Hockey News Making A Comeback?

A long, long time ago the Hockey News was the Bible. If it happened in hockey it was in the HN. I remember stories from every level of hockey from my youth and if you have any old back issues they are magical trips through time (I have so many my wife will eventually leave me). I still recall the long forgotten story of Greg Neeld to the point where it’s the first thing I thought of when Bryan Berard made his comeback. To this day I can recall the excitement of going down to the Rexall Drug Store (mainstreet Maidstone, SK) for the July Issues. They had all the stats, the draft, the summer trades, new faces in new uniforms (always from press conferences) and gave a team-by-team glimpse of what the future might look like for every club.

The McKenzie’s (Ken and Bob) kept the quality of THN at a high level for many years and it was only after the turn of the century (and Bob McKenzie’s exit) that the weekly became bland and out of time. You could argue that the internet destroyed the customer base but I plunk down money on hockey books and magazines every month of the year and haven’t purchased a HN in a few years (not even the draft issue anymore).

There does appear to be a ray of hope. Their Prospects Edition has hit the streets and their Oilers top 10 isn’t as awful as it was in the last few years. In fact, it’s a pretty nice list:

  1. Riley Nash
  2. Taylor Chorney
  3. Rob Schremp
  4. Jeff Petry
  5. Jeff Deslauriers
  6. Jean-Francois Jacques
  7. Liam Reddox
  8. Marc Pouliot
  9. Theo Peckham
  10. Devan Dubnyk

Guys like Gagner, Cogliano, Brodziak and Gilbert no longer qualify based on the fact they have established themselves in the NHL (I also believe JFJ and MP should be counted as graduates, but I digress). That list reflects the cream of the Oilers system imo and although it still has the HN bias (they prefer the high minors to the low minors) it is pretty close to Guy Flaming’s HF list:

  1. Taylor Chorney
  2. Rob Schremp
  3. Marc Pouliot
  4. Jeff Petry
  5. Slava Trukhno
  6. Ryan O’Marra
  7. Alex Plante
  8. Devan Dubnyk
  9. Riley Nash
  10. Jean-Francois Jacques

In fairness to Guy, Nash’s emergence happened after he did his list (this is the Sept/07 list with Gagner, Cogliano, Gilbert, Nilsson etc taken out) as did the downturn for O’Marra, Plante and Trukhno. If we take out the graduates, my December list would look like this:

  1. Taylor Chorney
  2. Rob Schremp
  3. Riley Nash
  4. Slava Trukhno
  5. Devan Dubnyk
  6. Jeff Petry
  7. Theo Pechkam
  8. Alex Plante
  9. Liam Reddox
  10. Cody Wild

Maybe I just like their list because it agrees with mine. :-) One final thing: I think Riley Nash is the top prospect in the system now that the others have graduated. Any chance they bring him out at 19?

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46 Responses to "Hockey News Making A Comeback?"

  1. YKOil says:

    I, for one, would NOT be happy if they brought Nash out early. Let the other young guns develop a bit more is my vote. When they (Gagner, etc) can handle the toughest minutes and look to be ready to do some babysitting THEN you bring Nash up.

    One caveat, if the goal really is to crash right into Tavares then I can see it (bringing Nash up). Destroy his confidence with an unending stream of shifts against Richards, Iginla, Thornton and Gaborik and then tell yourself it was all worth it.

    Drugs will help.

    :-)

  2. PDO says:

    Can Nash play in the AHL if they bring him up?

    If so, I don’t see why he shouldn’t play in the AHL next year…

    Be honest with him, tell you don’t think he’s ready for the bigs, but tell him he’s a big part of the future and you want to have a big say in everything he does.

    Why not?

  3. Steve says:

    I agree with Ykoil. If the only prospect who sees more than ten games with the 08/09 Oilers is Rob Schremp (and I’m no Schremp fanboy, I just think it’s time to fish or cut bait with him), I’ll be a happy man.

  4. kiwihockeyfan says:

    maidstone sk, what a coincidence. My father grew up there and my grandparents taught there for about 30 years. no wonder i like this blog so much, feels like home.

  5. Lowetide says:

    Eidsness?

  6. James Mirtle says:

    I was just going to write about the Future Watch issue… its’ quite well done.

  7. Gord says:

    Sign Brendon Nash then bring Riley up to Springfield……

    Riley was just named Ivy league rookie of the year…

  8. doritogrande says:

    Is there any chance he could transfer to a better hockey school for next year, say UND, MSU, UofMinne, U Denver? Or is he stuck at Cornell for the 4 years?

