Wednesday, August 19, 2009
North Stars retooling '09-10 roster
David Chaney’s tenure as a member of the Traverse City North Stars didn’t last long – one training camp, to be exact.
The nimble defenseman, who came to Traverse City from former NAHL North Division foe Mahoning Valley in the off-season, has accepted an offer to play college hockey next fall at Western Michigan University.
“They (WMU) had a player turn pro and had an opening, and they went for David right away,” said North Stars head coach-GM Anthony Palumbo. “It hurts because he’s a very talented player of course, but when an opportunity like this comes along, you can’t be anything but be glad for him, and wish him well at the next level.”
Chaney, a power play specialist who would almost certainly have been a top-four blue-liner, appeared in 41 game for Mahoning last season, scoring six goals and assisting on 10 others. He came to the North Stars after the Phantoms jumped ship for the United States Hockey League in the spring.
Palumbo did not sit idle for long, acquiring defenseman Curtis Heinz in a trade with Wichita Falls for a conditional draft pick in 2010. Heinz, a Grand Rapids native, spent the past two seasons with Wichita Falls. He has registered five goals and 12 assists over 79 regular-season games with the Wildcats.
“Curtis is a veteran guy who saw regular duty two years ago as a young player,” Palumbo said. “He’s been through the rigors of the league, been through the battles. We expect he’ll come in and be a regular contributor. Plus, he’s a Michigan kid who will get to be closer to home now, so it’s a good situation.”
Palumbo also inked veteran goaltender Drew Strandberg, a Thunder Bay, Ont., product who spent the past two years with the Thunder Bay Bearcats of the Superior International Junior Hockey League. Strandberg went 20-6-6 last season with 2.60 goals-against average and .918 save percentage, after winning SIJHL Goalie of the Year honors the previous season.
“We felt like we needed a veteran to go with our two rookie goaltenders,” Palumbo explained. “Drew’s played high-level junior hockey for two years, he’s an '89 birth year, he’s seen plenty of minutes against top-flight competition. He’s had multiple colleges already looking at him and we feel very comfortable putting him in net. It’s a great pickup for us.”
Palumbo and the 2009-10 edition of the North Stars will take to the ice for the first time on Sept. 3 at Centre ICE arena against the Alpena IceDiggers in an exhibition contest. Tickets are $5, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Dallas Drake GTHA New Skater Fund.
NORTH STARS IN THE NCAAs (32)
Kelin Ainsworth (09-10), Lake Superior State*
Arthur Bidwill (05-06), Colorado College
Kyle Bonis (07-09), Ferris State
Alex Breeden (06-08), Wisconsin-Stout
Clinton Bourbonais (07-08), Air Force
David Chaney (09), Western Michigan
Zeke Costello (05-06), Nichols College
Danny Dries (05-06), New Hampshire
Eric Elmblad (05-06), Michigan
Brett Englebright (06-07), Nichols College
Mike Glaesmer (06-07), St. Mary's College
Kyle Jean (08-10), Lake Superior State*
Brett Jendra (06-07), SUNY-Brockport
David Johnstone (08-09), Michigan State*
Matt Hughes (06-08), Lawrence University
Kory Kaunisto (06-08), Northern Michigan
Tyler Marble (08-10), Lake Superior State*
Patrick Nagorsen (05-07), Western Michigan
Harrison Niemann (06-08), Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Eric O'Hearn (07-09), Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Steven Oleksy (05-06), Lake Superior State
Travis Paeth (05-06), Western Michigan
Phil Partyka (06-07), Wayne State
Dan Radke (08-10), Lake Superior State*
Jameson Raymond (06-08), Lawrence University
Mike Sand (06-07), Niagara
Anthony Schooley (06-07), Michigan Tech
Eric Scovill (06-07), Wisconsin-Stout
Jonathan Sheridan (07-08), Lawrence University
Tyler Stephens (07-09), Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Brandon Stephenson (07-09), Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Nick Von Bokern (06-07), Nebraska-Omaha