving a very thin layer of water."

Wisconsinite Karyn Bye part of 1998 Team inducted into US HHOF

The US Hockey Hall of Fame has announced that the 1998 Women's Olympic Team is one of this year's inductees. That team, of course, won the first-ever gold medal in Women's Ice Hockey.

Looking at the roster, I noticed that it included a player from River Falls, WI. I hadn't realized that before, and I feel a little bit like a schmuck for not doing so.

Saying that the roster "included" Karyn Bye hardly does her justice. Bye led the team in goals (5) and was tied in total points (8) with three other players. Bye was also a member of the 2002 silver medal team.

I tried to find a bit more information on Bye, but google apparently isn't my friend today. I did, however, find a couple of fun excerpts.
  • Karen Bye (USA): Bye was the prototype power forward in women’s hockey. She led all goal-scorers in the 1998 Olympics and played collegiately both at the University of New Hampshire and Concordia University. [THN]
  • Karyn Bye, 26, grew up playing hockey on boys teams, with her initials on the back of her uniform so she could skate undetected as a girl.

    "When she was 12 years old, she said she was going to the Olympics," said her father, Chuck, after today's victory. "She even wrote to the Olympic Committee to ask them about it, and they wrote her back and said, 'We don't have women's hockey.' And now there she is out there. That's how far we've come." [Washington Post]

Like Cammi Granato (also a member of the 1998 team), I'd like to think that Bye would've been a Badger if Wisconsin had a women's program when she played collegiately.

Badgers in the US HHOF

The US Hockey Hall of Fame will be releasing their 2009 Class today at 11 AM CDT, with a recording of the media conference call with each of the inductees available online later in the day.

And so I figured this was a good excuse to take a look at the Badgers who are part of the US HHOF. Click on their names to see their HHOF profiles.

Bob Johnson was inducted as a Coach/Administrator in 1991.

His son Mark Johnson was inducted as a player in 2004. He was also inducted as a part of the 1980 Olympic team in 2003.

As part of the 1980 Olympic Team, Bob Suter was also inducted with the team in 2003.

Mike Richter was inducted as a player in 2008.

And while she's wasn't a Badger (not her fault the Badger Women's program didn't exist then), I'll always think of her as a Badger at heart. Cammi Granato was also inducted as a player last year.

Ice Muskies!


Yesterday's TCT article brings us some news about Madison's newest hockey team, the Ice Muskies. A friend of mine, who lives near Hartmeyer, is understandably excited for the following reasons:
  1. More hockey (duh!)

  2. Their home rink is close to her house (how convenient!)

  3. THE LOGO IS A FISH PLAYING HOCKEY!!

The Ice Muskies will be part of the MWHL, a new "A" circuit with teams reportedly planned for Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Kalamazoo, Chicago, and potentially Milwaukee. (Currently Madison is the only team officially listed on the league website.)

It's too bad Madison couldn't get a "AAA" or "AA" team, but this still could be a heck of a lot of fun.

And the team ownership and league management seem to have brains and hence are going to try to avoid scheduling conflicts with the Badgers as much as possible.

Oh, and did I mention (and as my friend so astutely and enthusiastically pointed out), IT'S A FREAKIN' HOCKEY FISH!?

I gotta tell ya, though, I sure am glad the our hockey fish is not battling a case of obstructive jaundice (description courtesy of Puck Daddy).

Tuesday Morning Updates

  • Here's a great link to an article about Joe Pavelski and his part in the ownership of the expansion NAHL team in Janesville, the Jet's. Thanks to UWBadgers14 on USCHO for the link.
  • According to the 2009 Princeton review, the University of Wisconsin checks in at #9 on the list of top party schools. The University of North Dakota is the only other D-1 hockey school on the list. They showed up at #18.
  • I know he's a gopher fan, but Hammy is one of the best insiders out there in the college game. Just wanted to alert those of you who didn't realize he's now on Twitter. He always has good information and isn't afraid to answer your questions. Check it out.
  • PS, how great of a movie is Step Brothers? Totally under-rated. Brendan sure can wear the shit out of that pirate hat.
  • Thanks to the USHL blog for this link. Harvard recruit Louis Leblanc will be enrolling at Harvard in the fall despite astronomical pressure to move to the QMJHL.
  • Denver has received a commitment from NTDP forward Nick Shore. Shore is the younger brother of incoming DU freshman Drew Shore, who also played with the NTDP.
  • Duluth's RWD Hockey Blog has a rather hilarious post up from early July. Check it out if you wish.
  • Heatley possibly heading to San Jose? I'd love to see Heater and Pav's teamed up.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday Afternoon Updates

