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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

#Maineiacs Select Makarov in #CHL Import Draft

The Maineiacs used the 42nd overall pick in the 2010 CHL Import Draft, on Russian goaltender Andrey Makarov. Makarov played for HC Lada Togliatti in Russia. Makarov, a 6-foot-2, 165 pounder, will be a 17-year old this coming season, and will be NHL Draft eligible in 2011, with his junior eligibility running through 2013-14.

Every team in the CHL (Q, O, W) gets up to two picks at the import draft. Teams can carry up to two European players on their roster, so assuming Makarov makes the team, either Oskar Orrpars or Michal Hlinka (not this Michal Hlinka) will be gone.

People who know are saying that Makarov is going to be the goalie for the 2011-12 run year, after backing up and learning the ropes from Champion this year.

--Thanks to DJ Abisalih for contributing to this report--

#Pirates Lose S+C Coach to #BlueJackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets have named Kevin Collins as strength and conditioning coach, club General Manager Scott Howson announced today.

Collins, 28, joins the Blue Jackets after spending the previous five seasons with the Buffalo Sabres organization as strength and conditioning/video coach. He spent the past two seasons with the Portland Pirates (2008-10) and the previous three with the Rochester Americans (2005-08), the Sabres’ American Hockey League affiliates. He started his career as an intern for Sabres Strength and Conditioning Coach Doug McKenney in 2004-05.

"Accepting the position as the Strength and Conditioning Coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets presents an excellent opportunity for Kevin to concentrate on his passion, which is to work with elite athletes at the highest level," said Pirates Head Coach Kevin Dineen. "Although difficult to see him move on, I am extremely excited for him and wish him the best of success."

The Detroit, Michigan native, Collins played four years of collegiate hockey at SUNY Brockport, where he graduated with degrees in Exercise Physiology and Business Management. He is certified through National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a certified strength and conditioning specialist.

--Pirates Communicado--

Saturday, June 26, 2010


2 Lewiston MAINEiacs players got the call from the NHL today as C Michael Chaput was taken 89th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers and 6'1" Defenseman Samuel Carrier was taken 176th overall by the Washington Capitals.



Unfortunately none of the other players with Maine ties drafted today.

Here is a list of possible Portland Pirates players drafted by Buffalo over the last 2 days. Click on player for stats and bios.

Rnd  Overall Player   Pos Country Ht Wt Amateur League Amateur Team

Scarborough's Jake Rutt Joins Us To Talk #NHLDraft

Scarborough native Jacob Rutt, who played for the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs last season and is headed to the University of Maine in the fall, joins us to talk about being an NHL Draft prospect, the possibility of being drafted.

Friday, June 25, 2010

NHL DRAFT - DJ ABISALIH #nhl #theahl #nhldraft

Despite the fact that the regular season and playoffs last from October to June, almost everyone in the hockey world will attest to the game being a 12-month sport. The Stanley Cup Final just concluded a few weeks ago, and here we are, with teams already preparing themselves for the 2010-11 campaign. This weekend features the NHL Entry Draft, and by the middle of next week, the free agency period will begin. By the time August comes around, teams in the CHL will start their respective training camps, which will be followed by NHL training camps in September.

So, what about this weekend and the 2010 NHL Entry Draft? For those of us that work in junior hockey, this is a fun time of year, especially this summer, as the draft will be dominated by up and coming players from the three leagues across Canada and the northern United States. The more specific domination will come from the Ontario Hockey League, who will produce the first overall pick for the fourth consecutive draft (Patrick Kane in '07, Steven Stamkos in '08, John Tavares in '09).

The top two picks in this year's draft are pretty simple. The Edmonton Oilers and Boston Bruins will both get future stars in Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin... or is it Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall? Both of those players come from the OHL, as does the favorite to be the third overall pick - Erik Gundbranson of the Kingston Frontenacs. The OHL's domination could continue to the fourth overall pick, as defenseman Cam Fowler of Windsor has a realistic shot of making it a 1-through-4 sweep for the league that has won each of the last two Memorial Cups. If Columbus opts not to go with Fowler, they will likely select either Brandon Gormley of Moncton (QMJHL), or Brett Connolly of Prince George (WHL).

