The Will Sports Group

The RIG 28 for March

Mar 1

Goldobin goal vs Rangers

Seguin goals vs Lightning

Goodrow goal vs Blackhawks

Mar 2

Mar 4

Mar 5

Name to Know: Laurent Dauphin
Dave Vest
Arizona Coyotes

GLENDALE — Coyotes prospect Laurent Dauphin is averaging nearly a point per game for the Tucson Roadrunners since coming back to the organization via a trade with Chicago on Jan. 10.

Dauphin notched five goals and 10 assists in his first 16 games with Tucson, and he produced four multi-point games in February to help the Roadrunners maintain their first-place standing in the American Hockey League’s Pacific Division.

“He’s a smart, competitive, 200-foot player with great versatility,” Coyotes General Manager John Chayka said recently. “His game has grown and continues to grow as he adds strength and builds confidence.”

The Coyotes sent Dauphin to the Chicago Blackhawks last summer as part of a trade that brought Niklas Hjalmarsson to Arizona. However, Chayka hated parting with Dauphin, whom the Coyotes drafted 39th overall in 2013, so he made sure the young forward was part of the deal that sent Anthony Duclair to Chicago in January.

Dauphin is thrilled to be back with the Coyotes organization, and is eager to get recalled to the NHL again.

“When I was in Chicago, I had a tough time,” Dauphin said. “So when I came back here, I took it as a second opportunity … I’m just the most confident I’ve been, since I was in juniors almost. I play a ton of minutes (in Tucson) so I have a lot of chances and I’ve been doing good so far.”


Seguin goals vs Senators

Mar 6

Mar 8

Chabot goal vs Sabres

Mar 9

Mar 11

Mar 13

Mar 14

Seguin goal vs Maple Leafs

Mar 15

Oilers sign Maksimov to entry level contract
Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers have signed forward Kirill Maksimov to a three-year entry-level contract.

Maksimov, 18, is in his third Ontario Hockey League season and second with the Niagara Ice Dogs. In 59 games with the Ice Dogs this season, the Moscow, Russia native has posted 73 points (33G, 40A), including 70 penalty minutes and a +17 plus-minus rating.

The 6’2″, 193-pound forward won a bronze medal with Russia at the 2017 Under 18 World Men’s Hockey Championship. He also played at the 2016 Under 18 World Men’s Hockey Championship, as an underaged player.

Maksimov was the Oilers fifth-round selection, 146th overall, in the 2017 NHL Draft.


Mar 16

On the Fly with Jackie Seguin
Scott Burnside

“On the Fly” is a new regular feature on Senior digital correspondent Scott Burnside sits down with a member of the Stars for a few random, off-the-cuff questions to gain insight into their lives, thoughts and careers on and off the ice.

For this week’s special edition, we caught up with Tyler Seguin’s mother, Jackie Seguin, at the dedication ceremony of a new ball hockey court and learning lab with the Boys and Girls Club of Collin County-Frisco.

Scott Burnside: Do you remember the moment where you thought, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s going to be good at this game,’ and that this is going to ruin a lot of Saturday mornings?

Jackie Seguin: One thing with Tyler, he played house league I believe the first year, like, Tim Bits (ages 5 and 6), and then after that, all he ever wanted to do was be on the ice. In the summertime, he couldn’t get enough of hockey. If his team were out of the tournament, Tyler would want us to drop him off on a Sunday and spend the whole day there (at the rink complex). From 8 o’clock in the morning, from the first game until the championships, just watching hockey all by himself. He would just stay there all day — all day. So, we’d drop him give him a little bit of money and he’d just watch hockey all day, go from rink to rink. In Toronto, there is like six rinks, one complex, so (during) the tournament, he would just stay there all day.

SB: In your place in Brampton, Ontario, what’s the most treasured hockey thing you have in your house?

JS: So, a Stanley Cup picture, of course. What he did was he got a framed picture for everybody in the family and he personally signed every one with a little note. So everybody in our family — the girls have a picture (Tyler has two younger sisters), I have a picture, his dad has one, his grandparents all have pictures, the uncles have pictures that he had done for everybody personally and signed them, thanking us for everything. Mine says, ‘Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, Mom. Love you, Tyler.’ He’s sensitive that way. He’s a good kid.