  • Michael Forney, the Thief River Falls, MN native who once played at North Dakota has signed with the Atlanta Thrashers. Forney has had a rough couple of years so it's nice to hear that he has landed on his feet. First, he was the "un-named" recruit that Gopher players took to Blarneys during the Fox 9 scandal. Then, Forney got injured and played only 16 games as a freshman at North Dakota, and only two as a sophomore. Forney moved to Green Bay of the USHL last season and put up 60 points in 59 games. Good luck Mike.
  • Rumors out of Madison is that they are interviewing candidates for the open equipment manager position and should be making a decision in the near future.
  • Recently committed recruits from around the WCHA: Justin Holl (Minnetonka), D, Minnesota; Zane Gothberg (Thief River Falls), G, North Dakota.
  • Tough to take a look at the recently selected USA U-18 team that will compete at the Ivan Hilnka Tournament (NTDP players are not eligible). Defensemen Brandon Archibald (eventually went to the OHL), and Kevin Gravel (committed to St. Cloud) were both Badger targets at one point.
  • The University of New Hampshire has been placed on probation by the NCAA for major recruiting violations. The national association reported that a New Hampshire associate head coach sent 923 impermissible e-mail messages to 30 prospective student-athletes during the 2007-08 season. Yikes.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A few random items

  • I'd expect the full Badger Men's roster to be available soon, as departed players/staff have been removed and the bios of returning players have been updated.
  • I don't think we posted this yet; my apologies if we have. A week or so ago, the Omaha Lancers released their 2009-10 protected list. On the list, is future Badger Tyler Lapic. (Thanks to The World of Junior Hockey for the heads-up.)

    DPlaya previous reported that Jefferson Dahl and Cody Strang are on Mahoning Valley's protected list, and that Jordan Schmaltz and Matt Paape are on Sioux City's futures list.
  • DPlaya tells us that Hayward's Hannah Turnbull, Wisconsin's 2009 Miss Hockey, will be going to Mankato, where she'll participate in track and field (on a scholarship) and hockey. DPlaya's post also talks a bit about other WIAA players who have made the jump to DI hockey, including Hudson's Sam Turner, Onalaska's Ashley Paulsen, and Fondy/Waupun's Missy Schleicher.
  • I know it's old news, but some of the comments in this thread about Finley/Frattin are really funny . . .

Another Blake Geoffrion Interview!

(Photo by Neil Ament. Badgers v. minnesota, 1/25/08)

Paul McCann, Nashville Predators PA announcer and HockeyBuzz blogger, was kind enough to stop by our post about Section303's podcast (in which we learned that Blake Geoffrion "has gotten very good at playmaking") and share his comments:
Blake did very well at camp this year... I'm looking forward to seeing him finish his college career...

He also showed strong leadership at camp, helping the newbies.
McCann's stopping by prompted me to look back at the development camp, and I realized that I (gasp!) completely missed his development camp podcast in which he interviewed a number of prospect camp participants, including Blake Geoffrion. The Geoffrion interview starts at approximately 13:47.



After talking with Geoffrion, McCann made the following remarks:
"He had a very good camp, I think he's got bigger, he's more physical. Look, let's face it, Blake Geoffrion is not going to be a first line player, that's not what he's about. But a good, solid, 2-way player, absolutely. This is a kid that I think can do what's needed of him to get to the National Hockey League."
Thanks, Paul! (And thanks again to Codey and Jeremy @303 for their camp coverage.)

Zengerle Officially Going Back To Salmon Arm

There has been plenty of speculation as to where Badger super recruit Mark Zengerle would be playing hockey next season. As was eluded to earlier, Mark Zengerle is officially headed back to Salmon Arm for the 2009-2010 season.

Last season for Salmon Arm, Mark recorded 93 points in 54 games for the Silverbacks, good enough for second overall in points, and tied for first in points per game.

I got a chance to talk with Mark today and he said that the love from the Salmon Arm folks was too hard to turn down. "I made the decision right before the Fargo camp. In the end I just felt loyal to my coaches, the organization, and the town really. It's tough because all my teammates, coaches, and fans were calling and emailing hoping for me to come back."

Mark is also excited to take on a bigger role with the club this season, and he feels he still has unfinished business north of the border. "I'm going to be put into a leadership role which I'm excited about. Plus i want to win the RBC."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Future Badgers @ the Fargo Force camp

Good ol' Dplaya (luv ya, DP!) has some notes about future Badgers and Wisconsinites at the Fargo Force camp that ends on Sunday. Future Badgers at the camp include forward Gavin Hartzog and defenseman Troy Hesketh (sort-of). I was surprised to hear that 1st-Star Zengerle is not there, as I thought I had heard that he was most recently leaning toward moving to the USHL.
  • [F]orward Mark Zengerle apparently is not at the camp and thus I would assume he will be staying in the BCHL.
  • [A]pparently Troy Hesketh had let the Force know he would be playing for Minnetonka HS this season but they were after him to join the Force for this season. When they realized he was not going to be swayed they moved him off of Team Yellow or Blue onto another squad. Hesketh apparently either didn't like the pressure to play for Fargo this season or the fact they moved him off one of their "main" squads, so he left camp.
  • Hartzog was described to me as a huge kid with loads of potential who still seems to be growing into his massive frame. He's not nearly as polished as Condon, but skates well and has good hockey sense.

Jessie Vetter makes Top 15 Badger Moments

Of the Top 15 Badger Moments of 2008-09 named so far, the hockey programs have already claimed 3 spots. Jessie Vetter has captured the 3rd spot with her Patty Kazmaier win.

