By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
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Posts tagged ‘dave brown’
Posted: August 31st, 2013

Free-agent LW Fabrizio Ricci has experienced the OHL before. He played a couple of preseason games with Barrie a season ago, and then was recalled by the Colts for five games in December.
Yet he caught the attention of Erie Otters officials over the summer. Ricci, who was released by the Colts after the 2012-13 season, played against an Otters team in the Carnevale summer league near his Toronto home. Then he was invited to Otters camp his agent contacted Dave Brown, Otters assistant manager of hockey operations.
Now after a strong performance in training camp this week, Ricci heads into his first game with the Otters – tonight’s exhibition opener against Niagara at Mercyhurst Ice Center – focused on making a good enough impression to earn a roster spot.
“It’s going to be really exciting,” Ricci, the lone free agent that’s expected to play tonight, said after today’s morning skate at MIC. “I’ve got to make a good impression. I have to show whatever I have to show.”
Fellow free agent Fs Cristiano DiGiacinto and Matt Marsden said they are scratched for tonight’s game. Yet they still appreciate the opportunity they have received this week. “It’s amazing. Coming into camp as a free agent, we didn’t expect much,” said Marsden, who initially thought he had been cut Friday after being told by club officials that there wasn’t a roster spot available for him. Marsden nearly left town Friday, yet he received a telephone call from Sherry Bassin, managing partner and general manager, about remaining in camp. Marsden is willing to do anything to stay with the club, even simply being a practice player. Yet perhaps and DiGiacinto will earn a chance to play in an upcoming preseason game. As DiGiacinto said, he’s “looking for the experience.”

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: July 9th, 2013

The Erie Otters won’t give up on getting Andre Burakovsky in their lineup next season.
“I believe the best possible (way) for Andre Burakovsky to become a professional (hockey player) is to come and play with us,” Dave Brown, Otters assistant manager of hockey operations, said today in response to reports that Burakovsky, the fifth overall pick in last week’s CHL Import Draft and the Washington Capitals’ first-round pick in the recent NHL Entry Draft, won’t report to the Otters.
Brown said Otters officials weren’t surprised when they learned of the initial report Monday, which was in a tweet from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News. Kennedy reportedly received confirmation from Kevin Epp, Burakovsky’s agent with Titan Sports Management of Vancouver, British Columbia.
Brown said club officials have yet to speak with Epp and Burakovsky. Yet they received conflicting thoughts before the CHL draft regarding Burakovsky’s hockey home next season. Contacts within the NHL told Brown that the Austrian-born Burakovsky would play in the CHL. Patrik Aronsson, his agent with AC Hockey AB in Molndal, Sweden, told Brown that Burakovsky wouldn’t report.
Meanwhile, Brown has received positive feedback from Capitals officials, namely Director of Player Development Steve Richmond, about Burakovsky joining the Otters. “They think it’s a great idea (that) he play in Erie and get to play on a line with Connor McDavid,” Brown said.
Now Otters officials will wait to learn about the Capitals’ plans for Burakovsky. The Otters also plan to speak with Epp, Brown said, to “prove … we are as good an organization as we think we are.”

Note: I’m waiting to hear back from Sherry Bassin, Otters managing partner and general manager, who was unable to speak this morning because he was in a meeting. Epp hasn’t returned a message left earlier today, while Aronsson has yet to respond to an e-mail. Check back for updates as well as a report in the Erie Times-News on Wednesday

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: September 19th, 2012

Rookie goaltender Oscar Dansk didn’t practice with the Erie Otters the past few days. Instead, he skated with a group of Dave Brown‘s friends in St. Catharines, Ontario, while Dansk’s immigration paperwork was finalized.
His paperwork is complete, said Brown, Otters assistant manager of hockey operations. But will Dansk be ready to play in Thursday night’s season opener at Niagara? That will be determined before the game, coach Robbie Ftorek said today. Ftorek wants to evaluate Dansk before deciding on his starting goaltender against the IceDogs.
* Fox update: However, a decision on C Dane Fox (broken bone in left foot) already has been made. He won’t play this weekend. He has been recuperating at home in Thamesville, Ontario. So Ftorek won’t have a timetable on his return until after speaking with Fox this weekend.
If his foot is recovering well, Fox could return in another week or so. If his foot hasn’t progressed well, Ftorek said, “Who knows?” Meanwhile, forwards Connor Crisp and Jake Evans are banged, but Ftorek figures they will play Thursday. Yet Ftorek didn’t expect to finalize line combinations until after seeing both players skate at today’s practice.
* Olden waived: The club has placed overage LW Sondre Olden on waivers. Ftorek said club officials chose to keep rookie D Artem Kuleshov ahead of Olden for the second import spot because the Otters need depth on defense. Ftorek also has been impressed with Kuleshov’s play in practice.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: August 28th, 2012

