The first-ever Mike Richter Award will be given out to the top goalie in the NCAA this year and it’s a wide-open field of 18 candidates.
The creation of the award was officially announced last October by Let’s Play Hockey and the Herb Brooks Foundation, but the field was narrowed down today. It will be presented at the NCAA Frozen Four in Philadelphia, April 10-12.
The 18 candidates were nominated by the 59 coaches at the Div. 1 level of NCAA hockey. The finalists will be determined by a panel coaches, scouts and media.
Guidelines are more than just on-ice goaltending ability. Committee members are asked to consider the goalie’s academic standing, his academic achievement and sportsmanship and his involvement in the community.
Based on on-ice ability alone, two of the favorites have to be junior Ryan Faragher from St. Cloud State and sophomore Adam Wilcox from Minnesota. They’re currently one-two among goalies in fan balloting for the Hobey Baker Award – with 20,300 and 10,588 votes, respectively.
Los Angeles Kings mascot Bailey has been selected the best mascot in the four major sports leagues.
That honor was handed down Monday by the Cartoon Network’s annual Hall of Game awards show. The lovable lion named after the late Ace Bailey won the most awesome mascot award and got to hang out with the likes of Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick and Richard Sherman.
Bailey beat out Benny the Bulls (Chicago Bulls), Raymond (Tampa Bay Rays) and Swoop (Philadelphia Eagles). Each of the four major sports leagues was represented.
The Nick Larson from Apple Valley, Minn., is the winner of the unofficial outlast-the-other-Nick-Larsons competition.
The Calgary Flames draft pick is one of four players named Nick Larson playing high level competitive hockey in the past decade.
Unrelated, three of the Nick Larsons hail from Minnesota. The other is from Pennsylvania.
Defenseman Nick Larson was the first Nick Larson to hit the competitive scene in 2000, playing a couple of seasons with the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints before moving on to the WCHA’s University of Denver Pioneers. He was undrafted and retired in 2005.
Then came Nick Larson from Cranberry Township, Pa. The forward played three seasons in the NAHL with the Texas Tornado, Toledo IceDiggers, Dayton Gems and Central Texas Marshals before a stint with American International College in 2005-06. He also went undrafted and retired.
Alexander Wennberg is the runaway boy in this year’s Future Watch. That’s one nugget that emerged in the early stages of feedback from NHL scouts.
Future Watch is one of our most popular issues each year because it ranks the top prospects in each NHL team’s system. Then we get a committee of scouts to rank the top 50 NHL-affiliated prospects in the game.
Wennberg, I must admit, wasn’t on my radar as a top 10 or even top 20 guy heading into the project. But as ballots come back from our scouts, it looks as though he might make the top five on a strong list of future NHL regulars. He’s already first on one ballot and second on another.
If Shayne Putzlocher has his way, the movie about the Swift Current Broncos’ rise from tragedy to triumph will be ready by 2016, the 30-year anniversary of the bus accident that killed four players.
Putzlocher is the owner of production company Trilight Entertainment. He received news yesterday that he’s been approved for financing by Telefilm Canada and the Alberta Media Fund for the first stage of film creation. That involves the writing of the first draft of the book Sudden Death, written by Kamloops Daily News sports editor Gregg Drinnan in conjunction with Leesa Culp and Bob Wilkie.
Wilkie was a member of the 1986 Broncos team and was still with the squad two seasons later when it rallied to win the Memorial Cup. Culp witnessed the accident that killed four Broncos players – Trent Kresse, Scott Kruger, Brent Ruff and Chris Mantyka – and was the first on the scene to assist victims.
It would be an understatement to say Bill Dineen has had a lifetime in hockey. He’s had several lifetimes in hockey. Some of them are named Kevin and Peter and Gord and Shawn and Jerry.
The Dineen family patriarch was today inducted into the American League Hall of Fame along with three others – three-time Calder Cup champion coach Al MacNeil, prolific scoring defenseman John Slaney and four-time Calder Cup goalie Bob Perreault.
It was in an Olympic qualifying tournament that took place more than four years ago, but it’s a saga worth telling again, especially with such stunning video evidence.
Check out this youtube video of the Bulgarian women’s team that lost 82-0 in a game against Slovakia. It’s unbelievable. In a way, it’s kind of sad the way the Slovaks kept pouring it on in a game that should have allowed a mercy rule. But then again, there must have been players on the Slovak team out to prove themselves worthy. How can you tell them to play half-heartedly? And Slovakia itself is aiming to improve its program in women’s hockey.
Bottom line, Bulgaria had no business being there just yet. The video evidence from Latvia proves that.
The prospect world of professional hockey had never been further apart than last Saturday in Syracuse when one backup goalie looked across at the other backup goalie.
Riding the pine on the Norfolk Admirals bench that night was 20-year-old John Gibson, considered the best goaltending prospect in the game and the future starter for the Anaheim Ducks.
Backup stopper for the Syracuse Crunch was 46-year-old John Parks, a pharmaceutical sales rep and assistant coach for a local high school. On the spectrum of hockey prospects, 180 degrees isn’t enough to describe how far apart the two were.
“I looked over and knew that was Gibson,” Parks said after the game of his lifetime. “Imagine that. Me and him being backup goalies.”