As you know, Coach Mark Johnson's being named Olympic Head Coach for the USA Women earned him the 7th spot, and Jamie McBain's play on the Badgers' blueline earned him the 8th spot.

With the top 2 moments still to be named, will Badger Hockey claim yet another moment?

(Photo from uwbadgers.com)

Scouting the Detroit Red Wings - Brian Rafalski

(AP Photo/Jay La Prete)

Mike Mouat of the Detroit Red Wings Examiner is taking a look at the Red Wings roster and is profiling each player on the roster. Yesterday he profiled Badger alum Brian Rafalski.

Rafalski had a pretty good year last year . . .
Rafalski established career highs in assists (49) and points (59) this past season and scored 34 points (6-28) in the final 42 games of the season, while playing fewer minutes per game (23:10) than he has in the past three seasons, proving that sometimes less is more. His 59 points tied him for the team lead among defenseman with Nicklas Lidstrom, and third in defenseman scoring in the NHL with Lidstrom and Scott Niedermayer of the Anaheim Ducks.

And a note to current Badgers: Not every shot needs to be a slapshot, there's something to be said for a good wrister . . .
He doesn't possess a hard shot and his scoring range is shorter than most defenseman and he compensates by moving deeper in to the offensive zone to shoot. Other teams need to be aware of this tendency or they risk leaving him uncovered in prime scoring range (see graphic at right). He most often scores
with a snap-shot or wrist shot as opposed to the slap shot.


Given that Rafalski has been invited to the US Olympic orientation camp, this seems as good a place as any to mention Red Wings GM Ken Holland's response to the NHLPA recommendation for NHL players not to participate in the on-ice portions of camp. Holland is also part of Team Canada's management staff.
"First off, these camps have gone on in the past," Holland said. Secondly, he said, if the players aren't on the ice at an orientation camp, they would at some other rink preparing for the start of NHL training camp in September.

"It's not like they stay off the ice," Holland said. "That's part of who they are. They love to be on the ice."
Makes sense to me . . .

Friday, July 24, 2009

More odds & ends

  • Gandalf also tells me that DU is gonna be pretty good this year. Speaking of DU, Chambers has more on Wiercioch's decision to return for his sophomore season.
  • Gandalf tells me lots of other things, too, but I can't remember what they are. Chuck tells me that the gophers still suck, but I don't really need him to tell me that.
  • Enough about Gandalf and Chuck, and enough about non-Badger teams/players. Because Brian Elliott recently got some nice mention in Jonathan Willis' post about the most injury-prone starting goaltenders and their backups. The point of his post, of course, is that the Oilers are screwed, but along the he deems Els a good backup and says:
    Ottawa prospect Brian Elliott has a tremendous track record in college (.938, .923 SV% in his two years as a starter), a good record in the AHL (.915, .926 SV% his last two seasons) and did a decent job (.902 SV%) last year in the NHL over an extended debut (31 games).
  • Hmmm, I seem to have run out of actual Badger-related news. But since yesterday I passed along that Coach Mike Eaves' older son Ben had signed with the Preds, I might as well pass on today that his younger son Patrick was traded to the Bruins. I've also read that the Bruins then placed him on waivers with the intent of buying him out. Because I've never really paid attention, I don't understand that sort of stuff. I'm waiting for EoDs to explain it to me. Because I get the feeling that he could probably do so. Either that, or he'll try to reach through his computer to strangle me.

Derrick LaPoint update

You probably remember that Eau Claire's Derrick LaPoint broke his tibia and fibula in a gruesome injury last February. If you were wondering how his rehap was progressing, we're happy to hear that it's on schedule for him to play in UND's Oct. 4 exhibition season opener v. the University of Manitoba. Schlossman had a nice article yesterday about LaPoint's return to the ice.

By the way, as happy as I am to hear that LaPoint is doing well, I hope UND loses every game this season. Except maybe when they play the gophers. Yeah, that'd be ok if they beat the gophers.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday Evening Odds & Ends

  • Two Badgers -- both favorites of Ma60 -- have made THN's Top 10 UFAs who'd like an NHL job but won't likely get one. Sorry, Ma.
    3. Curtis Joseph, Goaltender – St. Louis, Edmonton, Toronto, Detroit, Phoenix, Calgary
    CuJo, as he is known, was one of the best goalies on bad to mediocre teams in the modern NHL. Joseph, 42, is fourth all-time in regular season victories (454), but his 352 losses tie him with Gump Worsley for the highest all-time total in that dubious category. He’ll best be remembered for leading average teams in Edmonton and Toronto to playoff upsets.

    2. Chris Chelios, Defense – Montreal, Chicago, Detroit
    Fourth all-time in NHL games played with 1644, 12th in penalty minutes with 2,891 and the 10th-highest scoring blueliner ever, Chelios, 47, won three Norris Trophies (1989, 1993, 1996), was runner-up twice (1995, 2002) and played his first NHL game in 1983-84. He won Stanley Cups with Montreal (1986) and Detroit (2002, 2008).