ANCASTER, Ontario – The Erie Otters have depth on defense for the 2012-13 OHL season.
But veteran Kris Grant won’t be a part of that unit.
Grant, 19, who spent the past two seasons with the team, has requested a trade to a team closer to home in the Kingston, Ontario, area. So club officials told Grant to stay away from training camp to avoid being a distraction.
Sherry Bassin, managing partner and general manager, wasn’t surprised by Grant’s decision. “Last year, I was worried that he wasn’t committed to play,” Bassin said.
* An emergency plan: Bassin acquired goaltender Keinan Brown, 19, from Peterborough for a 10th-round draft pick Tuesday. Brown, who joins the team at camp Wednesday, appeared in two games in an emergency role late last season after Ramis Sadikov and Devin Williams suffered concussions.
Brown had an 0-2-0-0 record, 5.01 goals-against average and .873 save percentage with the Otters. Now Brown headlines Bassin’s emergency plan if Oscar Dansk or Williams are injured during the season.
* McCarthy released: The club waived Tyler McCarthy, and then released the overager after he cleared waivers. Bassin was unsure what McCarthy’s plans are for the coming season.
* On their way: Dansk, the third overall pick in the CHL Import Draft who agreed to terms with the Otters Monday, is scheduled to arrive in Toronto shortly after midnight Friday morning, and then join the team at camp later that day.
Meanwhile, second-year winger Sondre Olden and CHL second-round pick Artem Kuleshov are expected to join the team Monday in Erie.
Olden is training with his native Norway’s senior men’s team, which Bassin said gives him a better chance of possibly earning a spot with the national team.
Kuleshov remains unsigned, but “I don’t foresee that being an issue,” said Dave Brown, assistant manager of hockey operations. The transfer paperwork for the Russian-born defenseman is done, Brown said, but club officials still have immigration documents to complete.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: August 27th, 2012

The Erie Otters have agreed to terms with goaltending prospect Oscar Dansk, said Sherry Bassin, managing partner and general manager. Dansk, the third overall pick in the 2012 CHL Import Draft, was chosen by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the first pick of the second round in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Dansk is recovering from a minor knee injury suffered while playing for Sweden’s junior national team recently in Lake Placid, N.Y. Yet Bassin said he should leave Sweden to join the team at camp in the next few days, and he should be ready to play in the next couple of weeks.
Bassin also said he should finalize contracts with other undisclosed prospects in the couple of days.
In other news, defense prospect Riley Robertson and forward prospect Jordan Dunin have joined forward Dane Fox (broken bone in foot) on the Erie Otters’ injured list. Both suffered separated shoulders during the same summer skating session earlier, said Dave Brown, assistant manager of hockey operations. Yet unlike Fox, who isn’t expected to participate in training camp this week, Dunin and Robertson are listed as day-to-day.
Brown also confirmed that Dave Stickney has left the Otters after four seasons as head athletic trainer to take the same position with the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Otters have hired Scott McLay, who spent last year as athletic trainer with the hockey programs and other sports at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: August 8th, 2012

