Hockey in Germany: the different leagues
Swedish coach Kent Forsberg, the coach of World Champions and the
father of Peter Forsberg, once said once that he does not understand German
fans. Said Forsberg, "I think they do not understand hockey. I cannot
believe they keep shouting all the time. No matter what the score is and how
horribly their team plays. I will never identify with this way of thinking."
Daddy Forsberg would probably not be interested in reading the following
article-- but he
should be. German fans just enjoy the game of hockey. They know their team
well no matter which league it plays. Read here about the team of Ulla's
heart - Hammer Huskies.
and the "Hammer Huskies"
Author: © Ulla
Language correction: FlyBear
The 5 Leagues
Germany has 5 different ice hockey leagues. The highest league is the "DEL"
(Die Erste Liga - the first league) where you’ll find a lot of good, though mostly foreign players, Canadians, Czechs, Scandinavians, Russians etc. Each team is required to have at least 6 German players. The DEL showcases a very good level of hockey, it’s a professional league which includes teams from all over Germany and isn't divided into conferences like the NHL. This year, the following teams will participate in the DEL: Augsburg, Berlin (2 teams), Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hannover (Wedemark), Iserlohn, Kassel, Köln, Krefeld, Mannheim, München, Nürnberg, Oberhausen and Schwenningen.
In addition to the DEL there are four other, minor leagues which are also interesting to watch. The Bundesliga (the Federal League) is the second highest league. As it’s a national league most of the players are professionals, or at least semi-professionals, because they have to travel a lot to away games. In the Bundesliga the number of foreign players is limited to 5.
The third highest league is called the "Oberliga" (the Upper League). It is made up of professionals, semi-professionals and amateurs and is also limited to 5 foreigners. The Oberliga is divided into the Northern and Southern divisions. Teams from West Germany play in the Northern Division, and East German teams in the Southern Division.
The next league is the Regional League, divided into many regional divisions
like the Southern League, the Hessen-League, the East League and the NRW (West
Germany) League. Although most of the players are amateurs, you’ll also find up to two foreigners per team.
The lowest league is the Landesliga (the National League) which is a purely amateur league. It's a good league for hobby teams, but is also the League where, if teams go bankrupt, they have to start from scratch. The pace of the games is quite slow but it doesn’t mean the games aren’t exciting.
Nowadays, the level of all the leagues (except maybe the lowest league) is quite high. The pace of the games differs, as well as the number of spectators and the ticket prices. Their training times also vary. DEL teams practice once or even twice a day, whereas the teams from the lower leagues have about two or three practices per week. However, all the leagues offer us hockey fans a wide variety of good games and exciting fights!
Some General Thoughts
Football has always been more popular than hockey in Germany. Not all of the DEL games are televised. Usually, the German Sports Channel shows some of the games, but every year it's the same fight for the broadcasting rights and it looks as if the pay-per-view TV channels will win this time. The general channels show the World Championships but they only show the games in which Germany play, plus the finals, so there aren’t that many opportunities to watch hockey on TV.
The newspapers do a bit better. All the local papers in the major hockey cities write long reports in their sports sections. We have also have a hockey newspaper in Germany that covers all the different leagues. In the reports about the higher leagues each team has its own section and in the reports about the two lowest leagues, there’s an informative up-to-date news summary.
The "Hammer Huskies"
We have a hockey team in my hometown, Hamm, called the "Hammer Huskies" who
since last season have been playing in the NRW League. Until 1998, they were in the Bundesliga, the second highest league, and were called the "Hammer Eisbären" (the polar bears). It was only when they went bankrupt that they had to start again as a new team with a new name. Their first year in the lowest „Landesliga" was brilliant. They won almost all of their games, most of the time scoring more than 10 goals a game. They ended up winning the title and were promoted into the next league.
The Huskies did quite well in their first NRW League season. They finished fourth which wasn’t bad. The Huskies (and the Eisbären) have always been very lucky with their fans. The Eisbären always had about 1000 spectators per game. Unfortunately this changed once they went down to the Landesliga because some fans refused to support a team playing in that league. However, we still boasted the biggest crowds with about 200–300 people per game. Nowadays, the number of spectators is back up to about 1000, all of whom are enthusiastic fans who celebrate each game as something special!
