CINCINNATI, OH – The Cincinnati Cyclones offensive core took a huge blow this morning as leading point score Andrew Yogan has left the team to return to HC Bolzano in Italy, where he started the season.
In 30 games with the Cyclones, Yogan led the team in both goals (15) and points overall (32). While with Bolzano for the first ten games of the season, he recorded a goal and six assists for seven points while in Italy.
Although things look bad, per the Cyclones Front Office, this was not Yogan’s decision to leave as he was forced out by his initial contract with Bolzano. The language in the initial contract signed with Bolzano over the off-season states he has to finish the season with them as they own his International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) card.
If Yogan were to remain in Cincinnati, and not return to Bolzano, they would own his rights for the next five years and he would not be able to play for another team in any other league whether in the states or overseas. It would also make him ineligible to participate in any IIHF competitions during that time.
In the past two weeks, the Cyclones have now lost their two biggest offensive weapons in Yogan and Peter LeBlanc, leaving a rather large hole up front. This creates some questions on what Head Coach Matt Macdonald plans to do now. With the ECHL trade deadline quickly approaching on March 9th, does he stick with what he has for the long run or does he make another move to bring in an offensive juggernaut to help fill the void up front?
The Cyclones have acquired the rights to forward Justin MacDonald from the Kalamazoo Wings in exchange for cash considerations.
MacDonald has spent the bulk of this year’s campaign in the Southern Professional Hockey League with the Evansville ThunderBolts, accounting for for 24 points in 26 SPHL contests.
There is some familiarity with this move as MacDonald was teammates with current Cyclone, Jordan Sims, last year when Evansville was in the ECHL with the IceMen.
MacDonald is expected to make his Cincinnati debut tonight as the Cyclones begin a three-in-three set at U.S. Bank Arena in Downtown Cincinnati as they close out their two-game season series against the Elmira Jackals at 7:35pm EST.