A New Era Dawns in Londonby Michael Oram | October 30, 2017, 4:21 PM ET
It is the dawn of a new season and new era in London. As the SICHL reaches its twentieth season milestone the Monarchs look to embrace a new chapter in the franchises storied history. Unlike years past in which the London based club iced lineups of veterans and superstars, this year’s squad features up and coming rookies and lesser known journeymen who have been around the game for years.
Despite the arrival fresh faces to the locker room London still has a stable core of veterans. Leading the way is team captain Alexander Ovechkin who returns as the team’s all-time leader in about every category. Joining him in the leadership role of the club are assistant captains Matt Duchene and Roman Josi.
These veteran leaders will have dual roles this season. Leading the club both on the ice and off it. For the first time in many seasons London will see a handful of rookies make the club out of training camp. These rookies are both young and old. Journeymen like Jeff Glass who has secured the backup goalie position and Chris Conner will be joining young up and coming talent in the rookie class.
Leading the way of this young talent are a trio versatile players with plenty of upside. Sebastian Aho has all the skills required to become an all-star sniper in the SICHL. While Artturi Lehkonen steps up to the SICHL as a responsible two-way player with a scoring touch and booming body check. On the back-end Rasmus Andersson brings a physical game with a skill set aimed at shutting down the top players in the league.
Other notable additions to the club include starting goaltender Ben Bishop, defenceman Cody Franson, and depth winger P.A. Parenteau. With returning veterans such as Sami Vatanen, Tyler Myers, and Mikael Backlund, London looks ready to fight it out with stiff World Conference competition for a playoff spot. Something that was missed last season by the narrowest of margins.
Notes from the Throne
The Monarchs released their third jersey schedule late this afternoon highlighting this schedule are games versus all divisional foes, the defending champion Fire Ants, Las Vegas, the Golden Bears, and of course hated rival Boston on a night already being dubbed #JoinTheColony Night in the heart of the Empire.
With Eric Tangradi suffering a serious injury in pre-season that will see the forward miss significant time there is fear amongst Monarchs management that the player will not reach the minimum games played to be exposed in the upcoming expansion draft. This has the team concerned that they may have to expose a fan favourite like Riley Nash or Luke Glendening. A loss of either will be a hit to team morale heading into the 2018-19 season and more importantly a hit to the team’s ability to kill penalties.