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September 03, 2002 - Image 19

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-03

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The Michigan Daily - SportsTuesday'- September 3, 2002 - 19A

'Tough' summer for icers as stars take off

By Charles Paradis
Daily Sports Writer
When Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson was
asked about losing two of his best players in the span
of a few days this summer, he responded, "It's been a
tough week."
The Wolverines lost their No. 1 scoring threat,
Mike Cammalleri, and their top
returning defender, Mike Komis- HOCKEY
arek, to the NHL. N b Ok
Komisarek, the seventh overall oteboo
pick in last year's draft, informed
Michigan coaches on July 23 that he would be leav-
ing school to play for the Montreal Canadiens next
season. Two days later, Cammalleri also announced
that he would forgo his final season at Michigan to
play for the Los Angeles Kings.
"I'm disappointed in what those players are going
to miss," Berenson said. "I hope they do well in their
careers, but I can't tell you how disappointed I am
that they chose to leave now.
"Each time it happens I'm not pleased. I want to
see the kids do well in their future, but I sense some-
times that things like greed and selfishness take over
from some of the priorities that I would have thought
were important."
Both players decided to turn pro after giving the
Michigan coaching staff verbal assurances that they
would be returning to suit up for the Wolverines this
season. The sudden and unexpected departure of the
two stars has left the Michigan coaching staff with
holes to fill in its roster. The loss of Komisarek
means the rest of the Michigan defense will have to

step up to fill the void vacated by the CCHA's top
defensive player last season.
While the blueline took a heavy hit with the depar-
ture of Komisarek, the loss of Cammalleri, who was
considered a top contender for next season's Hobey
Baker Award, could be just as devastating.
Despite playing in just 29 games last season, Cam-
malleri led the Wolverines with 23 goals and was
second in points with 44. In order to fill the spot left
by Cammalleri, the Michigan coaching staff asked
Andrew Ebbett if he would want to come to Michi-
gan a year early. Ebbett, a native of British Colum-
bia, graduated last year, but was going to spend
another year with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the
British Columbia Hockey League to develop before
coming to Michigan in 2003. With the departure of
Cammalleri, the Michigan coaching staff needed to
find another potent goal scorer to take his place.
Ebbett got the call.
"I was pretty surprised to hear that Mike (Cam-
malleri) left," Ebbett said. "From all my sources I
had been hearing that Mike had been planning to
come back to graduate, but I was really excited."
Ebbett was named the Rookie of the Year last sea-
son in the BCHL Interior Division after scoring 45
goals and tallying 79 points. He was expected to vie
for the BCHL scoring title next season, an award
won by fellow incoming freshman and BCHL alum
Jeff Tambellini in 2002. Ebbett faced a difficult deci-
sion when offered the chance to play for the Wolver-
ines, not because of his desire for personal
accolades, but for agreater goal.
"I was ready to go, the only thing that was hold-
ing me back.was that I had pretty much told my

coaches that I was staying," Ebbett said. "If I had
stayed we.might have had a shot at the national
championship."
FIRST DRAFT: For the second straight year, Michi-
gan had a player selected in the top 10 of the NHL
Entry draft. Sophomore forward Eric Nystrom was
drafted by the Calgary Flamesas the 10th overall
pick this summer. Nystrom is only the fourth
Wolverine to be selected in the top 10. While this
pick surprised some, one group that expected it was
the Michigan coaching staff.
"It didn't surprise us one bit, because when you
evaluate Eric Nystrom, It's really difficult to find
holes in his game," Michigan assistant Billy Powers
said. "When you have a kid that's 6-foot-2, tough,
competitive, good hands, can score goals with good
people. That made him a first-rounder. I think every-
body thought he'd play in our league as a third or
fourth liner. They didn't think he had the offensive
skills he showed this season. He can play on the top
line, with the top centerman and be an impact play-
er."
Nystrom was not the only player to hear his name
called at the draft this summer. Fellow sophomores
Jason Ryznar and Dwight Helminen were also
tabbed by NHL teams. Ryznar was taken by the New
Jersey Devils with the first pick of the third round
(64th overall).
"It was a great relief first of all," Ryznar said. "All
year long everyone is talking about the draft. And
when it finally comes around and you hear your
name called, it is just a great relief."
Helminen was selected in the eighth round as the
244th overall pick by the Edmonton Oilers.

DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily
Mike Camallerl was one of two Wolverines to leave school this summer to play in
the NHL. Cammalleri was Michigan's top offensive player last season.

AP PHvU
Ryan Miller also made the jump to the NHL prematurely, leaving the Spartans with
a big hole to fill between the pipes. Miller won the Hobey Baker as a sophomore.
Michigan State loses
goalie Miller to NHL

By Bob Hunt
Daily Sports Writer

Michigan State goaltender and fre-
quent Wolverine-killer Ryan Miller
has decided to forgo his senior season
and sign a two-year deal with the Buf-
falo Sabres.
In his three years in East Lansing,
Miller put together one of the best
careers for a goalie in college hockey
history. The East Lansing native
became a national story during the
2000-01 season when he set the
NCAA single-season save percentage
record of .950 and set CCHA single-
season records for goals against aver-
age and shutouts. He also became just
the second goaltender to capture the
Hobey Baker Award.
While Miller did not match those
numbers this past season due to a weak-
ened Michigan State defense, he still
led the CCHA in goals against average
and was named a Hobey Baker finalist.
Drafted in the fifth round of the
1999 NHL entry draft by the Sabres,
Miller was sought after by the organi-
zation throughout the summer. Rick
Comley - who left Northern Michi-
gan to replace legendary coach Ron
Mason - had talked with Miller
throughout the summer and had been
pretty sure he was going to leave
school for the past month.
"I kind of felt it all along," Com-
ley said.
The biggest hurdle for the Sabres
in signing Miller was the value of
his contract. While the terms of the
contract were not disclosed, Comley
hoped Miller would only go for
what he deserved.
"I didn't want him to go for less than
he was worth," Comley said.
Miller's signing was such a big event
in Buffalo that the Sabers held a press
conference at a Buffalo area golf
course where the club was holding an
alumni tournament, which is very
unusual for a fifth-round draft pick.
Although Miller's signing was big
news, the former Spartan is likely going
to have to spend significant time for the
Sabres' American Hockey League
(AHL) affiliate in Rochester. Both cur-
rent starter Martin Biron and backup
Mika Noronen excelled in Rochester
before making the Sabres roster.
With Miller off to the professional
ranks, the Wolverines will now face an
inexperienced goaltender in their four

players at a time, which will allow him
to evaluate both Wyandotte and Tobe.
Comley expects that he will use both
goalkeepers throughout the first couple
months of the season and will likely
not have one No. 1 goaltender until at
least Christmas.
So in the meantime, Comley hopes
that the defense can step up and make
the new goaltenders' jobs easier. After
looking at last season's games, Comley
feels that the defense could do more.
"They relied on (Miller) too much,"
Comley said.
The Office of Academic
Multicultural Initiatives
is taking applications for
Student Leaders for KCP
College Days Fall Visits,
October 21 through
November 22, 2002
Application Deadline is
September 20, 2002
Student leaders must be out-
going individuals with an
interest in helping middle
and high school stu-
dents underrepresent-
ed in higher education
to seek a college
education. Information

i2f Sessions will be held in
the Career Planning &
Placement Conference Room
.. on the following
dates and times:
Monday, September 16,
2002, 5-6:30 PM
Tuesday, September 17,
2002, 7-8:30 PM
Wednesday, September
18, 2002, 7-8:30 PM
Attendance to one
session is mandatory.
Applications and job descrip-
bions can be obtained at the

Office of Academic
Multicultural Initiatives
-VIM Ctu..on Arth,;Atie hi

it

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