The Citizens Business Bank Arena ice was covered in tile Thursday morning for a graduation ceremony. That meant the Reign packed up and headed for Riverside Ice Town for the first, last and only off-site skate of training camp.
Iain McPhee didn’t make the drive down, but Jason Christie said the defenseman will play in tomorrow’s season opener against Bakersfield. Philippe Seydoux, who was able to play in the preseason on a tryout but still doesn’t have his U.S. B1 work visa, will not.
“Hopefully he’ll get cleared by Monday,” Christie said. “You’re allowed to play on a tryout, but you can’t play in the regular season without the right paperwork for immigration.”
One transaction was announced after practice: Second-year defenseman Steven Tarasuk was acquired from the Wheeling Nailers for cash. The 21-year-old Tarasuk had four goals and 25 points in 65 games as a rookie with the Kalamazoo Wings last season. A native of Thornhill, Ont., Tarasuk also had one assist in three regular-season games with the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers and three assists in four ECHL playoff games last season. He fits the mold of the offensively skilled defenseman that Christie was seeking; Tarasuk had 19 goals and 67 points in 67 games in his final junior season for a powerhouse 2009-10 London Knights squad.
The five defensemen on the ice rotated partners. Here were the line rushes:
Derek Couture-Jordan Morrison-Francois Brisebois
J.D. Watt/Geoff Irwin-C.J. Stretch-Shayne Neigum
Chris Cloud/August Aiken-Bill Bagron-Brady Calla
The season-opening roster contained no surprises (except that Mike Montgomery, who has skated exclusively as a defenseman, was listed as a forward:
Jean-Francois Berube, G; Jase Weslosky, G; Dustin Carlson, G; Pat Bowen, D; Iain McPhee, D; Dylan Yeo, D; Travis Gawryletz, D; Jeff MacPhee, D; J.D. Watt, F; Bill Bagron, F; Chris Cloud, F; Derek Couture, F; Geoff Irwin, F; Jordan Morrison, F; C.J. Stretch, F; Shayne Neigum, F; Brady Calla, F; Francois Brisebois, F; Mike Montgomery, F; August Aiken, F. Injured Reserve – Jason Fredricks, D; Kyle Kraemer, F.
I counted six former Reign players on other ECHL opening-day rosters: Peter Lenes (Trenton), Brian Matte (Toledo), James McEwan (South Carolina), Aaron Lewadniuk (Idaho), Jon Landry (Colorado) and Chaz Johnson (Chicago).
Expect a big story in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin about just how much things changed in training camp this year.