Posts Tagged ‘plymouth whalers’

Photo Credit: Rena Laverty

We are down to the final eight games of the season and the Whalers have fought their way back to now be in a three-way tie for points at 51. Tonight’s game against the Spirit is another must win for the team. If Windsor loses tonight and the Whalers beat Saginaw, Plymouth will leapfrog into the 8 spot.

The bad news however is that the Whalers have lost the services of Connor Chatham.

Pete Krupsky gives us the details on why he is out of the lineup.

It’s rough, but the Whalers are going to have to pull through without him.

IMG_3658If the Whalers want to make the playoffs this season, they have to win this morning.

No, that’s not an over-dramatization, the Whalers are two points behind the 8th place Spirit and with nine games remaining, they face Saginaw four times. That is a huge eight points needed to move up to the eight spot.

Can the Whalers win? The short answer, yes. The Whalers have been playing better hockey in the past ten games, going 5-4-1-0 while the Saginaw Spirit are currently licking their wounds from a 12-3 shellacking from the London Knights, and have choked to a 1-9-0-0 record in the past ten games.

The Whalers play Saginaw this morning before hosting them at Compuware Arena on Thursday. The other team in the mix is Windsor, and they face the Soo on Thursday. All I’m saying is that there is a decent chance that the Whalers can move up to the eighth spot by the end of Thursday’s game.

I’ll repeat it again. If the Whalers want to make the playoffs this season, they have to win this morning.

 

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.

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.

The Whalers were able to pick up a point last night in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Saginaw Spirit, while the Rangers were able to pick up two points while shutting out the Steelheads in a 5-0 win.

Tonight the Whalers host the Rangers in the second to last meeting this season. If the Whalers can win this game in regulation, that would lower the number of points they need to clinch by four.

Side Note:

The Spitfires play at the Soo tonight. If they pick up at least a point, they will be the fifth team in the west to punch their card for the post season dance.

Hang on tight Whalers fans. These next few weeks are going to be a edge of your seat, nerve-wracking, wild ride. Plan accordingly.