Archive for the ‘CHA’ Category

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.


Season Preview: Plante West

In BAL, CHA, EDH, GLP, PAR, Special Features on October 8, 2018 at 2:56 pm

Welcome to part 2 of our season previews: a look at the Plante’s West division, which includes not one but two bonafide cup contenders. You can read our preview of the Plante East here.

Baltimore Crab
Last Season’s Finish: 47-29-6 (3rd in conference); lost in 1st round
Notable Arrivals: F Sidney Crosby, D Kevan Miller
Notable Departures: F Jonathan Drouin

After being stunned in the first round, the 2017 champs must have known they needed something to keep up with the Joneses. And they did it in a big way, flipping three draft picks and young forward Jonathan Drouin for Sidney Crosby. Already a powerhouse up front, Crosby instantly becomes the Crab’s best player and will likely centre a first line with Vladimir Tarasenko and one of Filip Forsberg or Jaden Schwartz on his wings. No team scored more in 2017-18, and the goals should flow freely again this season. Add to that a strong top-4 D, headlined by Brent Burns and Ryan McDonagh, and you have a contending recipe. The only wild card is in goal, where Roberto Luongo and Philipp Grubauer will duke it out for the starting role. Can either of them be the go-to guy over a long season and playoffs?

Verdict: Contender

Charleston Chiefs
Last Season’s Finish: 29-45-8 (8th in conference); missed playoffs
Notable Arrivals: D Haydn Fleury, D Andreas Borgman
Notable Departures: F Anze Kopitar, F Cody Eakin, F Chris Kunitz, D Luke Schenn, G Kari Lehtonen

The Chiefs’ promising season was totally undone by injuries to Jonathan Quick and Steven Stamkos. But with both vets back in the saddle, fans’ expectations may have been high — until the team unloaded Anze Kopitar. Talented prospects Casey Mittelstadt and Dylan Sikura aren’t quite ready to make the jump, outside of Viktor Arvidsson there isn’t much to get excited about on the wings, and the blueline is a bit thin after Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Morgan Rielly. Even with Stamkos and Brayden Point still patrolling the middle, the Kopitar deal took the Chiefs from a bubble team to a rebuilder.

Verdict: Rebuilding

El Dorado Lynx
Last Season’s Finish: 37-34-11 (6th in conference); missed playoffs
Notable Arrivals: F Ryan O’Reilly, F Darren Helm, D Jonas Brodin, D Alexander Edler
Notable Departures: F Teuvo Teravainen, F Torrey Mitchell, D Johnny Oduya, D Dennis Seidenberg

The Lynx have been living life on the bubble for what seems like forever now. Shrewd drafting has stocked the forward ranks with a host of exciting talent around Alexander Ovechkin: Clayton Keller, Kyle Connor, Mikael Granlund… the list goes on. It’s one of the most exciting winger groups in the league. And the Lynx can usually count on one of Tuukka Rask or Carey Price to have an “on” year. Most notably, El Dorado went out and addressed its two biggest weaknesses through trades, grabbing a top-line centre to step in for injury-plagued Ryan Kesler (Ryan O’Reilly) and acquiring Alex Edler and Jonas Brodin to fill out a less-than-stellar defense corps. The Lynx still don’t have a star puck-mover on the back end and that may cost them, but now have the pieces to make a serious run. This is squarely a playoff-bound team.

Verdict: Playoffs

Great Lakes Pilots
Last Season’s Finish: 28-49-5 (9th in conference); missed playoffs
Notable Arrivals: F Jonathan Drouin, F Nolan Patrick, F Jason Pominville, D Madison Bowey
Notable Departures: F Sidney Crosby, F Ryan Getzlaf, F Jussi Jokinen, F Brian Gionta, F Nail Yakupov

The writing was on the wall for the Pilots after a very disappointing season: It’s rebuild time. They jettisoned Crosby for Drouin and picks, then parted ways with Ryan Getzlaf too, and grabbed highly touted Nolan Patrick in the first round. It’s a promising, if painful, start. But progress will be slow. While the Pilots’ D, led by Jacob Trouba, Jake Gardiner, and Erik Johnson, is pretty solid, and the team expects Andrei Vasilevskiy to be a high-end starter for years to come, much of the team’s young talent — Patrick, Ryan Donato, Jesse Puljujarvi, Tyson Jost — is at least a season or two away from contributing to a competitive top 6. Led by Tomas Hertl, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Drouin, the Pilots will find goals and wins hard to come by in 2018-19. Especially in this division.

