The NAHL Showcase starts tomorrow, so posting should be fairly light the rest of the week. I'll try to update, but after watching 10 hours of hockey in a day, there's no guarantee how much enthusiasm I'll have to come home and write about hockey. This should be the greatest NAHL Showcase ever. Though last year's tournament featured a very serious threat of an appearance by Sarah Palin, and Lehman Brothers collapsed, turning the world economy into a giant sinkhole, so the bar isn't set all that high.
If you're interested in following the tournament, you can do so via Pointstreak, which should be fairly close to real-time with their updates, or you can watch the NAHL games on the B2 Network. There will also be a ton of prospects worth watching at the inaugural tournament for the North American Prospects Hockey League, as well as an At-Large division tournament featuring some top AAA teams.
A couple of the Canadian juniors leagues already started their season. The Penticton Vees in the BCHL started off their season by averaing 6 goals a game in their first three games, giving them the top three scorers in the league. One of them is California forward Beau Bennett, who has 9 points in 3 games. Bennett is a fairly slight kid and there are some holes in his game, but he also led the Select 17 Festival for '91s in scoring, so he may be a player worth watching.
There are some other intriguing players on that Penticton team, including: Garrett Milan who is going to St. Cloud, Alex Szczchura, younger brother of Paul, who was a standout at Western Michigan, and who will be headed to Ohio State, Hayden Trupp, younger brother of North Dakota's Evan Trupp, Luke Curadi, who had originally committed to UMass, but seems to have backed out now, Arizona native Derik Johnson, whose father JIm played at Minnesota-Duluth before a long NHL career, and Isaac MacLeod, a tall lanky defenseman that committed to BC this summer, who could be a high NHL draft pick--and also sounds like the only Jew in Scotland.
The AJHL also started their season, and so far, it looks like the older players are dominating. One interesting name to show up on their rosters was forward Adam Henderson, who played at Michigan State last year, and really struggled, scoring only 1 goal and 1 assist in 27 games played.
The Colorado Springs Gazette tried to write something positive about Colorado College. He's correct that by and large, Scott Owens has done an excellent job at CC, and he makes an excellent point about Owens valuing academics(which by the way, helps explain CC's disappointment, but understanding over Colten St. Clair heading elsewhere). But the heat could get really turned up on him if CC is as bad as most are predicting. Like Don Lucia at Minnesota, Owens could be a victim of his own success if he has an off year or two. Owens and Lucia before him turned CC, which was pretty much a perpetual loser, into a very successful program. But odds are that won't buy Owens a ton of slack from program supporters.
SB Nation's Dallas Stars' outpost did a fantastic job reporting on a story about a local rink in suburban Dallas that will be turned into a *shudder* basketball facility. It's bad news all around. I'm still one of those people that believe hockey can suceed in the South, but it will take a generation of kids growing up with the game for that to happen, and losing a facility like that increases costs while decreasing opportunities for kids to pick up the game. Meanwhile, players growing up in the Dallas-area have really started to make an impact at the college level, and there's lots more in the junior hockey ranks. There's tremendous potential there and it's sad to see it squandered.