storm: Exit Interviews

Storm Blogger


  • Tony Saxon is the Guelph Mercury's beat writer covering the Guelph Storm. Tony has been a print journalist for almost 20 years and last year his hockey writing landed him a nomination for a 2006 Ontario Newspaper Association award for sportswriting. Tony can be reached at

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March 31, 2013

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Comments

dedicated

I personaly think the draft & summer is going to be interesting. Who goes, who stays. I have my personal thought who should stay but I'm not the boss. Good luck to the guys! I know 4th place at least is what the bosses wanted, we ended up 5th. knowing we had the talent to do better. It is better than last year.Each year we should get better. With the talent we have and hopefully we get we should be better. Like Mike K. said "next year is our year."

dedicated

Tony
I forgot to ask, what is the status of Matt Finn? Because of his mono & injury, what is status with Toronto?

StormL

Is it almost 100% that Pedan won't be back? If so he'll be missed greatly.
"Give me puck, I shoot" - The great words of Pedan
To say that the season is a failure is extremely harsh. Telling the team that they failed and indirectly telling fans we watched a failure of a team isn't exactly inspiring

lorne

wow Nice way to send these young men home after a long season, why not tell them the season was a bust. This hockey world would so much better if the players were as perfect as the coach. Everyone who watched the storm all year knows it was not his fault how this year ended???

cleveland

BEING TOLD YOU ARE A FAILURE REALLY MAKES YOU WANT TO PLAY HERE NEXT YEAR. SO MANY POSITIVE WAYS TO MOTIVATE AND YET THEY HAVE ALL ESCAPED WALKER. KEEP YOUR HEADS UP GUYS AND HAVE A GREAT SUMMER. PROUD OF YOU

Tony Saxon

He won't be reporting to the Marlies. He's still not skating. .

Phil

Sounds like Mr Kelly is already planting the seeds for excuses as to why the team won't be a top contender again next year. Everyone knew he would have to replace many of the top players, how come it seems like he didn't? This was the year. I am hopeful for next year, but I just can't see how all of those important pieces can be added....not only do Pedan, Richard, Sparks, McNaughton, Posa, Beukeboom, +++ need to be replaced, but more impact players are needed even on top of that as the team was not good enough this year.

As for Walker's comments, I think you posters are blowing it out of proportion. I don't think 5th place and losing in 5 games in round 1 can be deemed a success, and if something is not a success, it is likely a failure. I think his comments are being made out to be more harsh than they really were....just trying to motivate the players to be better next year.

lorne

phil All i'm trying to say is don't just throw the players under the bus when you were out coached in so many games. Our record speaks for it self i'm not satisfied either and know changes have to be made ,holes filled but it was a team failure

danny

When walker spent as much time coaching his son's rep team as he did Guelph... He needs to look in the mirror before throwing these guys under the bus. Away games i went to, pretty sure this guy does not even ride the bus with the players.... As for next year, I have all the faith in the world that Mr Kelly will fill whatever holes in whatever way he has too. Tony, any insite into how the players reacted to the year end meetings? (ie. Failure or whatever)

lorne

danny totally agree with you. Mr. Kelly is a true G.M. going to be hard to address problem when the problem is a part owner

Marcel and Barbara Lanneval

It was a really great and exciting failure ... if it was a failure! We are renewing our season's tickets and look forward to seeing the younger guys ss they mature and await spring camp to see what thwe rookies look like.

danny

Marcel and Barbara, Love your enthusiasm!!! I am just as excited and can't wait to see what the summer ahead will bring!

dedicated

I total agree what a way to motivate people Tell them they did a lousy job as they leave. Like it was said before, why would I want to come back. The guys had there bad times, agreed but, come on he makes sound as if they were absolutle terrible.The way they played with Kitchener was not that bad. No games were blow outs. The series came down to goaltending. Walker & Kelly were looking for 4th. place got 5th, better than last year. How can this have been the year when Kelly said next was the year. Amazing Walker had time to coach his son's team. I see the Storm as a full time job not part time. I am disapointed in Walker for saying what he did to the guys.

Phil

I don't absolve the coach of any of the blame....it was a team failure, no one person to blame in particular in my opinion.

I still think that you are all creating a mountain out of a mole-hill. Though I wasn't there, from the account above it doesn't appear the players were berated or anything of the sort as some of the posters above are insinuating. They were simply told that average is nothing to be happy about. It's not, especially in a results oriented business. They had a goal and did not reach it. There were positives to the season, sure, but in the end, they did not accomplish what they set out to - hard to label that as anything but a failure. All are in part responsible, and I don't think Walker was implying anything different.

As a season ticket holder, I was disappointed in the result this season. It wasn't a bad season by any means, but frankly I was expecting more - both from some of the players, and from coaching and management alike. I have posted many times that I thought this was the year to go for it (finally) and I was sad that they did not.

Yes, Mr Kelly has said the last two years that next year is "the year"....I have my doubts, but I will reserve judgement until the summer is over. He has a lot of large holes to fill - I mean like core players large - and I am skeptical that he can add all the pieces necessary to become a REAL contender. Time will tell.

cleveland

OH SO MANY REASONS WE WERE OUT IN THE FIRST ROUND, GIBSON GOT IN OUR HEADS, WALKER WAS OUT COACHED, NEVER BEING ABLE TO MATCH LINES WITH THE OTHER TEAM AND WHEN HE DID MAKE LINE CHANGES NOT BEING ABLE TO GET THEM BACK ON THEIR OWN LINE. WALKER LIKES TO TELL HOW LONG HE PLAYED IN THE NHL WOULDN'T YOU THINK HE WOULD HAVE LEARNED SOMETHING IF ONLY BY OSMOSIS.

danny

I look at 95-96 as a good comparison for what is possible under Mike Kelly. Lost Bertuzzi, O'Neill, Ndur, Mark Mcarthur, Soulierre, Barton etc... They scored and won by committee. Key additions were made, Andrew Clark, Dan Cloutier, and Vasilievs in the Euro Draft... .720 win percentage and i would argue the holes this year are similar if not easier to plug. I am not skeptical, i am intrigued to see how it gets done. And i do have faith that it will.

