The Fundamental Shiftby Che Guevara | November 15, 2016, 8:08 PM ET
The Revolution is starting to take form. With rookies Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Connor Hellebuyck expected to make the opening night roster. The team looks to continue its transition from the bottom of the SICHL barrel to the annual contender GM Prozeller is expecting.
"I expect you will see a fundamental shift in the World Conference this year. We expect to be a top teir team and push towards the top of the Conference. Not only that we hope that between us and some of the other up and coming teams in the World Conference we can re-establish order between the Conferences."
GM Prozeller is reffering to this notion in the Canadian Conference that they are more talented and to be fair over the past couple season the Canadian Conference has put the boots to the World in terms of total points. However last season the Revolution had a 68.5% win rate against Canadian Conference teams so perhaps a trend is starting to move!
The Revolution start their 2016/17 campaign with 12 players who have come up through their system and the Havana Revolution is the only SICHL team they know. This number is expected to grow with the expected emergence of Chris Tierney, Miikka Salomaki, Anthony DeAngelo, Julius Honka, Jakob Chychrun and Jon Gillies. The reliance on internal developed players will hopefully grant the Revolution long term stability and the wherewithal to compete for years to come.
The 2016/17 Havana Revolution opening lineup was just announced on their Twitter page to be as follows:
The newest addition is Mark Streit who the team just acquired from the Boston Colonials for Thomas Vanek. It was obvious early on that Vanek wasn't going to play a big role in the team this year and thus the team moved him for help on the backend. This has seemingly bumped Jake Gardiner to the pressbox for now.
A brief look at the team this year shows minor changes. IN is generational talent Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Mark Streit, Connor Hellebuyck, Connor Murphy and OUT is Francois Beauchemin, Chris Higgins, Thomas Vanek, Martin Erat, John-Michael Liles, Jimmy Howard. The only UFA retained was Brian Gionta who re-joined the Revolution after exploring the free agent market.
"We are happy with the team we have going forward. I think we have enough talent and balance up front, and we certainly have a good group on the backend. I am very pleased to see Optimus Reim and Helly tending twine for us this year. I think they took a big step forward and we are counting on them." indicated Prozeller.
Coach Gilmour back for his 7th season as head coach echoed many of those remarks, "Our forward ranks got stronger with the scoring ability of McDavid and Draits, not to mention Rask and Spoons. We brought back Gionta to add a defensive and vetern presence. I am extremely pleased with the blueline, as much as we wanted Beauchy back it just didnt work out that way, but I am confident that Streit can add the dynamics we are looking for. Murphy too. Actually this is the year of Connor for the Revolution! We have McDavid, Murphy and Hellebuyck hahaha. I should ask Bowman and Sittler if thats part of their drafting strategy!"
This is the Revolution dreamed of by Prozeller + Co when he blew the team up in 2013, it is finally begining to take shape. But now comes the hard part, taking a competetive team over the edge. The good news is you can see it happen right before your eyes. The Revolution open the season against the Hamburg Gladiators, yes the same team that took them out of last years playoffs! The team is encouraging all fans to come out to the Cohiba Centre early to enjoy drinks at the REVOLUTION bar and the Cohiba cigar lounge.
" The Revolution will not be televised. The Revolution will be no re-run. brothers. The Revolution will be live right before your eyes!" ~ Gill Scott Heron
¡Viva La Revolucion!