The Huskies' players
The Huskies have kept most of the players for the coming season but have also secured some new ones. We were very lucky last year to have Canadians
Sean Klaver and Domenic Parlatore playing for us. They played in a Canadian team
which challenged the Huskies to several pre-season friendlies. Sean and Dominic later decided to stay in Hamm, and always gave their best. Our German players also worked hard though, and everyone played well as a team. The Huskies have a very good goalie, Carsten Utner, who was one of the best goalies in the league
last season. He’s been in Hamm for 6 years now and has improved every season. Last season his problem was lack of a good backup, but this season he'll have a talented partner: Stefan Kornewald, who played in the DEL and also has some World Championship experience. With all the other old and new players and
two good goalies we can look forward to an interesting season. And, who knows?, maybe the Huskies will earn a promotion in to the next league!
I remember the time I was an exchange student near Seattle. That was
at the height of Nirvana's popularity, so many of my Czech friend envied
the place where I was going to spend a year. My closest friend did not. He said that there is no good ice hockey there and Vancouver (in British Columbia) is too far away. If he could choose one place to go in North America, he would choose Montreal. He always asked me about the Habs in letters and I always asked him about my home team Pilsen in the Czech Republic. That was the 1995/96 season. Now time has moved
forward but our hockey passions have remained the same. I am sure he will
enjoy reading about the Montreal Canadiens from a real Habs fan, Mathieu.
Author: © mat "the 2nd rocket"
Language correction: FlyBear
Since they played their first NHL game, the Habs have been the pride of the
Quebecois. The CH was a symbol of wins, courage and tenacity. Maurice
"The Rocket" Richard, Jean Beliveau, Guy Lafleur, Howie Morenz,... were the
leaders in the different eras. The fans were used to win the Stanley Cup
and having great players. There are now a lot of Habs' fans in the world,
because they are the winningest hockey team in the NHL history, and the
2nd in all sports: the New York Yankees are first with 25 World Series
championships and the Habs are 2nd with 24 Stanley Cups.
Lots of people say that the journalists are stifling for the players.
Personaly, I think that it's good for the players, they have to perform in
every game because everyone will know if you don't do the job well.
I think that the Habs CAN'T move from Montreal for 2 reasons:They are the
one of the original 6 teams,they will begin their 92th years in their
history. The second reason is that they are too popular to do that. They
are not so far away from a 25th Cup:-) .
Today, the team is very good, but they still have to add some players if
they want to be outstanding in the couple years. They have some good
players like Rucinsky, who will maybe miss the begining of the season
because of a holdout. Rucinsky doesn't want the 2.4 m that the Habs have
offered. I think that it's enough for a player who never scored 30 goals in
a year. Koivu is very important for the Habs, the fans love him but he's
maybe too fragile to play in the NHL or maybe too unlucky. We'll never
know. Koivu can be dominant when he's healty. He
has good talent.The Gabs hope that he will play more than the 24 games of
last year. Zholtok will have to have a big year because now the fans know
that he can score. There are also some good young prospects in Mike
Ribeiro, Eric Chouinard, Andrei Markov, Marcel Hossa, Alexander Buturlin,
Mathieu Garon, and Jason Ward. Here is some information about them:
Mike Ribeiro: A very good playmaker, Ribeiro is very good with the puck.
His problem is that he doesn't have very good skating skills and he's very
small. Some people say that he's a little too lazy.He has the potential to
have a very good career.
Eric Chouinard: Taken because of his scoring skill, he has to improve his
skating.A player who likes to score.Chouinard has to ameliorate his
attention to defense if he wants to have a good career in th NHL.A good
player for the Habs.
Andrei Markov: One of the best prospect for the Habs, he has a very good
chance to play in the NHL next year. Has the potential to be a general on
the blue line.
Marcel Hossa: Good offensive player,Will play in the minors next year, but
will play in Montreal soon. A good offensive player like his brother
Alexander Buturlin: A good winger, he has a lot of abilities. He has good
speed but He's not good in defense.
Jason Ward: A big forward, a clever player on the ice, he has a very good
chance to play in the NHL next year. He was good in his 32 games with the
Habs last year.
Mathieu Garon: A very good goalie, who will be the 2nd goalie (behind Jose
Theodore) when Jeff Hackett retires. He has very good reflexes.
They are not so far from a 25th cup!! The have good rookies to built
*** One player on Montreal to watch out for is Dainius Zubrus. His
NHL career has not quite lived up to expectations yet but that's because he
was rushed to the NHL as a teenager. He is still only 22 years old and has
the talent to be an impact player. I think this is the year Zubrus will
start to come on.
