Nedved is No Longer a Ranger

Even though forward, Petr Nedved, had two goals and an assist in three pre- season games, the New York Rangers decided to go with youth, and gave the 36 year-old his official release, last week.

“This is probably it for me as far as the NHL goes,” Nedved, who scored 310 goals and 407 assists in 982 NHL games, said. “Obviously it gave me an indication that I can still play in this league.”

According to New York Rangers’ head coach, Tom Renney, he explained to Nedved. during the off-season. that he can come to camp on a tryout basis, but when it’s all said and done, they would more then likely, go with the younger players, and that’s what materialized.

“In the best interest of growing our organization, integrating new blood into it, to develop this team for the long run. That’s what we were going to do,” said Renney. “Had we not had the performance of a couple of young people, there’s a good chance Petr would still be here.”

What hurt Nedved’s chances was also his defensive play. In his final exhibition game, which came in a loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the forward was on the ice for three of four goals, and finished the game at a minus 2.

“If it was going to be this decision, there was no point in waiting any longer,” said a disappointed Nedved, who was hoping for a third stint with the Rangers.

This former 1990 Vancouver Canucks’ first round draft pick, who also played for the St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins, Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, and the Edmonton Oilers; had some previous success with the Rangers. During his two tours in New York, (1994-95 — 1998-2004), he registered 149 goals and 202 assists in 478 games.

Looking ahead to the future, Nedved is making final arrangements to join his team Liberec, in the Czech Republic.

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Bertuzzi is the Right Guy for Calgary

Prior to the Calgary Flames opening of training camp last weekend, coach, Mike Keenan, decided to throw a challenge out to his big strapping forward, Todd Bertuzzi, who is about to embark on his first season in Calgary.

This former Vancouver Canucks’ superstar, who registered a career high of 46 goals in 2003, will be trying to get his career back on track; after seeing his stock plummet in recent years.

Bertuzzi, who is a former New York Islanders’ first round pick in 1993, enjoyed his most productive years, starting in the late 1990’s, with Vancouver; that lasted until March 2004. In early March he was suspended, indefinitely, and put the organization in a bad light around the league; after a highly publicized on -ice incident, where he attacked Colorado Avalanche forward, Steve Moore, from behind … ending his career.

In 2006, Bertuzzi, whose reputation was still at an all- time low, was shipped off to Florida, where, due to a series of back injuries, was a shadow of his own self.

After scoring only 14 goals and 40 points with the Anaheim Ducks last season, Bertuzzi’s contract was not renewed, and on July 7, he was given an opportunity in Calgary. Flames’ general manager, Darryl Sutter, decided to take a chance on this 12 year-veteran.

“He’s positive about himself, and about his opportunity here,” says Flames’ coach, Mike Keenan, who coached Bertuzzi 10 years ago in Vancouver .

“He views this, I’m sure, as a good — new start.” “He’s a lot more experienced than when I coached him.”

Not only is this player, affectionately known as ‘Bert’, getting a fresh start, with a new team, but also he is being given the ultimate challenge by Keenan to play on the first line, with Daymond Langkow, and someone he knows well — Jarome Iginla.

“It’s an opportunity that I’m really looking forward to,” said Bertuzzi, who played with Iginla during the Olympics. “I played a little with him on the power play and it was pretty comfortable. Hopefully I’ll have a good camp and we’ll get some chemistry going — and we’ll be a good 1-2 punch.”

Coming into camp, Iginla, who highly recommended Bertuzzi to management, was impressed with his fitness level, and is looking forward to what he brings to the team.

“Everybody knows him as a big power forward, but he’s extremely skilled and really great in front of the net — and a really good passer,” said Iginla. “I think it’ll be exciting. I’ve had an opportunity to play with him before and I really liked it.”

During the summer, Bertuzzi, who is from Sudbury, Ontario, made it clear that he wanted to play in Canada, and was excited about being reunited with Keenan in Calgary .

“He demands a lot out of you but — at the same time — he has a lot of respect for his players,” he said. “He knows how far to push individuals to get the best out of them.”

Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Iginla is excited about the new additions; which include Mike Cammalleri, Rene Bourque, and Curtis Glenncross.

“Every year is exciting,” said Iginla. “There is so many options for Mike (Keenan), as far as where guys are going to play, and who fits best together; and until you see it during games — you never know.”

Starting on Tuesday night, the Flames will begin their exhibition schedule against the Florida Panthers.

“Yes, I’m excited about the start, and anxious to see the team on ice,” said Keenan, who has high expectations for his team. “I think there’s more of a buzz this year — than I’ve felt in a long time.”

