Part 2 of our 2020 season preview will look at the Atlas Steelers who are led by their GM Jon Campbell. In his second year behind the wheel of one of the First Four Franchises in the league, Campbell was granted the second overall draft pick. Did Campbell use this advantage to build a team that will restore the once great franchise to glory or will the team embarrass their friends and family with a 5th place finish like last year. Let’s judge them with our harshest eyes.
Campbell, a firm believer in the “892 is better than you” philosophy proved it by selecting three Fonthill players in the first three rounds. Mark Doyle and Eric Sinclair return to the Steelers after their impressive seasons last year, and are joined by longtime Fonthillite Mike Podio. The Upperclassmen of the Niagara Region look to reunite the 1993 Pelham Panther success under the WNHL banner and prove that they are not just Niagara on the Lake Jr.
Moving to the middle rounds Campbell selected Colin Cook. Cook was an Atlas Steeler in the inaugural year of the King Street Cup era. Not only has he returned to the WNHL, but he has brought with him a wife that owns a cookie business, automatically making him a dressing room favorite. While only there for half a season, Cook was an impact player on that inaugural Atlas Steelers team. A long time off, I’d imagine a lot of cookies, and a fourth round pick later, will he be like Kovalchuk on the Kings or Kovalchuk on the Canadiens? Doesn’t matter, bring cookies.
Also in the middle rounds Matt Dusso, a.k.a. “Kevin Shatter-kirk*” made the move over to the Steelers and will bring his red eye Jedi style of play with him. I personally am looking forward to a strong pregame performance from the “Vaped Crusader*”.
*Credit to Matt Sajn
Impressed by the Kings having brothers on their team, Campbell followed suit and picked up Andy Doyle brother of Mark, and Teddy Beadle brother of former Steeler Jeff Beadle who is taking the year off to focus on his career behind the mic for the WNHL. A Jeff takes his matinee good looks in front of the camera his brother Teddy “Ballgame” will be responsible for bringing the Beadle to the WNHL in the 2020 season.
They say that the King Street Cup is won in the later rounds and in those rounds Campbell again went back to the 892 well and brought back two more former Steelers in Justin “I’m also from Pelham” Pupo, and the 2 time WNHL All Star Champion, the 2 time King Street Cup Champion and the future First Ballot WNHL Hall of Famer, Scotty “Is he the biggest asshole in the league” “2 Times” MacLeod.
Now here’s something you may not know about the two time King Street Cup winner, is that he honed his skills, he sharpened his craft, he learned that championship edge in the Pelham minor house league program. So not only have the Steelers added a future hall of famer they’ve added little more of Pelham minor hockey spirit.
The next round was NO SELECTION, because Campbell killed that pick so much they had to have a moment of silence.
In the final two rounds the Steelers picked up former Lincoln Street Legend Curt “Old Curty Bastard” Rousseau, and Chris “I’m just happy somebody picked me” Paco. I believe if Rousseau can get out the protractor and fix the sights on that twig and capitalize on friggin’ 10% of his chances the guy would be a goddamn all star. Jay Thom was quoted as saying this pick is a “steal”, but the guy shoots worse than the bad guys in Die Hard.
Chris Paco moves up from last years Mr. Irrelevant to actually being picked in the draft. A slimmer, more aerodynamic Paco coming into his second year after a tough rookie campaign which saw him miss some time due to injury after running into the runaway bull Lance Romance which looked something like…
And with that the draft was over and the 2020 Atlas Steelers have been assembled. Last year the Steelers scored on pace with the top teams in the league but struggled keeping the puck out of their own net. (Rumors were they heard that their defensive blue line was technically in Welland so so they refused to cross it).
The Steelers enter the 2020 season as a team built on the pedigree of the Pelham Minor Hockey program (and the best arena fries in the game), and a room chemistry built by knowing that you are, in fact, just a little bit better than everybody else.
The journey to proving it starts October 7th against the Merritt Islanders.