Ondrej Pavelec

CHL will phase out European goalies


In just a few years, there might not be a single European goaltender in the Canadian Hockey League.

That’s because of a new CHL initiative that will impact Canada’s the three major junior leagues (WHL, OHL, QMJHL). If a team wants to select a goaltender in the 2013 CHL import draft, they’ll only be able to do so in the first round.

After that, they won’t be able to get a netminder through the import draft under any circumstances, according to the Toronto Star’s Damien Cox.

These measures reflect a fear that Canadian goaltending has been on the decline. As Cox explains:

All three finalists for the NHL’s Vezina Trophy this season are Europeans, while a Canadian hasn’t been the first goalie selected in the NHL draft in five years. Of the four Memorial Cup finalists, only Halifax, the eventual champion, started a Canadian goalie, and Russia’s Andrei Makarov of the Saskatoon Blades was the tournament’s outstanding goalie.

The top goalie in the CHL this season, meanwhile, was from the Czech Republic.

It’s worth noting that none of the three European-born Vezina finalists played in the CHL.

Meanwhile, who will play between the pipes in the 2014 Winter Olympics will be the subject of heavy debate in Canada. With Martin Brodeur getting older and Roberto Luongo losing the starting gig in Vancouver, there’s no clear-cut choice.

At the same time, 28-year-old Corey Crawford has certainly thrown himself into the mix along with 23-year-old Braden Holtby. Then there’s James Reimer, who bounced back nicely from his sophomore slump.

Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman suggested that Canadian goaltending was in a transitional period and maybe that’s part of it. At the same time, he didn’t seem entirely opposed to the policy that the CHL later enacted.

“The bottom line is goalies need to play,” Yzerman told the Toronto Star in May. “They need minutes. There are only so many nets.”


Report: CHL considering ban on European goalies

Start the Carr: Habs recall another player from the minors

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There’s been a lot of movement between Montreal and Saint John’s lately and that continued on Sunday.

This time, it’s forward Daniel Carr who’ll be getting a stint with the big club.

Carr has no prior NHL experience.

The 24-year-old spent four years at Union College before joining the Canadiens organization as an undrafted free agent.

In his first season as a pro, Carr scored 24 goals (led the team) and 39 points in 76 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2014-15.

This year, Carr has seven goals and 15 points in 20 games.

Montreal is without forwards Torrey Mitchell, Brendan Gallagher and Alexander Semin.

Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT


Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.

With Jonathan Bernier sputtering, we’ll meet Garret Sparks

Garett Sparks
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You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.

With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.

Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).

In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:

Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.

Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.

Video: Dylan Larkin adds to his rookie goals lead

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So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.

No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.