Posts Tagged ‘Barret Ehgoetz’

The winds of change have been blowing through the organization again this summer. Last summer it was the change we all new was coming at some point, the departure of head coach Chuck Weber and assistant coach Dean Stork. They were replaced by head coach Jared Skalde and Scott Fankhouser. Fankhouser has since been replaced former NHL veteran Andrew Cassels. Head coach Jared Skalde made another move this summer that shocked many Cyclones fans…

Ehgo gate…

There was no official word from the Cyclones but on August 11th, Ehgoetz, the player considered by most to be the Cyclones franchise player, announced via his Facebook page and Twitter (@BarretEhgoetz) that he had learned the Cyclones would not be inviting him back. There’s a lot of speculation floating around the internet as to why. Was Barret becoming too expensive? Did Barret not want to be a part of the style of hockey Skalde wants to play? Did Skalde feel that Barret wouldn’t be a good fit for the system? Was Skalde looking to further separate himself from the legacy of Chuck Weber? We’re not even going to attempt to answer that question but we will say that if we were hockey coaches we would do what we could to keep a player like Barret on our team. Ehgoetz might be a year older but he’s a smart, right place, right time kind of player. He’s defensively minded but still capable of 50 or so points. He’s proven his durability and heart over the seasons for the squad. What’s not to like about a player like Barret Ehgoetz? Thanks for all the memories Barret and all the best in your future endeavors.

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Egho Gate aside, this summer also marked a change in the PR department. In past years, we’d have to wait until mid August to hear about any player signings. This year Nick Brunker appeased many fans by bringing the Cyclones faithful regular updates on the new players that would be dawning a Cyclones sweater this fall. So without any further delay here’s how the roster is currently shaping up:

Neil Trimm (F)Trimm has spent his pro career in the CHL. His numbers are solid offensively which is something the Squad was sorely lacking last season. There’s never been any question that we like defensively minded hockey here at CycWords and the question we have about Trimm is his defense. His first 2 years as a pro he put up 74pts but was -23. However, last season he put up 80pts and went +24 so perhaps he’s become more of a 2-way player. The ECHL is a much more visible league when it comes to AHL call ups and at 6’2″ 200lbs there’s a chance Trimm may not stick around in Cyclones sweater if he replicates his numbers from last season.

Mathieu Aubin (F) –  We know what Mathieu is capable of and there is no doubt he can excel under Skalde’s offensively oriented system. He’s got good size and uses it well. Mathieu’s skating has always left a bit to be desired but showed improvement last season. If he worked hard over the off season and shows the same improvement there’s no reason he can’t have the kind of break out season that puts him back on the AHL’s radar. That is if he can stay out of the penalty box. Mathieu loves to run his mouth and while it’s entertaining to watch as a fan it does occasionally land him in the box.

Mike Liambas (F)The ‘Bus’ is back. Last seasons controversial late addition will be back again this season. Despite the fan reaction, the word is he’s well liked in the locker room. Mike has quite a reputation and that probably gets him in trouble but we were impressed with his hockey sense. He wasn’t a complete liability on the ice, he found soft spots in coverage offensively and always back checked defensively. The question for the ‘Bus’ will be if he can shake his reputation. The other issue is, while he checks harder than just about anyone we’ve seen, he isn’t a true fighter. His role is more of an agitator and as such really needs a true fighter on the bench behind him (think Morehouse/Benson in 2009-2010). to be really effective.

Ryan Blair (D)Blair will join the Cyclones after spending 4 years at UMASS Lowell. Blair was a plus player for his first 3 years for the Riverhawks before posting a -16 in his senior year. In his defense, looking at the rest of the teams numbers weren’t stellar either. It’s always hard to get what you’re going to get with rookies, some get it quickly and some take some time to come around.

Daniel Koger (F)When training camp gets underway it will have a European flair for the 2nd year in a row. Last season, it was Russian Ruben Begunts  adding the flair, this year it will be Hungarian Daniel Koger. Koger spent last season in the CHL after spending 2 years playing in Austria. Koger put up 52pts last season, his 1st in North America. His production was fairly balanced (29g-23a) which is nice to see. The question with many European players is how well they can adapt to the North American game. Daniel has the size and skill to find success in the ECHL, perhaps even the AHL, time will tell how he adjusts to the additional physicality of the North American game. If you want to get an early look at Koger’s game you can check out his promotional video here. The sound track isn’t child friendly so turn the volume down if there are kids in the room (You have been warned).

