Clarke is out, but is it the right move?

Clarke's future is up in the air

(Photo Credit: Richard Lafortune)

By: Henry Whitfield

After a year of issues where Garrett Clarke was benched numerous times by both Cam Russell and more recently new Head Coach Bobby Smith, it was only a matter of time before the young defencemen was cut or dealt by the team.

This week, the team announced that Clarke would be parting ways with the team and that his time in the uniform of the Halifax Mooseheads was over.

It is a confusing ending to the Moncton native’s time in Halifax and for many it was a move that came far to late, but comes at a bizarre time.

Although Clarke was guilty of taking a number of bad penalties in his last game on the ice, this is a player who came into training camp with a new mentality and much better play than last season.

At times last season it appeared that Clarke did not know what the team and coaching staff expected of him, when Spencer Metcalfe was traded in the middle of the season and Sawyer Hannay failed to make the impact needed of the enforcer, it often fell to Clarke to step up and defend the better players and pick up the edge that made him notorious for big, open ice hits but vulnerable to penalties.

The purpose of the Q is to develop these young, talented players into men that can play hockey at the NHL level.

The big question is right there waiting to be asked: Did the Halifax  Mooseheads do what they needed to in order to develop and help Garrett Clarke into becoming a better hockey player and defensemen?

Probably not.

This is a team that finished at the bottom of the league two years in a row and is heading down that path again, a team that has under performed and full of players that have the potential to be stars in this league but seem to be missing the coaching, mentoring and encouragement that young hockey players need.

Sure, Garrett Clarke had a large role to play in his own demise in Moose Country but the responsibility for this failed experiment lays squarely at the feet of Cam Russell and this coaching staff.

With the same staff intact, is it possible a player like Martin Frk, who plays with a very similar edge as Clarke, will go down the same road?

Only time will tell, but I wish Clarke all the best wherever he ends up and maybe he’ll find a coaching staff that can help him adapt his game and hone in that edge.

Henry Whitfield is an avid Mooseheads fan and you can find his thoughts on sports and more on his blog, or follow him on twitter @HenryWhitfield. You can also listen to him on air as a regular contributor to the Bill McLean Sports show on 88.1 CKDU.

Mooseheads Embarrassed By Wildcats


Terenzio was one of few bright spots on a rough day in Moosecountry


(Photo Credit: Richard Lafortune)

By: Henry Whitfield

After a strong outing Friday night against the Saint John Sea Dogs, the Halifax Mooseheads came out and did what they have done best for the last few seasons: Completely embarrassed themselves.

An announced crowd of 4,121, although the Metro Centre was much emptier than that, watched a weak Mooseheads display that saw them lose 5-1 to the Moncton Wildcats.

The scoreline was far  to generous to the Mooseheads, who somehow outshot their opponents 37 to 26.

Instead of a recap of the game, because let’s be serious no one should have to live through that mess of a game again, here are some lowlights of the Herd’s display:

Konrad Abeltshauser continued his impersonation of a pylon, being beat to the puck all night and showed once again that his patented wrist shot from the point is only useful for giving up a breakaway. He topped off his evening with a sweet interference penalty about 60-feet away from the play. Has San Jose even sent scouts to see this kid play?

– Fresh off a four-game suspension, Sawyer Hannay did in fact have a strong defensive outing, but the so-called ‘tough guy’ on the Mooseheads only helped his team by serving his face on a silver platter to Wildcat enforcer Tyler Howe, who put on a clinic on how to fight.

– So far this season Garrett Clarke has shown a high level of discipline, that went downhill Sunday afternoon when he took a needless slashing penalty late in the game and far away from the action.

There were some bright spots in the game, with Martin Frk showing flashes of brilliance and Carl Gelinas once again proving he is emerging as a top forward in the league.

However, there is one question that still remains: Can Cam Russell take this team any further?


With 32 wins, 104 losses over the last two seasons, can he do better?


Despite his team being pummelled on the ice and a rash of terrible calls, Russell stood like a statue and showed no reaction.

This is a young team that is in need of a Coach who can take them to the next level, it appears that Russell is content to just go along for the ride and sit back.


Check back tomorrow for a new article on Why Cam Russell Must Go.

Henry Whitfield is a local journalist and avid Mooseheads fan, you can follow him on twitter @HenryWhitfield, listen to him as a regular contributor to the Bill McLean Sports Show on CKDU or check out his blog here.