September 20, 2012

67's name Captains, finalize roster ahead of Home Opener

With a new era of Ottawa 67's hockey starting tonight at Scotiabank Place, Chris Byrne had some tough decisions to make in a short period of time.  In the past six days, Ottawa's General Manager and bench boss had to finalize his squad's situation with imports, their depth chart between the pipes, and finally, the Captaincy.

Late last week, goaltender Michael Nishi was cut loose by the team in favour of hometown rookie goaltender Jacob Blair who made a strong impression in the pre-season.  Nishi, who was acquired from Sault Ste. Marie last year, didn't take long to find a new home.  The Gatineau Olympiques, who Nishi made his only start of the pre-season against, quickly grabbed the 19-year old netminder off of CHL waivers.  Gatineau had previously lost starting goaltender Robert Steeves to surgery, and needed to fill the void as he expects to miss most of the season.

17-year old Ladislav Zikmund has been sent back to Europe as import overaged defenceman Michal Cajkovsky has made the team.  Cajkovsky, who skated as a forward in the pre-season, joins 2012 World Junior Under-20 teammate Richard Mraz as one of the team's two imports, and joins goaltender Keegan Wilson and defenceman Jake Cardwell as overagers.

With the roster trimmed down, Byrne focused on the leadership side of his team.  On Wednesday, it was announced that Cody Ceci and Sean Monahan will split Captaincy duties for the 2012-13 season.  Ceci will wear the 'C' at home for the first half of the year and on the road for the second half.  Monahan will do the opposite.  Tyler Graovac and Jake Cardwell were named Assistant Captains.

With Cajkovsky and Blair in uniform and the 'C' on Ceci's chest, the 67's will play to an expected crowd of just over 10,000 when they take on the Barrie Colts at Scotiabank Place tonight.  Puck drop is at 7PM.

  • Daniel Walsh will not be in the lineup after suffering a shoulder injury. 
  • Taylor Fielding, who missed the last two pre-season games, mentioned after the game vs. Gatineau in Rockland that he hopes to be available for tonight's matchup. 
  • A bout of the flu has hit some of the Barrie Colts, but shouldn't drastically change the look of their roster tonight.  Forward Erik Bradford said that he's been waiting too long for this re-match of last year's second-round, seven-game playoff series, to let the flu keep him out of the lineup.
  • Barrie's leading scorer last season, Tanner Pearson, has been added back to the Colts roster, but between travel and the team's overage situation, don't expect Pearson to be in the lineup for tonight's opener.

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