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The 2000/2001 Season

As the Stormís 2000/2001 season finally drew to a close last Saturday and amid the uncertain future of the team, coach, arena, owners etc I thought I would take the chance to reflect on the season from my own point of view....

Well, ultimately, 2000/01 was probably the worst season the Storm have had. Sure, we finished 7th out of 8 in the Inaugural Superleague season but as I remember it that team played with heart and passion even when being beat - something this yearís team cannot really lay claim to....

But, letís start from the start! Coming into this season my hopes for the Storm were high (so high I

2000/01 Season Cards

re-designed the site ready for the new season!) - Frankie was going to be back between the pipes and we had been promised a more physical approach to the game - something that seemed to be lacking every so often under KKís regime.

What seemed a constant precession of roster changes - both incoming and outgoing - seemed to give the team an unsettled feeling all season and this was reflected in their play. The promised physical, entertaining approach never really materialised - I donít count an increased number of fights as a more physical brand of hockey.

The team may have turned a corner on the signing of Kevin Brown but didnít!!! At the time, the signing of a player who, as recently as 1999/2000, had played in the NHL and who was British born seemed to be THE signing of the season. Shame he turned out to have a superiority complex and couldnít decide whether defence was a word that was included in his vocabulary.

2000/01 Season Wallpapers

The squad that Terry Chrsitensen seemed to have potential - including another ex-NHLer, Corey Spring from the start - but they never gelled and never really got on a run. This appears to have been due to one or two Ďproblemsí in the locker room! Once the problems had gone (Spring and Brown both returned to the States late in the season) it was too late to salvage the Superleague season and the playoffs became the priority.

And still the team almost managed to miss them!! Amongst repeated calls (on internet discussion boards) for coach Terry Chrsitensen to be sacked and folowing ownerís SMGís vote of confidence inhim, his Storm team went on a losing streak that had fans tearing their hair out!!! The tea did eventually come together and played more consistently in the last couple of weeks of the season but not well enough to make the playoffs weekend!

Frank Pietrangelo tribute

However disappointing the season was, one thing stands out for me above all others as THE low point of the season. In early December 2000, it was announced that Frank Pietrangelo had been forced to retire due to injury. In the early season it had looked like Frankie may have been returning to somewhere near his MVP form of 98/99 but with the season only 3 months old he had gone and a suitable #1 netminder to replace him was never signed!

To make things worse, the day after the announcement (and before the next Storm game) Frankie returned to Canada - without any official recognition from the Storm of his contributions!! And just like that - arguably the best player to ever pull on a Storm shirt was gone - no fuss, no fanfare, nothing! Not even a chance to say goodbye in The Shelter!

It wasnít all doom and gloom though - Morin and Allard played with their usual commitment to the cause, the Moore-Gallant-Flichel line was a great combination, Greg Bullock was a scoring machine and Rob Robinson got his annual goal!!

And while the season was, overall, a disappointing one Iím still kinda sad itís all over for another year and Iím at the start of another summer - no live hockey until September. Already, the withdrawal symptoms are kicking in and I am looking forward to next season. Whoever owns the team, whoever is coaching the team, I will be there in the same season ticket seat as this year (and the past few years) cheering the Storm on - isnít that what true fans are meant to do?

Right, Iím off to cheer the Pens on to the Stanley Cup!!!!

ĎTil next year!!

 PD - 26/03/2001

Do you have a different view of the 2000/2001 season? Do you disagree with anything I have said above? Do you think I have not been hard enough on the right people?

If you have any comments or replies to this article please contact me here and I will include them on the site.