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

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