Monday, September 15, 2014

2014-15 Winterhawks preivew

For starters, here's the posted roster as of 9/15/14:

Here's the same roster minus guys away at NHL camp (and a dude in a cast):

Who makes main camp?  Who comes back early?  Who the hell knows?

I had the idea of a fancy graphic for line combos, but you know - too much time.

Here's my current guess as to regular season forward lines:

Bittner - Petan - Iverson

Schoenborn - de Leo - Bjorkstrand

Weinger - Turgeon - Price

Flaman - Overhardt - Predinchuk

Defense corps:

Cederholm - Texeria

Heid - Heinrich

De Jong - Hanson

I've been hearing Bjorkstand & Petan on a line, but I like it spread around.  Dylan has mentioned it will be delicate balancing 7 drafted forwards: someone has to be a 3rd liner. 

Who sticks around long term, and in what type of rotation is open for debate.  During training camp I thought for sure we'd see Veloso, McKenzie, & Reed Morison as 16 year old rookies.  The signings of Jack Flaman & Evan Weinger have led me to believe that they'd rather go with those two 17's in those spots - which should make an incredible forward group even better.  Much like the 'Hawks sending Taylor Leier down as a 16 was an investment in his 17, 18, & 19 years - those two should benefit from tons of ice time & leadership roles this season and come back hungry as 17's.

Word on the street is that de Champlain is no longer with the team, opening up an overage spot.  Predinchuk really impressed me in training camp, but that doesn't mean his spot is secure.  The 'Hawks have too many quality centermen, so it should be interesting to see who moves to the wing - Turgeon is only a 3rd line center for this club: he's top 2 on every other WHL team.

Its only a matter of time before Ethan Price is on the top line:  He's from Nebraska.

The defense core is interesting.  Big skates to fill.

Cederholm was a little underwhelming for some last year, myself included.  He's a 19 with a pro deal in his pocket.  Dude should be pretty good, you'd think.

Hanson?  He's been a little underwhelming for 4 years now for some, myself included.  I feel that he does most things well, he just doesn't' have the hands with the puck.  Sometimes you see the Rob Klinkhammers / Taylor Jordans / Darren Kramers of the world that really make something out of their overage year.  I'll be hoping for the same here. (I'd drop a Myles Bell reference here, but Hanson would never kill anyone).

Zach Patterson will be an 18 this year.  I think he can play, and hasn't got a shot here.  I say let him get a chance elsewhere - he's signed, so NCAA is out the window.

Josh Smith is a total wildcard.  Was a 1st round bantam pick for Prince George, only got into 93 games for them in 4 years.  Would seem like he's not good enough for this 'Hawks team, but I said the same thing about Rosignol last season and was pleasantly proven wrong.  He's an overage this year.

Nick Heid is a 17 with a ton of upside.  Was looking at NCAA, until he came over to the darkside.  Bright future.  Minneapolis kid.  Should step right into a regular shift.

Blake Heinrich.  Remember Garrett Haar?  This dude is also a Capitals pick, who they are pretty high on.  Grades are also a factor in the decision to go major junior (school ain't for everybody).  Heinrich is a 19 this year, and if I know what I'm talking about the Capitals don't have to sign him for another year, making him a ripe overage candidate next season.  He wore the "C" for his USHL club last year, which is great.

Brandon De Jong is big.  6'4" 175.  Victoria native.  Look,  I'm just like anyone else and fall in love with a players size - which is the case here - but this kid looks like the real deal.  It might be that I just really want him to be awesome, but I'm optimistic.  You don't see 16's on the back end take a regular shift very often, but if you are Pouliot, Wotherspoon, Rutkowski, Morrow, or Texeira you do.  De Jong could be next on that list.

Justin Greer is another wild card.  He's a 17 this year, and missed his opportunity to impress in camp with an illness.  I get the impression that the 'Hawks are high on him, but I have nothing to go off of really.

Carter Czaikowski is 16.  He's also 5'8" & from Calgary.  He was the 1st player drafted by the 'Hawks in his draft year (kicked out of the first 5 rounds and all that).  He's got a shot, but a year in midget would do him good.

Layne Viveiros is yet another wild card.  He's struggled to impress in Portland, yet he's one of the 6 best Austrian eligible defenseman of world junior age.  He's a 19 this year, so he's either gonna be pretty good here or with another WHL team.

