Friday, November 14, 2008

A Chat With Gaulton and More

Thanks to Mark Jeannert of the Erie Otters we were able to get a chance to hear directly from Mitch Gaulton about his early return from Tommy John Surgery.

PP: Mitch first off congratulations on getting the OK to start skating again. The very first thing people are going to want to know is: How did Mitch Gaulton get from "Out for the Entire Season" to where we are today?

Mitch Gaulton: Thank you very much, and honestly it was just a lot of motivation from my friends and family. My Physiotherapist and I worked very hard and careful to properly build back the strength in my elbow.

PP: Rehabbing is a lot of work so can you take us though a typical Mitch Gaulton day from wake up to bed time?

Wake up, eat breakfast, I head to the gym around 8, Come home and get something to eat. I go to physio around 1130 then come back and eat again. I then go and skate at 1, then I would come home take a power nap and go for a roller blade or jog. and even doing all that there is still a lot of work to do.

PP: When you started telling people that you were going to play this season, what was the reaction from people like and how much did it help motivate you during your rehab?

MG: When people started finding out that I could be back this season, it was a big surprise to everyone including myself. When my teammates found out that I think was my greatest motivation. I felt like I was back with the team again after so long, now skating with them and practicing is just another big motivator to want to get back and start playing games with them.

PP: When the doctors told you that you could start working out towards returning this season, how hard was it for you not to rush out and get back on the ice right away?

MG: It was extremely hard, my parents and physio kept me level headed when it came to over doing it. They watched me every step of the way.

PP: What if anything has this experience taught you about yourself and your dreams of becoming a professional hockey player?

MG: It has taught me that you can never get down these are all just minor stepping stones to achieving my goal of playing for the New York Rangers some day.

PP: Finally Mitch while you have a lot of work ahead of you in order to get that final OK to play, close your eyes for us and describe to the Ranger fans what it is going to feel like when you finally get to play hockey this season?

MG: I don't believe that words can even describe what I will be feeling when I get to suit up in the otters uniform again, its the biggest adrenaline rush you could ever imagine.

It is ironic that the day the Rangers beat on the New Jersey Devils that we got the word about Gaulton's return. Ironic because the man who is going to help Mitch Gaulton try to become a New York Ranger is a former Ranger player himself as well as a former Devil's head coach in Robbie Ftorek.

Robbie Ftorek is in his second season as the Otter's head coach and is starting to turn the Otter franchise around. The Otters after an 18-46-2-2 2007-08 season has the Otters contending for an OHL playoff spot at 10-9-1.

Add Mitch Gaulton to the Otter lineup and the Otters could become one of the better OHL stories this season. The countdown to the Gaulton return is now on.


OK let us recap the Chris Doyle (2008 5th) season so far; 12-23-35 good for 3rd in the QMJHL scoring race. QMJHL Telus Player of the Week, a ten game scoring streak where Doyle has 7-13-20 to show for it.

From us, one Dean Prentice Prospect of the Month, the first prospect to earn back to back Prospect Of the Week in the 5 years we have been covering Ranger Prospects.

Actually we need to change it to back to back to back as for the 3rd straight week, Chris Doyle is our Prospect of the Week.

The Prince Edward Island Rocket forward is not getting any free passes here either as Doyle earned this week's award just like he has the other honors.

For the week ending 11/9, Doyle's numbers looked like this: 3 games played 2-8-10 which by themselves doubled his output during the streak. Every time we think we have seen everything out of Chris Doyle, he just adds more to the mix.

We hope he keeps it up.


The CHL announced the roster for the Russian Selects who will be facing the 3 CHL leagues during the Annual ADT Canada/Russia Challenge. One of the side announcements is that the Russian squad will add those Russian Import Players from each league when the Selects play their regional league.

In the case of Evgeny Grachev (2008 3rd) that means he will play for the Russian Selects when they face the OHL All-Stars (including Michael Del Zotto if he is healthy) on November 20th and 24th.

Congrats to Evgeny who is 8-8-16 on the season which is 3rd best on the Brampton Battalion.

(Picture Credits: Gaulton --Mark Bell/Erie Otters, Chris Doyle-- Prince Edward Island Rocket, Evgeny Grachev-- Brampton Battalion)

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