Flames re-sign Hale

Former Sioux defenseman David Hale re-signed with the Calgary Flames yesterday.

Hale signed a one-year deal reportedly worth $590,000. Last season, Hale made $550,000.

Hale was traded from New Jersey to Calgary near the trading deadline. He played in 43 regular-season games with the Devils and 11 with the Flames. Hale also played in two playoff games.

Where will the Eagle land?

One interesting storyline to watch when the NHL’s free-agency signing period opens at 11 a.m. Sunday will be to follow what happens with former Sioux goaltender Ed Belfour.

The 42-year-old Belfour told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel earlier this offseason that he plans to play another season. At that time, it looked like the Florida Panthers would re-sign Belfour.

Now we know that Florida will not sign Belfour after the Panthers grabbed Nashville goaltender Thomas Vokoun during draft weekend. General manager/coach Jacques Martin said that he is no longer looking at Belfour as a backup option.

So who is in the market for a backup goaltender and who might be interested in Belfour? ESPN’s Scott Burnside says there should be a lot of teams interested because of his play last season (2.77 GAA, .902 SP). He points to Tampa Bay, Phoenix and Los Angeles as the most logical options.

There seems to be no talk of retirement.

Cup headed to Bemidji tomorrow

The Stanley Cup will be back in area tomorrow (Thursday) as Bemidji native Joe Motzko spends his day with the trophy. Motzko, a former St. Cloud State player, was a member of the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks.

For those in the area interested in checking it out, Motzko will display the Cup at Bemidji Community Arena (next to the high school) from noon to 2 p.m. The event is open to the public.

In the last year, the Cup has become familiar with the region. It’s made stops in Grand Forks, Fargo, Moorhead, Oxbow, Detroit Lakes, Brainerd, St. Cloud, St. Paul and Bemidji.

On Friday, the Cup will be making a stop in Mankato, where Ryan Carter played his college hockey. It is being declared Ryan Carter-Stanley Cup Day in the city. Carter will fly it in to Mankato for a noon presentation in the Mankato Place Atrium. He will then fly it back to his hometown of White Bear Lake, Minn.

A sports fan’s checklist

ESPN’s Jim Caple compiled an interesting list for a Page 2 article: The top 101 sporting events you should experience before you die. Hockey found its way on the list in several spots:

3. Winter Olympics (It’s not specifically hockey, but is there a larger draw?)
20. Stanley Cup playoffs game
36. NCAA Frozen Four
37. Canadiens-Leafs game
63. Camp out for tickets (If you’re a student at UND…)
65. U.S. Pond Hockey Championships in Minneapolis
72. The Beanpot
79. Junior hockey in small-town Canada
81. The Minnesota state high school hockey tournament

For the entire list, go here.

Bruneteau traded to Indiana

Sioux recruit Brett Bruneteau was traded from the Omaha Lancers to the Indiana Ice today.

Bruneteau, who was drafted in the fourth round by the Washington Capitals last weekend, was traded for Gopher recruit Nico Sacchetti, who was drafted in the second by the Dallas Stars.

The upcoming season will be Bruneteau’s last in the USHL, as he is scheduled to arrive at UND in the fall of 2008. Bruneteau had 12 goals and 27 assists for 39 points in 55 games last season.

Both the Indiana Ice and the Omaha Lancers put out releases about the trade.

More draft notes

Here are a few more notes from the draft:

**The 2005 and 2007 draft classes are the only ones in UND history to see six-plus guys get selected in the first five rounds.

*There were 63 American-born players taken in the draft, which accounted for 30 percent of the draftees. That is the highest percentage in history, breaking last year’s 28.2 percent.

