Hat tip to Hundred Degree Hockey for pointing me towards this story… there were rumours down south that Vause was coming back and I’ve since found out the rumours are true.
Former Broncos Captain Taylor Vause is headed back to the AHL’s Texas Stars. He will join them on another tryout agreement in an attempt to earn a full-time AHL deal. Vause played 5 games for Texas at the end of last season putting up a goal, an assist and a winning goal in the shoot out. He broke his foot blocking a shot and that cut his time in Texas short.
Vause said nothing but good things about his time in Cedar Park. I know the organization made some major changes with their farm team so it was hard to know whether Vause would be in their plans. There are a couple of things that would certainly help him get a look though…
- He had a fantastic season in 2011-12 with 83 points in 72 games for a relatively low scoring team.
- He qualifies as a late bloomer because of how his diabetes put him off course early in this WHL career.
- He is a tremendous leader on and off the ice as evidenced by his WHL Humanitarian of the Year Award.
- The fans seemed to embrace him in the Stars organization.
- His former teammate Cody Eakin was recently traded to the Stars and could end up in the AHL with him.
- Willie Desjardins is the new Head Coach of the Texas Stars after spending two years as Associate Coach in Dallas. I met Desjardins at a dinner in Shaunavon last summer and he had nothing but glowing praise for Vause. In fact, it was Desjardins that first predicted Vause would have a tremendous overage season based on the shape he saw him in during the summer.
That last one is a biggie. Desjardins isn’t going to give him opportunities he didn’t earn, but it sure can’t hurt to have a guy that knows and respects you in that position.
AHL jobs are going to be tougher to come by as long as this awful lock out hovers over the season like a dark cloud. A lock out means young NHL guys still under two-way deals could end up in the AHL. That means fewer AHL deals for guys like Vause, Justin Dowling and others trying to catch on in a place where they can prove themselves. Vause is taking a chance here and I think it’s one that will pay off. He’s not someone you should ever count out.
- Click here for my interview with Vause after his first pro goal
- Click here for my WHL retrospective with Vause
- Click here for The Hockey Writers profile of Vause
- Click here for the Hundred Degree Hockey article on Vause first joining Texas
Good luck to Taylor… he’s a class guy who brings a lot to the table. I hope the Stars notice that quickly and lock him up.
Stay with the blog this weekend for a bunch of player audio I have to get posted. I’ll also have some Midget AAA stuff and of course lots of training camp talk coming up. I can’t believe how close we are to getting started.