June 25, 2010
The 2010 NHL Draft can be described as a “Tale of Two Forwards”. Everyone expects Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin to be the first two players selected on Friday night, June 25. However, the order of their selection is still up in the air. Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini is playing his cards very close to the vest – and possibly with good reason. According to James Murphy in his NESN blog, the top pick in the Draft might be in play.
“There was plenty of speculation – and there promises to be more – that the Bruins and Oilers may swap picks because the Bruins reportedly have their hearts set on Hall, but so far, all Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli and Oilers GM Steve Tambellini have done is admitted to talking,” Murphy wrote on June 11. “Both Seguin and Hall (along with other prospects) visited Boston recently, but there is still no indication as to who will go first”.
While the Hall-Seguin Debate continues, the next Draft topic is the possible run on defense as Cam Fowler, Brandon Gormley and Erik Gudbranson could go three through five. Much as there is debate on Hall or Seguin, the same debate can be made among the three defensemen.
NHL Director of Central Scouting E.J. McGuire provided insight into his scouts providing a past or current NHL comparable for each of their Top 30 North American skaters.
“As unfair as it is to the NHL players in making these comparisons, we feel it provides the public a good idea what they could expect from these prospects,” McGuire explained to NHL.com. “It offers them a visual picture and recognizable name to associate with each of the players with. Keep in mind, these brainstorming comparisons could be something we see in the form of leadership, a specific shot, toughness, or skating ability.”
Each player has ratings for the following scouting services: The Hockey News (THN), McKeen’s (McK), TSN.ca (TSN), NHL’s Central Scouting (CS), and International Scouting Service (ISS). CS breaks down their ratings by North American skaters, European skaters, North American goaltenders and European goaltenders. TSN ranked the Top 75 players and listed fine Honorable Mentions. In an exclusive to NHL.com, CS provided a prospects’ comparable NHL player for their Top 30 North American skaters – and is listed here when applicable. ISS also provided a prospects’ comparable NHL player.
The draft positions are as of June 23 and presume that no trades will have been made since then.
1. Edmonton Oilers – Taylor Hall – LW
THN: # 1 —– McK: # 1 —– TSN: # 1
CS: # 2NA (Zach Parise) —– ISS: # 1 (Pavel Bure)
Hall is the pick with the first overall selection based on his ability to score (three years of 40+ goals) and his success in the Memorial Cup and World Junior Championships – a plus for an Edmonton team looking to return to the heydays of the 1980s.
2. Boston Bruins – Tyler Seguin – C
THN: # 2 —– McK: # 2 —– TSN: # 2
CS: # 1NA (Steve Yzerman) —– ISS: # 1 (Steve Yzerman)
Seguin in a close second and an excellent “consolation prize” as the Bruins reap the benefits of Toronto signing Phil Kessel. While Hall might be the better scorer, Seguin might be the better overall player.
3. Florida Panthers — Erik Gudbranson – D
THN: # 5 —– McK: # 4 —– TSN: # 3
CS: # 4NA (Dion Phaneuf) —– ISS: # 7 (Chris Pronger)
Just like the Hall-Seguin decision was a tough call, so is the Gudbranson-Fowler-Gormley race. The Panthers should go with Gudbranson who brings size (6-4/195), a developing offensive game and solid skating for someone his size. However, new GM Dale Tallon could throw everyone for a loop and take Jack Campbell here.
4. Columbus Blue Jackets – Cam Fowler – D
THN: # 3 —– McK: # 6 —– TSN: # 5
CS: # 5NA (Mike Green) —– ISS: # 5 (Duncan Keith)
While the Blue Jackets could use some help at forward to team with captain Rick Nash, Fowler’s offensive ability and skating skills are already NHL-ready and are too much to pass on. While he still needs to be more physical, it should come as he matures.
5. New York Islanders – Brett Connolly – LW
THN: # 4 —– McK: # 7 —– TSN: # 8
CS: # 3NA (Peter Forsberg) —– ISS: # 13 (Chris Stewart)
While the Islanders could very well select Brandon Gormley, GM Garth Snow should go with one of the Draft’s most elite offensive players. There is a concern over his hip flexor injury, which limited him to 15 games. However, his upside is too much to pass on and he should form a deadly offensive pairing with John Tavares.
6. Tampa Bay Lightning – Brandon Gormley – D
THN: # 7 —– McK: # 5 —– TSN: # 4
CS: # 6NA (Chris Phillips) —– ISS: # 3 (Nicklas Lidstrom)
Steve Yzerman has the chance to set the tone for his administration in Tampa Bay. You can expect him to call on his experience in Detroit. While there are good forwards available, Gormley gets the call because blue chip blueliners are much harder to come by as Yzerman brings in a complement to Victor Hedman.
7. Carolina Hurricanes – Nino Niederreiter – RW
THN: # 8 —– McK: # 10 —– TSN: # 7
CS: # 12NA (Erik Cole) —– ISS: # 6 (Brendan Shanahan)
GM Jim Rutherford will be very busy in LA as the Hurricanes have 11 total draft picks (including three second rounders and a pair of third rounders). If Carolina does not move up, then Niederreiter brings in a solid power forward to team with Eric Staal.
8. Atlanta Thrashers – Jack Campbell – G
THN: # 13 —– McK: # 3 —– TSN: # 9
CS: # 2NA Goalie —– ISS: # 1 Goalie (No comparison)
With the Thrashers having dealt away their second 1st round pick, Atlanta will look to shore up their goaltending situation by drafting the netminder who backstopped the USA to the World Junior Championship. His decision to bypass the University of Michigan in order to play for Windsor (OHL) will speed up his path to the NHL.
9. Minnesota Wild – Ryan Johansen – C
THN: # 12 —– McK: # 8 —– TSN: # 6
CS: # 10NA (Jason Spezza) —– ISS: # 8 (Eric Staal)
The Wild will get some pressure from home to draft Duluth-born Derek Forbort, but Minnesota has not gone overboard to draft home town talent. Plus, the Wild need to add depth at forward and Johansen is a solid two-way center who can play in all situations. Johansen has been a fast rise as he continues to fill out physically which means the best is yet to come.
10. New York Rangers – Vladimir Tarasenko – RW
THN: # 14 —– McK: # 20 —– TSN: # 16
CS: # 2E —– ISS: # 4 (Ziggy Palffy)
The Rangers figure to be in the chase for Johansen, Niederreiter and Skinner. In the end, the Rangers should go for Tarasenko who has big-time scoring ability. The 18-year-old held his own in the KHL. The Rangers are one of the few teams who have the means (i.e. money) to get around the lack of a transfer agreement. They showed no fear when they drafted the late Alexei Cherepanov in 2007. GM Glen Sather could use this pick as “incentive” in a deal to move one of his bad contracts.
11. Dallas Stars – Derek Forbort – D
THN: # 11 —– McK: # 18 —– TSN: # —– TSN: # 11
CS: # 9NA (Erik Johnson) —– ISS: # 10 (Erik Johnson)
The 18-year-old combines size (6-5/200) and solid skating into a package that projects to a top three d-men at the very least. Teams will be looking for these type of blueliners hoping to follow the success of Buffalo’s Tyler Myers.
12. Anaheim Ducks – Mikael Granlund – C
THN: # 10 —– McK: # 9 —– TSN: # 13
CS: # 1E —– ISS: # 15 (Saku Koivu)
The time is coming when both Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne will have to hang up their skates. At 18, Granlund is playing in Finland’s elite league and playing well (40 points in 47 games). The 5-10/180 center has excellent hockey sense and will be a perfect replacement for fellow Finn Saku Koivu.
13. Phoenix Coyotes – Nick Bjugstad – C
THN: # 9 —– McK: # 33 —– TSN: # 19
CS: # 13NA (Andrew Brunette) —– ISS: # 21 (David Backes)
Ownership problems didn’t hamper the franchise during the season, but might play a part in the Draft. GM Don Maloney might be willing to wait on a prospect like Bjugstad, whose uncle Scott played in the NHL. The 18-year-old Bjugstad has the size and skill, but he needs to find and maintain a consistent level of play.
