Friday, October 21, 2011

Hay would like to see Bulmer back in Kelowna

Vancouver Giants head coach Don Hay has concerns with 19 year-old Kelowna Rockets forward Brett Bulmer starting the season with the NHL's Minnesota Wild.
Speaking to Hay prior to last night's game, he has witnessed this song and dance before after former Giants forward James Wright made the Tampa Bay Lighting roster, only to be returned to junior hockey.

"We didn't think he (Wright) was ready to play but the NHL thought he was ready. He didn't play any NHL games last year as a first year pro and he is back in the American Hockey League this year as a second year pro. It is kinda strange that a guy can go up there and play 48 games one year, as a 19 year-old, and can't make the team the next year. Sometimes teams are weak in some positions and they are looking for a certain guy who can fit that hole and is affordable."

The Giants and Rockets have a common thread over the last few years when it comes to losing 19 year-old players to NHL teams. Most recently the Giants lost Evander Kane to Atlanta while Tyler Myers was plucked off the Rockets roster by the Buffalo Sabres.

"I see nothing wrong with coming back and playing junior hockey. You get leadership, you get different roles and you get to play in a lot of different situations. They are with their own age group and they gain so much more confidence. You just don't want a young player to loose confidence. I would hate to see a young player play in the NHL if they are getting only eight or nine minutes. As much as those players like the lifestyle and like the league and like the paycheck, in the long run you want to play in the NHL a long time and these teams are making these decisions"

Hay says if Bulmer returned to the Kelowna Rockets, he would have more to play for than just his junior team. Bulmer could have the chance of playing for his country at the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championships.

"He's definitely on the radar. We've talked about him obviously. We have talked about all of the underage's playing in the NHL. They are on a list. We hope he (Bulmer) does come back to play for Kelowna and then has an opportunity to go to the World Junior training camp in December to try out for the team. He doesn't have a spot, nobody has a spot on the team, they have to come to the Christmas camp on December 10th and go through the process."

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