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Posted On Monday, 10.15.2012 / 6:50 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Chase recalls earlier days in broadcasting

For the past six decades, Bob Chase-Wallenstein has been the radio play-by-play voice of the Fort Wayne Komets of the East Coast Hockey League for the 50,000-watt Indiana-based station, WOWO.

He has inspired many young sports enthusiasts to pursue a career in hockey broadcasting, including Mike "Doc" Emrick. That's one reason he'll receive the Lester Patrick Trophy at the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Monday.

Not to be forgotten, however, is the memorable broadcast he presented on March 20, 1954, at the Indiana State High School basketball championship. The game involved tiny Milan High School against mighty Muncie Central, the prohibitive favorite seeking a fifth straight championship.

Posted On Monday, 10.15.2012 / 1:15 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Like father, like son

DALLAS -- In a span of four months, not only did Ed Olczyk learn he would be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame alongside Mike Modano and Lou Lamoriello, but that his son Tommy would captain the ice hockey team at Penn State University in 2012-13.

When Tommy got word that dad was the newest inductee into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, he was obviously filled with pride.

Tommy took some time to discuss his dad with NHL.com prior to induction ceremonies on Monday evening at the Plaza of the Americas Atrium in downtown Dallas.

Posted On Saturday, 10.13.2012 / 1:47 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame blog

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame to honor many individuals

The 40th U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Dinner will surely be an evening to remember on Monday at the Plaza of the Americas Atrium in Dallas, Tx.

In addition to honoring 2012 U.S. Hall of Fame inductees Mike Modano, Eddie Olczyk and Lou Lamoriello, Lester Patrick Trophy winners Bob Chase-Wallenstein and Dick Patrick and Wayne Gretzky Award winner Murray Costello will also be saluted.

This marks the first time that the State of Texas will host the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame induction Ceremony & Dinner, which is slated to begin 8 p.m. ET.

Steve Levy, longtime ESPN SportsCenter anchor and hockey broadcaster, will serve as Master of Ceremonies at the event. All award recipients will be available to the media in attendance from 5-6:30 p.m. ET at the Dallas Marriott City Center prior to the ceremony.

Keep checking back to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame blog on NHL.com for up-to-the-minute reports and reaction from all those being honored on Monday.

Posted On Saturday, 10.13.2012 / 11:52 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

USNTDP forward Compher sidelined by injury

Forward J.T. Compher of the U.S. Under-18 National Team Development Program will be sidelined this weekend due to an undisclosed injury.

               J.T. Compher, Under-18 USNTDP

Compher, who has two goals and three points in six games for the NTDP this season, is considered by many to be a potential first-round NHL Draft pick in June. He was listed as an A skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary list of players competing in the United States Hockey League in September.

The U-18 USNTDP (3-3-1) dropped a 6-4 decision to the University of North Dakota on Friday and is slated to face Bemidji State University on Saturday before returning home to Ann Arbor, Mich., to battle the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL on Tuesday.

The team added 2013 draft eligible forwards Connor Hurley (B skater), Ryan Fitzgerald (B skater) and Frank Vatrano (C skater) to this weekend's roster.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

Posted On Monday, 10.08.2012 / 12:36 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Ice Breaker Tourney kicks off college hockey season

The 16th Ice Breaker Tournament at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., will officially ring in the 2012-13 collegiate ice hockey season on Oct. 12-13.

The two-day event features four teams -- Army, Notre Dame, the University of Maine and the University of Nebraska-Omaha. This year's tournament will be the fourth for Maine, third for Notre Dame and Nebraska-Omaha, and the second for Army.

According to the most recent U.S. College Hockey poll, two of the four teams are ranked among the top 20 -- No. 14 Notre Dame and No. 15 Maine. All the schools have won titles in their respective conferences.

"We are extremely excited to be invited to college hockey's premier showcase," Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said in a statement. "We look forward to opening the 2012-13 season in a great hockey city and in an NHL-caliber building like Sprint Center. Hockey fans in Kansas City will definitely be entertained with some great college hockey from four great programs."

One player who will be in the crosshairs of those NHL scouts in attendance will be 2013 draft eligible left wing Will Merchant, a freshman at Maine. The 6-foot, 172-pound forward impressed many as a free agent invitee to the Minnesota Wild's development camp in July. He also participated in the CCM/USA All-American Prospects Game in Buffalo on Sept. 29.

"I was surprised he wasn't drafted last June," NHL Central Scouting's David Gregory told NHL.com. "I thought he'd be a nice late-round addition. He needs to show scouts that he can take the next step. Oftentimes, a player overlooked will suddenly get it the next year and teams see that and then give him a shot."

Merchant produced 25 goals and 52 points in 2011-12 as a senior for Eagan High (Minn.), which finished 25-5-1 last season. The Wildcats won the South Suburban Conference and Section 3AA championship, and finished sixth in the Minnesota state tournament. He was a finalist for the prestigious Mr. Hockey Award, given to the top high school hockey player in the state of Minnesota.

Last year, Boston College started its NCAA championship season by capturing the Ice Breaker championship at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D.