  • Jeremy Roenick says Chris Chelios wants to play for the Rangers. I think we kind of already knew that, but hey, the article has some quotes.

  • Despite having reportedly "given up hope" on Dany Heatley, the Oilers are wooing Heatley with videos. (If you haven't noticed, everyone at the Edmonton Journal hates Heatley. Me, even though I think he and his agent have mishandled things, I still like Dany. I've been told by a number of people that if he sees you wearing Badger gear at one of his games, he'll give you a little stick salute. I love that kind of stuff.)

  • The Nashville Old Notes won their division in last week's Snoopy's Senior World Hockey Tournament, winning each game handily and outscoring their opponents 25 to 8. HF's DJ Powers tells me that Danny Geoffrion led the team in scoring -- in 3 games, he had 9 goals and 4 assists for 13 points. Thanks, DJ!
  • Speaking of the Geoffrion clan, I've been told that the Nashville Predators pushed pretty hard to sign Blake Geoffrion this past April. Blake, however, told them that he preferred to stay in school and finish his degree since he only had 1 year remaining. And while I wouldn't have faulted him if he had signed, I applaud his decision. Sounds like he's got a pretty good head on his shoulders. And needless to say, I'm excited to see him back in the Cardinal & White for another season.
  • My favorite quote from today, from WCH: "Apparently not only will North Dakota be changing their nickname, they're also changing their name from the University of No Discipline to the University of Severe Consequences." Nice work, Chris.

    The Grand Fork's Herald has UND head coach Dave Hakstol's reaction to events, as well as a summary of the punishment he handed down to current UND player Matt Frattin.

    If you missed Frattin's and Joe Finley's shenanigans, you can read about them here. Pretty goofy all-in-all -- no one else's property was damaged (although the street did need to be cleaned up), and no one was hurt. Sure, it was stupid, and no, you can't let them off with a slap on the wrist. But I figure there's a lot of more stupid things they could've done while intoxicated, and I was more amused by their antics than anything else. *shrug*
  • The Purple Cows have given head coach Troy Jutting a 4-year extension. Shane Frederick has the details.

  • Mike Eaves' older son Ben has signed a 1-year 2-way contract with the Nashville Predators. I didn't realize Ben was still playing hockey -- I vaguely remember him getting injured during the 05-06 season and then serving as volunteer in some capacity for BC during the 2006 FF. But apparently after sitting out most of 05-06 and all of 06-07, he played in Finland the past 2 seasons with the Espoo Blues. I hope he makes it up to Nashville, but if not, perhaps we'll get a chance to see him play in Milwaukee.

  • We previously posted that the NHLPA is advising NHL players not to participate in on-ice activities during Olympic orientation camps. The German Ice Hockey Federation says it's NHL players were forced to pull out of their Olympic training camp, which is currently underway. The NHLPA is denying that claim, stating that they are simply advising players of the risk of participating without adequate insurance. Meanwhile, Joe Thorton just doesn't care.

Sis Paulsen named head coach at NEC

"I am extremely excited and honored to be the new head coach at New England College. This is a great opportunity to be a part of a wonderful academic institution and athletic program. I am looking forward to the opportunity to help develop student-athletes at NEC and push them to reach their full potential both academically and athletically. "

-- Sis Paulsen

New England College Women's Hockey has replaced one Badger with another, choosing Eau Claire native and Badger alum Sis Paulsen to fill the head coaching vacancy that occurred when Jackie MacMillan moved to CSS. Congratulations, Sis!

Like MacMillan, Paulsen was a member of the inaugural Badger Women's team. She played 4-years on the Badgers blueline, served as team captain as a junior and senior, and twice received All-WCHA honors.

About Paulsen, NEC Athletic Director Lori Runskmeier says:
"I am very happy to welcome Coach Paulsen to New England College. She brings an impressive pedigree of playing and coaching experience and obviously knows the game of hockey. I believe she has the tools and drive to lead us to a new level."

(Photo by Jeff Miller. #13 Sis Paulsen helps celebrate the first goal of the Badger Women's program, scored by #26 Kendra Antony.)

Women's Season Tix on Sale

Tickets for the defending NCAA Champion Badger Women are on sale, but the schedule is not yet released. No worries, here at the blog we've done the hard work of figuring out the schedule for you incase you need such info to make your decision on buying tickets.

Sept. 25-27: Open (likely home series, non-conference)
Oct. 2&3: North Dakota
Oct. 9&10: @ Bemidji
Oct. 16-18: Open
Oct. 23&24: Ohio State
Oct. 30, Nov 1: minnesota
Nov. 6&7: Robert Morris
Nov. 13-15: Open
Nov. 20-21: @ St. Cloud
Nov. 27&28: @ Providence
Dec. 4&6: Duluth Foreign Legion
Dec. 11&12: @ Mankato
Jan. 2 or 3: Team USA ???
Jan. 8&9: @ North Dakota
Jan. 16&17: @ Duluth Foreign Legion
Jan. 22&23: St. Cloud
Jan. 29&30: @Ohio State
Feb. 6&7: Bemidji*
Feb. 12&13: Mankato
Feb. 19&20: @minnesota
Feb. 26-28: 1st Round WCHA Playoffs
March 5&6: WCHA Final Faceoff
March 12&13: 1st Round NCAA Playoffs
March 18&20: Frozen Four

*Saturday game part of Camp Randall Classic

The info on uwbadgers.com says that its a 18 game package, so I'd assume that the Badgers will host someone in non-con the last weekend of September, and that is yet to be determined. Other than that, and the game against the USA Women's team in early January leading up to the Olympics, there is your schedule.

