Thursday, August 24, 2006

Swystun Gone

Lost in all the hoopla surrounding Junior Hemmingway's commitment and Marques Slocum being allowed to enroll at U of M is the defection of another Michigan hockey player: This time it's Tyler Swystun, who will be taking his game to the WHL next year.

Combine that with the losses of Trevor Lewis and Zac MacVoy, and suddenly the Wolverines are down to 11 forwards for next year, and are faced with moving David Rohlfs back to forward (again) or--as Mel Pearson said in an interview with Rivals--perhaps Jack Johnson?

"We have a lot of depth on defense, and I don't think it's impossible to imagine a scenario where a few of our defensemen see some time at forward," Pearson said. "Certainly, we feel that [sophomore defender] Jack Johnson could be one of the best forwards in all of college hockey, if we decided on something like that."

Now, as fun as it would be to see someone up front with Jack's speed, offensive skill (remember that move he put on Nick Lidstrom in the USA/Wings charity game?), and ability to go into the corners, I still think that for this team to be successful, they need to worry more about playing solid defense than they do about scoring goals. A better defensive effort out of everyone will go a long way toward helping Sauer's confidence. I really think that kid can be a darn good goalie if he can get some help in the early going.

As far as Swystun goes, apart from the depth issue (and the "Who the f--- is going to play for us in the GLI" issue) he's not a huge loss. I know, I know....he came in a year early and the book was that he needed one more year. But you would think that the kid would show something last year, and apart from the one weekend against LSSU, he never really flashed anything to show that he'd be more than an average player. And at this point, when it's a very real possibility that he could be a bust in college hockey, I'm sure they'll gladly take that scholarship back (and maybe try to find a couple defensemen for next year).

It's hard to complain too much about this being another "Michigan summer" since we've lost two players from the current roster and our top recruit. We came into this last season thinking that Hunwick was gone for sure after his junior year, Hensick & Johnson were huge question marks to come back, Cogliano was a dark horse to go, and after the draft the possibility was there for Summers and Mitera. With not even 2 weeks til classes, all those guys are still here which makes me a happy camper. And if both freshmen D can come in ready to contribute, that will allow the coaches to do a lot of things as far as who they move up front. And that'll make me a happy Kampfer. Bad pun, bad pun.

Charles Woodson is looking forward to returning punts again. I am looking forward to seeing Charles Woodson return punts again.

Rivals poster PacificBlue has created a highlight reel of Michigan playmakers (Howard, Woodson, Edwards, Perry, Carter) set to the tune of Tupac's "Until The End of Time". Freaking awesome. Out of all those highlights, I gotta say that Howard's diving grab against Notre Dame is my favorite. Obviously Carter's catch has the Ufer clip, Edwards led the greatest comeback, well, ever, and Charles Woodson had the most amazing pick I've ever seen. But that Howard When I was little and I'd play football in my backyard, I'd tell my dad to throw it jusssssst beyond my reach, so I could pretend I was Desmond Howard and lay out to make the grab. Great work out of PacificBlue. This clip is outstanding.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Swistyn leaving is nothing more than a depth issue. We are really skinny up front. The answer is-shorten the bench right from the start. Why wait till the 3rd period?