Nathan Moon (F)We aren’t even sure where to start on this guy. A quick Google search for “Nathan Moon Hockey” yields enough information to keep minor league hockey bloggers like us busy for days. The short story on the 2008  4th round pick of the Penguins is his positive offensive ability which consists of finishing ability and a quick first step. Apparently his overall skating ability hasn’t progressed much since being drafted and he lacks quick decision making during transition play like “give and go’s”. Statistically, Nathan put up some good offensive numbers during his OHL career (332 regular season points) but was -48. His numbers are almost Thomas Beauregard like, except despite his lack of defensive effort Beauregard was able to maintain a positive +/- in Juniors. Dig a little deeper into that Google search and you’ll find his Hockeyfights.com fight card. Based on it and the associated videos it seems like Moon plays a little on the chippy side. If Moon proves to be a solid 2-way player he’ll be a great addition, if not, Skalde better have something up his sleeve to generate offense while on the penalty kill.

Ryan Annesley (D)Don’t be confused by hockeydb.com, the Cyclones haven’t signed a 29 year old left winger. The Cyclones instead signed another rookie defenseman. Annesley spent 5 years at Niagra University (Ryan only played 7 games during the 09-10 season) where he put decent points as far as defenseman go. The concern for us lies in his final year for the Purple Eagles was his best production wise but also saw his lowest +/- at -9. Skalde bills him as “a very good skater who I see playing on our power play and in offensive situations. I know he’s looking forward to making the next step in his career and I’m excited to have a guy who can make that first pass, join the rush, and be responsible defensively.” Well, isn’t the world just perfect? Time will tell is he can actually pull that off at the professional level.

Matt McIlvane (F)McIlvane, a former Ohio State Buckeye captain, has had a tumultuous pro career. He’s spent time in Europe, played a few games in the AHL but has spent most of his pro career in the IHL/CHL, or whatever they’re calling it these days. He also missed out on much of last season due to injury. In an older write up the team over at Hockeyfutures.com consider Matt to be a power forward type of player with suitable finishing ability. He plays a physical game but needs to work on his passing and on ice vision. He could be a solid net front presence that the Cyclones have lacked in recent season. The question will be how well he has rehabbed from an injury which ended his 2010-2011 season very early which he took some time to discuss with Nick Brunker recently.

Mathieu Curadeau (F)Curadeau is a name Cyclones fans might remember from the 2009-2010 season which he spent with Kalamazoo. Mathieu possesses an AHL upside picking up a game here and there but has spent most of his career in IHL/CHL, with the exception of 09-10 season. That season with Kalamazoo was arguably his best putting up 47pts and ending the season +20. He had some good seasons early in his career for the Fort Wayne Komets but that was back when the Komets basically ran the league so the question has to be asked, “Is he really that good, or is he a product of team he played for?” Last season he returned to the Komets, which were no longer in control of the league and registered just 33 points and was -24. We aren’t really sure what to expect from Mathieu. He’s been billed as a skilled forward everywhere he’s played and that’s what we’ve come to expect from a French Canadian who came up through the QMJHL.

Matt Pierce (F)Pierce will make his return to the Cyclones after an injury shortened his 10-11 campaign. Matt is the type of player which should excel under Coach Skalde. He’s got good size, plays a physical game and has plenty of finishing skill. If he regains the form he had in his rookie season, he’ll probably get more than one look at the AHL.

Dan Eves (F)Eves, a mid season addition last year, returns this season. Eves is a well rounded player who is capable of averaging just shy of a point per game. He skates well and plays a solid physical game. He played just 17 regular season games for the Cyclones last season, but we’re interested in seeing what Dan can do over a full season with Coach Skalde.

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The Cyclones have traded the rights to late season addition and stand out Cory Conacher to Florida for the rights to Brad Snetsinger. Honestly, this isn’t a big deal. While Snetsinger has apparently, signed in Italy (he could return when that season is over), Conacher signed a one-way AHL deal with the Norfolk Admirals. The odds that Conacher laces them in the ECHL are slim at best.

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According to Eliteprospects.com Brock Sheahan has signed with SC Riessersee of the German Second League. Since he received a qualifying offer the Cyclones will retain Bock’s ECHL player rights for the 2011-2012 season. Best of luck Brock in Germany Brock.

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There still isn’t any news on the other players the Cyclones qualified. That doesn’t mean that Garrett Suter, Kevin Roeder, and Eric Kattelus haven’t been signed, just that it hasn’t been announced. However, if they haven’t signed, as of August 1st they were all free agents.

-Mike-

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Sorry for the long hiatus ladies and gents, sometimes life gets in the way of the things we’d rather be doing like updating CycWords. We’ll do our best not to let it happen again.

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We won’t spend too much time rehashing the end of the 2010-2011 season. Let’s just say it didn’t end the way we had hoped but when it was all said and done, it ended the way we expected. Sure, we were hoping the Boys would find their groove, ride the play of goaltender Brian Foster and put together a playoff run, but given they way the whole season played out, expecting the Team to recapture the magic of 2010 was too much to ask. The quick 1st round playoff exit was disappointing, especially after the scoring 9 goals on road to earn a split in the 1st 2 games only to see the offense go back on life support and tally just 1 goal the rest of the series. The Cyclones did manage to avoid the dubious honor of becoming the 1st team in Kelly Cup history to not qualify for the playoffs the year after hoisting the cup.

