Just prior to the recent home series vs the Stockton Thunder, former Northern Michigan Wildcat defenceman Geoff Waugh, was called up by the Manitoba Moose, whose size, reach, and smooth skating style along with toughness will be of help to the AHL Winnipeg entry. Currently there are two other former NMU Wildcats on the Victoria Salmon Kings roster. Both began their junior careers in the BCHL. At age 17, North Vancouver's Matt Siddall had a successful 14 games with the Langley Hornets (24 pts, 13 goals). The next season, 2002-03, he played at Memorial Arena for 12 games with the Victoria Salsa, and then was dealt to the Powell River Kings. With both teams he had 37pts and 12 goals in 31 games. His next and final BCHL season was a success in three areas. On the ice, he helped Powell River with 61 pts (25 goals) in 45 games plus 6 pts (4 goals) in 7 playoff games. In June his name was called at the NHL Entry Draft in the 270th spot (9th round) by the Atlanta Flames. The third success was accepting a hockey scholarship to Northern Michigan. His BCHL career totals over three seasons were 90 GP, 122 pts (50 goals) and 280 PIMs. In the next four seasons, Matt Siddall produced 76 pts (32 goals) in 147 games plus 387 PIMs while skating for the Marquette, Michigan based school. He turned pro in the fall of 2008 with the AHL Chicago Wolves, who then sent him down to the ECHL Gwinnet Gladiators. Last season he was traded to the Salmon Kings. Going into the 2010-2011 season, his ECHL career totals were 86 pts (37 goals) in 92 games plus 298 PIMs. He is an intriguing combination of an offensive goal scoring threat who is also "not afraid to throw them" as evidenced by his eight fights thus far this season. Another Salmon King, Matt Butcher was a teammate of Matt Siddall for two years at NMU. Born in Bellingham,WA, he is the son of former Canucks d-man Garth Butcher. He joined Harvey Smyl's BCHL Chilliwack Chiefs at age 16, where his rookie campaign netted 25 pts (7 goals) in 48 games plus three goals in 11 playoff games. With a doubling of his offensive output the following season, 57 pts (27 goals) in 60 games plus 5 playoff points, his play caught the eye of the Vancouver Canucks scouting staff. He was selected in that summer's (2005) draft by Vancouver, the 138th overall pick (5th round). The next season, 2005-2006 was a "monster" one. His point totals topped the century mark (101) along with 38 goals in 57 games plus 23 pts (11 goals) in 12 playoff matches. The BCHL then selected Matt Butcher as its 2005-2006 Coastal Conference MVP. Like Matt Siddall and Geoff Waugh before him, he earned a scholarship to play hockey for NMU. Over four seasons at NMU he had 44 pts (15 goals) in 135 games plus 105 PIMs. This fall his professional career opened with a brief stay with the ECHL Cincinnati Cyclones, before being signed by the Victoria Salmon Kings. With good speed and excellent hockey sense, he is gaining valuable pro hockey experience as a Salmon Kings rookie. The third Matt on this season's edition of the Salmon Kings also utilized the US college route to the pros. A season (2001-02) with the Alberta Midget League's Sherwood Park Kings led to a junior career in Saskatchewan with the SJHL Melville Millionaires. After a12 pt (4 goals) rookie season, he followed that with a 51 pts (21 goals) in 60 games season and a team leading 235 PIMs. His next and final SJHL season was outstanding, with 77 pts (32 goals) in 52 games and 175 PIMs. He would subsequently be named to the SJHL First All Star Team. Matt Stefanishion’s SJHL career totals were 150 pts (57 goals) in 155 games plus 436 PIMs. The next fall, 2004, Matt Stefanishion would be in Big Rapids, Michigan, home of the CCHA Ferris State Bulldogs. His 21 pt (12 goals) freshman season contributed to his being named to that season's CCHA All-Rookie Team. After an additional collegiate season, he turned pro with the ECHL's South Carolina Stingrays. The following season was split between the Reading Royals and the Fresno Falcons. In Fresno, Stefanishion has the unique sports experience of being on a team that folded midseason. The "hockey gods" smiled on him, as he was able to catch on with the Alaska Aces, he would help them get to the Kelly Cup final, where they lost in epic seven game transcontinental final. Last season, he opened in Alaska and finished it with the Charlotte Checkers. Last summer he brought his ECHL career 148 pts (75 goals) plus 708 PIMs in 219 games to Victoria when he signed with the Salmon Kings. Salmon Kings coach Mark Morrison on Matt Sefanishion. "Matt plays on the edge...ability to change the tide of any game...well known as an agitator with an offensive upside. He will be a fan favourite with his tenacious style of play". Thus the three Matts all bring qualities that any team wound want, Matt Siddall as a threat to score and not afraid to get physical, Matt Butchers speed, hockey sense and enthusiasm, and Matt Stefanishion "playing on the edge", working hard on every shift.
PUCKS AND THE BOARD----be sure to drop by one of our tables, buy an autographed puck, see how the numbers on the big Goals That Give rink board are growing, ask about our activities, have a look at our scrapbook, let the kids enjoy the colouring station and maybe they can write a note to their favourite player.
AHL EFFECT ----Derek Couture is the latest Salmon King to go to the AHL, with the Connecticut Whale calling. Garth Murray and Geoff Waugh are still in Manitoba, and Ryan MacMurchy has joined Quinton Laing in Abbotsford.
A HISTORIC DAY---when Yan Sauve dressed for the Canucks recently, he became the first player to play at all three of the current Canucks organizational levels in one season, as he had his pro debut last November on SOFMC ice. DEVELOPMENT OF PLAYERS----currently the Salmon Kings have three professional rookies, up front Matt Butcher and winger Bryan Cameron, plus on the blueline Ed Snetsinger and Jeff Caister. All are playing well and each brings attributes that will likely see them move up in the future.
MARTY'S ANGELZ----That is the name of our 24 Hour Relay Team. Soon we will reassemble, hopefully with a few additions, as we start fundraising "for the kids." You can help by taking your bottles and cans to either the Quadra St or Glanford Ave Bottle Depot locations and ask that the amount go the Marty's Angelz account.