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Charleston Deals Stamkos, Takes Centre Stage at the Draft

In CHA, SJH, Transactions on July 27, 2019 at 10:58 am

The Charleston Chiefs have dealt one of its top players, centre Steven Stamkos, and the 10th overall rookie pick in 2019 to the San Jose Hosers for the 2nd overall pick in 2019.

The move is the biggest of the offseason so far, and marks the second straight year the rebuilding Chiefs have dealt a top centre. Stamkos had 70 points in 78 games this past season, and a disappointing 19 goals. He was a first overall pick for the Chiefs in 2009.

The move seems designed to nab a top-shelf defenseman — either Rasmus Dahlin or Miro Heiskanen — for the Chiefs’ thin blueline. Stamkos, meanwhile, joins a San Jose team that’s already stacked down the middle, led by John Tavares and Jack Eichel. It’s possible that he may shift to the wing, where the Hosers are weaker.

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Denver Loads Up in Two Deals

In BOS, DEN, IHS, Transactions on July 12, 2019 at 2:06 pm

Hobbled by long-term injuries and the retirement of its veterans over the last two seasons, the Denver Spurs have swung a pair of trades to fill out its ranks ahead of the 2019-20 season.

The first, and biggest, sees the Spurs sending out its first round rookie pick in 2019, 5th overall, to the Ice Harbor Storm. In return, Denver receives a whopping eight assets: Ice Harbor’s 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round rookie picks, Salem’s 4th round rookie pick, Ice Harbor’s 1st round free agent pick, forward Tyler Pitlick and veteran defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.

The influx of draft picks freed the Spurs up to make a second deal, this time with the Boston Banshees. In exchange for Denver’s 2nd round rookie pick, the Banshees are sending back forwards Jean-Gabriel Pageau and J.T. Compher, along with Parry Sound’s 3rd round rookie pick. Both players could land in the Spurs’ top nine this season barring more moves.

Parry Sound Flips Veteran Goalies, Adds Hornqvist

In BOS, PAR, Transactions on May 24, 2019 at 10:13 am

It didn’t take long after trading reopened following Salem’s Gump Cup victory for the prolific Boston Banshees to make the first deal of the offseason. In a blink, Boston got its annual summer shake-up underway, dealing winger Patric Hornqvist and goalie Ryan Miller, previously acquired from West Virginia, to the Parry Sound Orrsmen. In return, the Banshees get Curtis “McBackup” McElhinney to give some experienced support to starter Matt Murray, plus West Virginia’s 3rd round rookie pick in 2019.

Hornqvist had a good regular season (24 goals in 70 games) but struggled in the playoffs, managing just two goals and an assist in 12 games. Miller was fine all year, though, posting a .919 save percentage in both the regular season (25 games) and playoffs (5 games). McElhinney struggled somewhat as Pekka Rinne’s backup, with a 3.24 GAA and .910 save percentage in 18 contests. He saw no playoff action.

 

 

18-19 Regular Season: Q4 in Review

In News on April 1, 2019 at 2:07 pm

The 2018-19 GWMHL regular season is in the books. 8 teams look ahead to the postseason; 12 more look ahead to the draft lottery.

In the Plante Conference, Salem barely stayed ahead of Parry Sound for top seed, while the El Dorado Lynx and Baltimore Crab round out the playoff-bound teams. It’ll be Salem vs. Baltimore and Parry Sound vs. El Dorado in the first round — that latter series should be a good one.

In the Sawchuk, the Farmington Fighting Saints came out of the pile of playoff pretenders to nab the final seed. The first round will see Delta face Farmington and Boston take on Ice Harbor.

Stay tuned for round 1 playoff previews, coming soon!

Winnipeg’s Jamie Benn takes the scoring crown with 109 points. He’d probably rather be heading to the postseason, but his first career scoring title is still a pretty good consolation prize. Benn was one of six Gump players to break the 100-point barrier on the year.