  9. Lowetide says:

    dorito: I believe the penalty is a full season. If you transfer, it costs you one full year (the Eddie Caron rule).

  10. Dennis says:

    1: I’d rather have Nash in SF in ’09 rather then being a sophomore in the NCAA but is that allowed?

    2: As far as giving him the big bump, if you don’t mind burning another year of Hemsky, potentially the last year of Horcoff and you’re really intent on shooting for Tavaras, then, hey, why not have him play with the Oilers next year?;)

  11. Lowetide says:

    The other option is:

    1. Sign him.
    2. Bring him to camp.
    3. Send him to junior where he’ll play more games in a very competitive league (WHL).

  12. speeds says:

    Nash would be allowed to play in the AHL next season, even though he’ll be under 20. Even better, as long as he does NOT play in 10 or more NHL games next season, it would NOT count as one of his 3 contract years.

    Obviously if Nash doesn’t want to leave the Oilers can’t make him, but the Oilers may well want to have him in the AHL, even if they only dress him in 60 games, where they can control his development/work with him more directly.

  13. kiwihockeyfan says:

    lt, i know you must have known them, otherwise how would you have known how to spell it. spent a lot of time there visiting and have very fond memories. did you know any of their kids, my dad’s name is rick

  14. garnet says:

    The high-minors/low-minors bias is notable in Schremp’s case. Is anyone in the organization high on him any more? I tend to think not, but he’s playing okay in the AHL, so there he is at No. 3.

  15. doritogrande says:

    I’d be more than willing to give up a year of NCAA play to transfer Nash to a better school. He’s one of those kids that should come out early anyway.

  16. Lowetide says:

    kiwihockeyfan: I didn’t know Rick, will check with my brother he may have hung around with him.

    Three quick stories:

    1. The summer I was going into high school I’m walking down mainstreet and Pop (that was your Grandfather’s nickname) is walking towards me. I wasn’t in the mood to think about school (and besides he had no idea who I was) so crossed the street and went on my way.

    Fall comes. FIRST day of school. He’s reading off the names, gets to mine, and says “you know class I was walking down the street this summer and about to say hi to (me) and he crosses the street instead of talking to me!” Laughter all around. Very good sense of humor.

    2. One day towards the end of my first year of high school, he loaded the entire class onto a bus and took us to the golf course. He said “this is a great game and you should learn to play it” and we kicked the daylights out of that Maidstone course that day (up by Silver Lake). I’d never golfed in my life before, golf then wasn’t like it is today, and loved it. Still play a lot, never had an idea about how much funit was.

    3. His WIFE had about three LOOONNNNG conversations with me in private about how double entendre’s could be funny AND not acceptable at the same time. Very patient person.

    Pop was a blast as a teacher, brilliant guy, he’d write 4 blackboards full before turning around and always seemed a little late for something. Mrs. Eidsness (I don’t actually know her first name, don’t think I ever did) commanded and got a lot of respect, even from smartasses like me. :-)

    It’s cool you read this blog.

  17. Mr DeBakey says:

    “Hockey News Making A Comeback?”

    Uhhh, no
    Hopefully it can find a place.
    But I’m not hopefull
    Does that make sense?

    Josh Hennesey is Ottawa’s #1 prospect on HF
    THN doesn’t have him in the Top 10.
    Error?
    Or has the kid fallen of the Senator’s map?
    And we trade them Schremp straight up?

  18. heed says:

    completely off topic…smid is practicing again and could be in the lineup versus columbus. here’s to punching dudes after the whistle.

  19. Steve says:

    Nash would be allowed to play in the AHL next season, even though he’ll be under 20. Even better, as long as he does NOT play in 10 or more NHL games next season, it would NOT count as one of his 3 contract years.

    Oh, okay, then. That’s clearly the way to go.

  20. PDO says:

    His WIFE had about three LOOONNNNG conversations with me in private about how double entendre’s could be funny AND not acceptable at the same time. Very patient person.

    LT, I remember not too long ago you had a post about how some kids tune out the teacher and use school as a social place… :-)

    I think this story is useless without an example though.

  21. dstaples says:

    Lowetide, when you rate Schremp higher on your list than Riley Nash, does that mean that you wouldn’t trade Schremp for Nash?

    I know you have them rated two and three on your December list, so it’s a close call, but I wonder if Nash isn’t a more valuable than Schremp right now.

    Ah, I’m splitting hairs here :)

    As for Nash, he should stay in college until he stops improving there. At least one more year can’t hurt.

  22. Dennis says:

    It’s just a guess but I’m thinking it’s harder to convince a guy to leave college earlier if he’s a fellow who picked an Ivy league institution in the first place.

