Hi, Snakes fans--
I spoke to Jerome yesterday and got the details on the Tyler Gjurich situation. I told JB that I thought it was sad that he got rid of a guy just because he couldn't pronounce his last name...lol. Then he pronounced it correctly, just to prove a point.
Jerome said that Tyler came to him and said he was pretty disillusioned with pro hockey. To clarify...Travis was NOT unhappy with his experience in Columbus. He loved it here but his experiences elsewhere caused him to reconsider a pro career at this point.
Tyler has bounced around from the AHL to ECHL and even CHL before landing here. He'd been headed to Maine (not exactly a bad college program) but chose the pro hockey route. After all of the turmoil of the past six weeks or so, Tyler has decided to get his education and play college hockey.
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I assume that the Maine offer is not still on the table. If he went to a D1 school, Jerome thinks he would have to sit out a year, so Tyler is looking for a D3 situation. This is very similar to what happened to Travis Bosch at Bimidji State. Travis left there and went to St. Norbert.
I know you join me in wishing Tyler the best of luck.
I told Jerome that I'd hoped Tyler was the answer for the team's offensive woes. Jerome spoke of a number of players who got off to a fast start but have all slumped recently. Scoring a total of 4 goals in 4 games (0, 1, 1, 2) is definitely unacceptable. He listed Jordan Braid, Matt Gingera, Levi Lind and Ian McNulty as having cooled off during this stretch.
I asked him if any help was on the way either offensively or defensively. He's looking...but, to tell you the truth, the man is always looking. Players call him throughout the season, plus the hockey network sends him players. He also checks the waiver wire, but players that Jerome picks up from other teams are few and far between.
The one word that describes this team right now is inconsistent. Jerome said that a guy will make a play...then when the same situation arises again, the player looks to somebody else to make the play. He cited the D's improved play over the past weekend, but clearly wasn't happy with the offensive production or losing all three games last weekend.
I believe changes are coming. Don't know who and don't know how many. Mike Switzer isn't eligible to return for another two weeks. I saw Mike last weekend and he's ditched the crutches...YAY...but still has a brace on the leg. What his rehab schedule is or projected return date, I don't know. The problem with a lower body injury is that you can't skate, so getting in game shape is harder. If it's a shoulder, arm, wrist, etc, you can get on the ice quicker.
Random notes on last weekend's home game...
The lights were slow to come on at the beginning of the Friday game against Mississippi. Was that an omen?
Love it when visiting players and officials participate in Kiss Cam. Nice to see them being good sports and not taking themselves too seriously. Good job by the MSRK players.
Bad news for the Snakes family when PA man Dana Barker's wife Sarah was in a serious car accident on Friday. Sarah's fine, but her car is not...:( Dana missed Friday night's game, a rare occasion for this longtime employee. Get well soon, Sarah!
Kudos to the Snakes' Andy Luker for filling in admirably for Dana. Believe me, that job is SO much tougher than it looks. My friend Steve Thiele, who used to do PA for the Snakes, was the voice of minor league baseball in Columbus for many years. I sat in the pressbox and watched in awe as Steve juggled so many responsibilities.
When you do a job as well as Steve and Dana do, you make it look easy. Coming in cold, Andy did a fantastic job. He also played some music I've never heard played before. Loved it!! Great job, Andy.
Finally, a bittersweet moment at the Pit when I had to say good-bye to Derek Pallardy and his sweet fiancee, Madison Kristol. Derek has already taken a job in St. Louis and the happy couple headed there on Saturday. They'll be married there this summer. Wishing a lifetime of happiness to Madie and Derek!
Really strange not to have a home game this weekend and only one on the web. The guys head to Knoxville on Saturday night, looking to break a four-game losing streak.