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Heading into the off season the front office had several questions to answer. The 1st regarded the future of the coaching staff. This one has clearly been answered with the announcement that former NHL veteran Andrew Cassels has replaced Scott Fankhouser as assistant coach. Our knee jerk reaction to this move was that it could indicate a short leash for Coach Skalde. After thinking about it for a bit we don’t think this is the case. Cassels, while having quite a resume as a player, does not have much experience as a coach. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily; we can recall a 1st year head coach who combined with a 1st year assistant coach here in Cincinnati who were pretty successful. As a former play it will come down to how well he can communicate the game.

The 2nd question deals with the affiliates. While no official word has been released, the front office is still using ” proud affiliate of the NHL’s Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators” in their press releases so we’re guessing there will be no change from last year. In addition, in a brief conversation with Coach Skalde at the recent Concrete Clones event, he mentioned he would be attending Florida and Nashville’s develop camps. The status quo had us a little worried but then July 1st happened. While Nashville didn’t do much, Florida’s front office was very active during the start of the NHL’s free agent season. It should lead to trickle down effect for the Cyclones. On a related note, the Florida Panthers have reached an agreement to be the parent club of the San Antonio Rampage after parting ways with Rochester; former Cyclones’ skipper Chuck Weber will head to warmer climates to lead the Rampage in their 2011-2012 campaign. As the rosters shake out up the food chain we’ll try to keep an eye on who may be making their way to Cincinnati.

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On the player front the Cyclones broke away from the norm in announcing the signing of forward Neil Trimm. Coach Skalde is pretty high on the Trimm as he enters his 1st season in the ECHL. Billed as a skilled forward Trimm had a break out year last season putting up 80pts (22g-58a) in 60 games but looking at his previous seasons we’re not ready to label him as a game changing player. In his 1st 2 seasons playing in the CHL Trimm did put up 74pts but he was also -33 in 103 games which raises some questions about his 2-way game.  Last year he put up a solid +24 to go along with those 80 points so perhaps he’s added some defensive responsibility to his game.

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In other player news, the League released the Qualified lists on Friday. The League allows each team to extend “qualifying” offers to 8 players from their protected lists, those players have until August 1st to accept the offer. If the player doesn’t accept the offer he essentially becomes a free agent. There are different rules applying to veterans so veterans are rarely qualified. You can read all the details in the posted link. The Cyclones qualifed Cory Conacher, Matt Pierce, Dan Eves, Brock Sheahan, Kevin Roeder, Eric Kattelus, Garrett Suter and Brian O’Hanley. The other advantage of qualifying players is that the qualifying team retains the players rights for 1 season if they aren’t playing in the ECHL. For example, if Cory Conacher signs and AHL deal with Rochester (which is no longer affiliated with the Cyclones) the Cyclones would still own his ECHL player rights so if Rochester choose to reassign him to the ECHL, they would have to assign him to Cincinnati or compensate the Cyclones if they wanted to assign him to their own affiliate. This was what happened after the 2008 season when JM Daoust was signed by WB/Scranton. Chuck had a strong feeling JM would be signed after the season so he qualified him to eliminate the chance that he would potentially get assigned to division rival Wheeling. This is a scenario which could end up applying to both Conacher and Brian O’Hanely.

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Also, according to eliteprospects.com there is an unsubstantiated rumor that Barret Ehgoetz is headed to Europe next season. This is one that we’re keeping our eyes on and as soon as we know more we’ll pass it along.

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That’s all we have for now. It’s the summer so we’ll be updating sporadically as news comes along. Enjoy the summer, the season will be here before we know it.

-Mike-

February was supposed to be moving month for the Cyclones. It was a month that would see them play 12 games in total, 10 of which would be at home. The Boys started the month 2 games above .500 (19-17-7) and battling for a playoff position and despite Their struggles at home this season there was no reason to think the Boys wouldn’t be making a move up the rankings. It wasn’t to be however as the Cyclones would post a .500 (5-5-2) for the month and finish right where they started, 2 games above .500 (24-22-9).

It all started innocently enough with an OT loss to South Carolina. It was a game the Cyclones probably should have won after leading 2-1 into the later stages of the 3rd period but take 5 of a possible 6 points from the South Carolina was a good sign. The wheels came off the bus in the next 2 games against Wheeling. The Nailers handed the Cyclones a 6-3 loss followed by a 6-3 loss. Then came the trades…several of them.

