First off, a big thank you to team photographer Chris Mast for passing along the photo of Joshua Winquist and Austin Lotz. When I saw him snapping those shots on the ice from the press area, I knew I wanted one for the blog.
Here’s a few things that came out of today’s player exit meetings:
– Winger Reid Petryk’s season isn’t over just yet. Petryk headed out first thing this morning to sign a tryout contract with the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters. So he’ll be getting a little professional experience before shutting it down for the offseason.
– Defenseman Mirco Mueller also is going to keep playing. Mueller is headed to Switzerland’s training camp for the U-18 World Championships, which take place April 18-28 in Sochi, Russia. I don’t believe Mueller has been officially named to the team yet, but considering he’s already taken a regular shift for Switzerland at World Juniors, I can’t imagine he’ll have any trouble making that team.
– General manager Garry Davidson said the search for a head coach won’t begin in earnest until after the bantam draft, which is May 2. That not only gives him the opportunity to focus on the draft, it also allows time for teams’ seasons to end, thus opening up the pool of candidates. Davidson said he wants someone with experience coaching at the junior level.
-Davidson said he has not determined what he’ll do about the import draft. Everett has a high pick, slotted to select 10th. However, the Tips already have two Europeans in Mueller and winger Stathis Soumelidis. For Everett to make a pick, the Tips will have to move one of their current Euros.
– One player who won’t be joining the Tips next season is forward Auston Matthews. Matthews, a third-round pick in last year’s bantam draft, has accepted an invitation to play for the U.S. National Team Development Program. It’s the Seth Jones scenario all over again. Matthews will play two years with the NTDP, then the Tips hope to land him for his 18-year-old season in 2015-16. Matthews, like Jones, is a late birthdate, so he will be going into his NHL draft season that year.
One final note. I will once again be putting together a season-ending blog series. I’ve got several end-of-season stories for the paper still to write, so it will be a few days before I get started. Once I’ve figured out exactly what I’m doing, I will post the schedule.