2009-10 was my first season as a broadcaster in the QMJHL, so Brandon Gormley presents a fun story for me. This past February, I had a chance to meet and interview the 18-year old, so watching him get picked in the first round will certainly be neat to watch. On the ice, Gormley is one of the top defensemen in the QMJHL, as he is intelligent, while being strong on both the offensive and defensive sides of the puck. Off the ice, I met a young man with tremendous professionalism and poise - a person any organization would be proud to call their own. The latter doesn't come as much of a surprise, as Moncton's Danny Flynn is one of the most respected coaches in the entire CHL. Depending on which team drafts him, Gormley could land an NHL job. If not, he will be a must see in Lewiston on November 26th.

Unfortunately, this summer's first round won't be loaded with players out of the QMJHL, although the 2011 Entry Draft could see Drummondville's Sean Couturier selected as high as first overall. That being said, this year's most intriguing story comes out of the Q, as Kirill Kabanov is the biggest mystery of the weekend. In terms of talent, he is a top-10 pick without question. However, Kabanov had injury problems throughout the 2009-10 season, and there have been serious questions about his attitude. During the first round of the playoffs, there was an incident between Kabanov, his teammates, and the Moncton organization that saw him miss the remainder of the postseason. The recent saga has seen Kabanov fall out of the first round on some draft boards, while others have him everywhere from 15th to 30th. When all is said and done, and we look back at this draft down the road, the Russian forward will either be a steal because of his talent, or a flop because of his attitude.

Other notable players from the Q that will hear their names called relatively early are Stanislav Galiev (Saint John), Petr Straka (Rimouski), and Jerome Gauthier-Leduc (Rouyn-Noranda), as well as goaltenders Louis Domingue (Quebec) and Mathieu Corbeil-Theriault (Halifax). In terms of goaltending, Jack Campbell of the US Under-18 Team and Calvin Pickard of the Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) will be the first two chosen. Pickard is ranked higher according to NHL's Central Scouting, but Campbell's gold medal victory at the World Junior Championship could give him a slight edge. Over the past few years, goalies haven't been selected early, so if one is drafted on Friday, it won't be until the latter stages of the first round.

Looking at the local team, the Lewiston MAINEiacs will have at least one player selected in this year's draft, with the possibility of a few others. 18-year old forward Michael Chaput was ranked 78th among North American skaters by NHL's Central Scouting, as well as 81st overall by The Hockey News. If those rankings hold true, Chaput could be selected between rounds three and five. After missing the end of the 2008-09 season with an injury, the Montreal, QC native rebounded to lead the MAINEiacs with 28 goals, while finishing second on the club with 55 points.
If Chaput hears his name called this weekend, it will mark the seventh consecutive season with a MAINEiac at the NHL Entry Draft, as well as the eighth straight year for the organization, dating back to the days of the Sherbrooke Castors. Michael would also be the second member of his family to get drafted, as his brother Stefan (also a former MAINEiac) was selected in the fifth round (153rd overall) by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006.

Chaput could be joined in Los Angeles by a few of his teammates from the MAINEiacs. Forward Jess Tanguy was a late addition to the list provided by Central Scouting, appearing as the 191st ranked North American skater on the final rankings list. Tanguy burst onto the scene after joining Lewiston in January, recording 15 goals, 12 assists, and 27 points in 32 games. The Laval, QC native had six points in his first three games as a MAINEiac, before registering at least one point in ten of twelve games toward the end of the season.
Matthew Bissonnette wasn't ranked by Central Scouting, but could prove to be a late steal for a team in search of a large two-way forward. Bissonnette had 18 points in 28 games with Moncton, before being traded to Lewiston, where he had 12 goals, 19 assists, and 31 points in 27 games. The Beaconsfield, QC native had eleven multiple-point games as a MAINEiac, including a career high of four against Rimouski on January 29th.

