Archive for the ‘ECHL’ Category

Brandon Dubinsky and his moustache are ripping it up for the Alaska Aces. (

During the lockout, many NHL players have booked it to Europe to play in Russia, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and everywhere in between. Heck, Canucks’ fourth-liner Dale Weise signed in the Netherlands, where he’s putting up Gretzky-like numbers, with 13 points in 4 games and we learned about Johnny Oduya’s Thailand hockey adventures just yesterday.

Not every NHL players has made the trip across the ocean just yet, with some professing a desire to battle alongside the union reps, while others don’t want to take jobs away from players in other leagues. Still, I wonder if for some NHLers, there’s a fear of going and living in a completely different country with different customs, languages, and food. If so, those players do have an option right here in North America: the East Coast Hockey League.

Three NHLers are already playing in the ECHL, with one more set to join the league and another rumoured to be joining them shortly.

Read the rest of this entry »

As the title directly says, the third highest scoring defenseman in the history of the Phoenix Coyotes franchise has signed in the ECHL. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s the league two below the NHL that pays a minimum of $350 a week.

The third highest scoring defenseman in Phoenix Coyotes history is…Paul Mara?

That title generally yields some um, slightly bigger names. For example:

* Eddie Shore, Bruins, 103
* Paul Reinhart, Flames, 109 (just one spot ahead of the great Dion Phaneuf!)
* Rob Blake, Avalanche, 62
* Red Kelly, Detroit, 162 – some Nicklas Lidstrom (?) character who has TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY FOUR
* Kevin Lowe, Oilers, 74 (fun fact: Lowe played 1037 games on D for Edmonton – Paul Coffey played 532, and scored TWO HUNDRED AND NINE TIMES.)
* Lubomir Visnovsky, Kings, 70
* Ryan Suter, Predators, 38 (“Wait, I thought only Suter and Weber played D for the Preds,” you’re thinking. Actual Preds fans, however, remember Kimmo Timonen’s wonderful 79 goals there. Weber has 99.)
* James Patrick, Rangers, 104 (Brian Leetch only had 240. Lidstrom made him look like a chump)
* Zdeno Chara, SENATORS, 51 (Hey, remember when Mike Milbury traded him and Bill Muckalt and the pick that became Jason Spezza for Alexei Yashin? I do. BTW, Yashin’s last year in the NHL was 06-07, and the Isles will pay him until 2015. Also a fun fact – Wade Redden is the Sens all-time leading goal-getter as a defenseman by nearly 40 over Chris Phillips).
* Tim Horton, Maple Leafs, 109 (Borje Salming has more – 149 – and also is over 1000 games with the club. But excuse my ignorance – who’s this “Ian Turnbull” that has 112 goals on D in 580 games? I feel young and uninformed right now).
* Calle Johansson, Capitals, 103

Welp, anyway, Paul Mara signed with the Ontario Reign after taking a year off to coach a high school hockey team in Bourne, Mass. But, he got the bug again, and will be making his return to the rink at the ripe old age of 33.

He’s got 13 years and over 700 games of NHL experience under his belt, meaning he’s going to be worth keeping an eye on this season.

There may be no NHL games, but at least there’s some form of hockey back for us to analyze! It’s been awhile since we’ve got to do a Systems Analyst post.

Quick preface: after my senior season of college hockey, I joined the Alaska Aces of the ECHL to gain a little college experience. My first game was in Long Beach, in front of nearly 800 people (!), and it was “bring your dog to the rink day.” That really happened.

Anyway, I figured the ECHL wouldn’t be very good – NCAA D1 hockey is straight-up fast, so I figured I wouldn’t have any problem. The first time I got the puck in the neutral zone, I headed up the middle – not lollygagging by any means – and got caught from the back just like the guy in today’s video.

The thing is, the ECHL has a huge range of players – some excellent (about 500 players who spent time there went on to play in the NHL), some terrible (about five million haven’t), so you never know what you’re going to be dealing with every time you get the puck.

My point is that I feel like that’s what the KHL has become with the influx of talent that’s come across from the NHL. Zherdev may not be considered an “NHLer” at this point, but he certainly fine-tuned his craft over here, and pitting him up against whoever the hell that was defending him on this goal just didn’t seem fair.

Let’s get to the analysis of the goal. First, the video: Read the rest of this entry »