Sunday, April 25, 2010

Clark Cup Finals set; various Stars links

The Green Bay Gamblers and the Fargo Force will begin play next Friday night for the right to take home the 2010 USHL Clark Cup.  The Force will return to the finals for the second straight season, which is impressive considering they've only been in the USHL for two seasons.  Even more impressive is that they've done it with two different head coaches.  The Gamblers have marched through these playoffs pretty much untouched, so I'm sure it will be a very exciting series.  Both of these teams play a VERY physical style of hockey, similar to what we've seen in Lincoln the last three seasons.

We have a new poll question related to the finals, but I thought I'd blog about the battle for the Clark Cup and allow the fans out there to voice their opinions.  Who are you rooting for in the finals, and why?  Are you happy that future Stars head coach Chad Johnson will have another opportunity to win a Clark Cup, or would you have rather seen Fargo lose to Omaha so Chad can begin helping the Stars full-time as soon as possible?  I know it's been quiet here as of late, but I want to hear from the fans out there.

A few Stars related links:

An article from a suburban Chicago newspaper about Stars forward Ryan Dzingel and his two-sport prowess.  Click here to read the article.

KLKN Channel 8 in Lincoln has a brief interview with Chad Johnson on their website.  Click here to watch the video.

An article from a Bismark, ND newspaper about Chad Johnson joining the Stars.  Click here to read the article.  There's also an video interview with Chad linked on the page.

In less than a month, the Stars will participate in the 2010 USHL Prospect and Entry Drafts, so although it will still be a little quiet around here in the meantime, BT and I plan to post some very informative articles leading up to the two draft days.  The prospects draft will be held May 18th, while the entry draft will be held May 19th.

Click here to read an FAQ about the Futures Draft.
Click here to read an FAQ about the Entry Draft.

Also, although it has not been stated yet on the USHL website, the USHL will also hold an expansion draft in May for the two new teams entering the league next season, the Muskegon Lumberjacks and the Dubuque Fighting Saints.  If the expansion draft is run similar to what was done last year for the Youngstown Phantoms, the Stars could lose up to two players from their roster to the two new teams.  As more information pops up about this draft, I will post it here.

4/27 EDIT:  According to this blog article, former Stars goaltender Kevin Murdock has decided to leave Minnesota State-Mankato University and spend the next season in juniors.  I'm not sure if "Doc" will have to be drafted again by the Stars to play in Lincoln, or if the Stars still own his USHL rights.  It would be great to see him in a Stars uniform next season.  We'll have to wait and see how this story plays out.  Click here for another blog article regarding Murdock's move to juniors, and click here for a Mankato newspaper article about Doc's departure.

5/4 EDIT:  More information about Murdock coming back to Lincoln here in this blog article.  It sounds more and more like Doc will be wearing a Stars uniform next season.  Thanks to "chubby13" for the heads up.

38 comments:

lincolnfan said...

definitely have to root for the Force, with Chad Johnson being the assistant coach, and Steve being the head coach. plus they are in the west division. obviously, if you go by the stats and what has happened so far, everything points to Green Bay to win the Clark Cup this season, but i went ahead and picked Fargo to win... they seem to fight back, so despite Green Bay being the good team they are, i'm going with Fargo to win it all.

i'm happy for Chad, it doesn't bother me that he isn't in Lincoln yet, there will be plenty of time for him to be here. plus, when he was in Omaha he was down here helping out for a bit.. so sounds like he's been doing some work here even though Fargo is still in the playoffs. 3 years ago we didn't even have a head coach picked out till beginning of July.. Johnson didn't leave till May, but still... sounds like he will have a busy off season anyway if he's getting married.

kinda weird to think we could still be going to Stars games right now... seems like a long time since the last home game...

StarsHcky said...

Don't know who to root for with Chad in fargo and Gerths in Green Bay. Should be a good and interesting series. Anyone know when we will know who we put on our protected roster?

Anonymous said...

I am excited about chad being our new coach!! Hopefully mcg will stay on and lend his experience with the stars. Can't wait till next season....its been too long already.

BellTolls said...

Props to the Johnson brothers for the job they are doing in the playoffs. That should give Stars fans a lot of hope for next year.