    Nash has to be an exceptionally bright guy whose who’s a lot of stock in his education. I like all the plans I see here, and especially the one where he goes to the AHL, but I think he’d be a tough leaving-early nut to crack.

    Speaking of prospects, Pouliot is Still with the big club. I’m not sure how or why this is happening but there’s more to it than meets the eye, ie he stuck around after Tues night’s game as an extra forward when it had been reported previously the Oilers weren’t allowed to carry extra forwards.

  23. doritogrande says:

    This weekly seems to have a good background on who’s completely dropped off the Oilers map. Case in point: Alex Plante. I’m bored at work, so I checked his stats line, and let me be the first to say: What the fuck is wrong with this kid? He hasn’t registered a point in 27(!) games. I was a huge supporter of the kid when he was drafted, and never, in my life, expected this towering fall. I know Calgary’s got a deep team this year, but he was in the starting lineup for his last game ferfucksakes, and they put up 6 goals!

    Good on HN for not even listing him.

  24. rickibear says:

    When your a freshman and you are selected 2nd team all conference it is time to move on. Nash to the AHL.

  25. Traktor says:

    dstaples said: As for Nash, he should stay in college until he stops improving there

    If he stops improving you’ve already waited too long to take him out.

    If you lead your team in scoring it probably means you’re ready for the next level.

  26. Traktor says:

    Dennis the only reason Nash is at Cornell is because he brother was already there.

    Nash was interviewed after he was drafted and questioned about his choice in school and asked if he would leave early and Nash said that he would do whatever the Oilers feel is best for him.

  27. Showerhead says:

    Re: Nash needing to be exceptionally smart to play Ivy League hockey… Depending on the high school he came out of, he may only necessarily have to be smart enough to graduate. I played some of my hockey at a school that fed a lot of Ivy League schools and have some friends/acquaintances who played with Princeton, Brown, etc. Some were very bright, yes. Others were simply great athletes who were smart enough to get their diploma – by no means dull but not necessarily as razor-sharp as you’d be tempted to automatically assume.

  28. Ducey says:

    Off topic but:

    Nilson 56GP 8G 22A 30P +5
    Smyth 45GP 14G 19A 33P -4

    Look, I’m not saying, I’m just sayin’. Maybe a topic for another thread?

    Nilson easier opposition, less PP and icetime. More durable although he doesn’t go into places Smyth does – including turnbuckles. Interesting comparison. If Smyth doesn’t play again – who would have been more valuable to their team this year?

    Five years from now I suspect there will be a lot more respect for Lowe on this decision.

  29. Mr DeBakey says:

    What the fuck is wrong with this kid?

    Check out the “Sunday Minor League Report” on this very blog

  30. Ribs says:

    Caught Poo on the french channel whilst flicking away randomly. He actually looked and sounded pretty confident.
    It kind of reminded me of the early interviews with Gilbert and Cogliano where you could tell these are guys who were serious about playing.

    Hopefully it transfers to the ice surface like it did for them.

  31. Ribs says:

    Peckham is recalled? How? I am so lost on this roster crap right now. Smid is supposed to be back or close to it, and they call up another D-Man?

  32. digger says:

    According to Flaming, Peckham’s up because Smid isn’t quite ready to go against Columbus, and Roy’s got something wrong with his shoulder…probably flesh eating disease or some such considering it’s “Mr. Lucky” we’re talking about.

  33. Dennis says:

    Ribs: When you say “french channel” I guess you mean RDS? So, you’re saying Pouliot’s recall was RDS worthy? Wow, those guys are really stretching. I guess it’s hard to fill now that that Derek Aucoin’s not trying to make the Spos or the Mets and/or there’s only so many stories you can do on Tigers Max St. Pierre;) Anyway, I listened to the podcast from the day Pouliot came up and he honestly said all the right things and expressed conviction in doing so.

    Digger: I saw that thread on HF and I was thinking, “pleaset let it be Roy that’s on the shelf” and sure enough it was:) I’ve got nothing against Roy but out of the six we’re dressing right now he’s the guy who’s rightfully playing the smallest role and is thus the guy we can most afford to lose.

  34. Bruce says:

    Roy’s got a target on him bigger than that “Ugly American” dork in the Molson’s commercial. I don’t know whether he just doesn’t know how to protect himself or what it is. Rick Rypien and Matt Cooke among others took huge runs at him this season, and Rick Nash really steamrolled him on Sunday night. He looked pretty shy for the rest of that game, so maybe the word is to run him and then take advantage of him. Nash certainly did.

