Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Desbiens a hot commodity

From the Winnipeg Free Press

MILWAUKEE -- Last week there was Oscar buzz, but this week in the hockey world there is Dezzy buzz.

Dezzy, as the Manitoba Moose refer to right-winger Guillaume Desbiens, is hot among NHL scouts these days and likely the next in a growing line of Craig Heisinger reclamation projects.

Desbiens was cut adrift by the Atlanta Thrashers last summer and was unsure if his hockey career was over when the Moose came calling with a second chance.

It goes on to say that more than one NHL team is interested in signing him for next year.

Good for him, though I would say that he improved his stock on his own by improving his skating and commitment level, it's not like the Moose discovered someone that no one else knew about. This turnaround is mostly effort, which was entirely under Desbiens' own control.

Friday, February 20, 2009

On vanRiemsdyk

There's been some speculation that James vanRiemsdyk could be traded to Atlanta.

I met vanRiemsdyk at the 2007 draft and chatted briefly with him. I made sure to ask him about the spelling of his last name, and he confirmed that it is all one word, small "van." I've been militant about that spelling ever since. If I see thread titles on HFBoards that have it wrong, I change them. I noticed that the Flyers official page has it wrong though, so it's an uphill battle.

Impressions of him? I thought he was an odd bird. That sums it up well. Kind of in the Chad Denny vein, if you've met him.

Anyway, the reason for this post. My sources are hearing that the Flyers are really worried that they made a huge mistake in taking vanRiemsdyk so high and want to trade him now while he still has some value. Sounds a lot like the Angelo Esposito situation, doesn't it?

Sounds like he'll probably be traded, but whether that's to Atlanta or not, we'll see.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Former Georgia Tech goalie Rice backs up Gladiators

This has some local interest, so I'll post it.

Normally when the Gladiators are short a goalie, they call on Curtis Ryser, a former UGA goalie who lives in Duluth. Ryser was out of town this weekend though, so the Gladiators had an emergency backup to their emergency backup.

Coach Jeff Pyle called up a guy he knows from a local men's league and asked for a referral for a goalie. He was given Nick Rice's name. Rice played for Georgia Tech a few years ago, for their club hockey team (Div 3).

Rice did a fine job opening and closing the door tonight. Easy money.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Jared Ross at Philips photos

Jared Ross has two ties to Atlanta -- he grew up in Alabama and played for the University of Alabama-Huntsville, the closest DI school to the city. Ross also played for a while for Thrashers affiliates before being traded to the AHL Phantoms. The Thrashers had indicated to Ross that he could work himself up to an NHL contract, but that never materialized.

He has played eight games for the Flyers this year.

Ross defended by Boris Valabik.

The advantage of being 5'7 is that you can get really low on a faceoff. Reeeeally low.

Interestingly, the other player out of UAH who is doing well in the pro game, Scott Munroe, is also in the Philly system. Someone from that organization was keeping an eye on this cohort.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Thrashers have talked to three '09 Guelph prospects

Taylor Beck told me that he, Peter Holland and Michael Latta were taken out to lunch after practice by someone from the Thrashers early in the year. All three are rated highly for the 2009 draft (Holland a bit overrated).

It wasn't hard to determine based on description and that the rep was based in Toronto, that it was Dan Marr who took them out. This kind of thing isn't unusual at all, as it's the team's philosophy to talk to top guys early in their draft year. But that's not to say that the team has taken guys out from every team either. A couple other OHL players I talked to who are rated pretty highly said they haven't had any personal contact with NHL teams yet.