Buzzing The Net
- Mike Sanderson at Buzzing The Net4 days ago
Yahoo Sports’ Buzzing the Net blog will preview the upcoming 2016-17 QMJHL season, going division by division and asking the biggest question of each team. The season opens on Thursday with the defending President’s Cup champion Rouyn-Noranda Huskies hosting the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, then a full slate of games Friday with all 18 teams in action.
2015-16 record: 54-9-3-2 (113 points)
Division finish: First place
League finish: First place
Result: Won President’s Cup
Can the Huskies win it all again?
Their blueline could be the deepest in the league, and while Chase Marchand isn’t back to set playoff records, they should be poised to be a contender again.
Marchand was a Jr. A goalie in the Maritime Hockey League two seasons ago. He became a star goaltender for the Huskies behind coach Gilles Bouchard and his system, and while Marchand was a very solid contributor and got hot at the right time, Samuel Harvey was the starter of this Huskies team two seasons ago when they made a surprise run to the second round. He is two years older now, two years wiser, and experienced a Memorial Cup run, albeit from the bench.
- Dhiren Mahiban at Buzzing The Net14 days ago
Owen Tippett and Nic Hague understand the importance the NHL draft has on building tradition within the Mississauga Steelheads organization.
At the 2016 NHL draft, five Steelheads players had their names called, including first-round picks Alexander Nylander and Michael McLeod. Now, Tippett and Hague – expected to be selected in the first two rounds next June – are hoping to follow suit.
“It’s really important,” said Tippett after a recent OHL preseason game. “ I think that was one of our biggest years for Mississauga last year. Just seeing all those guys go through it, it was an amazing experience to watch. I just want to keep it going this year.”
Tippett, a 6-foot-2, 204-pound forward should hear his name in the first round while Hague, a lanky 6-foot-5, 216-pound blue liner, will likely be a second-round pick.
“Kind of puts our team on the map and hopefully me and Tipper can continue that this year,” said Hague of the 2016 draft. “It’s definitely nice, I know people are going to be coming to watch, and their club team that guys got drafted to will come watch them, the more people that come watch the better chance I have of (getting drafted).
- Mike Sanderson at Buzzing The Net19 days ago
Former Hull Olympique and Acadie-Bathurst Titan forward Roberto (Bob) Bissonnette was killed in a helicopter crash near Campbellton, NB, on Labour Day weekend.
The helicopter he was travelling in collided with power lines at about 4 p.m., and crashed into a land embankment, finally rolling into the Restigouche River.
Bissonnette and pilot Frédérick Décoste were killed in the crash, while a third passenger, Michel LaPlante, was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Bissonnette and crew were in Caraquet, NB, for the weekend, flying over Saturday and coming back at the time of the accident. A selfie of the trio in the helicopter, taken on the way over, was posted to Bissonnette’s Instagram page.
- Dhiren Mahiban at Buzzing The Net24 days ago
With the World Cup of Hockey on the horizon, Auston Matthews has made the permanent move from his family’s home in Arizona to Toronto in preparation for the upcoming season.
Moving from home is nothing new for Matthews, who at 15 moved to Michigan to join the U.S. development program. Last year, Matthews moved to Switzerland where he scored 24 goals and 46 points in 36 games with the ZSC Lions.
“It's obviously an adjustment,” said Matthews following an informal skate on Thursday in Toronto. “The guys here have been great, the staff, everybody's been first class in helping me around the city with whatever I need, just helping that adjustment be as smooth as possible.
“I've been here throughout the summer a little bit, now I'm here for good. I have some time to get settled in, just start skating again, playing hockey, this is what I want to do so it's been good.”
June and July were busy months for the 18-year-old. After leading the Americans in scoring with six goals and nine points at the world championship, Matthews was in Buffalo for the NHL scouting combine and then again for the draft.
- Dhiren Mahiban at Buzzing The Net1 mth ago
Scott Galbraith has been known as the London Knights’ super fan, but these days he has a big beef with the Memorial Cup champions.
Galbraith believes he was cheated by the Knights and is considering legal action against the Ontario Hockey League franchise, the London Free Press reported.
In May, Galbraith won an auction for an authentic, game-worn, black Mitch Marner jersey, paying $3,510 for the piece of Knights memorabilia. Galbraith believed he would be receiving the No. 93 jersey Marner wore during the Memorial Cup; however, that jersey along with Christian Dvorak’s gloves, Matthew Tkachuk’s stick and Olli Juolevi’s helmet were all sent to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Knights provided Galbraith with a Marner jersey, but not the one he was hoping for. The hockey club believes they’ve held up their end of the bargain.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman at Buzzing The Net3 mths ago
Evan Fitzpatrick was reflecting on his hockey journey, the one that took him from St. John’s to possibly the top of the goaltending heap for the upcoming NHL draft.
It’s one year specifically that really stands out.
