11:30 AM — An appearance at the morning skate by me. I’m shocked too. But there seemed like a lot I needed to get done.
I spoke to Titans head coach Vince Williams, goaltender Scott Wedgewood and forward Ian Slater…I think you’ll see the Slater stuff later since that was more for a feature than anything else. I’m intrigued by how his physical presence keeps him in the lineup every night despite just one point in his first 14 games. It’s not a knock, it actually speaks to just how effective he is in his role given the depth Trenton currently has. You’ll see that and some Wedgewood comments in The Trentonian tomorrow.
Trenton will also debut their new third jerseys tonight. They’re primarily red with “Titans” in black block font with the player’s number underneath, as well as gray on the sides. My initial impression just from seeing the same picture all of you have is that I’m not a particularly big fan, but I need to see it in person before deciding.
Anyway, here are a few comments from Williams on some key issues…
On Wedgewood: “He just got back from having a full week, so he’ll probably be backing up tonight and should be getting back into the routine of things.”
On Luke Pither: “I don’t think he wanted to leave here, but at the same time, we’re handcuffed with the roster. With the roster spot that went away on November 17, the extra reserve spot, if we want to bring in more contracted guys for whatever reason, we’d have to get rid of an ECHL player, and that’s hard to do with some of the guys that we have here that earned their spot. (Pither) needs to play more, and Wheeling had a need for forwards. If it’s another opportunity for him to play more there than he would here, it’s good.”
On Justin Taylor and Kelsey Wilson: “Taylor, I think he’s getting back to playing more of an important role here, so he’s playing a little bit more than I think he was in Kalamazoo. He obviously has the skill set, he plays with an edge. He can play in all situations, too. Wilson is a very smart player. His type of profile might not compliment that, but his ability to play the game? He can play. We’ve only had two games to evaluate him and see where he fits, but he’s the kind of guy that can play in any situation. I know he gets respect out there, we saw that in the weekend. He’s a leader guy, he’s been around.”
On Ryan Hayes: “These guys are close. The biggest thing right now is the manipulation of our roster and being able to activate guys without putting guys on. We just have to see where that falls.”
On if the team looks for a trade to open a spot: “No. I don’t think we need to do that. It’s not like we’re cranked with numbers, it’s just that when you activate someone, someone has to replace him. So right now there’s a couple guys who are banged up, but we would have done something earlier, we just don’t have the results yet on certain things. We’ll have to wait and see. Jacob (Drewiske), with him, he’s kind of where he started at the beginning of the year. He was out of the lineup, bided his time, came back in. It’s unfortunate. We have numbers, I don’t think we’ll have any pushback as far as guys’ attitudes, I think they’re aware of the situation and they’re being pros about it. It’s an asset that we have. McKenzie is in the same situation. It’s a bit of a logjam right now.”
On Andrew Johnston and Matt Konan: “Johnston can skate, he’s a skilled guy. Konan is going to need some work, he hasn’t played yet. He’s coming off an injury, but he’s a guy that has some upside in the organization. So we got him here and we’ll get him playing. They’re both young guys. To me, Johnston is a little bit ahead of Konan, just because he’s been playing up there and he’s been practicing. I think the biggest thing is he needs to play top line minutes…it’s probably best for his development.”
I’ll have an update on Wedgewood for you as well, let me just see what quotes I don’t use for my print story so I know what to put here…
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com