14. St. Louis Blues – Alexander Burmistrov – C
THN: # 6—– McK: # 13 —— TSN: # 12
CS: # 11NA (Maxim Afinogenov) —– ISS: # 14 (Denis Savard)
With new goaltender Jaroslav Halak in hand, and having dealt Lars Eller, St. Louis should turn to Burmistrov. Alex is as skilled a playmaker as there is the Draft. However, he must bulk up on his slight frame (5-11/157 on a good day). He uses his speed and puckhandling skill to compensate for his lack of size. Concerns about the KHL should be lessened given that he played with Barrie in the OHL last season.
15. Florida Panthers Jeffrey Skinner – C
THN: # 25 —– McK: # 12 —– TSN: # 10
CS: # 34NA —– ISS: # 9 (Steve Shutt)
If Jack Campbell should happen to drop to this spot, GM Tallon would be wise to draft him. If not then Skinner gets the call from Florida in an attempt to replace the production loss with the trade of Nathan Horton. Skinner scored 70 goals last season – including 20 in the playoffs
16. Ottawa Senators – Jonathan Merrill – D
THN: # 31 —– McK: # 23 —– TSN: # 22
CS: # 21NA (Jordan Leopold) —– ISS: # 11 (Rob Blake)
One scout told the THN that Merrill was in the same class as Forbort and Gormley. He combines size (6-3/200), skill and hockey sense – although he still has some maturing to do based on his suspension by the USNTDP for violating team rules. However as ISS wrote, “Merrill has Norris Trophy potential”.
17. Colorado Avalanche Austin Watson – RW
THN: # 15 —– McK: # 19 —– TSN: # 14
CS: # 14NA (Kris Draper) —– ISS: # 12 (Jordan Staal)
Watson is a solid two-way forward who competes hard and works every shift and projects out to be a team leader. Watson is an excellent complement to Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny, and might be a future captain of the Avs.
18. Nashville Predators – Quinton Howden – C/LW
THN: # 23 —– McK: # 37 —– TSN: # 26
CS: # 19NA (Todd Bertuzzi) —– ISS: # 16 (Jamie Langenbrunner)
With Jason Arnott and Dan Hamhuis traded in the days leading up to the Draft, the Predators are a bit of a wildcard when it comes to figuring out their selection. Howden is the solid two-way player Nashville likes. He averaged a point a game in Juniors and was used as a checker by Canada in international play. Howden has outstanding hockey sense combined with a hard shot that is accurate (he won the accuracy contest in the Prospects Game). At 6-2/180, he will add some size to Nashville’s forward corps – especially as he matures and gets bigger.
19. Los Angeles Kings – Emerson Etem – C/RW
THN: # 17 —– McK: # 14 —– TSN: # 17
CS: # 8NA (Glenn Anderson) —– ISS: # 18 (Martin Havlat)
Etem and the Kings are a natural fit given that the forward was born in Long Beach, CA. His game is keyed by his speed – which might have been helped by his inline skating when he was younger. He uses his speed to key his offensive game. He needs to gain consistency and learn to be less of a perimeter player.
20. Pittsburgh Penguins – Jarred Tinordi – D
THN: # 22 —– McK: # 25 —– TSN: # 23
CS: # 38NA —– ISS: # 25 (Robyn Regehr)
Tinordi is a chip off the old block as he is a physical defensive d-man like his father Mark who played in the NHL. The Penguins showed that they missed the size and physical play of Hal Gill so Tinordi is a perfect replacement. Despite his size (6-6/205), Tinordi is a good skater and passer. The best part is that he will get bigger – and better.
21. Detroit Red Wings – Evgeny Kuznetsov – C
THN: # 18 —– McK: # 11 —– TSN: # 24
CS: # 3E —– ISS: # 19 (Slava Kozlov)
Detroit has a long history of success with Russian players so they might not be scared off – even though Kuznetsov played in the KHL as a 17-year-old. He as skilled an offensive player in the Draft and he is not afraid to mix it up despite his size (6-0/172). He has represented Russia in various tournaments with mixed results, but when he was on he was head-and-shoulders above the rest of the players.
22. Phoenix Coyotes – Dylan McIlrath – D
THN: # 26 —– McK: # 15 —– TSN: # 15
CS: # 17NA (Ed Jovanovski) —– ISS: # 31 (Boris Valabik)
You have to love a player who is given the nickname “The Undertaker” as one scout did when talking to THN. As you might expect, McIlrath is a physical player who uses his size extremely well (6-4/212). McIlrath really made his bones when he beat Alex Petrovic in the Prospects Game. While he still needs work handling the puck, he has a big-time shot from the point that will allow him to see some tine on the power play.
23. Buffalo Sabres – Riley Sheahan – C
THN: # 19 —– McK: # 26 —– TSN: # 21
CS: # 22NA (Jordan Staal) —– ISS: # 22 (Keith Tkachuk)
Sheahan played as a top six forward at the University of Notre Dame and showed his versatility by filling on defense for a few games due to injuries. At 6-2/200, Sheahan adds much-needed size to Buffalo’s forwards as he projects as a power forward who is more playmaker than scorer at this point in his career.
24. Chicago Blackhawks – Calvin Pickard – G
THN: # 27 —– McK: # 32 —– TSN: # 31
CS: # 1 NA Goalie —– ISS: # 2 Goalie (No comparison)
Pickard, whose brother Chet was a first round pick by Nashville in 2008. Pickard relies on technique as opposed to physical attributes. He is a poised goaltender who is mentally strong – traits that he needed with a poor Seattle (WHL) team where he saw almost 500 more shots than the next WHL goalie.
25. Vancouver Canucks – Mark Pysyk – D
THN: # 16 —– McK: # 16 —– TSN: # 20
CS: # 7NA (Duncan Keith) —– ISS: # 17 (Kris Letang)
With three d-men going into the final year of their contract, and combined with the tragic death of Luc Bourdon in May 2008, the Canucks need to look at adding depth to the blue line. Pysyk is a top pairing d-man whose game is based on hockey sense, strong skating and passing. While his game is an offensive one, Pysyk is a very good defender who has some room to grow (6-1/175).
26. Washington Capitals – Tyler Pitlick – C
THN: # 21 —– McK: # 35 —– TSN: # 25
CS: # 18NA (Mark Parrish) —– ISS: # 20 (Travis Zajac)
There is some talk that Minnesota State-Mankato center might leave college for Medicine Hat (WHL). Tyler’s uncle Lance played defense in the NHL. Pitlick will fill out beyond his 6-2/195 frame and add to his ability to be both a finesse and power player. His has the skill sets to be a fine number two center behind Nicklas Backstrom.
27. Montreal Canadiens – Brock Nelson – C
THN: # 29 —– McK: # 62 —– TSN: # 34
CS: # 25NA (David Backes) —– ISS: # 26 (James Sheppard)
As the Canadiens decide what they are going to do with their goaltending, the Habs have concerns on defense (thanks to expiring contracts) and size at forward. Nelson has the size (6-3/205) and puck skills that teams want and he is a strong two-way player. There is some concern that he excelled against lesser talent at Warroad High School. Nelson does have hockey in his genes – his uncle is Dave Christian (1980 Olympian) and his grandfather is Bill Christian (1960 Olympian).
28. San Jose Sharks – Ludvig Rensfeldt – LW
THN: # 32—– McK: # 29 —– TSN: # 37
CS: # 5E —– ISS: # 27 (Johan Franzen)
The 6-3/195 LW put up dazzling numbers with Brynas Jr. in Sweden (21-29-50 in 39 games), but scouts were still uncertain about his ability to play at a high level on a consistent basis. While inconsistency might be his middle name, the 18-year-old’s ability to produce offense makes him a potential linemate for Joe Thornton down the road.
29. Anaheim Ducks – Jaden Schwartz – C
THN: # 30 —– McK: # 22 —– TSN: # 29
CS: # 28NA (Derek Roy) —– ISS: # 23 (Daniel Briere)
Schwartz was an offensive machine in the USHL with Tri-City his 83 points were the most since Thomas Vanek scored 91 points in 2001-2002 as he played apart in almost 50% of the Storm’s goals. While he does have size (5-10/180) or flashy speed, Schwartz relies on outstanding hockey sense and puckhandling ability.
