Minneapolis, MN – The Minnesota Rink Rats announced that they have sent veterans Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Blake to the Icedogs in exchange for David Jones, Nathan Gerbe, Yannick Weber and an exchange of draft picks. The move was made late this weekend when management, clearly frustrated with the outcome of this season’s results thus far, decided a change needed to be made for the team’s future. Both Blake & Langenbrunner are approaching the end of their careers, and although the team would have loved the Minnesota natives to retire as Rink Rats, they needed to look at bringing in some fresh faces that could help in the next couple of seasons.
Rumor has it the Rink Rats aren’t done rearranging their lineup. The team has inquired on a couple of players that may be able to play for them this season. Names such as Nick Boynton, Paul Ranger, Nikolai Kulemin and newly acquired Bryan Berard and some prospects have been discussed as well. The team is likely looking for someone who would be able to compete for a spot next season. With the early season issues Minnesota faced, it’s clear that depth is necessary in today’s WHL. With Tyler Kennedy and David Jones expected to be in the mix for roster spots next season, the squad hopes that another move or two will put them right there with other contenders.
With the loss of Langenbrunner, Minnesota has named Derek Roy the captain of the club. Roy has been with the Rink Rats for two full seasons when he was acquired from the Icedogs in WHL12. He’s been an assistant captain the past two and a half seasons and with his promotion Michael Cammalleri has been named the new assistant captain along with Brent Burns.
Captain: Derek Roy
Assistant Captains: Brent Burns, Mike Cammalleri
What the Rink Rats Got:
David Jones adds an element of size and toughness to the Rink Rats lineup. Jones is a guy that can score goals as evidenced by his pace of 30+ goals in the NHL this season. Although he’s out with an ACL tear, Jones has proven he can score and should be a member of the Rink Rats’ lineup next season.
The Rink Rats may have added some size in Jones but they’ve also acquired one of the WHL’s smallest players in Nathan Gerbe. Minnesota was interested in Gerbe during this past year’s draft when he was selected in the 2nd round by the Icedogs. Gerbe has picked up his play recently in the AHL and is one of the league’s better scorers despite his small stature. Gerbe isn’t likely to play in the WHL next season but could make the roster in WHL17 and projects as a top-6 forward.
Yannick Weber will add depth to the blueline as an offensive-defenseman. With an aging blueline the Rink Rats have made it a point to add some young depth to their system. Keaton Ellerby, Taylor Chorney, Weber, Michael Sauer, Brian Salcido and Casey Borer could all be apart of the Rink Rats’ future blueline alongside Brent Burns and Paul Ranger.