Well despite all the depressing news yesterday, let’s look at something worth celebrating. The Whalers are celebrating a big birthday today.

Peter Karmanos had a goal to bring OHL hockey to the United States while he was the owner of the Windsor Spitfires team during the 1980’s. Karmanos sold the Spitfires in 1989 after a failed attempt to relocate the team across the river. He also failed in his bid to buy out and relocate the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

Back on December 11th, 1989 the Ontario Hockey League granted Peter Karmanos an expansion franchise that were named the Detroit Compuware Ambassadors. Today they are known as the Plymouth Whalers and the team has only missed the playoffs once in their franchise history. Happy 25th Birthday Whalers!

Let’s also give a birthday shoutout to the loveable mascot of the Whalers, Shooter T. Whale.

 

There has been a delay on getting the podcast out and writing blog posts and there is a good reason for that. It’s hard to be motivated to write and talk about a team that is on the verge of leaving.

Crain’s Detroit now reporting that the Whalers are expected to announce a move away from Compuware Arena. 

A statement is expected soon from Plymouth Whalers’ Governor Mike Vellucci about the minor-league ice hockey club’s possible relocation to Ontario.

That’s the word this morning from team spokesman Peter Krupsky, who deferred all comment on news that the team was moving to Vellucci.

How soon is soon? The team has to announce their intent to move by the end of the month.

This comes after rumors of the team being moved at the end of last season. Then the comments that team owner Peter Karmanos made in May when announcing changes with the front office. Follow that up with the announcement that the USA Hockey plans to buy Compuware Arena. We all could see the writing on the wall, yet there was the consistent thought that we would get at least one more season out of this organization.

While Whaler fans could maybe see one more season in a temporary location before the fully move to their new home, long time fans should not hold their breath. It looks like the 25th season in the OHL will be the last one in the USA before the Whalers are moved to Ontario.

Sadly the question was not “Who do you think will score first next game?”. Chatham being just over an hour away from Plymouth moves the team into a less sports saturated market with a population of 100k practically in between Windsor and London. I mean on paper it looks like a good place to move a team to. The Whalers are constantly drowned out by the likes of the Red Wings, Lions, Tigers, Pistons, MSU, and U of M.

That’s where I wanted this site and podcast to go. I wanted this to be an additional voice shouting that this is hockey worth watching, because to be frank, the Plymouth Whalers have been a part of my life since late 2005 and I have been lucky with what I was able to accomplish with this organization. I used my passion for the team to try to promote it to the fullest and became the go to guy for video.

I have been able to meet amazing people and got to see amazing hockey players and equally amazing hockey games. Each fall it was known that Compuware Arena was to be my home on the weekends during hockey season.

This affects more than just the players and staff. It affects the billet parents who take these players into their home and give them a family while they are away from home. It affects the season ticket holders whose passion kept them attending games even in the worst of weather conditions, who keep coming back regardless of the win-loss record the team is posting. It will also affect the people employed that work for the team. Maybe some will move with the team, but you know that a good number will be without a job.

In the coming days the facts will come out and the rumors will be put to rest. The Whalers will play somewhere else next season and a lot of us will be moving on with our lives while we hoped for a better ending.

After Ten Games…

Posted: October 23, 2014 in Whalers

Hard to believe it, but ten games are already in the books for the Whalers 25th season in the OHL. Let’s take a look at how our Whalers are doing.

Read the rest of this entry »

The east coast road trip was not kind to the Whalers defense as the OHL announces suspensions on both Mitch Jones and Gianluca Curcuruto.

From the OHL Press Release:

The Ontario Hockey League today announced the result of a review of an incident which took place in a game played in Kingston on the 17th of October, 2014, involving the Frontenacs and the visiting Plymouth Whalers Hockey Club.

The incident reviewed was a checking to the head infraction involving player Mitch Jones of the Plymouth Whalers Hockey Club.

Based on such review, it is the position of the League that player Mitch Jones shall be suspended for eight (8) games.

Click here for video/rationale of the Mitch Jones suspension.

Yes, Jones sends a check to the head and had some time to try to avoid hitting the head. I’m not saying Jones was aiming for the head, it looked to me that the player had his head lowered. Jones need to realize that and adjust his target. The Whalers will miss him in the lineup until they take on the Otters in Erie on the 30th.

