The Wolves off season is always a mystery to many fans and media members, as they try to figure out who is leaving and coming back to the team. Already halfway through the summer the organization has brought back some names that have made their way through the history books in the AHL.
I reported a few months ago, that Haydar was heading to the HV71 team to play with his good buddy Jason Krog. There was a lot of speculation that Haydar was all but gone with many European media even getting wind of the possible signing. My report however was wrong as Haydar signed with the Wolves for another season. I am glad I was mistaken because Haydar will be a valuable asset to the team. He will most likely fill the captaiciany role that Nolan Baumgartner had, now that he is retired and becoming an assistant to new head Coach Scott Arniel.
Haydar even though his stats were down last year can still help the younger players succeed and pass the puck like nobody else. Number 20 will be a valuable asset for the team for another year.
I guess “California Love” has to be put back into the soundboard this season. Number 29 is making his return to the Wolves after a 2 year absence. He was playing in the Pittsburgh and St. Louis organizations before being traded to the Portland Pirates in a late year deal. Sterling has played with Haydar in the past on the same line and I don’t see any reason why they won’t be reunited this upcoming season. Sterling also isn’t afraid to stand in front of the net during a PP sequence and will get the dirty goal more than not.
After 20 plus seasons in professional hockey the rugged defenseman has decided to hang up the skates and move into the coaching occupation. Baumgartner was literally doing both jobs last year on the ice and helping the youngsters on the blue line expand their game to get to the next level. Even though Baumgartner didn’t get much playing time in the NHL, he still showed that he was willing to block a shot or support a teammate when needed. He filled out that captain role well last year and I’m sure the injuries he suffered made his decision a little easier on whether to keep playing.
Baumgartner will stand beside Scott Arniel come September behind the bench and be a great person to lean on for advice.
The Bachelorette and Bachelor blogger is also back for another season. When he was on the ice and getting time consistently he was one of the better forwards the Wolves had. He is a good skater and can make moves around the opposition, when given space. Why not pair up Sterling, Haydar and Davies? It would be a great top or second line.
Mad Dog as his teammates call him and no relation to Biff Tannon is also back for another season. Matheson is a solid defenseman and was always courted by the Milwaukee Admirals as a guy that comes to play. I think Matheson will get a lot more opportunities to obtain goals with Arniel behind the bench. He is a coach that wants his defenseman to shoot. Matheson does have a sneaky shot and I think he will surpass his last years goal total by plenty.
The Haydar and Sterling signings I really do like because they are a perfect one two combo on a line with Sterling centering. I just hope the 08 “curse” doesn’t happen as it did two years ago bringing back Andre Deveaux who was more of a liability than an asset. I don’t see that happening with Sterling as he does his job on the ice and doesn’t take the amount of dumb penalties Deveaux did.
There have been a lot of players moving in and out but one thing is for sure, the organization isn’t happy with last year’s result. They are addressing the problems they saw from previous seasons and doing all they can to adjust accordingly. Hopefully the Canucks prospects returning or new also help the Wolves gain that 5th Championship.