Keoni Texeira is awesome.  Pretty sure I've never been so exited to see how a player follows up on a 2 goal season before.  I love the way this kid plays - just a well rounded game from the back end.  I haven't noticed any pre-season draft hype so far, but I predict a significant rise as each ranking comes out.  You know the scouts will be out to see Bittner, which can only compliment the other 17's on this team.

Goaltending should be good.  Brendan Burke as a 19 will most likely be dominant.  Folks like Adin Hill, albeit in a small sample size.  I like it.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Neely Cup: 2014-15 training camp

Day 1

First off, I like Brendon De Jong.  He's big: 6'4", and like most folks I fall in love with a D man built like that.  Looks like he's got good wheels, and keeps his head up in his own end reading the play.  Looked impressive to me, in a position of need.

Oliver Bjorkstrand is good at hockey.  Scored, toyed with people.

Was watching Nick Heid closely.  He's not as big as I'd like, but looked to be a smooth skater.

Blake Heinrich was also smaller than I'd hoped for.  Didn't notice him much.  5th round Capitals pick a year ago.

Schoenborn was flying around, and scored a goal.  There was a sequence where someone hit him hard, he got up and took a number, and gave it right back same shift.

Bittner was getting up and down the ice in a hurry.  Scored two goals:  a backhander and a snipe going in all alone.  There's first round NHL draft talk for him this year, and I'm with 'em.

Brendan Burke remembered to bring his glove hand back to town.

Predinchuk looked pretty good.  Several times I had to look up who "15 in grey" was.  Good wheels.

Trent Lofthouse looked like he's been around the block.  Trying to make his case for an overage spot.

Jack Flaman: he'd be a 17 this year.  He was making sure to hit people, and hit them hard.  He was extra noticeable, with red breezers & gloves.

Zach Patterson didn't look out of place.  If he doesn't make this team, and I don't think he does, I'd like to see him get a chance elsewhere.  He'll be an 18 this year, so its now or never.

Alex Overhardt started out rough: getting hit, missing passes, etc.  You could see him get more comfortable shift by shift by shift.  Looked to me to be strictly a set-up man, but ended up with a goal and an assist on the day.

Cody Glass is a guy that I was looking for, and didn't notice at first.  He's on the smaller side, but he's also a 15 this year.  He's the first fruit the opening round of the bantam draft bore for Portland since Nic Petan, so there's some expectations there.  He had some nice driving the net sequences.

Cole Guttman had a good day: 2 goals, and added a shootout goal to boot.  He's a 15 from Los Angles who was an 8th round bantam pick.  Little guy, good hands.

Evan Cusmano is an interesting player.  He's a 17 this year, and has one hell of a beard.  He's good and thick like you'd like a D man to be, which is nice.  I happened to overhear his life story while standing by his family, and he sounds to be a late bloomer of sorts: got stuck as a 4th line forward when he's a D man by trade - once they straightened that out he's playing "30 min a night" according to Mr Cusmano.  Could be a player.

Skyler McKenzie looked bigger to me, and a few people have said the same.  There was a sequence where he got hit hard, got up and hit the first 3 guys he could find.  Ended up with a real nice snipe from the slot and an assist.

It was nice to see the 16 year old version of Carter Czaikowski.  He was the 1st player the 'Hawks drafted that year, even if it was in the 6th round.   Smaller D man, seemed comfortable with the puck.  Looks like he's gonna wear #36 with the 'Hawks this year.

de Champlain had a pretty goal.  Fighting for an overage spot.

Chantz Petruic finished a nice tic-tac-toe sequence with a goal.  He's a 15 from Moose Jaw.

Cederholm looked kind of mean - decked some dude in the slot.  You can always use more of that.  He's also AHL eligible this year.

Josh Hanson was shooting the puck a little bit - could be a good sign of improved puckhandling.  he hit some kid pretty hard, too.

We've got a "Nasty" Mirasty in camp: Donovan Mirasty.  Been playing in Moose Jaw, scored a goal.  Didn't go crazy or anything.  No idea if he's related to Jon "Nasty" Mirasty.

Trace Elson scored on a 2 on 1 - as an overage candidate who Portland drafted in the bantam draft last time around.

Day 2

 Evan Weinger blocked a tough shot - look like it stung him a bit.  He's a 17 from LA playing with the JR Kings.

