Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hedden Story Up at USCHO.com



Two-for-two this week at USCHO.com - a story I wrote on former Neumann University forward Mike Hedden is now up on the site.

Hedden, who won an NCAA Division III championship with Neumann in 2009, helped the Texas Stars to the Calder Cup title this spring as American Hockey League champions, scoring two goals in the deciding contest at St. John's. He has 56 goals and 127 points in 210 career AHL regular-season appearances.

Hedden, who previously played with Toledo (ECHL), is now off to Croatia for next season, to skate with Medvešcak Zagreb of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Princeton's Fogarty Profiled at USCHO.com


My latest story for USCHO.com is now up, on new Princeton head coach Ron Fogarty, who spent the past seven seasons building Adrian (Mich.) into an NCAA Division III powerhouse.

A former Colgate forward and ECAC assistant coach, Fogarty will get his first crack as an NCAA Division I head coach starting this fall at Princeton. The Tigers finished last in the league with a 4-18 mark last season in ECAC play, going 6-26 overall with just two wins coming after Jan. 10, and have nowhere to go but up.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Young Returns to BU




Former Boston University Terrier forward Scott Young has returned home as BU's new Director of Hockey Operations, according to USCHO.com.

A native of Clinton, Mass., and an alumnus of St. Mark's School in Southborough, Young earned Hockey East Rookie of the Year accolades in his freshman campaign with the Terriers, tallying 16 goals and 13 assists for 29 points. He then added 15-21—36 points the following season, winning a second straight Beanpot Tournament with BU along with the Hockey East Tournament title. He then left Boston to join the U.S. National Team in the run-up to the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, posting 58 points in 57 preliminary outings. 

A first-round NHL draft choice (11th overall) in 1986, Young played for Hartford, Pittsburgh, Quebec, Colorado, Anaheim and St. Louis in an NHL career that spanned from 1988 to 2006 and resulted in 342-414—756 points in 1,181 regular-season appearances. A nine-time 20-goal scorer at the NHL level, he also posted 44-43—87 totals in 141 Stanley Cup playoff contests, and won the Cup in 1991 with the Penguins and in 1996 with the Avalanche.

His highest-scoring NHL season came in 2000-01 with the Blues, where he registered 40-33—73 totals in 81 games, and he had three goals and 15 points in 22 contests in the spring of 1996 in helping Colorado claim its first Stanley Cup. He also played briefly in Germany and in the Central Hockey League in his professional career.

Internationally, Young skated in three world Junior Championships, winning bronze with the U.S. in 1986. He also played in three World Championships and three Winter Olympic Games, winning silver at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. He also helped the U.S. to the 1996 World Cup crown.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Former College Players Change Clubs in NHL Free Agency


Here's a partial listing of former NCAA players (in alphabetical order) who have changed NHL affiliation since free agency kicked off on July 1:


Player, Pos.        College         New Team-Last Team
Brian Boyle, F      Boston College  Tampa Bay-Rangers
Dan Boyle, D        Miami           Rangers-San Jose
Mike Cammalleri, F  Michigan        New Jersey-Calgary
Carter Camper, F    Miami           Ottawa-Columbus
Scott Clemmensen, G Boston College  New Jersey-Florida
Cory Conacher, F    Canisius        Islanders-Buffalo
Patrik Eaves, F     Boston College  Dallas-Nashville
Mark Fayne, D       Providence      Edmonton-New Jersey
Tom Gilbert,D       Wisconsin       Montreal-Florida
Brian Gionta, F     Boston College  Buffalo-Montreal
Tanner Glass, F     Dartmouth       Rangers-Pittsburgh
Matt Hunwick, F     Michigan        Rangers-Colorado
Chad Johnson, G     Alaska          Islanders-Boston
Steven Kampfer, D   Michigan        Rangers-Minnesota
Ryan Miller, G      Michigan St.    Vancvr-St. Louis
Willie Mitchell, D  Clarkson        Florida-Los Angeles
Al Montoya, G       Michigan        Florida-Winnipeg
Mike Moore, D       Princeton       Washington-Boston
Matt Moulson, F     Cornell         Buffalo-Minnesota
Brooks Orpik, D     Boston Coll.    Washington-Pitt
Kevin Porter, F     Michigan        DetroitBuffalo
Mason Raymond, F    MN-Duluth       Calgary-Toronto
Jack Skille, F      Wisconsin       Islanders-Columbus
Paul Stastny, F     Denver          St. Louis-Colorado
Ben Street, F       Wisconsin       Colorado-Calgary
Thomas Vanek, F     Minnesota       Minnesota-Montreal
Joe Vitale, F       Northeastern    Arizona-Pittsburgh
Jesse Winchester, F Colgate         Colorado-Florida
 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Five Eagles Taken in 2014 NHL Entry Draft


A trio of top players with ties to Boston College were selected over the weekend at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. 

Left wing Sonny Milano and right wing/center Alex Tuch both went in the first round on Friday evening. Milano was taken 16th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Tuch followed two picks later when he was tabbed by the Minnesota Wild. Both will be enrolling at the Heights this fall, and both played for the U.S. Under-18 Team in the United States Hockey League last season. Milano finished with 24 goals and 48 assists for 72 points, while Tuch accumulated 28-3260 points.

