The Titans, just like every other team in the ECHL, are going to have to face the consequences of the lockout having ended. While it’s a joyous time for just about everyone involved in the game, teams at the lower levels are going to be scrambling, and the moves have already started.
While the big domino has yet to fall — the Flyers haven’t made any moves just yet — Trenton has already lost a player in an area where they simply don’t have the depth to afford to do so: defense.
Blueliner Ryan Grimshaw has left the Titans and signed with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, the team for whom he was in training camp with before the start of the season. On a very shaky D core, the 22-year-old Harvard alum was arguably Trenton’s most steady defenseman after getting in the lineup on a full-time basis. The Rochester native scored three goals and added three assists in 23 games this year, while taking just two minor penalties despite increased ice time.
Depending on what moves the Flyers make, that will affect the Phantoms which, in turn, will affect the Titans. However, a move like Grimshaw’s shows that it isn’t just AHL-contracted players who will be on the move. Andy Bohmbach, Stephen Schultz and possibly Kory Nagy could all be in high demand while teams lose countless players due to camp invites.
As for those on Flyers/Phantoms deals — only Kelly Zajac would be a likely candidate to go to Albany of those under Devils contract — Andrew Johnston, Matt Mangene, Shane Harper and Tyler Hostetter are all possibilities to leave the team.
Players from the FHL and CHL will have to come up to fill in the holes in the Titans roster — Trenton has a somewhat laughable affiliation with the Danbury Whalers that gets used as often as all the green seats in the arena do — but if there is one upside, it’s that the goaltending situation is expected to remain unchanged in the capital city. Scott Wedgewood and Niko Hovinen are both stuck under AHL tandems that are not expected to be affected by the lockout ending, whereas a team like Elmira will surely lose Marc Cheverie with both Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner being summoned to Ottawa from Binghamton.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com