If re-building is what the Thunder Bay Flyers did this season by making the play-offs with a 19-30-7 record. Then the 1999-2000 season the Flyers must be re-tooling for better things to come. The biggest change has already taken place. As Gary Wenzel was fired as head coach and general manager after only one season behind the bench. His replacement is Thunder Bay native Todd Jones who spent the last three years as assistant coach and assistant general manager of the Sioux City Musketeers. Both the Flyers and Musketeers are owned by Superland Sports business tycoon Ted Carlson.
The Flyers have 11 players returning to the Lakehead. The veterans will be led by Pat Sharp with 19 goals, 24 assits for 43 points in his rookie season. Other returning forwards are Derrick McIver 43 points last year, Chris Sharp 32 points, Murray MaGill, Clayton Carson, Aaron Grynol, Jeff Miles, Chris Shaffer 40 points. The defence looks to be a question mark with only two d-man suiting up from Wenzel’s squad. Rookie defenceman Jesse Baraniuck had a strong play-offs and Tyler Williamson returns for his third season on the blueline.
It looks like two Thunder Bay Midget AAA Kings are ready to make the jump on defence, plus Jones has scouted the US heavily so look for some American defenceman to help strengthen the blueline. The Flyers have one goalie returning in 18 year-old Ken Ritson. If Ritson is not ready to be the number one then an older goalie should be brought in to fill any void. The picture will look to get clearer with the USHL Draft and meetings May 11-13 in Minnesota.