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Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota North Stars.’

CBJ’s MacKenzie candidate for Bill Masterton Trophy

Derek MacKenzie in 2011 (photo by Bridget Samuels via wikipedia commons)

The Columbus Blue Jackets are three games away from wrapping up their tenth season overall and ninth without making the playoffs.

However, this season the team has found out that they have several players from their minor league Springfield club, who will be able to stick on the NHL level.

Matt Calvert, Grant Clitsome, Maksim Mayorov and Derek MacKenzie have all been pleasant surprises and can be counted on in future seasons.

The story of MacKenzie is very interesting indeed. He has waited for several years to get a solid chance to show he can play at the National Hockey League level.

The fourth-line center has spent nine, long seasons and 550 games in the American Hockey League and never thought he’d get a chance.

The 29-year-old has played in 60 games, with nine goals, 13 assists, a plus-16 rating and has won 52.7 percent of his faceoffs. He’s fourth on the club with 155 hits, which is amazing, considering he only averages 10:42 minutes per game. His plus-16 rating could be a franchise record among forwards if it can hold up the final three games.

These are the reasons why the Sudbury, Ontario, Canada native has been nominated for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy by the Columbus chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. The trophy is given annually to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Bill Masterton Trophy at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto (photo by Kmf164 via wikipedia commons)

The award is named after Bill Masterton, a Minnesota North Stars player who died on January 15, 1968 after sustaining an injury during a hockey game. During his career, Bill showed a high degree of those qualities; perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

The Masterton award was first awarded following the 1967-68 regular season to Claude Provost of the Montreal Canadiens. The 2009-2010 winner was Jose Theodore of the Washington Capitals. He had his best year in goal since the 2001-2002 season, following his son, Chase’s death in 2009. Chase died from complications stemming from pre-mature birth.

 

Ohio State gets their man; Osiecki hired as new men’s hockey coach

Courtesy of Ohio State Athletics

Mark Osiecki Ohio State Hockey (UW)

Mark Osiecki has been selected as the head coach for the Ohio State men’s hockey program.

Osiecki was the top assistant at Wisconsin the last six years  and prior to joining the Badgers was the head coach and general manager of the Green Bay Gamblers in the United States Hockey League for seven years. Nate Guenin, a former Ohio State captain (2006) and current member of the St. Louis Blues’ organization, played for Osiecki with the Green Bay Gamblers. A winner at every level, Osiecki has been a part of NCAA (both as a player and coach), junior hockey, international and professional championship teams.

Osiecki brings success and experience at a variety of levels to the Ohio State program.

At Wisconsin, Osiecki was the recruiting coordinator and defensive coach under Mike Eaves. The Badgers advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four championship game this past season and won the national title in 2006. The squad made four NCAA tournament appearances and five appearances in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five during his tenure. In 2007 four incoming Badgers were first-round picks in the NHL Entry Draft, and five were selected among the Top 50 in the 2008 league draft to set an NCAA record.

Osiecki started his collegiate coaching career as an assistant coach and strength and conditioning coordinator at North Dakota under Dean Blais. During the 1996-97 season with North Dakota, he helped direct the Fighting Sioux to the NCAA  title and WCHA regular-season playoff titles.

A three-year letterwinner on defense for Wisconsin from 1987-90, Osiecki served as an assistant captain for the 1990 NCAA Championship team. During the national championship season, he collected career highs with 38 assists and 43 points and earned a spot on the Frozen Four all-tournament team. The squad won conference regular-season and  tournament titles during his career and he was the recipient of the Seventh Man Award.

Osiecki was selected in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames. He enjoyed a six-year career, including stints with the Flames, Ottawa Senators, Winnepeg Jets and Minnesota North Stars, before a wrist injury cut his career short. He also was a champion on the professional level winning the IHL title with both the Salt Lake City Golden Eagles in his first year as a pro in 1991 and the Kalamazoo Wings in 1994. Osiecki  represented his country as a player, competing for the United States at  the 1992 World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic.

A 1994 graduate of Wisconsin with a bachelor of arts degree in history, Osiecki and his wife, Robin, also a Wisconsin graduate, have a daughter, Emily, and a son, Jake.

Mike Modano contemplating retirement or a 21st season in Dallas.

compiled by staff and wire reports

Mike Modano of the Dallas Stars has spent the recent hockey season wondering if he should keep playing or should he retire.

It’s been a week since he completed his 20th full NHL season, and with his contract with the Stars ending, Modano has said the he plans to take some time before deciding  his future. He is also part of a group seeking ownership of the Stars, who are being sold by Thomas  Hicks’ financially challenged Hicks Sports Group.

The Stars missed the playoffs for the second season in a row, the first time that has happened since relocating from Minnesota 17 years ago.

Last summer, Mike Modano needed only a month to decide to come back for a 20th season, but this time there is no guaranteed contract for him.

This time around, he doesn’t have a contract for next season and has not spoken with general manager and former teammate Joe Nieuwendyk about a new one.

Mike Modano (nhl)

The number 1 overall draft pick by the Minnesota North Stars in 1988, Modano was the last player remaining on the Stars from when the team moved south to Dallas.

In 1,459 career games, Modano has 557 points and 802 assists for 1,359 points, all team records. He had 14 goals and 16 assists this season.

But at his age, Mike Modano is not expected to be Dallas’ primary scorer anymore. Brad Richards was seventh in the NHL with 91 points, and players like Loui Eriksson and Mike Ribeiro are capable of scoring as well.