Summer Blog Entry (August 27)
08/26/2010 11:59 PM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies preseason schedule has been finalized and will be announced Tuesday morning.
As the Grizzlies roster starts to take shape behind the scenes, it appears the team’s goaltending and defense will be very very strong with the forward situation starting to fill in as well with young talent and prospects.
It’s the calm before the storm in the Grizzlies Hockey Operations department with Head Coach Kevin Colley and Athletic Trainer Mike Plandowski both on their first and only vacations of the summer.
Former Grizzlies Head Coach Jason Christie has been named the Head Coach of the CHL’s Bloomington Prairie Thunder replacing former Grizzlies star Jarrod Skalde who recently left for Cincinnati. The move back to Bloomington takes the Christie’s back to the Peoria area where their oldest son J.D. was born and they still have many close friends after Jason played and coached there for six years.
The Bakersfield Condors, who recently had Anaheim pull out of their affiliation have signed an agreement with the Minnesota Wild. Not sure what this means to Bakersfield, who was loaded with Ducks prospects last year. However, last year Johnstown received just one player from the Wild and it came midseason in what looks to be a third-line forward.
And now from my own personal PR Wheel.
With the Alaska Aces Jack Michaels heading off to the Edmonton Oilers, that leaves yours truly as the longest tenured ECHL broadcaster with his current team to also go along with my league-high consecutive games broadcasted streak which stands at 399 entering this season.
Also, the Grizzlies and myself lost a dear friend Monday when longtime Utah sportscaster Chris Tunis passed away from cancer. To echo the same thoughts of everyone that knew the Tuner, he was beyond a fantastic person and broadcaster. However, everytime I saw him, it was also great to talk Grizzlies hockey. The Tuner followed and rooted for every sports team in Utah and was always well informed and enthusiastic on the happenings here in West Valley City with the Grizzlies.
Summer Blog Entry (August 20)
08/20/2010 9:38 AM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies will announce the signing of a college player early next week. Grizzlies Head Coach Kevin Colley feels that this player will become a fan favorite.
Colley also spent the week working on a couple of projects that should come to fruition in the next month or so. Kevin has spent hours in the office and nights without sleep calculating and scribbling notes on how to proceed with these. The results will be the product of two smart decisions he made earlier this summer as the team’s Director of Hockey Operations.
Jean Hebert, who officiated the controversial game two in Idaho during the playoffs last season, will not be seen by the Grizzlies again. He has been hired by the NHL. It will be interesting to see the league’s officiating roster for this season. Speaking of which, there is also one other person in particular, that I would like to see hired by the NHL. Utah may have seen this individual earlier in the playoffs.
Brian Kilburg checked in this past week as he gets ready for his second pro season and first full season in Utah. Kilburg returned his qualifying offer to Utah along with Matt Sorteberg to return to the Utah blue line. Other qualifying news should be coming shortly in this blog.
Another quick blog entry, it has been a really slow summer in the hockey world.
Summer Blog Entry (August 13)
08/12/2010 11:59 PM - Adrian Denny
With Jake Gannon being signed as the Grizzlies captain earlier this week, a lot of questions have been coming in about the Grizzlies announcing other players.
The team cannot announce signings of players from Canada until they cross the border into the United States due to immigration reasons. However, when the team signs a player from the United States, there are obviously no immigration procedures and it can be announced immediately. Jake Gannon is from Illinois and signed his contract from Colorado Springs where he played at Colorado College.
The Grizzlies will also be receiving players from the Calgary Flames organization, which will be assigned to Utah just prior to training camp in October. While fans may get anxious about player announcements, keep in mind that in minor league baseball, nothing as far as the roster is concerned is announced until just before opening night. Though when something is finalized, it is Kevin Colley’s policy to release it to the public as soon as possible.
A former Grizzlies favorite was just named Head Coach of the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones in Jarrod Skalde (1999-2005), who was the Head Coach the last two seasons in Bloomington of the now CHL. He currently ranks 10th all-time in Grizzlies history with 48 goals and 89 assists for 137 points in 154 games. He was also named the team’s Community Relations Man Of The Year in 2004. Skalde could have had a leg up on the job having won a Turner Cup Championship in Orlando during the 2000-2001 season where his predecessor and former Utah Assistant Coach Chuck Weber was the Video Coordinator.
If you think you see a couple of former Grizzlies around town in the next few weeks you could be right. Joel Rechlicz, who played for the Islanders less than a month after leaving Utah in March of 2009 is in the area with Greg McCauley.
Summer Blog Entry (August 6)
08/06/2010 9:06 AM - Adrian Denny
In the coming weeks, the Grizzlies are expected to name their captain for the 2010-2011 season as Ryan Kinasewich departs for Croatia with his former teammate of three years in Utah Andy Sertich.
The Grizzlies NHL parent club, the Calgary Flames unveiled this ensemble to wear during their outdoor Heritage Classic game against Montreal in February.
We didn’t mention this, but the Bakersfield Condors, who last year were loaded with Anaheim’s AHL caliber prospects because the Ducks didn’t have an AHL affiliate, will not be partnered with them again. The Ducks, who have a new AHL affiliate in Syracuse, have opted to pull their minor league operations in California for the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals.
The ECHL’s Equipment Manager of the Year was announced Thursday and awarded to Stockton’s Ben Laing. Laing along with Stockton Athletic Trainer Kevin Anderson combine to make the most jovial training staff in the league.