30. Chicago Blackhawks – Charlie Coyle – C/RW
THN: # 33 —– McK: # 30 —– TSN: # 32
CS: # 24NA (Bob Sweeney) —– ISS: # 28 (Patrick Marleau)
The Stanley Cup champions are faced with salary cap problems that could strip the team of its winning assets. They could look at a goaltender, but the value is not there at this point in the Draft. While still battling some inconsistency, the 18-year-old cousin of Tony Amonte uses his size (6-2/200), vision and hockey sense to power his game. Like his cousin Tony, Coyle will be attending Boston University.
First Round Draft Pick Transactions
1. Pick # 2 – Boston Bruins receive Toronto Maple Leafs’ 2010 1st and 2nd Round Picks, and a 2011 1st Round Pick for Phil Kessel.
2. Pick # 13 – Phoenix Coyotes receive Calgary Flames’ 2010 1st Round Pick, C Matthew Lombardi, and Brandon Prust from Calgary for Olli Jokinen and 2009 3rd Round Pick.
3. Pick # 15 – Florida Panthers receive Boston’s second 1st Round Pick (#15), a 2011 3rd Round Pick and Dennis Wideman for Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell.
4. Pick # 24 – Chicago Blackhawks receive Atlanta Thrashers’ 2010 1st Round Pick (#24), 2010 2nd Round Pick (#54), Marty Reasoner, Jeremy Morin and Joey Crabb for Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager, Brent Sopel, and Akim Aliu. Atlanta previously acquired New Jersey’s 2010 1st round pick, Johnny Oduya, Nicklas Bergfors, Patrice Cormier for Ilya Kovalchuk and Anssi Samela. Teams are also swapping 2010 2nd round picks.
5. Pick # 29 – Anaheim Ducks receive Philadelphia Flyers’ 2010 1st Round Pick, 2009 1st Round Pick, Luca Sbisa, Joffrey Lupul and a conditional 2010 or 2012 3rd Round Pick for Chris Pronger and Ryan Dingle.
June 25, 2010
Each player has ratings for the following scouting services: The Hockey News (THN), McKeen’s (McK), TSN.ca (TSN), NHL’s Central Scouting (CS), and International Scouting Service (ISS). CS breaks down their ratings by North American skaters, European skaters, North American goaltenders and European goaltenders. TSN ranked the Top 75 players and listed fine Honorable Mentions. In an exclusive to NHL.com, CS provided a prospects’ comparable NHL player for their Top 30 North American skaters – and is listed here when applicable. ISS also provided a prospects’ comparable NHL player.
The draft positions for the Second Round are as of June 23, 2010 and presume that no trades will have been made since then.
31. Edmonton Oilers – Patrik Nemeth – D –
THN: # 61 —– McK: # 51 —– TSN: # 42
CS: # 11E —– ISS: # 37 (Pavel Kubina)
The 6-3/200 blueliner plays a physical game and takes hits as well as he gives them. He has the ability to develop into a top four d-man and has the potential to contribute offensively.
32. Boston Bruins – Kevin Hayes – RW –
THN: # 44 —– McK: # 42 —– TSN: # 44
CS: # 26 NA (Eric Staal) —– ISS: # 47 (Drew Stafford)
Hayes joins brother Jimmy (Toronto draftee) at Boston College. Kevin projects out as a power forward (6-2/201) who is more playmaker than goal scorer at this point in his development.
33. Florida Panthers – Alexander Petrovic — D
THN: # 24 —– McK: # 28 —– TSN: # 36
CS: # 29NA (Brent Seabrook) —– ISS: # 42 (Dion Phaneuf)
At 6-4/195, Petrovic has plenty of room to grow as he develops his all-around game. He needs to cut down on mistakes which are caused by his willingness to try and make the risky play.
34. Columbus Blue Jackets – John McFarland – C
THN: # 20 —– McK: # 24 —– TSN: # 28
CS: # 15NA (Brendan Morrow) —– ISS: # 39 (Sergei Berezin)
McFarland has all of the offensive tools to be mentioned in the same sentence as Taylor all and Tyler Seguin. However, he regressed in his second year with a weak Sudbury team. I he can maintain a consistency to his game, he will return to the expectations that made him the first overall pick in the 2008 OHL draft.
35. New York Islanders – Beau Bennett – RW -
THN: # 35—– McK: # 17 —– TSN: # 18
CS: # 32NA—– ISS: # 34 (Jason Pominville)
Bennett led the British Columbia Junior League in scoring with 120 points while scoring 25 of 41 goals on the PP. The key to his PP work is his strong hockey sense and superb shot from the point. Despite his goal scoring prowess, he is more of a playmaker than scorer.
36. Florida Panthers – Calle Jarnkrok – C –
THN: # 28—– McK: # 36 —– TSN: # 33
CS: # 4E—– ISS: # 44 (Derek Roy)
Jarnkrok played in the Swedish Elite League as an 18-year-old. After a slow start, Jarnkrok had a strong second half. At 5-11/156, it is easy to see how he could fly under the radar, but his skill and hockey sense has made everyone sit up and take notice.
37. Carolina Hurricanes – Stephen Johns – D –
THN: # 48—– McK: # 76 —– TSN: # 41
CS: # 35NA —– ISS: # 43 (Brent Seabrook)
Johns has good skating skills for someone with his size (6-3/215). He uses that skating ability to jump into the play late. Johns was overshadowed on the U.S. Under-18 team by his partner Jonathan Merrill. He is expected to join fellow U-18 teammate Jarred Tinordi at the University of Notre Dame.
38. New Jersey Devils – Johan Larsson – LW
THN: # N/R (in Top 100) —– McK: # 34 —– TSN: # 45
CS: # 34E —– ISS: # 29 (Doug Gilmour)
Thought of as a defensive player first, Larsson’s play at the U-18 (2nd in scoring) opened some eyes. He is prototypical player than President/GM Lou Lamoriello wants on his team. He is a solid two-way player who will do whatever it takes to win.
39. Minnesota Wild – Brad Ross – LW
THN: # 42—– McK: # 45 —– TSN: # 35
CS: # 59NA —– ISS: # 35 (Dustin Brown)
Ross was the only player in Canadian Juniors to score 25+ goals and rack up 200+ PIM. He played on a line with Ryan Johansen and Nino Niederreiter so his job to clear the way instead of scoring. In THN, one scout complimented him by calling him a “dirt bag”. When talking about Ross, people mention the names Daniel Carcillo, Matt Cooke, Steve Downie, Steve Ott, and Darcy Tucker.
40. New York Rangers – Brock Beukeboom – D
THN: # 49 —– McK: # 81 —– TSN: # 54
CS: # 41NA —– ISS: # 79
The Rangers should give consideration to trading down in the second round in an attempt to recoup the 3rd round pick they sent to Los Angeles for Brian Boyle. It might be a bit of a reach to draft Brock this high, but the Rangers have been searching for a physical defensive d-man since his father Jeff was forced to retire as a result of post-concussion syndrome. Papa Jeff convinced Brock to switch from forward to defense during the last couple of years so his skating is better than one would expect from a defensive d-man. The Blueshirts might also look at Kirill Kabanov or Petr Strake with this pick.
41. Dallas Stars – Tyler Toffoli – RW –
THN: # 40 —– McK: # 27 —– TSN: # 27
CS: # 16NA (Tim Connolly) —– ISS: # 38 (Scott Pearson)
Toffoli is as solid a goal scorer as there is in the Draft. While Toffoli is on the slight side (6-0/180), it is his skating that keeps him from being mentioned with the elite prospects. Played on a line with Tyler Seguin and John McFarland in last summer’s Hlinka Tournament and skated with fellow draftees Ryan Martindale and Dalton Smith with Ottawa.
42. Anaheim Ducks – Teemu Pulkkinen – RW
THN: # 50—– McK: # 21 —– TSN: # 46
CS: # 17E—– ISS: # 48 (Niclas Bergfors)
Pulkkinen was a linemate of Mikael Granlund during international play, so it makes sense for the Ducks to reunite them. Teemu suffered with various injuries during the season, but he hit his stride by leading the U-18 tournament in scoring. While he still needs to work on defense and developing a bit of a physical game, Pulkkinen is a big-time finisher.
