Harder’s Gone, Time For Henkel To Come Back

Mike Harder.

Not a fan favorite, really.  People loved Jim Henkel, and it was pretty much assumed that Harder was brought in to take Henkel’s spot as a veteran on the roster.

Now, Harder’s gone.  He was released yesterday after a 22-game stretch where he tallied just three goals, although he did tally an impressive 13 assists.  Harder wasn’t one of the worst players on the team.  Certainly wasn’t the best, either.  But the team needed to change some things up, and Harder finds himself without a job as a result.

Henkel also continues to find himself without a job.  After expecting to come back to the team this season, he unexpectedly found himself without a place to play in 2009-10 after putting up the best numbers of his four-year run as a Trenton Titan/Devil.  He scored 23 goals, added 34 assists and provided a much needed veteran presence in the locker room in 2008-09 and really picked up his game in the second half of the season, consistently serving as one of the best players on the team.  He also formed a very potent 1-2 punch with Trevor Kell on the penalty kill.

If Henkel would come back, the organization should take him back.  His familiar number 11 hasn’t been worn by anyone this season…and it wouldn’t look right on anyone else’s jersey but his.  For a class act like Henkel, his thank you lap for the fans around the ice after Game 7 of the T-Devils first round playoff series against Elmira last season shouldn’t be how he goes out.

It’s not like you’re doing the guy a favor…he clearly showed he can still get it done out there.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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15 Responses to “Harder’s Gone, Time For Henkel To Come Back”

  1. titans04 Says:

    Come on Rick make the call.

  2. titans04 Says:

    11 Jack Combs F L 5-11 193 Jan. 26, 1988 St. Louis, MO

    Combs has been given # 11

  3. Philly Devil Says:

    YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Hockey Gods have blessed us today…Marty get’s 103 on National TV and Mike Harder is gone.

  4. tdevils Says:

    They should really re-think that number assignment…

  5. tdevils Says:

    For anyone who cares, Harder got claimed by Charlotte.

  6. chiarams Says:

    Makes you wonder how hard they tried to move him. If at all.

  7. Trentondevilsfan Says:

    Wow, didn’t realize there was such a market for washed up players. Hope 11 has better luck with Combs than 27 has had with Pender.

  8. chiarams Says:

    TDF, Harder is a former Checker fan favorite apparently. I’d guess his agent is already shopping him back overseas.

  9. titans04 Says:

    Did Charlotte claim his wheelchair in the deal?

  10. hotkey Says:

    I want Henkel to come back! He was the only good player on the team. The first tdevil game I ever saw, he stood out right away!! #11
    Thank you Mike for continuing to point out the obvious….they need Henkel!! I refuse to go to another tdevil game unless he comes back!!

  11. Trentondevilsfan Says:

    They had a ton of quality players last year, most of whom are now in the A. Unfortunately those that are back haven’t consistently shown what they did the second half of last year. I don’t expect them to post the best record in the league in the second half of the season again, but I do expect some improved play.

    The thing that’s annoying is Killer talked big about not repeating last years’ slow start and technically they haven’t – but he also talked about picking up where they left off and they certainly haven’t done that either. Henkel brings some intangibles that I think are missed, and they were silly not to have him back.

  12. TrentonPwnedFlorida Says:

    @ Hotkey: You say #11 was the best player on the team last year?? LOL what?

    Perkovich -> Now in the AHL
    Snetsinger-> Now in the AHL
    Cohen -> Now in the AHL
    Castonguay -> Now in the AHL
    Frazee -> Now in the AHL

    Kell -> Already has seen a short stint in the AHL this year + last
    Prough -> One of the best players last year + Saw time in the AHL this year

    Henkel was a good player in the ECHL, he was mediocre in the short stints in the AHL. He is a great guy, but to say he was the best player on the team is idiotic. What is even more idiotic are the people who post on here seeming to think Henkel is the savior to the season.

    Im all for Henkel coming back….But guys…He is not some kind of savior lol

  13. hotkey Says:

    ok Florida person…..wanna fight or what?

    Everyone has his or her opinion, and mine is Henkel was/is the best.

    All those young guys will be back in the ECHL,don’t worry and they are mediocre up there too. Henkel probably taught them, Tdevils need a leader out there is all I am saying.

    He is not a savior, but it is wrong they didn’t bring him back this year.

    He caught my eye when I went to a game and that is not easy to do. 😉

  14. ForeverTitans Says:

    All I know is that if I was Jim Henkel, I wouldn’t even want to come back now after the team seemingly not being interested in signing him in the off season. I would guess he probably has a “real” job and has moved on from hockey.

  15. Shtikl Says:

    Sure *hope* he’s found a “real” job.

    Sadly, I don’t think the front office will swallow its pride — too small to get stuck in the throat on the way down, but doesn’t taste very good — and give him a phone call. Not even if five thousand people came to the next home game wearing Henkel sweaters and chanting “We want Henkel!”

    The team sure needs a tame grizzly in the locker room, though, for those times when the Lowell Dirt Devils (or is it Lowell Hoovers?) steal players. Would be nice if they found somebody with a Kelly Cup ring and the patience to work with the youngsters.

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