With a little more than four weeks remaining on the schedule, the Binghamton Devils’ inaugural season is at the crossroads of finishing up the season on a high note, or planning for the future. I elect the mode for next season, and it starts now with 13 games remaining before the weekend series against the Checkers in Charlotte, NC that begins on Saturday.
It’s been a difficult season for hockey in Binghamton, as I usually have a solid grip with player profiles and the like, but I’m having a difficult time regardless of my years of following the game we all love the most. Most encouraging however is, the rise in attendance and the enthusiasm with the fan base at home. But, it’s been a tough pill to swallow, as high hopes have diminished quite rapidly after a a strong beginning, as the BDevils’ record proves at 20-32-7-3 today.
I’ve managed to keep my cool with the growing pains that has developed this season for the Binghamton Devils and it’s fan base. It’s great to see the fan support with proven packed out games at The Floyd. However, let’s move on. Besides giving the rookies playing time while weeding out the liabilities, there needs to be some moves looking forward to the future benefiting next season.
Here are my suggestions;
- Eddie Lack needs to go, as I was never in favor of this move in bringing the veteran goalie for a defenseman that could've nurtured the young players on the blueline being Dalton Prout. High contract $$, as Lack is earning $2.75 million guaranteed. Meanwhile, Ken Appleby sits idle, although he’s nursing a head injury ATM suffered during practice..
- As much as I have lavished about him in the past, defenseman Jake Walman needs to go back to St. Louis and return to Chicago ASAP, as he has been on loan here in Binghamton. Walman has been a steady rookie on the blueline with prospect potential with a booming slapper, but his time is up with no foreseeable future in the Devils’ Organization.
- More playing time for rookie defenseman Michael Kapla. Needs work and now is the perfect time to display it along on the blueline during PP opportunities.
- Colton White needs to see the ice at every opportunity possible and sit Brian Strait. Although it’ll never happen, it’s the right move in my eye as Strait has been a disaster this season in Binghamton.
- Run with goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood as much as possible the rest of the way.
- Yaroslav Dyblenko has become a bust, as it’s uncertain if he returns next season after being a healthy scratch for the majority of the second half..play him regardless as I think he has potential.
- Ben Thomson & Brandon Baddock have been mediocre at best in being borderline potential’s.
Although the everyday focus is to come up on top in games with a victory, I’ve come to the conclusion that this season is a bust, obviously, but look forward to the future.
Thanks for your time and I look forward to your thoughts.