Rebels in no rush to name captain
The official on-ice leader of the Red Deer Rebels will be identified at some point in the future.
Whether that means near future or even a month or two down the road is still up in the air.
“We have no immediate plans to name a captain,” Rebels general manager/head coach Brent Sutter said Wednesday. “We’re just going to hold off and do it at the right time.”
Sutter is waiting for the Minnesota Wild to decide whether defenceman Mathew Dumba will be playing full-time in the NHL this season or whether he will be returned to the Rebels. Dumba will no doubt wear a letter if he’s back in Red Deer, perhaps even the ‘C’.
The Wild pared their roster to 28 players this week, including nine defenceman. Minnesota will almost certainly carry Dumba into the regular season — the Wild’s first game is Oct. 3 — and the 19-year-old will likely play at least nine games — the maximum allowed for the first year of his three-year entry-level contract to slide — before the club will make a decision on his immediate future.
Meanwhile, rearguard Brady Gaudet and forwards Lukas Sutter and Brooks Maxwell were the Rebels’ alternate captains during 4-2 and 6-3 WHL regular-season opening wins over the Kootenay Ice last weekend.
The same three will be adorned with ‘As’ Friday night when the Rebels host the Regina Pats, but one of more of the letters may be switched around once the club heads out on a four-game road trip next week, or even Saturday when the team visits the Calgary Hitmen.
“We’re thinking about a couple of other guys at this point,” said Sutter.
The Rebels roster still consists of 26 players, not including Dumba, which is more than Sutter would prefer to carry too far into the season.
“I’m trying to do a couple of things (transactions) and I don’t know if they’ll get done or not,” he said. “We have a couple of players who aren’t happy with the roles they are in and I don’t want any unhappy players around.”
l The Rebels will open their annual early-season East Division road trip next Tuesday in Saskatoon and will also visit Prince Albert, Moose Jaw and Brandon on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
l On the Rebels prospects front, forward Meyer Nell, 16, has scored twice and collected six points in two preseason games with the midget AAA Notre Dame Hounds.
Meanwhile, netminders Grant Naherniak, Ryan Toth and Colby Entz have also posted impressive numbers in midget AAA preseason play. Naherniak, in fact, has two shutouts in as many games with the Moose Jaw Generals, Toth didn’t allow a goal in one outing with the Battleford Stars and Colby Entz surrendered just one in a single game with the Generals.
Defenceman Wyatt Kalynuk, 16, has bypassed the midget AAA level altogether and has suited up with his hometown Virden Oil Capitals of the Manitoba Junior League. Kalynuk registered an assist in Virden’s regular-season opener last Friday.