Summer Blog Entry: September 1, 2017
09/01/2017 12:03 PM - Adrian Denny
Head Coach Tim Branham has compared this year's team to the 2015-16 group that's got off to a quick start and was on the border of being in the top 5 in the ECHL in scoring.
The Grizzlies have signed three rookie forwards out of college that will be announced in coming weeks. Two were high scoring forwards on the same successful division one team.
It’s still early, as far as what Utah will receive from Anaheim this season, but the Ducks are looking really deep across the board entering training camps.
We talked about building on team culture last week for 2017-2018. Culture was a huge factor in last year’s team. A few weeks ago, I mentioned to former Assistant Coach Jeff Carr, who is now the Head Coach of Knoxville in the SPHL, about how I wake up every morning wondering just how last year’s team found a way to get into the playoffs. The odds were so stacked against them: with some shaky goaltending early, then injuries came, the team made some big additions and got going; before half of the defensemen got hurt in Alaska in February. Then the Grizzlies got swept in two of three series at home in February and March. It looked bleak, but Head Coach Tim Branham, kept adding pieces and the Grizzlies eventually got over the hump after over 50 games on the outside looking in. It was a well assembled team, but sometimes in professional sports, you just have a year with so much adversity that there’s just no way to overcome it. Carr told me: “We willed that group into the playoffs as a staff. There was no way we weren’t making the playoffs, it wasn’t an option and that attitude resonated into our locker room with our players. They found a way.”
As we’ve come to Labor Day weekend, this will be the final Summer Blog of the offseason. I’ll be back every game day in 2017-2018 with the latest.