Archive for September, 2012

Whalers and Bulls on the bluelines before faceoff. Photo by Keith Dotson

The Whalers were looking to shake off the loss the the Hounds from the night before and bounce back with a win. With they way that the team came out of the gate you got a sense what this team can do this season. (more…)

Whalers drop their first game of the season in OT. Photo: Andrew Mady

Whalers drop their first game of the season in OT. Photo: Andrew Mady

Maybe having almost two weeks between the Whalers last preseason game and their first regular season game was too much time because it was not until the second period that the Whalers looked like they were there to play.

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Last Season: 47-18-2-1 | 97 Points(1st West Division, 2nd Western Conference)

Playoffs: Western Conference Semifinals – Eliminated by the Kitchener Rangers in 7 games.

Departing Players:

  • Defense
    • D. MacDonald
    • Levi
    • Schmitz
    • Trutmann
  • Offense
    • Devane
    • Bathgate
    • Heard
    • Dempsey
  • Goalie
    • Wedgewood

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Mike Vellucci was the guest of a live chat courtesy of the Detroit Free Press. It really is in interesting read and I highly recommend reading the full transcript.

Here are some of the highlights of today’s chat.

  • When asked how Colin MacDonald compares to former Whaler captains… Well we will have to wait and see. He is a great kid and very mature for his age. He works hard on and off the ice. The best is that he was a 15th rd pick of ours and has work so hard to just make the team and get better. He is a driven player.
  • Not expecting Heard, Levi, or Wedgewood back this year at all.
  • About Simon Karlsson… He got all the way here and was sent back home. He did not have proper paperwork. He should be here next week.
  • When asked what he would say to NHL fans affected by the lock out…Come watch us play you wont be dissapointed!!! I am as frustrated as they are. I love watching my old players play.
  • Albertini was sent back to Junior B.
  • Asked about Plymouth ever hosting the Memorial Cup…I am not sure we meet the criteria. I would never say never because Mr. K is such a huge supporter of Major Jr Hockey. He later stated that part of the criteria included lack of seating as the main reason and lack of hotel space near the rink.
  • When asked about Compuware Arena rink upgrades…The arena is only 16 years old and I like it alot. It is way louder than Windsor or London. We have looked at a new video sign.
  • Broadcasting of Whalers games… Comcast will be doing some live games this year. I think about 10. We have been trying to get our away games broadcast back here on Comcast for a few years. We are making some ground.
    • EDITOR’S NOTE: Sources with knowledge of Schoolcraft College Sports Network has told me that the final number of live home games will be closer to 5 due to conflicts between Comcast and SCSN, but this is a huge step for the Whalers and their broadcast partners.
  • Best nickname on the team… Curcuruto his is Chinner
  • Winterfest and the lock out…It will not go if there is no Winter Classic.
  • Who keeps the locker room loose? Willy, Miller, Whaley to name a few. Oh I almost forgot Muers. He makes me laugh.

Overall a good look into the upcoming season for the Whalers. The season starts for the Whalers this Friday in the Soo and the Whalers head back to Plymouth to host the Belleville Bulls in their home opener.

O Captain! My Captain!

Posted: September 19, 2012 in 2012-13, Whalers

Whalers New Captain Colin MacDonald. Photo Courtesy – PlymouthWhalers.com

The Whalers announced via their twitter account who will be wearing the C for the team this year.

Colin, the 270th overall pick in the 2008 OHL Draft is coming into this season as an OA. This now ends the speculation of who will take over for the previous captain Beau Schmitz.

He is a great kid and very mature for his age, works hard on and off the ice. The best is that he was a 15th rd pick of ours and has worked so hard to just make the team and get better. Colin is a driven player. –Mike Vellucci – Whalers GM/Head Coach

I am really happy to hear Macker got the C this year. He has come a really long way from when he was drafted in the 14th round in 2008. Colin and I have become really good friends over the course of our time together in Plymouth and each year he improves and shows a lot of heart and determination around the rink. A lot of guys will say he is a lot more serious then most, but I think it’s a good trait in a captain. Mac understands the amount of responsibility that is asked for from a captain. I am positive he will lead the Whalers to another successful season and hopefully the OHL and Memorial Cup. – -Scott Wedgewood – Former Whalers Goaltender

Now who will be the assistant captains? Don’t worry, they announced those as well.

Adding Carreck, Noesen and Wilson gives the Whalers a strong leadership core heading into what looks to be an exciting season.

Photo Courtesy: Plymouth Whalers Facebook

We all knew the NHL Lockout was coming. Many people, myself included were optimistic that a deal would get done and everything would start on time. While it currently looks like both the NHL and NHLPA are far apart on many issues, the one thing that we as fans can take solace in is the fact that the OHL season starts this week. Without further delay, let’s get to the news.

  • Yahoo Sports lists the 10 Junior bandwagons to board until the big leaguers come back. (Buzzing The Net)
  • Even though there is a NHL Lockout does not mean that the AHL training camps are locked out. Word is Whaler J.T. Miller will be heading to Connecticut for the Whale’s training camp when it opens on the 29th (NY Daily News) and Whaler favorite Mitchell Heard will be playing in Lake Erie this season. (Denver Post)
  • Does the NHL Lockout pose a threat to the non-NHL events at the Hockeytown Winterfest at the end of this year? Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press tackled this subject in her live chat today. (Detroit Free Press)

Later this week I will post my review of NHL 13 and a 2012-13 season preview. In the meantime let us welcome the bandwagon into Compuware Arena and show the newcomers that the Whalers are worth the price of admission.

The Whalers drop another game to the London Knight in St. Thomas by a score of 3-1, and finish up their preseason play with a 2-2 record.

The Knights continued where they left off on Friday and were able to get three goals past Corbin (13-16 stops) to take a 3-0 lead after two periods of play. Nedeljkovic took over in the second period and stopped all 14 shots he faced. The Whalers turned on the pressure in the third period outshooting the Knights 21-5, but were only able to get a lone goal by Curcuruto to finish the game at 3-1. Former Whalers goaltender Jake Patterson looked sharp for the Knights stopping 40-41 shots on the night.

The storyline of both games were the fights. Three bouts on Friday only to be topped on Saturday with seven fights. Albertini, Payne, Carrick, Vanderwiel, Malysa, Sills, and Wilson all dropped the gloves at one point during the game. With this being preseason play and game misconducts being handed out with each fight, both benches got a bit roomy by the end of the third period.

The Whalers next game will be on Friday, September 21st as they go up to the Soo to open the season agains the Greyhounds. The Whalers home opener is the next day, September 22nd against the Belleville Bulls.