We’ll dive into the trades a little later but if you’re keeping score at home here is how it all went down. On February 7th the Cyclones acquired Paul McIlveen from Greenville for Chris Clackson. Then, not but 3 days later on the 10th, the Cyclones sent Sam D’Agostino and Christiaan Minella to Wheeling for Casey Pierro-Zabotel. Before the ink could even dry on the Pierro-Zabotel deal, Skalde acquired Samson Mahbod and Dan Eves from South Carolina in return for Ryan Del Monte. Things settled down until the end of the month when the Cyclones were required to send Paul McIlveen to Utah to complete the “future considerations” portion of the trade that brought Dylan Hunter to Cincinnati, er Milwaukee as the case may be (definitely more on this one later).

After the player swaps the over all play picked up and the Good Guys went 5-3-1 over the remaining 9 games. The can’t be considered a disappointment by any means, but it was a month that saw the ‘Clones leave some points on the table, as well as give some up to Division rivals like Kalamazoo.

And now on to the trades…

Clackson for McIlveen This was a big upgrade for the Cyclones. Clackson has a gritty, chippy nature to his game but in all honesty that’s about all he has. He isn’t a skilled offensive player and he’s average in his own zone. Basically, he’s that type of player Skalde already has a lot of…a grinder. McIlveen brought some more speed and offensive skill to the Cyclones. He is also a responsible defensively.

D’Agostino and Minella for Pierro-ZabotelThis trade wasn’t very popular as both D’Agostino and Minella young, solid ECHL level players, but fan favorites as well. D’Agostino is one of the quicker players the team has seen in a while and Minella brings energy and a natural physicality to his game. It was enjoyable to watch their games grow as the season progressed. The downside with the two is that their usage is limited. Neither Sam nor Christiaan saw extended power play or penalty kill time. This made the top 5 forwards see a lot of minutes and could have contributed to some the break downs that lead to late goals. Enter Pierro-Zabotel. Casey has the potential to be a game changing player. He brings plenty of offensive skill to the Squad, but more importantly, is proving to be responsible defensively. There were rumors out of Wheeling questioning his work ethic, but we haven’t seen anything in his game to raise any questions of this sort. Casey is strong on face offs and is capable of playing power play penalty kill minutes. Basically he adds quality and skill to the Cyclones cadre of forwards. Sam and Christiaan could have made for good building blocks for next season and it has disappointing to see them go, but solid ECHL level roll players like Christiaan and Sam aren’t that hard to find in the off season while players of Casey’s quality are and in the culture of the ECHL where contracts for players and coaches are typically 1 year deals, there is a lot of pressure to win now. There is no doubt the Cyclones are a better team with Casey on the Squad. We wish Sam and Christiaan the best of luck wherever their careers land them. Thanks for all your hardwork guys.

Ryan Del Monte for Samson Mahbod and Dan EvesAfter making the 2 for 1 deal for Pierro-Zabotel, and with a few of the guys a little nicked up, Skalde found his bench a little on the short side so in a move that was slightly reminiscent of sending Voakes (who was injured for much of the year) out West for Mathieu Aubin, Skalde stuck a deal with South Carolina sending Del Monte to the Stingrays in return for Dan Eves and Samson Mahbod. In the end this deal benefits the Cyclones pretty well. Mahbod’s fills the void left by the loss of D’Agostino, in fact he’s probably a step faster and has better hands. Mahbod Averaged more than a point per year through 5 seasons of play in the QMJHL. He’s bounced around in his first pro year, but has shown signs of what his potential could be putting up 20 points in 32 games. Eves brings in size and energy to replace what was lost when Minella was dealt. Eves is a 3rd year pro who had break out year last season for Trenton putting up 45 points in 59 games but has struggled to reach that pace this season. We were big fans of Del Monte’s game here on CycWords but let’s face it, he saw limited action with the Cyclones due to AHL opportunities and all indications where he would be getting more opportunities at that level. Essentially, the Squad was able to add to decent players for Del Monte who was a question mark on the season, not because of his play on the ice but because we were never sure if he’d be with the Team or in the AHL for a spell.

McIlveen fulfills “future considerations”This is the one that has the fan base screaming, unfortunately it was up to Utah and it could have been a lot worse. Over the summer, the Nashville Predators traded Ian McKenzie to Atlanta for defenseman Grant Lewis. Ok, no big deal there, but it created the need for Nashville/Milwaukee to add a depth forward and Dylan Hunter was the guy they wanted. The catch was Dylan Hunter’s player rights belonged to the Utah Grizzlies so the deal had to be made at the ECHL level. It’s our understanding, here at CycWords, that the Cyclones where basically asked to make the deal by Nashville/Milwaukee. The Cyclones ship Brett Motherwell off to Utah, done deal right? Sorry, Motherwell had all but signed an AHL deal with Bridgeport and Utah knew there was a high likelihood that Motherwell would never see time in a Grizzlies sweater, so they ask to have “future considerations” added to the deal. This is where the proceedings get ugly. From what we’ve been told, the deal stipulated that Utah would get a forward. The player could not be affiliated and the Cyclones could protect 2 of their non-affiliated players. The player that Utah wanted was Mathieu Aubin, luckily he impressed enough in his stint with Lake Erie that they wanted to keep him close and signed him to a deal. The Cyclones probably pushed for a cash buyout ot some point but Utah wouldn’t have it. They also inquired in to Dustin Sproat and Barret Ehgoetz. Skalde knew that Egho probably wouldn’t have reported and felt Sproat was just too important to the Squad so those 2 were protected. Apparently the deal was close to being completed shortly after McIlveen was acquired but Utah balked. Apparently the AHL deal Aubin signed raised some eyebrows and Utah wanted to get verification that Reynolds, Pierce and Robinson were indeed done for the year, feeling that we had put them on long term IR to protect them. In the end, McIlveen was the top performing, unaffiliated forward so that’s who they took.

