Thursday, January 8, 2009

Back to Speed

It seems there is more news about the prospect injury report than there was good news about Ranger prospect action as players and teams return to full strength now that the World Under-20 Championships are over.

Tomas Kundratek (2008 3rd) returned to the Medicine Hat Tiger lineup as the Tigers were on the road to play the Red Deer Rebels. We had hoped that when Kundratek returned to the Tigers that he brought his newly found offense with him.

Kundratek did not disappoint as he set up teammate Bretton Cameron's 10th goal of the season in the second period but the Tigers needed to go to the shoot out before winning 4-3. For Kundratek, the assist was his 7th of the year and if one counts the WJC then 7th assist in his last 8 games.

Tysen Dowzak (2008 UFA) had a bad turnover that led to a Seattle Thunderbird goal but his Kelowna Rockets overcame Dowzak's turnover as well as a second turnover (by Tyler Myers) to defeat Seattle 5-2.

Michael Del Zotto (2008 1st) and the rest of his Oshawa General teammates have to put up with all the trade rumors regarding John Tavares until Friday. In the meantime, the Generals got whipped by the Belleville Bulls 8-2 as Del Zotto was a -2.

Our own selfish fear is that IF Tavares is traded while Del Zotto is not then the development of Del Zotto will be retarded for the rest of this season. Our experience has taught us that when a young defensemen has hardly any help on his team then his results go down as his time on the ice goes up.

Our desire remains the same; a trade for Del Zotto to a legit OHL contending team (Brampton made a move for a different defender on Wednesday but we hope that someone will "rescue" Del Zotto before Friday.


The MASH report

This part is kind of new for us as we are not used to having an injury report here but the bad news is that we have 3 different prospects listed with injuries. There is good news from one prospect, no new news on another and zero on the third.

The good news comes via Victor Fernandes and his Shootout Blog as Fernandes reported that Mitch Gaulton (2008 6th) is about a week away from making his season debut with the Erie Otters of the OHL. Gaulton was not expected to play this season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery earlier this fall.

When Gaulton returns it will be the feel good story of the year and one we really are looking forward to writing.

Chris Doyle (2008 5th) is not expected to play this weekend for the Prince Edward Island Rocket as he still tries to recover from a pinched nerve in his back. With the Rocket winning their last 2 games then it buys Doyle time to recover.

And now we have to add Antoine Lafleur (2007 2nd) to the injury list as Lafleur missed his 2nd straight game due to an undisclosed injury. The combination of a language barrier as well as the sometimes insane acting as if disclosing an injury is some kind of state secret makes information gathering rather hard.

We have an idea but our policy is that if we can not get a confirmation then we will not report rumors. It is a bad time for Lafleur to have gotten hurt as he won the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies starting goaltender job this week after the trade of Matthew Dopud to Rimouski.

(Kundratek courtesy of the Rangers)


steve said...

Hey Jess you got your wish:

John Tavares is headed to the London Knights.

Sources tell TSN that the Oshawa General scoring star has waived his no-trade clause and is going with defenceman Michael Del Zotto and goaltender Daryl Borden to London for four second-round draft selections, two third-round choices, forward Christian Thomas, defenceman Scott Valentine and goaltender Michael Zador.

Matty said...


you must be pretty pleased then that Del Zotto was traded right along with Tavares to London ... which I believe is a good team from what some friends tell me ...

So great for Michael, he can continue to learn and grow and in a more positive environment