Boston College rising freshman netminder Thatcher Demko, who was ranked the No. 1 North American goaltender by NHL Central Scouting, was taken on Saturday by the Vancouver Canucks at 36th overall. The 6-foot-3 Demko finished 16-5-3 overall last season with a 2.16 goals-against average in backstopping the Eagles to the Frozen Four in April, which was also held in Philadelphia. BC fell to eventual national champion Union College, 5-4, in the semifinals.

Also chosen in the sixth round back-to-back, and headed to BC in the fall of 2015, were centers Chris Brown and Joey Dudek, the first two picks in that round. Brown, who posted 23-27—50 totals last year for the Cranbrook-Kingswood School in Michigan, was selected 151st overall by the Buffalo Sabres, while Dudek, who put up 9-35—44 numbers last year for Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire, was taken with the very next pick by the New Jersey Devils.

BC and Hockey East rival Boston University tied for the NCAA lead in this year’s draft with five selections apiece.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Former Spartans Honored by NHL



Michigan State University cleaned up a bit at the 2013-14 NHL Awards on Tuesday night in Las Vegas, particularly regarding the blueline.

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith collected his second career Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman. A Winnipeg native who played a season-and-a-half at MSU (2001-2003), Keith led all NHL blueliners this past season with 55 assists.. A member of the Blackhawks since the 2005-06 NHL campaign, he has 65 goals and 305 assists for 370 points in 686 NHL regular-season games. He has also won two Stanley Cups (2010, 2013) with Chicago, and two Olympic gold medals with Canada (2010, 2014).

Boston Bruins defenseman and former Spartan blueliner Torey Krug made the NHL's 2013-14 All-Rookie Team after playing in his first full season in the league. Krug, from Livonia, Mich., skated three seasons at State (2009-2012), tallied 26-57—83 points in 114 outings with the Spartans, and was also the 2012 CCHA Player of the Year. He burst onto the NHL scene during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, scoring four goals in 15 appearances after playing in a total of just three prior NHL regular-season games . The Bruins won the Eastern Conference title, but fell to Keith's Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final in six games.

Concerning other former NCAA players, New York Rangers center Dominic Moore (Harvard) won this year's Bill Masterton Trophy for "perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey", helping New York to the Stanley Cup Final after taking last season off to care for his wife, Katie, before she passed away due to liver cancer. Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (UMass) won the Jennings Trophy for the fewest goals surrendered by an NHL netminder who played in at least 25 regular-season games. Quick gave up just 100 goals in 49 outings as the Kings ultimately went on to win their second Stanley Cup title in three years.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bowling Green's Blake Named to Hall of Fame




The Hockey Hall of Fame is adding another NCAA player to its ranks. 

Rob Blake (Bowling Green), a 20-year NHL defenseman who won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche, will be inducted into the Hall this year along with goaltender Dominik Hasek, center Peter Forsberg, center Mike Modano, coach Pat Burns and referee Bill McCreary, according to NHL.com.

Blake won the Norris Trophy in 1998 as the NHL's top blueliner, and was a six-time NHL All-Star Game participant. He was named to the All-NHL Second Team three times, and to the first team the same year he won the Norris.

Blake scored 240 goals and added 537 assists for 777 points in 1,270 career NHL regular-season games, while also accumulating 1,679 penalty minutes. He also scored 136 power-play goals in his tenure with the Los Angeles Kings, Avalanche and San Jose Sharks, and 41 of his goals were game-winners.

A native of Simcoe, Ontario, Blake also participated in 146 Stanley Cup Playoff contests over 13 seasons, collecting 26-47—73 points and 166 PIM. He posted career playoff highs of 6-13—19 points in 23 games in 2001 in helping Colorado to its second-ever Stanley Cup with a seven-game victory over the defending NHL champion New Jersey Devils in the final.

The Kings drafted him fourth overall in 1988 after his freshman season at BGSU, where Blake put up 39-65—104 points and 368 PIM in 139 career games with the Falcons under head coach Jerry York, including a 59-point junior campaign in 1989-90. He left school a year early to turn pro with the Kings that same season.

Blake was named as the Central Collegiate Hockey Association's Best Offensive Defenseman and to the All-CCHA First team in 1989-90, the same year that he also earned First Team All-America West accolades. He was later named to the CCHA's 1980s All-Decade Team, according to his Wikipedia entry.

Blake, who also participated in five World Championships and three Winter Olympic Games with Canada, won a gold medal at the Salt Lake Olympic Games in 2002. He was also a member of Canada's silver-medal squad at the 1996 World Cup. He played his final NHL game with San Jose in the 2009-10 playoffs, appearing in 15 postseason contests after skating in 70 regular-season outings.

Blake now works with the Kings as their assistant general manager, and will add another Stanley Cup ring to his résumé  following last month's Los Angeles victory over the New York Rangers in the final in five games. He was also selected by Hockey Canada to be their General Manager for the 2014 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships in Belarus, where Canada finished fifth overall..

The Hockey Hall of Fame induction for the Class of 2014 will be held in November in Toronto.