Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wall To Wall World Junior Month Begins

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Tuesday night we kicked off our extensive World Junior Hockey Championship, a day before December starts. Starting Tuesday and running right through and after one of the best tournament's in the world we'll get you primed and ready for the event taking place in Buffalo starting on Boxing Day. From players to coaches to analysts, you won't find a better source for information. Time to dive in...

Top 5 Tuesdays: Stories For Canada Camp

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There will be plenty of story lines to follow as Canada breaks camp in Toronto a couple of weeks from now. Some of them are apparent today but others may develop in the days leading up or during the sessions themselves. Here are 5 that immediately come to mind for me including a couple that might not be answered until January 5th in Buffalo.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hockey Canada's Invite List

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Led by head scout Kevin Prendergast, Hockey Canada released it's 39 player invite list today, while holding out hope that a name or two will be added to the list before camp begins December 12th in Toronto.

More CHL/NCAA Cross-Border Confusion

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I always like to read articles about the CHL written by Americans because they often contain inaccuracies, generalizations, spin doctoring and blatant bias. In fact, anti-CHL (or pro NCAA) stories out of the U.S. are usually just as bad as the anti-NCAA (or pro CHL) stories originating from Canada. Suffice to say, 99% of these articles appear to be written by people with an agenda that can't seem to see the story from both sides.

That's where we come in.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

2011 Draft Blog: Dylan Willick - Pt.2

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Continuing his guest blogging series with us today is Dylan Willick, forward of the Kamloops Blazers. The native of Prince George, B.C. submitted his first entry to the blog back on November 1st which you can read HERE. Since then, the Blazers have played near .500 hockey and Willick has added 6 points taking his season total to 12.

Here is the second chapter in Dylan Willick's 2011 Draft Blog...

Saturday Morning Special: Nov 27

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The 1st outdoor junior hockey game in Canadian history... the top ranked defenceman from the WHL for 2011 as well as his legendary coach... a tour through arguably the most competitive conference in the NCAA... and discussions on the top NHL netminders under 25 years of age and the struggles of some Canadian teams in the big league. A loaded show is right but really, should you expect anything less?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Nino-less Islanders Win-less

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You can file this under 'C' for coincidence as I'm sure most people will but the record of the New York Islanders since sending their Swiss star is dramatically worse than before. Was cutting him loose akin to the Mariner who killed the albatross, cursing the crew of his ship?

I don't know if he was their lucky rabbit's foot or not but there is no denying that Long Island's fortunes have turned for the worse since he left the team.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

O'Marra Injury Update

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Ryan O'Marra sustained a shoulder injury during Oklahoma's 5-2 win over Milwaukee on Sunday. Late that night I mentioned that the incident occurred when O'Marra was initiating contact with an Admirals opponent but that the severity of the injury wouldn't be known until after x-rays on Monday. The results are in and so is the initial estimate of time loss expected for the Barons center.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Top 5 Tuesday - 5 Rookies/5 Leagues

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There are a number of rookies who are turning heads all over North America. Here are 5 guys from different leagues and levels who are off to a great start as we near December. Some are known, others will be some day soon.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This n' That - Mid November

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Time for another trek through the vast vacuum of space that occupies the emptiness between my ears. Here are some random thoughts and observations spanning the three leagues in the CHL, the NCAA, minor pro, international play and whatever else I might touch on. Grab an extra large Tim Hortons, get comfortable and click for more...

TPS Game Day edition wrap up

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From Chicoutimi to Calgary, from Russia to the CHL to Buffalo... we covered a lot of territory on Saturday's edition of The Pipeline Show. We spoke with a goalie a top ranked goalie for the 2011 NHL Draft, discussed Russia's first ever Subway Super Series victory and what it means for Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship, and of course Saturdays means another visit for Daren Millard - Is Tom Renney getting "benching crazy" with the Oilers?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

WHL News and Notes

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Well I didn't see that coming with Russia beating team WHL in a shoot out, although we shouldn't be that shocked as they swept the Q and gave the OHL all they could handle. Maybe I'm a little biased but I didn't think Russia would win a game, let alone set themselves up for a sweep in the opener. They shouldn't have as the WHL gassed a 3 goal 3rd period lead when Russia lit them up like the Griswold house in Christmas Vacation and won it 7-6 in a shoot out.

