Add another Wolverine alum to the list of guys who have played in the NHL. One of my all-time favorites, Chad Kolarik, made his NHL debut for the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight. Congrats to Chad on what is probably the best night of his young hockey career. He becomes the 23rd Wolverine to play in the NHL this season. (It would be 24, but Mike Van Ryn has missed the whole year with an injury.)
Chris Summers and Steve Kampfer both signed entry-level deals with their NHL teams. Summers has played two games for Phoenix's top affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. Kampfer has gotten into three for the Providence Bruins.
I didn't have a chance to mention this when I got the email because we were getting into the heart of the tournament, but a reader passed along some information about Timmy Miller. Apparently he's gotten to be extremely popular with the fanbase of the Gwinnett Gladiators. They had a jersey auction and his fetched $3,000, which I'm told was far and away the highest amount. And it turns out, he can throw. Or at least drive someone's head into the ice with his forearm. Miller's actually seen quite a bit of time in the AHL this year too.
Now looking toward the future a little bit:
NHL.com had a feature on Jon Merrill. Central Scouting compared him to former Hobey-winner Jordan Leopold. The scout they talked to had Merrill going somewhere between 14-24 in this year's draft. Hands up, who wouldn't take a career like Leopold's out of Merrill? Four years, one championship, a Hobey, 164 games and a 45-99--144 line. Yes please. Let's shoot for that.
MHNet may have dug up another potential prospect that the Wolverines would have some interest in. He would be the next in line of Wolverines with famous fathers.
Ace from The Wolverine Blog has a look ahead to next year along with a mention of what Hagelin had to say when he talked with Mike Spath earlier in the week. I think that post has already cycled off of The Fort.
Red's pissed. And rightfully so. I really do try to not complain about individual penalty calls/no-calls. People commented that Miami got held a lot in the third period and I don't doubt it. Miami fans would definitely notice those. I can remember at least 5 bad ones off the top of my head two weeks later--two blatant too man men infractions, a hit from behind, Hagelin getting hauled down about 20 seconds before Miami tied the game, Hunwick getting run (again). Unless you're talking a game like us against Bemidji, they're going to balance out for the most part. Even the worst penalty call is only going to bite you for a goal maybe 20% of the time. More often than not, you're going to kill it off. But a call that directly denies a team a goal (or awards a goal that shouldn't count)? That's big. A call that directly denies a team a game-winning goal? That's worse. A call that denies a team a game-winning goal in a one-and-done tournament scenario? That's completely and utterly inexcusable. What's even more infuriating is that this is the second time in eight seasons that our tournament run has come to a premature end largely because of a quick whistle for no reason on a goal that should have counted. We're not talking a puck under a guy's pad. We're talking pucks that the goalie was nowhere near. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for the guys who actually put on the jersey.....
Mac Bennett and Derek DeBlois will take on Jacob Fallon in the first round of the USHL playoffs as Cedar Rapids will play Indiana. Game One is Wednesday night. This is the fifth time in six seasons the teams have met in the playoffs.