Eric Doyle’s long-awaited reward for being activated from injured reserve was hardly a reward at all. The defenseman was released by the Reign, a disappointing conclusion to what had been a promising start to his tenure in Ontario.
“I feel awful for the kid,” Reign coach Karl Taylor said. “Good kid. Tough circumstance, but it’s just something we have to do.”
The 21-year-old defenseman had a goal and six points in 12 games to start his rookie year. Four of his five assists came on the power play, a role that hasn’t been easy for the Reign to fill since Doyle originally was diagnosed with a lower-body injury on Nov. 28.
“He hasn’t skated for seven weeks, or six weeks, so we released him from
his contract. We need to get bodies in here now, with our situation in
the standings. We don’t have time to mess around. We need to win now.
“He’s all healed and cleared, and now getting him back in shape and all those things – we need to get someone in here sooner.”
A few more notes from the morning skate:
• James McEwan left the ice with a lower-body injury mid-skate. His status for tonight is unknown.
• Beau Erickson will start in goal.
• Luke Beaverson (lower body) continued to skate with a red (non-contact) jersey, but expects to resume contact drills tomorrow. He’s targeting a return to game action next week, and wasn’t sure if he would make the road trip Friday and Saturday to Bakersfield and Las Vegas.
• Chad Starling (lower body) expects to see a specialist on Thursday and could get medical clearance at that point.
• Regardless of what situations Jason Fredricks plays in, Karl Taylor sounded happy simply to have a sixth defenseman who can give his top five some rest tonight. “Whenever you bring in a new guy, you want to put him in spots where he
can be successful, so he can get some confidence. Give him a chance to
build from that,” Taylor said. “We definitely want to use him in the right way. He
looks great, seems like a great kid. Seems fit. Seems ready to play. I
think he’s going to add some energy and hopefully allow our other D guys
to get some rest and play harder for longer.”