Finally, defenseman Samuel Carrier was listed in Central Scouting's midterm rankings, but dropped out of the final rankings. Carrier is a power play quarterback with a powerful shot. After scoring nine points in 56 games with Quebec in 2008-09, the blueliner exploded for ten goals, 32 assists, and 42 points in 66 games with the MAINEiacs. The Varennes, QC native's most successful stretch came toward the end of the season, when he picked up 13 points (5g, 8a) in six games.
To all of the draft followers, I hope you enjoy the next couple of days, I hope your teams do well, and if you have any friends or family members in the draft, I hope this is the start of a long and successful hockey career!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ouellet Gets a New Gig in the #QMJHL

Former Portland Pirates goalie Maxim Ouellet has landed a job in the QMJHL as the goalie coach for
the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. Ouellet had a long career in hockey, getting cups of coffee with the Flyers, Caps and Canucks.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wideman to #Panthers, #Bruins Fans Rejoice

The man who seemed to be responsible for about 80% of the goals allowed by the Boston Bruins last season is on his way south.

Dennis Wideman, the 15th overall pick this year, and a 3rd rounder next year head to Florida for forwards Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell (son of noted Bruins fan Colin Campbell). I hope everyone sends Panthers GM Dale Tallon thank-you cards, photos of the family at Christmas, and birthday cards from here on in.

Wideman, who had a plus/minus comparable to the debt in Greece (alright, it was -14), had a salary of 4 million bucks, leaves town and a guy who scored 20 goals on a crap team comes to Boston? Good first move by the Boston Bruins in a week that could determine the fate of this franchise for years.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

#AHL Announces Alignment 2010-11

American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced that the league will operate with an all-time high of 30 active teams in 2010-11, which will also mark the AHL’s historic 75th season.

All 30 National Hockey League teams will have their own primary affiliate playing in the AHL next fall. The league’s Board of Governors has approved the following division alignment for 2010-11 (NHL affiliates in parentheses):

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NYI)
Hartford Wolf Pack (NYR)
Manchester Monarchs (LA)
Portland Pirates (BUF)
Providence Bruins (BOS)
Springfield Falcons (CBJ)
Worcester Sharks (SJ)

East Division
Adirondack Phantoms (PHI)
Albany Devils (NJ)
Binghamton Senators (OTT)
Charlotte Checkers (CAR)
Hershey Bears (WSH)
Norfolk Admirals (TB)
Syracuse Crunch (ANA)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (PIT)

Western Conference

North Division
Abbotsford Heat (CGY)
Grand Rapids Griffins (DET)
Hamilton Bulldogs (MTL)
Lake Erie Monsters (COL)
Manitoba Moose (VAN)
Rochester Americans (FLA)
Toronto Marlies (TOR)

West Division
Chicago Wolves (ATL)
Houston Aeros (MIN)
Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)
Oklahoma City Barons (EDM)
Peoria Rivermen (STL)
Rockford IceHogs (CHI)
San Antonio Rampage (PHX)
Texas Stars (DAL)

The format for the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs will be determined by the Board of Governors at its Annual Meeting in Hilton Head Island, S.C., July 5-8. The complete playing schedule for the 2010-11 regular season, which begins Oct. 8, will be announced later this summer.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 85 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the ninth year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2009-10.

#AHL Communications#

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


The University of Maine placed 12 student-athletes on the 2010 All-Academic Team released on Friday, June 11. The 12 student-athletes trailed just UMass, who had 14 named to the squad. In addition, senior Kevin Swallow (Stanwood, Mich.) was named to the Hockey East Association Academic All-Star Team, which honors the top grade point averages by position.

A total of 79 Hockey East student-athletes were named to the 2009-2010 All-Academic Team. Each of the student-athletes honored achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or higher in each of the two academic periods during which he was actively competing.

UMass led the league with 14 student-athletes honored followed by Maine who had 12. UMass Lowell, Merrimack and Providence College each had nine student-athletes honored followed by New Hampshire and Northeastern who each had eight. Boston College (5), Vermont (4) and Boston University (1) rounded out the honorees.

