Summer Blog Entry: August 17, 2018
08/17/2018 1:46 PM - Tyson Whiting
It has been an interesting week in Grizzlies hockey. The Voice of the Grizzlies, Adrian Denny is headed to the Tucson Roadrunners of the AHL to be the new Voice of the Roadrunners. Adrian did an outstanding job with the Grizzlies organization over 16 years, the last 13 as the Grizzlies play-by-play man.
Adrian has been a great friend and mentor to me for many years. I have no doubt that he’s going to do an outstanding job with the Roadrunners. He has been a big part of the organization and there’s no question that he has left some big shoes to fill.
It’s true when people talk about being in the right place at the right time. I hosted the pregame, intermission and postgame shows for the Grizzlies for the last couple of years. I grew up listening to games on the radio and it’s a great honor to be part of Grizzlies broadcasts on the radio.
It’s been a busy summer for me as I have been broadcasting games for the Pioneer League baseball’s Idaho Falls Chukars, Rookie affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. That has been a great experience so far. The Chukars have been hovering anywhere between 1 and 4 games over the .500 mark the entire season.
The Grizzlies have a good, consistent offensive team and I don’t think there’s much question that the Grizzlies will be able to score in bunches as the team has added great scoring threats in Forwards Caleb Herbert and Austin Carroll as well as Ryan Walters returning to the lineup and re-acquiring Matt Berry, who scored 16 goals for Utah in the 2015-16 season.
The Grizzlies announced the signing of defenseman Nolan DeJong. DeJong, 22, split his rookie season between the Colorado Eagles and the Colorado Avalanche AHL affiliate in San Antonio. He had two goals and five assists for seven points in 50 games with the Eagles; who won their second-straight ECHL Kelly Cup Championship in June.
The words to describe DeJong is steady and consistent. DeJong rarely made a mistake on the ice and has a lot of big game experience.
Opening weekend is October 12th-13th vs the Rapid City Rush. 7:00 pm puck drop.
Summer Blog Entry: August 10, 2018
08/10/2018 2:51 PM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies will announce another former Colorado Eagles player early this week. They saw the Eagles 11 times in 2017-2018 and are now getting additional feedback from the Avalanche and Eagles staff on their ECHL players.
Over the last month, we’ve been bringing you #ColoradoColdCuts on Twitter @UtahGrizz. If you’ve missed any nuggets on the new Avalanche affiliation, click here.
The Grizzlies 1:30 p.m. holiday matinees on Monday, January 21 and Monday, February 18 will be moved to 1 p.m. so the Kansas City Mavericks can get a flight out of town after the President’s Day contest. There’s nothing more I like than being able to get out of Dodge after playing a road game to head home and not spend an extra night in a hotel. The best example of that is bussing straight out of Idaho after a Saturday night game, being home around 3 a.m. and waking up in your own bed in the morning.
If you’re in Tyson Whiting’s neighborhood Saturday around the Utah Olympic Oval, feel free to stop in and watch some of Head Coach Tim Branham’s open professional tryout going in three sessions. Sunday’s sessions are closed to the public.
9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
If you missed my Late Summer Chat with Head Coach Tim Branham for Grizzlies TV Tuesday, we talked about the anticipated three goalie situation, forward and defense depth and what else he’s working on for the offseason. Click here to watch.
Summer Blog Entry August 3, 2018
08/03/2018 12:12 PM - Adrian Denny
Head Coach Tim Branham’s Professional Tryout Camp is a week away and he still has some open spots available for skaters. Tim plans to bring the best players from the camp to Grizzlies Training Camp in October. Click here to register
Several familiar names have been added to the depth of the Colorado Avalanche organization over the last week with three added yesterday to Minor League Contracts.
The Eagles signed Cole Ully who had 19 goals and 21 assists for 40 points in 39 games with Idaho and had two goals and eight assists for ten points in eleven playoff games last year. He was Idaho’s third leading scorer against Utah with seven goals and five assists for 12 points in ten games. Ully just completed a three-year entry level contract with the Dallas Stars.
“Cole is an extremely talented player,” said Branham. “We saw a lot of him last season in Idaho.”
