Latvian Hockey News Report

By Didzis Rudmanis

Posts Tagged ‘Montreal Canadiens

Coyotes clinch victory in Riga

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This evening Arena Riga, packed with both fans and journalists from all over the world, hosted the third-ever KHL-NHL game, in which Phoenix Coyotes, without putting much too effort in it, won Dinamo Riga 3:1. The only one to score for Dinamo was Mark Hartigan.

Already since the very first minutes of the game Coyotes had the edge of the game on their side. During the first ten minutes Riga managed to take only one shot on Bryzgalov’s net, but Coyotes managed to turn their dominance into a goal only late in the period, when Taylor Pyatt scored after a rebound from Tellqvist’s pads.

Although also during the beginning of the second period Coyotes still maintained the puck and produced goal-scoring chances, it was the Dinamo Riga, who scored. Right after both team swapped goalies, Brock Trotter set up a goal for Mark Hartigan, who defeated Jason LaBarbera. However, late in the period Petr Prucha regained the lead, scoring the second goal for Phoenix.

During the third period nothing much changed and Dinamo was still clearly outbeaten, the defense of Dinamo was slowly falling apart, which gave an opportunity for Lee Stempniak to score the third goal of the game. If it was not for Chris Holt, who received the game-MVP award, the result could have become embarassing.

This was already the tenth Dinamo Riga game against NHL clubs, as Riga played in several Soviet-NHL series in the 1980’s. Phoenix was the first club in Riga since Montreal Canadiens, who played in Latvia already twenty years ago.

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Trotter contract with Dinamo Riga confirmed

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Dinamo Riga official homepage has announced that the 23-year-old Montreal Canadiens prospect Brock Trotter has signed a contract with the club, so rumours that Trotter is moving to the Kontinental Hockey League comes true.

Although Dinamo announcement does not state, for how many seasons the contract is signed, most realistically it is just a one-year contract.

A few days ago, when the first rumours about Trotter moving to Riga appeared, several Canadian sources estimated that the contract could be worth up to 250,000 USD, which is four times more than he made in the AHL last season (plus the significant tax differences). For a comparison, legendary Sandis Ozolinsh contract, who might be the most heavy one for Dinamo Riga, is rumoured to be worth around 840,000 USD.

23-year-old forward became a restricted free agent on July 1, but apparently did not succeed coming to an agreement with the Canadiens.

Trotter has spent several past seasons in Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL. In 2009/10 he posted 77 points in 75 regular season games, adding 19 points in 19 games during the playoffs. Last season he also made two Montreal Canadiens appearances.

Dinamo Riga pre-season camp began already on July 23 with team highlights of Chris Holt, Sandis Ozolinsh, Mark Hartigan, Tomas Surovy among others on the roster. Club’s general manager Normunds Sejejs is still desperately working on finding a starting goalie.

Dinamo reached Western Conference Semifinals last season, after eliminating SKA St. Petersburg in the Quarterfinals. The club then proceeded to lose to HC MVD, which became the Western Conference champion later on.

Trotter heading to Riga?

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Several Canadian internet sources have announced that the 23-year-old Montreal Canadiens prospect Brock Trotter has signed a one-year contract with Dinamo Riga of the Kontinental Hockey League.

It is estimated that the contract could be worth up to 250,000 USD, which is four times more than he made in the AHL last season (plus the significant tax differences). For a comparison, legendary Sandis Ozolinsh contract, who might be the most heavy one for Dinamo Riga, is rumoured to be worth around 840,000 USD.

23-year-old forward became a restricted free agent on July 1, but apparently did not succeed coming to an agreement with the Canadiens.

Trotter has spent several past seasons in Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL. In 2009/10 he posted 77 points in 75 regular season games, adding 19 points in 19 games during the playoffs. Last season he also made two Montreal Canadiens appearances.

Dinamo Riga pre-season camp began already on July 23 with team highlights of Chris Holt, Sandis Ozolinsh, Mark Hartigan, Tomas Surovy and others on the roster. Club’s general manager Normunds Sejejs is still desperately working on finding a starting goalie.

Dinamo reached Western Conference Semifinals last season, after eliminating SKA St. Petersburg in the Quarterfinals. The club then proceeded to lose to HC MVD, which became the Western Conference champion later on.

Ivanans signs with Calgary Flames

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31-year-old Latvian enforcer Raitis Ivanans has signed a two year contract with the Calgary Flames, during the first day of free agent frenzy last night. Ivanans will earn 0.6 million USD each of the upcoming two seasons.

Ivanans made his NHL debut in 2005-06, when he was called up from the farm club of the Montreal Canadiens. Already in his first game in the league he got into a brawl against Slovakian giant Zdeno Chara, during which he broke his orbital bone. When he finally healed the injury, Ivanans had just another three appearances with les Habitants.

In 2006-07 Raitis was already in Los Angeles, where he played until the end of the previous season. However, once the season was about to end, Kings board made Ivanans to realize that starting from next season his role will be filled by Kevin Westgarth, who, being almost the same weight and height, produced a lot more points and was also five years younger.

There was a reason for the Kings to be dissatisfied with the play of Ivanans – after 2008-09 club suggested Raitis to lose some weight, so that he would become more agile on the ice. However, although Ivanans lost 20 pounds during the off-season, the previous season was the first one, which Raitis finished without scoring a single point.