It marked the second time in four years that the champion of the Ice Breaker would capture the national title. In 2008, Boston University won the Ice Breaker at their home rink before going on to win the 2009 national title.

All games in the tournament will be televised on the NBC Sports Network, with the exception of the third-place game. The championship team will win a trophy and an All-Tournament Team is announced at the conclusion of the event.

Ice-Breaker Tournament Schedule

Friday, Oct. 12

7 p.m. ET: Notre Dame vs. Maine

10 p.m. ET: Army vs. Nebraska-Omaha

Saturday, Oct. 13

4:30 p.m. ET: Third-Place Game

7:30 p.m. ET: Championship

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

Posted On Wednesday, 10.03.2012 / 2:33 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

USHL's Waterloo Black Hawks suspend three players

The Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League on Wednesday confirmed the suspension of three players for Friday's home game against the Youngstown Phantoms.

Defenseman Ian McCoshen and goalies Eamon McAdam and Calvin Petersen will sit out the game for a violation of team rules.

"They did not adhere to an internal team rule," associate head coach and director of player personnel Shane Fukushima told NHL.com via email.

All three players, who participated in the inaugural CCM/USA All-American Prospects Game on Saturday, are considered top prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft.

NHL Central Scouting ranked McCoshen an A skater in its preliminary players to watch list. McAdam is ranked as a B goalie, while Petersen is a C goalie.

According to Fukushima, the team will likely start Logan Halladay in goal on Friday. Halladay, who earned the start when McAdam and Petersen attended the All-American Prospects Game, was the organization's third-round pick in the 2012 Futures Draft. He scored an 8-4 win over the Sioux Falls Stampede in the team's home opener before joining the Chicago Young Americans Midget Major team.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

Posted On Wednesday, 10.03.2012 / 11:05 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Justin Bailey awaits 'Return to Play' protocol

While forward Justin Bailey of the Ontario Hockey League's Kitchener Rangers still is experiencing concussion-like symptoms from a hit he sustained last month, the team anticipates a full recovery at some point.

"Generally, Justin is feeling better," Kitchener's head trainer, Dan LeBold, told NHL.com via email. "However, he is still experiencing some symptoms so we have not begun the 'Return to Play' protocol as of yet. We are continuing to monitor his symptoms to see when he may be ready to begin the RTP protocol."

Bailey was on the receiving end of tremendous neutral-zone hit by Calgary Flames prospect Pat Sieloff of the Windsor Spitfires on Sept. 27. Sieloff was given a charging penalty and a game misconduct on the play.

In three games this season for Kitchener, his first in the OHL, Bailey has no points and four penalty minutes. He was rated as an A skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list.

"The current plans for the hockey club and for Justin are to play again," LeBold said.
Posted On Wednesday, 09.19.2012 / 10:00 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

NHL Central Scouting releases preliminary watch list

There's little doubt NHL scouts and fans of the game began digesting NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch from North America and Europe the moment the lists hit the pages of NHL.com.

The preliminary lists are really the first indication of which players among the major junior and collegiate ranks we should be tracking entering the 2012-13 campaign. Who doesn't like to speculate on who might be the next great player in the NHL?

In addition to the main story, NHL.com also spoke to NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb for his take on a few of the top international skaters to watch.

By now, many are aware of a few high-profile prospects with familiar bloodlines expected to get plenty of publicity leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., June 28-29. Forward Max Domi of the London Knights is the son Tie Domi. Defenseman Seth Jones, considered to be a certain top five pick at the Draft, is the son of former NBA forward Popeye Jones.

While he might be a 'C'-rated prospect entering the season, goalie Anthony Brodeur of Shattuck-St. Mary's in Minnesota certainly won't fly under the radar as the son of future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur.

There are a few other prospects on the board this season with name recognition.

Posted On Monday, 09.17.2012 / 2:32 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

USHL Fall Classic set to begin this week

The 2012 United States Hockey League Fall Classic, one of the more heavily scouted junior tournaments in North America, is slated to begin Wednesday at two venues in Sioux City, Iowa.

This marks the sixth consecutive season that the league's annual preseason showcase, which concludes Saturday, will be hosted by the Sioux City Musketeers. All 16 USHL member clubs will compete in three preseason games during the event at either the Tyson Events Center or I.B.P. Ice Center.

"The event continues to be a boon for the city, while fans and organizers get to watch the most talented junior hockey players in the country,'" Musketeers Executive Vice President Rich Zaber said in a release.

Posted On Friday, 08.31.2012 / 1:29 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

MacKinnon and Jones headline 2013 draft pool

The 2013 NHL Draft is certainly shaping up to be a good one.

While the Draft may not come close to the number of high-caliber defensemen selected in the first round last June, the depth across the board is quite impressive. During the 2012 Draft at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, 13 defensemen were plucked in the first round to match a record set in 1996.

The run on defensemen started early, too, as three of the top five and eight of the top 10 players picked star on the back end.

The top two players on the board entering this season are center Nathan MacKinnon of the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and defenseman Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League.

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Quote of the Day

There's standards that this team is going to play to and there are expectations. We're going to hold these guys accountable to high standards.

— Coach Dave Lowry on Canada's junior team, the defending IIHF World Junior champions