Poss, Egener among those suspended by ECHL for brawl.

The consequences of last Saturday’s benches-clearing ECHL brawl came to fruition Friday.

Fifteen individuals – including both head coaches – and both the Florida Everblades and Reading Royals organizations received supplemental discipline from the league.

Former Reign assistant coach Greg Poss, now the Everblades’ head coach, was suspended for Friday night’s game against the Kalamazoo Wings. Former Reign defenseman Mike Egener, now the Everblades’ captain, was suspended three games – Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Both were fined undisclosed amounts by the league.

I was able to find one video of the brawl on YouTube. The quality is poor and it’s five minutes long:

Woody Wommack, friend of this blog and Florida Everblades beat writer, has the reaction on NaplesNews.com:

“I have a different opinion than the league,” Poss said. “When our guy gets hit over the head with a stick off the bench; they started the whole thing, why do we get so many games?”

Poss added that the entire experience surrounding the brawl may lead to him handling things differently in the future.

“It’s going to lead to us protecting ourselves we’re not going to wait for the league to protect us because they’re not going to do it,” Poss said. “We’re going to have to take matters into our own hands. Next time, maybe the right thing to do is to clear the bench.”

The turnover on defense (pun intended).

Quick, how many Reign defensemen who played Wednesday were on the team to start the season?
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Egener to join Poss in Florida.

Mike Egener, whose 11 goals last season led all Reign defensemen, has signed with the ECHL’s Florida Everblades.

Egener, who also led the Reign in penalty minutes last season (189 in 65 games), is reunited in Florida with Greg Poss, the Blades’ new head coach who served as a volunteer assistant with the Reign last season.

A former second-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the 24-year-old Egener returned to North America last year after playing a partial season in Sweden. He possessed the hardest slapshot on the team, but didn’t find his scoring touch until the second half of season. He finished with 18 assists and 29 points in addition to a plus-9 rating — second on the team.

The Reign will miss Egener’s physical presence, which often led him to the penalty box. The 6-4, 213-pound defenseman finished eighth in the league in penalty minutes.

Left a message with Egener earlier, and will update with his comments when we get ‘em …

Reign announce season-ending roster.

ECHL season-ending rosters were released today, the lists of up to 20 players from whom teams can qualify eight. The Reign’s season-ending roster included exactly 20:

Mike Egener, Chad Starling, Jon Francisco, Tim Kraus, Tony Voce, Peter Lenes, Curtis Darling, Chris Curran, Geoff Walker, Greg Hogeboom, David Walker, Sean O’Connor, Mike Zacharias, Jon Rheault, Dan Knapp, Luis Tremblay, Todd Jackson, Robert Pearce, Shawn Germain and James McEwan.

Of the players who finished 2009-10 on the Reign’s roster, five are missing:

• Defenseman Andrew Martens, who has signed in the Central Hockey League;

• Forwards C.J. Stretch and Jordan Nolan, who were playing on Amateur Tryout contracts, and therefore not eligible for the season-ending roster;
• Forward Michael Pelech and defenseman Colten Teubert, who were assigned to the Reign by the Kings.

In other words, the season-ending roster looks just as expected.

The next step in the process of whittling down who will be back next season is submitting qualifying offers.

Each team is entitled to qualify a maximum of eight players
from
the list of 20 by extending a qualifying offer no later than July 1. Of
the
eight qualified players, no more than four can be veterans (260 regular-season professional hockey games played as of the start of the 2010-11
season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded. Teams are
not
required to extend a qualifying offer to players who sign a contract
prior
to July 1.

Reign announce protected list.

There were no surprises on the Reign’s protected list, announced Wednesday:

Kellen Briggs, Dusty Collins, Chris Curran, Curtis Darling, Mike
Egener, Jon Francisco, Shawn Germain, Greg Hogeboom, Todd Jackson, Dan Knapp, Tim
Kraus, Peter Lenes, Andrew Martens, James McEwan, Sean O’Connor, Robert Pearce,
Jon Rheault, Chad Starling, Jason Tejchma, Luis Tremblay, Tony Voce, David
Walker, Geoff Walker, Mike Zacharias.
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Reign 7, Las Vegas 1.

Looking more relaxed than they had all season, the Reign exploded for seven goals, and got a 27-save effort from Mike Zacharias. However high of a note they could go out on, one day after missing the playoffs, the Reign found it.

It was a particularly good night for Chad Starling, Colten Teubert, Jordan Nolan and C.J. Stretch, each of whom scored his first goal of the season. Greg Hogeboom scored his team-leading 32nd, Geoff Walker scored his 7th and Mike Egener his 11th.

Tim Kraus picked up three assists and Walker added two helpers. Teubert and Starling both finished plus-4 and the Reign killed all five short-handed situations.

Jon Rheault – who would have been playing his eighth game in 10 days – was held out, as was Peter Lenes, who was ineligible to come off IR. Dan Knapp stepped in for Luis Tremblay on defense.

More details in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.

Egener, O’Connor hit with fines.

The ECHL has fined Mike Egener and Sean O’Connor “an undisclosed amount as a result of
their actions following” last night’s game against Las Vegas. Egener and O’Connor were both involved in on-ice altercations with Las Vegas players, but the wording by the league suggests that the fine is related to something that happened after the game.

Both were fined under ECHL Rule 29 (Supplementary
Discipline). Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the ECHL
and
the Professional Hockey Players’ Association, player fines collected by
the
ECHL are given to the PHPA for its ECHL Player’s Hardship Fund.

More information if/when we can get it.

Update from Friday’s morning skate.

Today’s morning skate at the Orleans Arena was optional for the Reign, and 11 players took to the ice: Greg Hogeboom, Tim Kraus, Chad Starling, Andrew Martens, Mike Egener, Luis Tremblay, Dan Knapp, Peter Lenes, C.J. Stretch, Jordan Nolan, and Mike Zacharias.

Zacharias was the only goalie on the ice, which in most cases (barring injuries or other unforeseen circumstances) means that he’ll be the backup in the game. Expect Curtis Darling – who turned in a good performance in a losing effort Thursday – to get his second straight start.

I caught up with Nolan and Karl Taylor to discuss Nolan’s pro debut; more on that in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.

Here are the elimination scenarios for tonight:

- If the Reign lose in regulation, or Victoria beats Utah (7 p.m. Pacific start time in British Columbia), the Reign are eliminated from playoff contention.
- If the Reign lose in overtime or a shootout, they need Victoria to lose in regulation in order to avoid elimination.
- If the Reign win (either in regulation or in overtime/shootout), they need Victoria to lose (either in regulation or overtime/shootout) to avoid elimination.

Taking all of tonight’s nine potential scenarios into account, the Reign are eliminated in six of them. They need help.

Tonight and tomorrow, get used to the phrase “Go Grizzlies!”

Reign 7, Idaho 4.

The Reign jumped out to a rare 5-0 lead, enabling them to withstand a four-goal third period by Idaho in a game with plenty of implications in the standings.

Seventh-place Utah won, meaning a loss would have kept the Reign three points back of the National Conference’s final playoff berth.

Now seven teams are separated by one point each for the final six playoff positions: Bakersfield (71), Victoria (70), Las Vegas (69), Alaska (68), Stockton (67), Utah (66) and Ontario (65).
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