Buzzing The Net
Hockey vs. school in a different way: Hockey Mauricie stops five talented juniors from playing in the league they wantMike Sanderson at Buzzing The Net2 hrs ago
Most of the 16-20 year olds discussed in this space when we mention school it’s the CHL vs. NCAA.
For five players in the Mauricie region, they already made their choice. University.
The five are all cégep and university students and want to play hockey in a league that will accommodate a university student’s schedule, one that will prevent most major injuries, and one that will be close to home, in their case the team in Cap-de-la-Madeleine.
School has a bigger importance than hockey, but they don’t want to quit playing the sport they love.
Hockey Mauricie, the local hockey association, has deemed them “too good” to play in the highest league without body checking, Junior A, and insist they play in a higher league, Junior AA, where they can better use their hockey skills.
However, Junior AA has body checking, and a more intense practice and game schedule. They are literally too good for their own good.
- Sunaya Sapurji at Buzzing The Net9 hrs ago
As far as Nikolaj Ehlers is concerned, he’s ready to take the next step in the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets. In terms of his junior career, he’s been there and done that, with little more to prove with the Quebec League’s Halifax Mooseheads.
“I feel like I’ve proven what I can do (in the QMJHL) and what kind of player I am,” said Ehlers, the ninth overall pick in the 2014 NHL draft. “I also think it’s time for me to play against bigger men.
“I feel like I’m ready.”
Ehlers said he is no longer under contract with the Mooseheads, but the team still holds his North American rights. So in the event he doesn’t make the Jets, he’d be able to play in Europe. The 19-year-old Danish import grew up playing hockey in Switzerland where his father, Heinz Ehlers, is a head coach in the Swiss league.
Last month Ehlers told Swiss News Agency Sportinformation that if he didn’t make the NHL, his first choice would be to play in Switzerland. However, this week the forward backtracked slightly on his European emergency plan.
“I don’t have any other plans other than playing in the NHL this year,” said the talented winger. “It’s what my focus is on and it’s going to stay like that until they say otherwise.
- Sunaya Sapurji at Buzzing The Net1 day ago
The reality is finally beginning to set in for the NHL’s youngest and brightest stars. During their childhood years, many of them collected hockey cards. They’d pick them up at convenience stores or trade them among friends and all of them had a favourite.
On Tuesday, a new crop of potential NHL rookies were on hand at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at Maple Leaf Gardens to pose for their own Upper Deck hockey cards.
“Of course I collected trading cards, I think every kid did,” said Connor McDavid, the No. 1 overall draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers in June. “It’s really special to be on one now.”
Earlier, Jack Eichel, who was selected one spot after McDavid by the Buffalo Sabres, signed an exclusive multi-year trading card deal with Leaf. No terms of the deal -- which includes cards, autographs and memorabilia – were released, but Leaf CEO Brian Gray called it “easily the most lucrative autograph trading deal for any rookie in the history of the sport.”
“You dream of this happening and then everything starts to fall into place,” said Eichel of his new endorsement. “You realize it’s more of a reality… people pay you for your autograph and it’s pretty neat.”
- Neate Sager at Buzzing The Net5 days ago
Credit the London Knights for being aware it would be bad form to have one of their training camp squads bearing Patrick Kane's name while their notable alumnus is under criminal investigation.
It is better to be proactive than reactive. The Knights have a custom of dividing players up into teams named after their former stars who are now prominent National Hockey League players. While Kane is high up on that list after winning his third Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in June, he is also part of an active police investigation into rape allegations. The Knights are simply getting out in front of a potential problem by razing Kane from their camp. It's a pretty easy call.
From Ryan Pyette (@RyanatLFPress):
Side point: should Team Perry get the gold sweaters, in recognition of whose team won at at the 2010 and '14 Olympics? Neither here nor there.
Cataractes could be forced to get chummy with Trois-Rivieres if veto is pulled from QMJHL constitutionMike Sanderson at Buzzing The Net9 days ago
The Shawinigan Cataractes have long believed that, since 1992, they owned the Mauricie region, including control over the neighboring, larger, Trois-Rivières.
Apparently, if they still think that, the team will get a rude awakening, as it’s expected that the territorial veto will be waived in the QMJHL’s constitution during the upcoming league meetings in September in Quebec City.
The current rule is that teams have the right to veto another team wanting to set up shop within 40 km. Shawinigan and Trois-Rivières are 27 km apart.