So, the day with the Cup, we met downtown at his apartment (in downtown Toronto). It was right at Maple Leaf Square. He hoisted it there. I have pictures on my phone because for Mother’s Day, he sent me a picture with him and I with the Cup, and I’m hoisting it. And it’s very heavy. Very heavy. Have you lifted it? At first, when I lifted it, I didn’t realize it would be so heavy and he gave it to me out of the box and he goes, ‘Okay, Mom, lift it up.’ And I go, ‘Oh my God, I can’t lift this thing. It’s way too heavy.’ So then, we lifted it together. And we have pictures of that. We went to Sick Kids (Hospital). That was a priority, and then we took it to where he played hockey at Westwood Arena with the Nats (Toronto Young Nationals). He had thousands of people come. Then, we took it to the park in Brampton and they had to call in extra police. We did not expect as many people to show up as showed up. It was crazy, crazy packed. It was a very hot day and people were lined up for hours. Just to get a picture with him and the Cup, they brought tents and everything. City of Brampton did an excellent job. But we were there too long because, now, it was getting to a point where we were on a schedule, so what Tyler did for everybody that was still in line, he put them all on the hill with the Cup and him and had a big picture done, and then he made sure everybody got that picture. People stayed behind from the City of Brampton and from the Brampton Canadettes — that’s a girl’s league — and that’s where my girls were playing, and they made sure that everybody that was on there got their emails and sent their pictures.

SB: So, I need you to tell me the Bob McKenzie story again.

JS: Okay, so, I used to work in this restaurant and Bob McKenzie came in one day, and I used to always see him on TV, and Tyler was 3 years old. I said to Bob, and I was serving him and his wife, and I said to him, ‘One day, you’re going to talk about my son,’ and I was just joking. ‘One day, you’re going to talk about my son on TV.’ He just kind of fluffed me off. Yeah, okay, whatever. And then, that was the end of it. I never saw him again except for on TV, and then when he wrote his book (“Hockey Dad: True Confessions From A (Crazy?) Hockey Parent) I sent him a message, and said I wanted one for my son for Christmas. I wanted to give him a signed, autographed book from you. So I met him at Etobicoke Ice Sports and he signed a book, and I said, ‘See, I told you you’d be talking about my son.’ He didn’t know me or he didn’t remember the story.

SB: When you see him, you’re in that moment with him in public on a day like today, all these people are here because of him and he’s giving back to the community. Do you sometimes stop and go, ‘Wow, that’s my son that’s done that?’

JS: I know I’m taken aback. All the people, all the volunteers, it’s just amazing. Everyone’s giving back, it’s huge in the community. I’m in awe. But to me, Tyler’s just Tyler. He’s just my son at the end of the day. He’s nobody special to me. Do you know what I’m saying? He’s still my son and he’s doing great stuff, and I think it’s awesome that he is doing this. The thing with Tyler is that he doesn’t say anything. He’s such a boy. Boys never say (anything). When he did it last year (a similar event with the Boys and Girls Club), I didn’t know about until I saw it because he doesn’t make a big deal. He thinks, ‘Okay, it’s just a part of what I should do this because I should give back,’ and I don’t think he realizes how much of a superstar he is because we don’t talk about it. We never talk about it. When summer comes, we do not talk about hockey. Never. I think that’s what he likes is because we never talk about any hockey, and I don’t ask questions. When you have a boy, you only get what’s going on in the moment. Boys don’t talk. And so, when I found out about this (event) through some of the Dallas Stars (staff), I was like, well, I have to go because I want to be part of this.

SB: Does it get easier watching him play, worrying about him, worrying about what gets said on social media and the like now that he’s been in the league such a long time?

JS: At the beginning, it was never easy when people would be critical. But now, I have a very thick skin, and plus, if I have an issue, Tyler will call me or I’ll call him. If something was ever said that wasn’t correct, he would definitely call me and say, ‘Hey, mom, this is going to come out about something,’ whatever it would be. And do I worry? Every game. If he’s playing, every game. Every game, I worry. Every game. And I want to be on that next flight. He’s, like, a man. He doesn’t need his mom showing up, but that’s a mom thing right? And that’s what you have to try and tell him. But I want to be there. I don’t worry about stuff on social media anymore because, you know what? I know the truth. And it doesn’t matter what other people think. But at the beginning, his first couple of years, of course. I was uneducated. Now, I’m educated.

When I come to visit, he gives me his credit card and I go shopping for him. For him. Always for him. For his house. He has a cottage I decorated up north (in Ontario) and I make food. We never go out for dinner because I always cook for him. Because he wants home-cooked food. We’ll go out maybe to the movies and I go to games, but when he was hurt — when he was injured last May when he had surgery — I came and took care of him there. I’ll buy him, like, new dishes or I don’t really fix. I just coordinate everything to make sure that we’ve hired someone to take care of the house, make sure it’s being done properly, make sure the dogs are being taken care of.