Here is a breakdown by birthplace of the draftees (state/province):

Ontario 40
Alberta 19
Minnesota 14
Michigan 14
British Columbia 14
Quebec 10
Manitoba 6
Connecticut 5
New York 5
Saskatchewan 5
Illinois 4
Massachusetts 4
Nova Scotia 4
California 3
Wisconsin 3
Pennsylvania 3
Ohio 3
New Jersey 2
New Brunswick 2
Prince Edward Island 2
North Dakota 1
Missouri 1
Texas 1

Isles brass comments on Gregoire

The New York Islanders had by far the best draft coverage of any team that took a UND player. On the team’s Website, they had interviews with both the director of scouting and a scout about each draft pick. Here’s what they had to say about Sioux recruit Jason Gregoire, who was taken in the third round:

Director of scouting Ken Morrow (a member of the 1980 U.S. Miracle on Ice team) said: "In two of the games I saw Jason, he had hat tricks, so he has some goal-scoring ability. He was a very smart player and good around the net. What I liked best about Jason was that he came on at the end of the season, and consistently got better as the season progressed. Scouting the amateurs is a whole different ballgame than watching the pros. These are guys who we might not see play for the Islanders for another five or six years, but this kid stuck out in my mind."

Scout Jim Hillman said: "Jason has deceiving speed and is good around the net. He takes advantage of his opportunities because of his quick hands. I got a chance to see him play in Lincoln of the USHL and he was effective at winning one-on-one battles at both ends of the ice. I didn’t expect him to be available this late in the draft."

Gregoire will fly to New York on Tuesday for the prospect camp. How’s this for a busy weekend: Get drafted on Saturday, graduate from high school on Monday, fly to New York (for the first time) on Tuesday. He’ll spend a week there.

NHL draft: Round-by-round

Instead of listing every pick like I did in the first round, I’ll just list college/college-bound players today. WCHA players are color-coded. UND players will be in bold and tallies of WCHA and college hockey players are below.

Quick summary of UND recruits:
Jason Gregoire was selected by the New York Islanders in the third round, 76 overall.
Matt Frattin was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fourth round, 99 overall.
Brad Malone was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the fourth round, 105 overall.
Brett Bruneteau was selected by the Washington Capitals in the fourth round, 108 overall.
Ben Blood was selected by the Ottawa Senators in the fourth round, 120 overall.
Brad Eidsness was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the fifth round, 139 overall.

First round (Friday)
2. Philadelphia Flyers — James vanRiemsdyk, F, New Hampshire recruit
3. Phoenix Coyotes — Kyle Turris, F, Wisconsin recruit
12. Montreal Canadiens — Ryan McDonagh, D, Wisconsin recruit
14. Colorado Avalanche — Kevin Shattenkirk, D, Boston Univ. recruit
18. St. Louis Blues — Ian Cole, D, Notre Dame recruit
21. Edmonton Oilers — Riley Nash, F, Cornell recruit
22. Montreal Canadiens — Max Pacioretty, F, Michigan recruit
25. Vancouver Canucks — Patrick White, F, Minnesota recruit
27. Detroit Red Wings — Brendan Smith, D, Wisconsin recruit
28. San Jose Sharks — Nick Petrecki, D, Boston College recruit
29. Ottawa Senators — Jim O’Brien, F-D, Minnesota

Second round
35. Boston Bruins — Tommy Cross, D, Boston College recruit
38. Chicago Blackhawks — Billy Sweatt, F, Colorado College
44. St. Louis Blues — Aaron Palushaj, F, Michigan recruit
45. Colorado Avalanche — Colby Cohen, D, Boston Univ. recruit
46. Washington Capitals — Ted Ruth, D, Notre Dame recruit
50. Dallas Stars — Nico Sacchetti, F, Minnesota recruit
53. Columbus Blue Jackets — Will Weber, D, Miami-Ohio recruit
55. Colorado Avalanche — T.J. Galiardi, F, Dartmouth
57. New Jersey Devils — Mike Hoeffel, F, Minnesota recruit

Third round
68. Columbus Blue Jackets — Jake Hansen, F, Minnesota recruit
76. New York Islanders — Jason Gregoire, F, UND recruit
77. Tampa Bay Lightning — Alexander Killorn, F, Harvard recruit
80. Pittsburgh Penguins — Casey Pierro-Zabotel, F, Michigan Tech recruit
81. Nashville Predators — Ryan Thang, F, Notre Dame
84. Washington Capitals — Phil DeSimone, F, New Hampshire recruit
86. Chicago Blackhawks — Josh Unice, G, Bowling Green recruit
89. Buffalo Sabres — Corey Tropp, F, Michigan State recruit
90. Ottawa Senators — Louie Caporusso, F, Michigan recruit