“A lot of credit goes to my mother for making the jump and moving provinces,” said Fitzpatrick of the QMJHL’s Sherbrooke Phoenix, the No.1-rated North American goaltender per NHL Central Scouting. “That really helped improve my play. From there, there was no looking back.”
Fitzpatrick, 18, makes it sound so simple, at least at first. But the reality was it was anything but for him and his mom, Donielle Briffett – not to mention the rest of their family, too.
Realizing Fitzpatrick had maxed out his potential on their home island of Newfoundland four years ago, Briffett left behind her home, her job and, temporarily, her husband and youngest son. It was all so her oldest boy, 14 at the time, could have a chance advance his career.
Fitzpatrick and Briffett moved to Lower Sackville, N.S., which is about 20 kilometres north of Halifax, where he enrolled in the Newbridge Academy sports schoolin time for his bantam season, 2012-13.
- Dhiren Mahiban at Buzzing The Net3 mths ago
BUFFALO – Mississauga Steelheads general manager James Boyd knew selecting Alex Nylander at the 2015 CHL import draft was a gamble.
In 2014, Boyd selected William Nylander with the 13th pick at the import draft and the elder Nylander decided to remain in Sweden playing for Modo before joining the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies following the 2015 world juniors.
However, with William already playing in North America, Boyd figured convincing Alex to join his Ontario Hockey League club would be an easier proposition.
“I know for drafting William, he didn't come, but he ended up in the American Hockey League and I know that he really enjoyed playing in Toronto,” Boyd said. “We took Alex thinking, if William is here, then maybe… and it ended up that the stars aligned and [he] came so I think it was part luck and part sales job on our part.”
In his first season with the Steelheads, Alex scored 28 goals and 75 points in 57 regular season games. He added six goals and six assists in six playoff games as Mississauga fell in the first round to the Barrie Colts.
For his fine rookie season the 18-year-old was named both the OHL and CHL rookie of the year.
- Kelly Friesen at Buzzing The Net3 mths ago
Led by Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine, the 2016 NHL draft class is full of elite talents from across the globe. The combination of the draft’s high-end skill and depth make it one of the top draft classes in the past decade.
One major theme in this year’s draft is the high number of prolific big-bodied forwards. Look no further than how the top five picks in the draft may all end up being forwards who stand 6-foot-1 or taller. It’s clearly a good year for NHL teams to bulk up their offenses.
Without further ado, here’s a look at the top 10 prospects of the draft. Yahoo! Sports teamed up with Future Considerations to put together BTN’s official draft list.
1. Auston Matthews, centre, ZS Lions (NLA) – The Scottsdale, AZ., native is set to become the NHL’s next big superstar. He’s a prolific goal scorer who possesses an imposing 6-foot-2, 216-pound stature, soft hands and quick feet. Moreover, he’s already proven himself in a prestigious professional league, as he scored 24 goals and 46 points in 36 games in Switzerland’s top league.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman at Buzzing The Net3 mths ago
The proof wasn’t quite in the pudding during the recent NHL draft combine, but Sean Day is confident he’s turning a corner when it comes to his physical fitness.
“I’m always going to be a heavy guy,” said Day after his workouts in Buffalo. “I’m really bottom heavy just with my legs. If I can drop down to 220 (or) 225 (pounds), the workouts and conditioning I’ve been doing with the intense training, hopefully that can benefit me a bit.”
Shedding weight, or most specifically keeping if off, has been an issue for Day throughout his high-profile junior career so far.
Known as a slick, effortless skater, the bulky Day entered the OHL as an exceptional status player in 2013. He followed John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad and Connor McDavid in that line of distinction, an almost sure sign that superstardom was to follow.
However, Day wasn’t named to Canada’s Ivan Hlinka team last August. The 6-foot-3 defenceman that being 15 pounds overweight probably didn’t help his chances. After a season in which he posted six goals and 22 points – a drop-off from his 2014-15 output of 10 goals and 36 points – Day wasn’t asked to play on the under-18 team in April, either.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman at Buzzing The Net3 mths ago
BUFFALO – Will Bitten said he interviewed with 27 teams at the NHL draft combine.
Let’s just say the situation he endured with the OHL’s Flint Firebirds this season was a frequent question.
“Every single team,” Bitten said, chuckling, when asked if that was a popular theme in his sit-downs. “A lot of teams wanted to know what went on because it’s an experience not everyone will experience in their lives. I don’t think it’s ever happened before. They were all curious. I’m an honest person. I answered every question they wanted to know.”
The Firebirds finished out of the playoffs in their first year in Flint after moving from Plymouth, Mich.
That they made national headlines at various time of the season had nothing to do with their play.
It all started in November when owner Rolf Nilsen fired coach John Gruden and assistant Dave Karpa after a win over the Oshawa Generals, because his son, Hakon, a defenceman, wasn’t getting enough ice time.
The Firebirds players, including Hakon, turned in their jerseys in support of their coaches, who were then rehired and given three-year contracts the next day.