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Vintage Hockey League News

s26 - Round 2

By Matt George (SCOUTS) On Wednesday 10th April 2024 / 12:23pm

The playoffs opened with upsets in the New Jersey and Kansas City as both teams eliminated from the playoffs. Buffalo were given a scare by the Islanders. The Leafs got the brooms out in a sweep over the Flyers and the Bolts beat the Penguins in six. In the west, every series went the distance with the Flames, Coyotes, and Golden Knights joining the Jets in the second round.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Tampa Bay Lightning (1) v Boston Bruins (6)
Bruins came into the playoffs as a question mark team because their GM stepped down weeks before the start of the playoffs, leaving in the limbo and under the guidance of the league. Since the switch in leadership, the Bruins have become a goal scoring machine. As for the Lightning, the club continues to show their dominance and come into this series looking to slow the Bruins down.
WINNER: Lightning in SIX

Buffalo Sabres (2) v Toronto Maple Leafs (5)
The Sabres got a scare in the first round and the Leafs breezed past the Flyers. With the momentum on the Leafs side and if the break did not hurt too much, then the Maple Leafs have to makeup to knock the Sabres off the board. The Sabres come into the series riding a high after beating the Islanders in a Game 7 OT classic.
WINNER : Maple Leafs in SEVEN
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WESTERN CONFERENCE

Phoenix Coyotes (1) v Winnipeg Jets (7)
If the Kings can pull off the upset, it would not only open up the Western side of the bracket but also the whole playoffs. Sadly, beating the Coyotes will take even the Kings have and more.
WINNER: Coyotes in SIX

Vegas Golden Knights (4 v Calgary Flames (6)
Slight scoring edge goes to the Golden Knights, but otherwise, the series will be won in the neutral zone since both teams are defensively strong. While both teams went seven in the first round series, the Flames had a fought battle against the Sharks and this will will lead to questions of what this series took out of the Flames.  
WINNER: Golden Knights in SEVEN
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IN THE MINORS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Muskegon Lumberjacks over Rochester Americans in FIVE

Springfield Thunderbirds over Hershey Bears SEVEN

Rochester Americans

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Owen Sound Attack over Indianapolis Ice in SIX

Wyoming Cowboys over Saskatchewan Stags in SEVEN

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s26 - Round 1

By Matt George (SCOUTS) On Monday 1st April 2024 / 5:45am

The VHL playoff season is upon us. There are several interesting match at the pro and farm level, including the series which might be most watched series in the first round - the Sharks vs the Flames. On the Eastern side of the VHL playoffs, the most interesting series is the Flyers vs the Maple Leafs. And, at the minor league level the series with most fanfare is the Golden Eagles vs the Stags.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Tampa Bay Lightning (1) v Pittsburgh Penguins (8)
This series is not so much about the Lightning winning as it is about the Penguins and if the team will show up. The Penguins have been known to pull disappearing act this time of the year. If the Penguins do show up, then this series could be an upset.
WINNER: Lightning in SIX

Buffalo Sabres (2) v New York Islanders (7)
Both teams can score, the Islanders have been pone to allowing goals, while the Sabres play a good defensive style, so why are the Islanders winning the series? Simple, riding the hot hand and the Islanders had three more ROW wins than the Sabres. The Sabres will be a hard.
WINNER : Islanders in SEVEN

New Jersey Devils (3) v Boston Bruins (6)
I would not be shocked in the Bruins pulled off the upset with their low scoring trap style of the play. The Devils have the tools to counter to the Bruins' trap.
WINNER: Devils in FIVE

Philadelphia Flyers (4) v Toronto Maple Leafs (5)
The Maple Leafs score a lot, they also allow a lot of goals, they also made moves to improve the roster at the trade deadline, and this makes them dangerous. As for the Flyers, they defend and score enough to beat any team in the playoffs. The Flyers feel like a hard out.
WINNER: Flyers in SIX

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WESTERN CONFERENCE

Phoenix Coyotes (1) v Los Angeles Kings (8)
If the Kings can pull off the upset, it would not only open up the Western side of the bracket but also the whole playoffs. Sadly, beating the Coyotes will take even the Kings have and more.
WINNER: Coyotes in FOUR

