HUBBAUER OUT, BUT NEW PLAYER ADDED
Forward Matt Hubbauer, who was expected to be one of the Wichita Thunder's top offensive players, will be placed on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury, coach Kevin McClelland said Tuesday evening.
Hubbauer, who has an assist in two games, was hurt during the Thunder's home-opening loss on Saturday night.
"He'll be off the ice for a while," said McClelland, whose team is 0-2. "We lose a lot of speed and a guy that plays pretty gritty out there."
The Thunder has acquired free agent Troy Schwab, who had a team-leading 35 assists for the Johnstown Chiefs last season. The 5-foot-8 second-year pro also chipped in 18 goals.
"He's a little guy who can generate a lot," McClelland said. "He plays a little greasy."
Veteran Brent Cullaton has left the Thunder and was placed on team suspension. Cullaton was scoreless through two games.
"He wants to be a part of the Wichita Thunder, but right now he has other obligations," McClelland said.
Finally, the Thunder waived defenseman Jason Woll.
"This is almost like an expansion team," McClelland said. "I've still got to find the right combination of guys."
* The Thunder appears to have enough speed and skill to score its share of highlight-worthy goals. But with the team sputtering, McClelland is looking for offense of the less-attractive variety. "Right now, it looks like we want to do things the pretty way," McClelland said after his team lost to Tulsa 4-1 on Saturday. "We've got to get some guys going into the gritty areas."
* While the Thunder dropped both games of the home-and-home against Tulsa, the defense did a good job of limiting the Oilers' chances. Tulsa had 21 shots in the first game and 27 in the second.
Thunder goalie Ian Keserich: Shaky
Tulsa goalie Trevor Cann: Dominating
Coach Kevin McClelland: Impatient
Squid Ink intro video: Awesome
Andrew Davis had a career year in Tulsa last season, and he is off to a hot start this year with a goal and two assists.
The Thunder's home opener drew 7,110 fans — a disappointing number considering the night included the retiring of Jason Duda's number and, as the franchise has been trumpeting, "the dawn of a new era" under McClelland. General manager Joel Lomurno was expecting at least 8,000.
TAP OF THE STICK
The Thunder did an excellent job with the ceremony to retire Duda's jersey. The video of highlights from his 14-year career was fun to watch, with an appropriately understated voiceover from broadcaster Steve Schuster. Joined by his family on the ice, Duda was grateful and showed his sentimental side, pausing several times to regain his composure. My only complaints: The KAKE symbol that stayed on the screen throughout the video was distracting and unnecessary, and it seemed a little "Price is Right-ish" to announce that the franchise was giving Duda and his wife an all-expense paid trip to the Southern Caribbean. Did I miss the Showcase Showdown?
The Thunder's record last season against Missouri, Friday's opponent
HE SAID IT
"We got down 2-1 and it was like we put our heads down. That can't happen."
—Thunder captain Daniel Tetrault after the team's 4-1 loss in the home opener
HE SAID IT TOO
"No one really jumped out and grabbed me. Guys can give a lot more."
—McClelland when asked who has played well