*** While I don't think the Canadiens will ever leave Montreal, despite
the recent problems with the ownership, I think that the shape of the NHL
has changed. The Canadiens are no longer one of the elite franchises. They
are in terms of history but not in terms of current ability to compete for
the Stanley Cup. I don't see that changing in the near future. However, the
East is currently the weaker of the two conferences and the Canadiens did
not miss the playoffs by much last season. I could certainly see them
returning to the playoffs soon but I don't see them as a threat to make it
to another Finals soon.
Pro Hockey History in Philadelphia: Beyond the Flyers
The hockey fans are more relaxed during off-season. They have more
time for love, friends and …. a history of ice hockey. My English teacher
embarrassed himself once by declaring Philadelphia to be the capital of
the United States. The next time he said it correctly but got a nickname
"Philadelphia" anyway. He loves ice hockey and I am pretty sure he would
love this article. FlyBear should meet him once
Author: © FlyBear
Professional hockey history in Philadelphia did not begin with the Philadelphia Flyers. While the Flyers were the first Philadelphia team to capture a wide following (it is not for nothing that Philadelphia, its northern and western suburbs, and southern New Jersey have been dubbed "Flyer Country"), hockey had a long, tortured history in the City of Brotherly Love before the Flyers ever played their first game. There have also been local several pro hockey teams created both before and after the Flyers, with generally poor success.
The Flyers were not Philadelphia's first National Hockey League entry. That distinction went to the Philadelphia Quakers. Former lightheavyweight boxing champion Benny Leonard bought the Pittsburgh Pirates, which had gone bankrupt while finishing last during the 1929-30 season, and moved the club to Philadelphia. The new team was dubbed the Quakers. To say that the Philadelphia Quakers were a bad hockey team would be an insult to bad teams. The Quakers were absolutely dreadful; quite possibly the worst team in NHL history. They won but 4 of their 44 games in 1930-31; tying 4 more and losing 36. The only thing worse than their anemic offense, which scored a paltry 76 goals for the season, was their porous defense and awful goaltending. The Quakers gave up 184 goals, 44 more than the next worst team, the Ottawa Senators. To add insult to injury, a local minor league team, the Philadelphia Arrows (Canadian-American Hockey League), had higher attendance than the NHL Quakers. Leonard lost $80,000 on the team and was forced to fold the club after one season. In fact, the ex-champ had to step out of retirement and get back into the boxing ring to make up for some of his losses. Just about the only positive thing to emerge from the disaster that was the Philadelphia Quakers was future Hockey Hall of Famer Syd Howe, who put the trauma of his Philadelphia experience behind him to star for the Detroit Red Wings. Also of note were the Quakers orange and black uniforms; the same colors that later came to be associated with the Flyers.
Hockey did not disappear from the Philadelphia scene after the Quakers folded. Over the thirty-seven year period from the inception of the Quakers until the creation of the Flyers, Philadelphia remained the home of a series of minor league teams. In all, there were seven minor league teams in Philadelphia during this time, including the Arrows, the Falcons, the Rockets and the Ramblers. The teams played either in the American Hockey League or the Eastern Hockey League. Herb Gardiner coached every minor league entry in Philadelphia from 1929 until 1947. Besides the presence of Gardiner, the teams had two other characteristics in common. First, they did not draw a lot of fans but those who came were fiercely loyal. Secondly, they played their home games at the Philadelphia Arena at 46th and Market Streets. The ice conditions at the Arena were terrible and the building, which housed a variety of sporting events during its long history, was largely neglected. By all accounts, the Philadelphia Arena was a dump; a cramped, gloomy place to see a game. Nevertheless, the Arena held a special place in local hockey history; it was the home of Philadelphia hockey until 1964.
By the time the Flyers were created in 1967, the only surviving minor-league team in the Philadelphia area was the EHL's Jersey Devils (note: the modern NHL team is of no relation to this club; the current day New Jersey Devils are the descendant of the NHL's Kansas City Scouts and Colorado Rockies). Playing at the equally ramshackle Cherry Hill Arena in Haddonfield, New Jersey, the Devils drew the same rabid crowd of about 2,000 to each of their home games. The fans did not come to watch hockey. They came to see fights. The Eastern Hockey League, which later spawned the ECHL, was a notorious "goon league." Every night was a bloodletting. The movie "Slap Shot" is an only-slightly exaggerated account of the style of hockey that prevailed in the Eastern League. There were, however, a few skilled players on Devils. The best of them, including Rosaire Paiement, eventually became Philadelphia Flyers players.
