Training Camp Report: Wings Sign Hartzell

Since last week A LOT has changed with the Wings.

1—Wings send Dan & Paul Dawson along with their 1st round 2016 entry draft selection to the Rochester Knighthawks in exchange for Paul Rabil, Jordan Hall, Joel White, Rob Campbell and their second round selection in the 2014 entry draft.

2—The Wings traded their third round selection in the 2013 entry draft for Stealth goaltender Kevin Crosswell.

3—Kyle Hartzell signed Wednesday night

As of now, the Wings roster sits at 31 players.  They need to be down to 26 by 10am Thursday December 20th

To help this temporarily:

1–Brendan Mundorf will be placed on IR until mid-February early March.

2–Eric Hoffman will be on IR until the  Wings second or third game of the season

That leaves a total of 29 players.  Three players will need to be released or traded for possible draft picks.  Then when Mundorf, Hall, and Hoffman are eligible to come off IR you need to release 2 more players.

Let’s keep the head spinning… Jeff Zywicki was released by the Stealth, he is a true righty, and would the Wings entertain the chance of signing him?  Does he have anything left in the legs? If so, then another player needs to be released. Now that you have that running in your head, you have 8 other teams that are reducing there rosters as well.  All this by 10 am Thursday!! Anyone want to be a coach?

This weekend will be very huge for the Wings.  Friday night they face off against the Buffalo Bandits in pre-season action. Then on Saturday night they face the Toronto Rock.   Both these games will be at Toronto’s new practice facility.  This will be a major stepping stone as the Wings will face both these opponents in the first two weeks of the regular season.

Its also very huge for the players who will be on the roster that weekend.  If they want to keep there spot, they need to give more then 100%.  They need to leave everything out on the floor, without getting hurt as this is pre-season.  These players know that one mistake, they can be on the outside looking in and someone who was let go can be in there spot. 

Paul Rabil will make the trip from what I understand.  As far as game play, I do not know.  I like to see him in action this weekend.  I’m pretty sure; Joel White & Rob Campbell will see time.   The main thing to watch will be the goalies.  The Wings are currently carrying 4 goalies.  Brandon Miller, Steve Fryer, Kevin Croswell and Jake Lazore.  Its obvious Miller is the #1.  But who is #2?  Before the acquisition of Croswell it was Fryer, now it seems there will be a battle this weekend to see who will be the #2 goalie behind Brandon Miller. 

The next question is, will the Wings carry 3 goalies on the 23 man roster?  With the below schedule eight of there games are set up on back to back nights,  you could argue that they should, especially with what happened last season.  If you use two goalies on back to back, your starter may not be fully recovered if he needs to come into the second game if he has a rough game the night before.  With three goalies the goalie who went in game one, is off for the second night.

Saturday, Jan. 26 7:30 PM HSBC Arena @ Buffalo Bandits    
Sunday, Jan. 27 4:00 PM Wells Fargo Center Calgary Roughnecks    
Saturday, Feb. 23 7:30 PM Blue Cross Arena @ Rochester Knighthawks    
Sunday, Feb. 24 4:00 PM Wells Fargo Center Colorado Mammoth    
Friday, Mar. 29 8:30 PM Xcel Energy Center @ Minnesota Swarm    
Saturday, Mar. 30 9:00 PM Pepsi Center @ Colorado Mammoth    
Saturday, Apr. 06 7:30 PM Blue Cross Arena @ Rochester Knighthawks    
Sunday, Apr. 07 4:00 PM Wells Fargo Center Minnesota Swarm    

In past years some of the two game weekends would be Friday & Sunday, but this season they are all within twenty-four hours of each other.  The calendar may say the Wings season starts on January 11th 2013, but to the fans of the Wings, it starts this weekend.  The Time is Now! Wings need to show Buffalo, Toronto and the rest of the league that they mean business.