Sometimes, you see a bit of news that just makes you smile for a little bit. When I saw that Marc-Andre Carre would be playing for the Ice Wolves on Friday, I was still only cautiously optimistic. Who knows, I could have misunderstood the ambiguous Facebook post that led to my current mood boost.
So when I spoke with Coach Beatty about Pat Tran coming to La Ronge I told him what I had seen and after playing coy for a few moments and taking a little bit of convincing, Beatty decided to let a relatively closely guarded secret come to light. At this point I started smiling in earnest. This is what I refer to as 'Good News'.
There have been rumours of M-A-C playing the first month in an Ice Wolves uniform all summer. About a week ago they seemed to die down and it looked like it wasn't going to be happening. After all, Carre has his first pro-contract to be worrying about. It's not ridiculous to say that he wouldn't be playing in the SJHL and focusing on Rio Grande. However, this time the rumours panned out and the 2011 SJHL MVP will suit up for the Wolves home opener and the subsequent 5-6 games.
The news makes me happy because, frankly, I just flat out enjoy watching the guy play hockey. Even watching during some of the skates he participated in during Wolves training camp, he's an excellent talent to be playing in Junior-A hockey. So getting to call a few more games featuring Carre is pretty exciting.
For readers new to my blog, and might be wondering why the gush-fest? I wish I had a highlight reel for you. Carre put up 106 points in 55 games and was only held pointless in a slight few. Some of his 39 goals left the entire stadium speechless. The best being in Weyburn during the SJHL Showcase when he went through four Battlefords North Stars and left the goaltender wondering what just happened.
Especially for a team that may have issues putting the puck in the net like the Ice Wolves this season, Carre is just what the doctor ordered, even if only for a few games. It takes some of the pressure off the new players, and as they (I'm not sure who) say, "scoring is contagious."
In a league that looks like it could be very close 2-6, the addition of Carre could give the Wolves that extra couple points that factors into home ice advantage. We saw just how close it was at the end of the season with Melville and Notre Dame in the South and in the North, Flin Flon and Battlefords. If the presence of Carre helps the Wolves get 4 more points than they might have, those could come in handy down the road.
I'm not expecting M-A-C to roll in and get three points a game for the month, but he presents a weapon the Wolves didn't have before. Something else the opposition has to look out for, giving other players more time and space. Even if he doesn't get a point (doubtful), he has an effect on the game.
For Ice Wolves fans hoping to see Marc-Andre in action, get out to the home opener! It could be his only home game as the Wolves will be on the road until September 30th. I don't know when he's headed to Texas, but why chance it? Get out to the Mel on Friday and see one of the best players to ever don an Ice Wolves jersey on the ice in La Ronge for one of the last times.
Friday's looking to be a fun night!