Archive for June, 2010

You voted… we counted… and here are the winners of each category in the First Annual Cycwords Awards! :) To all who voted, tweeted, and pushed the votes for us, thank you! We had votes coming in from all over the US!

Most Valuable Player
Fan Vote: Jeremy Smith/Robert Mayer, 50% (61 of 122)

Most Memorable Moment
Fan Vote: Game 7 vs. Reading, 64% (58 of 90)

Best Forward
Fan Vote: Dustin Sproat, 40% (28 of 70)

Best Defenseman
Fan Vote:
Brian O’Hanley, 36% (25 of 70)

Most Improved
Fan Vote:
Brian O’Hanley, 43% (26 of 61)

Best New Guy
Fan Vote:
Maxime Lacroix, 43% (28 of 65)

Best Rookie
Fan Vote:
Jeremy Smith & Robert Mayer, 63% (39 of 62)

Unsung Hero
Fan Vote:
Chris Morehouse, 25% (17 of 69)
(nearly a four way tie between Morehouse, Del Monte, Benson, & Josza)

Biggest Disappointment
Fan Vote:
Dwayne Zinger, 43% (30 of 70)

Opinions? Disagree with the majority? Let us know! We want to hear it!

Reid Cashman has signed to play for EHC Linz in Austria. He is the third member of the team to depart for Europe, joining Dustin Sproat and Scott Reynolds who are in England and Croatia, respectively. EHC Linz is part of the Erste Bank Hockey League, home to Reynolds’ Zagreb team, and former goaltender Grumet-Morris’ HK Acroni Jesenice team. Ironically, EHC Linz is also home to Alex Westlund, who was a goaltender for the Cyclones in the early 2000s.

Also, Chuck Weber’s name has popped up into rumors involving the newly-vacated assistant coach position in Minnesota. Read more and check out yet another interview over at the Chuck Watch page. Please feel free to bookmark that link as we update it regularly with new information!

We’ll be back SOON with the awards results. Promise! Stay tuned!

-Dannielle

CHUCK WATCH 2010

Posted: 2010/06/08 by Dannie in Offseason News
Tags: ,

Well, ladies and gents, Chuck Watch 2010 is officially underway. Today in a flurry of movement, the Columbus Blue Jackets hired Scott Arniel and left a vacancy in Manitoba and while Guy Boucher said no to the union blue, according to TSN, he has said yes to Steve Yzerman and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Boucher’s move to the NHL has not only left Hamilton without a head coach – but according to Rue Frontenac he has decided to take his entire HamiltonĀ coaching staff with him. These vacancies are in addition to the one in Rochester left by Benoit Groulx after he decided to return to the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques.

I’ve got my eyes and ears open, but as of right now, those are the big three openings. Stay tuned as the offseason turns, we’ll be updating as we learn more.

– Dannielle

The Season has barely ended and the off season has started with zeal.

The Cyclones along with the rest of the League have announced their “Proctected Lists.” The Cyclones protected the ECHL level rights to 22 players, which is basically every player which met the requirements, which is standard practice in the ECHL. Players named to the List remain as members of the Cyclones until July 1st, when they will become free agents if they have not re-signed for the 2010-2011 Season. The Cyclones don’t have any trades on the books which need to be completed so don’t expect any surprises between now and June 13th which is when all trades must be completed.

-According to eliteprospects.com the Cyclones will be without the services of Dustin Sproat and Scott Reynolds next Season. Sproat will be joining the Nottingham Panthers of the Elite Ice Hockey League in the UK. Reynolds will be heading to Austria, where he’ll play for Medvescak Zagreb. Both players will be tough to replace and will be missed on and off the ice.

The Cyclones have announced their 2010-2011 schedule, although I’ll be surprised if this version makes it to October with any changes. The current set up provides for many weekend dates compared to previous seasons. A National Conference team will make a regular season appearance at USBA. There will also be 2 southern road trips, not to mention 8 match-ups with Southern Conference teams at USBA.

-The next big date on the Cyclones’ calender is July 1st, which is the 1st day of signing. The Cyclones will be able to tender “Qualifying Offers” to 8 players. A qualifying offer is basically a contract that meets the League minimums and can be offered to any player, even those who have signed overseas.

Here’s a couple of things to keep in mind in regards to qualifying offers: 1) Coach Weber has a history of NOT qualifying veterans, so don’t be surprised if Barret Ehgoetz is not qualified. 2) Players receive an automatic 5% in salary from year to year so any player whose salary would be too much of a salary cap hit will not be qualified; I’m told there was at least one such player on the Squad this Season. 3) Players often sign with a team with a verbal agreement in place that they will not be qualified so they can keep their options open.

-Weber Watch 2010. There are currently 4 NHL teams in search of a Head Coach; the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Atlanta Thrashers and the New Jersey Devils. The Devils are the only team that don’t see to be outwardly interested in a young coach, whether it be an AHL Head Coach or an NHL Assistant Coach. There are several current AHL coaches in the mix for the NHL jobs; Portland’s Kevin Dineen, Manitoba’s Scott Arniel and Hamilton’s Guy Boucher. There are also some NHL assistant coaches in the mix. All indications are that the Columbus Blue Jackets have offered Guy Boucher the job, but there is no word on whether Boucher is interested or not. Should he choose to take the job, it will open another AHL position, the other being Rochester. As things shake out up the ranks we’ll be scouring the interweb for information on candidates for the different positions and we’ll fill you in on what we find.

