Monday, May 30, 2011

Updates & Links

Jason Gregoire has opted to forgo his senior season to become an NHL free agent. Gregoire was a third round draft pick of the New York Islanders in 2007, but due to a clause in the NHL's CBA, any draftee four years removed from their draft year becomes a free agent if they do not sign a contract within 30 days of officially withdrawing from school. Gregoire and New Hampshire's Blake Kessel are the latest to use the CBA rules to their advantage, here's a little bit of analysis from the New York end (scroll down to the the third story), and are the Minnesota Wild a contender for Gregoire's services?

The Fighting Sioux have received a commitment from Michael Di Puma of the NAHL's Wenatchee Wild to play for UND beginning this fall. Di Puma will add valued roster depth at the forward spot after the early departures of Brett Hextall and Jason Gregiore and the transfers of Brett Bruneteau and Michael Cichy. Di Puma's junior numbers can be viewed right here.

Here's a video interview with 2011-12 Fighting Sioux recruit JT Miller:

The 2011 IIHF World Championships wrapped up, with Finland winning gold. Former Sioux Chris Porter suited up for Team USA while his former Sioux teammate Travis Zajac represented Canada. Both players dressed for all of their team's games, but neither player was able to leave Slovakia with a medal.

Each players tournament stats can be found below:
Team Canada

Zajac also reacts to the possibility of the Atlanta Thrashers moving to his hometown of Winnipeg, discusses his World Championship experience, and expresses confidence that New Jersey Devil's teammate and former Sioux Zach Parise will remain a Devil in this Fire & Ice blog post.

Former Sioux Matt Smaby and the Tampa Bay Lightning were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs following their Game 7 loss to Boston last Friday. Smaby was the last remaining Sioux on an active NHL roster this season.

In the AHL, David Hale's Binghamton Senators are taking on the Houston Aeros in the Calder Cup Finals. Hale has not participated in the playoffs due to injury, but he remains on the Senator's active roster. The series is tied at one game apiece with action set to resume Wednesday, June 1.

Former Sioux and current New Jersey Devil Zach Parise, who can become a restricted free agent this summer, has yet to have any contract discussions with the Devils. An In Lou We Trust blog post breaks down why other NHL teams may refrain from issuing a potentially pricey offer sheet to Parise. 

The Hockey News' Rumor Roundup says Parise and the Devils might be headed towards arbitration, while Chicago's offseason priorities may not include resigning former Sioux Ryan Johnson.

Current Buffalo Sabre and former Sioux Drew Stafford makes this list of ten free agents ready to see significant pay increases. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Catching Up

After a brief hiatus, here's a couple weeks worth of updates and links...

This THN Hot List featured 2011 Sioux recruit Rocco Grimaldi.

Sioux recruit Michael Parks and his Cedar Rapids Roughriders were eliminated from the USHL’s Clark Cup playoffs Sunday. Parks finished the playoffs with 4 points (3 G, 1 A) and a +3 rating. He is expected to be on campus this fall.

Matt Smaby is the last former Sioux taking part in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Smaby has been a scratch throughout Tampa Bay’s playoff run, which resumes Saturday night against Boston.

Hunter Bishop (Hamilton Bulldogs) and David Hale (Binghamton Senators) are the only two Sioux remaining in the AHL playoffs, which have progressed to the conference finals. Binghamton eliminated Corey Fienhage and the Portland Pirates last Friday. While on the active rosters for each of their respective teams, neither Bishop nor Hale have logged any ice time this postseason.

Here’s an article from a month and a half ago featuring Jaden Schwartz's hockey playing options.  It takes a brief but interesting look at the dichotomy of Canadian major juniors versus American college.

The 2010-2011 All-USHL Teams were announced and the 1st Team Defense pairing features 2011 recruit Nick Mattson and 2012 commit Jordan Schmaltz.

McKeen’s Hockey featured an interview with 2011 Sioux recruit JT Miller awhile back.

UND sophomore forwards Brett Bruneteau and Mike Cichy have decided to transfer. Bruneteau will be transferring to Vermont where he will be eligible immediately after completing his undergraduate work at North Dakota in just two years. More on Bruneteau and his remarkable academic accomplishment in this GF Herald article. Cichy will have to sit out a year due to NCAA transfer guidelines, and speculation has him eyeing Western Michigan as the leading transfer destination.

Goaltender Brad Eidsness has decided to play his senior year for the Fighting Sioux rather than sign a professional contract with the Buffalo Sabres.

Sioux defense recruit Charlie Pelnik was selected by Plymouth in the 7th Round of the OHL’s Priority Selection this past weekend. Pelnik was a mid-first round pick according to this mock draft, but OHL teams perhaps grew reluctant to select him too high due to his college commitment to North Dakota.

The Fighting Sioux gained a defense recruit this week when Daniel Senkbeil (6’-4”, 185 lbs - Fremont, CA) of the NAHL’s Alaska Avalanche committed to UND. Senkbeil, who will likely come to campus this fall, was the first ever USHL Entry draft selection for the Youngstown Phantoms, who took him fifth overall in 2009. He spent 2009-10 with Youngstown and the first few games of this season with the Chicago Steel before leaving the USHL to join the Avalanche. 

And in finally getting caught up, could it be that the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers are the team destined to land in Winnipeg as the reborn Jets? It’d surely be closer to home for Roseau native and current Thrasher Dustin Byfuglien, the cousin of former Sioux Derrick Byfuglien. And now that former Sioux Dave Tippett’s Phoenix Coyotes will be staying in Arizona for at least one last season, Atlanta moves to the front burner in terms of relocation rumor.