INDIANAPOLIS, IN – With wins not coming consistently, the Indy Fuel have been very busy in the trade market lately. The trades comes due to inconsistent scoring and mediocre defense. This past weekend, Indy gave up 12 goals in two games against the Quad City Mallards. Head Coach Bernie John has made it clear that if players aren’t going to produce or play hard, they wouldn’t stay around, and he’s kept his word by making this week’s moves.
The trades started last week when Indy added Cason Hohmann from the Atlanta Gladiators for future considerations. In the same day, Indy moved Matt Stanisz to Elmira for the rights to Jacob Poe and Miles Koules. Poe never reported while Koules signed a PTO (Pro Tryout Agreement) with the Ontario Reign.
This week began with a trade between the Fuel and Cincinnati Cyclones. The Fuel sent Patrick D’Amico to Cincinnati in exchange for Colin Mulvey. Neither player reported to the team they were traded to.
Wednesday afternoon, Indy acquired rookie forward Nick Bligh via a trade with the Adirondack Thunder. The 24-year-old forward has played 13 ECHL games since graduating from Dartmouth College where he tallied 18 points (10g, 8a) in 22 games during his senior year. In exchange for Bligh, the Fuel traded the rights to Brock Montgomery, who never reported after being traded from the Orlando Solar Bears.
Friday night, the Fuel announced several roster moves including two reassignments from their AHL affiliate with the Rockford IceHogs. The IceHogs announced on Friday that they had assigned Evan Mosey and Tyler Barnes to the Fuel. Mosey, who has spent the majority of his season with the IceHogs, has played seven games with the Fuel tallying three goals.
Barnes comes to Indy from Rockford where he’s tallied four goals and three assists in 22 games with the IceHogs. When playing with Indy and the ECHL in general, Barnes’ fortunes have been completely different. In the four games Barnes has played with Indy, the high-scoring forward has registered a goal and six assists. Barnes is known for being a high scorer in the ECHL. The 6-foot forward has 59 goals and 83 assists in 144 ECHL games.
Along with the moves by the IceHogs, the Fuel also announced that they completed the future considerations portion of the Hohmann trade by sending forward Alex Guptill to Atlanta.
Trying to make sense of all of the Fuel roster moves this season has been difficult. I give Coach John a lot of credit as with the adversity the Fuel have gone through this season, he isn’t just rolling over. He continues to attempt to build a competitive roster. The Fuel have rostered 50 players throughout the entire season.
Roster turnover comes with the territory of being in the ECHL, although 50 players in one season make it difficult to build chemistry and play as a team. Along with the roster moves, the recent lack of return on trades and players not showing up in Indy is a sign of concern. Bernie John has also made it very clear that if players aren’t willing to work and produce, they won’t stay around. A somewhat risky way to build a competitive team. That being said, credit goes to John who continues to attempt to build a competitive roster in an attempt to make the playoffs. Though that door looks to be closing very quickly.
Indy will play two games against rivalry teams in the Midwest this weekend. Friday night, they’ll face the Cincinnati Cyclones at US Bank Arena then they will return home to host the Fort Wayne Komets on Saturday night at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
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