Southorn stays in PEI as peers gear up

Written By Kris Baker on Monday, September 7, 2009 | 9/07/2009

The CHL pre-season is coming to a close, and the bulk of prospects are in Buffalo for early work before the opening of main camp later in the week. However, one Sabres property will be wearing his junior colors when the QMJHL kicks off its regular season. The Sabres this week informed PEI Rocket defenseman Jordon Southorn that they were rescinding his 2009 training camp invitation due to his second team-imposed suspension in as many seasons. Southorn, who was suspended by the Rocket for an alleged curfew violation, will be in uniform when the club opens their QMJHL regular season this week instead of competing in Buffalo.
The group, including Southorn’s agent Don Meehan, sat down (with input from the Buffalo Sabres which nabbed Southorn in the fourth round of the 2008 NHL draft) to decide his fate. Savard helped make last year’s docking call and the recent suspension. He said Southorn’s back in the fold, but what happens next is up to him. “The kid knows what to expect. He’s getting another chance,” said Savard, who selected the blue-liner 17th overall in the first round in the 2006 QMJHL draft. “That’s the way it’s going to be. He knows things have to change as we move forward (and) the season begins.” The greater damage might be Buffalo reneging Southorn’s invitation to its training camp next week. He had been scheduled to leave P.E.I. for New York, Sept. 7. He might get another chance later in the camp, said Southorn, but for now the NHL squad has cooled his jets. “They don’t want me in Buffalo breaking curfew or getting into trouble,” he said. “They don’t want me there in that state of mind.”
At this point, Southorn will have to be lights out this season to be considered for an NHL contract. Harvard's Alex Biega and Saginaw's Nick Crawford are also up for a blueline look after this season, while T.J. Brennan and Drew Schiestel have already joined Mike Weber, Mike Kostka, Dennis Persson, and Matt Generous in the minor league mix. Add in top clubbers Chris Butler, 22, and Andrej Sekera, 23, and the already-inked Tyler Myers, 19, and it's easy to think that only one of the three could be signed next offseason. Speaking of Myers, the 6'8 defenseman arrived in Buffalo on Saturday for his second NHL camp.
“Having one year and one camp under my belt, I’m going in with some confidence,” Myers said. “I’m very excited to go in there, do the best I can and just keep things simple. Whatever they have planned for me I’ll accept. “I’d love to play with Buffalo this year, but I know there’s a possibility I may get sent back. If that happens, Kelowna’s not a bad place to come play hockey and I don’t think another year of development would hurt me at all.”
Meanwhile Buffalo News reporter John Vogl spoke with GM Darcy Regier, who confirmed that Tyler Ennis will be signed and done shortly.
"He’ll come to camp and we’ll work on his contract, but the expectation is that he’ll turn pro and not return to junior this year," Regier said.
The same article mentioned that RFA Mark Mancari would like a chance to play elsewhere. Four years into his pro career, the big wing has essentially graduated from this space. Cruising the other CHL training camps for updates on those heading to Buffalo this week... Luke Adam saw his first pre-season action for Cape Breton on Wednesday, posting two goals and an assist as the Eagles hammered Halifax, 9-2. The 6'2 forward, who also led the Eagles with five shots on goal and five blocks, departed for Buffalo the following day. On Friday, Jacob Lagacé had two shots on goal as Chicoutimi lost 4-2 to Shawinigan. Cataractes forward Maxime Legault did not play. Lagacé played again the following night, getting into a fight with 6'1, 194-pound Maxime Lamarche in the Sags 6-1 loss at Victoriaville. The 17-year old Lamarche got the better of Lagacé, who rarely drops the mitts. Portland forward Felix Schutz was seen skating in Saint John on Friday as his former junior club, the Sea Dogs, broke camp for a week before the start of the regular season. In the OHL, Marcus Foligno was tossed from Sudbury's loss to Barrie on Thursday. The big forward earned a five-minute major and a game misconduct after a slew foot in the second period. On Friday, Foligno tipped a shot in from his belly for his second goal of the pre-season in Sudbury's 5-2 loss to Oshawa. Saginaw rearguard Nick Crawford had an assist in Friday's 5-3 loss to Sault Ste. Marie, and did not play as the Spirit lost a Saturday rematch, 4-2. After sitting out the pre-season opener, Zack Kassian had two assists in Peterborough's 6-4 win over Oshawa on Wednesday. Kassian arrived in Buffalo Monday morning. In the WHL, Brayden McNabb did not play in either of Kootenay's pre-season losses before heading to Buffalo over the weekend. The OHL and WHL will drop the puck for regular season play on the 17th. 2009 pick Mark Adams started his USHL career this week as Chicago opened up with a holiday weekend of practices. The New England high school product will hone his skills for a season under the guidance of former NHLer Steve Poapst before entering Providence College next fall. The USHL regular season doesn't get underway until October 2nd.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

so does mancari want out of portland, or out of the buffalo system

seems real simple, pick up a little speed and your with the big club

Kris Baker said...

Mancari is hoping he can get a shot with an NHL club. Portland isn't his gripe so much as the numbers game in Buffalo that puts him in the AHL.

Mike said...

He should go tryout for Zags team in the KHL.

Anonymous said...

Not that I trust or agree with everything said on WGR, but there were concerns mentioned on Kennedy walking when his contract is up & he still doesn't have a spot on the Sabres roster. With Zags and Mancari already choosing to go elsewhere knowing there are many guy probable to make the team over them, do you see us potentially losing guys we really don't want to lose for the same reasons, Kennedy for example?

Kris Baker said...

Great question. Speculation by those close to Kennedy suggests that he was excited to be drafted by Washington given the opportunity to play quickly. With many forwards in the mix, the situation is obviously quite different in Buffalo.

That being said, the Sabres are still his hometown team. They went out and traded for him, and brought him into the system after his junior year because they had designs on him playing for them after some development time.

He is different than Zagrapan and Mancari in that he has all the skills and desire to compete and succeed in the NHL. Zagrapan has the skill, Mancari has the size, but both were missing the key ingredient of "fire". I see the fire in Kennedy, along with the skill to make plays. The only concern is his lack of size.

Watching former Spartan mate Abdelkader see time in his first season with the Wings had to be tough, but it doesn't take much to see that his time to make the NHL is just around the corner. Everyone has to earn their spot, so I think it's up to him to make it happen. He needs not worry about the McCormicks and Ellises and Gerbes if he's good enough. From my angle, he's very close.

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