Verdict: Rebuilding

Parry Sound Orrsmen
Last Season’s Finish: 52-24-4 (1st in conference); lost in 2nd round
Notable Arrivals: F Evgeni Dadonov, F Blake Comeau, F Brandon Dubinsky D John Moore, D Thomas Hickey, G Pekka Rinne, G Curtis McElhinney
Notable Departures: F T.J. Oshie, D Braydon Coburn, D Ben Lovejoy, G Jimmy Howard

The league’s best team during the regular season was left reeling after being bumped in the conference finals by Salem. One reason may have been a distracting goalie platoon. The Orrsmen nipped that in the bud early in the offseason when they acquired veteran Pekka Rinne from Vancouver to take sole possession of the starter’s job, and then signed veteran backup Curtis McElhinney. Parry Sound still has the best top 9 in the entire league, led by Connor McDavid, Evgeni Kuznetsov, and Auston Matthews down the middle, and David Pastrnak‘s emergence as a top sniper makes it a truly deadly group. The Orrsmen went big at the Free Agent Draft, picking up several roleplayers who should contribute to a cup run. The defense is still lacking oomph, especially if rumours of health issues for Kevin Shattenkirk are true. But that won’t be enough to stop this powerhouse. This team wants the cup.

Verdict: Contender

Salem Loads Up to Defend Title, Acquires Kopitar

In CHA, SAL, Transactions on September 30, 2018 at 9:34 am

Defending Gump Cup champions, the Salem Sabercats, went into the offseason as a team likely in decline. But the offseason acquisition of Marc-Andre Fleury was a statement that they wouldn’t be fading quietly. That was underscored today when the Sabercats acquired veteran two-way centre Anze Kopitar from the Charleston Chiefs, along with a second round pick in 2019, for young wingers Brendan Perlini and Ondrej Kase.

The Chiefs still have a healthy Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point down the middle. Nevertheless, it’s a clear signal of a rebuild in progress. In 11 GWMHL seasons with Kenora/Baltimore and then Charleston, Kopitar has 665 points in 837 games, good for 12th all time for the Charleston franchise.

Chiefs Make Two Huge Deals Up Front

In BAL, CHA, NAS, Transactions on January 29, 2013 at 6:51 pm

After a quiet draft, the Charleston Chiefs made a big splash in the trade market today with two moves, dealing away – among others – 3rd overall selection Sean Couturier to reel in centre Anze Kopitar from the Baltimore Crab.

Chiefs management had made it known they wanted to shore up on the left wing, and the team’s first move did just that – sending Wayne Simmonds to the Nashville Knights for Clarke MacArthur and a 3rd rounder.

That deal was quickly overshadowed by news that Charleston had acquired Kopitar from Baltimore in exchange for Couturier and longtime Chief Nathan Horton.

Kopitar endured a somewhat disappointing 2011-2012 season, scoring just 15 goals. He joins a formidable Charleston group at centre, highlighted by Steven Stamkos and David Backes.

Season Preview: Plante

In BAL, CHA, DEN, EDH, GLP, PIT, SAL, SCA, STE, Uncategorized, WIN on November 26, 2011 at 10:00 pm

The Sawchuk Conference has its powerhouses – and the last five cups. But the Plante is where all the intrigue is.

Apart from a strong Salem squad fresh off a trip to the Gump Cup Finals, the entire conference is full of dark horses – young teams, growing teams, sure, but few that are in flat-out rebuilding mode. That kind of parity makes the conference incredibly tough to call.

In – D Ryan McDonagh, F Nino Niederreiter, G Jacob Markstrom, D Michael Sauer, F Blake Geoffrion, F Teemu Hartikainen, F Brandon Prust
Out – F Evgeni Malkin, F Cal O’Reilly, D Bryan McCabe, F Darroll Powe, D Anton Stralman, F Rob Schremp, F Jamie Langenbrunner

Baltimore made the boldest move of the off-season, unloading Evgeni Malkin for all of Pittsburgh’s draft picks. That meant a pretty big personnel turnover – 7 guys in and 7 out, not counting poor Steven Kampfer, released before he even got a sniff. It’s hard to look as this as anything but a small step backwards in the short term, but any team with Anze Kopitar is poised to compensate for the loss of a player of Malkin’s calibre, and the team still has a strong core in its prime.

