Havana Propagandaby Che Guevara | March 7, 2015, 3:02 PM ET
The season has not gone exactly as planned for the Havana Revolution. They began the year with investment into some free agents bringing Jonas Hiller and Johnny Oduya into the fold but that wasn't enough to fill the numerous holes in Havana's roster. "We were looking for at least 2 more top 9 forwards and another top end defenseman", confirmed AGM Sittler. "We saw how the team came together in training camp and knew we were going to have to add through the season, but we ran into so many long term injuries before the season started it bogged us down."
At this point it became clear to the team they were missing major elements needed to be competitive and this apparently irked some on the team. "Well some of the moves we made early on in the season were because we may have set expectations too high." admitted GM Prozeller, "We promised a competitive team and when it was clear we weren't going to be it created friction in the room. Some guys demanded to move on!"
It would appear that GM Prozeller was referring to the trade of G Jonas Hiller to the Boston Colonials less than a month after signing him. He didn't last long there either, playing 9 games before being dealt to the Vancouver Vipers. It was a rough 10 games for Havana to start the season losing almost all of them. After which things picked up when players returned to the lineup and won 10 of their next 13. This resulted in a 3 year extension for well liked head coach Doug Gilmour, however after this the team mired in more injuries spiraled downwards in the standings and currently sits tied for 2nd worst record.
The one obvious benefit that the Revolution can look forward to at this point is another Top 5 draft pick, it would be the teams 4th in 6 drafts (5th if you include Elias Lindholm the teams 6th pick in 2013). In a draft year that is widely considered to be extremely deep and has two clear front runners in Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. Should one of those two players fall into the hands of the Revolution it would give them a formidable top 6 including Tyler Seguin, Johnathan Huberdeau, Elias Lindholm and Leon Draisaitl for years to come. A thought that likely has Gilmour, Prozeller, Sittler and Havana fans drooling, while causing opposing GM's to quiver in fear!
This is not to say that Havana was relegated to a bottom draft spot all year long, the team has actively been looking to improve through trades. "We have been shopping all year long although you wouldn't know it from the wires as we haven't completed anything" a frustrated Prozeller commented. "Perhaps we just overvalue our own assets? Or other teams want to cherry pick our best guys from under us? I think when you have a vast prospect base with tons of potential opposing GM's get 'first time grocery store syndrome'. You know they get overwhelmed and just want everything in sight so they throw all this wonderful food in their cart and then get to the cash and realize they don't want to pay for any of it."
"It happens more than you would think" chucked A/GM Sittler when hearing of Prozeller's comments. "We could make a comedy special with some of the offers we have got this year! But they are not all bad, we do have a couple irons in the fire that we have been circling back around on throughout the year. Chipping away from both sides to see if we can come to a consensus, but as of right now, no there doesn't appear there is anything imminent." confirmed Sittler.
The Revolution have been linked to some expiring UFA's they could Franchise next season such as Johan Franzen, Andrei Markov, Zdeno Chara, Jimmy Howard, amongst others. And have also been rumoured to be interested in Robin Lehner, Tomas Vanek, Bradyn Fleury to name just a few.
It seems as though the team is just going through the motions to finish off the season however the pressure is beginning to mount for this team to start producing. The leadership says the team is on the brink, however there is still some major holes before they can be a playoff team. It certainly will be interesting to watch this team over the next couple months leading up to next season. Is major restructuring in sight? Will they give up any of their prospect depth for immediate results? What will the draft yield? All big opportunities for Havana to take some big steps forward.
Words from the Revolt
- Havana Captain Tyler Seguin overtook Francios Beauchemin in games played this season making him the leader in almost all of the Revolutions records categories.
- Jordan Weal, Mirco Mueller, Adam Clendining, Chris Tierney, Ryan Spooner, Eric O'Dell and Nick Cousins are making major strides towards full spots in the SICHL.
- Connor Hellebuyck is having an impressive season with the St. John's Ice Caps posting a 2.39GAA and 0.928sv%
- Havana defensive prospect Anthony DeAngelo was named OHL player of the week after 3 multi-point games leading to 3 team wins. He currently has 84 pts in 51 games in the OHL.
- Goaltending prospect Jon Gillies was named Hockey East Defensive Player of the week 3 times and was nominated for the Mike Ricter award for outstanding goaltender for the 2nd straight year. He currently is posting a 2.00GAA and 0.929sv%. He also was the starter for team USA at the 2014 World Juniors.
"Revolutionaries are like conquerors; they must go forward. The moment they are stopped they are lost." ~ Wellington
¡Viva La Revolucion!