Once a team drafts a hot name in the prospect world, it only stands to reason that fans would want to see that player as soon as possible, even if it’s not with the NHL club right away. For Tampa Bay Lightning boosters, the wait was a little longer with netminder Andrey Vasilevskiy, but he’s finally here.
Colton Sissons is already chuckling and the question hasn’t even been completed yet. Once again, his fellow Nashville Predators prospect is being asked about an incident from last season that found Brendan Leipsic in the penalty box for invading an opposing goaltender’s personal space:
Mike Minard, a career minor-leaguer who played one game in net for the Edmonton Oilers and was a coach with the American League’s Portland Pirates, has been sentenced to two months in jail after he pleaded no contest to charges of sexual misconduct.
Getting drafted is a dream for all high-end hockey prospects, but being selected by a team on the rise like the Tampa Bay Lightning makes the day even more sweet. Czech defenseman Dominik Masin was picked 35th overall by the Bolts this summer, capping off a season that saw his stock jump up after the world under-18s. Speaking through a translator, Masin was amped for the future.
It’s just a matter of time before the first Australian drafted by an NHL team gets a chance to play in the big league. Nathan Walker was selected 89th overall by the Washington Capitals in the 2014 draft and Friday signed a three-year entry-level contract.
“He’s probably still a couple of years away, but he’s on the right track,” said Capitals director, amateur scouting Ross Mahoney. “He’s one determined guy, I’ll tell you that. He’s had an incredible journey so far.”
Walker, 20, was born in Cardiff, Wales, and was two when his family moved to Sydney, Australia. Though hockey is a bottom rung sport in Australia, Walker became fascinated with the game at the age of six watching Hollywood movies Mystery, Alaska and The Mighty Ducks.
Sometimes change trickles up and other times, it trickles down. In the case of the rule changes recently adopted by the American League, it will be interesting to see whether or not those holding the levers of the NHL take notice.
At its board of governors meetings this week, the AHL passed what can only be described as radical rule alterations. And I use the term “radical” keeping in mind that significant change sometimes moves at a glacial pace in this sport. But give the AHL credit. It made positive moves on two of the most controversial, debated and polarizing issues facing the game today: fighting and shootouts. Read more
The American League just got a whole lot more interesting.
At the end of the NHL farm circuit’s Board of Governors meetings Thursday, the league announced a slew of rule changes for the 2014-15 season. It’s more than fair to think of these changes as experiments for future NHL implementation, as there’s a precedent for rules starting in the AHL and moving to the NHL. That’s fantastic news considering what the changes are.
The most prominent: the introduction of 3-on-3 overtime. The league states:
Full playing strength will be 4-on-4 until the first whistle following three minutes of play (4:00 remaining), at which time full strength will be reduced to 3-on-3 for the duration of the overtime period.
If the game is still tied following overtime, a winner will be determined by a three-player shootout.
Willie Desjardins is the newest coach of the Vancouver Canucks and he certainly has his work cut out for him. The Canucks went from one of the top teams in the West to a basketcase franchise in an almost inconceivably short period of time and one of the reasons was based on structure.