More after the jump...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Iginla a King, Schenn a Flame?

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I was told tonight that the LA Kings are hard after Jarome Iginla, and that LA has assigned Brayden Schenn to Manchester on a conditioning stint as he is to be part of the package to land the Flames captain.

Schenn has played 8 games, he can play one more before a team must make a decision on his NHL future, as 10 games burns a year of his entry level deal. My understanding is that LA has assigned him to Manchester, thus allowing the Flames - if the deal goes through - the choice of keeping him or sending him back to Brandon of the WHL. Schenn has been a healthy scratch 7 times this year, and this allows him to play right now.

As for who else might be in the package I would have to imagine that one of the Kings young blueliners would be involved. Colten Teubert or Thomas Hickey come to mind, as Calgary gave up Keith Aulie in the Dion Phaneuf deal last year.

Here is where you can find the archived audio from the segment where it was discussed on The Pipeline Show on Tuesday.

Top 5 Tuesdays: Surprises on 2011 Ranking

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It's the first release of the year from NHL Central Scouting and as such, the 3 CHL leagues are ranked separately as is the NCAA, USHL and European countries. Most scouts have limited viewings for players outside of their immediate areas so we often see a lot of movement from this listing to the Mid-terms.

Tonight on TPS we'll speak with E.J. McGuire, who admittedly has not seen the WHL yet, about the Central Scouting rankings.

Until then, here are 5 things that jumped out to Dean and I this morning...

Team World 2010 - WHL

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So the 2010 edition of the Annual CHL vs Russia Series, known these days as the Subway Super Series, has actually been competitive this year thanks to an older entry from the visitors. Russia swept the QMJHL portion of the 6-game event but dropped the next two against the OHL. Against the OHL, Russia was outshot 90-47 overall and were held to just 5 shots in the second half on Monday's meeting.

I've previously explain at length why I would prefer to see the Canadians taking on an opponent made up of American and Europeans playing in the CHL. Recently I revealed what that team would look like in the QMJHL and then again for the OHL. With the scene now shifting to Kamloops and Prince George, it's time for my World team for the WHL.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

USA Strikes WJAC Gold... Again

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The United States has captured its third straight gold medal finish at the World Junior A Challenge on the strength of a third period comeback including 5 unanswered goals against Canada East. The final score on Sunday evening saw the Americans skate away with an impressive 6-4 victory.

Top 5 Tu... er, Sunday: WHL 2nd Round Forwards

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Our weekly Top 5 lists always come out on Tuesdays but this past week we missed it (Dean tied up at the Canadian Finals Rodeo for Global TV and me... sleeping) so you can consider this one a make up for 5 days ago. That, plus with NHL Central Scouting's list coming out on Monday, I wanted my thoughts to come out a bit before just for the sake of not following in their footsteps.

Today I'm looking at the Top 5 forwards out of the WHL that right now, aren't getting a lot of consideration as 1st round picks. Come June, one or two of these guys might have played their way into the top 30, but at this point in mid-November, no one has really been suggesting that they are 1st rounders.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Jack Campbell... Trade Bait??

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The winds of change are already blowing through the OHL this season as Memorial Cup host Mississauga has assembled a formidable team. This past week the Kingston Frontenacs added Ryan Spooner from Peterborough to their line up and it's safe to assume other teams will soon become buyers as others shift to the role of sellers.

The Windsor Spitfires have two of the biggest assets in the league with Zack Kassian (BUF) and Ryan Ellis (NSH) rumored to be available. But is it possible that they Spits would also consider parting ways with their rookie netminder, Dallas Stars first round pick Jack Campbell?

It's not nearly as crazy as it sounds, in fact... I'm now completely sold that it will happen.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Whatever Happened to....

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From time to time I get asked about a player the Oilers drafted once upon a time who has seemingly dropped off the face of the Earth. I've thought about trying to track down some guys but I'm not sure there really is enough interest out there from fans to actually interview those types of guys. Instead, I thought I'd just periodically update on where someone is playing and this time I'm actually looking at two guys who some fans once had high hopes for. (Hint: #5 and #25 above)

Omark Scores 5; Barons on Fire

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Fans in Springfield are probably wondering "Where the hell was this last year???"

