Friday, May 26, 2006


Sorry about the lack of updating lately. Frankly, nothing that exciting has been happening. I've cobbled together a few things for a post though.

Sam Gagner is officially a London Knight. I's a tough break for Wisconsin, but at least the blow was softened a bit by about a month of speculation hinting that it would happen.

It's weird, but Wisconsin fans may have Gagner's dual-citizenship to blame for his early departure. While Gagner was clearly ready talent-wise for the USHL, playing in the USHL turned out to be a bad experience for him, and was probably the straw that broke the camel's back in terms of him leaving. Had he been a Canadian citizen like friend Brendan Smith, he would have had to play in Ontario this past season. He would have been playing weaker competition, but also having more fun. Then, he could have gone to the USHL next season, and even if he hated it, gone to Wisconsin the following year. You can also add in the fact that if Peter Mueller had played for Sioux City like he originally planned, and Brendan Smith been allowed to play for Sioux City, Gagner may have enjoyed the experience much more. It's a strange set of circumstances that leads to these decisions.

Hockey Thoughts had a nice interview with Wisconsin recruit Cody Goloubef. HT also had a post saying that Tyler Hirsch has been practicing with the Gophers again. It's good for Tyler if he can come back.

Paul Shaheen had this month's installment of his recruiting notebook on INCH. He talks about Kyle Okposo(Minnesota), Kyle Turris(Wisconsin), Brett Blatchford(Notre Dame), and Jeff Petry(undecided).

Speaking of Petry, Michigan hockey writer Bob Miller has been compiling information on Petry and has put together a pretty thorough post on Petry. He says that Petry is down to choosing between Michigan and Michigan State. This is one of the first times Michigan and Michigan State have really gone head-to-head against each other for a recruit since Kevin Porter committed to Michigan at the beginning of the 2003 season.

Minnesota got a commitment from Southern Minnesota Express defenseman Brian Schack for next season. Schack is a big defenseman that should provide the Gophers some insurance just in case Erik Johnson decides to go pro, or if Nate Hagemo can't return from his shoulder injury. At the very least, Schack gives the Gophers the depth to allow David Fischer to spend a year in the USHL before joining the Gophers.

The NHL playoffs are still going on. Congrats to Ryan Miller and Chris Kunitz, who have had excellent success in these playoffs. Both players would probably be in my top 10 of least favorite college hockey players, but they're both playing great, so I'm giving credit where it's due.

How tough do you think watching the playoffs has been for Jack Johnson? You have to feel bad for him. He could be playing for the Hurricanes right now in the Eastern Conference finals and possibly play for the Stanley Cup. Hopefully he gets paid off for his decision with a successful season next year.


Packer487 said...

I still don't buy it that Carolina would have thrown Jack into the fire like that.

He would've gotten into a few games if he signed, but I doubt he would've been playing in the playoffs. That's just not a good time for a 19 year old defenseman to get his feet wet--particularly because he made his share of bad decisions at the college level.

IMO, he would've been Hilberted if he signed this year.

Anonymous said...

I had thought just about that exact thing re: Gagner. I hadn't taken the dual citizenship into consideration, but I thought to myself that if he had played in Canada this year, he wouldn't have been nearly as likely to back out on his UW committment.

I just hope his bad experience in the USHL doesn't turn off Canadians from coming to the States and playing college hockey.

Anonymous said...

Jack Johnson is overrated and will be better off maturing more at Mich.
If he gets to a pro camp, he will be a marked man, for those cheap shots he's taken have been dually noted.
Former pro's have said he has a lot of maturing to do!

redwing77 said...

I don't know if he's overrated. I haven't watched him play nearly enough. However, I think he would fare better than Cory LaRose or whomever #59 is for the Hurricanes. The guy seemed to be chasing all over the place and the one game I saw Jack play (albeit in a losing effort) he didn't nearly look so out of place. Maybe his minutes would be limited, but he'd see the ice.

Brad said...

I agree with Packer that Jack would likely not be playing for Carolina right now. He hasn't yet learned to pick his spots consitently well when jumping into the offense or going for the big hit, a quick, speedy team like Buffalo would make him pay time and again with odd-man rushes. Carolina needs their defensemen to stay at home against the Sabres, which is not Jack's mindset at all.