Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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Mitch Jones and Coach Don Elland will be missing the next two games due to the fight that happened at the 5:19 mark of the second period of last night’s 5-2 loss against the Sting.

Jones was given a game misconduct penalty for leaving the bench to start an altercation. Which is a violation of Rule 70.2 in the OHL Rulebook.

Rule 70 – Leaving the Bench

70.2 Legal Line Change – A player who has entered the game while play is in progress from his own players’ bench or legally from the penalty bench (penalty time has expired) who starts an altercation maybe subject to discipline in accordance with Rule 28– Supplementary Discipline.

A player or players who have entered the game on a legal line change during a stoppage of play, who line up in preparation for the ensuing face-off, and who participate in an altercation shall be penalized under the appropriate rule and will be subject to discipline in accordance with Rule 28 – Supplementary Discipline (a game misconduct is not automatic in this situation unless provided for as a result of his actions in the altercation).

Both Coach Elland and Jones will be back in action when the Whalers travel to Niagara to take on the Ice Dogs.

 

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The Whalers did more than move some players at the trade deadline. They also moved the captaincy from the injured Alex Peters to overage defenseman Gianluca Curcuruto.

As for the Whalers that are wearing the A on their shoulder? That would be Mathew Campagna, Mitch Jones, and Sonny Milano.

The discussion of the Plymouth Whalers being moved and/or sold has be the hot topic since team owner Pete Karmanos Jr. stated last May that if the attendance situation did not change in Plymouth, they would have to look at other options. Since then just about everyone and their mother knows somebody who has the inside scoop as witness by the tweets below.

The truth is that we will only know once something has been made official. As you remember Flint has been talked about as a new location even as early as last year. Well since then, some things have changed. A new ownership group has come in to take over the Arena and the talks are that they want to bring a team there. Sooner rather than later. At first there was talk that it was going to be a USHL Expansion team, now in the past week it has come around again that they are looking for an OHL team to start there in September 2015. ABC12 in Flint comes in with this video report. New owners at Perani Arena look into purchasing Ontario Hockey League team

This holds a little more weight when looking at the reports of a move, but still there is a lack of comment from the league and the Whalers.  Hold on to your seats Whaler fans, between now and when we have official news, this is going to be a roller coaster ride of rumor and speculation.

WComing into the Friday’s trade deadline the Whalers were in last place in the West and 11 points away from a playoff spot. Fans were wondering what moved might be made by the rookie General Manager, Mark Craig.

To give Craig credit, he has made some good moves with the team early in the season. He brought in Matt Watson when we needed defense without giving up a single player or future pick, and he also brought in OA defenseman Sean Callaghan for a 4th round pick in 2016 and the rights to Connor Carrick. [Yes, you read that right. At least that’s what the OHL media site is reporting]

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Thursday we saw our first move for the Whalers. Liam Dunda was sent to the Owen Sound Attack for two picks. London’s 3rd round pick in 2016 and Niagara’s 4th round pick in 2017. Dunda took to Twitter to give his thanks to the Whalers organization and express his excitement for the next step in his OHL career.

The clock hit Noon with no word about any other trades in the pipeline. However, as long as the teams communicate the trade to the league before Noon, there still could be a final few trades that get announced after the deadline. This happened to be the case this year as the Whalers were part of a three way trade with Oshawa and Windsor.

Let’s break this down, even though it’s not that complicated.

First Trade:
Windsor: 
Ryan Moore, Guelph’s 4th round 2015
Oshawa: Chase Pearson, 2nd round 2021, 3rd round 2018

Second Trade:
Plymouth: Matt Mistele
Oshawa: Ryan Moore, Guelph’s 4th round ’15, 6th round ’16, 4th round ’17, 3rd round ’19, 2nd round ’20

Overall the Whalers set themselves up to acquire additional talent in the future through the OHL Priority Selection without blowing up the entire team. They picked up seven picks and Ryan Moore right before the deadline.

Yes, while the Whalers did get rid of their top scorer with Mistele, I still think this trade will be considered a long term win for the Whalers. Just imagine, right now there is an 11 year-old out there that will be selected with the 2020 2nd round pick that came in this trade.

Our first look at the short term gains Plymouth may have made with this trade will not be seen until the Whalers take on the Soo on Saturday when Ryan Moore joins the team.