Kansas City Scouts (2) v Winnipeg Jets (7)
This series could go either way. The Scouts have been up and down since the deadline and haven't been the same team from early in the season. The Jets are a good team and able to limit scoring meaning the Scouts who lack scoring will need to find ways to score.
WINNER: SCOUTS in SIX

San Jose Sharks (3) v Calgary Flames (6)
Picking a winner for this series is hard. The Flames score and defend well, but so do the Sharks. Slight edge given to the Sharks as they proved to be the more stable of the stable of the two teams.
WINNER: Sharks in SEVEN

Vegas Golden Knights (4) v Detroit Red Wings (5)
The poor Red Wings won the lucky draw of landing one of the better fourth seeds in the recent memory. The Red Wings will need to limit the mistakes and use their chances well to win the series.
WINNER: Golden Knights in FIVE

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IN THE MINORS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Muskegon Lumberjacks over Adirondack Red Wings in FIVE

Springfield Thunderbirds over PEI Senators in SIX

Hershey Bears over Utica Devils in SEVEN

Rochester Americans over New Haven Nighthawks in SIX

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Owen Sound Attack over Seattle Kraken in FOUR

Scottsdale Hatters over Indianapolis Ice in FIVE

Wyoming Cowboys over Anaheim Ducks in SIX

Saskatchewan Stags over Salt Lake City Golden Eagles in SEVEN

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[INFO] And the Winner is ...

By Commissioner On Friday 29th March 2024 / 8:16pm

                                          New York Rangers have won the 2016 Entry Draft

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s26 - No gambling for Vegas

By David Zammit (GOLDEN KNIGHTS) On Sunday 24th March 2024 / 8:48pm

Vegas, NV - The Vintage Hockey League’s trade deadline has well past and one of the top teams decided to sit pat.

The move, or lack their of, is surprising when you look at Vegas Golden Knights General Manager David Zammit’s history since taking over the team about a decade ago. 

He’s always been active at the deadline either adding pieces to help his team bulk up for a run or selling off pieces to help with a retool or rebuild. 

One thing that’s really stuck out with Zammit’s approach I’ve noticed is he tries to deal off pending UFAs at or ahead of the deadline, especially ones that are talented. This started in his rookie season with the likes of Joe Thornton and Josef Boumedienne. It tends to only land 2nd rounders or sometimes prospects like Mason Raymond, but if your team isn’t in it to win it, what’s the point in holding the pending UFA. 

“I think it would be malpractice to not at least explore the idea of shipping out guys that don’t have a long-term future within your organization,” Zammit said following the deadline. “There’s a case by case basis for it, but even for the best players you have to ponder it at least.”

Well he’s certainly more than pondered it. At the time he moved Thornton, he was arguably the best player in the league if not, at minimum a top five player. However, why didn’t he follow a similar approach this go around with star defenceman Alex Pietranglo? 

“Funny you ask, we actually had an inquiry from an Eastern Conference team about him,” he said. “Although with our team playing great this year, my ask was big because if we’re going to do damage in the playoffs, it will be because he’s playing like the best defenceman in the league.”

You could also look at one of his pending UFAs that he did deal earlier in the year in Patrik Berglund. He attached him in a massive deal that landed Filppula and Kovalchuk. That trade also put the team at the cap and sort of fulfilled their needs.

“I didn’t see anywhere that I needed to upgrade,” he said. “Sure I would have loved another scoring winger but we didn’t have the cap room to do it.”

WC - 387

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s26 - All eyes on Vegas and Owen Sound for playoffs

By David Zammit (GOLDEN KNIGHTS) On Sunday 24th March 2024 / 8:47pm

Vegas, NV/Owen Sound, ONT - Well, well, well what do we have here… the Vintage Hockey League season is on the verge of wrapping up in the coming days and the Vegas Golden Knights franchise has to be pleased with a tremendous season at both levels.

Unless things change, it appears both teams will be amongst the elite of elites in the league. Owen Sound is sitting first in the entire league, three points up with only five games remaining. While Vegas is in a dogfight for the division and president’s trophy with the Arizona Coyotes and San Jose Sharks. The trio of teams are 1, 2, 3 in the league standings we’ll clear of anyone else. Only three points separate the formidable three, with Vegas playing Arizona next game. 

