Archive for August, 2010

Now that the Cyclones have a new head coach, news is starting to roll in a little more consistently. Before I get too far into this, a little house keeping.

The Cyclones announced their preseason schedule, which will consist of a home and home against the Wheeling Nailers. The home portion for the Cyclones will be held at Northlands Ice Center and seating will be limited to 600. Season Ticket holders will have first crack at the tickets and the remainder will go on sale to the general public on September 15th.

The Cyclones will be back on the radio this Season. They will return to Max FM 97.7 and 99.5 will carry 23 regular season games  and all road playoff games. Being on the radio, especially on a traditionally non-sports station will be great for the Team. I find it odd and disappointing that 11 of the 23 broadcast games will be home games.

And now on to the good stuff…

The return of Barret Ehgoetz should spell good things for the Cyclones. All indications are that new Head Coach Jarrod Skalde comes in with the blessing of former skipper Chuck Weber and now that Barret Ehgoetz has signed back on, it should go far to instill a sense of confidence in the Organization and help to convince other former players that returning to the Cyclones is a good option.

And with that said…

The Cyclones added 2 more to the roster with the return of Brock Sheahan and the signing of FNG Adam Bartholomay. Sheahan will be entering his 3rd year as a pro and his 2nd as a Cyclone. Brock may not be the type of guy that will light up the scoreboard but is a solid stay at home defenseman that will be great building block for the defensive core.

Bartholomay, has bounced around the IHL and CHL for a few years. He is a graduate of the USHL and played 2 years of Division I college hockey at the University of Alabama-Birmingham of the CCHA. Throughout his career he’s been about a .5 ppg player. The sound bite from Coach Skalde is that Adam is a versatile player, capable of playing both forward or defense, which at this level of hockey could be key given the nature of call-ups and the ever changing roster. The dual roll nature that is being cast on Bartholomay, reminds me of Billy Irish-Baker. BIB was a gritty, hardworking player who wasn’t the most skilled guy on the ice, but made the most of his ability and never lacked for effort. If Adam has this same mindset to go along with his skill set he’ll be a great addition to the Squad.

-Mike-

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Leggo my Ehgo: Captain Barret Ehgoetz will be rejoining the Cyclones for a fifth season. Ehgoetz, 29, will be returning for his sixth professional season (prior to joining the Cyclones in 2006, he played for the Utah Grizzlies under then-assistant coach Chuck Weber). In his four seasons with Cincinnati, he has scored 81-152-233 in 271 regular season games (0.86 points per game), and 18-29-47 in 71 postseason games (0.66 ppg). According to cycloneshockey.com, Ehgoetz owns 21 team records, including: career scoring lead (233 points), games played (271), assists (152), shorthanded goals (eight) and shots on goal (696). In his time with the Cyclones, he has been consistently one of the best penalty killers, typically joined on a top PK unit with Scott Reynolds. His veteran presence and Selke-style play will continue to be huge for the Cyclones.

Catching a Predator: For the fourth consecutive season, the Cyclones will remain the ECHL affiliate for the Nashville Predators and Milwaukee Admirals. Last season, the Predators sent one player to Cincinnati (Jeremy Smith), Milwaukee sent four (Mark Van Guilder, Ian McKenzie, Reid Cashman, and Jason Jozsa), and one Cyclones player (Dustin Sproat) was given a PTO for the Admirals. With the move, the Cyclones formally announced their agreement with Montreal had come to an end.

Desjardins bids les Canadiens adieu: After four years as a member of the Montreal system, Cedrick Desjardins was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for goaltender Karri Ramo. According to Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette, the Habs traded the 24 year old netminder as a “favor” to him. Ramo is currently playing for the KHL’s Omsk, so Kelly Cup Co-MVP Robert Mayer will likely make the jump to Hamilton as Curtis Sanford’s backup. With the Lightning organization, he rejoins former Bulldogs coach Guy Boucher (Tampa head coach), and former Bulldogs GM Julien BriesBois (Norfolk GM).

