Friday, August 08, 2003


Is it time to underestimate the Bucks already?

It's true, other than Grenville, none of Laredo's best offensive players have been re-signed, affiliated or otherwise. But there's no reason to assume Schneider and Periard will not be back -- even if there's no reason to assume they will be either.

Those two aren't necessarily gonna become full-time AHL players -- if I were a Laredo fan, I'd be much more concerned that Periard might get another shot in the ECHL, now that Rick Dudley/Steve Ludzik protege (and former Rampage interim assistant) Stan Drulia has landed in Augusta.

Still, it's hard to beat Laredo when it comes to travel costs, or the job Ruskowski did. And the thing about affiliation is there's always new young players coming in. When the Bucks started training camp last year they didn't have Schneider, Gove or Periard, to say nothing of Ask, Lundbohm and Gilmore. I didn't think they'd make the playoffs. I'm not ready to make that mistake again.

So now we just need to see official confirmation that the Rampage-Bucks deal will renew -- Memphis took care of that formality today (and, for obvious reason, the Kings will continue to have priority over any ECHL deal the Maple Leafs may make).

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