The Bulls Are Back

The San Francisco Bulls play two preseason games at the Cow Palace, on October 10 and 12. The regular season is just around the corner, and the roster has already started to percolate. Seven familiar faces have returned to the team, six have been assigned from Worcester, and the Bulls have already made a trade. Monday, defenseman Darren Rowe was acquired from the Utah Grizzlies in exchange for forward Danick Paquette. Paquette had been signed by the Bulls in August.

The ECHL is a development league, it is its purpose to send players up the ladder to the AHL and even the NHL. The league’s rules limit how many veteran players they can have on their roster. These factors can conspire to deprive fans of familiar faces on the ice from season to season. Add the natural roster movement present in any league and it can be disorienting for someone trying to follow the team.

When the Bulls started their inaugural season, they had a number of talented players but no history to draw from. By the end of the season, they had a core group that could serve them well going forward. There was only one thing standing in the way of that: would the core return?  In large part, they have: Scott Langdon, Kris Belan, Dylan King, Dean Ouellet and Jordan Morrison have all resigned. Brett Findlay and Nick Czinder, late arrivals to the inaugural Bulls’ roster, are also back.

The Bulls added goaltender Tyler Beskowrowany over the summer. “He’s an all star. San Jose is as high on him as we are,” said SF Bulls GM/Head Coach Pat Curcio.  Last season, both of the Bulls’ goaltenders were assigned by the Sharks. As a result, which goalie would play in San Francisco was often determined by the needs of the AHL Worcester Sharks. The addition of Tyler Beskorowany should give the team more stability in net. J.P. Anderson has been assigned by San Jose, but if he is called up to Worcester during the season, the remaining goaltender has two seasons of professional hockey to his credit and a heavy workload should not be a problem. Beskorowany played 52 games for the Idaho Steelheads.

Seven Bulls participated in the AHL Worcester Sharks camp, which had 34 participants. Curcio expects a number of players from Worcester will spend time in San Francisco, not only those already signed to contracts with the Bulls:

We could have possibly ten guys from [San Jose]. They signed a lot of players, and they signed them with the intention [that they will] have a place to put them. So our relationship’s been great and I’m real excited.

Six players have already been assigned to the Bulls by the Sharks organization: goaltender J.P. Anderson, defensemen Collin Bowman, Kyle Bigos, and Steven Tarasuk, forwards Ryan McDonough and Kris Crane. Anderson and Crane have contracts with San Jose, the other four have AHL contracts with Worcester.

The departed:

Peter Sivak signed with the Alaska Aces.  Rob Kwiet & Simon Danis-Pepin are now on the Fort Wayne Komets’ roster.  Taylor Nelson is signed to the Wichita Thunder of the CHL and Thomas Heemskerk signed with  the Quad City Mallards of the CHL.

The Bulls start their regular season with a lengthy road trip. Their first game will be October 18 in Bakersfield. Their home opener will be Friday, November 8. Puck drop at 7:30 pm PT.

(Originally published at Inside Hockey)

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