This is particular interest to the Cataractes, as they have maintained a team in Trois-Rivières would sink the team financially and kill the inroads the team has made in the market since the Draveurs left.
Trois-Rivières is the only real market possibility, barring a major surprise, for the league to rescind this rule and it seems like this change would be made to facilitate a team moving or starting up there.
- Sunaya Sapurji at Buzzing The Net9 days ago
It’s been a while, but Warren Rychel is finally looking forward to a Windsor Spitfires season with more than just cautious optimism.
“You can probably tell I’m excited,” said the general manager. “More than I have been in the past few years. I think we’re a little deeper and we’ve made some changes.”
A big part of that excitement came on Monday morning, when the team announced the signing of American forward Christian Fischer. The 18-year-old was a second round pick – 32 nd overall – of the Arizona Coyotes at the June NHL entry draft. He spent last season with the U.S. National Team Development Program’s under-18 squad, where he scored 31 goals and 33 assists in 66 games. The native of Wayne, Ill., had been committed to the hockey program at Notre Dame, but after recently signing a three-year entry-level contract with the Coyotes, his NCAA eligibility was quashed.
“He’s a real smart, hard working player,” said Rychel of Fischer. “He’s good in the corners, good on the wall, plays a complete game and he can play in every situation: power play, penalty kill and even strength.”
- Mike Sanderson at Buzzing The Net12 days ago
Stop me if you've heard this before.
A hockey team wants their city to kick in funding for a new arena for the team to play.
The latest example: the Gatineau Olympiques.
Olympiques governor Norman MacMillan said Thursday that the city's new arena project is a "matter of life and death" for his team, and they will be forced to move if the city doesn't support the team by funding a portion of a new arena project.
But don't worry, it's only $25-million dollars or so.
MacMillan urges the team can't pay for a private arena for themselves in the region. The money just isn't there.
And hey, if you don't ask, you don't get.
The call for a team to force its city’s hand to pay for a new building, or renovations to an old one, is not a new idea.
Heck, three NFL teams are doing that right now. The St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders are all threatening to move to the Los Angeles area if they don’t get new or improved stadiums.
- Mike Sanderson at Buzzing The Net22 days ago
The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles thought they were getting a steal by picking potential superstar Shane Bowers fourth overall in the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft.
So far, all they’ve picked is a headache.
Bowers has made his intentions on his future clear, deciding to report to the Waterloo Blackhawks of the USHL, and it was announced officially Monday, as Bowers no-showed in Sydney.
It was a change of tune for the youngster, after saying originally on draft day he was excited to join the Screaming Eagles.
The Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy reported Bowers was never going to report to them, opting for the U.S. college route.
He says Bowers said what he said on draft day to stay polite and not rock the boat. Allegedly, he told the Screaming Eagles he wouldn’t report from the start.
- Neate Sager at Buzzing The Net26 days ago
No one really likes shootouts having an impact on playoff position to an extent that is out of proportion to their actual importance, which was the reasoning behind the National Hockey League losing a skater per side by adopting 3-on-3 overtime.
Since major junior is self-styled as a feeder league to the next level, it is probably just a matter of when all three circuits within the Canadian Hockey League follow suit. On Thursday, Quebec Remparts beat writer Kathleen Lavoie of Le Soleil reported that, indeed, the QMJHL will break out the full-five-minutes 3-on-3 format this season. The Q starts training camps some three weeks earlier than the OHL and WHL, so it's not surprising it would be first.
For anyone wondering, 17.8 per cent of 2014-15 QMJHL regular-season games were tied after three regulation periods, requiring overtime. Of those 109 games, 47, or 43.1 per cent, had a goal scorer.
- Kelly Friesen at Buzzing The Net29 days ago
A familiar name will be on the back of a Portland Winterhawks sweater next season. Caleb Jones is set to play for the WHL franchise just as his brother, Nashville Predators defenceman Seth Jones, did two years ago.
The 6-foot, 194-pound rearguard did inevitably consult his brother when deciding whether to go down the major junior or college route, but he made his own decision. He decided the WHL was the best fit for his development because of the extensive 72-game schedule and the league’s track record at getting players to the next level.
“I talked to him (Seth) about it a little bit to see what he thought,” says Jones, whom the Edmonton Oilers selected 117 th overall in the 2015 NHL draft. “He told me what to expect in the WHL and how everything works. But he was supportive of whatever decision I made and knows both routes (WHL and NCAA) are good routes. I decided the WHL was my best option because of the amount of games in the schedule and how it’s second to none at developing NHL prospects.”