happens to Red Berenson every off-season. He loses a key player
to the National Hockey League or the major junior ranks. From
Mike Comrie to Jeff Jillson to Mike Cammalleri to Mike Komisarek,
it’s become a rite of summer in Ann Arbor.
You can now add Danny Richmond’s name to that list.
Richmond: the newest London Knight
who would have been a sophomore with the Wolverines this
season, will instead join the Ontario Hockey League’s
London Knights. A 6-foot-1,
185-pound defenseman recorded three goals and 19 assists
in 43 games as a freshman and was named to the 2003 CCHA
all-rookie team. In June, he was chosen by the Carolina
Hurricanes with the first pick in the second round of the
2003 NHL Entry Draft. ’Canes general manager Jim Rutherford
told reporters on draft day that he envisions Richmond to
anchor the team’s power play in the future.
is a pretty big moment for us,” said Knights co-owner
and general manager Mark Hunter to the London Free Press.
“When you get a guy of Danny Richmond’s caliber,
it’s going to be exciting for the fans...and for us
because he’s going to win hockey games.”
Both Berenson and Michigan associate head coach Mel Pearson
were out of town Friday and unavailable for comment.
Knights took a flier on Richmond, selecting him in the 15th
round of the 2002 OHL draft even though they felt chances
were slim to none that the Buffalo Grove, Ill., native would
ever suit up for the team. But London coach Dale Hunter
– yes, that Dale Hunter – is a friend of Danny’s
father, Steve, a four-year letterwinner at Michigan and
a former NHLer who is now a scout with the Washington Capitals.
According to Mark Hunter, the elder Richmond told the team,
“Go ahead and draft him because you never know.”
“He wanted to play a lot more games than 42,”
said Mark Hunter, who called Danny Richmond a Chris Chelios-type
player with enormous offensive skills and an edge to his
game. “And I think the relationship Dale had with
(Steve), and the fact they liked the way Dale coaches, had
a lot to do with it.”
Bye-Bye, Part II?
it. When you heard an Ohio State player was leaving the
Buckeye program earlier this week to start his professional
career in the Vancouver Canucks' organization, R.J. Umberger's
name immediately came to mind. So when you found out Ryan
Kesler was leaving Columbus after just one year, you
were surprised, but not shocked. The obvious question then
popped into your head.
When's Umberger leaving?
to media reports in Vancouver, that day could come soon.
The Vancouver Sun indicates that, based on how
quickly negotiations with Kesler progressed, Umberger is
expected to be under contract before training camp opens
next month. Canucks general manager Brian Burke told journalists
attending June's NHL Entry Draft that he feels his team's
first round pick in 2001 is ready to take the next step,
a statement Vancouver assistant general manager Dave Nonis
echoed...to a point.
is ready to play skill-wise," Nonis said at the Monday
press conference announcing Kesler's signing, "but
consistency has been a question mark for him at times."
Umberger led the Buckeyes in goals, assists and points
last season, scoring 26-27--53 in 43 games as Ohio State
made its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1999. But
despite racking up 129 points in three seasons at OSU, the
Pittsburgh native often appears bored on the ice and becomes
a non-factor for long stretches of the game.
Kesler, by the way, signed a three-year, two-way deal with
the Canucks. Although Nonis didn't rule out the possibility
of the 19-year-old forward starting the season in Vancouver,
he said it's more likely Kesler will play his first professional
game with the American Hockey League's Manitoba Moose.
Back in Columbus, OSU coach John Markell filled the void
left by Markell’s departure by bringing in forward
Mathieu Beaudoin, who spent last season with the Cowichan
Valley Capitals of the British Columbia Hockey League. Beaudoin
had originally committed to the Buckeyes for the 2004-05
Derek Schooley was named head coach at Robert Morris Thursday
as the institution prepares for its first season of NCAA
Division I hockey in 2004-05.
