- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2009

SEEN AND HEARD AT VERIZON CENTER

One of Bruce Boudreau’s fondest memories as a coach was winning the Kelly Cup with the Mississippi Sea Wolves in 1999. Both Boudreau and Hershey coach Bob Woods gained valuable coaching experience with the ECHL franchise based in Biloxi, Miss., but there is a chance it will no longer exist.

The Sea Wolves have informed the ECHL that the team will not operate in the 2009-10 season, and it possible the franchise will cease operations permanently. Mississippi is not alone with problems in the ECHL, as two teams (Fresno and Augusta) have folded during this season and two others (Phoenix and Dayton) are also dropping out after the year is over.

The ECHL, which is considered a midlevel developmental league for NHL teams, had as many as 31 teams in 2003 but has had a number of teams fold and move in recent years. There will only be 19 teams in the league next season.

“I had heard that a while ago, and it is really bothersome to me,” Boudreau said. “What had happened is that so many teams in the south folded that they didn’t have any [travel] partners anymore. They used to have Jackson and New Orleans and Baton Rouge and Mobile and Pensacola, so it has to be a real hardship. I think there are a lot of people in Mississippi that are really sad about this.”

This is not the first time the Sea Wolves have gone into exile. There was no Mississippi entry in the ECHL for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons because of damage to Mississippi Coast Coliseum as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

- Corey Masisak

ADD IT UP

While post-lockout rule changes have made points easier to come by, the Caps could break the franchise record for most in a season. The Caps set the mark in the 1985-86 season with 107 points.

Year Points after 77 gamesTotal (pace)

1985-86 104 107

1999-2000 97 102

2008-09 101 107

THREE STARS

Mike Green

The exclamation point on the best offensive season for a defenseman in the trap era

Kyle Okposo

That guy was everywhere - he and John Tavares could make quite a tandem

Tim Jackman

He was the Caps’ best source of emotion - not what his teammates were looking for

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide