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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Business and hockey

First of all, we have learned that Forum Communications Company is going to purchase the Herald. What does this mean? I don't think anybody is exactly sure at this point. Time will tell. It does set up an interesting dynamic. The Herald's two largest competitors, The Forum and WDAZ, now are under the same ownership. Kyle Johnson touched on this a bit in his story.

One thing the sale will probably mean is a new Web site for the Herald. Its current set up is part of a Knight Ridder theme, Real Cities. My speculation is that our Web site will end up looking more like the Forum's and the Bemidji Pioneer's. They are both well done.

As far as this blog is concerned, it is run out of blogspot and it is not part of Knight Ridder's site. Therefore, it should remain here.

OK, enough business talk. On to hockey.

Mankato: The sexual assault investigation against four Minnesota State University, Mankato players was dropped Wednesday. They may press charges against the woman who claimed they assaulted her.

Denver: Matt Carle was named USA Hockey's college player of the year Wednesday. Not much of a surprise there.

World Junior hockey: Within the next couple of days, USA Hockey is expected to announce the players it has selected for the 2006 World Junior evaluation camp. You can bet that the camp will be lined with Sioux players, especially on the blue line.

We should get a pretty good idea of who might be on the World Junior roster when USA Hockey releases the list of players invited to camp. I believe there were only two players on Team USA who were not present at the camp.

I'll post the list once it is released.

Recruiting: A pair of former Section 8 players made college commitments. Kyle Hardwick (Warroad) is headed to Bemidji State, and Brian McMillin (Roseau) is off to Colorado College. Also, the Gophers nabbed Grand Rapids forward Patrick White. White was the player who scored four goals against Roseau in the first round of the state tournament in March.

Stanley Cup Finals: Both Edmonton and Carolina have been down 2-0 so far this postseason. This time you get the feeling that it's over, and not just because Dwayne Roloson is out. The Hurricanes have been great all season, and once again look like the better team. The scary part is that Eric Staal hasn't even got going yet during this series.

Question for you all: If Carolina wins the Cup, who do you give the Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP) to?

I vote Chris Pronger. He has been incredible during the playoffs. Edmonton's penalty killing was crucial against San Jose and Anaheim. Neither of those teams could score on the power play, even with two-man advantages. Pronger was the best penalty killer on the team, playing a large amount of minutes. He's always in position. He always gets the puck out of the zone. He uses his long reach to perfection. And, oh yeah, he's the Oilers' leading scorer during the playoffs, too. Here's some more telling stats:

Edmonton plus/minus:
Chris Pronger +9
Mike Peca +4
Jason Smith +4
Shawn Horcoff +4

Edmonton time on ice:
Chris Pronger 594:23
Jaro Spacek 503:38
Jason Smith 437:13
Shawn Horcoff 424:51

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