Fourth round
92. Anaheim Ducks — Justin Vaive, F, Miami-Ohio recruit
93. Anaheim Ducks — Steve Kampfer, D, Michigan
95. Los Angeles Kings — Alec Martinez, D, Miami-Ohio
96. St. Louis Blues — Cade Fairchild, D, Minnesota recruit
99. Toronto Maple Leafs — Matt Frattin, F, UND recruit
100. St. Louis Blues — Travis Erstad, F, Wisconsin recruit
101. Florida Panthers — Matt Rust, F, Michigan recruit
104. Toronto Maple Leafs — Ben Winnett, F, Michigan recruit
105. Colorado Avalanche — Brad Malone, F, UND recruit
108. Washington Capitals — Brett Bruneteau, F, UND recruit
114. Nashville Predators — Ben Ryan, F, Notre Dame recruit
120. Ottawa Senators — Ben Blood, D, UND recruit

Fifth round
126. Chicago Blackhawks — Joe Lavin, D, Providence recruit
128. Dallas Stars — Austin Smith, F, Colgate recruit
129. Dallas Stars — Jamie Benn, F, Alaska-Fairbanks recruit
131. Florida Panthers — John Lee, D, Denver recruit
133. Montreal Canadiens — Joe Stejskal, D, Dartmouth recruit
135. Colorado Avalanche — Paul Carey, F, Boston College recruit
137. Los Angeles Kings — Josh Turnbull, F, Wisconsin recruit
138. New York Rangers — Max Campbell, F, Western Michigan recruit
139. Buffalo Sabres — Brad Eidsness, G, UND recruit
142. Montreal Canadiens — Andrew Conboy, F, Nebraska-Omaha recruit
150. Ottawa Senators — Matt Marshall, F, Vermont recruit

Sixth round
152. Philadelphia Flyers — Jon Kalinski, F, Minnesota State-Mankato
153. Phoenix Coyotes — Scott Darling, G, Maine recruit
154. Washington Capitals — Dan Dunn, G, St. Cloud State recruit
159. Boston Bruins — Alain Goulet, D, Nebraska-Omaha recruit
161. Philadelphia Flyers — Pat Maroon, F, Ferris State recruit
166. New York Islanders — Blake Kessel, D, New Hampshire recruit
168. New York Rangers — Carl Hagelin, D, Michigan recruit
173. San Jose Sharks — Nick Bonino, F, Boston Univ. recruit
175. Atlanta Thrashers — John Albert, F, Ohio State recruit
176. Vancouver Canucks — Taylor Matson, F, Minnesota recruit

Seventh round
182. Philadelphia Flyers — Brad Phillips, G, Notre Dame recruit
185. Washington Capitals — Nick Larson, F, Minnesota recruit
186. Calgary Flames — C.J. Severyn, F, Ohio State recruit
190. St. Louis Blues — Trevor Nill, F, Michigan State recruit
191. Florida Panthers — Ryan Watson, F, Western Michigan recruit
192. Montreal Canadiens — Scott Kishel, D, Minnesota-Duluth recruit
198. New York Rangers — Danny Hobbs, F, Massachusetts recruit
199. Washington Capitals — Andrew Glass, F, Boston Univ. recruit
201. San Jose Sharks — Justin Braun, D, Massachusetts
208. Detroit Red Wings — Bryan Rufenach, D, Clarkson recruit
209. Buffalo Sabres — Drew MacKenzie, D, Vermont recruit
211. Columbus Blue Jackets — Trent Vogelhuber, F, Miami-Ohio recruit

WCHA by team (25):

