Zapolski returns; Dee to be in lineup

Well, certainly a lot has happened since my last post.

First and foremost, goalie Ryan Zapolski was returned to the Stingrays after his brief Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Unfortunately for Ryan, he never made an appearance. It’s took bad because if anyone deserved a shot at playing in the AHL it was Ryan after all he’s battled through during his young pro career.

So, what will Stingrays head coach Spencer Carbery do now the Zapolski is back. He has three goalies, Zaploski, Adam Morrison and the recently acquired Jeff Jakaitis, the reigning ECHL Goalie of the Year.

I talked with Spencer this afternoon and for the foreseeable future, he’s going to keep all three goalies on the Stingrays roster. Obviously, in a perfect world, Carbery would look to move Morrison, but he’s a contracted goalie with the Boston Bruins organization, so that’s not going to happen.

“We’ll keep all three of them with us until something else happens,” Carbery said. “Obviously, most teams don’t keep 3 goalies on their roster, but we’re in a unique situation. We need three right now.”

With Zapolski and Jakaitis on the roster, the Stingrays have two of the top goalies in the ECHL.

Rays trade for Dee

What have the Stingrays lacked all season? If you guessed centermen, you were right. The Stingrays traded winger Daniel Koger for center Robby Dee.

Koger certainly was playing some of his best hockey since coming here last season, but Spencer was in desperate need of signing a solid two-way centerman.

He thinks he has found that in Bakersfield’s Dee. Over the last two seasons with the Condors — the worst team in the ECHL — Dee has 22 goals and 24 assists.

“To get something you’ve got to give something up,” Carbery said. “We didn’t want to give up Daniel, but we also knew that we needed another natural centerman. Robby is a very good two-way centerman with good size (6-1, 190 pounds) and hands. He’ll play in just about every situation.”

Dee will skate on the line with Hunter Bishop and Tyler McNeely. The addition of Dee will allow Tyler McNeely to return to his more natural win position.

“We are convinced that Robby will make that line even more dangerous,” Carbery said.

Injury update

Stingrays captain Shawn Weller broke his hand up in St. John’s. He is out 6-to-8 weeks and the soonest he could return is the third week in January. He broke his hand blocking a shot on the penalty kill.

I’ve seen where Tommy Cross has been in and out of the Providence lineup. I’m got an email into Providence Journal beat writer Mark Divver asking about Cross. I wouldn’t get my hopes up about his return to the Lowcountry.

Mike Hamilton took a step back with his recovery from a concussion. He was put on the 21-day IR last week and I don’t expect him to return until well after the Christmas holidays.

Defensemen Ryan Turek and Ryan Lowery are still being listed as week-to-week.

I’m going to take some vacation time next week. I will post something if news becomes available. You can follow me on Twitter @APMILLER_PandC for any breaking news that comes my way.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season.

Merry Christmas!

APM

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