In 1972-73, the fledgling World Hockey Association, which attempted to challenge the NHL as a major league, created a franchise in Philadelphia called the Blazers. In order to compete with the Flyers, the Blazers signed several notable NHL players, including fast-living ex-Boston Bruin Derek Sanderson, and former Flyers Andre Lacroix and Bernie Parent. Parent was lured away from the Toronto Maple Leafs with a five year, $750,000 contract. Unfortunately for the Blazers, their one and only season of existence turned into a comedy of errors. Although the Blazers were a middle of the pack team, they proved to be no competition for the more established Flyers, who were rapidly emerging as one of the NHL's most exciting (and controversial) team. The Blazer's opening night home game had to be canceled minutes before the opening faceoff because the ice surface had cracked and was unsuitable for play. Another time, the team's loose cannon feature player, Sanderson, tried to encourage the fans to come out to see the team play at the Philadelphia Civic Center "even though the parking ain't so good."
At first viewed as a threat to the Flyers, the Blazers quickly emerged the loser in their battle for the hearts (and dollars) of Philadelphia hockey fans. They played before mostly empty houses and the team was losing money rapidly. Eventually, the players paychecks started to come late. Parent's agent, Howard Casper, advised his client to refuse to play until the matter was resolved. Parent finished out the 1972-73 campaign with the Blazers, but refused to play in the playoffs. After the Blazers folded, Parent's NHL rights were traded from Toronto to the Flyers. After being re-acquired by the Flyers, Parent went on to win the next two Vezina Trophies and Conn Smythe Trophies, while the Flyers forever cemented their place in the hearts of Philadelphia sports fans by winning two consecutive Stanley Cups and reaching the finals the next year.
In the mid 1970s, the Philadelphia Firebirds came onto the scene. Like the Blazers, the Firebirds played their home games at the Philadelphia Civic Center. The Firebirds, a member of the NAHL, established a loose affiliation with the Flyers (whose main farm club at the time was the AHL's Richmond Robins). Later, the Firebirds became an AHL team, before financial hardships forced them to move to Syracuse in 1979. Although the Flyers were always my primary rooting interest, the Firebirds will always hold a special place in my heart. My first experience with live hockey was seeing the Firebirds play in 1975 (I saw about seven or eight Firebirds games in all before the team left town in 1979). Because Flyers tickets were tough to come by and the Firebirds ticket prices were much cheaper, my parents took me to see the Firebirds instead. While no Firebirds players went on to become NHL's superstars, there were a few notable ex-Firebirds, including longtime NHL goalie Rejean Lemelin (now the Flyers goaltending instructor), Gordie Clark and the Flyers manic television commentator, Steve Coates. Moreover, the Flyers weren't the only team in town who had a Clarke and a Schultz on the roster. The Flyers had Bobby Clarke and Dave Schultz, while Firebirds featured Mike Clarke and Ray Schultz (Dave's younger brother).
In their brief heyday, the Firebirds won the Lockhart Cup, the NAHL's championship trophy in 1975-76.
They had trouble competing as an AHL franchise, however. With attendance flagging and operating costs rising, the team closed down operations after the 1978-79 season.
After the disappearance of the Firebirds, minor league hockey was absent from the greater Philadelphia area until 1996. Local minor league fans had to ride out to Hershey to see the AHL's Bears (the Flyers farm team from the mid-1980s until '96) or go to Johnstown to see the ECHL's Chiefs. That all changed after the Flyers pulled their affiliation with Hershey and established an AHL team of their own, called the Philadelphia Phantoms. The Phantoms were created in part to have a team to play in the Flyers' former home, the Philadelphia Spectrum. In 1996-97, the Flyers began play in a brand new arena, the CoreStates (now First Union) Center, located across the parking lot from the Spectrum, The Hershey Bears then became the affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche, with the roster of the former Cornwall Aces being transferred to Hershey. The Bears have quickly become the Phantoms most heated rivals.