It appears the Erie Otters finally have a place to begin preparing for the 2012-13 OHL season.
A source speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed today that the Otters will hold training camp at Morgan Firestone Arena in Ancaster, Ontario. The source said Sherry Bassin, Otters managing partner and general manager, will make the official announcement Thursday.
The source said the Otters will finish camp by playing their preseason opener Aug. 31 at Firestone Arena. They face Niagara in a 7 p.m. game.
The Otters cannot have their annual week-long camp at Erie Insurance Arena because of ongoing renovations at the downtown facility. The Otters held camp in Erie or Jamestown, N.Y., for the first 16 years of the franchise’s history. Bassin also considered the Ontario towns of Fort Erie and Newmarket, the source said, but ice availability in Ancaster was a key factor in Bassin’s decision. Players report to camp Aug. 27.
Bassin declined to comment Wednesday about the location for training camp. He spent the past few days in Lake Placid, N.Y., watching goaltender Oscar Dansk, the Otters’ first-round pick in the 2012 CHL Import Draft, play for his native Sweden’s junior national team at USA Hockey’s National Junior Evaluation Camp. The camp began this past Saturday and continues through this coming Saturday.
“We’re very impressed,” said Bassin, who was joined by Dave Brown, Otters assistant manager of hockey operations.
Bassin declined to comment further on Dansk, who remains unsigned. But a source said Bassin has been in contact with Dansk’s agent, Peter Wallen, of Alterno Management AB, Sports & Entertainment in Sweden. Bassin and Brown planned on leaving Lake Placid Wednesday to continue negotiations with other draft picks. “When we get back, we’re going to get that done,” Bassin said.

UPDATE: The Otters have scheduled a news conference for Thursday at 11a.m. at Firestone Arena. Bassin and Brown will be in attendance. Details for training camp and sites for exhibition games will be announced.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: January 5th, 2012

The deals needed to be done.

GM Sherry Bassin needed to trade Greg McKegg, Brett Cook and Derek Holden in order t officially begin rebuilding the Erie Otters. None will be in the OHL next season.

It’s too early to know if third-year forward Dane Fox and second-year defenseman Troy Donnay will develop into the players that will help turn the Otters into contenders in the next couple of seasons. But the first step is done.

Fox is a proven young player who has averaged nearly a point per game in London (13 goals, 32 points in 34 games) this season. He arrives in Erie as the team’s leading scorer. Now he has to evolve into a frontline scorer on a team that will rely heavily on youth (Stephen Harper, Connor Brown, etc.) to produce offensively.

At 6 feet 7 inches and 183 pounds, Donnay should grow into an imposing presence with what should be decidedly greater ice time with the Otters. He has only 48 games of OHL experience to date.

But here’s the problem I have with the two deals the Otters made Thursday – Tyson Teichmann. What happens in goal?

Bassin traded 18-year-old defenseman Brady Austin to Belleville in August to acquire Teichmann. He was supposed to be in the future in net along with fellow 18-year-old Chris Festarini. They were entrenched enough to make overage goaltender Ramis Sadikov expendable – the same Sadikov who last season set a franchise record with 36 wins and nearly led the Otters past Windsor in the first round of the playoffs despite having a torn groin.

Festarini was traded to Niagara in October. Now Teichmann is in London. So barring an unforeseen deal, Sadikov is the team’s No. 1 goaltender for the rest of the season. Interest in Sadikov from other teams has waned. “We spent the better part of a month talking to some teams about Ramis,” said Dave Brown, Otters assistant manager of hockey operations.

But teams aren’t interested in a goaltender that fills precious OA and Import spots on a roster. Besides, 16-year-old backup Devin Williams has 18 minutes of OHL experience. That makes me think Bassin will dangle players like forwards Mike Cazzola and Sondre Olden in front of fellow GMs in hopes of landing a young goaltender to back up Sadikov this season and lead the way in net next season.

Either that, or Bassin heads a familiar route – the CHL Import Draft – for another Sadikov or Jaroslav Janus. Either way, the Otters need a proven goaltender next season to make this rebuild work. As Bassin always says, goaltending is 75 percent of the game. Unless you don’t have one, then it’s 100 percent. And right now, the Otters don’t have one.

- Victor Fernandes






Posted: January 10th, 2011

The Erie Otters have acquired 19-year-old C Brett Thompson (25 goals, 46 points this season) and a draft pick from Sault Ste. Marie for LW David Broll and three picks, Dave Brown, Otters assistant manager of hockey operations, has confirmed today.

