As the San Francisco Bulls and the Stockton Thunder prepare for today’s game, they have both seen their rosters significantly altered. Stockton play-by-play announcer Mike Benton summed it up Thursday on Twitter:
@Benton_Mike: 12 player transactions affecting @StocktonThunder & SF Bulls active lineups for tomorrow. Spotting board version of #MarchMadness.
Actually, with today’s changes, it is a baker’s dozen, not including players placed on reserve.
Wednesday, the Bulls congratulated Dean Ouellet and Peter Sivak on their first AHL call-ups. Both players make their AHL debut today, Sivak with the Worcester Sharks at 4:00 PDT, and Ouellet with the Hamilton Bulldogs at 4:30 PDT. (Click the links for the audio of those games.) Before the farewells were even announced, the Bulls set about adding six players to their roster.
On Tuesday, the Bulls claimed defenseman William Lacasse off waivers from the Idaho Steelheads. Lacasse is in his second ECHL season, but only played one game during 2011-12. He played 20 games with Idaho and one with the Greenville Road Warriors this season. He has 5 points, all with Idaho.
The AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, after calling up Ouellet, loaned center Daultan Leveille and defenseman Antoine Corbin to San Francisco.
Per the AHL site, Leveille only played 21 games in 2011-12 after recovering from knee surgery after suffering a knee injury in February 2011. This season he played 19 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs, earning 2 points. He played 25 games with the ECHL Wheeling Nailers, during which he earned 7 points.
Antoine Corbin has played 30 games with the Bulldogs, earning three points. He has not played in the ECHL before.
Thursday, the Bulls signed 20 year old, 6’5″ right wing Nick Czinder and 25 year old 5’9″ center Eddie Gale to ATOs, and signed 21 year old left wing Brett Findlay to an SPC.
Just today, the team released Eddie Gale from his ATO, and signed 6’1″, 25 year old goalie Travis Fullerton to an ATO. Monday, they had released David Guy, their emergency backup goaltender for the past several games.
Incidentally, the Utah Grizzlies waived Sebastian Trudeau and Taylor Carnevale on Wednesday. It does not appear that either of them was claimed.
Wednesday, the Bulls placed Simon Danis-Pepin on reserve. This is interesting since Ian Schultz is still not listed as being on reserve or injured reserve, though he was clearly hurt in the last game. Today, the team also placed defenseman Rob Kwiet on reserve.
The Bulls will not have the services of forward Tommy Grant for the home games this weekend. He will be serving a two-game suspension after the March 17 game against Utah:
Grant was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for elbowing under Rule #45.5 at 0:44 of the third period. He is fined and suspended under Rule #28 – Supplementary Discipline. -ECHL
The Bulls were not alone in the pre-post-season roster shuffle. Last Saturday, the Stockton Thunder had goalie Olivier Roy returned to them from the Edmonton Oiler’s AHL team. The following day, they also signed left wing Andrew Clark to an SPC.
Monday, the AHL’s Barons loaned center Eric Hunter to Stockton. Center Harrison Reed was returned from loan by the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters, and defenseman Daniel Gibb was signed to an SPC.
Thursday, defenseman Nathan Deck was recalled to Oklahoma City, and forward Justin Maylan went on 21-day injured reseve retroactive to Tuesday. Stockton released goalie Matt Cooper and center Matthew Lyall.
Got all that?
It has been a busy week for both teams, and it begs the question: will the weekend games be anything like previous meetings? Stockton will be playing their 17th straight game against a Pacific Division rival on Friday. On this streak they were 10-6-0 since February 15. In that same stretch, the Bulls played mostly teams outside the Pacific Division, and went 5-10-0.