    From what I’ve heard of Peckham, they might take advantage of his inexperience but he can hold his own physically.

  35. Black Dog says:

    One of the radio guys said the other night (after Roy was steamrolled once again) that he has to take a lot of the blame. He just isn’t aware of who is coming and how to protect himself.

    First thing he might want to do is feed someone some Sherwood. That might make guys think twice.

  36. doritogrande says:

    BDHS: I know of Nike/Bauer/RBK-ultra-light-extra-durable-composite-carbon-fibre-poly-urethane-kevlar-meshlike-substance, but this “Sherwood” you speak of…..man, I must be young.

  37. heed says:

    One of the radio guys said the other night (after Roy was steamrolled once again) that he has to take a lot of the blame. He just isn’t aware of who is coming and how to protect himself.

    that being said, rypien charged him, tootoo charged him and cooke blatantly hit him from behind. i may be wrong but there was a collective 2 minutes in penalties called on all of these plays and he was injured twice. if this was a top flight rookie in the league, we would have seen suspensions. since it’s roy, who cares if this guy’s career is ended? i agree he has to learn to protect himself but the nhl has to start protecting all the players and not just the star players. the nhlpa may want to give policing its own members once in a while as well.

  38. Bruce says:

    Well when Cooke ran him WE got the two minutes. (Stortini, for going after Cooke) As I recall Rypien got nothing, I’m drawing a blank on the Tootoo hit, and I saw the Nash hit as a charge/elbow.

    I can’t imagine anybody would blame Roy if he fed the next guy a composite sandwich, hell a 20-game suspension beats a career-ending injury, and given the league’s willingness to turn a blind eye to all this he might get nothing at all.

    the nhl has to start protecting all the players and not just the star players

    You mean the way the league “protects” Ales Hemsky?

  39. heed says:

    You mean the way the league “protects” Ales Hemsky?

    i think you have to have a mullet to be considered a star while wearing the oilers logo.

  40. Black Dog says:

    heed – hey I won’t argue with you – I saw the Cooke hit and that was ugly as they come.

    That having been said when a guy is getting run every game as badly as he does (seriously has he not been injured in pretty well very game he has played?) at some point it has to be considered more then bad luck.

    doritogrande – one other thing, you can get them almost, not quite, but almost straight

  41. Ribs says:

    i think you have to have a mullet to be considered a star while wearing the oilers logo.

    Not if Kevin Lowe has anything to say about it!

    Dennis: Yea, RDS or whatever the CBC French channel had a piece on him that was a couple of minutes long. They must of run out of old 70′s low budget french classics.

  42. heed says:

    That having been said when a guy is getting run every game as badly as he does (seriously has he not been injured in pretty well very game he has played?) at some point it has to be considered more then bad luck.

    no argument on this end. this kid has just been on the business end of at least 3 (4 if you consider the nash) seriously dirty hits. i’ve seen two of the 3 hits live (didn’t see the cooke or nash hit live) and i really don’t think there was much he could do in either situation.

  43. Dennis says:

    There probably is some merit in what people are saying about how he leaves himself open to get slammed but my biggest beef with Roy is that he’s just not very good.

  44. heed says:

    There probably is some merit in what people are saying about how he leaves himself open to get slammed but my biggest beef with Roy is that he’s just not very good.

    i have a feeling that this kid should have never played a game after the concussion he suffered in the pre-season. he’s a big guy but he’s been playing scared since that hit. he hesitates with the puck and tends to just try and brace himself rather than get out of harm’s way. i’m not disagreeing with you dennis but i just feel bad for the guy.

    ps dennis, you are so damn stubborn that i swear we must be related.

  45. Dennis says:

    Heed: we should be so lucky;)

  46. J. Michael Neal says:

    A few comments from an NCAA fan.

    Cornell is not a bad hockey school. They play in a weak conference, but they generally hold their own come tournament time. They made it to the final four in 2003, and took Minnesota to OT in a 2005 regional final. They’re having a down year, but it’s an aberration. I find their fans very annoying, but it is also a place with a lot of tradition (think Ken Dryden, and the only undefeated season in NCAA history before Dryden got there). Lynah is a building that rocks, and Mike Schaefer has built a hell of a program.

    Taylor Chorney is rated this highly? I’ve seen North Dakota play four times this year, and I’m just not that impressed. Clearly, they have been a different team at other times this year, given their rankings, and maybe he’s looked a lot better then. Against the Gophers, North Dakota played three games where they looked like a talented team that had no interest in playing hard. The fourth game was dominated by goonery. Hard to say for sure, but if Chorney is your second best prospect, I have trouble taking your system that seriously.

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