Kevin Swallow achieved a 3.83 GPA in his final year, earning a spot on the Hockey East Academic All-Star team for the first time in his career. Swallow, a transfer from Dartmouth College, was named to the Hockey East All-Academic Team for the second time in his career.

Senior Brett Carriere (Ottawa, Ontario) along with juniors Jeff Dimmen (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Tanner House (Cochrane, Alberta) and Josh Van Dyk (Woodstock, Ontario) were all named to the All-Academic Team for the third time in their careers.

Spencer Abbott (Hamilton, Ontario), Gustav Nyquist (Malmo, Sweden), Will O'Neill (Salem, Mass.) and Swallow were all honored for the second time in their careers.
Theo Andersson (Gothenburg, Sweden), Mike Cornell (Franklin, Mass.) Joey Diamond (Long Beach, N.Y.) and Mark Nemec (Rouses Point, N.Y.) were all honored for the first time in their careers.

Nyquist, the lone unanimous selection to the Hockey East First Team this past season, was the only member of the First Team named to the All-Academic Team.

The puck drops on the 2010-2011 regular season on Friday, October 8 when Maine hosts UMass Lowell at 7 PM at Alfond Arena.


Monday, June 14, 2010



According to several German websites, Kyle Wanvig, Portland Pirates Right Winger, has signed a contract with the Augsburg Panthers of the German Ice Hockey League.

The 29 year old Wanvig signed on with the Pirates midway through the season and finished with 13 goals and 25 assists for 38 points.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Tim Whitehead was on The PM Jab with Javier Goritti and Jeff Schools talking about his 3 year extension and all the recruits signed so far.

Doc Emrick on The Morning Jab

Legendary broadcaster Miek "Doc" Emrick, the voice of the National Hockey League and former Maine Mariner's broadcaster, was on the Big Jab this morning breaking down the Stanley Cup Finals, and talks about a conversation he had with legendary mariners John Paddock. Listen to it below.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Guy Boucher Takes Lightning Job, Dineen Back to Portland?

According to reports overnight, Guy Boucher, who had earlier in the day turned down the Columbus Blue Jackets, has accepted the head coaching job in Tampa Bay.

Basically at this point, it looks like Kevin Dineen will be headed back to Portland barring any shocking news. He doesn't seem to be interested in the Atlanta job, and nothing else is currently open. I would expect he would be on all short lists for head coaching openings that might come up, so I am sure his time is coming. It is curious to find out why he finished behind Boucher in 2 different openings, and in Columbus, where many felt he was the favorite to land the job, he apparently finished 4th behind Boucher, Scott Arniel, and Claude Noel. Very interesting, to say the least.

I know mentioned last week that off-ice issues might be costing him, but Rick Tocchet is a convicted felony gambler and Craig MacTavish killed someone, so I find that to be a convenient excuse.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Boucher Turns Down Jackets, takes Tampa and Manitoba's Scott Arniel Gets Columbus Gig

12:01 AM TUESDAY - TSN is reporting that Guy Boucher has signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning to be their next head coach. Does Kevin Dineen get a job anywhere in the NHL?

According to RDS(French, just put it in the anslator) and the Columbus Times-Dispatch, Guy Boucher has turned down the Columbus Blue Jackets job. From RDS Translated:

According to reports the Columbus Dispatch, Guy Boucher refused the offer of the Columbus Blue Jackets to be their head coach.
The CEO of the Columbus Blue Jackets Scott Howson had formally offered the position of head coach of the team last Saturday.
Boucher has not reached the stage of negotiations with the Blue Jackets from the information gathered by the Columbus Dispatch. 

Update: According to tweets from Mike Commodore and from Aaron Portzline, Scott Arniel is going to be the new head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets. I guess it's time to start paying attention to Tampa Bay for Kevin Dineen?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Maineiacs Draft Recap

Here's a recap of the Maineiacs draft yesterday, with all of their picks in each round.

