Reign announce season-ending roster.

The Reign have announced their season-ending roster, a list of 20 players of whom eight can be tendered qualifying offers no later than July 1:

Jordan Hill, Jase Weslosky, Jordan Morrison, Kyle Kraemer, Jason Fredricks, C.J. Stretch, Aaron Lewadniuk, Beau Erickson, Pat Bowen, Luke Beaverson, James McEwan, Brett O’Malley, Lane Caffaro, Craig Gaudet, Alex Bourret, Doug Krantz, Kellen Briggs, Chaz Johnson, David Walker and Matt Delahey.

Of the players who finished 2010-11 with the Reign, six are missing from the list:

• Forward Michael Pelech, who was assigned to the Reign by the Manchester Monarchs.

• Five veterans (as defined by the ECHL): Shawn Collymore, Shawn Germain, Jon Francisco, Chad Starling and Justin Taylor. Reign coach Karl Taylor has stated that he doesn’t send qualifying offers to veterans out of principle, since they can decline the offer and become a free agent without any possible compensation to the Reign.

Walker is a veteran. But the captain said that he expects to play in Europe next season [more on this in a future blog], so a qualifying offer sent to him would probably come with little consequence.

Also, note that teams are not required to extend a qualifying offer to players who sign a contract prior to July 1.

All the ECHL season-ending rosters can be found here.

Poll: Should the Reign bring back Craig Gaudet?

The rundown on defenseman Craig Gaudet:

2010-11 stats [career]: 1 goal, 5 points, even-0 rating, 20 penalty minutes in 28 games.

Quote: “I was injured a lot – not too serious injuries, but enough to keep me in and out a lot. I could never get a string of games going to play well enough, the way I wanted to play.”

Pros: Gaudet has a strong shot and skates well, and looked comfortable in power-play situations in his nine-game audition with the Reign at the end of the season. The 26-year-old is eager to improve on an injury-marred rookie season and is probably hungry to move up a level.

Cons: Nine games might not have been enough to get a true gauge of Gaudet’s all-around ability, but at 5-10, 185 pounds, he’ll have trouble defending against some of the bigger ECHL forwards. He still needs to prove he can play the role of a point-producing defenseman over a full pro season.

Craig Gaudet post-season quotes.

Craig Gaudet didn’t play much for the Reign — just nine games total, and only three at home. It probably added up to an audition for next season for the rookie defenseman. Only time will tell if he passed.

For a player who didn’t play much to start the season with the Alaska Aces, it was also a good chance for Gaudet to get a fresh start, especially after he missed significant time with a concussion. He had only two assists and no goals in nine games with the Reign, but showed a knack for getting the puck to the net, as evidenced by his 14 shots on goal.

Here’s what he had to say after his end-of-season interview:

Continue reading “Craig Gaudet post-season quotes.” »

Notes from an optional practice. Update.

Practice was optional today, but there was quite a crowd on hand to watch. Some local elementary-school children sat in the CBBA stands, and took a brief tour of the building, giving Shawn Germain some valuable practice should he ever aspire to be a field trip coordinator.

It was an eventful morning hockey-wise, too. Craig Gaudet arrived from Alaska; he and former college roommate Jase Weslosky had some time to catch up. Shawn Collymore, who hasn’t played since suffering an ankle injury Feb. 23, said he “noticed a huge difference today, 20 to 30 percent better.” He’s questionable for the Reign’s next game Thursday in Las Vegas.

Beau Erickson, who dislocated his sacroiliac joint March 4, reported some progress after practice, his longest since the injury.

“It’s something I will play through,” he declared. “I’m hoping Thursday I’ll be healthy enough to play.”

Karl Taylor sounded more cautious, a luxury afforded by Weslosky’s strong start Saturday. “We’re not going to rush the situation,” he said. IR is still a possibility for Erickson, mainly because the Reign have to add Gaudet to the active roster today and will need to take someone else off.

More in tomorrow’s notebook. A couple more items from the chopping block:

• Doug Krantz’s first goal of the season Friday could be re-credited to someone else. Taylor said that the shot appeared to touch a stick before going into the net. Whether it was deflected by a Reign stick or a Wranglers stick will affect the final verdict.

• James McEwan offered a strong thought on his four-game suspension for punching Simon Ferguson: “If they’re trying to send a message,” he said, “I’m not sure what message they’re trying to send.”

• Brad Sholl, who last professional experience came with the Los Angeles Blades of the Roller Hockey International (RHI) league, was the goalie for the Kings’ alumni team on Saturday. Sholl is the manager at Toyota Sports Center, the Kings’ practice rink, and a local youth goalie instructor.

Update: Mike Zacharias is going on 3-day IR to make room for Gaudet.