The province hasnt had a team attend the Allan Cup, the national senior amateur mens ice hockey championship, since sometime in the late 1980s. Thatll change in April 2010 when the Clarenville Caribous, winners of last years Telegram Herder Memorial Championship, go to take on the best senior league teams from across the country. At first, a lot of people assumed the team to represent the province in Fort St. John, B.C., would be the Caribous who embarrassed the CeeBees at Mile One last April. But not so. Randy Pearcey and the Bous brass had the option of affiliating with one other senior team in the province from which to build a lineup and they chose the Deer Lake Red Wings. Theres no discounting the Red Wings experience, but I have to wonder how legitimate that experience is anymore and whether or not it becomes a boon or bane to the Bous. Take Darren Langdon for example. He was never a scorer, he was an enforcer, one of the best of his era. And lets be honest, the legs are not there anymore. Is having a stone footed fisticuffs specialist in your lineup key to winning an Allen Cup? You could say the same for Harold Druken. He was once great, but everything Im hearing from the West Coast says hes not in the best shape this year, mentally or physically. Outside of those two guys, none of the Red Wings have any significant pro experience, save for import blueliner Kyle Wharton, whos played a handful of games in the ECHL and AHL. Were it me making the choice, I would have been inclined to go with the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts. While they dont offer any pro experience beyond rearguard Martin Lapointe, a veteran ECHLer, the Cats are a young, fast, skilled team. And since the Bous are already that and more, the pairing makes sense. Heres what my roster would look like: Forwards Ryan and Keith Delaney (GFW), Andrew Pearcey (CL), Chris Mooney(CL), Sean Wadden (GFW), Andre Gill (GFW), Jason Hedges (GFW), Brad Crann (CL), Dustin Russell (CL), Ryan Lauzon (CL) and Derrick Kent (CL). Defense Rodi Short (GFW), Lapointe (GFW), Jeremey Kavanagh (CL), Andrew Hill (CL), Greg Hoffe (GFW) and Mike Stevens (GFW). Goaltenders Jason Churchill (CL) and a toss up between Chad Curlew and Doug Jewer (GFW). Either way, I cant help but feel like any team from this province isnt gonna make much noise at the Allen Cup. We simply dont have the depth of professional experience which the mainland senior teams do. But hey, at least were going.
- July 27, 2010 - 13:55
Can't say I agree with you assessment Kenn. Darren Langdon is exactly the type of guy they need there. He might not be the most gifted skater in the league but his style of play would help open up the ice a lot for the smaller Clarenville Forwards like Pearcey, Kent and Lauzon. And if you watched any of the past Herder's involving Deer Lake, you would certainly note that everyone on the ice and in the stands noticed when Langdon was on the ice. Another reason that I don't think you considered was the goaltending situation. Deer Lake has a darn good goalie on their roster and when your starter's status is questionable, you should probably ensure that you have a game changer as a backup. You also forgot about Chris Peach. He has plenty of pro experience.