The whole deal was a mess from the beginning and Skalde feels the deal could lead to some changes to the CBA to create structure to what “future considerations” are to keep things fair for all parties. Here’s the issue at hand; sure Motherwell never played for Utah, but there was a chance that Hunter could have stuck with Milwaukee from the beginning, never seeing time with the Cyclones. If this had been the case, the Cyclones would have still owed Utah a player. How is this a fair deal? As it stands, Hunter has seen limited time with the Cyclones due to assignment in Milwaukee, so how is fair for Utah to expect one of the Teams top forwards in return?

To conclude, it’s our understanding that the deal was created by Nashville/Milwaukee to fill their needs. Also, had the deal gone down a week or so earlier as was expected, McIlveen would have seen only limited action with the Cyclones and his loss wouldn’t seem so bad. Essentially the Cyclones gave up Chris Clackson, who is actually affiliated with Rochester, to fulfill the deal with Utah.

In other news…

The NHL trade deadline has brought another player to the Squad. The Florida Panthers had some dealings with the Washington Capitals and acquired the rights to Jake Hauswirth. Hauswirth is a big kid, 6’5” 205lbs and from what I recall from out games against the Stingrays he skates pretty well and should be a solid edition to the Squad.

Monday, March 7th is Clear Day for the AHL. We’ll have more information on Clear Day in an upcoming post.

The ECHL trade deadline is Friday, March 11th.

-Mike-

 

 

 

 

Sorry for the hiatus, but I have to be honest, I’m having a hard time getting excited about this Team. Don’t get me wrong, I will always stand behind the Boys and I knew this would be a bit of a rebuilding year with the turnover of the coaching staff but I’m having hard time determining what the identity of this years Squad is; all I can gather is that they want to be physical. Gone is the shut down, grind it out defensive Team we saw under Chuck Weber and in it’s place is a more open free flowing offensive oriented team. The problem is, the Team struggles with offensive and defensive consistency. Although I must admit that the recent game against Reading offered a positive sign of what the Boys are capable of despite it being a shootout loss. It seems to this blogger that the Team is stuck in limbo between what Coach Skalde wants to do and what the personnel is capable of on a consistent basis. The Team is built much like last years which didn’t set any offensive records but won game in the trenches. Until they find Their true identity as a Team They’ll continue to be a .500 hockey club.

There is still a lot of hockey to be played and the Squad isn’t in bad shape standings wise. It’s just a little over a third of the way into the Season and the Cyclones find themselves battling for the top of a tightly contested North Division. The Division lead could be on the line as the Cyclones welcome the Wheeling Nailers for a pair of games. The Nailers currently lead the Cylones by 1pt in the standings and also have 2 games in hand on the Cyclones. It’s needless to say that 2 wins by the Boys would be huge heading into the winter break.

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Since about a third of the season is behind us and the play of some of the individual layers is something that keeps excited about heading down to USBA, I thought it might be fun to hand out some player assessments.

#2 Carl Hudson – Since arriving from Rochester, Carl has been in and out of the lineup as he recovers from various bumps and bruises. While not a true stay at home defenseman, he isn’t quite offensive either. He plays a little on the chippy side and his +5 rating isn’t shabby over 17 games on a team which has trouble scoring at times.

#3 Benn Olson – He’s growing on me. His skating is a liability but when he keeps it simple he’s a serviceable defenseman earning a +7 rating in 23 games. His real roll is as an enforcer and it’s a roll is one that he excels at and seems to relish.

#4 Brock Sheahan – What can I say about Brock that hasn’t been said before. He’s a solid defenseman will to block shots and works hard along the boards. His consistent defensive zone play will be key as the Season progresses.

#5 Brian O’Hanley – Brian is thriving under Coach Skalde’s more offensive game systems. He’s racked up 17pts so far this Season while still taking care of business in the defensive end.

#8 TJ Fast – Despite trailing Brian O’Hanely in scoring by defensemen, TJ is probably the most offensive of the Cyclone defensemen. He has a big shot but his skating is his best asset although it can get him in trouble sometimes when he gets caught too deep or loses the puck.

