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Takumi “Kumes” Ledbetter (26), was a practice squad player for the Canterbury Red Devils during 2012 and joined the team fully as a second line centre in 2013, finding himself on a line with NZIHL stars Brett Speirs and Martin Lee. He scored 2 key goals during the 2013 NZIHL final and was named most valuable player for his efforts.
Ledbetter was born in Japan, although his family emigrated to the United States when Takumi was a youngster.
Ledbetter played college hockey for University of Puget Sound for 2 years and these skills translated well to the New Zealand game which mirrors some aspects of the North American game in terms of physicality and toughness.
Takumi now lives back in Japan after landing a job over there a couple of months after the 2013 NZIHL final. He is one of the most down to earth, friendly and genuine hockey players I have had the pleasure of meeting. Continue reading
Cam Talbot wasn’t supposed to play in the NHL this season. He really wasn’t ever expected to reach the NHL level. For Talbot it all started when he suited up for the Hamilton Red Wings Jr. A team in the OPJHL. He spent the better part of 3 years with the team and then signed on with low level NCAA program Alabama-Huntsville, a program not exactly known for producing NHL caliber players.
Talbot spent 3 seasons at Alabama-Huntsville and wasn’t really on any NHL team’s radar until his junior year when he went 12-18-3 with a 2.61 G.AA and .925 save percentage.
The following season he arrived in Hartford, the AHL team for the Rangers and shared time in net with Chad Johnson – another former NCAA goaltender who now plays for the Boston Bruins. The 2012-2013 season was Talbot’s first as the #1 goalie in Hartford and he put up a 25-28-1 record with a 2.63 GAA and .918 save percentage. Continue reading
- OH for Canada, NHL expansion into the US has not worked.
- The Math does not work for Canadian NHL Hockey Fans who pay so much and get so little.
- The Facts:
- NHL Teams US 21 vs Canada 7
- TV Yearly Revenue (10 years) NBC 20M vs (12 years) +400M Rogers Sportsnet .
- TV Yearly Revenue per NHL Team US 9.5M versus Canada NHL 65.0M per team.
The reality of the relationship between the US and Canadian NHL franchises has become fluid with surprising twists. Gary Bettman, of the NHL, announced a deal with Rogers Sportsnet, commenting it was in the best interest of the fans. Which fans is he referring to? Bettman’s Reign for Canadian fans has been marked with no Stanley Cup for a Canadian Team after his first year as NHL Commissioner over the past 20. 6 or so years ago, reports leaked out of the NHL offices that for the best interests of the NHL it would be helpful if LA, NY, Chicago and Boston won the Stanley Cup. 3 of the 4 teams have succeeded in doing their part, Chicago twice. As well, over the term of Bettman’s leadership, the US small market teams have been successful on the ice while the Canadian teams have not. Bettman’s NHL propped up Phoenix Coyote’s for years, sinking 10s of millions a year. Bettman, in his early days, abandoned both Winnipeg’s Jets and Quebec’s Nordique in an apparent blink of an eye. The next year the Nordiques / Avalanche won the Stanley Cup. There has been complete catering to the US market and yet it has not responded. In reverse with the failure of the Canadian teams the Canadian interest has not been damaged in the NHL. Continue reading
Anthony DeAngelo might be a 1st round NHL Draft selection in 2014. The Sewell, NJ native has racked up points from the blue line at every level he’s played at. DeAngelo started out with the Mercer Chiefs organization, played one season for a powerhouse Westchester Express team along with USNTDP defenseman and BC commit Steven Santini, then took the rare leap from youth hockey to the USHL, the premier junior hockey league in the United States as a 15 year old. DeAngelo was the youngest player in the league in 2010-2011 and didn’t look out of place posting a 1-14-15 line in 28 games played with the Cedar Rapids Roughriders.
That’s when the OHL’s Sarnia Sting selected the 5’11-167 pound defenseman with the 26th overall pick in the OHL Draft.
DeAngelo has played 3 seasons with the Sting since then. He posted solid numbers in his rookie year and showed why he’s so highly regarded as an offensive defenseman. In 2012-2013 DeAngelo took a big step forward and was one of the top offensive defenseman in the entire league putting put 9 goals and 49 assists for 58 points in 62 games played.