Seguin goal vs Senators

Mar 17

Goldobin goal vs Sharks

Mar 18

Mar 21

Goodrow goal vs Devils

Mar 22

Mar 23

Mar 24

Mar 25

Josh Ho-Sang is upbeat about his future with the Islanders
Andrew Gross

The nearly five-hour bus ride from Bridgeport, Connecticut to Syracuse, New York was just about half over when Josh Ho-Sang got on a cell phone to talk about his season, his background, his future with the Islanders and his thoughts on the recently-deceased Larry Kwong, the first Asian to play in the NHL.

The common thread through the conversation was the 22-year-old prospect’s relentlessly upbeat attitude, which is currently focused on helping the Bridgeport Sound Tigers qualify for the AHL playoffs and not one bit on why things have not worked out so far playing for the Islanders.

Ho-Sang has been a lightning rod of attention, good and bad, since the Islanders selected the forward 28th overall in 2014. That year, his first training camp with the Islanders, ended on the first day when he was late. He has spent time with the Islanders both this season and last.

“Honestly, I’m a really happy person,” said Ho-Sang, who identifies as Chinese, Jamaican and Jewish. “I just see the beauty and the struggle. I play pro hockey for a living, what is there to be mad about? I’m a kid who knows this is what I love to do. I don’t want to upset people by saying I’m happy not playing in the NHL. I’d be happier if I was playing in the NHL for sure. But it was really hard for me up there at the beginning of the season.”

Ho-Sang had four assists in six games to start the season with the Islanders before being re-assigned to Bridgeport on Oct. 25. He had another 16-game stretch in the NHL between Nov. 11-Dec. 14 with two goals and six assists, but has been with the Sound Tigers since.

He had seven goals, 18 assists and 32 penalty minutes in 40 games for Bridgeport through Friday.

Ho-Sang assessed his play as “good,” while adding, “there’s stuff going on I can’t really say but I’m sure they’ll tell you at the end of the year.” Maybe that’s an injury issue. Perhaps not.

“Ultimately, they made their decision for this year,” Ho-Sang said. “I don’t necessarily think everything was warranted, but I do accept it because they want me to be the best version of me possible. That’s OK. How can you be mad at somebody who wants me to be great?”

Ho-Sang has one season remaining on his entry-level contract and wants to remain with the Islanders.

“I don’t want to go anywhere,” Ho-Sang said. “They’re nice to me. I just think the reality is stuff is going to happen and they’re going to put me on the team when they’re ready. I think when I’ve been on the team, I’ve had personal success along with the team having success. I think they know that and they’re just trying to figure it out. They’re good people. (GM) Garth Snow is a good man. (Coach) Doug Weight is a good man. I know they’re trying.”

Asked about Ho-Sang this week, Weight said, “He’s working things out and he’s playing hard so we’ll see what happens.”

Ho-Sang said he did not know much about Kwong, the British Columbia native who passed away at age 94 on March 15 after playing one shift for the Rangers on March 13, 1948 during a professional career that stretched from 1946-57.

But Ho-Sang said he could admire Kwong’s accomplishment.

“I don’t even know what the culture would have been like for him,” Ho-Sang said. “Obviously he had a great work ethic and persistence. There weren’t a lot of people like him playing. He stuck with what he wanted to do.”

Which is what Ho-Sang is doing now.


Mar 26

Sabres, Mittelstadt agree to entry-level deal
Press Release

The Buffalo Sabres today announced forward Casey Mittelstadt has agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract.

Mittelstadt (6’1″, 201 lbs., 11/22/1998) recently completed his freshman season at the University of Minnesota, earning a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team after recording 30 points (11+19) in 34 games for the Golden Gophers.

The Minnesota native also helped lead the United States to a bronze medal at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo this season, earning tournament MVP honors after tying for the tournament lead with 11 points (4+7) in seven games.

Mittelstadt was selected by the Sabres in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft.


Sabres looking forward to getting Mittelstadt’s speed and shiftiness into their lineup
Mike Harrington

TORONTO — News of Casey Mittelstadt’s signing spread just as the Buffalo Sabres were wrapping up their morning skate in Air Canada Centre for Monday night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Some players in the dressing room actually heard about it for the first time from reporters giving them the word. The response was unanimous: The 19-year-old will be a quick infusion of speed that will give this team an added boost while playing out the string over the final 10 days of the season.

“He’s got some quick mitts for sure,” said defenseman Brendan Guhle, who skated with Mittelstadt in development camp last summer at HarborCenter. “He’s a good player, so quick, has a good shot. It’s great we were able to get him signed.”

The Sabres’ next game is Thursday night in KeyBank Center against Detroit. Will Mittelstadt be in the lineup?

