It was announced today that Kris Belan is headed to the AHL. To the Manchester Monarchs, to be exact. Kris was one of the first players to be added to the newly formed team back in the Fall, and he has never disappointed. When Belan (pronounced Bell-in according to Kris) is on the ice, things happen.
|At the first Bulls Weekly|
Kris can do nearly everything. He can score, he skates relatively quickly, though not with the lightning speed of Peter Sivak, but he can hold his own, he blocks and he fights. Oh yeah, Belan can fight. I remember him sporting a shiner last month, which, when I asked him about it, he smiled that crooked (and dare I say handsome?) grin of his.
|Kris Belan at the SF Zoo|
When asked if his mother minded Kris’ fighting, he said she didn’t like it much, but she probably knows there’s not a lot she can do about it, Belan’s going to rumble. He had a total of 130 PIMs since the season started. But he’s a thoughtful fighter. He knows when to throw down and doesn’t get careless or commit many stupid penalties.
|Kris Belan with Jordan Clendenning at Union Square, SF|
At 26, he has a little more experience than many of the other Bulls players, and this is why he’s such a valuable member of any team he’s on. Last season he spent with the Toledo Walleyes, where he scored 10 goals with a total of 24 points. He’s done quite well with the Bulls, having 8 goals and 20 points.
|Kris Belan with Jordan Morrison next to him|
It is a shame losing him so close to the Playoffs; we could really use his muscle, however, the magical word to remember is PLAYOFFS. Coach Curcio is doing everything he can to make sure we have the best team possible as we move closer to April. If moves are made now, there’s still plenty of time for the new members to gel with the more experienced team members. Belan being called up to Manchester was out of the team's hands, but Curcio can handle it.
I had questioned last week’s moves, I will refrain right now from questioning Curcio’s judgment; I believe he knows the best thing to do.
I will be very sad not seeing Kris in warm-ups, however. He always acknowledged my presence with a glance, his head deep in the game to come. I remember going to the first Bills Weekly (I have not missed one since they started) where he was Jason’s guest. There is not a more intelligent or selfless athlete to be found.
Kris, you have the greatest future at your doorstep. And even though we're losing you, this is a terrific promotion for you! Be your brilliant self and you’ll shine. We in San Francisco will miss you, of that you can be certain. Think about us from time to time, OK?
Also released today was Colin Reddin. Colin is a terrific player and awesome guy. He came to the Bulls from the Southern Professional Hockey League, so I’m sure he’ll find another team to play with quickly. He’s a California native with an optimistic attitude and a great spirit. Go do amazing things, Colin!
Moving down to the Bulls from Worcester is Yanni Gourde. This season, he had 7 goals with 10 points so far. He’s fast and will be a welcome addition to the team.
Bulls play the Utah Grizzlies in Salt Lake City tomorrow, Tuesday night. Listen at knbr.com as usual.
Next home game in March 6th when the Bulls have a home stand of three games against the Alaska Aces. You need to check out at least one of these!