Trying to improve on their team defense, the Saskatoon Blades are starting from the back.
The Blades traded for Regina native Logan Flodell from the Seattle Thunderbirds. That trade combined with the return of Brock Hamm gives Saskatoon two potential number one goalies.
“It’s very exciting and going to be a great experience and now we have to make the playoffs,” Flodell said as he took the ice for his first skate as a Blade.
The 19-year-old netminder carried the load in goal for Seattle last season. In 42 games he posted a 22-13-4-1 record with a 2.68 goals-against average and three shutouts.
But the recent addition will not be a lock for the number one goalie spot. Partner and Saskatoon native Brock Hamm started 56 of the Blades 72 games in 2015-16. It is hoped the competition will be a benefit to the team that gave up the second-most goals in the WHL last season.
“We’re gonna work hard together and whoever is in net I know we will support each other,” said Flodell. “That’s what a goalie tandem has to be.”
The Blades open the season on Friday, Sept. 23 against the Swift Current Broncos before hosting the home opener on Sunday. A larger than normal crowd will be on hand for the festivities surrounding Thank You Mr. Hockey day, a celebration of Gordie Howe.
“(To start the game) is the goal, it’s high expectations and they want me here to play the game so if I get the chance I will do that.”
The Blades have not yet said who will get the start on opening night. Puck drop is 2:25 p.m. at SaskTel Centre.
GRAHAM TO MISS START OF SEASON
While the mystery of the starting goalie continues for the Blades, it is known that Saskatoon will be without top forward Ryan Graham for the start of the season. The over-ager was injured while playing in the Ottawa Senators rookie camp.