Saturday, July 12, 2003


While I don't see Dan Price leaving Austin, it's a little scary that he could go to Port Huron, play 10 minutes from his parents and not count as a vet.

That's something I wrote two weeks ago.

Right league, wrong city, too much made of Pricer's ties to Austin -- while there's no official confirmation, he is supposedly headed to Fort Wayne.

Price was the 2000 WPHL Rookie of the Year, the 2002 CHL scoring champion and perhaps the most gifted wing in Ice Bats history. Great player, great guy, and you certainly can't blame him for taking a great offer from the defending UHL champion.

But Bats fans shouldn't panic either. I personally believe the current group of Austin forwards has gone about as far as they can go, which, as we all know, was not quite far enough. A little change is good.

Price was not as dominant or physical this past campaign, and there are things about his game (cherry-picking, unplanned double-shifts) that are easily excused when accompanied by 47 goals, less so when it's 27.

More to the point, with seven vets available from last year's squad, two good ones have to leave no matter what.

I think we can still expect Kelly Smart and Mike Rees to be among the first ones back. And Price's departure could clear the way for Gerald Tallaire, not only in terms of the veteran roster spot, but an opportunity to be the go-to guy.

Of course, if one wanted to make a little more of this, you could point out that Brent Hughes was famously loyal to Price, and vice-versa. Does this suggest that Hughes may yet move on?

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