By Henry Whitfield
After a pair of dismal seasons and the changing of the guard in the front office, the Halifax Mooseheads are finally into the next phase of their rebuilding plan.
With Cam Russell anointed by owner Bobby Smith as the GM/Coach, and the team announcing tough times before last season, there has not been much for fans to look forward to.
However, with some interesting trades and hard work by management, there is hope as a Young Herd emerges in Moose Country, giving their fans a positive outlook moving forward.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the big stories heading into this season:
A Battle with the Pro’s – The first couple of the weeks for the Mooseheads will be tough, with drafted players Mathieu Corbeil, Sawyer Hannay and Konrad Abeltshauser off to NHL training camps. This will leave the team with six defensemen, including young Simon Desmarais who forced his way into the roster with great pre-season play.
Young Herd Emerging – Speaking of Desmarais, there are a number of rookies who managed to fight their way into the lineup and are expected to play big roles this season. Luca Ciampini, Andrew Ryan, Francis Turbide, Darcy Ashley and Alex Souligny are all expected to step up and help push this club forward.
Cooler Heads – There was a lot of talk at the end of last season about whether Garrett Clarke had a future in Moose Country, the feisty defenseman had been benched down the stretch due to his irresponsible, hot-headed nature and Cam Russell seemed ready to trade the player. Fast forward to this season, and the same Clarke played maturely in pre-season and lead the team in scoring with 2 goals and 5 points, while still contributing his 21 penalty minutes.
In Frk We Trust – A lot has been said about the 16-year-old Czech hotshot that Bobby Smith managed to bring over
the pond to play in Halifax. Marty Frk could be the best player that the Mooseheads have had in their lineup since Jakub Voracek and with all eyes on the player; it will be interesting to see if he can light up the league or if he’ll fold under pressure.
Oh Captain! My Captain! – Now that former Captain Tomas Knotek is playing in Europe, there is a void in ‘C’ department. With over-agers Travis Randell and Charles Bety clear favorites to take the vacant spot, it would be interesting if management goes to a younger player like Gabriel Desjardins or Brent Andrews, as the club builds for the future.
The Halifax Mooseheads play the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles this Friday at 7pm, game recap’s and thoughts will be posted after each game day.