I mean, if they had an autograph signing, and somebody was sitting in Mike Vellinga's seat, you wouldn't believe that it's him. You would however not question an empty seat with his name placard in front of it.
I've spent more than a decade ripping on Vellinga, but something serious happened.
Remember the Indiana State Fair stage collapse a few months back? His wife was caught in that and critically injured.
They've got a website up for her http://www.fortheloveofandrea.com/
I wouldn't mind if the new Solar Bears got involved in this.
Last edited by Felonious Python: 11-18-2011 at 08:31 AM.
I'm watching the Solar Bears press conference, and something that we missed was that Orlando's getting another Lightning pre-season game. (due to the Republican National Convention apparently, but that'll be over by the time TC starts)
The logo and sweater aren't also being 're-designed', they will get some 'updating' though.
The team's office is apparently also the RDV Sportsplex.
The Bear has Bob Joyce.
We'll be in the Southern Division with Florida, Gwinnett, Greenville, and South Carolina. (no surprise, but the commish confirmed it.)
**** WHY DIDN'T I GO? THEY HAD CAKE AND COOKIES.
This is my regret.
Last edited by Felonious Python: 11-19-2011 at 01:33 PM.
JD had a business in the area between the Solar Bears and Seals, and I believe he returned to it after the Seals let him go.
The issue I see (and JD's a good guy, don't get me wrong) is that he's not a commentator who can do an entire game by himself. He badly needs a color commentator he can at least play off of, and that's extra expense for the team.
Some people, especially new listeners, didn't like his voice, and that's a factor to be considered as well.
It's been several years though, so who knows if he's still got it? I always sensed a lack of passion when he was covering the Seals, as they weren't the Solar Bears, but he'd also get some post-game relief with the Solar Bears so he could stay on track and not end up a rambling mess.
I kind of think they should limit Dan Snyder or Rob Kenny in these types of videos. (Remember the good times, right?) As they're the only two Solar Bears who have passed away (both car crashes), and personally, the 99' team means a lot more to me than the 01' champions.
I saw Snyder several times in this, (including the preview of the video itself) but no Kenny. Seeing Snyder just reminds me of his death, and that time after the bear.
They were members of the the team, and shouldn't be excluded because of their deaths, but the emotions involving Snyder run very deep I think because of the timing of his crash and how it related to the then-defunct Solar Bears. As it was around that time that I knew I really missed the bear, and no amount of Seals were going to replace it. Snyder's death just really kicked my ass. I also didn't get the sense at the time that I was alone in this assessment.
Snyder may have been the tipping point where we just started to want 'the bear' back, and eventually began to express that at Seals games, but it was a very, very negative time overall, and I'd rather not revisit that right off the bat.
I'd also prefer Dreger to Hordichuk for a 'fight' clip, as Dreger had that savagery to it. Hordichuk was just the heavy. Dreger had skillz.
Speaking of which, it's funny they have Bob Joyce.
I do like that they got a Neaton hit in there.
Last edited by Felonious Python: 11-22-2011 at 10:57 AM.
Stan Drulia seems out, as he got hired to be Asst. Coach for Milwaukee.
I've compiled a list of about 40 names so far involving former Solar Bear or Seals players or coaches who are still in high levels of competitive hockey. (pro, juniors, college etc.)
There's many asst. coach candidates, IMO, but only a handful of guys who I can look at their coaching record and say with some confidence they'd probably be a good ECHL head coach. (and not be at, or above, that level already)
But did I find a good one.
Dave Smith. Only played 31 games for the Bear, but do you know who his college program produced? Cory Conacher.
During the pre-season, assuming the Lightning are affiliated with the bear, they play an exhibition game against the Solar Bears.
They loan Brett Clark to Orlando, and maybe Florida sends Mike Weaver, as a show of Florida hockey solidarity. Jarod Skalde coaches the Panthers current ECHL affiliate in Cincinnati, and Brad Tapper is Asst. Coach with the Everblades. Maybe they can be worked in somehow.
Maybe SFY works his Detroit/Grand Rapids/RDV connections to get Curt Fraser to coach the Bears for the game. (this one thing in particular has to be handled with caution, and possibly left in a largely symbolic role, as dropping in someone else to really coach can majorly backfire if Fraser leaves too great of an impression on the guys who actually will be Solar Bears once he leaves. (see: how we pine for Cedrick Desjardins)
Cincinnati, an old IHL re-rival, are also affiliated with Nashville, who employs former Solar Bear Asst./Head Coach Pete Horachek. It's a bit more of a stretch, but a backup to Fraser. (if any of this is a good idea anyway) I think the old Bear fans would go crazy for it though.
For competitiveness, it'll have to really be the Norfolk Admirals + a few Lightning players vs. Orlando Solar Bears + Clark + whoever else is there for one game, but it'd be very neat to see a mashup of the new and old, and how things have changed since the Bears last played.
Last edited by Felonious Python: 12-15-2011 at 07:41 AM.