For the second straight year, Michigan has lost their incoming goalie recruit to the OHL. Mike Spath has confirmed via text from John Gibson that he'll be headed to the OHL instead of Michigan.
Campbell leaving didn't piss me off that badly, even though at that point we didn't know that Shawn Hunwick was amazing. At least he changed his commitment a full ten months before he was due to set foot on campus. Had Michigan wanted to bring in another goalie for the 2010-11 season, they likely would have been able to. Instead, they focused on Gibson and were able to land him for the 2011-12 season. Or so we thought.
Now, here we are roughly a month from the start of class, and he's opted to go the Major Junior route. Really, really nice timing there. Spath has a call in to Gibson right now, and I can't wait to hear the answer to the question "Why now?"
This leaves the Wolverines with Shawn Hunwick as the starter and Adam Janecyk as the backup. Clearly the Wolverines are fine with Hunwick in net, but instead of having arguably the strongest duo in the country, there's nothing but question marks should Hunwick get injured. Janecyk has USHL experience, which is good, but he played just 1:32 last season, making one save. It also means that the Wolverines will almost definitely be starting a freshman goalie in 2012, unless someone out there is looking to transfer. Also, it means that Red needs to find two goalies for 2012, unless they've seen (or will see) enough in Janecyk to be comfortable with him as the backup for another year. The problem is, if you hitch your wagon to one goalie and you get whammied for the third straight year, you've got Janecyk as the starter and no backup.
On the bright side, this does open the door to look for the "supers" again, if Red is so inclined. There aren't a whole lot of situations that would be more attractive than coming in as, likely, the unquestioned starter (except, evidently, the entire OHL).
This is getting old. Again, I'm trying to keep it in perspective as these kids are making decisions for what they think is in their best interest moving forward. But man, it takes some brass ones to say all along that you're coming, the draft didn't change your status, no, really, I'm coming, Michigan is the place for me, and then bail with a month to go before the start of the season. You knew the OHL was there all along. You told McKeen's in February that you didn't really look into it that much because "Michigan is where I chose to go." You knew Michigan's goaltending situation all along. You knew how many games make up the NCAA schedule all along. It's one thing to back out before you sign your LOI and when the team still has a chance to find a replacement if they want to. It's completely another to bail a month before the season and leave the team hanging.