In – F Luke Adam, F Matt Halischuk, F Matt Calvert, D Jason Garrison, F BJ Crombeen, F Mike Knuble
Out –  G Michal Neuvirth, F Alexander Frolov, F Benoit Pouliot, F M-A Pouliot, D Kurtis Foster, D Oskars Bartulis

Charleston should be a playoff team, there should be little doubt of that. After a surprising trip to the finals led to two straight years of mediocrity, the Chiefs started rounding back into form when Steven Stamkos hit the scene. Now that they have a marquee scorer, they have a roster with few glaring weaknesses, and with Miikka Kiprusoff and Jonathan Quick splitting duties in goal, they should be one of the Plante’s better teams.

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Chiefs Deal Neuvirth to Banshees

In BOS, CHA, News, Transactions on October 29, 2011 at 7:27 pm

The Charleston Chiefs have solved their brewing goaltending controversy by shipping 23-year-old Michal Neuvirth to the Boston Banshees for veteran winger Mike Knuble and a fourth round pick in 2012.

Neuvirth played 8 games for the Chiefs last season, winning five, but behind Miikka Kiprusoff and Jonathan Quick his chances of playing much were next to nil. Now he’ll be back up Boston workhorse Henrik Lundqvist.

Knuble is a two-time 30-goal scorer about to enter his 13th GWMHL season. He was originally drafted in by Bridgewater in 1998 who later signed as a free agent with the eventual Banshees.

Neuvirth, Michal
Year   Name                       GP    W    L    T   GAA   SAV%   SO
10-11  Charleston Chiefs           8    5    3    0   2.38  .925    3
                  Totals           8    5    3    0   2.38  .925    3

Knuble, Mike
Year   Name                       GP    G    A  PTS  +/-  PIM
98-99  Bridgewater Rangers        53    3    3    6   -2   10
99-00  Bridgewater Rangers        41    6   16   22   -4   14
00-01  Bridgewater Rangers        62    8    9   17  -24   40
01-02  Bridgewater Rangers        42    0    1    1   -6   19
02-03  Kansas City 99'S           29    4    0    4   -5   10
03-04  Kansas City 99'S           62   11   24   35    2   32
04-06  Kansas City 99'S           82   16   16   32  -15   32
06-07  Kansas City 99'S           82   30   21   51    2   70
07-08  Boston Banshees            50   10   15   25   -5   40
08-09  Boston Banshees            58   21   13   34  -18   54
09-10  Boston Banshees            77   31   12   43  -14   70
10-11  Boston Banshees            46   15    8   23   -3   28
                  Totals         684  155  138  293  -92  419

The 4 Shortest Careers in League History

In CHA, PIT, Special Features, STE, STL on July 5, 2011 at 7:21 am

Blah-blah-blah-thousands. Blah-blah-blah-generational talent. We like to celebrate amazing careers and statistical milestones here. But what about the other end of the spectrum?

Here’s our look at the four shortest careers in Gump Worsley Memorial Hockey League history – careers that came and went in the time it takes for you to brush your teeth. Look at it as a celebration of incredible efficiency! Maybe these guys were all just really, really fast.


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The 5 Biggest Letdowns of 2010-2011

In BOS, CHA, Special Features, STE, STL, VAN on June 11, 2011 at 8:34 am

Who doesn’t like a feel-good story? When a player breaks through and makes a difference, it makes for good headlines… to bury in the sports pages next to the cricket scores.

Because if there’s one thing we all like more than a feel-good story, it’s a tale of misery and woe. An 82-game car wreck.

Failure is fun.

So here it is – the companion to our profile of the biggest breakthroughs of 2010-2011 in the form of five brilliantly disastrous performances from the season gone by.

5. Justin Williams, Charleston Chiefs

Williams has had all kinds of injury trouble in recent years, but the Charleston winger is a lot better than the four – four! – goals he scored in 38 games this year. The Chiefs needed a big bounce-back season from him after a one-goal 2009-2010, and he quadrupled that output, so… success?

4. Cam Ward, Saint Louis Blues

Saint Louis was one of the league’s best teams for much of the season, so it’s weird to list their starting goaltender. But Ward just wasn’t very good. His .901 save percentage – a big drop from last season – doesn’t say “starter on a league-leading team” and if it wasn’t for Scott Clemmensen’s 15-5-2 record, the Blues might have struggled to make the post-season at all.

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Charleston and Vancouver Deal Vets

In CHA, News, Transactions, VAN on October 17, 2010 at 10:47 am

The day after the traditional flurry of Rookie Draft trades, the Charleston Chiefs and Vancouver Night Train have made a swap. With a serious injury to Andrei Markov, Vancouver acquired veteran defenseman Kimmo Timonen from Charleston in exchange for enigmatic forward Alexander Frolov and Vancouver’s third round Rookie Draft pick in 2011.

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