Karl Taylor on Weslosky, Fredricks.

Here are the links to yesterday’s story about the signing of Jase Weslosky and Jason Fredricks: in the Daily Bulletin and San Bernardino Sun. I had the chance to speak to Karl Taylor about both players this morning.

(Before getting into his quotes, however, a disclaimer: Taylor said not to read into the fact that Weslosky and Fredricks were the first signings announced. David Walker was the first signing announced prior to Year 1, Jon Francisco the following year, and Tim Kraus and Francisco the next. Still, yesterday’s announcement doesn’t mean that Fredricks is going to be named captain, that Weslosky is going to be the number-one goalie all season, or that better players aren’t still coming down the pipe.)

Upward and onward …
Continue reading “Karl Taylor on Weslosky, Fredricks.” »

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 Shawn Germain?

The rundown on defenseman Shawn Germain:

2010-11 stats [career]: 4 goals, 14 points, 23 penalty minutes, minus-14 rating in 43 games.

Quote: “I don’t want to be a guy that keeps saying, ‘yeah I’m done,’ then come back. I already did that once. I think one of the things this year has taught me is never count things out. I can never say I’ll never play another game of pro hockey.”

Pros: Germain’s steady, veteran presence allowed him to play a huge role upon his return to Ontario last December. He wound up with four goals – a career high – and a surprise promotion to the American Hockey League at the end of the season.

Cons: For the second straight year, the answer to this question depends on Germain’s post-hockey plans. The last time, he only came back because of a convenient four-month window in his firefighter’s training. That window might not exist in 2011-12.

Germain signs with Manchester.

Shawn Germain, who sounded ready to retire after playing his last game with the Reign earlier this month, is lacing up his skates again — in the American Hockey League.

The 28-year-old defenseman was signed to a pro tryout agreement Friday by the Manchester Monarchs. The Monarchs continue Calder Cup playoff action tonight against the Binghamton Senators.

Germain hasn’t appeared in an AHL game since his second professional season of 2006-07. A true journeyman, he’s appeared in 299 games between the ECHL and Central Hockey League in the meantime. In 2010-11 with the Reign, he set a career high for goals in a single pro season (four) despite missing the season’s first two-plus months while contemplating retirement. He also had 10 assists and 23 penalty minutes in 43 games.

Germain’s previous AHL experience consists of one game with the Hershey Bears on Dec. 30, 2006. He went scoreless with two penalty minutes and a plus-2 rating.

Shawn Germain post-season quotes.

Shawn Germain is done with hockey. He thinks.

Plan A is to be a firefighter in Edmonton, Plan B is to be a firefighter in Calgary, and Plan C is to play hockey. It’s fairly obvious that he’s hoping Plans A and B don’t fall through. Here’s what the 28-year-old defenseman had to say this morning:

Continue reading “Shawn Germain post-season quotes.” »

Brief notes from practice.

You would never know by watching the Reign practice that their season has been reduced to a prayer. The effort and the tempo were there – only a few players were missing.

Shawn Germain (maintenance), Jase Weslosky (lower body) and Aaron Lewadniuk (back) sat this one out. Weslosky was scheduled to be evaluated later today to determine his status for the upcoming road trip to Boise. Lewadniuk is day-to-day and seems more likely to go on the trip. More from him in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.

For my money, the most impressive sight in practice was that of Chad Starling. The veteran defenseman still hasn’t been cleared for contact or game play, as was his original hope, but he hasn’t given up on this season either. Unlike veteran teammates David Walker and Jon Francisco, Starling has given no indication that this season will be his last. But for a 30-year-old who hasn’t played a game since November, and underwent two surgeries in January, it would certainly be an accomplishment if he were to appear in a game before the season ends.

There hasn’t been any activity on the transactions wire, though former Reign center Dusty Collins saw his time in an Oklahoma City Barons jersey end after one game. He was released from his PTO today and is presumably on his way back to Florida.

Reign 4, Idaho 3.

The Reign’s 3-2 deficit in third period wasn’t too much to overcome on Wednesday, and they can only hope their six-point deficit in the standings isn’t too large, either.

Clearly, the Reign are a team in the mood for comebacks. Jordan Morrison’s goal with 4:50 left in the third period, and an overtime goal by Kyle Kraemer, lifted them to a 4-3 win over Idaho before an announced crowd of 6,644 at CBBA. Mike Zacharias (10-11-3-3) stopped 36 of 39 shots to win his second straight start.

Kraemer also scored a power-play goal in the first period and Justin Taylor scored at 7:25 of the second to give the Reign a 2-0 lead. Idaho went ahead on unanswered goals by Cody Purves, Mark Derlago and Junior Lessard.

The Reign went 2-for-3 on the power play and also killed off a pair of third-period power plays after Purves scored on the Steelheads’ first man-advantage shift of the game.

The Victoria Salmon Kings (24-27-1-2, 51 points) still hold the seventh and final playoff position in the Western Conference, six points ahead of the Reign (20-30-2-3, 45 points). The Salmon Kings have one game in hand, but the pressure is on them now to beat Utah in their next game Friday.

A few more notes:
Continue reading “Reign 4, Idaho 3.” »

Reign 4, Bakersfield 2.

Playing their third game in three days, the Reign turned in their only win of the weekend in Bakersfield.

Aaron Lewadniuk, Shawn Germain, David Walker and Chaz Johnson scored goals on Josh Tordjman (20 saves), and Reign goalie Mike Zacharias stopped 49 shots to match Beau Erickson’s season-high total from two days earlier.

Jordan Morrison had three assists, including pretty feeds to set up Johnson and Germain on the breakaway. Justin Taylor had a pair of assists, and Kyle Kraemer and Michael Pelech had one helper each.

Playing his first game of the weekend, Zacharias succeeded against the same barrage of shots that Erickson saw Friday and Saturday. The Condors had their share of odd-man rushes (while also surrendering a few to the Reign), but Zacharias didn’t seem to face the same amount of net-front pressure that kept Erickson from seeing the puck in a 7-3 loss the night before.

Considering Bakersfield registered 157 shots on goal this weekend, the Reign were lucky to escape with three points. By going 1-1-1, the Reign (19-30-2-3, 43 points) lost a
point in the standings to sixth-place Bakersfield (26-24-2-1, 55 points)
but gained a point on seventh-place Victoria (24-27-1-2, 51 points).

The Salmon Kings were shut out 4-0 in Stockton on Sunday.

A few more notes:
Continue reading “Reign 4, Bakersfield 2.” »