NHL plays key role for Tips

EVERETT — Peter Mueller. Zach Hamill. Leland Irving.

The list of players not present at Sunday’s veteran check-in for the Everett Silvertips’ main training camp was just as notable as the list of those who were.

And that summarizes just what this year’s preseason will be for Everett. The highest drama won’t take place on the ice at Comcast Arena, it’ll take place at far-flung locations like Phoenix and Tampa Bay, where it will be determined who will be returning to Everett this season and who will not.

Moreso than in any other year in franchise history, Everett faces uncertainty regarding its players heading off to NHL training camps. Mueller appears to be at least a 50-50 bet to stick with the Phoenix Coyotes this season. Overagers Ondrej Fiala, Dane Crowley and Dan Gendur are all candidates to earn contracts and play professionally in the minor leagues. Even Hamill and Irving have an outside shot at sticking with their NHL teams.

With Hamill and Irving away with Team Canada for the Canada-Russia Super Series, and with Mueller resting a groin injury before heading off to Phoenix’s camp, the Tips probably won’t see any of the three until the regular season starts, even if they do come back.

So as training camp begins today, it’s unclear just who Everett’s top players will be this season.

“We’re starting Year Five and with all the kids who have been drafted, there’s the possibility they might sign, or a Mueller or a Hamill might not come back,” Everett general manager Doug Soetaert said. “So we’re just moving ahead with the players we have in camp and we’ll make adjustments as we need.”

Everett has nine players who will be attending NHL training camps this season. They include Everett’s seven drafted players — Mueller, Hamill (Boston), Irving (Calgary), Fiala (Minnesota), Crowley (Tampa Bay), Gendur (Vancouver) and Taylor Ellington (Vancouver) — as well as a pair of undrafted players who received invitations — Graham Potuer (Detroit) and Vitali Karamnov (Edmonton).

Ellington, Potuer and Karamnov are virtual locks to be returned to junior, but there’s at least some doubt about the rest. And all of them will be headed to their respective NHL training camps with a purpose.

“I’m going to have to work pretty hard at camp to see what happens there,” Gendur said. “It’s every kid’s dream to get a pro contract. I’m just glad my foot’s in the door a little bit by being drafted.”

However, there’s still tasks on hand, namely the start of Tips training camp. Everett’s veterans take the ice for the first time in an official capacity at 10 a.m. today. The players will be split into two teams, with one team practicing at 10 a.m. and one at 11 a.m. The teams will then play a game at 5 p.m. The schedule remains the same through Wednesday with all sessions open to the public free of charge. Main camp concludes with the fourth annual Everett Silvertips pre-season tournament, which runs Friday through Sunday.

“It’s been a long offseason, obviously with what transpired last year at the end of the year,” Gendur said, referring to Everett’s unexpected second-round playoff exit at the hands of Prince George. “I think everyone is looking forward to getting this started up again.”

Other than the three prominent names listed above, everyone else who was expected checked in Sunday. That included Karamnov, the Russian center Everett picked up in this year’s import draft. Teams have had difficulty getting Russian players to North America because of the lack of a transfer agreement between the International Ice Hockey Federation and the Russian Federation. But Karamnov is safely in Everett.

More than 40 players total are participating in main camp. Among that group are 14 players who advanced from rookie camp to main camp. They include: forwards Brett Chartier, Cameron Abney, Tyler Parker, Byron Froese, Justin Waskewitch, D.Jay McGrath, Kevin Spotts, Kellan Tochkin, Markus McCrae and Paul Grenier; defensemen Paul Sohor, Gabriel Minville and Ryan Maul; and goaltender Kent Simpson.

“As we’ve done from Day One, there’s no one with a secure position on this hockey club,” Soetaert said. “Obviously we’ve got guys we expect to be back, but there’s not going to be any gimmes. So we’re looking forward to camp.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Marysville Pilchuck’s Dominik Kendrick (9) runs with the ball during a football game between Marysville Pilchuck and Stanwood at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. Marysville Pilchuck takes the win, 36-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Marysville Pilchuck proud of 4-0 start, but has loftier goals

The Tomahawks aren’t listening to the outside noise, including a No. 1 WIAA RPI ranking, as a tough stretch lies ahead.

Stanwood players react to their coach bringing them the Stilly Cup on Sept. 30, 2022 in Arlington. The Spartans snapped a 12-game losing streak in the rivalry matchup last year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
4 games to watch in Week 5 of the prep football season

An in-depth look at the best games the area has to offer, plus a full schedule of the local action in Week 5.

Prep roundup for Thursday, Sept. 28

Prep roundup for Thursday, Sept. 28: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Stanwood's Michael Mascotti relays the next play to his teammates during football practice on Monday, Aug. 29, 2022 in Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Game picks for Week 5 of the prep football season

Find out which teams the experts and readers pick to win in Week 5.

Angel of the Winds Arena stands ready and waiting Friday afternoon for Kraken fans to arrive for the preseason game against the Edmondton Oilers. (Jake Goldstein-Street / The Herald)
Patterson: After past fails, can arena football thrive in Everett?

The turbulent past of arena football in the city stems from the opening of the Everett Events Center, now Angel of the Winds Arena, in 2003.

Hall of Fame inductee Gina Carbonatto accepts her award during the 2023 Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
GALLERY: 2023 Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame banquet

A look at Wednesday’s ceremony honoring some of the most decorated sports figures in the area.

Sultan’s Derek Feltner tries to stay upright after picking up an offensive fumble and getting a few yards against Granite Falls on Friday, Sep. 30, 2022, at Sultan High School in Sultan, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Week 5 prep football leaderboard

A look at the area’s top passers, rushers and receivers through four weeks of the season.

Everett's Max Soterakopoulos points to his name on the leaderboard after winning his division the Regional Qualifier for Drive, Chip and Putt, held last Saturday at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place. (Photo coutesy of Chris Soterakopoulos)
Community roundup: Everett youth golfer headed to The Masters

Plus, Mill Creek Country Club’s Val Patrick honored by LPGA, updates on local NFL players, and more.

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Sept. 27

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Sept. 27: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Most Read