Round 1, Pick 1- Dillon Fournier, D, Lac St-Louis
Round 2, Pick 21- Christophe Lalonde, W, Saint-Eustache
Round 3, Pick 48- Brayden Wood, D, Rothsay Netherwood
Round 5, Pick 73- Antoine Bibeau, G, Trois-Rivières
Round 6, Pick 108- Jay Kourkoulis, D, Lac St-Louis
Round 8, Pick 129- Chrostopher Caissey, W, Campbellton
Round 9, Pick 149- Maxime Godin, D, Miramichi
Round 9, Pick 147 - Conner Anthoine, W, GM Blades
Round 11, Pick 183- Sotiris Athanasopoulos, W, Lac St-Louis
Round 12, Pick 199- Cole McDonald, W, Miramichi

Lewiston also picked up goalie Nicholas Champion from Rouyn-Noranda.
There was also a free agent signing - Jonah Coonishish-Coon, a 17-year old,  6'4", 220 lber from Misstisinni, QC.

A productive day for the franchise, and possibly a day folks can look back and say the corner was turned.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Kevin Dineen, You are NOT the New Head Coach Of the Blue Jackets?

Scott Howson waited on Guy Boucher through a long Hamilton playoff run.On Saturday, we all found out why.

According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, Howson has chosen Boucher to replace interim head coach Claude Noel. Although no contract offer has been made, Boucher has interviewed twice, once last month at the Combine and this past week in Columbus. Boucher is currently deciding whether to take the job.

At 38 years old Boucher, who coached in the QMJHL with Drumondville before his season in the AHL, is known for his unique style of hockey, a 1-3-1 system that many consider outside the box.

Where does this leave Kevin Dineen? After Doug MacLean said last week the Blue Jackets would be "stupid" to not hire him, Dineen might be headed to Tampa Bay. Dineen met with Columbus on 2 separate occasions last month, and it is unknown whether he has interviewed with Steve Yzerman as of yet. He was at a rally for the Hartford Whalers late last week, so we know he has been traveling.


Roger Shannon Joined Jeff Schools, Matty Boutwell, Sun Journal’s Justin Pellitier and DJ Abisalih to chat about the Lewiston MAINEiacs pending overall #1 draft pick in the QMJHL Draft Saturday!

#1 Overall Pick in 2010 #QMJHL Draft Is...

According to sources, the Lewiston Maineiacs will be making the team a family affair this season. Dillon Fournier, who played for the Lac St. Louis Lions this past season, will more than likely be the #1 overall pick. Dillon's brother Stefan plays for the Maineiacs already.

#Maineiacs Acquire #1 Overall Pick in #QMJHL Draft

Justin Pelletier from the Sun Journal broke it on our airwaves this morning. The Lewiston Maineiacs have acquired the #1 overall pick in the #QMJHL draft in a 3 team deal. Roger Shannon confirmed the news in a round-about way this morning on the Big Jab 96.3. Stay tuned for more.

Friday, June 4, 2010

#Maineiacs Wheeling and Dealing Before #QMJHL Draft

The Lewiston Maineiacs, who seem to be looking at making a run in the QMJHL this season, have officially gotten the process started with a whole lot of trades, one of which snagged them All-Star goaltender Olivier Roy.

Here's a complete list of everything done so far, as provided by the impeccable DJ Abisalih:

Lewiston trades the 36th pick and 39th pick this year, plus a 2nd round pick next year to Cape Breton for Olivier Roy and the 50th pick this year.

Lewiston trades the 75th pick this year to Chicoutimi for the 80th pick this year.

Lewiston trades the 73rd pick this year to Saint John for the 81st pick this year.

Lewiston trades Jean-Francois Plante to Shawinigan for Antoine Houde-Caron and the 63rd pick this year.

Lewiston trades the 63rd pick this year to Montreal for a 3rd round pick next year.

Lewiston trades Billy Lacasse to Chicoutimi for the 48th pick this year and a 5th round pick next year.

Lewiston trades the 50th pick and 81st pick this year to Acadie-Bathurst for Olivier Dame-Malka, the 60th pick and 149th pick this year.

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