Thursday, August 16, 2012

2012 NHL Prospects Tournament Cancelled

As the current NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement draws closer to expiration on September 15th, it's reached the point of uncertainty for fans throughout the hockey world.  And the longer the potential for a lockout looms in the not-too-distant future, there appears to be no choice but to cancel various events due to the hazy outlook.  In March, the NHL cancelled the European Premiere games for the 2012-13 season, which had seen various NHL teams start their season in different cities across Europe for the last five years.  Now, the latest salvo comes from the Detroit Red Wings, as GM Ken Holland announced today the cancellation of the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan (the training camp home of the Red Wings).  Today's news was broken by New York Times hockey writer and former New York Islanders P.R. manager Chris Botta via Twitter.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Buffalo vs. New York: The Championship Game at the 2011 NHL Prospects Tournament

It’s safe to say the MSG Network got its dream matchup in the championship game of the 2011 NHL Prospects Tournament, as the New York Rangers and the Buffalo Sabres – despite both being beaten in their final round-robin game – got the nod to determine who had the better crop of young stars in the Empire State.

Minnesota vs. Dallas: 5th Place Game at the 2011 NHL Prospects Tournament


Despite a reasonably strong effort in trying to defend last year's tournament title, the Minnesota Wild finished round-robin play at the 2011 NHL Prospects Tournament 1-2-0 (good for 3rd in the Howe Division), and were slated to face-off against the Dallas Stars, who matched Minnesota's 1-2-0 for 3rd place in the Gretzky Division.  The two Western Conference foes faced off for 5th place in this year's tournament.  The Wild would do so without a pair of first-round draft picks, center Zack Phillips (2011) and defenseman Tyler Cuma (2008), who were scratches for the contest (no word on if either scratch was due to injury).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Buffalo vs. Detroit: Day 3 at the 2011 NHL Prospects Tournament


The final contest on Tuesday of the 2011 NHL Prospects Tournament between the Buffalo Sabres and the Detroit Red Wings was essentially played as a formality. Buffalo entered the day 2-0 after victories over defending tourney champ Minnesota and Columbus, and had already earned a place in the championship tilt (with the other half of that card being the New York Rangers, despite losing in double OT to Carolina earlier in the day). On the other hand, Detroit would be relegated to the 7th place game following losses to the Blue Jackets and Wild to start the tourney. Their sloppy play - especially versus Columbus – was quite uncharacteristic for a team wearing the winged wheel, and they sought to amend their game plan and please the very pro-Red Wing crowd at Centre ICE.

Carolina vs. New York: Day 3 at the 2011 NHL Prospects Tournament


The New York Rangers were attempting to close out round-robin play at the 2011 NHL Prospects Tournament with an unblemished 3-0 record, and looked to do this Tuesday afternoon against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Canes have had a struggle in the tourney thus far, looking scattered and disorganized in an 8-2 loss to Dallas on the first day, followed by a tough 2-1 defeat to St. Louis on Sunday. At a glance one would think this matchup would be a mismatch, but as we know, that’s why they play the games.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Dallas vs. New York: Day 2 at the 2011 NHL Prospects Tournament


The New York Rangers and the Dallas Stars knew heading into this evening’s clash that the winner would be on the fast track to Wednesday’s championship tilt in the 2011 NHL Prospects Tournament. Each team certainly wanted to feed off the strong start both squads had in their opening games yesterday. The Stars jumped on Carolina early and often in an easy 8-2 win, while the Rangers were fueled by strong special teams in a 5-2 victory over St. Louis.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Columbus vs. Buffalo: Day 2 at the 2011 NHL Prospects Tournament


The luck of the draw on David’s Rink at Centre ICE Arena today for the 2011 NHL Prospects Tournament was that all four teams playing their today won their games yesterday. That made today’s games key to put the winners in the driver’s seat for a berth in Wednesday’s championship game. First up were the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Buffalo Sabres.