Houston Aeros 1994-2013: Thank you for all the great memories and two decades of great hockey and entertainment.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

And That's All, Folks!

The end had to this Aeros season had to come sometime. And it came tonight.

The Aeros lost 5-2 to the Barons, losing the series 3-1. I don't think anybody should be really shocked by that result. The Barons were just that good, the Aeros just that depleted. Mike Brodeur was in goal again tonight and Matt Hackett was scratched.

We'll all probably come in later with a few thoughts on this season just gone by -- I'll try to throw up more tomorrow. But this has been a really tough season for the team. Brodeur was the seventh goalie to start between the pipes for the team this season. It's not because the goalies were bad, but because they were either called up to Minnesota, disappeared to Europe, or were injured.

The team didn't have the offense it did last season, and once Casey Wellman was traded in mid-season the team's ability to score hit about 10 on the difficult scale. As it was, with the injury situation in Minnesota, and with the way that team cratered, most any Aero with any skill found himself with the Wild at some point, making it near impossible to getting any continuity with the lineups, which probably doomed the team more than anything. And frankly, I think the absence of Jed Ortmeyer and Warren Peters, who were key guys both on the ice and the locker room for this team were heavy factors in how this season ended up.

So that's it. The Aeros won't be playing into June this season, but if it means anything, there's this: the Aeros were the only one of the final four Calder Cup teams to actually make the playoffs this season.

3 comments:

B2Bomber said...

Listened to the game last night and it sounded like a pretty good game for the most part. Yeah, we knew it would be tough a 1 seed playing an 8 seed. It will be an interesting off season for sure.

alw02 said...

Thanks to Jim Mill, the Coaches and the many players for trying so hard.

Forecheck said...

@B2

Well, a look at the contract statuses (statii?) shows this could be an unusually silly “Silly Season” with as few as 5-6 Aeros returning next season.

UFAs :

DiSalvatore, Peters, Ortmeyer , Taffe, Penner – - - also Josh Harding.

RFAs :

McIntyre, Palmeri, Palmer, Endras, Almond, McMillan, Rau, Fredheim, Genoway, Kassian.

I mention Harding because the Wild are long on goalies (if one can truly be so). I doubt the Wild will try hard to keep him. If they think he is their man, then I assume Hackett will be traded for whatever over-the-hill forward (that can score) that they can get for him. Either way, I doubting Hackett will be back.

Figure 80+% of the UFAs are lost. The first three I mentioned would, I think, be headed to Europe as their NHL days are probably over. Maybe Taffe, too.

Figure maybe 50+% of the RFAs, too.

So it looks like we potentially get Phillips, Coyle, Bulmer, Granlund, and Larsson next year (Brodin is too young as I remember). At least half (Granlund, Phillips, and maybe Coyle) go straight to the Wild - - - -where they will all be injured by mid-December. That means we lose Bulmer and Larsson, too. I think there are three other lower tier guys and a goalie showing up.

The Wild may be freeing up a bit of cap space, but how will they use it? I'm thinking Fletcher is under significant pressure from the fans - and perhap Leipold, too – to Win Now, as opposed to Build for the Future. Heck, they've tried Build for the Future and it didn't work right away. So look for the cap space to be used on the Wild and not much on the Aeros. Captain Drew Bagnall leads the kids in prop gear....

Enjoy your Silly Season.