Blake Heinrich had a goal.  He didn't really stick out for me much, which probably isn't a big deal.  The season probably hinges on his play as much as anyone outside of Burke.  He was the captain of Sioux City in the USHL last year, so he's legit & a veteran.  This league is a step up, but not as big a difference as you might think.

Colton Veloso had a goal on a penalty shot early, and then scored to tie the game in the last minute.  Not bad.

Nick Heid looked more comfortable in day 2, which is good.  He got beat as the man back on a 2 on 1, in which the other guys scored.  We need a quality season out of him on the D corps to be successful as they want to be.  17 year old rookie.

Tyler Thompson is a big kid, been playing for Omaha.  You always notice the Omaha kids, as their gear is bright orange.  He was banging bodies, mostly in an attempt to get someone to fight him.  No luck there, but that's a role that needs filled.  He's a 17, who the 'Hawks listed.  Minnesota native.

Cole Guttman had another goal.  Makes you wonder what his 15 year is gonna look like - and beyond.

Shane Roulette scored a petty goal.  Could be a gamble betting on this kid.  Fortunately he's not a Russian.

Texeira was flying all weekend - he finished a 2 on 1 goal.  Sky's the limit with him.  This is his draft year.

Bittner was skating well all weekend, and answered a tying goal late with an even later winning goal.  We should see him for 2 more years (I think) - and he might wear out the twine on the nets here in town.

Bjorkstrand looked like he was at 50% effort, and still was toying with guys.  He even played defense, which I wouldn't bother if I was him in this format.  Kid is good.

Josh Hanson still looks better with the puck, but I might just really want that to be the case.  He takes a lot of heat locally, but I think he does everything well except when the puck is on his stick.  I'd like to think that's correctable, and I'm hoping he spent the summer in Alaska shooting pucks at the barn.  Or studying for the 4 or 5 years of school he's got coming post WHL.  Either one.

Connor Beebe had a pretty goal - he's a 15.  That's all I know.

Cody Glass had a decent weekend.  He picked up a goal on a rebound, and was in the slot quite often - which is a good sign.

Speaking of good sign:

Alex Overhardt continued to get better.  Had a snipe of a goal, drove the net a few times, and changed my mind about him being a pass-first guy.  I like it.  Recently signed 17 from Denver.  Natural center - which you can never have too many good centermen.

Speaking of Denver centerman - Turgeon seemed to be pretty physical, which is always good.

Schoenborn was flying all weekend - he picked Czaikowski's pocket and went all alone, only to be stopped on the shot.

Trent Lofthouse scored a nifty backhand goal on a penalty shot.  He wants to stay in the 'dub, and his play this weekend backed that up.

JJ Virtanen had a nice goal off a scramble.  I'm surprised a 17 with "Virtanen" on his sweater is still available. 

The real McKenzie scored a scramble goal, as well as hitting guys.  Building up for the 3rd day of camp.....

Lane Veviros scored the late game winning goal.  I'm not sold on him as a 19, but then again if he's one of the top 6 Austrian defenseman, he's about gotta be good enough for your WHL team, right?

Day 3

Back to Skyler McKenzie - took a hit from Cusmano, who broke his visor on the play.  From standing by the Cusmano's, I take it that he broke some sort of equipment every damn day, and they suspected that Peaches was getting sick of it.  They also felt that Peaches was really good & quick, and made it sound like the player was on the hook for things such as a new visor - which I found interesting.   I'd like to think that money is no object to the Portland Winterhawks, but I suppose everyone has a limit.

While "the beard" was between visors, it sure seemed like Heid was out there every other shift, which is great.  See what he's made of.

When Cusmano made it back on the ice, he made a nice home-run pass springing a guy, then blocked a shot in the same shift.  There might be bigger things in store for this guy.

In the quest for an overage spot, Trace Elson had a glorious chance in the slot, in which he shanked the shot.  Turgeon set him up perfectly.  Didn't help his chances there.

Tyson Predinchuk was making plenty of nice plays in his own zone.  Not sure where he fits in, but he needs a regular shift this year.

Shane Roulette had a great sequence where he blocked the defensemans shot just inside the blue line, and turned that into a breakaway goal.  This was late in the game, where it counts......

...Until the real McKenzie ties it up real late, which is exactly what you want your clutch players to do.  Score when it counts.

Next game: Czaikowski scored a nice goal from the blue line.  Gotta love it.

Evan Weinger drove the net hard, and later scored a goal.  He's a 17 from LA.  Keep him in mind.

