Summer Blog Entry: June 30, 2017
06/30/2017 1:38 PM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies will announce the issuing of qualifying offers to six players on Saturday which means that they will retain the player’s rights for the 17-18 season and that they cannot sign with another ECHL team unless they are traded.
The team will announce three other returning players on Thursday of next week to start weekly announcements.
Didn’t cover it, but former Grizzlies forward Steve Ott (2002-2003) recently retired after playing 848 NHL regular season games with: Dallas, Buffalo, St Louis, Detroit and Montreal; and was named an Assistant Coach for the Blues.
The Anaheim Ducks on Thursday signed goaltender Kevin Boyle to a one-year contract extension after he spent half of last season with the Grizzlies going 9-6-1 and 8-2 in his last ten starts.
Grizzlies Assistant Coach Jeff Carr was named Head Coach of the SPHL’s Knoxville Ice Bears on Thursday after a hiring process that went well over a month. Carr parlayed one year coaching pro hockey with Utah into his first professional head coaching job. While never playing professional hockey, Carr is another example (Jon Cooper, Tampa Bay; Chuck Weber Former Utah Assistant Coach/Various AHL/ECHL Head Coaching jobs) of coaches who didn’t play professionally but have proven that education, excellent communication skills and an intellectual knowledge of the game are starting to be seen as more valuable to management than a former player with average marks in those areas.
Summer Blog: June 23, 2017
06/23/2017 2:06 PM - Adrian Denny
Head Coach/General Manager Tim Branham, who is operating his hockey camp in Ogden this week before shifting to Provo next week, has a stack of contracts on his desk that will soon be headed to the ECHL office for approval. They currently consist of some returning players, a rookie and an opposing player from previous seasons.
Tim continues camp in Provo next week and a few spots remain. Visit BranhamHockey.com for more information. Grizzlies defenseman Erik Higby is one of the instructors.
The ECHL announced on Tuesday that Tulsa and Wichita will join Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Rapid City and Allen in the Mountain Division. While Missouri moves to the Central Division and the Alaska Aces membership has been sold to a group that will operate the team in Portland, Maine starting in 2018-2019. Here’s what it means from last year’s standings: two teams that missed the playoffs in the Mountain Division (Missouri, Alaska) have been replaced by two teams that missed the playoffs Central Division in Tulsa and Wichita.
Rapid City announced this week that they will be affiliated with Minnesota starting in 2017-2018 after a two year run with the Arizona Coyotes.
Wichita will now be affiliated with the Edmonton Oilers after last year with Ottawa.
Summer Blog Entry: June 9-June 22, 2017
06/09/2017 10:59 AM - Adrian Denny
Following the Grizzlies playoff run, Head Coach Tim Branham was with the Ducks organization in San Diego working with some of their prospects that had just completed college or juniors, while the AHL Gulls competed in their playoffs. It is likely the Grizzlies will see some of them on what was a pretty deep crop of players.
Busy week of coaching carousel in the ECHL. Rob Murray moves from Alaska to Tulsa, who the Grizzlies will play five times this season. The most winning coach in ECHL history and former Grizzlies Head Coach Jason Christie resigned in Tulsa to take the same position with the new ECHL team in Jacksonville. I told Christie in a phone call a few weeks ago to go somewhere where we wouldn’t have to deal with him and he kindly obliged. The Grizzlies will not see Jacksonville during the 17-18 regular season. And the Rapid City Rush, who finished in last place in the Mountain Division this past season, have named their Assistant Coach Daniel Tetrault Head Coach. Tetrault has one season of coaching experience after finishing a 16 year career as a player. Tetrault referenced in the press release that the Mountain Division is the “toughest” in the ECHL.
Colorado won the Kelly Cup Championship with a four-game sweep of South Carolina that completed Monday. The Eagles did it under first year Head Coach Aaron Schneekloth after losing in the first round in five-straight seasons. However, while he wasn’t on the bench for the first time in six years, the foundation and culture established by President and General Manager Chris Stewart set the tone for the coaching transition and continuation of success on the ice that the Eagles built off of this year.
The Kansas City Mavericks, who Utah will see for the final three games of the regular season, announced an affiliation with the Calgary Flames on Thursday after previously being with the New York Islanders.
Grizzbee will join me on 2 News Fresh Living at 1 p.m. today (Friday, June 9) to talk about our High Five! Pack and Father’s Day Gift Ideas. If you read this after that time, we’ll have it on UtahGrizzlies.com to watch. (Update: Due to breaking news, the segment will now air on Monday, June 12.)
The blog will return on Friday, June 23 with ECHL Summer Hockey Meetings taking place next week in Las Vegas.
Summer Blog Entry: June 2, 2017
06/02/2017 1:42 PM - Adrian Denny
2003-2004 Utah defenseman Trevor Daley looks to win a Stanley Cup for the second-straight year with Pittsburgh. Mark Streit, who played one game with Utah in 1999-2000, is also a member of that team but has only played in three postseason games.
Colorado enters the weekend with a 2-0 series edge against South Carolina in the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Finals as the Eagles advanced out of the first round for the first time in six ECHL seasons. They look to be the second Utah divisional rival in the last four years to win a Kelly Cup.
2012-2013 Grizzlies defenseman Jimmy Martin, who played collegiately at Yale, recently completed law school and his preparing to start his career as an attorney in his home state of Missouri.
As Head Coach Tim Branham goes to work on the 2017-2018 roster, I would say expect to see more returnees than usual on next year’s roster. As the season went along, several young players established themselves as leaders that the team is excited to build around. Player contracts can be submitted to the ECHL office starting on June 15, with up to eight qualifying offers issued on July 1.
A few weeks ago the team introduced the High Five Pack! The team’s High Five! Pack features the team’s top five Saturday home games and includes a free meal at each game and a ticket to the team’s first playoff game starting at $65. Visit utahgrizzlies.com/highfive for more information.
In addition, students can get a punch card to attend every game for $49 with the Amtrak Grizzlies Student Pass. They can be purchased at utahgrizzlies.com/Amtrak.