From the Press Release:

The Ontario Hockey League today announced the result of a review of an incident which took place in a game played in Ottawa on the 19th of October, 2014, involving the 67’s and the visiting Plymouth Whalers Hockey Club.

The incident reviewed was a checking to the head infraction involving player Gianluca Curcuruto of the Plymouth Whalers Hockey Club.

Based on such review, it is the position of the League that player Gianluca Curcuruto shall be suspended for twelve (12) games effective immediately.

Click here for video/rationale of the Gianluca Curcuruto suspension.

This hit got Curcuruto 12 games, and I am not sure how I feel about it. I feel that the player that got hit put himself in a worse position because he saw the hit coming and put his arm up to defend himself. However, still the distance and speed still come in to play with this. They should not judge based on an injury, but on the intent, granted which is harder to determine. The Whalers will have this OA back in the line up when Niagara comes into town on November 22nd.

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Guelph, ON – The Whalers were on the road taking on the defending OHL Champion Guelph Storm for the third game of the regular season.

Plymouth started off strong as they have in their previous games scoring early in the first and converting on the 5-on-3 early in the second. Guelph answered back just as quickly as the they brought the game back to a one goal lead with a shorthanded goal by Jason Dickinson.

That was the spark that the Storm needed as Guelph took control of the game, outshooting the Whalers 26-8 in the final two periods and scoring four unanswered goals to give them the 4-2 win.

The goal scorers for tonight were:
1. PLY M. Campagna, (3) (M. Jones), 6:40
2. PLY V. Crus Rydberg, (2) (M. Campagna, M. Mistele), 0:19 (PP)
2. GUE J. Dickinson, (1) (P. Suter), 1:28 (SH)
2. GUE S. Pierog, (1) (G. McFadden), 4:22
3. GUE P. Suter, (1) (B. Harpur, J. Dickinson), 2:51
3. GUE P. Suter, (2) (J. Dickinson, C. Bauman), 14:31

The Plymouth Whalers (1-1-1-0) head home to host the London Knights (1-2-0-0). Game time is at 7:05pm at Compuware Arena.

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Josh Wesley celebrates after scoring in the third period.

Plymouth Township, MI – The Whalers came home from London to host the Erie Otters. Erie, who reached the conference finals just the year before, is also know for having OHL superstar Connor McDavid on their team.

Plymouth came out quickly on the attack putting up goals from Bitten and Mistele in the first six minutes of the game. Erie got back in the game due to undisciplined play by the Whalers. Allowing the Otters to go 4/7 on the power play.

The Whalers thought the game was locked up by an amazing goal by Josh Wesley, however Erie pulled their goalie for the extra attacker with just under two minutes remaining. Allowing Connor McDavid to snipe from the left faceoff circle tying the game at four goals apiece.  Nedeljkovic made a highlight reel stop to keep the game tied in the final seconds of the third.

Both teams had their chances in the overtime period, but it was Erie that was able to recover Vanderwiel’s blocked shot and was able to wrist it home for the win.

Plymouth (1-0-1-0) now will head to Guelph to face the defending OHL champion Guelph Storm (0-1-0-0) of Friday.

Other Notes: Last night’s win had this interesting stat to go with it.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 9.30.11 PMLondon, ON – In the first game of the Don Elland era, the Whalers took advantage of London’s mistakes closing the night with a 5-0 win in the season opener.

Power play goals from Wesley and Campagna helped start the attack for the Whalers as they went 2/9 in the power play department. Campagna scored a second goal late in the second, Crus Rydberg and Dunda also notched goals in tonights win.

Nedeljkovic starts the season with a shutout. Last season, he did not get a shutout until game 56 of the season in a 5-0 win against Windsor.

Overall, the Whalers improved on the areas they needed to in the offseason. They added scoring with Matt Campagna, and they are stopping the puck from getting to Ned.

The Whalers (1-0-0) now head home to host the Erie Otters for the home opener of their 25th season in the league. Erie comes into Compuware with a 1-0 record as they defeated Windsor tonight with a score of 5-2.