43. Chicago Blackhawks – Kirill Kabanov – LW
THN: # 38 —– McK: # 31 —– TSN: # 43
CS: # 31NA —– ISS: # 45 (Alexander Radulov)
When you are the Stanley Cup champions, you are more inclined to gamble in the Draft. There are no doubts about Kabanov’s hockey abilities on ice – they are that good. However, there are concerns about his off-ice makeup. After some internal problems with Moncton that led to a playoff benching, Kabanov was given permission to return to Russia for the U-18 Tournament – where he ended up being taken off the roster.
44. St. Louis Blues – Petr Straka C/RW –
THN: # 52 —– McK: # 38 —– TSN: # 38
CS: # 23NA (Pavol Demitra)—– ISS: # 36 (Petr Sykora)
Straka led all QMJHL rookies in scoring (62-28-36-64) during the regular season and continued his strong play in the playoffs (12-5-9-14). While he has nice size (6-1/185), he still needs to get stronger and develop a little more consistency to his game because he tends to get his goals and points in bunches.
45. Boston Bruins – Martin Marincin – D -
THN: # 34 —– McK: # 63 —– TSN: # 71
CS: # 10E —– ISS: # 40 (Milan Jurcina)
At 6-4/190, the Slovakian-born Marincin draws comparisons to Zdeno Chara so it makes sense for the Bruins to draft Marincin – especially considering they also drafted fellow Slovak Jurcina as well. Marincin is used to playing against better players as he has been a staple for Slovakia in various international tournaments. He still needs to develop physically and improve his skating, but he projects out down the road as someone who could give them a similar type of play they get from Chara.
46. Carolina Hurricanes – Jordan Weal – C
THN: # 41 —– McK: # 40 —– TSN: # 48
CS: # 30NA (Jason Blake) —– ISS: # 32 (Steve Sullivan)
While Weal is short in stature (5-10/160) he is long on skating and talent. Weal uses his strong skating ability to keep moving into open space. While he might not be a top line player, he will be someone who runs up impressive PP numbers. He finished 3rd in the WHL in scoring (72-35-67-102) as he played on a line with Edmonton’s 2008 1st rounder Jordan Eberle.
47. Colorado Avalanche – Jason Zucker – LW
THN: # 54 —– McK: # 49—– TSN: # 44
CS: # 51NA —– ISS: # 30 (Steve Ott)
Zucker played for the U.S. at the WJC and the U-18 as well last season as a member of the US National team Development Program. Zucker’s game is powered by his outstanding speed which makes him a forechecking demon. He still needs to harness that speed so that he can improve his offensive game. While not the biggest player (5-11.175), Zucker is a willing hitter. The Las Vegas native is worth a gamble based on his speed and leadership ability.
48. Edmonton Oilers – Phillip Grubauer – G –
THN: # 47 —– McK: # 87 —– TSN: #69
CS: # 15NA Goalie—– ISS: # 3rd Goalie
Grubauer overcame a benching during the OHL playoffs to lead Windsor to their second straight Memorial Cup victory. The German-born netminder then backstopped Germany into the 2011 WJC during their qualification at the Division I Group A WJC. At 6-0.180, he doesn’t have classic NHL goalie size, but is very athletic and plays his angles well.
49. Los Angeles Kings – Connor Brickley (LW) –
THN: # 75 —– McK: # 59 —– TSN: # 47
CS: # 58NA —– ISS: # 98
Connor, whose second cousin is former NHLer Andy Brickley, plays like a power forward even if he does not have classic power forward size (6-0/190). He is able to do that because of his strong skating ability, aggressive style of play and a high work ethic. The Kings have some talent at forward so they can let him develop at the University of Vermont.
50. Florida Panthers – Kent Simpson – G –
THN: # 82 —– McK: # 60 —– TSN: # 62
CS: # 4NA Goalie—– ISS: # 11th Goalie
The 6-3/185 netminder makes good use of his size by utilizing the butterfly style, which is supplemented by his agility. Simpson finished second in the WHL in goals against average and save percentage.
51. Detroit Red Wings – Justin Faulk – D –
THN: # 45—– McK: # 44—– TSN: # 30
CS: # 56NA —– ISS: # 67
Faulk is an offensive defenseman who is equally adept at moving the puck or joining the offense for a shot from the high slot – which is a plus because he gets rid off the puck co quickly. While he is not that big (6-0/195), he is solidly built and is willing to get involved in physical play.
52. Phoenix Coyotes – Mark Visentin – G –
THN: # N/R (in Top 100) —– McK: # 52 —– TSN: # 60
CS: # 4NA Goalie —– ISS: # 18th Goalie
Only five other Canadian Junior goalies played more than Visentin’s 55 games. Visentin has a solid work ethic and makes good use of his size (6-2/190) and combines that with quickness and agility in net,
53. Carolina Hurricanes – Matt MacKenzie – D –
THN: # 55—– McK: # 56—– TSN: # 73
CS: # 74NA —– ISS: # 33 (Marc Staal)
MacKenzie is a reliable defenseman who does not stand out in any one aspect of the game, but is continuing to develop as a blueliner. Originally seen as a defensive d-man, MacKenzie scored 40 points in 64 regular season games and added 16 more points in 23 games in the post-season as he helped lead Calgary to their Memorial Cup appearance.
54. Chicago Blackhawks – Ryan Martindale – C –
THN: # 46—– McK: # 43 —– TSN: # 58
CS: # 27NA (Steve Bernier) —– ISS: # 61
Chicago might look to add some help at defense, but the 6-3/185 Martindale will help add some size down the middle. Martindale is blessed with size (6-3/185) and hockey ability/sense, but he needs to be more consistent in his play.
55. Columbus Blue Jackets – Stanislav Galiev – RW
THN: # 37 —– McK: # 47—– TSN: # 40
CS: # 20NA (Alexander Frolov) —– ISS: # 24 (Pavol Demitra)
There are no questions about this Russian’s wish to play in the NHL. He played in the USHL in 2008-2009 and spent last season with Saint John (QMJHL). Galiev proved to be more of a playmaker than goal scorer last season (67-15-45-60), leaving some scouts wanting more goal production. That will come as he continues to refine his game and add some muscle on to his 6-0/178 frame.
56. Minnesota Wild – Brandon Archibald – D
THN: # 63 —– McK: # 68 —– TSN: # N/R (in Top 80)
CS: # 64NA —– ISS: # 59 (Doug Murray)
The 6-4/200 rearguard uses his size and reach well when he works in front of the net or along the boards. Archibald has worked at developing an offensive component to his game and makes good use of a quick release with his shots from the point.
57. Montreal Canadiens – Mathieu Corbeil-Theriault – G
THN: # N/R (in Top 100) —– McK: # 80 —– TSN: # 69
CS: # 7NA Goalie —– ISS: # 20th Goalie
Corbeil-Theriault has the size (6-6/190) that NHL teams have come to look for in young goaltenders. Despite the size, he has good quickness for someone his size. Corbeil-Theriault had the chance to work on his game as he played for a poor Halifax (QMJHL) team as he faced 1,466 shots in 50 games.
58. New York Islanders – Patrick McNally – D – THN: # N/R (in Top 100) —– McK: # 71 —– TSN: # N/R (in Top 80)
CS: # 40NA —– ISS: # 57 (Alex Goligoski)
McNally is puck-moving blueliner with size (6-2/180) who is not afraid to use it. The Harvard-bound d-man uses excellent puck skills to make up for his average speed, but he those puck skills do allow him to make rink-long rushes.
59. Los Angeles Kings – Ryan Spooner – C – THN: # 36 —– McK: # 48 —– TSN: # 39
CS: # 39 NA —– ISS: # 64
Spooner was on pace to top his rookie season number in Peterborough (62-30-28-58) until he broke his collarbone and finished the season with 19 goals and 35 assists in 47 games. He is a strong offensive player thanks to his outstanding skating and solid puck handling ability.