#9 Mathieu Aubin – Mathieu’s weak point was always his skating but that is a thing of the past. He has more jump in his initial 1st step to go along with more open ice speed. He’s still physical, he still chirps and oh yeah, he leads the Cyclones in scoring. It won’t surprise me if he isn’t rewarded with an AHL call up at some point.

#10 Christiaan Minella – He’s listed at 6’2″ 210lbs but plays much bigger if that’s possible. He’s effort was something that impressed me all the way back in training camp. He throws his body around with aplomb and has found a scoring touch recently. Christiaan has all the attributes that will allow him grow into top performer at the ECHL level with an AHL upside.

#11 Barrett Ehgoetz – Barrett is 2nd on the Team in scoring (Dylan Hunter is currently on assignment w/Milwaukee) and plays in all situations. He is the Captain and anchor if the Squad and I can’t really picture the Cyclones without #11 in the lineup.

#12 Scott Lehman – Scott made and instant impression on the score sheet after arriving from Rochester. He’s listed as a defenseman but has spent time up front under Coach Skalde. He’s solid in the defensive zone but really makes his mark stepping up to join the offensive rush.

#15 Sam D’Agostino – Along with Christiaan Minella, Sam was one of the players that really stood out during training camp. The kid has wheels and has been a pleasant surprise registering some big points in games. Only a +1 he needs to pick up his defensive play and he could stand to be a little more physical but you can’t argue with Sam’s effort on every shift.

#16 Ryan Del Monte – Ryan has returned to the Cyclones after fulfilling a PTO with Rochester. Ryan isn’t a guy that will light up the scoreboard but he will provide the Squad with energy and a lot of grittiness.

#17 Chris Clackson – Chris is another grinder who has shown a bit of scoring touch. His play may not always be the prettiest thing going but it’s proving to be quite effective.

#19 Brett Robinson – Unfortunately Brett has been lost for the Season to injury. Brett wasn’t scoring with the same consistency as last Season but watching him play I felt it was was just a matter of time before he had that break through game to find his rhythm. Brett was skating well, attacking the net and playing with a chip on his shoulder as always.

#23 Matt Pierce – Matt has been plugging along pretty consistently. He earned a call up to Rochester which will hopefully bring his game up to a higher level.

#24 Kevin Roeder – Despite his size Kevin is probably the most physical of the Cyclone defenseman. This Season Kevin seems to be chasing the big hits a little less than last which will help his defensive play and his durability. He’s not shy about jumping into the rush under Coach Skalde and his willingness to provide a big hit comes in handy on the forecheck during dump and chase situations.

#25 James DeLory – I’m not sure where to begin and if someone can enlighten me as to how this kid is playing AA level hockey I’d appreciate it. His skating is a bigger liability than Olson’s. He doesn’t fight as well as Olson, at least as far as I’ve witnessed. The only upside that I can find is that he’s big, strong kid. He was finally put in front of the net on the power play during the game against Reading where he did manage to wreak some havoc.

#26 Dustin Sproat – Dustin returning to the Squad was a huge addition. He’s a heady player, who plays in all scenarios. He made an instant impression on the scoresheet and while not known for fighting he plays with an edge and isn’t afraid to mix it up. He earned a call up to Milwaukee last Season and with Rochester struggling I wouldn’t be surprised to Chuck give him an opportunity at some point.

#27 Scott Reynolds – Scott isn’t scoring with the verve he was last Season. He’s another player that plays in all situations and with as much time as the Cyclones have spent killing penalties this season I can’t help but wonder if that’s effecting his offensive play. He’ll need to find his scoring touch if the Cyclones are going to be a factor down the stretch. Then again, that can be said about all of this years Squad with not a single player averaging more than a point per game.

#32 Dylan Hunter(Currently on assignment with Milwaukee) – Dylan was acquired by the Cyclones in an off-season trade which sent Brett Motherwell plus future considerations to Utah. While Brett Motherwell has spent all Season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Dylan has been in the Cyclones’ lineup. Last Season Dylan averaged more than a point per game for Utah. This Season he’s been flirting with the point per game average. He also leads the Team at +12. Initially I thought he was a bit overrated early on but that was when the team was struggling. As the Team dynamic improved so did Dylan’s over play.

Goaltending – After a rough start which saw numerous odd man rushes and a porous defense which saw all of the Cyclones goalies struggle the team play has improved and the Cyclone net minders have shown that they are more than capable. Marc Cheverie has seen 568 shots which is near the most in the League, he ranks in the 9th among active ECHL goalies in GAA, 10th among active goalies in SV%, and has racked up 3 shutouts. Jeremy Smith has spent much of the Season with Milwaukee and has post wins at the AHL level. Chet Pickard began to find his game after struggling for months before being called up due to the injury of Nashville’s Pekke Rinne. It will be interesting to see who gets reassigned to the Cyclones when Rinne returns.

