Tony's Take: Week 5
CONGRATULATIONS ALL AROUND
In the hockey world, the summer months are considered long and tedious by most as fans wait patiently for October and a new season, but oftentimes July and August bring with them gratifying moments too, as players and coaches, either currently or formerly with individuals’ favorite teams, decide on their futures and put pen to paper for the approaching season and perhaps beyond. For Monsters fans, there have been a number of familiar Cleveland Hockey faces that have taken the next step in their careers in the past few weeks and with that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of those individuals in no particular order:
Bjorky’s Back – One of the true heroes of the Monsters’ 2016 Calder Cup Championship run, Danish sniper Oliver Bjorkstrand captured the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as the AHL’s Playoff MVP that season and recently inked a three-year extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets in the wake of a 40-point NHL campaign and his first full NHL season.
Movin’ on Up – Promoted following three seasons with the Monsters, Cleveland’s former goaltending coach, Manny Legace, assumed the same duties with the Blue Jackets recently and will oversee Columbus’ goal crease on a full-time basis in 2018-19. After helping former Monster Anton Forsberg reach his potential en route to the Monsters’ 2016 Calder Cup title and helping push Joonas Korpisalo into a full-time NHL role with the Jackets during the young Finn’s AHL career, Legace will be reunited in Columbus with Korpisalo and will have the added privilege and challenge of working with two-time NHL All-Star and two-time Vezina Trophy-winning backstop Sergei Bobrovsky.
On Broadway – Weeks removed from former Monsters head coach David Quinn’s being named to the same position with the NHL’s New York Rangers after a successful five years as the bench boss at Boston University, former Monsters GM David Oliver was recently hired by his old friend Quinn to serve as one of the Rangers’ three assistant coaches in 2018-19.
Ready for Raleigh – Another former Monsters head coach, Dean Chynoweth, is headed to the Tar Heel State to serve as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes following one campaign as associate coach with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants and one prior season (2015-16) as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche’s AHL club, the San Antonio Rampage.
What is your favorite memory from Oliver Bjorkstrand’s time in Cleveland? (I bet I can guess what it is…) Tweet me mailbag questions throughout the summer months @TonyBrownPxP using the hashtag #TonysTake. If yours is selected, you’ll be entered for a chance to win cool Monsters prizes!