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11:01 PM – That’s all folk’s

10:32 PM – The first round is over. Unless Sonny Milano dons a Whalers jersey this season, it means that the streak of having Whalers players go in the first round ends at 4 years (2010 – Seguin, 2011 – Miller, Noesen, and Rakell, 2012 – Wilson, 2013 – Hartman). Following the first round I was able to ask the GM of the Blue Jackets, Jarmo Kekalainen, about the possibility of exercising his CHL options. [Sorry for the bad camera positioning]

9:22 PM – We have our first Whaler drafted! Well sorta… The Columbus Blue Jackets drafted Sonny Milano 16th overall. His CHL rights are held by the Plymouth Whalers. The United States of Hockey explains it best.

Before Eagles fans get too excited however, the recruiting job is not done. Milano’s CHL rights are held by the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League. They’ve had some success luring NTDP players away from college scholarships in the past. Among those that have headed to Plymouth, J.T. Miller (North Dakota), Connor Carrick (Michigan) and Ryan Hartman (Miami).

There is always a chance that Jarmo Kekalainen can sway Sonny to go the CHL route, but right now it does not look likely in his post-draft interview.

Time will tell, but it would be nice to him wearing a Whalers jersey next season. I mean look at some of his stick skills.

8:11 PM – Our first piece of Whalers related news has to do with a former Whaler. James Neal has been traded to the Nashville Predators for Hornqvist and Spaling.

6:06 PM – WhalersOTM is here at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Let’s start this post off with a poll. Tonight is the first round, rounds 2-7 are tomorrow morning. If there was one Whaler player to go today, who would it be?

Peter Karmanos Jr. talking with the media after the press conference announcing the new head coach and general manager of the Plymouth Whalers. Photo: Keith Dotson

 …if you spend any time at all watching junior hockey and given an opportunity, and get to know these kids are watching them on the ice and realize the passion they play with, and the dream they’re trying to capture. It’s an amazing ride and if some of our fan base that loved to watch pro hockey would just come to a few games so they can start to capture who these kids are. I think they be amazed at what not only what great hockey it is, but these kids, and how hard they work and their desire.

Those were the words of newly hired General Manager Mark Craig at the press conference introducing him this past Friday. This comes after some not so happy news from the team owner Peter Karmanos Jr. Karmanos said if the Whalers can’t increase attendance next season, he would consider selling the team.

“Well to be frank about it, it’s tough running an OHL team in a major league city. Our attendance has been good, but it’s not great. You look down 401 and you see the London Knights selling out every game, you know that if you had to sell the team you might want to move it to one of those cities, rather than keep it playing here. Like I’ve said, it’s become an expensive business, it’s a big business. If we could get the attendance where we think it should be here, I think the future is great. If we continue to draw a couple thousand people a game, we’ll have to take a look at some options.”

The Whalers are playing in Plymouth this year, but after that nothing is written in stone.

“Right now, it’s the Plymouth Whalers and they’re playing out of this arena, they’ll be here at least another season, and we’ll just have to keep evaluating. When you put a quality product on the ice and you win every year and you’re in the playoffs for 23 straight years, sooner or later, people have to start coming.” Karmanos added.

So now the Whalers front office needs to find a way to fill seats without giving away tickets, and that starts by getting people to sign up to be season ticket holders.

What are your suggestions to attract fans to the Plymouth Whalers? Leave a comment below, on our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter and let us know.

Whalers owner Peter Karmanos Jr. introduces Mark Craig as the new General Manager. Photo: Keith Dotson

With Mike Vellucci being promoted to the position of Assistant General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes people wondered who was going to fill the many roles that Vellucci held at Compuware Arena. On Friday Compuware Arena and the Plymouth Whalers held a press conference to announce the changes.

The changes for the Whalers are as follows:

  • Mike Vellucci will remain at the Governor of the Whalers and still attend league meetings.
  • Mark Craig has been hired as the General Manager of the Plymouth Whalers.
  • Assistant Coach Joe Stefan has been promoted to the role of Assistant General Manager.
  • Assistant Coach Don Elland has been promoted to Head Coach of the team.

Mark Craig becomes the team’s sixth general manager of the Plymouth Whalers over 25 seasons while Don Elland becomes the eighth coach of the team.

Other changes for Compuware Arena announced were:

  • Dennis Moore has been promoted to President and CFO of the Whalers and Compuware Arena.
  • Mike Henry has been promoted to Vice President and General Manager of Compuware Arena.

The video of the press conference is embedded below.