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