Minnesota 8 (White at No. 25; O’Brien at No. 29; Sacchetti at No. 50; Hoeffel at No. 57; Hansen at No. 68; Fairchild at No. 96; Matson at No. 176; Larson at No. 185)
UND 6 (Gregoire at No. 76; Frattin at No. 99; Malone at No. 105; Bruneteau at No. 108; Blood at No. 120; Eidsness at No. 139)
Wisconsin 5 (Turris at No. 3; McDonagh at No. 12; Smith at No. 27; Erstad at No. 100; Turnbull at No. 137)
Colorado College 1 (Sweatt at No. 38)
Michigan Tech 1 (Pierro-Zabotel at No. 80)
Denver 1 (Lee at No. 131)
Mankato 1 (Kalinski at No. 152)
St. Cloud State 1 (Dunn at No. 154)
Duluth 1 (Kishel at No. 192)

College hockey players by team (73):

Minnesota 8 (White at No. 25; O’Brien at No. 29; Sacchetti at No. 50; Hoeffel at No. 57; Hansen at No. 68; Fairchild at No. 96; Matson at No. 176; Larson at No. 185)
Michigan 7 (Pacioretty at No. 22; Palushaj at No. 44; Caporusso at No. 90; Kampfer at No. 93; Rust at No. 101; Winnett at No. 104; Hagelin at No. 168)
UND 6 (Gregoire at No. 76; Frattin at No. 99; Malone at No. 105; Bruneteau at No. 108; Blood at No. 120; Eidsness at No. 139)
Wisconsin 5 (Turris at No. 3; McDonagh at No. 12; Smith at No. 27; Erstad at No. 100; Turnbull at No. 137)
Notre Dame 5 (Cole at No. 18; Ruth at No. 46; Thang at No. 81; Ryan at No. 114; Phillips at No. 182)
Boston Univ. 4 (Shattenkirk at No. 14; Cohen at No. 45; Bonino at No. 173; Glass at No. 199)
Miami-Ohio 4 (Weber at No. 53; Vaive at No. 92; Martinez at No. 95; Vogelhuber at No. 211)
Boston College 3 (Petrecki at No. 28; Cross at No. 35; Carey at No. 135)
New Hampshire 3 (vanRiemsdyk at No. 2; DeSimone at No. 84; Kessel at No. 166)
Nebraska-Omaha 2 (Conboy at No. 142; Goulet at No. 159)
Ohio State 2 (Albert at No. 175; Severyn at No. 186)
Dartmouth 2 (Galiardi at No. 55; Stejskal at No. 133)
Western Michigan 2 (Campbell at No. 138; Watson at No. 191)
Michigan State 2 (Tropp at No. 89; Nill at No. 190)
Massachusetts 2 (Hobbs at No. 198; Braun at No. 201)
Vermont 2 (Marshall at No. 150; MacKenzie at No. 209)
Cornell 1 (Nash at No. 21)
Colorado College 1 (Sweatt at No. 38)
Harvard 1 (Killorn at No. 77)
Michigan Tech 1 (Pierro-Zabotel at No. 80)
Bowling Green 1 (Unice at No. 86)
Providence 1 (Lavin at No. 126)
Colgate 1 (Smith at No. 128)
Alaska-Fairbanks 1 (Benn at No. 129)
Denver 1 (Lee at No. 131)
Mankato 1 (Kalinski at No. 152)
Maine 1 (Darling at No. 153)
St. Cloud State 1 (Dunn at No. 154)
Ferris State 1 (Maroon at No. 161)
Duluth 1 (Kishel at No. 192)
Clarkson 1 (Rufenach at No. 208)

Bishop to Ohio State

Forward Hunter Bishop, who played a semester with UND last fall, has given a verbal commitment to attend Ohio State beginning in 2008.

His younger sister, Teal, will be a freshman defenseman for the Buckeyes this fall. That means when Bishop’s parents make the trek from Fairbanks to the mainland, they will be able to catch two kids in one spot. Bishop’s mother, Rita, also said they have family in the Columbus area.

Both Hunter and his mom wanted to re-interate that Hunter enjoyed his time in Grand Forks and there were no hard feelings when he left. Hunter just didn’t foresee himself getting much playing time until he was a senior because of all the returning players. As it turns out, UND only lost one underclassman forward to the NHL this offseason.