60. Chicago Blackhawks – Justin Holl – D –
THN: #: 74 —– McK: #: 79 —– TSN: #: 56
CS: # 47NA —– ISS: # 71
Holl is an offensive blueliner who is equally adept at running the PP and joining the rush. His game is powered by strong skating and passing skills, which is supplemented with a big-time slap shot. The young d-man will play for Omaha (USHL) next season where he needs to bulk up (6-2/170) and work on developing a physical portion to his game.
Second Round Draft Pick Transactions
1. Pick # 32 – The Toronto Maple Leafs pick will go to the Boston Bruins as the result of a trade on September 18, 2009 that sent Phil Kessel to Toronto in exchange for first-round picks in 2010 and 2011 and this pick. Toronto previously re-acquired their own second-round pick as the result of a trade on September 5, 2009 that sent Calgary’s second-round pick in 2011 and Toronto’s own third-round pick in 2011 to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for this pick. Chicago previously acquired the pick as the result of a trade on September 12, 2008 that sent Robert Lang to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for this pick. Montreal previously acquired the pick as the result of a trade on July 3, 2008 that sent Mikhail Grabovski to Toronto in exchange for Greg Pateryn and this pick.
2. Pick # 36 – The Tampa Bay Lightning’s second-round pick will go to the Florida Panthers as the result of a trade on March 3, 2010 that sent Dennis Seidenberg and Matthew Bartkowski to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Craig Weller, Byron Bitz and this pick. Boston previously acquired the pick as the result of a trade on March 4, 2009 that sent Matt Lashoff and Martins Karsums to Tampa Bay in exchange for Mark Recchi and this pick.
3. Pick # 38 – The Atlanta Thrashers’ second-round pick will go to the New Jersey Devils as the result of a trade on February 4, 2010 that sent Niclas Bergfors, Johnny Oduya, Patrice Cormier, a first-round pick in 2010 and a second-round pick in 2010 to Atlanta in exchange for Ilya Kovalchuk, Anssi Salmela and this pick.
4. Pick # 43 – The Calgary Flames’ second-round pick will go to the Chicago Blackhawks as the result of a trade on July 1, 2008 that sent Rene Bourque to Calgary in exchange for this pick (being conditional at the time of the trade). The condition – Calgary chooses to trade a pick in either 2009 or 2010 – was converted on March 4, 2009 when Calgary traded the 2009 pick in question to the Colorado Avalanche.
5. Pick # 46 – The Ottawa Senators’ second-round pick will go to the Carolina Hurricanes as the result of a trade on February 12, 2010 that sent Matt Cullen to Ottawa in exchange for Alexandre R. Picard and this pick.
6. Pick # 48 – The Nashville Predators’ second-round pick will go to the Edmonton Oilers as the result of a trade on March 1, 2010 that sent Denis Grebeshkov to Nashville in exchange for this pick.
7. Pick # 50 – The Pittsburgh Penguins’ second-round pick will go to the Florida Panthers as the result of a trade on March 1, 2010 that sent Jordan Leopold to Pittsburgh in exchange for this pick.
8. Pick # 53 – The Buffalo Sabres’ second-round pick will go to the Carolina Hurricanes as the result of a trade on February 7, 2010 that sent Niclas Wallin and a fifth-round pick in 2010 to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for this pick. San Jose previously acquired the pick as the result of a trade on July 4, 2008 that sent Craig Rivet and a seventh-round pick in 2010 to Buffalo in exchange for a second-round pick in 2009 and this pick.
9. Pick # 54 – The Chicago Blackhawks receive Atlanta Thrashers’ 2010 1st Round Pick (#24), 2010 2nd Round Pick (#54), Marty Reasoner, Jeremy Morin and Joey Crabb for Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager, Brent Sopel, and Akim Aliu. Atlanta previously acquired New Jersey’s 2010 1st round pick, Johnny Oduya, Niclas Bergfors, Patrice Cormier for Ilya Kovalchuk and Anssi Salmela. Teams are also swapping 2010 2nd round picks.
10. Pick # 55 – The Vancouver Canucks’ second-round pick will go to the Columbus Blue Jackets as the result of a trade on March 3, 2010 that sent Raffi Torres to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Nathan Paetsch and this pick. Buffalo previously acquired the pick as the result of a trade on July 4, 2008 that sent Steve Bernier to Vancouver in exchange for Los Angeles Kings’ third-round pick in 2009 and this pick.
11. Pick # 56 – The Washington Capitals’ second-round pick will go to the Minnesota Wild as the result of a trade on March 3, 2010 that sent Eric Belanger to Washington in exchange for this pick.
12. Pick # 58 – The San Jose Sharks’ second-round pick will go to the New York Islanders as the result of a trade on March 2, 2010 that sent Andy Sutton to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for this pick. Ottawa previously acquired the pick in a trade on September 12, 2009 that sent Dany Heatley and a fifth-round pick in 2010 to San Jose in exchange for Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo, and this pick.
13. Pick # 59 – The Philadelphia Flyers’ second-round pick will go to the Los Angeles Kings as the result of a trade on July 1, 2008 that sent Patrick Hersley and Ned Lukacevic to Philadelphia in exchange for Denis Gauthier and this pick.
June 24, 2010
Better late then never.
That phrase couldn’t have applied more to the United States men’s soccer team on Wednesday afternoon in Pretoria, South Africa, where a single goal meant moving on in the 2010 World Cup, and a lack of one meant going home.
Through 90 minutes of regulation time, the Americans had failed to find the back of the net (at least, not officially) in its final Group C match.
Desperation had set in with just four minutes of stoppage time added as the U.S. and Algeria were battling to a scoreless stalemate. The Americans knew that a victory meant advancing out of group play and on to the single-elimination knockout bracket, but a tie or a loss would end their World Cup stay.
It even appeared for a brief moment that Algeria would be the team to finally break through with a score when a close–range header from Algerian forward Rafik Saifi (who after the match, indefensibly slapped a female Algerian reporter across the face) was on target at the 90:33 mark.
However, U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard was there to snatch Saifi’s attempt out of the air along the post to his right, and touch off the perfect counter attack, resulting in one of the most monumental goals in U.S. soccer history, just thirteen seconds later.
The winning play developed in an instant as Howard fired a terrific throw to the perfect choice –- midfielder Landon Donovan, the greatest player in U.S. national team history, who took Howard’s toss at the midfield stripe and played the ball toward the Algerian goal. Donovan passed ahead, into the Algerian goal box to forward Jozy Altidore, who had streaked along the right side. Altidore took Donovan’s feed and sent a crossing pass into the middle of the box for midfielder Clint Dempsey.
Algerian goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi dove out to meet Altidore’s pass, deflecting it away from a charging Dempsey who tripped over M’Bolhi, before falling over the goal line. But, M’Bolhi’s attempt at snaring the ball was impeded by his own teammate, on Algerian defender Madjid Boughera’s sliding attempt to clear the ball to safety. Dempsey’s mere attempt to score was sufficient, as it helped create enough chaos to free the ball off of M’Bolhi’s hands, toward the middle of the goal box.
That’s when Donovan, the all-time leading U.S. scorer with 44 goals in 126 games, who was trailing the play the whole way, was there for the follow. He fired a shot into the low left corner of the net at 90:46, to fittingly score if not the most important, at least the most dramatic goal in U.S. soccer lore.
Donovan, the unquestioned heart and soul of the U.S. team, didn’t have a great game before lifting the U.S. to its stunning 1-0 victory. As great as he’s been over his U.S. career, Donovan has had a reputation for disappearing in big games, and he did that again for much of the second half on Wednesday. But, he more than answered those questions with some late game heroics that changed everything for the U.S.
One rebound. One shot. One goal. The difference between the U.S. (1-0-2) ending its World Cup hopes and not only advancing out of Group C, but becoming the unlikely winner of its group, ahead of clear group favorite England (1-0-2), which advanced to the knockout round as the Group C runner-up, with a 1-0 blanking of Slovenia (1-1-1) at the same time the U.S. was defeating Algeria (0-2-1). England, which lost the tiebreaker to the U.S. (scoring two goals in Group C to the four notched by the Americans), will next face Group D winner, Germany.
