To say I'm excited the season is here is the major understatement of the season. I'm anxious to see the team on the ice. I think this club can go far. I would put the defensemen on this team against any crew in the AHL. There's a great mix of offense, toughness, experience and youth. Jon Blum will get a chance to show his smarts. Robert Dietrich looks to build on a great playoff run last year when he may have been the Admirals best player. Mark Matheson will get to show his all-around game in hopes of a NHL deal. Alex Sulzer and Cody Franson will try to prove they belong in the NHL and Scott Ford and Nolan Yonkman will provide toughness and leadership while, at the same time, continuing their push to get a NHL look.
In goal, one of two high draft choices (Chet Pickard or Jeremy Smith) will join Mark Dekanich. All Dekanich did as a rookie was set Admirals franchise records for goals against average and save percentage...not too shabby.
The reassignment of Cal O'Reilly gives the team some needed skill. I look for Hugh Jessiman to have another fine season. I'm also expecting increased production from Andreas Thuresson and Nick Spaling, among others.
I was reading "ESPN: The Magazine" and Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic were giving their opinions about hockey. Now, I will preface this by saying I'm not a fan of theirs. Listening to their radio show for information and strong opinions (and entertainment) is similar to going to the Metrodome for the nostalgic feel: it ain't happening. They wrote how the NHL can't count on Crosby and Ovechkin to be the sole faces of the sport. The league needs to develop new personalities. Golic used the NBA and NFL as an example and wrote that those two leagues do a great job getting people excited with the young men that are drafted by the teams. WOW!!!!!! You don't think that has more to do with the wall-to-wall coverage on three major networks, plus ESPN, ESPN2, FoxSports, Versus, BET, etc. of college basketball and college football? Idiots! If ESPN, or anyone else for that matter, would like to televise college hockey, I'm all for it. Then, maybe, we would hear these morons say the NHL is doing a great job in promoting new players. How does this garbage make the air/print?
Some milestones for the season: Nolan Yonkman needs 18 games to reach the 400 mark as a pro; Cal O'Reilly needs 12 games to reach 250 as a pro; O'Reilly also needs one assist to become the Admirals AHL career-leader with 167; Hugh Jessiman needs 20 games for 300 as a pro; Jessiman also needs 23 goals to reach 100 as a pro; Triston Grant needs 40 games to reach 300 as a pro; Scott Ford is four games away from 300 as a pro.
Until next time...Go Admirals!!!