I think Nick Heid scored a goal, but I never got confirmation.  He's the future of the back end.

McKenzie took a nasty stick to the face.  Stay tuned: it gets good.

"Nasty" Mirasty rode a dude out against the boards, and finished his check.  Just like its supposed to be done.

Reed Morrison, also a 16 - looks somewhat awkard for a kid his size (6'2") at that age.  Not unusual at this level, but you hope he finds himself soon.  Played some games at Christmas last season.

....When the real McKenzie got back on the ice, he was a wrecking ball.......

Jesse Nelson scored a nice scramble goal.

McKenzie finally found the dude that got his stick up:

When the real McKenzie got a hold of the other kid, he stood right in there and took a few punches in order to deliver a bunch of rights, over the top, in what was apparently his first fight.  Dude looked like he knew what he was doing.  For those who saw it live, you've gotta think that McKenzie is crossing into hero status right there.  Fans were really into it.

De Jong continued to look good, as a 16 D man.  Had a good first pass out of the zone, which is not measured by any fancy stat.

Lofthouse threw some nice hits, and set up a goal off the rush.  He wants an overage spot.  Later he buried a backhand goal off the rush.

Veloso threw a big hit on Overhardt, and kept hitting & hitting & hitting.  He wants a regular shift as an undersized 16.

Ollie Bjorkstrand is real good at hockey.

Keegan Iverson had a nasty snipe.  Good wheels all weekend, but didn't have results to show until now. 

Texeira continued to fly, and get rough with guys.   I love it.

Overhardt had a nice chance in front, and couldn't finish.  They'll start going in for him.

Zach Patterson can play.  He's an undersized D man in height, but he's broad like you'd like a D man to be.  He'll be an 18 this year - a signed player for Portland.  He had a fan club in camp: a couple of cute girls, of drinking age.  If he doesn't get a shot here, I'd hope he gets a shot somewhere.

De Jong took a guy into the boards - a 16 from Dallas - in a fairly innocent play.  The other kid had a real hard time getting off the ice, which sucks.   I watched to see how De Jong reacted - he scored a goal.

There was a sequence where Cederholm drove the net, and Veloso stayed back and covered - which is nice.

Ethan Price got stuffed on a penalty shot.  He's from Lincoln.  He's gonna destroy this league this year.  He laid a huge hit right infront of me later - cause that's what they do in the Star City.

Texeira continued to fly - set up an Iverson goal.  Keep it coming.....

Anyday seems like a good time to sign a good 15 goalie:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

That was one hell of a ride...

Well, that was fun.

During the Mike Johnston era we witnessed a lot of goals & a lot of wins.  The last 4 playoff runs featured more wins (59) than the 3 full seasons prior to his arrival in the Rose City (47).  This team posted a .731 winning percentage in the 5 regular seasons that began with MJ behind the bench.  Pretty unheard of for junior hockey, if not anywhere in modern sport.

Most of us are familiar with the meteoric rise of this franchise back to relevance in the WHL, but here's a great piece about MJ turning this ship around.  It shouldn't be forgotten that the Winterhawks were on the verge of either being relocated or simply folding during the dark ages.  My understanding is the previous owner (who I won't even mention his name here), who was a bartender back east somewhere, fired Ken Hodge and was going to play GM himself.  Ron Robison had to step in & force the team to re-hire Hodge in order to have some sort of hockey-man making decisions.  It was that bad.

Some fans feel that MJ is a better GM than coach, and I lean that way - if only because you have to be better at one or the other by definition.  If you look at the talent he's amassed during his Portland career - its pretty staggering.   Guys like Ryan Johansen (7th round bantam pick), Chase de Leo (9th round bantam pick),  Brendan Leipsic (6th round bantam pick) - etc etc etc.   Many WHL teams can't find a decent Euro at all it seems, and we've seen a steady procession of top shelf import talent come through here.

Johnston would argue otherwise - as he's been coaching as a profession for over 30 years.  Much of coaching is managing the players personalities & mannerisms.  It ain't gonna be easy to balance Sidney Crosby & Evgeni Malkin with your 4th line guys, but its all in the approach.

Its apples and oranges, the NHL & major junior, but think about the attitudes he's saddled up here:  Boychuck, Ross, Rattie, Morrow, Leipsic, Pouliot, etc.  You hear the phase "I'd rather try and tame a tiger than paint stripes on a kitty cat" - but that's a whole damn streak of tigers right there.  Remember what he did with Taylor Jordan as an overage?  Made him into a legit hockey player.  He handled both high-profile defencemen who left school for Portland without distraction.