The Phantoms experienced immediate success. They are the top drawing team in the AHL and have sold out the Spectrum on quite a few occassions. The secret to the Phantoms success lies not only in the crossover appeal of the parent Flyers or the fact that the Phantoms have annually fielded a winning team. The club also relies on reduced ticket prices and special promotions to draw fans. Especially young fans. At any given Phantoms game, the bulk of the crowd is usually comprised of children and their parents. Nevertheless, the Phantoms exhibit the rough-and-tumble playing style that is typical of the AHL; a notch less severe and more skilled than the ECHL, but still rougher and slower than the NHL. In the course of their four season existence, the Phantoms have won one Calder Cup (1997-98). This past season, they were eliminated by Hershey in the first round of the playoffs.
Tomas Divisek Story
The information about the NHL are accessible all over the world. However,
hockey in America is not just the NHL. Hasek, Shannahan, Butsajev - those
are just two among many players who spent part of their star career in the
farm. The former star of "Sbornaja" Butsajev still plays in a minor league
and there are many other players of the top quality playing
there. FlyBear made a very close look at the AHL team
Philadelphia Phantoms and Czech raising star Tomas Divisek.
Author: © FlyBear
Other languages: Czech (by Ada, Elle, Tomas)
The Philadelphia Phantoms have enjoyed a good deal of success during their
brief AHL existence. Most of their success has been due to the play of
minor league veterans. While some of their veterans (most notably Vaclav
Prospal, Craig Darby and Mike Maneluk) were still young enough during
their Phantoms stays to be considered of NHL prospect age, the Phantoms
have typically relied upon older, "career" minor leaguers to play key
roles on the club.
Along the way, the team has had but a handful of rookies who have been
primary contributors to the club. Colin Forbes, Andy Delmore, Mark Eaton,
Jean-Marc Pelletier, and to lesser extents, Brian Boucher and Mikhail
Chernov established themselves as regulars during their first AHL
season. Phantoms coach Bill Barber, who recently stepped down from the
coaching post, tended to delegate ice time sparingly to his
rookies; demanding that they earn their place in the lineup by showing
strong work habits and dedication to improving their all-around game. Even
if they have had a taste of success with the Phantoms, if Barber was
displeased with their work habits or their overall development, he did not
hesitate to bench them or have them demoted to a club in a lower league. A
perfect case in point is second year power forward Francis Belanger, who
was in and out of Barber's doghouse several times, and spent the 1999-2000
season shuttling between the Phantoms and the ECHL Trenton Titans.
This season, the Phantoms went through a topsy-turvy campaign that
recently ended in a first playoff loss to arch-rival Hershey. It has been
a bittersweet season for the Phantoms. Familiar faces like Jim Montgomery
disappeared from the roster. The team got off to a horrible start and,
after a torrid stretch, stumbled at the finish. On the bright side,
several young alumni (Boucher, Eaton, and Delmore) have graduated to the
Flyers and performed well for the big club. Additionally, the Phantoms
enjoyed a bumper crop of promising rookies this year. For the first time
in club history, three first year pros became integral parts of the hockey
team this season. Defenseman Francis Lessard impressed with his aggressive
play and willingness to learn from his mistakes. Ukrainian forward Ruslan
Fedotenko responded very well to an early season ECHL demotion and shortly
thereafter, became a fixture in the Phantoms lineup. And then there was
Tomas Divisek, who shared the team's rookie of the year honors with
Coming into his first North American training camp, the Flyers
organization was a bit uncertain what to expect from the Czech forward. Although the
organization was hopeful that they had a keeper in Divisek, there were
still some questions about individual aspects of his game. Divisek's
offensive instincts, ice vision, and ability to protect the puck are
above-average for a player of his age but his hands are, arguably, only
in the average to slightly above average range. He seems to lack the
finishing touch of someone who will be prolific goal scorer in the
NHL. Additionally, his skating is average at best and remains his biggest
obstacle to a potential NHL career.
Nevertheless, Divisek brought some impressive credentials with him to
North America. As a 19 year old, he had become a regular starter for
Slavia Prague in the Czech
Extraleague, notching a respectable 7 goals last season despite receiving
the limited ice time that is typically afforded to young players in Europe's top
leagues. Moreover, Divisek was one of the few bright spots on the
disappointing Czech entry (7th place) at the 1998-99 World Junior
Championships. Divisek was the leading point scorer for the Czechs (6th
best overall in the tournament), and tied for the tournament lead in
assists. He was also his team's top faceoff taker, and was barely nosed
out of the top 10 overall.