Tix for most (except the old and the young, and students, and big spending donors {like 60}) are $30 for the whole season, you go to 6 games and you break even. I'm kinda bummed that Hilary Knight will be in Red, White and Blue instead of Cardinal and White this season, but I'm really looking forward to seeing what Briana Decker will do to the WCHA.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dany Heatley "updates"

Ottawa GM Bryan Murray is setting the stage for Dany Heatley to remain with the Sens.
"We can fit both [Heatley and Kovalev] on our team very nicely, maybe one on left and one on right wing," Murray said after presenting Kovalev with the No. 27 shirt during an introductory news conference at Scotiabank Place.
When asked about Heatley, new Sen Alex Kovalev directs some blame back at the media:
"It's up to you guys," he told the media. "If you make it more comfortable for him, I'm sure he'd have no problem to stay."
Heatley himself has been keeping a low profile. (Thanks to goon for pointing out the article.)

Last week, Oilers Assistant GM Kevin Prendergast made the following statement to Dan Tencer regarding the Dany Heatley Predicament:
"I think we've given up hope on the Heatley scenario; but, I guess it's not dead in the water. But, at this point, it looks like we'll go to camp with the same team we finished with last year outside of a new goaltender."
(My apologies to whoever coined the phrase "Dany Heatley Predicament" -- I can't remember who you are, so I can't give you credit. But I like it, so I hope you don't mind my borrowing it.)

Ottawa Assistant GM Tim Murray said the deal isn't dead just yet but followed up by saying:
"I don’t know this, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they came out tomorrow and said they’re out of it. I don’t know that that’s going to happen, but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised (given) it’s gone on this long."
Jonathan Willis and Robin Brownlee of Oilers Nation express relief that the Oilers finally seem to be moving on from chasing Dany Heatley.

And finally (for now, anyway), THN's Adam Proteau gives us a bit of perspective on the Predicament, reminding everyone that although the situation was mishandled, Dany Heatley isn't necessarily a bad guy.
I’ll never be mistaken as a Heatley apologist, but I have to say the vitriol directed at him is reaching ridiculous levels.

Did he and his advisors completely misread the mood and/or situation in Ottawa? No doubt – and I’d bet they would do things differently if they could get a situational mulligan.

Because of his actions, Heatley will experience more scrutiny and be afforded less professional leeway than at any point in his life, regardless of where he ends up. He’ll also need expensive earplugs each and every time he ventures to either Canada’s capital or Edmonton for as long as he lives.

But he isn’t Satan incarnate. All interested parties – fans included – should use all of August as a cooling-down period and look at the situation in September with some more perspective.

Various WCHA-related (and other) news

  • Earlier this week we posted a link to a Mike Chambers' post of WCHA coaches' base salaries. Apparently the salary listed for Gwozdecky actually included incentive-based compensation, which explains why it was so much higher than the rest of the base salaries listed. Gwoz told Kevin Pates that his base salaray puts him 5th in the WCHA. Chambers has since updated his post to indicate that Gwozdecky's base salary is undetermined.
  • I normally don't post about early departures (or lack thereof) from other WCHA teams. Because honestly, I just don't put a whole heck of a lot of thought into the other teams -- I don't care who plays for them, I just care how the Badgers play against them. But I knew that Gandalf , and perhaps some of our readers as well, would be interested in this -- Denver defenseman (and one-time Badger recruit) Patrick Wiercioch has decided to return to Denver for another year. Here's an interesting article from earlier this month about Wiercioch's choices.
  • I may as well also mention that CC recruit John Moore, who had committed to the Tigers for the upcoming season, has signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets and will play this season for the OHL's Kitchener Rangers. Moore talked to the Pipeline Show last night about his decision.

    Not too much of a surprise, as there had been a lot of speculation this summer about him going to Kitchener. Apparently Moore, who says he didn't make his decision until Columbus made their official offer yesterday, thinks the OHL will give him a quicker path to the NHL.

