Tag Archives: world junior championships

Newfies in hockey: Dwayne Norris

Welcome to a reoccurring feature here at the Ryan Coke Experience: Newfies in hockey. Periodically, I will be profiling different players that made it to the NHL (keep in mind, the number is less than 25, so I might start eventually stretching that to non-NHL players as well).

Dwayne Norris eventually became a general manager.

Do you remember: Dwayne Norris?

How good could St. John’s native Dwayne Norris have been?

According to Wikipedia: “Don Cherry once referred to Norris as “one of the best damn skaters to come out of this country”. Cherry also stated numerous times that he should have been given more ice time in Quebec and Anaheim.”

Cherry knows what he is talking about. Norris definitely had the stats before being drafted. With Michigan State University. In the 1989-90 season, the right-winger had 45 points in 36 games and eventually became its captain.

He also represented Canada at the world junior championships that season, the first Newfie to ever do so. From the Hockey Hall of Fame web site:

“Norris scored six points in seven games when Canada won the gold medal at the 1990 World Junior Championships. The pinnacle of the tournament was Norris’ winning goal in a 2-1 win over Czechoslovakia that clinched the championship.”

(For a great in-depth article on this, check out this 2009 story from the Evening Telegram.)

That June, he was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques in the seventh round, 127th overall. He stayed with MSU, and finished his fourth year there (in 1991-92) with 44 goals and 83 points in 44 games. That season, he was an NCAA First Team All American.

Norris only played 20 games in the NHL.

The next season, he went to the AHL and the Halifax Citadels, and was a point-per-game player there in his first full season.

In the 1993-94 season, he took some time off to compete in the Olympics. He captained the men’s ice hockey team, the last Olympics to not allow NHL players there. The team took home silver, losing in a shootout in the gold medal game (Peter Forsberg scored his famous medal-winning shootout goal in that game, which later became immortalized on a stamp).

For some reason, he never had the opportunity to play in the NHL. He had only 20 games with Nordiques and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the NHL, and bounced around the AHL for a while. However, he continued to be a point-per-game player wherever he went in the AHL or the IHL.

Starting with the 1996-97 season, Norris went to Germany to play. He was elected team captain right away, and stayed with Kölner Haie (Cologne Sharks). In 2002, he won a championship with the team. He scored the game winner in all three games in the best-of-five series.

In 2003, he went to the Frankfurt Lions, became the captain, and helped that team win the championship, scoring nine goals in 15 playoff games. In 2007, he retired, and pulled a Garth Snow, becoming general manager of the Lions. The team was competitive on the ice, finishing second last year, but folded because of financial problems.

Where ever Norris went, he was a leader and winner. But for some reason, he could never stick with an NHL club, which is too bad. It would have been great to see him play in North America for a few years, and it’s always a good thing to have more Newfies in the NHL.

1 Comment

Filed under Sports blogs I like

Bright side

It’s been a while since I posted anything about the Ottawa Senators. So I thought I’d post a few quick hits about them and give the bright side to their situation.

* The Sens are five games below .500 and are 11 points out of a playoff race. On the bright side, they have some great company with other teams not in the playoffs (Pittsburgh, Edmonton, Dallas and Colorado).

* The Sens have lost 10 of their last 13 games, and have won only one road game in their last 100 or so. On the bright side, they’re almost done their eight-game road trip

* The Sens have scored a league-worse 86 goals. On the bright side, they have removed any doubt that they are a one-line team.

* John Tavares gave Senators fans hope with his play in Ottawa during the World Junior Hockey Championships. On the bright side, they’ll probably end up with Victor Hedman, the guy they consistently booed during the final game.

* Sens fans also continued to cheer defenceman P.K. Subban, one of the tournament favourites. On the bright side, Sens fans will have the chance to see a lot P.K. Subban as he will be playing for the Habs for many years to come.

* Mike Fisher is dating Carrie Underwood. On the bright side, it gives fans something to see, and they know that Mike Fisher is at least scoring somewhere.

Leave a comment

Filed under Sports blogs I like

Shootout woes

Team Canada against Team Russia in the world junior hockey championships tournament was a great game last night.

Too bad it ended so poorly.

In a game that was full of back and forth lead changes, shaky goaltending and great offensive plays, the ending left a lot to be desired.

When Canada scored to tie the game with five seconds left, the group of people I was with went crazy. During overtime, we were all on the edge of our seats.

Then, after the 10-minute overtime, we all sat back, and weren’t excited anymore.

There wasn’t any more cheering, no more excitement.

All because they went to a shootout. After Canada won, the comments around the room weren’t the most flattering.

“It’s not exciting.”

“It’s not even the same game.”

“It’s kind of lame we have to win like this.”

It’s kind of sad, really. Hopefully, the NHL realizes this and never lets a shootout become part of the playoffs.

As for the game itself, Canada got lucky. They didn’t deserve to win the game. The Russians took it to them. Canada’s goaltending was suspect. The defence was off. And the reffing was horrendous.

Canada had nine powerplay chances in the first two periods, and their only goal was at the end of a 5 on 3. Russia had two powerplays in the first two minutes.

It was a game we deserved to lose. And one that we won with no excitement.

5 Comments

Filed under Sports blogs I like

World junior bore

8-2.

8-1.

7-2.

9-0.

15-0.

These are just some of the scores that are happening at the 2009 World Junior hockey championships.

They’re not fun to watch on TV. I can only imagine what it’s like for people in the stands.

I don’t blame the players for running up the score. They have no other choice. The tiebreaker is goals for/against differential, so they have to run up the score.

But I think other things can be done to change it up.

The guys doing the announcing on TSN had an idea that the goal differential per game can only be five. So if you win 5-0 or 11-0, it doesn’t matter.

Maybe another option would be to whittle the tournament down so we don’t have countries that do get hammered regularly.

One crazy way to do it would be to create a degree of difficulty ahead of time. So if you win by five goals, each goal counts as one. But if you win by eight goals, each goal only counts as 0.75. If you win by 10, each goal is worth 0.5. This means as you run up the score, the goals actually count as less.

I don’t know what the best option is (though I am partial to #3), but I do think something needs to be changed.

1 Comment

Filed under Sports blogs I like