While there’s still much left to do for the U.S. in this year’s World Cup, Donovan’s goal already marked a good degree of significance for U.S. soccer. It wasn’t just that the U.S. captured only its second World Cup group win ever (its last was in the first World Cup, in 1930), but it was the way in which that feat was accomplished, with the resiliency, fight, and excitement that was on display throughout the three Group C games in which the U.S. competed –- all qualities which won’t exactly put soccer on the same level as major American sports like football, baseball, basketball, or ice hockey any time soon, but which figure to help the world’s most-watched sport gain popularity in the U.S. There may just be some young kids looking to be next Donovan now, instead of the next Peyton Manning or Kobe Bryant.
In its opening game against England, the U.S. rebounded from allowing a goal just 3½ minutes in, gaining a 1-1 tie aided by a lucky goal after a misplay from English goalkeeper Robert Green. In its second match, the U.S. rightfully pulled off a remarkable comeback after spotting Slovenia a 2-0 halftime lead. Donovan, as the undoubted face of U.S. soccer for nearly a decade, started that rally with a goal to cut Slovenia’s lead to 2-1. After the U.S. tied that match on a goal by Michael Bradley, the son of U.S. head coach Bob Bradley, the Americans had seemingly climbed the mountain in the second half, until rookie referee Koman Coulibaly waived off what should have been a winning goal by U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu in the 86th minute, off of a brilliant free kick into the box from Donovan.
On Wednesday, further excitement was provided and there was even more adversity for the U.S. to finally overcome.
Just 5:35 into the match, the U.S. barely survived a hard shot by Algerian forward Rafik Djebbour as it glanced off of the crossbar. At 19:53, another U.S. goal was mistakenly disallowed when Dempsey scored but was incorrectly called for being offside. Later, Altidore shot a loose ball just before Donovan, who had a better angle, could shoot from six yards out, but Altidore sailed the ball over the goal at 36:04. And, at 56:13, Dempsey bounced a shot off of the right post before missing a close follow-up shot wide to the left, two seconds later.
The tension and pressure mounted as the game wore on, with both the U.S. and Algeria each having several other chances. Knowing what was at stake, the 0-0 score didn’t deter any of the on-the-edge-of-your-seat anticipation.
And, when the main man of U.S. soccer came through with little time to spare, it was as if soccer, for at least one brief moment, became as popular in the U.S. as in the rest of the world.
That feeing is something that former President Bill Clinton is helping to continue. Clinton, who took in Wednesday’s match sitting next to FIFA President Joseph Blatter, is on the committee to help secure the U.S. as the World Cup hosts in 2018 or 2022. The former leader of the free world was impressed with how the U.S. team competed until the very end in the world’s biggest sporting event, saying “They have a good head and a good heart, collectively… and, they just kept playing.”
Similar to the way Donovan silenced his critics, the U.S. win over Algeria showed Americans back home that yes, even previously-thought boring 1-0 soccer matches can indeed be as thrilling as an NFL overtime win, a walk-off home run, or a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer.
For the third straight game, the U.S. found a way. And, now we’ll get to see what Donovan and his band of Cardiac Kids can do for an encore. First up, will be a meeting with Group D runner-up, Ghana (1-1-1), which sent the U.S. home with a 2-1 victory over the U.S. in the Americans’ final game of group play in the 2006 World Cup.
For now though, it was enough for the U.S. to find one goal to further its quest of a much bigger one.
And, for at least one day back home, U.S.A. stood for Unbelievable Soccer Achievement.
June 12, 2010
When Clint Dempsey scored a gift goal at the 40th minute of the United States opening match-up to get level with England, the fortunes of the Americans may have changed. The contest finished in a 1-1 draw and both clubs received a point, but it meant a lot more to the US than it did the Brits.
After falling behind one-to-nil at only the four minute mark, the US could have folded early. But they kept pressing and stayed in the game with some brilliant saves by keeper Tim Howard, who was selected as the Man of the Match. Taking advantage of a huge break when English keeper Robert Green misplayed Dempsey’s shot, the US made it stand throughout a scoreless second half.
Now the Americans need to keep up their solid play throughout the rest of the openers to advance to the knockout round. Anything less than that and they will be right back where they started as far as getting respect on an international level. The US has been the trendsetter for so many sports but soccer has been one that they just can’t seem to crack.
It is not as if they have not tried, though. Not one but two professional major leagues have been formed (NASL, MLS) and has attracted perhaps the world’s biggest stars of their time (Pele, David Beckham). But while that has created a buzz stateside, the international community still does not see the US as a threat. Every four years, they have the opportunity to change that perception and need to make their move.
They have put together a talented squad that should go further than their 2006 counterparts, who went 0-1-2 to fall out of the tourney after the opening round in Germany. But they need to play at their best and get a break like they did on Saturday. If that happens, then we may finally start putting the US in the same conversation with the elite countries of the world in soccer.
June 7, 2010
Bob Trainor of Trainor Communications offers these soundbites from Saturday’s fight at Yankee Stadium.
Miguel Cotto takes the belt from Yuri Forman in the ninth round after Forman injuries his knee in the seventh. Confusion ensues as the fight was not stopped, even though a towel was thrown in from Forman’s corner. Cotto eventually TKOed the former champ in the ninth round.
We have full audio coverage below.
For More Info contact Bob at TrainorComm@gmail.com.
June 6, 2010
Bronx – The bizarre situations have occurred in a boxing ring over the years at championship fights. There was Mike Tyson biting the ear of Evander Holyfield, the guy who parachuted in the ring disrupting the second Holyfield-Riddick Bowe heavyweight fight. And a riot in the ring at Madison Square Garden that ensued after Bowe fought Andrew Golata
Add another bizarre situation to the boxing annals. Saturday evening at Yankee Stadium, when Miguel Cotto and Yori Foreman were in the ring it was a towel thrown from the corner of Foreman that became a subject of speculation. Who threw in the towel, and why did referee Arthur Mercante Jr, resume the fight when all of the confusion started in the seventh and crazy eighth round.
It was the return of boxing at Yankee Stadium, the first time since 1976 when Muhammad Ali defeated Ken Norton. The stadium was electric, 20,272 fans screaming more for Cotto in the bleacher seats and most of the lower and upper right field areas.
Cotto (35-2, 28KO’s) would defeat Foreman by TKO at 42 seconds of round nine. More on that later, as the towel and an injury to Foreman were significant factors that made the historic return of boxing to Yankee Stadium more interesting than the final outcome.
Cotto, the pride of Puerto Rico becomes a four-time champion in three divisions taking the WBA super welterweight title from Foreman. For the moment questions about where Cotto goes from here, either stay at 154 or back to 147, are to be determined.
There is no question though about the revival of Cotto who would have had minimal options with a defeat. After a mediocre and controversial decision that went his way against Joshua Clottey at Madison Square Garden last year, and a brutal defeat to welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao later on, Cotto needed to look dominant and get the win over Foreman.
And for most of the fight Cotto was doing his job. He did not look impressive but good enough to be considered a viable champion at his new weight. There were times in the fight when Cotto threw the jab with authority, very defensive and using the foot work to his advantage as a way to stay with the bigger Foreman But a slip by Foreman mid way of round seven, possibly caused by a wet spot on the ring apron, hindered the champion. Foreman re-injured a right knee, wrapped with a brace, from the fall, a previous injury that was never revealed prior to the fight.
He wobbled back to his corner and there was concern. Then the bizarre events mid way of the eighth round began, which had every one talking. It was no more about the historic event of boxing returning to the new Yankee Stadium but how the towel and referee got caught in the middle.
Foreman started the eighth round obviously hurt and hobbling. The towel is thrown in the ring. The assumption from those at ringside, and in the crowd is, the fight is over. Yes, all these years covering boxing and the assumed rule is when the corner throws in the towel, the fight is over. Both fighters assumed it was over, so did everyone in the stadium.
Fans immediately made their displeasure known and the two fighters embrace, as they assume the fight is over. The ring is occupied now with HBO Sports personnel, people from the respective fight camps and personnel from the New York State Athletic Commission. Where do we go from here? That was the question at ringside.
Joe Grier, trainer of Foreman threw in the towel and apparently promoter Bob Arum, in a tirade, also wondered and asked that the fight continue something, if true goes against boxing bylaws. Grier denies the account and later retracts what was seen on the big screen at Yankee Stadium. Ring announcer Michael Buffer explains the fight will continue. Mercante said “The towel came in the heat of the battle. They had a good exchange going. I felt it was necessary to stop it.”