“I liked our chances at the AHL level coming into the season,” Vegas Golden Knights General Manager David Zammit said. “We had several key returnees and I also made sure to bolster the AHL team with lots of skill up front.”

The returnees of Anderson, Copp, Grossman, Mojzis, Voynov, Bergfors, Pelech, Reddox coupled with the additions of Raymond, Goligoski, Nilsson, and Barzal have turned the team into a juggernaut. Through 78 games they have 121 points with a plus goal differentials of 95.

Jump over to the otherside of things and the Golden Knights third in the league in the standings with 99 points through 79 games.

It’s been a similar story at the pro level with star returnees in Pietrangelo, Stafford, Bailey. Mix that in with the key acquisition of Kesler, Filppula, Kovalchuk, and Mason and you have a very good top six with a superstar goalie.

“We’ve had a few dips this season but wire-to-wire we’ve been right at the top of the standings and I’m hoping we can finally break through this postseason,” he said.

WC - 312

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s26 - A Way Too Early Look at the Draft (®)

By Matt George (SCOUTS) On Tuesday 19th March 2024 / 1:03am

Let's dive into a way too early mock draft for the first round of the upcoming VHL Entry Draft.

1. Vancouver Canucks: Auston Matthews, C
The Canucks kick off the draft by selecting the dynamic center Auston Matthews. As the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Matthews brings elite scoring ability, playmaking skills, and leadership qualities. He's a franchise cornerstone who can elevate the Canucks' offense and become the face of the franchise for years to come.

2. Kansas City Scouts (Blackhawks): Patrik Laine, RW
With the second pick, the Scouts opt for the dynamic scoring winger Patrik Laine. His lethal shot and offensive instincts make him a natural fit for the Scouts, who are looking to add firepower to their lineup. Laine's ability to find the back of the net from anywhere on the ice makes him a valuable asset for any team.

3. Hartford Whalers: Pierre-Luc Dubois, C/LW
The Whalers bolster their forward depth by selecting Pierre-Luc Dubois with the third overall pick. Dubois' versatility, size, and skill set make him a valuable addition to the Whalers' lineup. Whether playing center or wing, Dubois can contribute offensively while providing a physical presence on the ice.

4. Ottawa Senators: Matthew Tkachuk, LW
With the fourth pick, the Senators add a gritty and skilled forward in Matthew Tkachuk. His tenacity, scoring touch, and ability to agitate opponents make him a valuable asset for the Senators as they look to add depth to their forward group.

5. Pittsburgh Penguins: Charlie McAvoy, D
The Penguins address their defensive needs by selecting Charlie McAvoy with the fifth overall pick. McAvoy's poise, mobility, and offensive instincts make him a perfect fit for the Penguins' blue line. He's a two-way defenseman who can contribute at both ends of the ice and quarterback the power play.

6. New York Rangers: Clayton Keller, C
With the sixth pick, the Rangers add a dynamic and skilled forward in Clayton Keller. His speed, creativity, and scoring touch make him a valuable asset for the Rangers' offense. Keller's ability to generate offense and create scoring chances will make him a fan favorite in New York.

7. Montreal Canadiens: Alex DeBrincat, RW
The Canadiens add scoring depth by selecting Alex DeBrincat with the seventh overall pick. Despite being undersized, DeBrincat's scoring ability and competitive nature make him a valuable asset for the Canadiens. He's a natural goal scorer who can contribute on the power play and in clutch situations.

8. Calgary Flames (from Kings): Kieffer Bellows, LW
Acquired via trade, the Flames use the eighth overall pick to select Kieffer Bellows, adding another scoring winger to their lineup. Bellows' goal-scoring prowess and physical presence make him a valuable asset for the Flames as they look to bolster their offense.

9. Boston Bruins: Mikhail Sergachev, D
With the ninth pick, the Bruins address their defensive needs by selecting Mikhail Sergachev. Sergachev's size, skating ability, and offensive upside make him a valuable addition to the Bruins' blue line. He's a skilled defenseman who can contribute in all situations.

