Thanks Bill. Esposito should be interesting to say the least with his name recognition . Blueger 's brother was the most valuable player for MN State a couple seasons ago. Now it will be interesting to see if we lose anyone between now and the start of the new season . I can't wait until it starts up again but as they say, you don't want to wish your life away , as it is going fast enough .
Hopefully attendance can go up this coming season with another strong year. It would nice if we can get more Sault, Ontario people to come over to the games. I wonder if there is any way to try and attract the Canadians?
Winning more on a consistent basis will probably bring in more fans from across the river.
Having more kids from the Canadian Soo and surrounding area would help. The problem with that is it provides a big recruiting challenge. Most of the talented Northern Ontario kids (Soo, Sudbury, North Bay, Thunder Bay, and all the small towns) seem to want to play Major Junior hockey rather than go the NCAA Div 1 route. I know the coaches still look for players over in the Canadian Soo area, but it's difficult to talk them into playing Div 1 hockey. How much recruiting time are they going to devote to that when the results aren't any better? We do have a Northern Ontario recruit (Jesse Tucker) that has committed to the Lakers, but we got him last year while he was playing in the OJHL. He played at Green Bay in the USHL this season.
Winning helps, but the bridge fare did go up by .50c this year, so that certainly doesn't help matters, especially with the Greyhounds doing as well as they have been over the last few years.
Concerning local kids: It may help, but if recent history shows anything, Canadians would come over while their guy is playing, but once he graduates/goes pro, they'll be gone again. I doubt it's financially feasible, but if the school could get some sort of partial discount on tickets to help make up for some of the bridge fair, but then they'd have to do something for us Americans too.
From the Laker Hockey Talk show, it sounds like Mike Mannara will also be joining the Lakers this coming season on D. He has one more year of Junior eligibility but they think he's ready to come in now. Also, they're still working out details of when Notre Dame will come to the Soo for a series but Damon said it will happen (didn't say which season).
I suspect that when the Laker coaches cross the river on scouting trips now, it's usually to look at kids playing AAA midget hockey in the hopes they can find one with talent that is willing to go the D1 route rather than play major junior.
I guess this is a very circuitous way of saying that I don't think that the D1 teams are competing with major junior in Canada. They are 2 completely different paths attracting different kids.
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