    I don't care about CC, but if Moore sees the OHL as a better route to the NHL, he sure could've made the decision to go that route earlier, although in all fairness it sounds like he didn't really start looking at the OHL until relatively late. Regarding not being able to enroll in college after signing a pro contract, Moore said, "I wish the rules were different. Unfortunately, I won’t be coming to CC in the fall."It's hard not to find that statement a bit disingenous, but what else is a kid supposed to say to the school he just skipped out on? Here's Bruce Ciskie's take on the situation.
  • Speaking of the Pipeline Show, I noticed that they also interviewed Slapshot's Dave Hansen last night (Part 1, Part 2).
  • Have a question for US Men's Hockey Olympic head coach Lou Vairo? Usahockey has a new feature called Ask the Coach. You can start emailing your questions now, and answers will be posted on the site beginning in August and running through April.
  • Looks like Team USA will be playing the opening game of the 2010 IIHF World Championship (May 7-23, 2010 in Germany) in a football stadium. Unless it's a fun outdoor exhibition game like the Badgers @ Lambeau or Camp Randall, I'm not a huge fan of this trend to play games in football stadiums. But this decision isn't nearly as bad as holding the FF @ Ford Field. In fact, it might not be bad at all. At least it's just opening day, not the championship game. And since Team USA will be playing Germany in this game, it gives a lot of citizens of the host country a chance to see their team play in the tourney.

Chasing Jake McCabe

In his post about the NTDP schedules, DPlaya also tells us potential Badger recruit Jake McCabe will be unofficially visiting Notre Dame tomorrow.

We already knew that Notre Dame was in the hunt for McCabe's services, and McCabe's a smart kid to look at all of his options (of which I'm certain he has many). But I don't need to tell you my feelings about the Notre Lame hockey program, do I?

US NTDP schedules released: 3 games in WI

A couple of days ago, the US NTDP released the schedules for the U17 and U18 teams. As DPlaya points out, the U17 team plays 1 game in WI, and the U18 team plays 2 games in WI. It's too bad that the sole U17 game in WI is at the same time as the U18 game v. the Badgers.

It doesn't look like USA Hockey has yet updated their rosters for this year, but the U17 roster should include potential Badger recruit Jake McCabe, and the U18 roster should include future Badgers Frankie Simonelli and Michael Mersch.

Brilliant!!

It seems that former and current UND players Joe Finley and Matt Frattin were arrested yesterday for disorderly conduct. Finley was also charged with giving false information to officers, and Frattin was charged with fleeing from police.

I can't figure out which is funnier (emphasis mine): the list of items they were throwing onto the street -- cups, plates, a kitchen table, and a lawnmower -- or this statement by Lt. Dan Lund: "It was their own property, so there was nobody's property that was damaged other than their own. They said they just kind of routinely destroy each other's stuff." Routinely? Brilliant!!

Speaking of Finley, I thought I might as well re-post the video @ the Caps development camp in which he "discusses" (ie sounds like a dumbass while he whines about) slashing Bucky, just in case you missed it before. Watch him squirm!

Needless to say, the latest news earns both players a LetsGoDU Bad Boyz Nomination.

UPDATE: DG points out that Finley's efforts have also earned him mention on PuckDaddy. The post includes Finley's answer when asked what he wrote in his apology letter to Bucky:
"You know what ... we had a couple jokes about that. But I think the biggest thing is that you can't tell him that you didn't mean to do it, because you did whack him. I wish I could put it better, but for lack of a better term [I wrote] 'Just stay away from my goaltender.'"
Hilarious.

ANOTHER UPDATE: This one not so funny. Schlossman is reporting that UND has reduced Matt Frattin's scholarship money for 2009-10, has suspended him for a minimum of 2 games, and has ordered him to attend counseling.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wisconsin Hockey Hour Radio Show

I've really only gotten into Sports Radio in the past year or so, so outside of listening to Badger hockey games that I can't find on TV (of which there are too many), I'm not too familiar with any Badger Radio programs. Nonetheless, this report from UWBadgers.com caught my eye. Of note is the creation of a new weekly coach's radio show with Mike Eaves this season:

The Great Dane Pub & Brewery is now the official host of all three University of Wisconsin Badgers Coaches’ Radio Shows. The hour-long Bret Bielema Radio Show will be held at the Fitchburg location on Thursday nights from 7-8 p.m. for 13 weeks this fall. The Hilldale location will continue to host the Bo Ryan Radio Show for the second year and will also be the home of the new Wisconsin Hockey Hour Radio Show featuring head coach Mike Eaves. These hour-long shows will be held on Monday and Tuesday nights, respectively, from 7-8 p.m. throughout the season.


I'm trying to find some more information on when exactly the Wisconsin Hockey Hour Radio Show will begin, and whether it will also be available on other stations in the Wisconsin Badgers Radio Network. I'll update as I find out more.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Official Team Wisconsin Rosters


If you've been reading HIW, you already know that the the official Team Wisconsin rosters have been released. (Thanks, DPlaya!)


Team Wisconsin Major

Goalies: Tony Kujava, Austin Schmid, David Chapin

Defense: Shayne McLaughlin, Brian Kemp, Joe Fiala, Derek Knetter, Cody Dixon, Nolan Kirley
Defense Alternates: Chris Bishop, Dustin Klitzke

Forwards: Max McCormick, Simon Leahy, Brian Berger, Tanner Tryggestad, Russell Blaser, Dylan Dock, Erik Larabell, Nathan Trannel, Daniel Bartkowiak, Brad Navin, Joey Haydock
Forward Alternates: Tyler Schmelzer, Alex Tesensky, Ross Pavek

Team Wisconsin Minor

Goalies: Tyler Platz, Austin Priebe, Saxton Soley

Defense: Cliff Watson, Paul Byrne, Matt Fosdick, John Feemster, Tim Davison, Marques Surita
Defense Alternates: Dylan Cleereman, Brett Bukowski

Forwards: Ryan Dau, Todd Koritsinsky, Nick Szopinski, Evan Janssen, Garrett Clemment, Kyle Lee, Trevor Okeson, Ben Schershel, Brandon Walls, Alex Dahl, Eddie Matsushima, Aston Wackym
Forward Alternates: Kody Novinska, Jason Ford


Congratulations to all of the above players!