I've heard that there are serious challenges in Pittsburgh right now: salary cap issues, sky high expectations, lack of identity - things like this.  After the mess that Mike cleaned up here, I'm sure the Penguins will be fine.

I have serious concerns about the future of the Portland Winterhawks.  The next time they drop the puck will be my 10th season living in Portland & following this team.  Its not an exaggeration to say that every ounce of success I've witnessed this team have comes directly from Mike Johnston.  To go from worst-to-first is a wonderful story, but the clock is supposed to strike midnight at some point.  Somehow MJ found ways to simply keep this team on top.  The Winterhawks are still stocked full of top shelf players, after 4 years of long playoff runs.  Completely unheard of at this level.

Its inevitable for this team to fall back to earth, but it seemed almost impossible under the leadership of MJ.  The next guy has some shoes to fill, alright.  We may be destined to experience the cycle of winning / losing / wining / losing that every other team is subject to - which is a day I've dreaded for some time.  Its way more fun winning all those games year after year.

Anybody got Travis Green's number?  I hear his contract is up........

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Brendan Leipsic 5 min major spear: you be the judge

In game 5 of the Portland / Kelowna series, Leipsic was given a major penalty for spearing.

Lets look at rule 62:
Rule 62: Spearing

Spearing - Spearing shall mean stabbing an opponent with the point
of the stick blade, whether contact is made or not.

Double-minor Penalty - A double-minor penalty
will be imposed on a
player or goalkeeper who spears an opponent and does not make

Major Penalty - A major penalty shall be imposed on a player or
goalkeeper who spears an opponent (see 62.5).

Match Penalty - A match penalty shall be imposed on a player or
goalkeeper who injures an opponent as a result of a spear.

62.5 Game Misconduct Penalty - Whenever a major penalty is assessed
for spearing, a game misconduct penalty must also be imposed.

They don't take spearing lightly, nor should they.  If you swing & miss, its a double minor.  Any spear that actually contacts another player and its an automatic major.  Again, I'm fine with this, but it should go without saying that not all spears are created equal.

In the above video clip of the incident, I left it long with Kelowna's audio feed to illustrate a point: that no one knew that this major had occurred until the penalties went up on the scoreclock.  I'm right there with them - I watched the replay not seeing the spear until I was looking for it.  I'm not sure how the league will look at this, but my rose-garden colored glasses don't think its a big deal.  We shall see.

We've seen some nasty spearing incidents in the last week or so:

Different leagues for sure, but many of us remember Lucic with the Giants.  Played hard as well as partied hard.   Dude just cruises up behind a dude, all nonchalant, and sticks him in the balls.  That's a calculated move - about the worst thing you can do on an ice sheet.  He got slapped with a $5,000 fine, no suspension.  (Lucic made 4.5 million this year, BTW).

Suspend Leipsic?  Time will tell.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Corey Graham shares his thoughts on Victoria VS Portland

What we've done here is dub the Pipeline show over highlights of the game they are discussing.  Corey Graham is the voice of the Oil Kings, and is featured in this clip.

Some of - actually, most of - the things that Graham said kind of rubbed me the wrong way.  Like they said on the first Snoop Dogg record, "Get your pooper scooper, 'cause the [dudes] talkin' shit..."

I suppose that's just 'fan' being sort for 'fanatic', but I thought it would be fun to set the "celebrated like they won the Stanley Cup" line to the actual celebration. 

I am a hockey fan with a lot invested.  I am not, however, a Breitbart: meaning I don't believe in deceptive editing.   Here's my work:

The full segment of the Pipeline Show I used is right here

The Stanley Cup celebration by the Portland Winterhawks is here

You be the judge.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Brendan Burke's numbers in 2014

I finally got around to the show prep I meant to do two episodes ago for Pucklandia: our new podcast (subscribe button here).  While you're at it, follow on Twitter & befriend on Facebook to stay current.

We all know that Burke's been great in 2014, at least post trade deadline.  Some feel its the addition of Corbin Boes, others feel that Mathew Dumba has been the difference.  I feel that its a "tastes great / less filling" kind of debate - and a nice one to have.