Who’s in Goal? As of now, Nashville has five goaltenders professionally active in their system, which once again allows them to place a goaltender in Cincinnati. Pekka Rinne’s position as Preds starter is the only certainty. Unless they sign a formidable NHL backup, that leaves the backup position to a fight between Mark Dekanich, Chet Pickard, and new signee Anders Lindback. Seth over at OnTheForecheck has a great write up on the Preds’ goaltending situation, and by the looks of things, Jeremy Smith is likely to rejoin the Cyclones in October unless he has a strong camp and earns his way into a role in Milwaukee.

The Chuck Weber era officially came to an end as the Cyclones announced Jarrod Skalde as the head coach. Skalde earned his stripes as a head coach with the Bloomington Prairie Thunder of the IHL where he posted a 60-74-7-11 record in two seasons with the club. In 2009-2010 he coached the Prairie Thunder to their best record in their 4 year span in Bloomington.

Skalde impressed when introduced at the press conference. During the question period, which was cut off from that video, Coach Skalde indicated he wanted to put an offensive team on the ice,  one that was defensively responsible and hard on the forecheck as well.

Skalde has played for a who’s who of Professional coaches, from Jack Adams to Ken Hitchcock to the late, great Herb Brooks. If Coach Skalde absorbed even 1% of the drive, passion and knowledge of these great coaches then the Boys should be just fine.

Thus a new chapter of Cyclones hockey begins. Coach Skalde has big shoes to fill. From his comments he knows the bar is set high here in Cincinnati and he seems to be relishing the challenge to continue the success that Coach Weber brought to the Cyclones.

-Mike

As we tend to frown upon rumors and unfounded speculation here at Cycwords, we’ve kept mostly quiet on the head coaching front. But today, what had begun as a rumor gained a little steam. Although the formal announcement is slated for tomorrow afternoon (12pm, US Bank Arena), here’s what we know in advance:

The Bloomington PrairieThunder of the Central Hockey League today announced that Head Coach & Director of Hockey Operations, Jarrod Skalde, has resigned his position to pursue other coaching opportunities.

The thirty-nine year old native of Niagara Falls, who played parts of nine seasons with eight teams in the National Hockey League, coached two seasons in Bloomington compiling an overall record of 60 wins-74 losses-7 overtime losses and 11 shootout losses with back to back fifth place finishes in the International Hockey League. The team’s 2009-10 record of 31-34-5-6 was the franchise’s best record in its four year history in Bloomington. (source)

If his name sounds familiar, it should: In 2001-01, he played for the Orlando Solarbears, where a young lad by the name of Chuck Weber was an assistant coach. He also played 4 games as a Cyclone in 1992-93, and later played for several AHL & IHL teams, likely making stops in Cincinnati as a member of those teams.

The Cyclones are giving you one more opportunity to say goodbye to Chuck Weber and get another glimpse of the Kelly Cup. Cyclones and 96ROCK are joining up to have a send-off from 6-9 at Star Lanes at Newport on the Levee. Please come out and support the Cyclones and Coach Weber before he heads off to Rochester to embark on the next step in his career.

The Cyclones will be naming their new head coach on Thursday at a press conference at US Bank Arena.

Need a hockey fix? On Saturday (August 14th) at 7pm at Sports Plus, the Cincinnati Fire hockey team will be dueling with the Pittsburgh Police to support the Ohio Firefighters Cancer Support Network. There will be a game and other fundraisers going on during the game. Check out more info here:

Today it was announced the Cyclones will be joining forces in 2010-11 with the Florida Panthers and Chuck Weber’s Rochester Americans.

Nothing formal was announced about either prior affiliation coming to an end, but the both the Cyclones’ website and the ECHL’s have replaced the Montreal Canadiens logo on their website with that of the Panthers.

We’ll  be back soon with formal thoughts on this.