For those of our readers who might be somewhat unfamiliar with Team Wisconsin, you can read their mission statement here. TW helps raise players' profiles and get exposure to scouts, and it also helps players improve their games and make the step to the next level. Oh, and let's not forget, TW games are a heck of a lot of fun to watch! Go TW!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"He has gotten very good at playmaking"

Section 303 has an interview with Hockey Buzz's Brandon Felder and On the Forecheck's Dirk Hoag in which they discuss (among other things) the Predators development camp. Here is part of what Felder said about the camp:
"One of the guys I really noticed was Geoffrion, obviously, you know, local talent, but he has gotten very good at playmaking and making the right passes. I don't see him as a scorer in the future for the Preds, but he's, from what I've been told, basically their future third-line center."
The emphasis on the word "very" in "very good" isn't mine -- if you skip to 14:33 or so of the audio, you'll hear it, too.

By the way, a bit later, Felder said, "as everybody knows, the road to Nashville goes through Milwaukee, and there's so few cases of where they actually let a guy bypass any time in the AHL." Which meshes pretty well with what we heard from Preds scout Rich Knickle about the Preds not being a team that rushes players up to the NHL.

(Photo by Neil Ament, Badgers v. UAA 2/10/07)

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.

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.
  • NHL.com 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.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Swapping Badgers?

Well, I guess it depends on whether you consider defenseman Nigel Williams a Badger or not. Seeing as he didn't even stay a full season (heck, he didn't even make it to Christmas break) before bolting for the OHL, I'd say it's stretching things "just a bit". He played in just 1 game for the Badgers. But even if you don't consider him a Badger (and honestly I don't, although I have no hard feelings toward him), he's still a player of interest to Badger fans, I think. (At the very least, I know HatchetJoe will be interested.) After 2 years in the O, Williams played last season with the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters (Colorado Avalanche affiliate).

There's no argument about Brian Fahey being a Badger. He played 4 years on the Badgers' blueline (1999-2003). He's spent most of his professional career in the AHL, with a couple of stints in the ECHL. Most recently, he spent last year with the Hartford Wolfpack (NY Rangers affiliate) and the 2 prior years with the Chicago Wolves (Atlanta Thrashers affiliate).

Anyway, the point of this post --the New York Rangers have traded Brian Fahey to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Nigel Williams. (Thanks to "anonymouse" for the heads-up.)

Meet Your 2009-10 Wisconsin Badgers

Uwbadgers.com has released the Badger Women's roster and bios for the upcoming season.

A couple of jersey changes this year:
  • Maria Evans will be wearing #3 (formerly #14)
  • Olivia Jakiel will be wearing # 13 (formerly #3)
  • Carla Pentimone will be wearing #14 (formerly #18)
Looks like Pentimone, who transferred from Sacred Heart last year, did obtain a redshirt for last season as speculated. I think the only game she played in last year was the exhibition game v. the US Select Team.

I don't see Mercyhurst transfer Geena Prough on the roster, but WHKY blogger tells me that Prough doesn't officially become a Badger until Fall and so the team won't comment on her 'til then. (Thanks, blogger!)

The roster includes 8 freshman:
G: 30 Becca Ruegsegger
D: 5 Stephanie McKeough, 15 Alev Kelter, 16 Saige Pacholok
F: 10 Derya Kelter, 18 Brianna Decker, 19 Breann Frykas, 21 Lauren Unser

I should also point out that apparently Alev and Derya Kelter's last name is actually Kelter Perusse, and although they go by Kelter, they're listed on the roster as Perusse. Also, Alev goes by her middle name (her bio lists her first name as Leyla).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Badger Women's Hockey linkorama

  • Senior forward Jasmine Giles has been named captain of the 2009-2010 Badgers. Senior forwards Kyla Sanders and Emily Kranz will serve as alternate captains.
  • Part 2 of Scanlon's interview with interim head coach Tracey DeKeyser is now available. This time she talks about the upcoming Badger season, recruiting, and differences between the women's and men's games.
  • Six Badgers will be participating in Canada's U22 Selection Camp: sophomore D Brittany Haverstock, freshman D Stefanie McKeough, freshman D Saige Pacholok, junior F Mallory Deluce, sophomore F Carolyne Prévost, and freshman F Breann Frykas. Badger alumna Bobbie Jo Slusar was invited to participate but was unable to attend. The camp runs Aug 7 - Aug 14.

    Roster, schedule

Schmaltz, Racino, McCabe Named To U-17 Select Team

Wisconsin natives Jordan Schmaltz (Verona, 2012 Badger Recruit), Alex Racino (Merrill), and Jake McCabe (Eau Claire Memorial) have been named to the 2009 U.S. Under-17 Select Team.