He added about the towel, “I didn’t know where it came from. There was no need to stop the fight. They were in the middle of a great fight. That’s what the fans came to see. I felt I did the right thing to let it continue.” When the towel is thrown a fight is stopped, though the rule in New York leaves that discretion to the referee who can determine if a fighter can’t continue.
“I called time, they had an extra minute to rest,” said Mercante son of Arthur Sr. who recently passed away and was the third man in the ring when Ali fought Norton at the old stadium. “I went over to Yuri and told him to suck it up. He showed the true heart of a champion.”
Though the referee has become an important person to determine the safety of a fighter, a decision to continue or not has always been left to the discretion of a ringside physician. This made the unusual events even more confusing and opens more questions.
It seemed Cotto was perplexed. And though he was leading on all three judges scorecards this writer had Cotto ahead by one round at the time of the official stoppage. Foreman, though injured seemed to have an incentive to continue and seemed to be getting at Cotto. Those responsible for keeping the corner areas dry in between rounds should be at fault for not making this fight continue.
“I have to still fight, I can’t stop,” said Cotto. “It’s a fight,’ he said. “The fight has to continue. When the eighth round finished I saw on the screen his trainer threw the towel in the ring,” said Cotto referring to the replay being shown on the big Yankee Stadium video screen in center field. “I still followed instructions The referee said someone outside the ring threw in the towel.”
Foreman (28-1, 8KO’s) to his credit was not a sore loser. Like Cotto he was just as perplexed at the developments, in his heart wanting to continue, until Cotto went to work and used a left hook to the body that put an end to the fight in the ninth round.
“At first I felt rusty and didn’t want to get into the rhythm, but later I felt better until the accident,” explained Foreman. “Cotto is a great fighter. It just gave out,” he said about the knee. “It was a lot of pain, very sharp pain. But Arthur Mercante let me go. I just couldn’t do a lot of movement.”
More justification, had the injury not happened, had someone did the rightful job of wiping the ring, perhaps Foreman would still be champion. Cotto may have had been telling a different story, “I’m world champion, now former world champion,” commented Foreman. But we’re just not quitting. We’re world champion, I fight. I didn’t want it to stop. I wanted to continue.”
To his credit Cotto followed his plan and trained effectively with new trainer Emanuel Steward. “I think we make the plan of working with the jab of putting pressure on him, and it worked,” said Cotto. “Just follow the instruction sand stay focused,” referring to what new trainer Emanuel Steward continually told him.
Regardless of the outcome it was a Cotto type of fight. He is back Foreman has every right for a return bout. But we will leave that up to Arum who has other major plans at the moment trying to get his welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao in the ring with challenger Floyd Mayweather Jr. Arum would like to do another fight at the stadium, but it won’t be Pacquiao and Mayweather.
“Taxes are too high,” he said with Las Vegas appearing to be the venue And with no major superstar in the sport that could draw an interest, the only hope is Cotto continues his career and makes a return to the Bronx again next June.
A bizarre night as Yankee Stadium was christened once again with championship boxing. Now there needs to be more explaining about a wet spot in a corner of the ring, and like it always is in boxing a further explanation as to how a towel throwing incident in the ring determines when a fight should be stopped.
UNDERCARD RESULT: Christian Martinez of the Bronx opened the historic evening of boxing at the new Yankee Stadium defeating Jonathan Cuba (2-2,, 2KO’s) by decision in their four round super lightweight bout.
Cuba sustained a nasty cut above his left eye and was knocked down twice in the fourth and final round. Martinez (4-0) used a barrage of punches before referee Sparkle Lee put an end to the fight at 1:18.
Email Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com
June 5, 2010
Status: WBA Super Welterweight champion. His record is 28-0 (8 KO’s).
Ht: 5-11 1/2 Wt: 154
DOB: August 5, 1980 In: Belarus
Boxing Inspirations: “When I was a kid I think Mike Tyson was inspirational because of his power. I saw his fights when I was a kid. I was inspired to do the same thing.”
First Boxing Memory: “I started from age seven to about ten. And then emigrated to Israel and then resume when I was 15 to present. I remember walking up in the boxing gym when I was a kid. I was fascinated, it was back in Belarus. That for me was impressive.”
Favorite Movies: “I have so many. Gladiator. Tin Drum. Memento. Usual Suspects. Casino Royale. Hero. Ikiru. LA Confidential. I have a lot. I love movies. And tonight I’m going to see a movie. I already got my ticket! 7:30 [laughs].”
Last Book Read: “Exploration of the Torah – Ari Kahn.”
Favorite TV Show: “Family Guy.”
Musical Tastes: “I like heavy rock, like Pantera, Metallica, and many, many more. I like classic music – Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff.”
First Car: “Sometime subway, sometime cabs [smiles].”
All-Time Favorite Boxer: “Good question…Mike Tyson. Ali.”
Favorite Fights: “It would be probably Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Or Mike Tyson and Trevor Berbick.”
Pre-Fight Meal: “Pasta, lots of carbs, maybe baked potato, meat. And loading on carbs.”
Typical Breakfast: “Some oatmeal with sliced almond, maybe blueberries on top. Coffee – espresso – a lot [smiles].”
Greatest Sports Moment: “Winning the WBA world title (W12 Daniel Santos).”
Toughest Opponent: “I had a tough fight with Anthony Thompson. I had tough fight with Andrey Tsurkan. I think it’s the one is gonna be in the future. Hopefully it won’t be this next fight, but if it is, I’m ready.”
Toughest Part About Boxing: “The mental pressure. It’s kind of a pressure. It’s something like, you’re going to sleep and then you kind of imagining opponents, you fight, how it’s gonna be. It’s like you’re trying to do it and wrestle with it.”
Training Base: “I train in Gleason’s Gym. And sometimes in Paterson, NJ at Joe Grier Boxing.”
Training Routine: “High intensity, whatever I do. It’s about 90 minutes training, one minute on the break and high intensity, whatever it is – shadowboxing, jump rope, hitting bag, pads or sparring. So it’s gotta keep the intensity going all the time. No walking around.”
Nutritional Supplements: “Vitamins, magnesium, calcium, fish oil, multi-vitamins, vitamin C. My wife, every morning, gives me, like, take this. And I’m not even asking.”
What Would You Be If Not A Boxer: “Maybe a comedian or actor. Maybe [smiles]. I will try myself at that, first. If it’s falling through I will try myself at comedian. If not that, I don’t know. Something else. Not the musician.”
Last Vacation: “Florida, Miami.”
Best Boxer In The Sport Today: “Pacquiao.”
Family: Wife, Leyla.
June 4, 2010
Like the old days Saturday, it will be, because on the same day in New York City there is the traditional Belmont Stakes horse race at Belmont Park. And later in the evening a major championship pro boxing card at Yankee Stadium.
Though Miguel Cotto and Yuri Foreman are not Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, or Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton, the last fight held at the old Yankee Stadium in 1976, this is historic. Pro boxing has returned to Yankee Stadium, even if it is the new billion dollar building across the street from where the old stadium once was.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum promote\r of the Ali- Norton fight was approached by New York Yankees Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost. “Right after the Pacquiao-Clottey fight in Dallas we discussed this and we are more than pleased,” he said.
Back in March, Manny Pacquiao, the welterweight champion promoted by Arum, successfully defended his title against Joshua Clottey. The event sold more than 40,000 tickets at the new Cowboys football stadium. So boxing is once again on the grand stage, Yankee Stadium in the Bronx with Cotto and Foreman entering the ring around 11:15 pm on HBO, in right-center field on a raised platform where the ring will be.
