Hello, Goodbye: Players who once wore purple in 2011-12

Rob Kwiet is the latest Royal to be traded in the 2011-12 season. (Candice Monhollan)

Rob Kwiet is the latest Royal to be traded in the 2011-12 season. (Candice Monhollan)

The ECHL trade deadline is less than 24 hours away and it seems no team has gone through more players than the Reading Royals. Since opening day, the Royals have seen 50 players (which includes the five new additions from Tuesday and Wednesday) don the purple sweater, and from that first game, only 11 players still remain on the roster – Matt Caruana, Dave Cowan, Ryan Cruthers, Casey Haines, Derrick LaPoint, Louis Liotti, Ray Macias, Kyle Neuber, John Scrymgeour, Karel St-Laurent and Denny Urban.

The team has hovered around the .500 mark all season, and with that, they have also hovered on the playoff bubble. The regular season is in its final month and head coach Larry Courville has tweaked the roster several times to try and fill the voids and find the right pieces to push the Royals into the postseason.

For now, it’s time to take a look back at those players who, at one point during the season, were with the Royals, but now find themselves elsewhere.

Brodie Beard, D (signed March 3 and released March 5, 2012)
Not much to say about Beard since he only played one game at the Sovereign Center in his three-game stint, but he did have an assist in his first game. He was brought in to help the fill the holes in the depleted roster after trades by the NHL and injuries to Cowan and LaPoint, but was released because he had school obligations and had to return.

Ryan Button, D (with the Providence Bruins of the AHL since Feb. 28, 2012)
Button has had several stints with the Royals this season, some longer than the others. He originally came down to recover from an injury for three days then went back up. Soon after, he was back for a longer stay, and the same happened again later on. Down with the Royals, he was one of the better defensemen and was used in a lot of different situations. Though his numbers may not show it (1-5-6), he is reliable on the back-end. Has a bright future in the AHL ahead of him and may possibly reach the NHL one day.

Paul Dainton, G (with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL since Jan. 23, 2012)
Dainton came in as a savior after a nightmarish series of events left the Royals with one goaltender. He came in and played three games, and though his record was 1-2, it doesn’t show how well he played. He had a 3.03 goals-against average and .933 save percentage. Once the Toronto Marlies sent down Jussi Rynnas, Dainton was recalled to the Falcons and has played there ever since and has a 9-7 record with a 2.92 GAA and .895 SP.

Marvin Degon, D (left to join the Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams of the DEL on Dec. 5, 2011)
Despite being the highest scoring defenseman on the Royals at the time with 11 points (4G, 7A), Degon wasn’t thrilled with playing in the league and left to join a team in Europe after just 22 games. He has since played in 23 games with Wolfsburg and has also put up 11 points (2G, 9A) there.

Andrew Favot, LW (signed Dec. 14, 2011 and released Jan. 4, 2012)
Favot was known to sometimes become lazy when playing with the Utah Grizzlies. He managed five points (1G, 4A) in 23 games with Utah before he was released. The Royals signed him shortly after where he seemed to have fit right in, scoring a goal and three assists in his seven games here before he was released. Since that time, he has joined the Missouri Mavericks of the CHL and has 12 points (4G, 8A) in 18 games.

Todd Griffith, C (traded to the Toledo Walleye for future considerations, which turned into Ryan Blair and Aaron Lewicki, on Jan. 28, 2012)
Griffith brought a physical, not-messing-around type of game to the Royals. He was willing to drop the gloves to defend his new teammates after he was signed to the team December 11. What they weren’t expecting from his hands were the goals as he scored three in his first three games. He had seven points in his first eight games as a Royal before tailing off in production. Shortly after, he was traded to Toledo, where he once again used his hands to get on the scoresheet with 15 points (9G, 6A) in 18 games.

Michael Hutchinson, G (with the P-Bruins since Jan. 31, 2011)
Hutchinson was sent down to the Royals during the NHL and AHL All-Star Break for the sole purpose of continuing to play games. He played in two games during that time – both away – and went 1-1 with a 3.50 goals-against average and .915 save percentage. With the P-Bruins, he has a 6-11 record with a 2.62 GAA and .920 SP with one shutout.

Brayden Irwin, F (recalled to the Marlies, then sent to the Florida Everblades)
Irwin only played in one game with the Royals after spending a little bit of time recovering from an injury. He went back to the Marlies and was sent back to the Royals later, but for whatever reason, went back up and was instead sent to the Everblades, where he has been playing ever since and has 10 goals and nine assists in 23 games.

Justin Kemmerer, F (signed and released several times)
Kemmer has been signed and released by the Royals four times this season to fill in when there was a hole in the lineup. The defenseman-turned-forward has played in six games, but hasn’t had a point since his first game back on December 16.

Rob Kwiet, D (traded to the Stockton Thunder for Chris Doyle, Ian O’Connor and Colten Hayes on March 6, 2012)
Kwiet was one of the few on the Royals who was a veteran. In his third season with the team, he had 21 points (5G, 16A), nine points shy of his best set last season. He received no call-ups despite almost similar numbers from the year before. He’ll be a loss to the Royals, but they did receive a lot in return.

Olivier Labelle, RW (with the P-Bruins since March 3, 2012)
The top goal-scorer for the Royals with 26 now finds himself with the P-Bruins, something that should have happened earlier. His play deserved a call-up, though it comes at a tough time for the Royals as they struggle to climb into the eighth spot in the conference. His plus/minus stat is a cringing minus-14, but what the stat doesn’t show is his 13 power-play goals. He was the best player on the Royals, no questions asked. He will probably return before the playoffs.

