Summer Blog Entry (September 24)
09/24/2010 10:18 AM - Adrian Denny
The all new UtahGrizzlies.com will debut in the next few weeks. The development of the site is ahead of schedule even though Infinity Pro Sports, who is the team’s web partner, has been busy designing a site for Chargers holdout receiver Vincent Jackson who’s apparently looking to tell his message with a website.
The Grizzlies will have a late arriving crowd to training camp. That is because Utah will be setting a six-season team record with over half of the team starting in training camps throughout the American Hockey League. Utah captain Jake Gannon is one of four signed Grizzlies to be attending camp with Calgary’s AHL affiliate in Abbotsford. Gannon and two others will arrive in British Columbia today, while Utah’s projected enforcer will merely get in his car and drive to the rink as he lives in the area.
Again, the Grizzlies roster is full and accounted for. However, due to immigration procedures for Canadian players, the team will not make their roster official until training camp opens.
That being said, the Grizzlies will open training camp the week of October 4th with the first players arriving in Salt Lake October 2.
Earlier this week, I ranked in detail the rest of the ECHL’s Western Conference 1-7 and shared that with ECHL Director of Communications and former Fresno Falcons broadcaster Joe Babik who basically agreed with my assesments. Unfortunately, I’m not willing to provide bulletin board materiel for the teams I ranked 5-7. So unless you can get Joe to forward you that email thread, you can make your own list.
Summer Blog Entry (September 17)
09/17/2010 9:25 AM - Adrian Denny
One frustrating thing for ECHL coaches during the summer months is the more they recruit the dryer the well seems to get. That is, because most players they are recruiting and their agents are waiting for AHL contracts. Once the AHL contracts are all signed by usually September 1, players, many of whom probably even deserved AHL contracts will be left out and will finally sign with ECHL teams.
In the last couple of weeks, the Grizzlies have sent contracts to several forwards who either have AHL experience and/or were qualified for the AHL, but left out in the cold. It’s interesting watching the white board in Kevin Colley’s office gradually fill up with forwards, defensemen and goaltenders over the summer. Right now, the only unknowns on the white board are the spots that say “Calgary” meaning the spot will be filled by a prospect from the Flames organization to be assigned after AHL training camp.
The ECHL announced a new format for the 2011 All-Star Game in Bakersfield. It will pit the Condors team against the ECHL All-Stars in a format the ECHL is revisiting for a second time. The Central Hockey League has used a similar format for the last several years. I’m not a fan of this format at all, but no one asked me for my input.
The NHL preseason gets underway Tuesday with over half of the league’s teams in action. That comes just over two weeks from the NHL opener on Thursday, October 7.
James Sixsmith and Ryan Kinasewich are underway in their new European leagues. Sixsmith is playing in the top league overseas in Germany while Kinasewich has joined three-year Utah defenseman Andy Sertich in Croatia. That poor team has scored just one total goal in their first two games.
Summer Blog Entry (September 10)
09/10/2010 10:18 AM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies will announce another trade in the coming weeks which will bring back a player who has spent time in Utah before. He has AHL experience and is expected to anchor the Utah power-play. The trade involves another player that wasn’t expected to be in Utah’s plans for 2010-2011. However, they were able to hold on to his rights when an AHL club, who he will likely spend the year with anyway, desired for his ECHL rights to be with their affiliate.
The Calgary Flames have released the roster for their 2010 Prospects Training Camp. 2009-2010 Grizzlies Hugo Carpentier, Josh Meyers and Matt Clarke are on the roster. Could this add Matt Clarke, who attended the Avalanche’ Rookie Camp in 2010 to an already strong Utah blue line in 2010-2011? Clarke should be primed for a very solid second pro season.
The ECHL will soon name its All-Decade Team. I think it’s a pretty safe bet that Ryan Kinasewich will be a part of this. Email your nominees to ECHL@ECHL.com by September 24. Another former Grizzlies forward Louis Dumont, probably has a good shot as well as he still stands as the league’s all-time leading scorer. So vote early and vote often.
Summer Blog Entry (September 3)
09/03/2010 9:15 AM - Adrian Denny
Training camp is now less than a month away.
Utah’s announced their preseason schedule with Idaho this week. However, read the fine print and don’t take the trip to Boise for the Grizzlies and Steelheads on October 8. That game will be for Idaho season ticket holders only as decided by the Steelheads.
The Grizzlies have completed two trades with two other ECHL teams that will be announced before training camp. The trades show the importance of protecting the rights of all possible players. Because if they aren’t going to play here, other ECHL teams may be interested. This was the case and Utah has acquired the rights to what could potentially be four upper echelon players. In both cases here, AHL teams wanted the Utah players to be with their ECHL affiliates and helped drive the transactions.
Former Utah bruiser Brad Herauf has landed another AHL contract. It is great to see his hard work pay off. While we always saw Brad’s potential and knew he could be a solid AHL player, I think we may have been concerned about his patience in achieving this for a player who started out in the CHL. It would have been easier for Brad to just go back to the CHL after two entrenched seasons in Utah and cash in for the next several years. However, as we saw, his patience and hard work paid off into just about the ultimate accomplishment for the undersized work horse.
Pretty much quiet around the rest of the ECHL besides the fact that Bakersfield mascot Colonal Claw’d visited Canyon Hills Preschool located at 7001 Auburn Street in California Tuesday from 10-11 a.m. He entertained the kids by handing out cool prizes and dressing up a lucky volunteer in hockey equipment!
Thank you, GO GRIZZLIES!!