We Are All Heros

What a team! The three of us look like the Three Stooges. Marco and Christof are for me two great guys who care! Without them I would not be able to be helping to present the new song to all the fans of Hannover and help charities along the way. I am told we are having a concert after the game next Sunday against the Iserlohn Roosters. Yes Christof and Fabian will be in the TUI Arena playing their hits from their new band Wohnraumhelden and then present the new song “Wir Sind helden” (We Are Heros) song to all the Hannover Scorpion fans. Stay tuned for more details!

Click on the link below and select “We Are Heros” (Wir Sind Helden) in the Gouche on the Edge section to hear the new Hannover Scorpion single:

http://www.29sports.com/29/podcasts.html

Wayne Fleming Flies to Russia

Fleming flies east
 

CALGARY – Calgary Flames assistant coach Wayne Fleming will be the new head coach of Russian team Avangard Omsk. The NHL club accepted the resignation of the Canadian.

“We have great respect for the work Wayne did with us and appreciate his contributions,” said Flames GM Darryl Sutter. “We understand that the opportunity to be the head coach of a significant team such as this represents the very best opportunity for him and his career at this time.”

Fleming is no complete stranger in the KHL. In June, he travelled to Minsk where he was supposed to sign with Dynamo Minsk and the Belarusian federation but finally, he went back to the Flames.

The 58-year-old comes to Siberia to take over a team in crisis. The club, owned by oil billionaire Roman Abramovich, who’s also famous for calling the Londoner football team Chelsea his own, spent millions to have a team fighting for the championship and signing high-calibre players starring Jaromir Jagr.

The Czech superstar had four points (2+2) which makes him the second-best scorer in the team after Dmitri Pestunov. Far less than the most successful scorers of the league. Ak Bars Kazan’s Danis Zaripov is leading with 11 points (5+6) after six games.

Avangard began with a road trip fiasco, losing to Ak Bars Kazan (4-2) and Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (3-1) before beating Lada Togliatti, 2-1. The first home game with an upsetting 6-0 sweep against reigning European club champion Metallurg Magnitogorsk calmed down the nerves for some hours but the home defeats to Salavat Yulayev Ufa (5-1) and Traktor Chelyabinsk (6-3) were definitely too much.

Of 24 teams, Avangard is ranked 21st in the league with two wins in six games and the club recently announced to find a new coach after what they call a poor performance. After six games, head coach Sergei Gersonsky decided to make way for a new coach and the club management seemed to have looked for a North American coach as also Bob Hartley and Dave King were rumoured to be candidates in the Russian media.

Fleming was associate coach for Team Canada at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, and the 2002 and 2006 Olympic Games, and head coach in several other events including the 2001 and 2002 IIHF World Championship.

It is not known yet when Fleming will debut but at least today against Lada Togliatti, Igor Nikitin will be behind the bench before the avant-garde coach from Canada will arrive. On Sunday, the team has another road trip with games in Novosibirsk, Novokuznetsk and twice in Khabarovsk.

Notebook:

 

  • With just one loss, reigning champion Salavat Yulayev Ufa and Lokomotiv Yaroslavl are the most successful clubs in the young league.
  • Having already played eight games and won 16 points, the first place currently goes to Metallurg Novokuznetsk while namesake Metallurg Magnitogorsk is ranked tenth.
  • All expansion clubs can be found at the bottom of the standings except Dinamo Riga. The team which looks like kind of the Latvian national team plus some imports including their Slovakian top scorer Marcel Hossa (7+3=10 points) is on sixth place.
  • The KHL is going to Finland – at least for two games. Because the Arena Riga can’t serve with too much ice time for the club founded in spring, it was announced that Dinamo Riga’s home game against Ak Bars on October 26th will be played in Espoo. Also the game against Lada Togliatti on the following day will be played in the city 20 kilometres away from Helsinki.
  • Wade Dubielewicz backup Stanislav Galimov of Ak Bars is leading the goalie stats with a 96.4 save percentage after his two games. Despite plenty of foreign goalkeepers, also the best number-one goalie right now is domestic with Russian national team netminder Alexander Yeremenko (94.8) of Salavat Yulayev Ufa. He’s followed by Canadian Tyler Moss (94.2), who plays for the far-east team Amur Khabarovsk.

