Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Jersey's released

I knew this was coming and was just wondering when it would happen and it happened yesterday.

If you noticed at the end of last season the Bears sold much of their merchandise at large discounts because they knew it wouldn't sell for as much once they released the new look.

But I was expecting a new logo (or a return to the old logo) not just a new jersey look.

Not sure how I feel about them but I think I liked to previous version better. Of the three I definitely like the third jersey best but I liked the third jersey best last season too.

I do think it is hard to get a good idea of what they will look like in a picture though. I am looking forward to seeing them in person.

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Looking at the 09-10 Schedule....

It's been a little while since I posted here and I apologize for that. Things have been busy with work and family obligations. But that is changing and in the coming weeks and months I intend to be here multiple times each week again.

Yesterday I took my first real look at the schedule. Here are my thoughts:

What I like:
  • 12 games against Wilkes-Barre...of course we already knew this but I still like it.
  • Finishing the season with Norfolk and Syracuse instead of WB and Philly...should (I repeat SHOULD) be easier.
  • Only 3 (technically 2) long road November they have a 4 game trip and March a 4 game trip. Another 4 game trip in January features 2 games in Manitoba so it is really only a 3 city stop.

What I don't like:
  • Starting with a very tough lineup. 6 of the first 8 games are against Adirondack, Wilkes Barre, and Bingo....3 teams that could make the playoffs in the East division.
  • Seems very back loaded. The season is 190 days long (10/3-4/10) and 24 of the games are in the final 46 days. Including 14 road games in that period.
  • Finishing and (mostly) starting the season on the road. Sure the opening night game is in Hershey but the Bears get 10 of their first 15 on the road and they finish with 5 of 7 on the road.
  • 15 3 in 3's and 6 4 in 5's including 4 in a row from 3/12-4/4.....14 games in 24 days.

Worst Trips:
  1. November 4-8 (first 4 in 5) all in New England. Trip covers 1050 miles and takes the Bears to Lowell, Portland, Manchester, and Providence before heading back to Hershey.
  2. 2/24 and ending 3/2 the Bears head to Cleveland for a 10:45am game, next night in Toronto (Thursday game), home for Bridgeport Saturday, Wilkes Barre on Sunday for 3:00 start, then to Bridgeport on Tuesday before heading home to Hershey. That trip will cover over 1500 miles when it is done.
  3. Right after that trip is done 3/12-3/21 the Bears will travel as many as 1700 miles. They start @ Adirondack on the 12th, @ Springfield on Saturday the 13th, @ Worcester on Sunday the 14th. Now assume they come home to Hershey before heading to Binghamton on Wednesday the 17th, then back home for Albany Friday the 19th, then on the road to Syracuse on Saturday the 20th, before finishing AT HOME against Adirondack on Sunday the 21st. BRUTAL STRETCH.
Click here to view schedule

Not sure how the Bears schedule compares to the rest of the league but they will definitely face their fair share of adversity in regards to the schedule and travel.

Next week I will take a look at what the roster looks like now and what could happen prior to the start of the season on October 3.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Another Tough Guy in Hershey

The Hershey Bears announced today that they signed RW Brandon 'Sugar' Sugden to a contract for the 09-10 season. As well as defenseman Dylan Yeo.

This kind of surprises me but I think looking at last season's roster you can see that Yingst and the coaches feel that maybe McNeill needs a little help ruling the ice. Add to that the fact that GMac isn't a true heavyweight and this signing makes sense. No one is going to take a run at Giroux or any of the other stars on the Bears when Sugar is dressed for a game.

Sugar has had some trouble in his past but seems to be passed that and is focused on getting back to the NHL, which he might do this season as the Caps don't have an enforcer on the team right now. If you want to read more about Sugden's history go check out John Waltons site or you can even check out Sugden's personal site.

The Yeo signing is a depth move. He is highly unlikely to make the Bears and will start the season in South Carolina. But after all the injuries on the blue line this past season it definitely doesn't hurt to have a few extra guys to call on.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Giroux is BACK!!

This definitely surprised me today. I really didn't think Giroux would resign with Hershey but as of today that is exactly what happened.

I would love to know what his other offers were. I mean he must not have had much because the odds of him making the Caps (as the roster stands now) is unlikely.

He signed a 2-way 1 year deal with the organization and is sure to give everything he has at Caps camp in September.

A lot of fans were wondering where the goals were going to come from this season....well I think that has been answered. If Giroux and Aucoin end up back in Hershey again we can probably expect another great season from the two. Probably not 60 regular season goals but I would bet on 40+.

The other thing I would love to know...what are the terms? Is Giroux getting 6 figures to play in Hershey? I think it is definitely possible. The average salary for AHL players is in the 60k range so if he was getting 6 figures that might have played a role.

I would have to think he is making a decent wage to come back as rumor has it Europe was calling and they surely would have paid him. Although heading to Europe at 28 is basically giving up in a way on your dream of making the NHL.

And his numbers in Hershey are definitely better than his numbers in most other places.

I apologize for not getting this up sooner but welcome back ANDREW JOUDREY! A premier penalty killer and energy guy is back for the 09-10 season. I didn't think he would be back and I don't think it was a 2-way deal but Joudrey is the kind of player that you need if you want to repeat as Calder Cup Champs!

Also signed this past week was goaltender Jason Bacashihua who played last season with the Lake Erie Monsters and posted some solid numbers.

Many fans were somewhat confused on why the Bears would need another goalie considering Neuvirth and Holtby were considered to be Hershey's goalies for next season. To understand that just look back to this past many goalies did Hershey use? 5. Including Kris Mayotte and Bobby Goepfert.

So why not get a third goaltender and stash one of them in South Carolina in case you need him.

Wow...I am still surprised to see that Giroux is back. Great news today!!!