Doug Krantz didn’t get the chance to show too many aspects to his game as a member of the Reign, and he knows it. Another midseason pickup, the 27-year-old defenseman in his third pro season occasionally flashed the ability to skate, get the puck on the net, and even play forward in a pinch.
He also was beaten off the rush on enough occasions to earn a near-permanent spot at the end of the bench. When he did play, it was rarely more than third-pair minutes. He finished with one goal, one assist and a minus-8 rating in 24 games with the Reign this season. He also played eight games in Cincinnati and 13 games in Elmira.
Krantz didn’t kid himself when reflecting on the year.
How do you evaluate your season?
It was a tough year for me. I was dealing with off-season surgery. I was a little slow coming into the year, bounced around a couple teams before I ended up out here in California. I can’t say enough about the group of guys we had here. It’s unfortunate we weren’t together longer. I think we could have had something special, with the close-knit group we had, guys wanting to battle for each other. It was fun to be a part of in the room even though I didn’t get to play a whole lot.
What was the surgery you dealt with?
It was sports hernia surgery. I still feel the effects from it every now and then. It’s not so much feeling healthy, it’s just feeling maybe not where I would be after being able to train for this summer. Losing that training time, not being as explosive, as physically strong as I’d like to be.
What parts of your game do you think were affected by health?
If anything, it’s not really getting the opportunities you normally would. Maybe I’d be able to rush the puck a few more times every night. Maybe lay a couple more physically jarring hits, something that catches Karl’s eye – ‘this guy can do this, this guy can do that, maybe we can try him in some different situations.’ I don’t think I ever got to play enough where I could prove that.
How much forward have you played historically?
I played forward until I was about 15 or so, then switched over to defense because I was one of the better backwards skaters. I rolled with it from there, was able to make it through college (Cornell) playing defense. Last year (playing for Cincinnati) we ended up being short a few guys, had some extra defensemen, so the coach said, ‘I’m going to put you up front.’ I ended up playing forward, including a few games in the playoffs last year. Just doing what you saw me do (Saturday) night – keep it simple, lay some body out there, keep the energy level up for guys on the bench.
Would you be open to coming back?
Yeah. What a great place to play. you have great fans every night, you’re treated unbelievable by the staff, living arrangements are awesome. There’s nothing to complain about. No reason not to want to play here.