Divisek's chemistry with WJC linemate Vaclav Pletka subsequently led the
Flyers to use a late round pick on Pletka in the 1999 entry draft.
Divisek played very well early in the season, but through the first dozen
or so games, the results were not showing in the statistics column.
Nevertheless, Barber was impressed by the Czech's work ethic and his
commitment to playing a two-way game (something that was lacking team-wide
early in the season). Barber said of Divisek, "He's going to be a good
one. He plays the game the right way. He's always looking out for a chance
to go [on an offensive rush], but not at the expense of coming back on the
Instead of demoting Divisek after his lukewarm offensive start, Barber
stuck with him. The rookie responded by quickly becoming one of the
Phantoms most consistent game-in
and game-out performers. Divisek rarely has had two bad games in a
row. Upon the subtraction of veteran Montgomery from the Phantoms roster,
Divisek began to assume a more prominent offensive role on the
team. Shifted from center to play left wing on Peter White's line, Divisek
drew raves from Barber for the way the rookie's energy seemed to spark
veterans Peter White and Mark Greig. Three time AHL scoring champion
White also took notice. Prior to being recalled to the Flyers, White said
of his young teammate, "He's very easy to play with. The way he sees the
ice and he's always going for the net, he'll have a lot of success."
Divisek was rising rapidly on the team's scoring charts until he suffered
a separated shoulder in December. He was sidelined for the better part
of a month. Upon returning to the lineup, he picked up where he left off
offensively. Despite his (statistically) slow offensive start and missing
a spate of games with the injury, he flirted with 20 goals for the
season. Over the last 45 regular season games he played, he was just a
shade below a point per game. However, Divisek, like the rest of the
Phantoms, struggled a bit in the final two weeks of the season. He had a
rather quiet post-season, although he did have a three point outburst in
game 4 of the Phantoms-Bears series, helping to force a deciding game 5
back in Philadelphia.
Although Divisek is still not the fastest or prettiest skater in
the organization, he gets the job done. The smaller North American ice
surface and his hustle have helped to minimize some of what he may lack in
straight ahead speed. Former Philadelphia Flyer and current Phantoms
television broadcaster Orest Kindrachuk said that he has been impressed by
the rookie's head for the game, "Divisek is one of those guys who never
looks like he's moving very fast but he's always in the thick of the
play. He anticipates well and that's something just as valuable [as raw
How important has Divisek become to the Phantoms? By the end of the
season, he saw double duty at both center and wing, played on the first
powerplay unit, played in 4-on-4 situations, took faceoffs, and was often
is among the first group of forwards sent out on the shift immediately
following a goal for or against.
Divisek has shown himself to be a quick study not only on the ice, but off
the ice as well. Upon arriving in Peterborough, Ontario, for training camp
last fall, Divisek understood some English but spoke almost none. Roman Vopat, who was with
the Phantoms at the beginning of the season, initially served as Divisek's
translator. With amazing rapidity, however, Divisek has come a long way in
his mastery of the English language. He not understands a good deal of
English now, he also responds with ever-increasing
confidence. By the time of the annual Flyers Wives Fight For Lives
Carnival in February, Divisek was able to join in some the banter that
goes on among the players and to answer fans' questions in English.
Divisek realizes that his on- and off-ice adjustments are not yet
complete. "There's a lot to learn, you know?" he said at the Carnival in
February, "Things here are different from home." Nevertheless, Divisek
has actually taken to North American hockey much more quickly than any
previous young Czech or Slovak player that the Flyers have drafted into
the system. Martin Hostak, a hyped rookie in the early 1990s, struggled
with the big team and was soon buried in the minor leagues before
returning to Europe. Slovak sniper Jan Lipiansky became homesick and left
the Hershey Bears after an abbreviated stay. Even Vaclav Prospal, now a
proven NHLer, took several years to fit in. Divisek, meanwhile, emerged
from his rookie AHL campaign as a confident, well-rounded young player
with a bright future ahead.
Of the trio of the Phantoms 1999-2000 rookie standouts, Divisek seems the
closest to graduating to the NHL. He still has work to do on his
skating. There are still subtle adjustments that need to be made in his
own end of the ice, although it's never due to lack of effort. He may need
one more full AHL season before he's ready for the big time. However,
Tomas Divisek is a solid bet to someday play- and stay- in the NHL.
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