Schooley comes to the Colonials from Air Force where he
spent five seasons, four as an assistant coach before being
named the Falcons’ associate head coach prior to the
start of the 2002-03 campaign. A four-year letterwinner
at defense for Western Michigan from 1990-94, he was also
an assistant at Cornell for the 1997-98 season.
“The reason you get into coaching is to become a
head coach at some point in your career,” the 32-year-old
Schooley said. “Starting a new program is going to
be a great challenge, but it’s something that I look
The addition of ice hockey is one part of a massive expansion
of the athletics program at Robert Morris, located in suburban
Pittsburgh. At a time when most universities are cutting
sports, the school is adding men’s and women’s
lacrosse and women’s field hockey, building an on-campus
football stadium and negotiating the purchase of Island
Sports Center, a multi-purpose recreational facility that
would serve as the hockey team’s home.
Minnesota-Duluth fans have reason for optimism this season,
returning all but two letterwinners from last year’s
squad that posted 22 wins. The Bulldogs, however, nearly
suffered a loss before the campaign even started because
of dangerous conditions on Lake Superior last weekend.
Junior Lessard and Evan Schwabe and their girlfriends were
swimming in Lake Superior Sunday when the group encountered
a strong current that pushed them away from the shoreline
and into deeper water. Schwabe managed to get to safety
on his own, but the others needed assistance from two men
who happened to be nearby – and happened to be experienced
was in big danger,” Lessard told the Kevin Pates of
the Duluth News-Tribune earlier this week. “I
didn’t want to think about what might happen. I was
just hoping so bad that someone would come.”
rescuers – two educators who were on the lake on boogie
boards – swam out to Lessard and the others with the
aid of swim fins and flotation devices and towed trio back
to safety on their boards. The 23-year-old Lessard, who
led UMD in goals last season with 21, was taken to a local
hospital to receive intravenous fluids, but was otherwise
“I’m so happy that someone was there to help,”
said Lessard. “I’m just so thankful.”
You may have missed a recent transaction that sends yet
another college hockey prospect packing for a professional
career. But it’s not what you think.
Jamie Hoffmann, a forward from New Ulm, Minn., who was
set to begin classes at Colorado College last week, instead
signed a free-agent contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers
earlier this week. He was chosen by the Carolina Hurricanes
in the eighth round of last June’s NHL Entry Draft.
presented a better opportunity to pay for college,”
Hoffmann said in the New Ulm Journal. “But
now baseball has come forward with some money and also will
pay for college...if things don’t work out.”
Hoffman, who told Colorado College coach Scott Owens of
his decision Wednesday, was Minnesota’s Class AAA
baseball player of the year in 2002. He’ll start his
baseball career with the Dodgers’ Instructional League
team in Vero Beach, Fla.
“Usually, I went with whatever season I was in,”
Hoffmann said. “Now, I went with whatever offer was
better. This is seemingly better than hockey would have
The 6-3, 190-pound Hoffmann recorded 39 points and 120
penalty minutes in 60 regular-season games with the Des
Moines Buccaneers of the United States Hockey League last
He was the 2002 NHL Rookie of the Year. He was named MVP
of the 2003 NHL All-Star Game. Those, however, pale in comparison
to the honor former Wisconsin star Dany Heatley received
Heatley, who now plays for the Atlanta Thrashers, reached
an agreement with video game giant Electronic Arts to be
the cover athlete and spokesman for the company’s
EA Sports NHL 2004 video game. Among the players who have
served in the same capacity in the past are Jarome Iginla,
Owen Nolan and Jaromir Jagr.
"Being named a cover athlete for an EA Sports game
is quickly becoming one of the biggest honors in sports
today," Heatley said. "I've been a fan of (the)
NHL series for years."
NHL 2004 is the 12th installment of the best-selling EA
Sports hockey series. The game will be available for Sony
PlayStation2, Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo GameCube and personal
computer platforms next month. There’s no word whether
“virtual Dany” will have an unstoppable on-ice
move, a la Joe Sakic’s backhand in NHL ’96 for
the Sega Genesis.