Legends of the sport are supposed to be there including champion Boxing Hall of Fame members Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, and Sugar Ray Leonard which describe the magnitude of this event. And Roy Jones Jr. returns at least one more time to analyze the fight on HBO Sports
Of course there is always the possibility of a thunder storm, and supposedly the fans at ringside and media will be protected with a canopy over their heads. But let’s be optimistic, hope the rain stays away and the fists will provide all the action. Foreman against Cotto provides for some interesting boxing theatre,
Cotto (34-2. 28KO’s) the pride of Puerto Rico and three-time world champion challenges the undefeated Foreman (28-0, 8Ko’s) for the WBA super welterweight championship. It will be a fight that can go either way. And crowd support for both fighters will make it more interesting. Cotto draws a huge contingent of Puerto Rican boxing fans and Foreman, a future rabbi from Brooklyn, has his supporters. He will have a special religious entrance and arrive at the stadium well after sun down.
For Cotto it is a more significant fight. He is moving up in weight, though that is not a dilemma because Cotto has preferred fighting at 147 or a few pounds more. But the brutal loss to Pacquiao last December is still a fight he has to overcome. So going for the knockout is something Cotto seeks. A loss could spell doom and a realistic chance that big time fights will no longer be a part of his career,
Cotto has stated that there was a possibility of three more fights. But he has had an intense training camp, and his new trainer, the renowned Emanuel Steward will be in his corner. Steward says he has Cotto fighting like the old Cotto who once dominated the welterweight division with impressive wins over Zab Judah and Shane Mosley.
Foreman is bigger and maybe stronger and Steward prepared for such an opponent when he got the call to be Cotto’s trainer. The ironic element is Foreman’s management team requested Steward for this fight, but the money wasn’t right and Steward has always admired Cotto.
“Right now, the way Miguel is looking, it is going to be very hard for Yuri to stay away from Miguel for 12 rounds because Miguel is looking very fast with his feet right now,” said Steward the other day. “And his combinations are wicked, and his punching is awesome so I think it’s going to be a great fight,”
Arum also thinks this will be a great fight and a promotion that could lead to more in the Bronx. He has been glowing the past few days, comparing boxing and the Yankees when it comes to great spectacles at Yankee Stadium.
“You do fights like this in big stadiums where people can afford tickets and get 25, 000 or more,” said Arum. “The fight supports two groups of people that support their champion,” he commented referring to the Puerto Rican and Jewish population of New York City. “You can do that in boxing and be very successful.”
So many story lines for this fight and the possibility that there will be many more championship fights to come out of this one at Yankee Stadium. Foreman has nothing to lose and Cotto needs to regain his prominence as a mega star in the sport.
Cotto has not said much and could very well be doing the talking in the ring. He appears relaxed, confident, and in great shape. If there are no thunder storms the first historic bout at the new Yankee Stadium begins at 6:45pm, four rounds with super lightweight Christian Martinez (3-0) of the Bronx opposing (2-1) Jonathan Cuba of Manhattan.
And then there will more prelims and a 10-round super welterweight bout that features undefeated 22-0 Joe Greene of New York against 27-0 Vanes Martirosyan of Glendale California.
Then it will be the main event, Cotto against Foreman. And then it will be official. Boxing has returned to Yankee Stadium and Cotto winning the bout via split decision and Steward playing a big role in his corner.
e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com
June 3, 2010
With only 18 perfect games in baseball history before this season, and then two 27-outers this past month, you would think the baseball world would have to wait for the Jenna Bush Presidency to see the next one.
But no, much like the oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, the perfectos just don’t stop in 2010 and here today, Armando Galarraga was mowing down the Triple-A Cleveland Indians – no runs, no hits, and no errors.
And on out No. 27, a sharp ground ball in the hole by Jason Donald scooped up by Miguel Cabrera who tossed it over to the man of the hour covering and there you have …
But wait, first base umpire Jim Joyce called him safe at first, even though replays showed Donald out by a step and a half.
“I just cost that kid a perfect game,” Joyce would tell reporters in Detroit. “I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay.
“It was the biggest call of my career.”
No matter how much outrage comes out of Detroit and how many calls for instant replay come from columnists, reporters, and even bloggers, Major League Baseball must resist the urge to either change the call or institute any rule changes due to this call.
Baseball is a human game. Played by humans and arbitrated by imperfect men. It’s the reason why they count errors in the game. It’s the reason why it’s the National Pastime.
Historically, baseball has been filled with bad calls – just ask the Cardinals what they thought of Don Denkinger’s call in the 1985 World Series or the Orioles with Jeffrey Maier’s interference catch in the 1996 American League Championship Series with the Yankees.
Those plays are part of baseball lore now, as will Galarraga’s imperfect game of 28 outs. Sure, the Tiger fans will make their calls for play to be overturned and the Detroit Free Press columnists will burn Joyce in effigy, yet that doesn’t change the fact that the Indians had one hit in the game coming on out No. 27.
Right now, baseball has a very good instant replay rule. Umpires should be allowed to review the outfield calls, because these days with so many ads odd colored signs out there, it’s tough to make a home run call from 200 feet away.
But with calls at first base, MLB should think twice. Joyce was all of two feet away from the play and should have made the right call. And even when he didn’t the call didn’t change the outcome, as the Tigers won 3-0. The human factor needs to be there. It’s what makes this game great.
Years from now, Dallas Braden will still be remembered as the pitcher who stood up for A-Rod and Roy Halladay just added to his Hall of Fame resume. But Galarraga will be forever remembered as the man who pitched the one that got away. Not perfect game No. 21, but imperfect game No. 1.
It’s part of baseball lore and will forever be in this great game’s history.
June 2, 2010
New York- Boxing has changed since the last time a professional card was held at Yankee Stadium. Back on September 28, 1976 when Muhammad Ali fought Ken Norton for the heavyweight title, then at the old stadium, that is no more, fans knew who the heavyweight champion was.
Now ask an astute boxing fan who holds the heavyweight title and it becomes a guessing game. There are four different champions that represent alphabet soup organizations known as sanctioning bodies. The WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBO, they did not exist when the old stadium hosted its last boxing card. A television audience was not a priority for promoters but getting people to fill the Stadium was.
Jack Dempsey defeated Jack Sharkey before a Yankee Stadium crowd of 77,283 in 1927. No HBO cable or pay- per-view telecasts then, or for Ali, Norton, and the other prominent heavyweights such as Rocky Marciano and Archie Moore that fought there. They were known more from back page newspaper headlines that no longer exist unless tragedy hits the sport.
When there was a big time fight at Yankee Stadium it got attention. From 1923 to 1976 there were 49 professional boxing cards that made Yankee Stadium as famous as Ruth, DiMaggio, Gehrig, and Mantle hitting a baseball.
So here we are, Saturday evening, at the new billion dollar Yankee Stadium, pro boxing again in the new House that Ruth Built. Miguel Cotto (34-2, 27 Ko’s) the three-time champion as a welterweight moves up to 154 and challenges Yuri Foreman (28-0, 8 KO’s) for the WBA Super Welterweight championship.
Bob Arum of Top Rank who promoted that last card at Yankee Stadium is expecting about 30,000 enthusiastic boxing fans Saturday night in the Bronx. The cost of a ticket is much higher than the one purchased for Ali-Norton and HBO will telecast the fight They, are calling this “Stadium Slugfest” and back then all they had to do is say that Ali and Norton were fighting for the heavyweight championship.
And at about 11:15pm, after an under card that begins at 6:45 PM, Cotto the popular fighter from Caguas Puerto Rico and Foreman, from Brooklyn, the first Orthodox Jewish fighter to hold a championship will enter a ring set up on a stage in right-center field.
It will be history again at Yankee Stadium. When they built this new palace in the Bronx it was always the intention of the Yankees organization to stage memorable pro boxing events again. They also are committed to having football on their turf and this Fall, Army and a bowl game will be played there.
Madison Square Garden wanted Cotto-Foreman when this fight was first discussed a year ago. It has always been Cotto time in New York, at the Garden this time of year. He has defended his title four times in the month of June on the eve of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade.
The schedule was available again for Cotto at the Garden and he, along with his promoter Arum were welcome to come back. Arum though has been thinking bigger. The Stadium was a proper venue when the idea came to the table. Arum got over 40,000 fans to attend the Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey welterweight title fight earlier this year at the new Cowboys Stadium in Dallas Texas.
This fight certainly will lead to more at the new ball yard in the Bronx. The Yankees with their 27th World Series championship christened the Stadium last November. Now, after Saturday night, the past becomes present and truly we can say boxing has returned where it belongs.
e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com