According to the press release, "
Twenty players who participated at USA Hockey's Boys' Select 16 Player Development Camp have been selected for the 2009 U.S. Under-17 Select Team that will compete at the 2009 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament from Aug. 18-22, in Fussen, Germany."

Schmaltz, which has already been noted, has already committed to Wisconsin. McCabe has been talked up quite a bit on this blog and has visited the UW and is also considering a host of schools including UNO, UMD, North Dakota, and Minnesota. Racino is a bit of an enigma at this point. The talent is there for Racino, but he's not likely a player that UW will target.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Posting the cat




I don't have much news today, nor do I have much time, and so instead I'll simply leave you with a favorite picture of mine . . . (I promise to never stoop to posting pictures of my own cats . . .)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Well, I certainly wasn't expecting this . . .

With future Badger Troy Hesketh drafted by the Edmonton Oilers, I stop by Guy Flaming's and Dean Millard's blog Coming Down the Pipe on a pretty regular basis, as they do a fantastic job covering Edmonton's prospects. And this evening, Millard posted 5 rookies to watch for in the AHL. I wasn't expecting any Badgers, as the Badgers don't have any players besides McBain (that I'm aware of) joining the professional ranks as rookies this season. (And while I like McBain a lot, 5 is an awfully short list to make.)

So imagine my surprise to see Ryan McDonagh at #4 . . .
4. Ryan McDonagh-Defence-New York Rangers
Will the Rangers ask Mcdonagh to leave Wisconsin after 2 years and turn pro? That's what I'm banking on with him on this list. The blueliner was involved in the trade that send Scott Gomez to Montreal and New York might want to get his pro career started. With Bobby Sanguinetti likely graduating to the big club this year there will be an opening on the blueline with the farm.
There hadn't really been any chatter about McD leaving early once it was relatively established that everyone but McBain was returning. But of course McD's situation may have changed now that a different team holds his rights, and that's something I didn't really think about until now. I don't follow the Rangers at all, so I have no clue regarding their player development philosophies or how much they might be itching to get him into the professional ranks. I suppose we won't know anything for certain until the first day of practice.

Damn you, Millard! Now I get to worry about this for the rest of the offseason. Didn't you know that McDonagh is one of the players I'm most excited about seeing back with the Badgers this season?

UPDATE: In response to my comments/questions on their blog post, Flaming respondes as follows:
I know the Rangers have a lot of solid looking defence prospects so I actually don't know if there would be a big rush to bring him out of college.
I'll let you know if Millard responds.

A few Tuesday evening links

  • First off, I've had several posts today, and I'm afraid that I've bumped Chuck's USA Hockey Select 17 Recap down the page. So I thought I'd start out linking it here so that no one misses it.
  • DJ Powers of Hockey's Future is covering the DU Pioneers Alumni team at the Snoopy's Senior World Hockey Tournament (Santa Rosa, CA) for LetsGoDU. She was kind enough to pass on to me that Danny Geoffrion (Blake's father) is competing with the Nashville Old Notes. The Nashville team plays in a different age division than the DU Alum team, but DJ tells me that she hopes to see Nashville play on Wednesday when their group (50C) begins tournament play. And she said she'd let us know if she does. Thanks, DJ!

    By the way, DJ also tells us that Michigan Head Coach Red Berenson is playing for the Michigan Wolverines team.
  • The other day, someone found our site by googling Matt Doman. So, (naturally!) I googled Matt Doman as well. I knew he was head coach of the Stillwater Bantam A program, but I didn't know that he's President and a Head Trainer of The EDGE Performance Hockey Training Center.

    And taking a look at the "Trainers" section of their website, I found that John Funk is also Director of Hockey Operations and a Head Trainer. His bio indicates that last year he coached St. Thomas Academy to the state championship and that he's currently Head Coach of the Stillwater Pee Wee A team and the Player Development Coordinator for the Stillwater Area Hockey Association. So if you wondered where John Funk had gotten off to, now you know!

    Here's an article about Doman and Funk co-founding the center.

    Oh, and scrolling down the trainers section, I also see that former Badger assistant coach Troy Ward is on their staff. Ward is also currently an assistant coach and assistant GM for the AHL's Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild affiliate).
  • In an interview at the Caps development camp, Joe Finley looks a little uncomfortable about being asked about slashing Bucky. Plus he sounds like a dumbass. (Skip to 7:55 or so of the interview.)
  • I can't seem to get away from the Dale Tallon news today, even though it's not necessarily Badger-related news. (But like I said previously, with several Badgers in the Blackhawks system, I find this to be an item of interest.) The Illegal Curve isn't surprised that Tallon was reassigned, but rather by the timing of everything. TSN says that the RFA qualifying offers blunder was not a major factor in the reassignment, and The Hockey News backs that up with some analysis of the RFA contracts.

    The Blackhawks website has several clips from today's presser -- Clip 1, Clip 2, Clip 3, Clip 4, Clip 5, Clip 6.