Aaron Lewicki, LW (traded to the Royals on Jan. 31, 2012, then traded to the Idaho Steelheads for future considerations on Feb. 6, 2012)
Anyone Royals fans remember this one? Not surprising since he only played in one game – which was on the road. He came over with Blair as part of the trade that sent Griffith to the Walleye, but unlike Blair, didn’t stick around. He took two shots on goal and had a minor penalty, and that’s all the stats he has as a Royal. With the Steelheads, he has 10 points (7G, 3A) in 13 games.

Kyle MacKinnon, C (with the P-Bruins since Dec. 7, 2011)
MacKinnon was just a two-gamer with the Royals after the P-Bruins sent him down for the short time. He registered no points and was a minus-3 with the team before rejoining the team in Providence. He has played in 52 games with them and has 14 points (9G, 5A).

Dennis McCauley, LW (traded to the Chicago Express for the rights to Drew Paris on March 6, 2012)
McCauley, at several points in the season, was the life of the Royals as he banged people around and scored some goals – more than was expected for someone who was just supposed to drop the gloves. He had 22 points (11G, 11A) with the Royals in his 43 games and 88 PIMs. He was playing hurt a lot of the season with some shoulder issues and seemed to have taken his game down a couple notches because of it, which could have been the deciding factor in the move.

Zach McKelvie, D (with the P-Bruins since Feb. 11, 2012)
McKelvie was with the Royals for a short three-game stint, but in those three games, he proved himself to be one of the better defensemen. He scored a goal in his third game and the next day was recalled back up to the P-Bruins and Marc Cantin was sent down in his place. He had one goal and one assist in 35 games with Providence.

Dale Mitchell, RW (with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL after traded by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 27, 2012)
Mitchell was in a three-way tie for second in goals on the Royals with 16, but he did it in significantly less games than the other two (Mikael Bedard and Yannick Tifu). The 22 year old showed no signs of any nagging pains from his knee injury from last season and made the triumphant return this season with his 31 points (16G, 15A) in 35 games. It is a big loss in scoring for the Royals and, what is worse, is that they received nothing in return.

Chad Painchaud, LW (traded to the Express for Tifu on Nov. 28, 2011)
Painchaud was signed to bring a scoring-touch to the Royals, but it never materialized as he only had two goals through 19 games. He was an assist-machine, but that’s not what was needed as the team was struggling to score goals at that point. Since joining the Express, he has 22 points (11G, 11A) in 27 games, but has been out since February 4.

Joe Palmer, G (traded to the Gwinnett Gladiators for future considerations on Jan. 31, 2012)
Palmer was about the only goaltender able to get wins in the beginning of the season before starting to fall off and he was practically the odd-man out when Mark Owuya was sent down. He eventually was traded to Gwinnett to make space on the roster and to give him a chance to play. He had a 5-6-1-2 record with Reading with a 3.16 goals-against average and .916 save percentage. With the Gladiators, he has a 6-4 record with a 3.39 GAA and .877 SP.

Richard Purslow, LW (released on Nov. 11, 2011)
Purslow started the year on injured reserve and spent most of his time there before playing in six games and subsequently was then released. He only registered an assist in that time and since has not played for anyone.

Jussi Rynnas, G (with the Marlies since Feb. 27, 2012)
With Owuya up with the Marlies, they sent down Rynnas to get games in and find a groove after returning from a concussion suffered from taking a puck to the mask. He started shaky, but found his game near the end and had two shutouts – though one was shared – in his last four games. He compiled an 8-5-0-1 record with four of those wins coming in the last six games. He had a 3.21 goals-against average and .914 save percentage. He returned to the Marlies in order for Owuya to continue getting starts with the Royals. Since rejoining the Marlies, he has started one game, which was a shootout loss.

Matt Schepke, LW (traded to the Wheeling Nailers for Bedard on Feb. 3, 2012)
Schepke had some frustrating times on the Royals, from going long stretches without goals to being a healthy scratch on some nights. Through 41 games, he only mustered eight goals and 13 assists. Since being traded to the Nailers, he had posted 13 points (5G, 8A) in just 16 games.

Rob Shearer, C (left to join a team in Europe on Jan. 12, 2012)
Shearer spent 34 games with the Royals before heading overseas. In his only year in the ECHL, he had four goals and 11 assists and was the oldest member in the locker room – and only player over 30. No information could be found on what team he joined.

Everett Sheen, LW (traded to the Ontario Reign for the rights to Mike Montgomery on Feb. 14, 2012)
The rookie was in and out of the lineup as he struggled to find some consistency. He scored only five goals in his 33 games with the Royals, but after the trade to Ontario, he has found life and had been on a tear. He has 15 points (8G, 7A) in 10 games with his new team.

David Strathman, D (traded to the Gladiators for future considerations on Nov. 10, 2011)
Like Purslow, Strathman began the season with the Royals on injured reserve, but unlike him, only played in one game before being traded to the Gladiators. He had no points in his extremely brief career as a Royal. With the Gladiators, he had six points (2G, 4A) in 18 games and then was traded once again. This time he went to the Grizzlies where he has seven points (1G, 6A) in 20 games.

Chase Watson, F (signed Dec. 11, 2011 and released Dec. 14, 2011)
Watson, not new to the Royals, played in one game this season to fill a spot and registered no points. Since then, he has also signed with the Elmira Jackals, where he scored a goal, and is now with the Nailers, where he is piling up the points. He has six points (1G, 5A) in nine games.


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Categories: ECHL, Ice Hockey, Sports

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