Soo Greyhouds Season in Review 2000-01

By Brad Coccimiglio
It all started with Ryan Healy being sent home for “philosophical
differences” with head coach Paul Theriault and finished with a 5 game
losing skid. In between it was like riding a roller coaster.

There were some high expectations for the Soo Greyhounds coming in to
the 2000-01 season. The goaltending and defence were expected to be
solid while the offence, although a question mark, was seen as something
that was not going to be a huge problem.

In hindsight the goaltending was solid, the defence was suspect at best
and the offence… well let’s just say the offence didn’t come to play.

To start the season the Greyhounds did have some offensive spark in
guys like Preston Mizzi, Ryan Held and Cory Pecker. The Greyhounds also
featured some potential in Jeff Richards, who showed up to camp in great
shape, CHL Import Pick Martin Bonda as well as defenceman Trevor Daley
and rookie Brett Trudell. There was a lot of potential but,
unfotunately, not all of it was realized.

The defence was suspect but did come up with some great efforts against
some of the OHL’s top teams. The defensive corps was somewhat young with
three 19-year-olds, two 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old.

The Greyhounds goaltending was solid during some games and off during
others. Ray Emery was solid during the stretch run but the team lost
some key games at the end of the year which knocked them out of playoff

The turmoil all began during training camp in September. During one of
the scrimmages rookie Jordan Kennedy got into a shoving match with
veteran Cory Pecker. As the two moved up ice and neared the visitors
bench Pecker punched Kennedy and Kennedy hit him back. That’s when
veteran Ryan Healy jumped in. He came off the home team bench, which is
on the other side of the rink and blindsided Kennedy. With Kennedy on
the ice Healy punched himw 4-5 times before being pulled off of the
rookie. Keenedy was never the same (he suffered a minor concussion and
it worsened after playing a game early in the season and was forced to
sit out the entire season) and Healy was sent home and eventually traded
to Oshawa.

In October sophomore defenceman Trevor Daley left the team due to what
he called personal reasons. Rumours floated around the city about the
real reason why he left. The reason never did come out even after
Daley’s return in early November.

Also in October sophomore’s Rob Chapman and Malcolm MacMIllan were
suspended indefinitely by the team for allegedly breaking curfew. Both
were back in the lineup soon after the incident.

In the weeks leading up up to the OHL’s trade deadline the Greyhounds,
claiming to be building for the future, made a number of trades in order
to get younger. Most peopple felt that the real reason was that the
players dealt didn’t like playing for coach Paul Theriault.

In February team captain Brent Theobald ripped into Greyhounds fans and
media because of their “negativity”. Theobald said that he couldn’t
understand how the fans treat their team with such hostility. Theobald
said when he arrived in the Sault that he heard that Sault Ste. Marie
was the Montreal of the OHL, but he asked “Where was everyone in the
playoffs?” Coach Paul Theriault also said that the Sault fans “tend to
eat their own.” Theobald echoed that statement by saying, “No one likes
to see a human being crucified in his hometown.” After reading that I
had to ask myself, aren’t the Montreal fans the same way? (Just a

Anyhowl the Greyhounds season ended with the team losing their last 5
games. If the team would have won their last three games, which were all
at home, the Greyhounds would have squeaked into the playoffs, but it
wasn’t meant to be.

Looking ahead to the 2001-02 season the Greyhounds will return up to 19
players. The team will also be under ne ownership as Sault businessman
Sam Biasucci, who also owns the NOJHA’s Soo Thunderbirds; Dr. Lou
Loukenda, also a Sault Ste. Marie businessman; and New Jersey Devils
goaltender John VanBiesbrouk purchased the team for a reported $1.21

The new ownership cleaned house letting go GM Dave Mayville, head coach
Paul Theriault as well as assistant coaches Steve Harrison, Lynn
McKinnon and Bill Hughes and trainer Gord Hysen. The team announced that
Craig Hartburg, who was also in the bidding for the team, will be the
new Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations.

Overall the 2000-2001 season was a long one for players and fans but
the future looks bright for the team as they try to head in a new