Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The 'Long' and short if it

The waiting game continues for Colin Long.
The Kelowna Rockets captain is still without a pro contract and is unsure where he will be spending this season. The 20 year-old is still un-signed, and it remains unclear if the Phoenix Coyotes will indeed offer him a contract. My belief is they've expressed interest in signing him and have verbally told him a contract is being worked out, yet until a pen has been put into his hand for him to sign on the dotted line, everything remains up in the air.
Without a contract, Long is headed back to Kelowna for another season. It's as simple as that.
It appears Long will have to earn a spot with the Coyotes AHL team in San Antonio before a deal is signed. The problem Long faces is the Coyotes farm team is also shared with the Anaheim Ducks. Only so many Coyote prospects can play on that team, so his chances of making the squad are essentially cut in half. To make matters worse the Coyotes sent top prospect Kyle Turris and Ryan Hollweg down to San Antonio earlier this week. Making that team just got a whole lot tougher.
You have to also consider that Long was drafted after his 18 year-old season, not his draft year of 17, so the Coyotes still have another year before they technically have to offer him a contract or lose his rights.
Colin Long wants closure as do the Rockets organization. Let's hope the Coyotes decide quickly, one way or the other, so Long can focus on playing the game of hockey rather than worrying about if is he going to be spending his winter in the 'Lone Star State' or riding the iron lung across western Canada.

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