10. Winnipeg Jets: Logan Brown, C
The Jets round out the top ten by selecting Logan Brown, adding size and skill to their forward group. Brown's combination of size, skill, and playmaking ability make him a valuable asset for the Jets as they look to build a competitive roster.

11. Vancouver Canucks (from Blues): Tyson Jost, C
Acquired via trade, the Canucks select Tyson Jost with the eleventh overall pick. Jost's two-way game, offensive skills, and hockey sense make him a valuable addition to the Canucks' lineup. He adds depth at center and brings versatility to the forward group.

12. Buffalo Sabres: Luke Kunin, C/RW
With the twelfth pick, the Sabres add Luke Kunin, a versatile forward capable of playing center or wing. Kunin's scoring ability, work ethic, and leadership qualities make him a valuable asset for the Sabres as they look to add depth to their forward group.

13. Minnesota Wild: Dante Fabbro, D
The Wild address their defensive needs by selecting Dante Fabbro with the thirteenth overall pick. Fabbro's poise, skating ability, and offensive upside make him a valuable addition to the Wild's blue line. He's a skilled defenseman who can contribute in all situations.

14. Detroit Red Wings: Olli Juolevi, D
With the fourteenth pick, the Red Wings add Olli Juolevi, a smooth-skating defenseman with excellent hockey sense. Juolevi's ability to move the puck, quarterback the power play, and play a reliable defensive game make him a valuable asset for the Red Wings' blue line.

15. Hartford Whalers (from Maple Leafs): Julien Gauthier, RW
Acquired via trade, the Whalers select Julien Gauthier with the fifteenth overall pick. Gauthier's size, speed, and scoring touch make him a valuable addition to the Whalers' lineup. He adds depth on the wing and brings a physical presence to the forward group.

16. New Jersey Devils: Jake Bean, D
With the sixteenth pick, the Devils add Jake Bean, an offensively gifted defenseman with excellent skating ability. Bean's ability to generate offense, quarterback the power play, and play a responsible defensive game make him a valuable asset for the Devils' blue line.

17. New York Islanders: Riley Tufte, LW
The Islanders add size and scoring ability to their forward group by selecting Riley Tufte with the seventeenth overall pick. Tufte's combination of size, speed, and scoring touch make him a valuable asset for the Islanders as they look to bolster their offense.

18. Kansas City Scouts: Tage Thompson, C/RW
The Scouts add versatility and scoring depth to their lineup by selecting Tage Thompson with the eighteenth overall pick. Thompson's size, skill, and offensive instincts make him a valuable asset for the Scouts as they look to add depth at center and on the wing.

19. Philadelphia Flyers: Boris Katchouk, LW
With the nineteenth pick, the Flyers add Boris Katchouk, a hard-working winger with a nose for the net. Katchouk's scoring ability, tenacity, and two-way game make him a valuable addition to the Flyers' forward group.

20. Buffalo Sabres (from Flames): Brett Howden, C
Acquired via trade, the Sabres select Brett Howden with the twentieth overall pick. Howden's size, skill, and two-way game make him a valuable asset for the Sabres as they look to add depth at center and strengthen their forward group.

21. Ottawa Senators (from Lightning): Carter Hart, G
Acquired via trade, the Senators address their goaltending needs by selecting Carter Hart with the twenty-first overall pick. Hart's athleticism, poise, and competitive nature make him a valuable addition to the Senators' goaltending depth.

22. Arizona Coyotes: Taylor Raddysh, RW
With the twenty-second pick, the Coyotes add Taylor Raddysh, a skilled winger with excellent offensive instincts. Raddysh's scoring ability, playmaking skills, and physical presence make him a valuable asset for the Coyotes as they look to bolster their offense.

23. Vegas Golden Knights: Samuel Girard, D
The Golden Knights add a dynamic and skilled defenseman to their blue line by selecting Samuel Girard with the twenty-third overall pick. Girard's skating ability, offensive instincts, and poise make him a valuable addition to the Golden Knights' defensive corps.

24. San Jose Sharks: Adam Fox, D
With the twenty-fourth pick, the Sharks add Adam Fox, an offensively gifted defenseman with excellent hockey sense. Fox's ability to move the puck, quarterback the power play, and contribute offensively make him a valuable asset for the Sharks' blue line.

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