As I’m sure I mentioned on here, I had the good fortune to get a weekend call-up of sorts to the American Hockey League, covering Friday night’s game in Worcester and Saturday night’s game in Hartford. Special thanks to Eric Lindquist of the Sharks and Bob Crawford and Brian Ring of the Wolfpack for all of their help.
Things went kind of, sort of OK. There are a lot of interesting stories out of Worcester that I’ll leave off of here, but I will tell you that I got to interview the two guys I’d focused on — Dwight Helminen and Tyson Sexsmith.
Helminen split his first pro season between the ECHL and AHL, while Sexsmith (pictured) is a 20-year-old first year pro who appeared in two games with Kalamazoo this year in an effort to try to turn his rough season around. I wanted two guys who were at somewhat opposite ends of the spectrum — Helminen made it to the NHL last year with the Hurricanes and Sexsmith is just working his way up — so it worked out well. You’ll see both of those pieces this off-season.
As for Hartford, the trip itself went a lot more smoothly for the most part. My two goals for the evening were to speak with Steve Valiquette, a former Trenton Titan, and Bobby Sanguinetti, who was born in Trenton. 1-for-2, there. Valiquette injured a finger during the morning skate and wasn’t even in the building. Sanguinetti was injured a few games earlier and didn’t play, but I did manage to catch up with him as he was heading out of the locker room…well, limping out with a crutch under his right arm.
I don’t want to give away too much about the Sanguinetti piece, but he did attend Titans games when he was younger, and shocked me when he rattled off a few players he remembered seeing. If I can’t get it in a newspaper (i.e. make money on it, said the freelance writer) you’ll see it on here in a few weeks.
As a backup plan, I also got the chance to chat with Matt Zaba.
Zaba has played in the ECHL, AHL and NHL this season. He made his National Hockey League debut earlier this month for the Rangers, and we talked about a pretty wide variety of topics, of course including his various stints in the ECHL.
A few other things of note…I wanted to thank the people I stayed with, who I’m sure would prefer to stay anonymous because they’re not the type who like to take credit for anything. But, as they are regular readers, they should know that their hospitality was greatly appreciated.
I will have a Matt Cohen feature for you by tomorrow at the latest, and am planning on covering Wednesday’s morning skate to get you guys some game-day updates as well as perhaps a feature or two on some of the current guys.
Also, I contacted the winner of the Chris Beckford-Tseu stick…if you didn’t hear from me, you didn’t win it. If I think of it, I’ll see if I can do something similar with some T-Devils stuff, pending the team’s cooperation.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com