Today’s story on Beau Erickson and Kyle Kraemer re-signing with the Reign left little room to explore a couple interesting tangents.
1. Erickson has been working with Milwaukee-based sports psychologist Curtis Brackenbury for the first time this summer.
“He came highly recommended from some guys in St. Louis as well as [Anaheim Ducks goalie] Danny Ellis,” Erickson said. “We talk every week, talk on some things that help my game, reasons certain things help out there, to enhance what I get out of practice, team situations … the way I prepare, handle certain situations — things like that. It’s matured my game.”
Erickson said that Brackenbury also counts Ellis, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, a number of recent NHL draftees, and some members of the American Hockey League’s Texas Stars among his current clients.
Reign coach Karl Taylor said that it’s essential for goalies to have a short memory — for example, after they’ve allowed a goal or played a bad game. “Everyone’s looking for an edge,” he said. “If that gives Beau an edge, we support it 100 percent.”
2. Kyle Kraemer started playing inline hockey when he was seven years old and didn’t transition to ice until he was 13 or 14. “I got a late start on the ice,” he said, “but I credit roller hockey a lot for my skill, the way I see the game.”
Last year was the first time Kraemer tried out for the U.S. National Inline Team — and he made it, helping the U.S. capture gold at the IIHF World Championship in Sweden. Kraemer was itching for competition and tried out again this year, helping the U.S. capture silver in the Czech Republic.
Taylor was a tad less enthralled with the idea of Kraemer focusing too much on roller hockey. “Kyle needs to focus on the ice hockey side,” he said. “We’ve had that conversation.”
Here’s what else Taylor had to say …
• On Erickson: “He’d play two really good games, then have maybe one off one. He was really a good addition to us. … He got an opportunity, did OK with it, did pretty well. We’re looking at bringing him from a 7 out of 10 to a 9 out of 10. Him and Jase [Weslosky] should push each other to be better.”
• On possibly having more goalies in the mix: “We have two signed. Our affiliate — we haven’t had a goalie from the Kings in two years. We’re not planning on having any. It’s the only way we can do our business.”
• On Kraemer: “Kraemer was one of our highest priorities as far as returning players. He has a lot of offensive talent. He really started to shine at the end of the year. He has a lot of upside. He needs to continue to develop and be a confident player. … He has a great shot and a great release. He’s got an unbelievable release. Once you start getting more confident, you get better results. “