Monday, August 1, 2011

Player Movement, Signings, Blog Schedule, Etc.

After a few weeks off (vacation and the ever time consuming and much dreaded rummage sale), a lot of catching up is in order, which I will try to break into several posts over the course of the week. The first order of business is to update the summary of former player transactions and signings which have occurred this offseason:

NHL Free Agency:

Zach Parise New Jersey RFA New Jersey 1 Year, $6 Million
Drew Stafford Buffalo RFA Buffalo 4 Years, $16 Million
David Hale Ottawa UFA

Matt Smaby Tampa Bay RFA Anaheim 1 Year, 2 Way Contract
Ryan Johnson Chicago UFA

Chris Porter St Louis UFA St Louis 1 Year, 2 Way Contract
T.J. Oshie St Louis RFA St Louis 1 Year, $2.35 Million
Taylor Chorney Edmonton RFA Edmonton 1 Year, 2 Way Contract
Mike Commodore Columbus UFA Detroit 1 Year, $1 Million

Non-NHL Signings:

Lee Goren Skelleftea Swedish Elite (Sweden 1) Press Release (Swedish)
David Lundbohm Vasteras Hockey Allsvenskan (Sweden 2) Press Release (Swedish)
Jason Ulmer EHC Munchen DEL (Germany 1) Press Release (German)
Jeff Ulmer DEG Metro Stars DEL (Germany 1) Twitter
Ryan Martens EHC Dortmund Oberliga (Germany 3) Press Release (German)
Bill Trew Landshut Bundesliga (Germany 2) Press Release (German)
Colby Genoway Lausanne National B (Switzerland 2) Press Release (French)
Anthony Grieco Asiago Serie A (Italy 1) Press Release (Italian)

The European press releases are rather easy to interpret, assuming you are fluent in five or six languages. However, for those of us who still struggle with our command of the English language, Google Translate is an invaluable tool. The player movement pertains only to those players who have changed teams this offseason. A comprehensive list of all former Sioux players and their 2011-2012 teams will be posted a little closer to the start of the season(s).

The Fighting Sioux have received a commitment from former Edina (MN-HS) Hornet Connor Gaarder to join the team this fall. Gaarder has spent the past two season playing in the NAHL, and last season he was a three-time Central Division Player of the Week with the Coulee Region Chill.

Gaarder's addition to the Fighting Sioux program came as a result of JT Miller's roster spot becoming available after he opted to join the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League. Miller's decision to make a last minute switch from the University of North Dakota to Canadian juniors began a bit of a snowball effect, as several other top prospects spurned the NCAA in favor of the CHL. It is certainly hard to blame a young man for making a decision he feels will better suit his development towards an NHL career, but the proximity to the start of the academic year certainly leaves programs scrambling to fill roster spots.

Dillon Simpson was in-studio on The Pipeline Show this past weekend. Links to the audio can be found in the show's archives.

The Canadian (Aug 3-7) and Team USA (Aug 6-11)World Junior Championship evaluation camps kick-off this week, with Dillon Simpson taking part for Canada and Derek Forbort and Rocco Grimaldi participating for Team USA.

The official 2011-2012 schedule was released today. Full Schedule

Jake Marto recently signed a two-way AHL/ECHL contract with the Winnipeg Jets organization. He could very well be suiting up as a St. John's IceCap alongside former Sioux teammates Jason Gregoire and Michael Forney, whose rights also belong to the Jets. Perhaps this will help draw even more interest to UND's Winnipeg game this season.

Throughout the week I will try to finish catching up on the busy summer we've experienced thus far, including:

Timothy Boger of UND's Dakota Student did an interesting statistical breakdown of the production each WCHA team will be returning this season. I put something together something similar earlier this summer and have been waiting for the early defections to end before summarizing the breakdown. I also looked at the percentage of defensemen and goaltender minutes each team is returning, as well as a look back over the past decade or so and just how much production a team can lose and still win a conference championship. I'm going to try to get that post up by the end of the weekend.

A wrap-up on the Sioux presence at this summer's NHL prospect development camps.

A look at the USHL schedule and when Sioux commits will be playing in Fargo.

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