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In case we don’t check in before the Christmas check out this little nugget from the Belfast Giants.

-Mike-

After earning 2 points from Elmira in come from behind fashion the Cyclones spent the week preparing for a trip to meet the Kalamazoo K-wings in a pair of games this weekend. While 2 points on opening weekend is nothing to scoff at, the games left a lot to be desired with regards to the play of the Cyclones. Here are a few things to keep an eye on when the Cyclones take on Kalamazoo this weekend…

-Defensive zone play has to get better. The Squad has 2 very capable net minders in Jeremy Smith and Marc Cheverie but if they are continually seeing odd man rushes night after night it’s going to make for a long season.Look for the Cyclones to tighten up the neutral zone play and pinch a little less in the offensive zone.

-The Boys showed Their resiliency over weekend, winning the 3rd period after a very rough 2nd period on Friday and coming from behind to ultimately take the overtime victory on Saturday.While this kind of resiliency is great to have on the Team, the Cyclones gave up the 1st goal in each of Their 1st two contests. Scoring 1st and scoring early is important  in any game, but it is especially so against the K-wings and potential net minder Ryan Nie.

-No word on if the Cyclones will have the services of forwards Barret Ehgoetz and Ryan Del Monte this weekend, both players are currently with the Rochester Americans of the AHL. Del Monte has seen action in 2 games since getting the call and Ehgoetz one.

-The Cyclons will see Scott Reynolds take the ice for the 1st time this Season. Reynolds, who was called up to Rochester before the Cylones even played a preseason game was released from his PTO (Professional Try-Out contract) on October 20th. Reynolds played in 6 games posting a goal and an assist for the Americans.

The Team will have the services of Kelly Cup Playoff Co-MVP net minder Jeremy Smith as they head to Kalamazoo. Jeremy had a shaky start in his preseason start against Wheeling but we all know the type of game he is capable of playing. It will be interesting to see how Coach Skalde manages the 2 young prospects should they both spend extended periods of time here in Cincinnati.

The Cyclones have added another defenseman to the mix with the signing of tough guy Benn Olson. There isn’t much out there on Olson as a player, but he has quit an impressive fight card for a 3rd year pro. It’s an interesting signing by Skalde. The Squad has an agitator in Chris Morehouse and a tough guy in James DeLory. My best guess is that Skalde wants another tough guy on the Team in the event DeLory gets recalled by Rochester because I just don’t see how this acquisition makes the Team better.

During a month in which the NHL is bringing attention to cancer awareness and raising money to help find a cure, the Cyclones have lost a member of the family. Original Cyclone Craig Charron lost his battle with stomach cancer earlier this week. For more on Charron, please read this article from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Charron’s family during these trying times. Please go to www.CragCharron.com if you’d like to help.

 

-Mike-

With training camp and a couple of preseason games against Wheeling behind them, Coach Skalde and Assistant Coach Fankhouser started the week by making a few cuts and preparing for this weekend’s games against the Elmira Jackals. The players cut were Brodie Sheahan, Ruben Begunts and Brad Schroeder. I can’t say that I was surprised by any of the cuts, although parting ways with Schroeder left the team with just 7 natural defensemen, which is a little light in my opinion. However, that has been remedied with the addition of defensemen James DeLory today from Rochester. So for those keeping score, here is a look at where the 2010-2011 Cyclones roster stands now:

Forwards (11)

Mathieu Aubin, Chris Minella, Barret Ehgoetz, Sam D’Agostino, Ryan Del Monte, Adam Bartholomay, Brett Robinson, Matt Butcher, Matt Pierce, Chris Morehouse, Dylan Hunter

Defense (8)

David Sloane, Brock Sheahan, Brian O’Hanely, T.J Fast, JC Sawyer, Doug Krantz, Kevin Roeder, James DeLory

Goal (2)

Jeremy Smith, Marc Cheverie

(It should be noted that Nashville’s Pekka Rinne was injured this weekend and is listed as day to day. This development has caused the recall of Mark Dekanich to Nashville and Jeremy Smith to Milwaukee. Taking Jeremy’s place on the roster this week will be Pat Street.)

On the cuts…

Ruben Begunts – He showed some flashes of skill when I watched him at training camp last week but his overall effort seemed lacking when compared to others in camp on try-out contracts. He showed a bit more jump during the preseason game at Northlands Ice Center but still seemed out of place at times.

Brodie Sheahan – Brodie has the one thing that can’t be coached and that’s speed, but his game seemed a bit raw for the ECHL level. If he wants to continue as a Minor League hockey player, it wouldn’t surprise me if he doesn’t get picked up by a single A level team somewhere. Brodie Sheahan is a name that we could here again at some point.