What do Burke's numbers look like, you ask?  On January 4th of this year, he was sitting on a 3.22 goals against, and a .900% save percentage.  There's been worse in major junior for sure, but that's not exactly Memorial Cup kind of numbers.

According to the WHL website, his January totals were 1.83 / 0.934 in 8 games - which ain't bad.  February saw him go 2.33 / .912 & March looked like 1.33 / .950 - which you can live with.

If you start with the games after that January 4th point referenced earlier, his totals through the end of the season finished at 1.42 / .950 over a 12 game span, assuming my math is correct.  While not the biggest sample size, it sure seems like Burke's trending in the right direction, and the 4 games in round one demonstrated a 1.75 / .924 - which is fantastic considering how rough his game 1 was.

There's been talk about Portland's goaltending being a question mark.  Looks like its been answered to me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It's never as bad as it seems

These kids are disciplined.  They are driven.  They are focused.  Major junior is an elite level of hockey - the players are the best in the world, at the earliest age to identify that kind of talent & skill. They are asked to behave like professionals, and do so, almost without exception.

They are also teenagers.  Being a teen is tough, and this day and age might be tougher than ever.  I'm not sure if you were ever 17 years old, but I was being a world class shithead, and so was everyone I knew at the time.

It amazes me that we don't hear stories of adolescence gone wrong on a weekly basis.  Sure, you have things like fighting at house parties on occasion.  These are things that kids that age do.  When I was 17 often I drove too fast.  A few times I did some drinking.  Sometimes my girlfriend was involved.  Unfortunately, we've seen this combination turn deadly in WHL country.

The newest tragedy to hit junior hockey is Terry Trafford's death.  He was 20 years old, playing for the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL.  By all accounts he was a great kid, and loved as a teammate.  He had been sent home by the team for a rules violation, reportedly for smoking weed.  Do I need to point out that dudes that age smoke weed sometimes?  Five miles north of me its 100% legal to do so (I wonder how legalization has effected the 4 Washington based WHL teams approach to marijuana?).

As a good Ontario boy, he probably played hockey for 85% of his life.  The prospect of the game leaving you would be crushing.  At this elite level, they are players 12 months of the year.  This is what they live for.

I had a friend who became a teenage parent, which is obviously difficult.  During a rough patch with his girlfriend, he hung himself.  One of the saddest parts of this story was that she was about to approach him with the idea of marriage, but his perception was that the relationship was over, and his life was as well.

One positive of his death was that seeing how it changed the folks close to him.  I too, struggled with similar demons of suicidal tendencies in my formative years.  Witnessing the aftermath of this tragedy made me realize what suicide does to your loved ones, and they don't deserve to deal with that.  

His body was found the day after my NHL team was eliminated from the playoffs, which helped me understand that there is hockey, and there is life.  Fans like ourselves can reverse the order of those two things from time to time.

My most recent experience with suicide was a friend from Seattle hanging himself, in the spring of 2012.  This was during the opening round of the playoffs, and the funeral was scheduled for the same day as game 5 of the opening round.  Of course, there was no game 5, as Portland swept Kelowna that series.  This guy was in his late 30's, and his reasoning was over a bump in the road with his longtime girlfriend, which ultimately didn't threaten their relationship in her eyes.

What we should learn from these stories is that its never as bad as it seems.  In a worst case scenario,  perhaps it is over with you and your lover.  There are lots of people in this world, and you'll most likely find someone again.  I've been fired 9 times in the 9 years I've lived in Portland, but somehow I continue to find work.  Gordie Howe had to hang up the skates at age 51, meaning that everyone has to retire from hockey at some point.  Life doesn't end with any of these types of setbacks.

Perhaps the reason that Terry's death is so hard to deal with is that it could happen to anyone close to us.  Junior hockey is a tight knit community, and tragedies like this one & Tim Bozon's are good at bringing us together to support those who need it.  

I don't follow the OHL, and I'd never heard of Terry prior to his disappearance, yet he represents "every man" to me.  I watched Taylor Jordan get cut from his team 3 times, but he fought through it.   What are these two Silvertips dealing with after being suspended for rules violations?  When Jared Schamerhorn was sent down from Lethbridge, what went through his mind?  Terry's passing scares me thinking it could happen to any of these players, as well as countless others facing setbacks in their everyday lives.

Fortunately these issues are rare in the hockey world.  That doesn't make them any easier to deal with.  If you're struggling, there's folks who will be there for you.