Archive for October 14th, 2010

Kell Named Captain For Second Straight Season

October 14, 2010

The “C” will remain on Trevor Kell’s sweater.

After being named captain at the start of the 2009-10 season following the departure of Chris Dyment, the 24-year-old native of Thunder Bay, Ontario will serve as the Trenton Devils official on-ice leader for the second season in a row. 

“It’s really nice, it’s a privilege to be captain and to be looked at by the coaching staff as a leader on this team,” Kell said.

“This will be my fourth year here, so I kind of know the ropes and I know what it’s like to be battling all year.  I can pass that along to some of the younger guys, I think.”

Of course, as is the case with a lot of players on Trenton’s roster this season, Kell wasn’t so sure he’d be in the ECHL again.  After tallying 35 points (16-19-35) in 44 games on the heels of a 50 point campaign the season prior, he’d put himself in good position to make a run at a roster spot in Albany.

“It’s kind of disappointing getting sent down from Albany.  I signed a one-way American League contract, so I was expecting to be there,” he told me.

“But with their situation in Newark right now, you never know what’s going to happen.  I think the lineups are going to change a lot this year.  It’s a little disappointing, but I like the situation here.  I know I’m going to be playing a lot, and I’m going to be surrounded by good teammates and a good organization.”

Kell, who has played in 16 AHL contests over the course of the past three seasons, will likely again be one of the first in line for a potential call-up this season.  And while it may be difficult to start yet another season two levels away from the NHL, it’s certainly an exciting time to be a part of the Devils organization right now, and Kell is going to try to make the most of his latest opportunity.

“Any time you’re given the captaincy anywhere, you can’t really complain,” he said.

“I’m going to just roll with it this year and hopefully have another good year and see what happens.”

And for as long as Kell is here, he’ll be leading a more talented group than the one he was in charge of last year.

“I think we look a lot deeper and look more experienced,” he said.

“Our young guys, they don’t really look like the young guys out there.  They’re stepping in and filling roles and playing well.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Media Day Update

October 14, 2010

As one player joked, ESPN couldn’t quite make it out today to the Trenton Devils Media Day event.  But a handful of us did show up, and here’s what I’ve got for you…

— Devils head coach Kevin Dean made it official today, naming Trevor Kell as his captain and David Leaderer as an assistant captain.  Both wore those letters last season.  Another “A” will be in rotation amongst several players throughout the season.

— Dean knows who his opening night goalie will be, but would not reveal it, as he has not told either Dave Caruso or Jeff Lerg about his choice.  When I asked them, neither Caruso or Lerg had any idea as to which way it might go. 

— I spoke with Lerg, Kell, Darcy Zajac, Jeremy Akeson, Justin Pender and Caruso today, in addition to my chats with Dean, Chris Lamoriello and J.S. Berube from practice.  I think I’m going to do a Kell piece later tonight, post the Lamoriello interview tomorrow and save the rest for my season preview on Saturday.

— The goalie nerd in me reared its ugly head today, as I had an interesting chat with Caruso about something called a reaction ball he was using in the hallway, and with Lerg about his gear.  I might try to do something in a notebook about it, but in short — no pun intended, Jeff — Lerg has ordered new gear as well as a new mask.  The fascinating part — again, only to me — was why he won’t use a cat-eye cage.

— Taylor Vichorek is listed as a defenseman on the roster that was handed out today.  I had him as a forward…but apparently, not so much.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Thursday Update From Kevin Dean, Quote Machine

October 14, 2010

— Before I get to anything Kevin Dean said after today’s practice, I’m happy to announce I’ll have an exclusive one-on-one interview with Trenton Devils GM Chris Lamoriello posted on Friday.  Lamoriello was gracious enough to sit down with me for about ten minutes after practice in our first extended chat.

— I also spoke to Jean-Sebastien Berube after practice.  Not sure if I’m going to mix that in with my media day features or my season preview stuff or what, but just know that it’s on the way.  He’s tall, but not particularly bulky like Kevin Cormier was.  He also doesn’t have “CORM’S” tattooed on his back…because really, that would just be weird.

— With Matt Vokes (lower body), Taylor Vichorek (shoulder) and Gord Burnett (back) having been placed on the IR, Trenton has 11 healthy forwards and 7 healthy D.  Everyone except Vokes skated at practice today.

Of course, Trenton can only skate 10 forwards and 6 D.  My guess is that either Ryan Hayes or Matt Kang are the odd man out when the season gets underway.  Both were skating with Vichorek, which would give me an indication as to that being the fourth line.

The other three lines looked like this…I’m not going to get the positions right, I’m sure…but just to give you an idea of who was with who.

Red: Nagy-Zancanaro-Prough
White: Zajac-Kell-Ginand
Orange: Akeson-Lombardi-Berube

That’s also my guess as to what order those lines are in, too.  I’ll try to figure out D pairs when I can.

— Figuring all that out was made much easier by the fact that the guys had numbers on their helmets today, which they did not yesterday.  The numerical roster is…

9 Kell
10 Zancanaro
12 Zajac
14 Lombardi
15 Vokes
16 Ginand
18 Hayes
20 Kang
21 Nagy
23 Vichorek
24 Berube
25 Akeson
34 Prough

2 Miller
5 Thomas
7 Coutu
8 Nolet
26 Leaderer
27 Pender
28 Southorn
29 Burnett

1 Lerg
35 Caruso

— All right, let’s get to what Kevin Dean had to say.  Must say, I’ve enjoyed my chats with him so far.  Seems like a real good guy, should be a pleasure working with him this season.

On Vokes: “I expect he’ll be able to skate at some point next week, but we’ll see.”

On the roster: “I think we’re set with our roster right now.  We’ll see with injuries and stuff what happens, but I think everyone that’s here is here for a reason.  Our thoughts aren’t that a guy is just here temporarily.  We’ll see what happens up top and with Albany and take it from there.”

On the battle for the tenth forward spot and if it’s between Hayes and Kang: “We’ll see.  It could be between someone else, too.  We’ll see who we have come Saturday.  I think there could be some things happening, you never know.”

On Nagy: “It’s a huge benefit (to have him).  He’s a huge penalty killer, he’s got a ton of energy, he’s disciplined.  He’s a hard kid to play against if you’re on the other team.  He just skates everywhere and hits, he’s always in your face and he’s abrasive, he drives you crazy after a while, so he’s going to be a big help.”

— The team will meet at 1 PM, at which time captains will be announced to the team.  Then, at 2 PM, the media will find out.  When I know, you’ll know.  Deal?

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Thursday Practice Updates

October 14, 2010

This is what a practice looks like. Exciting stuff, I know.

Well, I’m literally sitting here by myself.  The buzz of the lights and my laptop are about all that’s keeping me entertained right now, as I got here a little early to catch up on some work.  The team will take the ice around 20 minutes from now (9:40) for their practice, which starts at 10:00 and will likely last until around 11:30.

I’m planning on speaking with head coach Kevin Dean as well as Darcy Zajac and/or J.S. Berube.  If anyone has any questions for anyone, feel free to pass them along and I’ll do the best I can.

I’ll also update you after media day, which gets underway at 2 PM.  While I’ll certainly try to find out earlier than that, seems like the official announcement on a team captain (would be hard to believe it wouldn’t be Trevor Kell again) will be made at that time.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Three Placed On IR

October 14, 2010

It’s late, so I’m going to make this quick…

Taylor Vichorek has been placed on the 3-Day IR, Matt Vokes has been placed on the 7-Day IR and Gord Burnett has been placed on the 21-Day IR.  If I can find out at any more at practice tomorrow, I’ll be sure to pass it along…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com