Hunter will play one more season with Vernon in the BCHL before heading to Columbus.

NHL draft: First round

Friday’s first round. Draft notes and tallies of WCHA and college hockey players taken below are. College/college-bound players are in bold:

1. Chicago Blackhawks — Patrick Kane, F, London (OHL)
2. Philadelphia Flyers — James vanRiemsdyk, F, New Hampshire recruit
3. Phoenix Coyotes — Kyle Turris, F, Wisconsin recruit
4. Los Angeles Kings — Thomas Hickey, D, Seattle (WHL)
5. Washington Capitals — Karl Alzner, D, Calgary (WHL)
6. Edmonton Oilers — Sam Gagner, F, London (OHL)
7. Columbus Blue Jackets — Jakub Voracek, F, Halifax (QMJHL)
8. Boston Bruins — Zach Hamill, F, Everett (WHL)
9. San Jose Sharks – Logan Couture, F, Ottawa (OHL)
10. Florida Panthers — Keaton Ellerby, D, Kamloops (WHL)
11. Carolina Hurricanes — Brandon Sutter, F, Red Deer (WHL)
12. Montreal Canadiens — Ryan McDonagh, D, Wisconsin recruit
13. St. Louis Blues — Lars Eller, F, Sweden
14. Colorado Avalanche — Kevin Shattenkirk, D, Boston Univ. recruit
15. Edmonton Oilers — Alex Plante, D, Calgary (WHL)
16. Minnesota Wild — Colton Gillies, F, Saskatoon (WHL)
17. New York Rangers — Alexei Cherepanov, F, Russia
18. St. Louis Blues — Ian Cole, D, Notre Dame recruit
19. Anaheim Ducks — Logan MacMillan, F, Halifax (QMJHL)
20. Pittsburgh Penguins — Angelo Esposito, F, Quebec (QMJHL)
21. Edmonton Oilers — Riley Nash, F, Cornell recruit
22. Montreal Canadiens — Max Pacioretty, F, Michigan recruit
23. Nashville Predators — Jon Blum, D, Vancouver (WHL)
24. Calgary Flames — Mikael Backlund, F, Sweden
25. Vancouver Canucks — Patrick White, F, Minnesota recruit
26. St. Louis Blues — David Perron, F, Lewiston (QMJHL)
27. Detroit Red Wings — Brendan Smith, D, Wisconsin recruit
28. San Jose Sharks — Nick Petrecki, D, Boston College recruit
29. Ottawa Senators — Jim O’Brien, D-F, Minnesota
30. Phoenix Coyotes — Nick Ross, D, Regina (WHL)

Draft notes:

*For the second straight year, a U.S.-born player was taken No. 1 overall. It’s the first time that’s ever happened in back-to-back years.

*It also is the first time U.S.-born players have gone 1-2 in the draft.

*The first two overall picks are former U.S. National Team Development Program members. A total of four U.S. NTDP alums have been taken in the first round so far.

*With Pacioretty going to Montreal at No. 22, Michigan extended its streak of having a player drafted in the first round to seven straight years.

*For the first time since 2002, UND did not have a player taken in the first round.

*There were 10 Americans taken in the first round, which ties a record set last year.

WCHA by team (5):

Wisconsin 3 (Turris at No. 3; McDonagh at No. 12; Smith at No. 27)
Minnesota 2 (White at No. 25; O’Brien at No. 29)

College hockey players by team (11):

Wisconsin 3 (Turris at No. 3; McDonagh at No. 12; Smith at No. 27)
Minnesota 2 (White at No. 25; O’Brien at No. 29)
New Hampshire 1 (vanRiemsdyk at No. 2)
Boston Univ. 1 (Shattenkirk at No. 14)
Notre Dame 1 (Cole at No. 18)
Cornell 1 (Nash at No. 21)
Michigan 1 (Pacioretty at No. 22)
Boston College 1 (Petrecki at No. 28)