Don’t forget to vote for the 1st Annual CycWords Awards.

-Mike

Now that the 2009-10 season has been nicely wrapped in shiny black and silver packaging, we at Cycwords thought it would be nice to have the fans & readers vote on individual awards for various categories across the board. Please keep in mind, this encompasses the entire season, October through May, not just the playoffs. We’ll leave the poll up for a week or until the votes stop coming, then we’ll tally it all up and compare readers’ votes to our own choices!

Please click each link below to vote for each category:

Most Valuable Player

Most Memorable Moment

Most Valuable Player

Best Forward

Best Defenseman

Best New Guy

Best Rookie

Most Improved

Unsung Hero

Biggest Disappointment

-Dannielle

P.S., Happy two year anniversary of our first Kelly Cup. :)

We have a lot of good things in store for our faithful readers this summer but before I get to those I thought I’d take a quick look back now that I’ve had a chance to let it set it in. The ECHL has already posted a very nice article on all the accomplishments of the Cyclones’ 2nd Kelly Cup in 3 years, John “the Hammer” Hamel has typed up a nice little game recap and even the Enquirer had a nice little story. It’s all very good reading.

I commented in blogs very early in the Season about this Teams resiliency and that theme continued into the post Season. This Team didn’t always play the prettiest hockey, but they always worked hard. Coach Weber summed this Team up best when he told the Enquirer, “This team, we were a bunch of workers. There was no superstar on this team. What I took the most pride in was that they found a way to win when people thought they couldn’t.” It seemed that every night a different player was stepping up. If a player struggled one night, it seemed that he’d be the hero the next.

The Cyclones probably had the most difficult road to the Kelly Cup Finals. One that saw them take on last years champion South Carolina in a 5 game series that left little room for error. The they moved on to a 7 game slug fest with Regular Season Conference Champion Charlotte. Their reward for winning that series was a date with Reading, who had one of the most loaded rosters in the playoffs, for the Conference Final.

I never doubted this Team’s work ethic or resolve, but I will admit I questioned how much the Boys had left in the tank when they returned to Cincinnati for Game 6 against Reading, but as always they found that little bit extra and when they scored 3 times in about 1:30, I knew They would complete the come back and march on to win a bigger piece of hardware.

The research I did on Idaho going into the Finals told me that they weren’t much different from teams such as Kalamazoo and Reading. After watching the first 2 games of the Series I didn’t really see anything in the Steelheads’ game to make me think any different. The Cyclones were far from a physical team and it seemed that Idaho struggled with it. It makes me wonder how Idaho would have reacted if they would have played the likes of Charlotte. To Idaho’s credit, they did adjust. It was a clear that it was going to be a Series of closely played games.

The Idaho press had the Steelheads picked as the odds-on favorite, but why? Sure, Idaho was the Brabham Cup winner and they were near the top of the League in several categories, but let’s face it, with the lack of inter-conference play this Season those stats and that record were a bit stacked; when a team plays only 7 teams over the course of a 72 game season the numbers can become a bit skewed. Yes, the Cyclones played a division heavy schedule but They did play every team in the American Conference at least once. I should also point out that at one point the Cyclones were battling for a Conference regular season title and Their #5 playoff seed was a bit misleading. That must have been missed by the Idaho press.

Idaho made a big deal of being without Tyler Spurgeon and goalie Richard Bachman. However, Idaho goalie Rejean Beauchemin was no slouch and actually had numbers comparable to ECHL Goalie of the Year Todd Ford. And if they want to talk about Tyler Spurgeon, I’ll raise them Scott Reynolds and Matt Pierce, both of which were injured and saw little or no playoff action, yet were key members of the Squad.

When it was all said and done, the Cyclones were simply the better TEAM. They were a group of players that bought into a system and believed in the words on Their playoff t-shirts which read “BIG WE, little me.” It was a tightly battled Series butĀ  resiliency and composure saw the ‘Clones persevere.

Before I move on to what we have in store for you this summer, I want to give a shout out to Jason Jozsa. Jason was on the losing side of the Cyclones 2008 Kelly Cup Championship and it was good to see him lift the Cup. Congratulations Jason!

Ok, you’ve put up my ramblings this long so here’s what to look for this summer:

-The 1st annual CycWords Awards poll will be up soon. We’ll let you know, so be sure to vote.

-Every summer for the last four years Cyclones fans have been asking themselves, “Will Coach Weber be back?” We don’t have any inside info, but we are going to do our best to keep a tally of open coaching positions around the game. The first installment of “Weber Watch 2010” will be up soon.

-Every so often there is talk amongst fans about the Cyclones joining the AHL. Dannielle and I will give our comments on the pro’s and con’s of such a move.

-Of course we’ll be doing our best to stay on top of player signings and other news regarding the Cyclones and affiliate news that effects the Team.

-Mike-