Hey Barracuda fans! Nick Nollenberger here. It’s another week, which means it’s time for another blog. The home opener is set for Friday, and the long-awaited rematch with the Grand Rapids Griffins is finally upon us.
Nothing will erase the bitter disappointment of last years Conference Finals loss to GR, but Friday’s tilt will continue a budding rivalry in the AHL. Both clubs have a new cast of characters and some familiar faces. 16 players return from the Griffs Calder Cup Championship team, while 12 Barracuda players return for another season in Teal.
On Thursday, Joakim Ryan was recalled to the San Jose Sharks and all indications point to him making his NHL debut against the Buffalo Sabres, alongside Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Brett Burns.
The Barracuda will certainty miss Ryan’s steadiness on the backend and offensive production, but the third-year pro, who was recalled multiple times last year but never played for the Sharks, absolutely deserves the chance he’s being given and I’m excited to see how he does.
Jacob Middleton missed the end of the postseason, and the Barracuda’s opener last Saturday with separate injuries, but will make his season debut on Friday against the Griffins and will immediately join Nick DeSimone on the backend.
After Friday, the Barracuda and Griffins won’t play again until the end of March, but it should set up for a great rematch. If you recall, the Barracuda were 2-0 against the Griffs during the regular season last year.
I want to hear from you, the fans. Tweet your questions to the Barracuda twitter page with the hashtag #AskNick and your questions may be answered in next weeks blog.
We’ll keep it short this week, but I want to remind fans that Friday’s game will feature $2 hot dogs, $1 beers, a pre-game Pacific Division Championship banner raising ceremony, and tickets starting as low as $10. I hope to see you all there. If you can’t make the game, tune into our flagship radio station AM 1220 KDOW at 6:30 PM for full broadcast coverage.
Another former Barracuda standout will also make his season debut with the Sharks tonight as Ryan Carpenter cracks the lineup for the first time this season.
Talk to you all next Thursday!