Colorado also added another skilled forward in Tim McGauley, who just completed a three-year entry level contract with the Washington Capitals and had 13 goals and 23 assists for 36 points in 48 games with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays last season.
Late last week, Colorado added Josh Winquist to a Minor League Contract as well after he had 53 points in 55 games with the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears last year on 18 goals and 35 assists. The Grizzlies saw him in 14-15 with Bakersfield when he had three assists in his only game against Utah.
Goaltender Kevin Carr, who started last year with Utah, was signed by the Colorado Eagles on Thursday as well.
We mentioned a few weeks ago that the Avalanche had re-signed goaltender Joe Cannata; who spent most of last year with the Eagles in the ECHL going 21-5-1 in the regular season and 16-6 in the playoffs.
The Grizzlies have also added Goaltender Brandon Wildung, who finished last year in Utah after college, to an ECHL contract. The Grizzlies, like the Colorado Eagles last season, plan to carry three goalies at most points during the season, with two of them being goalies assigned from the Avalanche organization.
If you missed it earlier this week, the Grizzlies announced a trade to bring Matt Berry back on Monday after a point-a-game rookie season in Utah in 2015-2016 and signed Austin Carroll Thursday; he had spent the last three years with the Calgary Flames AHL affiliate in Stockton after being drafted in the seventh round in 2014.
Also, since you got to the end of this Blog, you can be the first to find out that Single Game Tickets for 2018-2019 are now on sale by clicking here.
Summer Blog Entry: July 27, 2018
07/27/2018 1:58 PM - Adrian Denny
If you missed the highlight reel of the talented Caleb Herbert, acquired Tuesday from Greenville, watch this.
It’s been an exciting summer so far and the hits will keep on coming as far as this 2018-2019 roster. The Colorado Avalanche definitely are all in on investing into organizational depth for the upcoming season and beyond. It’s going to be a mutually great affiliation as we saw it was for the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles the last two seasons.
One of the happy endings on the Greenville side of the Travis Howe/Michael Pelech trade for the Swamp Rabbits is Howe being reunited with his first professional coach Kevin Kerr whom he played 35 games for in Macon of the SPHL in 2015-2016.
Howe was ticketed to return to Macon in 2016-2017, but made the Grizzlies team out of training camp and stayed with Utah for the last two years. During that time, Kerr and Tim Branham, who are good friends always stayed in close contact about Travis. Kevin Kerr was named Head Coach of Greenville in May and finally got one of his favorites back about a month later.
If the name Kevin Kerr sounds familiar, you have closely followed minor league hockey as he played from 1987 to 2005. At the time of his retirement, 677 goals was a minor league record.
Since our last blog, the Grizzlies named Bryan Espamer as Head Athletic Trainer from the University of Utah where he was a Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer. Also as announced Tuesday, Teigan Zahn returns to Utah and will assist Head Coach Tim Branham and Assistant Coach Ryan Kinasewich as the team’s Player/Assistant Coach.
Summer Blog Entry: July 13-26, 2018
07/13/2018 10:02 AM - Adrian Denny
We’ll announce a popular returning player(s) early next week and have a Grizzlies TV Tuesday feature with Tim Branham to accompany it.
Branham also has a trade to announce in the coming weeks to bring a former player back who was nearly a point-a-game in Utah and has been as well in the ECHL with his other team the last two years and asked to come back.
ICYMI, I took a trip to Ogden Tuesday for Branham Hockey Schools, which runs through today for kids 5-15, as Tim gets help from Assistant Coach Ryan Kinasewich and Equipment Manager Chris Schornack.
Former Grizzlies forward Alex Gallant has signed with the Vegas Golden Knights after leading the AHL with 195 penalty minutes in 2017-2018 with Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate in Syracuse.
Some familiar names have re-signed with the Colorado Avalanche organization in the last few weeks. Michael Joly led the ECHL with 41 goals this past season and played in 19 games with Colorado’s previous affiliate in San Antonio, which of course will now be based in Colorado.
Goaltender Joe Cannata has also re-signed with the Avalanche. He’s gone 40-11-1 combined the last two seasons in the ECHL and AHL with Colorado’s affliates.