It is certainly a great time to be proud of our Stingrays. The team is doing a tremendous job defending its Kelly Cup and currently sits in first place overall in the ECHL and the front office is well on its way to a fifth crowd of over 10,000 in the last four seasons with Pack the House night tickets flying out the door for our game on January 23rd. The Championship rings are in and having been seen at Barry’s Jewelers this week, they are ready to be distributed to the team in front of a full house. It is also great to see so many members of the organization getting recognized for their efforts by being selected to the All Star Game on January 20th in Ontario, CA.
Cail MacLean has done an outstanding job this season, not only behind the bench, but in his role as Director of Hockey Operations. Just two years removed from the ice, the Rays bench boss has juggled his lineup and been able to get a consistent effort out of his group which is crucial to success in such a long season. A true professional in every sense of the word as a player, Cail has continued on that same path in pursuit of his College Degree and his quest to make his mark in the world of coaching. To see him behind the bench in Ontario representing the East should make all in Stingrays nation swell with pride.
Equipment Manager John Williams is no fan of flying, but his hard work has not gone unnoticed with his peers and he will fly to Southern California next week as well. He has spent a great deal of time in the off seasons with our NHL affiliate in Washington, learning how to run a professional locker room and has a bright future ahead of him at the highest level if he so chooses. Don’t be surprised when Big John joins former Stingrays equipment man Jeff Camelio (Nashville) in the big leagues.
Then there is Joey Z, our broadcaster. He is already nervous and you can see it in his face. I don’t think he has to worry about shoe checks in Ontario, but he probably shouldn’t let his guard down. Joey has had a lot to do outside the rink to bring our team up to speed with our website, e-marketing and social media. He has been able to balance his outside demands and his broadcasting by being prepared and professional on game nights. The All Star game is not an easy one to call, but he should at least be familiar with four of the players!
Congratulations finally to the four American Hockey League Stingrays that will represent the Rays at the All Star game. All are very deserving and I’m sure they will represent our logo well. After the All Star Game, the regular season quickly winds down and then, once again, we will all find ourselves on the road to the Kelly Cup, let’s just hope if it takes us to Alaska again, we get home ice!