Brad Schroeder – Schroeder was definitely the weakest of the blueliners at training camp. The versatility of Adam Bartholomay combined with, as we know now, the addition of James DeLory, made Brad expendable.

On James DeLory

There isn’t too much out there on this kid but here’s what I’ve gathered so far; James is going to be the tough guy on the team. He’s a big kid, 6’5″ 225lbs, and while he’s listed as a defensemen, he has been utilized as a forward for the past few seasons. After reading his profile on hockeyfuture.com, I welcome his toughness, but have some questions as to his hockey sense. I’ve never been a fan of players who fight but are liable in regards to the rest of their game. James will be a player I’ll have my eye on; I’m sure I’ll be weighing in on in the future.

On Elmira…

The Cyclones have had Elmira’s number the last few season, posting a 16-7-0-2 record. However, Steve Martinson was shown the door this off season and has been replaced by Malcolm Cameron. Will this years Jackals’ team be like the rough and tumble teams of the past or more like Cameron’s past teams in Texas and Florida which were quite talented?

Quick notes…

Congrats to former Coach Chuck Weber who won his first game as Head Coach of the Rochester and to Scott Reynolds who notched his 1st AHL point in the win.

Congrats to former Cyclone Mark Van Guilder who tallied his 1st AHL goal, and a game winner at that, in 6-2 win over the Abbotsford Heat. There is currently a video of the goal on the Admirals website.

As Wildman says “Let’s play hockey!”

-Mike-



As we roll into the weekend which will see the Cyclones play a pair of preseason games against the Wheeling Nailers, it brings an end to the Cyclones training camp which began October 1st. I was able swing by Northlands Ice Center this week to check out the on ice training sessions.

Coach Skalde kept the tempo high and had good dialogue with the players. On Monday the coaching staff, which included former NHLer Andrew Cassels, who was helping out for the day, participated in a conditioning drill with players to end the session. The over all mood was light but very business like; there was no question the coaches and players in camp are taking the task of defending the Kelly Cup very seriously. Fans will probably notice a different style of play under coach Skalde, but overall play will continue to be very up tempo judging from the training sessions.

I like to say, give me guys who can skate first and foremost, if they are big even better. The 1st thing I noticed about the group assembled by Coach Skalde was their size and I was pleased with their skating. This years Squad skates as solidly as last years Kelly Cup Championship Squad at the least. Forwards are strong on the puck, have great net presence and finishing ability. The defensemen  big and mobile. There is a lot to like about this group.

After some preliminary cuts, the return of a few players released from AHL camps and the late addition of 2 from Rochester the roster sits at 24.

Forwards:

Barret Eghoetz, Mathieu Aubin, Scott Reynolds, Chris Minella, Brodie Sheahan, Sam D’Agostino, Ruben Begunts, Brett Robinson, Ryan Del Monte, Chris Morehouse, Dylan Hunter, Matt Butcher, Matt Pierce

Defense:

Adam Bartholomay, Doug Krantz, Kevin Roeder, Brad Schroeder, David Sloane, Brian O’Hanely, JC Sawyer, T.J. Fast

Goalies:

Jeremy Smith, Marc Cheverie

As it stands, the Cyclones will have to make at least 1 cut before the rosters get capped for the start of the regular season and with the NHL regular season underway and the AHL season starting this weekend it’s still possible the Cyclones see another player trickle down the line.

A couple of players to keep an eye on if you’re coming out to the preseason game on Saturday:

Chris Minella – Chris is starting his pro career after playing 4 years at Notre Dame. He’s a big, solidly built kid. He didn’t light up the scoreboard in college but after observing his game he seems built for the more physical nature of the pro game.

Sam D’Agostino – Sam is another 1st year player who didn’t have the greatest numbers in college but his effort and energy is hard to miss. The kid has some pretty good wheels and keeps it going even when there’s a lot of contact. I didn’t see him get pushed off the puck very often.

Dylan Hunter – Hunter was acquired from Utah for Brett Motherwell and future considerations. He is billed to be one of the offensive leaders for the ‘Clones this season.  Dylan finally arrived at camp today and he looked pretty solid. Time will tell if he can live up to the billing.

Matt ButcherButcher, a 5th round pick by the Vancuver Canucks, joined the line up yesterday (10/5). Matt had previously been in Rochester’s camp. Butcher showed a lot of finishing touch in his 1st on ice session with the ‘Clones. He’s a guy who has a lot of upside.

David Sloane – Sloane is a solid blueliner with a lot of upside.

Adam Bartholomay – Adam is listed as a forward but spent the early days of camp playing the blueline. He finally got a chance to move up front on day 7 of camp. That kind of versatility can come in handy as injuries and call ups inevitably happen.

JC Sawyer – He’s big and he has a lot of offensive upside. He reads the offensive zone play as well as any defenseman I’ve seen, but can he up he defensive zone play to match?

We’ll be checking back in after the preseason games.

-Mike-