“We’ll see,” said coach Phil Housley. “He’s supposed to get in tonight or tomorrow, we’ll talk to him and evaluate that at that time. But I’d like to see him get in the lineup as soon as he could.”

Winger Kyle Okposo skated with Mittelstadt last summer in Minnesota, playing in both a 4-on-4 league filled with NHL players and thrice-weekly 5-on-5 skates.

“He was really impressive there,” Okposo said. “There were guys on the bench saying how special of a player he was and how special his mind was for the game. That’s what really impressed me. He was able to take over the game. I know it’s summer but he’s a good player. All of us were really impressed with his hands, the way he moves and his smarts. ”

Mittelstadt also made quite an impression on his future teammates with the way he dominated the World Junior Championship in Buffalo.

“Seeing him there, he was one of the best players in the tournament,” said Jack Eichel. “High skill level, somebody that we can definitely use.”

“He was a dominant player and I’m excited to get to play with him,” added Ryan O’Reilly. “It’s good. He brings a lot to the table. It gives us a good look and it’s only going to make our team better because he’s a great player.”

O’Reilly said Mittelstadt utilizes “little plays, little shiftiness” on the ice far beyond his years.

“I’m sure there’s a lot of things we’re going to teach him too but I think he can make an impact right away,” O’Reilly said. “Seeing what he’s doing in the World Juniors and how he impacted the game, to have him come to us and help out will be awesome.”

Housley spent his first summer development camp in the Sabres’ front-office suite at HarborCenter. And his eyes were often trained to where Mittelstadt was on the ice.

“He’ll see another level of speed for sure here but he plays the game at a high speed level with great hockey sense and a great IQ for the game,” Housley said. “I think that will be a good adjustment for him to get up to speed. You’re playing in a man’s league. You’re playing against stronger and bigger players. Those are things he’s going to have to make adjustments to. But by using his speed, he’ll be able to create separation and get away from checks.”

It’s been a big couple of days for Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill, getting Mittelstadt and St. Cloud State defenseman Will Borgen to leave school and sign with the team on back-to-back days.

“It’s part of the future,” Eichel said. “Good players. I’m happy they’re a part of the organization. Anytime you sign good players like that, you want them to make the team better.”


Trevor Murphy goal vs Lightning – First NHL goal

Mar 27

Wings’ Ouellet feels at home back in Montreal
Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Montreal — You get a huge media scrum around a Henrik Zetterberg or Jimmy Howard or Niklas Kronwall in the Red Wings’ locker room.

After Monday’s morning skate, they were about two deep at one point surrounding … defenseman Xavier Ouellet.

But given this is Montreal, Ouellet is from here, and the hockey hotbed that this area is, it’s not surprising Ouellet was the man of the hour.

“I played my junior hockey here so I’m kind of used to it (the media coverage), I know the people and the media around here, and it’s fun to see them around,” said Ouellet, who was to be in the lineup Monday for the second time in three games. “It’s a big hockey city, everyone in the league knows that. The media ttention is big here, even just playing junior hockey was pretty crazy.

“It’s just part of the culture, everyone plays hockey growing up, in the street and outside, it’s just how it is here.”

It’s been a frustrating season for Ouellet, who hasn’t been able to crack the lineup with any consistency since early December. Monday’s game was to be Ouellet’s 43rd of the season, with five points (all assists) and a minus-3 plus-minus rating.

There were rumblings the Red Wings were going to trade Ouellet at the deadline in late February to give him a fresh start, but it never materialized.

Ouellet is hoping to end this season on a high note with some good performances.

“Every time I play, I need to prove myself,” Ouellet said. “I need to show what I can do and play good. I need to to get back my timing and get back the game energy and stuff like that, and hopefully I can go on a roll and play some games.”

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill credited Ouellet for his work ethic and approach to the game.

“‘X’ worked his tail off last summer, he stayed in Detroit and worked really hard to improve his skating,” Blashill said. “That would be one area that he’s needs to keep improving on and it’s not easy, it’s not as easy as you get older.

“It’s something that when you’re a kid, the improvements come a lot quicker. But it’s just going to be a matter of continually improving the footwork and finding ways to be as efficient a skater that he can be to be real effective.

“The other thing is, and it happens in any league but certainly in this league, is when you’re not playing lots, it’s hard to stay in rhythm.”

Ouellet had 50 family and friends the last time the Red Wings played in Montreal, and was going to be close to that Monday.

“Some friends and cousins are coming to the game, they bought their tickets at the beginning of the season,” Ouellet said. “It’s fun to be in the lineup and fun to be playing here.”


Mar 28

Mar 29

Mar 31

Goldobin goal vs Blue Jackets

Seguin’s 40th goal vs Wild

Cammalleri goal vs Flames