The Oklahoma City Barons are riding atop the AHL's Western Conference with 20 points and have won 6 of their last 7 games, 9 of their last 12. The farm club of the Edmonton Oilers has rebounded nicely from a 0-3 start to the season that had some people wondering if 2010-11 was going to be a repeat of the last three years spent in Springfield.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Morning Special: Nov 6

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Today we talked to a pair of WHL play-by-play guys from opposite ends of the league standings, chatted with one of our go-to NCAA contacts to recap a college night in the CCHA Bizarro World, our 2011 Prospect comes from the BCHL and of course we welcomed our weekly NHL Insider back as well.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Seidel's 'Hall' Comments Are Old News

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Mark Seidel penned some criticism directed at Taylor Hall today that has drawn a reaction from some corners of Oilerville. I'm not sure why this has caught so many people off guard since Seidel first voiced his opinion on this subject more than two months ago on TPS making this kind of... old news.

Team World 2010 - OHL

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The Subway Super Series is getting closer every day and like I did with the QMJHL on Tuesday, today I'm revealing 'Team World' that, if I were King, would play the Canadians in the OHL leg of the 6-game event.

Oil Kings trade Lanigan for Groenheyde

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Just getting wind that the Edmonton Oil Kings have traded struggling netminder Cam Lanigan to the Kamloops Blazers in exchange for 19-year-old back up Jon Groenheyde. Here is the release from the WHL.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday Night on TPS:Injury updates, Across the CHL, OK City Update And More

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Tuesday night on The Pipeline Show featured a lively debate on a scary incident over the previous weekend, an interview with a potential 1st round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, one of the most respected coaches in the NCAA, the GM of the hottest team in the AHL and of course a visit from CHL Insider Sam Cosentino.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Team World 2010 - QMJHL

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It's that time of year where I offer up a better version of the Subway Super Series. Rather than re-hash an argument several years in the making, I will refer you back to this piece from last year. While I'd still argue that my 'World' opposition would be more entertaining for fans, more revealing and beneficial for scouts and more relevant for the CHL... I'm aware that I'm probably on an island in my beliefs.

Fair enough. My understanding is that the CHL is moving the dates around for the series so as to better match the European break schedule. That should allow for better Russian players to come over and that's a good thing. Perhaps it also opens the door to a different country once in a while being the opposition, that would interest me as a fan.

But enough... here is my roster for Team World made of import and American players in the QMJHL that would take on Team Canada in the two QMJHL dates of the Subway Super Series...

Top 5 Tuesdays: Europeans in the NCAA

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I've always been intrigued by Canadians who opt for the NCAA path to the NHL because for a lot of them, exposure to the college game would be very difficult to come by. There is next to zero TV coverage of NCAA hockey in Canada so it's tough to even watch from a distance.

We've been told by NCAA people that if not for The Pipeline Show, there might not be any NCAA hockey talk happening in the media North of the border.

Yet Canadians still make up roughly 25% of the population of NCAA players and currently 5 of the top 9 scorers in the country come from Canada. But it's looking at the scoring race right now that got me to thinking about something else. The NCAA obviously isn't just for Americans but it's also no longer considered a valid option just by North Americans.

Monday, November 1, 2010

2011 Draft Blog: Dylan Willick

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Every year Dean and I are fortunate enough to recruit a few NHL draft eligible players to do some guest blogging with us. The list of past players who have taken part include Jordan Eberle (EDM), John Moore (CLB), Ethan Werek (NYR), Mike Lee (PHX), Joe Colborne (BOS), Dylan Olsen (CHI), Mark Pysyk (BUF) and Brett Connolly (TBY).

We've already begun the 2010-11 series earlier this season with the first installment from USHL standout Seth Ambroz. That was recently followed up by Edmonton Oil Kings forward Travis Ewanyk.

Now we are pleased to welcome on board our third 2011 eligible prospect, an 18-year-old product of Prince George that plays for the rival Kamloops Blazers. Here is the first chapter of the 2011 Guest Player Blog by forward Dylan Willick...