Here we stand on the brink of the unknown. Staring into an 8 team abyss., awash with beer, weed, and hockey tape. We find ourselves on the precipice of greatness, mere days away from setting on a journey that will leave no man unchanged and no beer undrunk. Wednesday night in the Crown Room at the historic Rex Hotel in Welland, 8 General Managers drew the battle lines, swore their allegiances, turned former teammates into enemies, tore families apart, pitted brother against brother and when the dust settled we established the eight squadrons that will set upon the quest for the Holiest of all Grails the King Street Cup.
Coming out of the WNHL golf tourney / bbq, (which was graciously hosted at Chalet Campbell), The Atlas Steelers and their GM Jon Campbell stood atop the fallen with the number one pick. He was given the chance to shape the direction of the draft and hitched his wagon to Sean Boychuk. It’s certainly a safe choice, Boychuk is unquestionably one of the best players in the league and plays a two way game, which is important to establish on Campbells teams due to his own stead fast refusal to play in his own end. (Campbell has to carry an epi pen he’s so allergic to his own blue line).
Speaking of allergies and needles Eric “Unclean” SInclair returns to the WNHL and once again finds himself partnered with Campbell and the Atlas Steelers. These two have a perfectly normal relationship and we shouldn’t question why they can’t play hockey without each other, like ever. I think they get the shakes if they get too far apart. Sinclair a one time top round draft pick returns to the new WNHL and finds himself falling all the way to the bottom of the second round. Clearly the GM’s don’t see the same powerhouse he once was, or perhaps Campbell threatened their families should anybody even look at his precious.
I’ve spoken before about the kind of rooms the Steelers build and credit where credit is due, the Steelers may have a hall of fame room. Coming off his Mark Laforest award winning season, Colin “Holier Than A” Nunn becomes the first ever goalie drafted, and the Steelers followed this up by drafting a WNHL OG Phil “Passing Isn’t My Forte” Busby. Both high level players on the ice and high level room guys. Steelers continued to build a strong room by adding the WNHL’s Guy Fieri (that’s the fanciest chef I know), Eryn Warden, Gordie “Hooter” Hudak, Henry “Weeeeeeeeeens” Wiens and a returning Pete “Peewee” Voynovich. (By the way, somebody should tell him that holding is a penalty now. Even if you laugh while you do it). I dare you to find somebody, with something bad to say about any one of these guy. I double dog dare you. You can’t. The Steelers kept with the Steelers tradition of building a team from the room out and this year is no different.
The Steelers dipped their toes in the rookie pool bringing in James Mahon, who I don’t know enough about to give a clever nickname to, (I pretty sure he’s tall)? and Theron “The Welland Tiger” Ebert. These two will be brought onto the team to compliment second year player Jeff Bodden and Phil Hauser, both of whom I had to look up to see if they were rookies or not. So tells you what I know about these turds. They also drafted Fabiani.
That’s what the 2022-23 Atlas Steelers look like heading into the season. There is no question that the room will be a success, but will it transfer over to the ice? Probably not. I said a lot of things at the draft about the Steelers, I don’t remember exactly what, but I remember I made excellent points. Colin Nunn is entering the season under the spotlight as the number one goalie in the league and the Steelers in the past have not been known for their prowess in their own zone. The theory here seems to be, instead of trying to play defence , let’s put all the pressure on the goalie to bail us out. But hey, if the Steelers defence can execute tape to tape passes to the opponents blue line, Campbell will be waiting with some slick breakaway moves. There is enough offensive power on the Steelers to carry some games, so they won’t be pushovers, but I predict a middle of the pack finish this year in the standings, but a first place room.