And yes, Sam Alfieri's name is still spelled wrong on the Stars' official website.

nutz4puckz said...

On the website front, does anyone know if there are plans for an off-season update?

Anonymous said...

nutz,

Let's hope it's a COMPLETE overhaul. The Stars website is a joke compared to others in the USHL. Heck, most NAHL websites are designed better. If the Stars managment is serieous about getting top flight talent in Lincoln, they need to address their most public advertising agent: their (crappy) website.

Rooting for Steve, Chad and Fargo in the Finals. Should be a slobberknocker of a series.

-Bill in Section C

Layla said...

Just curious, and I'd assume that someone has already done this, but just in case, has anyone sent a note to the Stars webmaster? There's a contact link at the bottom of the Stars page.

Force Blogger said...

Hey did you guys see that Kevin Murdock is going back to juniors? Not sure if he was going to go back to the Stars or not because it didn't specify but it said that he was leaving MSU-Mankato for juniors due to lack of playing time.

http://mankatofreepresshockey.blogspot.com/

Yeti said...

Whoah. Big news. Thanks for the tip, FB. It'd be great to have "Doc" back playing for the Stars next season. Will he have to be drafted again by the Stars? I'm not sure. Very interesting, though.

Yeti said...

Also, I've updated this blog article to include the Murdock news.

BellTolls said...

I'm pretty sure Doc is still our property. When Kretzer left UNO we didn't have to do anything to get him back.

And I know it's early, but this puts the Stars potentially at four overagers already:

Green (1990)
Murdock (1990)
Bruneteau (1990)
Berge (1990)

Yeti said...

I believe you are correct, BT. In fact, I just heard from a very reliable source that Lincoln would still own the USHL rights to Murdock.

I guess the question then is, do you keep two overager ('90) goaltenders on your roster? Murdock and Green?

BellTolls said...

Yeti, I say no. Green has valuable USHL experience and another USHL team would probably give up a top draft pick for a proven USHL goaltender.

Anonymous said...

Sorry-you have to keep Murdock.

Hey Hey Whadda Ya Say said...

I say we keep both...nothing bad about having two experienced goalies. We still need to hire a goalie coach.

How many overagers allowed ?

Yeti said...

4 overagers allowed on each USHL team. Next season, players born in 1990 will be considered "overagers."

Yeti said...

I've linked two more news articles regarding Murdock's move back to juniors. Check them out above in the blog article.

lincolnfan said...

right now, i would vote to keep Murdock and Green as overagers. i'm not going to single out one Stars player, but one player on your list, BellTolls, i wasn't very impressed with this past season, and i don't think they need to be taking up an overage spot.

Anonymous said...

I'm crossing my fingers, toes and eyes hoping Doc comes back to the Stars. Maybe Coach can draft a hot young goalie and put him on the affiliate list, then let him play in another league get a lot of time and maybe bring him in for a few games just to let get some USHL experience, while we keep Doc and Green going. Otherwise trade one of our goalies (DOC Or Green) for a couple of good solid D men. Either way if we can have Doc back it sure makes next year seem even that much more appealing.

HOCKEY MAX

BellTolls said...

Doc is clearly one of the top goalies in the USHL. I'm not big on keeping two goalies for overager spots. Ideally, you like to train a young guy who can come back next year. We'll see how it plays out. If I were coach I would try to acquire a 1990 forward (or two) who can put the puck in the net. We stunk at that this year. A 1990 Canadian forward would be awesome (ala Kirt Hill, Brodie Reid).

Anonymous said...

I agree with lincolnfan above. Keep the goaltenders and Berge-the kids a playmaker. Then as Belltolls says look for a forward (or defenseman) that can consistently put the puck in the net.

PeruStarsFan said...

Playoffs

I am with Gerths. The kid has potential, even though he is not listed as a top NHL draft prospect. He as a World Junior gold, and the cup would go well with that.

Goalies

I would like to see Murdock back, and I am ok with keeping both. It would suck to have to have two new goalies next year. If Murdock does go somewhere else I wish him luck; same for Green.

Today we are one day closer to the 2010/2011 season.

Anonymous said...