The Otters also sent a 2013 third-round pick and 2014 fourth-round pick in the OHL Priority Selection, as well as a first-round pick in the 2011 CHL Import Draft, to the Greyhounds. The Otters received a second-round pick in the 2011 CHL draft.

Brown said Thompson, who had 42 goals and 65 points with the Greyhounds last season, was one of the forwards club officials were pursuing. Club officials didn’t pursue forwards at the heart of trade rumors, such as C Taylor Carnevale (traded by Barrie to Windsor), Windsor RW Zack Kassian and Sudbury LW Marcus Foligno.

Brown didn’t anticipate any further moves by the Otters before the league’s noon deadline. Sherry Bassin, Otters managing partner and general manager, hasn’t returned a telephone message left today.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: January 6th, 2011

The Erie Otters are focused on acquiring a forward before the OHL trade deadline arrives at noon Monday.

But high-profile forwards, such as Windsor RW Zack Kassian , don’t appear to be in the mix.

“The price is going to be pretty expensive,” said Dave Brown, assistant manager of hockey operations. “We’ve got a real good hockey team. We want to make them better if we can with a trade. But we also have to be careful that we don’t cut off our nose to spite our face.”

That presumably also should take Sudbury LW Marcus Foligno, who like Kassian has been a hot topic of trade rumors, off the Otters’ list.

Instead, the Otters seem interested in second-tier forwards that could complement a frontline that includes five potent scorers (Mike Cazzola, Anthony Luciani, Greg McKegg, Shawn Szydlowski and Phil Varone) and should add a sixth in Andrew Yogan next month. He continues to rehabilitate from shoulder surgery.

“We’re looking to do more trades that are fair and equitable for both sides than a trade where it’s a complete dump,” Brown said. “We’re more on the kind of player that fits what our needs are. We’re looking for a well-rounded player to help take us deep into the playoffs.”

Brown also said he doesn’t envision the Otters attempting to acquire Barrie’s Dalton Prout, an overage defenseman that also has been the subject of trade rumors. The Otters already have the league limit of three OAs – Luciani, Szydlowski and Varone.

“It’s not a fit for our hockey club,” Brown said. “Our overage guys, they all contribute to our team on a regular basis.”

For now, the trade market remains quiet – a normal occurrence until after the annual IIHF World Junior Championship. The tournament concluded Wednesday. Club officials want to make a deal “to try to make our team better,” Brown said. “Does that mean I can guarantee that we’re going to make a deal? I can’t promise that. We’re going to do everything we can to make this push because we believe in these guys. I think they believe in themselves. I want to go on a long playoff run with these guys.”

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: October 28th, 2010

Shawn Waskiewicz - Dave Brown (Contributed/Erie Otters)

The Erie Otters, celebrating their 15th season of play in the Ontario Hockey League, have announced the hiring of Dave Brown as Assistant Manager of Hockey Operations. The announcement was made by Otters General Manager Sherwood Bassin.

As Assistant Manager of Hockey Operations, Brown will be responsible for scouting the Ontario Hockey League, coordinating player development and evaluation. Brown joins the Otters staff after serving with the Mississauga/Niagara IceDogs organization from 2003 to 2010, the last five seasons as General Manager.

With Brown at the helm, the IceDogs reached the playoffs for four consecutive seasons, including a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference in 2007-08. Before becoming an OHL executive, Brown ran the Tier II Junior A Milton Merchants during the 2002-03 season and the Brampton Capitals from 1999 to 2002. The Capitals won the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League West championship in 2000 and 2002 under Brown’s watch.

“I am honored that Mr. Bassin has given me this opportunity,” Brown said. “I am proud to be part of an organization that has great core values and treats their players, parents, staff and fans well. I am happy to join the Erie Otters and their classy operation.”

Additionally, Assistant General Manager Shawn Waskiewicz has agreed to a two-year contract extension that will keep him with the Otters until 2013. Waskiewicz has served as Assistant General Manager since September 2008, and has been with the club for nine seasons. “I’m proud to be a member of the Otters family,” Waskiewicz said. “There’s significant potential with the core group of young players and future renovations of Tullio Arena.”

- From Erie Otters news release

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