Sunday, January 20, 2008


From the category of sad but true: Last night, while Belleville Bulls star Shawn Matthias was scoring his first two NHL goals for the Florida Panthers, Jordan Doig, taken 59 picks earlier by the Kingston Frontenacs in the same OHL draft year, played in a Junior C game for the Wingham Ironmen.

Meantime, Shawn Connors, whom the Frontenacs took 32 picks before Matthias in that 2004 OHL draft, helped the Junior B Niagara Falls Canucks win their game 6-5 over Stoney Creek. The world stood still for that one, no doubt.

This is not meant to mock Connors or Doig, who presumably have found good fits with lower-tier teams. But it just goes to show that Matthias making a splash in the NHL one night after Frontenacs GM-for-life Larry Mavety achieved his milestone 700th career coaching loss is no coincidence. It reaffirms why no one over the age of six should believe anything about the Frontenacs rebuilding, so long as Mavety and owner Doug Springer are still allowed to come within 100 metres of the arena. (Yes, this has been discussed before.)

Matthias was Belleville's sixth-round pick, 101st overall, in the 2004 draft and now he's scoring goals in the NHL. Doig, the third-rounder, is in Junior C. Connors is in Junior B. Another fourth-rounder, Ryan Watson, passed on playing for the Frontenacs (shocker!) and is now playing college hockey at Western Michigan.

None of the five players that Mavety selected when Matthias was available are still playing for Kingston. Granted, Cory Emmerton and Ben Shutron were productive players before they were traded off for youngsters and draft choices to be wasted later.

Top rookie scores twice in Panthers' loss (Brian Biggane, Palm Beach Post)
Rookie's two goals are a bright spot in Panthers' loss (Ted Hutton, South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

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