Another Lincoln Star has signed a NHL contract...Matt Bartkowski has signed an entry level contract with the Boston Bruins (former Ohio State sophomore) - Congrats!

nutz4puckz said...

Way to go Bart!!

I think I fall on the side of the fence to have one experienced goalie and then a young guy that you can bring along for a year maybe two. Would be awesome to see Dock back in the Ice Box for another run!!

Ryan said...

I think I remember reading an article about the expansion draft (Dubuque paper maybe?) and it stated that each team will have players unprotected, but can only lose 1 player to the expansion draft.

BellTolls said...

Well Fargo is now up 2-0 in the series, thanks to Ryan Massa. The kid (who tried out for the Stars last June but was cut) has been unreal in the Clark Cup Finals. Not only did he get a shutout on Friday and make 31 saves on 32 shots on Saturday, he also scored an empty net goal to clinch the win. Unbelievable.

BellTolls said...

By the way, I may be the only one who found this interesting, but I'm weird like that, but the 1-2 finish in the Kentucky Derby today was Super Saver and Ice Box. Obviously Super Saver is the "official grocery store" of the Lincoln Stars (free milk) and the Ice Box needs no explaining. hockey withdrawals have made me delusional already apparently.

Layla said...

Bells, you weren't the only one who noticed LOL

Yeti said...

Video of Massa scoring the goal last night:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYQLRed5o0w

You'll have to copy and paste it.

StarsFan said...

I don't know much about hocky management but....
Matt White is on Lincoln's roster on 29 Sep 09, and we don't sign Ryan Massa after the try outs It makes me wonder how our season might have turned out????????????
ANY THOUGHTS???????????????

Anonymous said...

Coreau let in 1 or 2 goals the entire tryout! Racine was. Pretty solid himself! I didn't notice Massa! That's what happens sometimes! Some players look amazing skating drills but put a Puck on their stick and they disappear. Coreau will still be drafted this year. So we can second guess all summer long but you just never know

Yeti said...

I have to agree with the anon poster above me. I was at all of the tryout scrimmages last year, and both Coreau and Racine stood out. Massa played well, but just not well enough to get picked over Coreau and Racine. That's how it goes sometimes. Good players might not have a decent camp, and get cut. They move on to a different team and thrive. It is what it is. You roll the dice on a lot of these kids during tryouts, hoping for superstar. Sometimes that just doesn't happen.

Matt White was at tryouts, and performed well, but at the last minute he had a change of heart and wanted to finish his high school hockey back home in Pennsylvania with his friends. He was probably burnt out from the long USHL seasons, and he wanted to play close to home. You can't blame him for that.

I'm not necessarily defending McGroarty 100%, because there were some kids at last years tryouts that should have made the team, imo. Rui Encarnacau comes to mind. He was the leading goal scorer at the Stars tryouts, but was surprisingly cut afterwards. He was the one kid who I thought deserved to make the cut. He went on to play for the Janesville Jetts of the NAHL, and was his team's leading scorer (27g, 25a, in 57 games). He has a scholarship to play hockey at UCONN now.

USHLProspectsBlog said...

I was at tryouts last year, and definitely thought that Massa should have deserved the spot over Racine. This was my opinion even before the subpar play of Racine this season.

MacAttack said...

funny how things work out. Matt Green was not all that impressive at tryouts either, but look how well he played at times once he joined the Stars. Jared was definitely the best goalie at tryouts. after that it was kind of a tossup.
there were a few other kids I thought played well enough to make the team. Puskar played like his hair was on fire but for whatever reason, Coach decided on someone else. will be most interesting to see how things shake out with the new head coach and what type of players he is interested in having on his team.

Layla said...

Former Star Linus Klasen has signed with the Nashville Preds http://predators.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=526378
will have to cut and paste.
Congrats to Linus!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Doc wants to be back with the Stars.
http://mankatofreepresshockey.blogspot.com/

chubby13

Yeti said...

Thanks for the link, chubby13. I'll update this blog article with that link.

Anonymous said...

Doc is the man!!!! I am soooo excited to possibly get him back I have had an ear to ear smile for a week now!!!! Their loss us our huge gain. Gooo Stars!!!