T.J.

I agree that to much of the Walkers message is being twisted out of context. I happen to agree that this year was a failure based on the expectations and predictions for this team at the start of the year.

Compare us to our rivals in Kitchener. In the past 5 years they have made the playoffs 4 times, 3 of those times they have advanced to at least the second round. Our team has made the playoffs the past 5 years and the best we can show for it is a 6 game series one of those years, all first round eliminations.

Now the key point - in 4 of the past 5 years Kitchener has drafted after we have picked. They have either (a) done a better job of scouting or (b) done a better job of developing the players they drafted. Personally I think it is a combination of both.

Many of our players failed to live up to what was expected to be their level of play. I will not name names, if you went to the games you will know who they were. That said you really can't compare this team to 95-96, different eras, different styles of team and players. This year we lose 2 overage D-men, that is hard to fill. Those we have left lack size and experience to step in and fill the gap left by the players leaving. The other players leaving to play at the next level would help us next year but the reality is they are gone. 11 players can graduate from this team - 3 will come back as OA's so we are losing 8 players - that is 50% of the current team. We will have a young D, we have lost scoring and a player with amazing ability to set up goals. Time will tell but I really don't see how we will be better than 5th or 6th next year.

danny

Different era? Different style of team and players? It is really the same... expectations from fans were low, all our scoring had left, our grit was gone, but, smart drafting previous couple years, small but smart moves for additional players. seems exactly the same circumstances to me. Your assumption is that 8 eligible returnees, only 3 can play... that also leaves room to move an OA to another team for a younger player or something of that nature. Trades using current assets to fill other teams draft needs for existing talent in return etc etc....

Marcel Lanneval

Here are a few statistical observations that sort of set things in perspective. I am sorry for the format problem in presenting these. If you would like a copy of the complete document I would gladly send it if you send me an email at bar.mar@sympatico.ca

The 2012 – 13 team has done a creditable job and it shows in a comparison of stats.

Where does the 2012 - 13 Storm team rank with the Storm teams since the Ontario
Championship in 2004? Including the champions there have been 10 teams.

2012 / 13
PTS 3 (highest being the
champions)
PCT 2(TIE)(highest being
the champions)
GF 2 (highest being
the champions)
GA 8 (lowest being the
champions)
PIM 3 (lowest being the
champions)

bob

if you went to the games you will know who they were. I went to every game, did not see what you or think the same as you.
The team is right on schedule. they finished with many more points then last year. Once again there are on schedule. It is just that they once again played a contender in the first round. Go Storm Go.

Jacques

Bob whatcontender we played fourth place you call Kitchener at condender 3 was Plymouth 2 was Owen Sound and 1 was London.Do you mean next if we finish fourth it is okay with because we played a contender?

Phil

Kitchener a contender? I don't even think Ranger fans would agree with you there.

With Gibson, sure, anything can happen, but I'm pretty sure that most observers consider the West a two horse race (and have all along) with London and Plymouth being the top dogs.

Still credit to Owen Sound and Kitchener...both good teams (with great goalies) in their own right.

There is A LOT of work to do, and A LOT of holes to fill. We are not talking filling out the 3rd and 4th lines, we are talking about PROVEN scorers (more than one) and 1-2 TOP PAIRING d-men...not to mention a GOOD-GREAT starting goalie. We are talking about a contender here, not another 5th-8th place team....these are not going to be easy pieces to acquire. While I am hopeful Mr Kelly will be able to address these needs, I am skeptical....if he does, he should be nominated for GM of the year!! (assuming that even exists)

And to danny, there is no way that they will get any sort of tangible return for pending OA's....late round pick, perhaps, but no "talent" that will help next year. There is always an abundance of OA's when the season starts, and ours are not ones that will garner a substantial return - IMO.

hockey fan

What are some of you so called experts talking about when you say that Walker is not a good coach and Spott outcoached him???

Over the five games the Storm outshot the Rangers in three of the games and overall outshot them 208 to 191. So knock off that bull about being outplayed and out coached. GIBSON IS THE BIGGEST REASON the Storm did not extend this series. He is a damn good goaltender and will go far in the NHL.

This year we ended up with 84 points up 16 points from last year. That`s an improvement of 24% .

So cut out the crap and get a life.

dedicated

Hockey Fan well said you are right on all accounts. I'm tired of the fans who are always looking at the negatives. Let's stand behind Mr. Kelley and Walker and support them they know better than we do. Kelly has forgotten more than what any of us will ever know & Walker has been then in the "trenches".

Phil

Just like you are tired of the negatives, I am tired of all the fans who can't see the facts in front of them.

Hope is a nice thing. To believe everything the organization tells you is heart warming stuff.

You complain about the negative people on here, yet fail to provide any counter-points to the criticisms other than 'just have faith'.

There are legitimate concerns with this roster going forward into a year we were told that the team was going "all in". Do I have solutions, no. I am just tired of hearing "next year" seemingly every year. We were told this with the core of Beck, Holland, Latta, McCollum et al and it never amounted to jack. This is a new GM and I am willing to give him a chance, but already it seems as if things are not lining up as planned.

I pump a fair amount of $$ into this team for a pair of season's seats, concessions, fundraisers, merchandise, dinners etc. so I feel I have a right to question decisions that I don't agree with. Doesn't necessarily make me right, but also doesn't mean I should be subject to having other people tell me I am wrong and that I should just blindly believe.

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