Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Stacey finds a home

Wahs Satcey has committed to Vermont on Monday after visiting over the weekend of November 25th and seeing its 3-2 victory against Maine (which was another contender). Stacey also had considered Colorado College and St.Cloud State. Although Wahs took a detour out west to play bantam and midget hockey, he has returned home for college, as Vermont is just down the highway from Stacey's native Kanawahke, Quebec.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Grass is Browner

Catching up with Victor Oreskovich, who left Notre Dame for the Kitchener Rangers mid-year last year in an attempt to jump-start his pro career. A second round pick of the Avalanche, he failed to earn a contract this year, so returned to the Ontario Hockey League as an overage player. Now, he's persona non grata with Kitchener, following the footsteps of Alex Lalonde another former golden domer who jumped to the OHL.

It's about Victor Oreskovich.

Apparently, the overage winger is no longer with the team. Rangers coach and general manager Peter DeBoer refused to elaborate on what he called "an internal matter." Oreskovich disappeared after the first period.

"We don't really know what happened," Rangers captain Jean-Michel Rizk said minutes after scoring the winner with 55 seconds left in OT.

"We were sitting in the room. As we were going out, Vic didn't follow. We didn't get a chance to know what's going on there. I think we're going to have a team meeting (today)."

Good idea. Just before the Rangers hop on a bus for tonight's game in Erie, Pa., they can talk about how and why DeBoer sent Oreskovich packing during last night's game.

This had been building.

"It was a series of events," Oreskovich said when reached on his cellphone after the game.

"I don't fault Pete at all here. It's something I have to deal with. It's been my fault. I've been, not disruptive, but I haven't been a good teammate. Pete grew tired of me yelling at guys when they made mistakes. It came to a front tonight. He told me he's had enough, that was the last straw. To just pack up my things."

Oreskovich, a 20-year-old from Oakville who joined the Rangers a year ago next week after leaving U.S. college hockey at Notre Dame, admitted to yelling at a teammate after a Rangers power play last night.

"I can basically take responsibility," Oreskovich said. "Pete was trying to help me throughout the year with the mental side of my game. I have a tendency to get frustrated pretty easily. It's something I have to deal with."

Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the OHL trade that saw the Rangers acquire the rights to Oreskovich from the Windsor Spitfires.

Now, his future is uncertain.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Wow, you mean they don't dress 9 defensemen?

I wonder when this thought first occurred to Nigel Williams. We know it occurred shortly after Wisconsin's 10th game, last Saturday, where, with another DNP, Williams had seen action in only one game. At that point, he decided that seeing playing time was important to his development, and that with Wisconsin's defensive depth, he might not see regular ice time as a freshman.

OK. He's an NHL prospect, having been ranked 13th overall by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau for last year's NHL draft. He went 51st overal to Colorado. If he got a good education promise from the OHL's Saginaw Spirit (they of the positive Stephen Colbert fame, and the negative Matthew Corrente fame), then hockey-wise this might work out.

But it doesn't answer many questions. Clearly, having gone the NCAA route, he preferred the NCAA route to the OHL. While the question may be "why back out now?", it seems to me the more pertinent question is "if freshman PT was essential to you, why did you choose a team with 8 regular defensemen?"

The context for Williams' choice of Wisconsin is as follows. He was the last memeber of the current defensive group to commit, meaning he was not blindsided by Mike Eaves bringing in too many defensemen. Wisconsin already returned 6 regular defensemen in 06-07 (Klubertanz, Likens, Piskula, Drewiske, Olinger and Engel), received an early commitment in October 2004 from Garret Suter, and another in February 2005 from Jamie McBain. So, with 8 guys lined-up for 2006-07, how exactly did Williams figure he was guaranteed playing time?

Guys, there's a correlation between playing time and scholarship guys already on the depth chart. If you want the prestige of a top program, and one that has an inordinate number of defensive recruits, what can you expect?

Let's hope he can make the best of it up in Saginaw.