 
MARTIN MERK

Hannover Scorpions Lose 6-3

Hannover Scorpions loses 6 – 3 to the Augsburg Panthers on the Road

Hannover, 21.09.08. The Hannover Scorpions, after a great home victory Friday night in Hannover over the German DEL Champions from last year, the Eisbaren Berlin, lose 6-3 (1:4, 2:1, 0:1) to the Augsburg Panthers. The 3,227 fans in the Curt-Frenzel-Stadion (Augsburg), saw the Panthers dominate the first 20 minutes. The Scorpions got goals from Chris Herperger, Adam Mitchell and Tino Boos. The team from Hans Zach, fell behind early and were never in the first frame down 4-1. In the second the Scorpions seemed to  battle hard but the Panthers were just too strong this night. Larry Mitchell, the head coach of the Panthers and who played for the Scorpions from 1995-97, was very satisfied with his teams’ effort. “We came out strong and I was very pleased with our effort. When you get a team down 4-1 in the first period at home you have to seal the deal. Hannover battled back but my guys shut the door!” explains Mitchell. Mitchell was dead on because when Tino Boos made it 5-3 it gave the Scorpions hope to climb back into the game. However when Mark Murphy scored with 3 minutes to go, the hopes were quickly dashed.

Goals: 1:0 Ryan (Gordon – 01:30 Min.), 1:1 Herperger (Schneider, Mitchell – 03:46 Min.), 2:1 Maurer (Slovak – 07:52 Min.), 3:1 Ryan (Junker – 09:06 Min.), 4:1 Maurer (Kreitl – 18:01 Min.), 4:2 Mitchell (Schneider, Brimanis – 27:04 Min. – PP1), 5:2 Engelhardt (Hunt, Olimb – 34:21 Min.), 5:3 Boos (Dzieduszycki – 37:24 Min.), 6:3 Murphy (Olimb – 57:13 Min.)

Mathieu Schneider not in Camp

On Friday morning, when training camp opened up for the Anaheim Ducks, there was a prominent name missing among the players taking the ice.

With his NHL future still in limbo, veteran defenceman, Mathieu Schneider, who at 39 is coming off a standout season, which saw him score 39 points and post a +22 rating, has recently cleared waivers, and instead of reporting to camp, has decided to wait at home for a trade.

“They said something (being moved) may be imminent, so there’s no point in coming,” Schneider’s agent, Pat Morris said. “He’s going to stay home through the weekend and, maybe. something will get done.”

Schneider, who in his career has played in 1,197 games, and posted 702 points, is a player the Ducks would like to keep, but with the salary cap, can’t afford. Still having to work out a contract for scoring forward, Teemu Selanne. Anaheim currently finds themselves 3 million over the 56.7 million-cap that has to be met by the teams, before the regular season begins.

“We would like to have dealt with this before camp if possible,” GM, Brian Burke said about Schneider, who is scheduled to make 5.625 million this season. “We’ve spent hundreds of man hours on it, and we took our best shot.”

Last Wednesday, Schneider, who is a 19- year veteran, was placed on waivers, and even though he wasn’t picked up, can still be traded. Rumors have been making the rounds that both the Los Angeles Kings and Tampa Bay Lightning are interested.

During his career, Schneider, who has won a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens back in 1993, has played on seven teams ( Canadiens , New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, Detroit Red Wings, and The Anaheim Ducks) in his storied career.

Ottawa Senators – No Goaltending Controversy

This time around, there will be … absolutely … no goaltending controversy surrounding the Ottawa Senators.

Last year, after the Senators roared out to a 15-2 start, they quickly became unraveled and never got on track. Their injured goalie, Ray Emery, caused some friction, when he came back healthy. He acted up, and would not accept his role as the back-up.

Days after losing, in the opening round, to the Pittsburgh Penguins last spring, Ottawa addressed their goaltending controversy by putting Emery on waivers.

On the first day of training camp at Scotia Bank Place, on Thursday, the Sens once more made it official that veteran, Martin Gerber, will be the, undisputed, number one goaltender, and will be backed up by, free agent pickup, Alex Auld.

Despite the vote of confidence by management, Gerber who won 30 games last season, is not taking anything for granted, as he knows that changes can happen very quickly, especially with goaltenders, in the game of hockey.

“You’re never guaranteed anything in this league,” said Gerber. “You have to really work for it and prove yourself everyday. It’s good to know that I’m getting the call first. I just have to make sure that  I’m ready for the first game.”

Meanwhile, Auld believes that he can help Gerber improve his game, and that while he accepts the backup position, echoes Gerber’s thoughts, that in hockey, indeed, anything can happen.

“We can push each other and make sure we’re always sharp,” Auld who won 12 games, in limited duty, last season with the Phoenix Coyotes and Boston Bruins said. “It’s a … team first … attitude here, and I want to be a part of that.” The season is a long one and anything can happen. ” 

If anyone knows, it’s Auld who is coming off a season that saw him start out with the Coyotes, before being demoted to the American Hockey League, before ending up with the Bruins.

“Last year, almost having it (NHL career) taken away; having to go to the minors for a bit, made me appreciate the (NHL) even more,” said Auld. “My outlook changed.”

One thing is for sure; the Senators will not have another goaltending controversy, as Auld signed with the Senators, knowing up front, that he will be the backup.