Friday, October 23, 2009

Corder 'in control' on Jets' back end

Mike Corder
is one of those players that epitomize the old adage of hard work paying off.

Coming into training camp this past summer, the 19-year-old Warren native was one of four players competing for one spot on the Metro Jets’ blueline.

Corder played well and cemented his place on one of the last days of camp.

“At camp, Mike proved how much he wanted to be here,” Metro assistant coach Ryan Skop said. “We spoke with him after the first night and let him know our situation about also looking at three or four other guys for one spot. The next day, Mike came out, got in a good scrap, played hard, threw his weight around and did just what we were looking for him to do.

“He earned his spot that day.”

Drafted in 2008 by Motor City, Corder opted to play another season of midgets with the Mt. Clemens Wolves. He then went undrafted in last May’s CSHL draft and was signed as a free agent by the Jets.

“We had Corder on our radar for a couple years,” Metro GM Butch Wolfe said. “He has great character, is very persistent and plays a steady game. He plays tough and in control.”

According to Skop, getting Corder has meant getting a player with a knack for leadership. Corder was recently named one of Metro’s alternate captains.

“Mike brings a good defensive presence to our talented back end,” Skop said. “He’s our most defensive-minded d-men and is also a good PK guy. He’s very physical in his own end, owns the front of his net and isn’t afraid to mix it up and answer the bell. He’s been partnered with ‘Petey’ (Vinnie Pietrangelo) most of the year and I think they complement each other very well.”

Skop also said that even though the season is just six weeks old, Corder has made the coaching staff take note in his overall game.

“Cords is the guy who thus far has been our most improved player,” said Skop. “Coming into camp, Mike had obviously spent some time in the gym. He was much stronger and quicker than he was when we last watched him play at the state tournament last spring.”

More than points, though, has been Corder’s ability to light a fuse under his teammates.

“He’s one of the guys who lays it on the line every day in practice and every time he sees the ice in a game,” Skop said. “Is Mike the most talented guy on our squad? No, but Mike is the guy who’s most willing to do whatever we ask of him, whenever we ask, as long as it helps the team.

“It’s safe to say that if every guy had Cords’ mindset, we’d be in a little better spot right now.”


The Jets were blanked, 7-0, last Sunday afternoon by Dubuque.

R.J. Heath stopped 37 shots in the loss.

“We played the first two periods and then took a nap in the third,” noted Wolfe. “This was definitely a winnable game for us.”

This weekend, Metro hosts Flint on Saturday night and Motor City Sunday afternoon. Game time Saturday is 7:50 p.m., while Sunday’s matinee starts at 1:20 p.m.

Both Flint and Motor City feature former Jets players. Defenseman Ryan Eby (2007-2009) sent to Flint in a summertime trade and forward Paul Elezaj (2008-2009) was picked up by Motor City a few weeks back.

Flint, who beat Motor City Wednesday night, currently sits in sixth place in the standings with a 6-4-1-0 record. Motor City is in the CSHL basement at 0-13-0-0.


Metro defenseman Steve Lockwood leads the CSHL with 60 penalty minutes. He led the league in PIMs last year with 261.


Forward Dominic Osman (2000-2001) and defenseman Steve Oleksy (2003-2004) are teammates this season with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.

Photo by Andy Grossman

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