Vancouver’s Anders Lee put together a monster fourth quarter to emerge out of nowhere and tie West Virginia’s Patrik Laine for the goal-scoring lead with 51. Benn and teammate Tyler Seguin weren’t far behind with 49.

Anze Kopitar‘s +80 is the highest total by any player in 9 years. The Salem centre was also tied for the lead in shorthanded goals.

Fighting Saint John Carlson led all defensemen with 71 points, just one ahead of El Dorado veteran Jeff Petry, who surprised the league with 70 points. Young Adirondack rearguard Zach Werenski led defensemen in goals with 26, one ahead of Carlson’s 25.

The rookie scoring race was tight heading into the final quarter, but Vancouver’s Mathew Barzal pulled away big-time in the final 18 games, finishing with 83 points, 10 ahead of Salem’s Yanni Gourde. Boston rookie winger Brock Boeser tallied 35 goals in an injury-shortened freshman season.

The goaltender numbers have a less clear-cut leader, but Parry Sound’s Pekka Rinne may be the closest we’ve got — he finished second in GAA (2.38), save percentage (.928), and shutouts (6) behind three different netminders, plus led all goalies in wins, by a fair margin, with 39. Rinne was a big offseason add for the Orrsmen; the question now is whether he’ll be enough to bring them to the next level in the playoffs.

Playoff Picture Takes Shape Heading into Q4

In News on February 27, 2019 at 9:16 am

The race for a coveted playoff spot is on! As we head into the final quarter of the 2018-19 season, some real dogfights are taking place in both conferences.

In the Plante Conference
Salem and Parry Sound continue to lead the way — the Orrsmen will have to make up six points to seal home ice advantage throughout the postseason. Denver slipped big in the third quarter, and indeed if the playoffs started today, only the Sabercats would be repping the Plante East — the next four contenders are all in the West. The real race is for the fourth seed, with Baltimore (70) just four points up on Charleston (66).

In the Sawchuk Conference
Delta seems to have a firm grip on the top seed over Boston, but a late surge from the Banshees could change all that. Like in the Plante, the real race is for the fourth and final playoff birth. Just four points separate third place Ice Harbor (72) and fifth place Farmington (68), with West Virginia (69) sandwiched in the middle. Vancouver and Adirondack are a mere five points back of that pack. It’ll be tight!

Stat-Watching
With 90 points (37 goals and 53 assists), Winnipeg’s Jamie Benn has taken over the scoring lead from Salem’s Anze Kopitar (88 points). Benn’s teammate Tyler Seguin and West Virginia sophomore Patrik Laine share the goal-scoring lead with 43. Farmington rearguard John Carlson still leads defensemen with 57 points, although El Dorado’s Jeff Petry deserves notice for his whopping 52. Salem’s Yanni Gourde (60 points) has taken over the rookie lead from Vancouver’s Mathew Barzal (58). Salem’s goaltending tandem of Frederik Andersen (21 wins, 2.19, .923) and Marc-Andre Fleury (24 wins, 2.43, .927) have been putting up the best numbers for netminders.

Boston Acquires Zibanejad from South Side

In BOS, SSR, Transactions on December 30, 2018 at 10:56 am

The Boston Banshees and South Side Renegades have swung a deal ahead of the mid-season trade deadline, with Boston acquiring centre Mika Zibanejad and Parry Sound’s 3rd round pick. In return, the rebuilding Renegades get Boston’s first round rookie pick in 2019 as well as young winger Valeri Nichushkin.

Chiasson Headlines Mid-Season Free Agent Claims

In Transactions on December 27, 2018 at 9:23 am

The 2018-19 Mid-Season Free Agent Draft is underway, and with the first pick, the Great Lakes Pilots have claimed winger Alex Chiasson. The annual draft is a chance for teams to pick up unwanted veterans, longshots, and other diamonds in the rough. The top 3 also saw netminder Jimmy Howard going to the San Jose Hosers and the South Side Renegades taking a chance on defenseman Erik Gustafsson.

The draft is underway now. See all the results as they happen here.

Parry Sound Continues Spending Spree, Acquires Daniel Sedin

In BOS, HAM, PAR, Transactions on December 27, 2018 at 9:20 am

Three days after picking up a top defender in Oliver Ekman-Larsson, the Parry Sound Orrsmen filled the top-9 void left by Anthony Mantha by acquiring veteran left-winger Daniel Sedin from the Hamilton Ti-Cats. Heading the other way is rough-and-tumble winger Milan Lucic.

Now in his 18th season and just two seasons removed from a 107-point season, Sedin has 5 goals and 11 assists in 25 games and has made it known that this is his last season in the GWMHL. Lucic has no points in 20.

In a separate move, the Orrsmen sent third-string goalie Aaron Dell to Boston for a 2019 free agent pick.

Salem, Parry Sound, Delta Lead the Charge at the Halfway Mark

In BAL, DEL, News, SAL on December 20, 2018 at 10:01 am

The 2018-19 season is half over, and with 40 games in the bag, defending champ Salem sits atop the league standings with a scintillating 29-8-3 record. On their heels: Parry Sound (26-8-6) and Delta (27-10-3). Salem’s success comes at the expense of its division rivals, all of whom are in the bottom 10.

In the Plante Conference
After a disappoint start, the Baltimore Crab scrabbled back into the race on the back of a stellar 9-1-0 home record in Q2. Salem, Parry Sound, and El Dorado may all be out of reach at this point, but the Crab seem poised for a postseason berth barring a major bounceback from a sub-.500 team.

In the Sawchuck Conference
Delta has the conference all but sewn up, but there the second half should see a lot of jockeying further down the standings, as Boston and Ice Harbor continue to play well, and Farmington (who faded in Q2, going 7-11-2), Adirondack, and West Virginia are all in striking distance for the fourth or even third seed. Hamilton bounced back from a weak Q1 with 11 wins in Q2 so they could be in the mix as well.

The Leaders
Salem’s Anze Kopitar, acquired just before the season, leads all scorers with 59 points (and 24 goals, two behind leader Patrik Laine).

Parry Sound’s Pekka Rinne boasts the league’s best numbers among starting goaltenders (2.08 and .940) but has played just 20 games so far. His GP totals will pick up in the back half of the season as his Orrsmen look to take some momentum into the playoffs.

Farmington’s John Carlson has a healthy lead for points by defensemen, scoring at nearly a point-per-game pace with 39 in 40.

Vancouver’s Mat Barzal still leads all freshmen with 40 points (17 goals, 23 assists), just 3 ahead of unheralded Salem rookie Yanni Gourde (8 goals, 29 assists).

Salem Surges, Baltimore Stumbles in Q1

In News on November 13, 2018 at 1:29 pm

The 2018-19 GWMHL season is now underway, and the first 20 games are in the books. The Salem Sabercats are off to a roaring start (16-2-2) and sit atop the league-wide standings, followed closely by the Parry Sound Orrsmen (14-4-2). Perhaps most surprisingly, both Baltimore (7-11-2) and Hamilton (5-14-1) have struggled out of the gate.

But the big story is definitely Salem, who have both scored the most and allowed the fewest goals after 20. The Cats went a stellar 9-0-1 on the road, and their preseason acquisition of Anze Kopitar is paying big dividends, as he leads all scorers with 36 points. A word of caution, though: Salem absolutely pummeled rebuilding Great Lakes and South Side and the defending champs should get a much better test in the second quarter.

Also of note, Farmington rearguard John Carlson‘s 24 points, good enough to lead all defensemen and help propel his team to a strong 11-6-3 start. Meanwhile, Vancouver‘s Mat Barzal jumped out to a narrow lead in the rookie scoring race with 18 points while running the league’s best-producing powerplay (25.4%).