In the day of dollars and cents, lawyers and litigation, it’s no surprise that even in sport, we only get the information they want us to hear; not necessarily the truth.

Sometimes we are given “fake news”, which is no different than inaccurate news or propaganda for that matter.

It was February 19 when Barrett Hayton was last seen skating with a game day Greyhound jersey on, and since then the Hounds have struggled.

Every team goes through their ups and downs and the recent woes do not have me overly concerned, but I struggle….as the Hounds have been doing lately with the fact that we have been fed that Barrett suffered a Charley Horse (muscle spasm that generally lasts a few hours to a couple of days in serious cases) and that his return has been imminent since Feb 20, and was “day to day” as per the standard jargon in the sports circles.

This is in no way a slight against Coach Dean, who really has his hands full in juggling what to say or what not to say. This also not slight against Kyle Raftis or the Greyhounds organization. It is just frustrating to us; the fans.

The standard these days is Upper or Lower Body injury and that’s all you will get. I have written before that I have sort of come around to accepting this as per the fact that if for instance, as back in the day, when it was reported that Joe Blow suffered a separated right shoulder on a certain day ; well guess what folks, when he returns, that shoulder would have a big bullseye on it from opposing players.

I am sure many of us fans, would have preferred that Arizona’s President of Hockey Operations John Chayka would have remained silent on the status of Barrett’s injury. It’s been about 14 days since Barrett should have returned if he had indeed suffered only a Charley Horse.

Fans do buy tickets sometimes based on who is in or who is not in the lineup. I know a few people who don’t buy tickets when two or three of the boys are at the World Juniors and maybe one or two are injured. They pay to watch the best product on the ice and when it’s day to day, many of us have just assumed that Barrett “will probably play tonight, he only suffered a Charley Horse”

Anyway, after getting that off my chest, it goes to show us how important Barrett is to this young team. Yes, we have won without him, but that was before some of the other teams beefed up at the deadline. I for one, still believe this team can make a long playoff run, but we need a GALLOPING  Barrett in the lineup.

The struggles of late, in my opinion, are due to better teams as per the trade deadline and the fact that we need 2 Solid lines. Barrett is a superb two-way player and one of the best faceoff kids in the league which is important.

I think some of the kids are being overworked to fill the void and with young pups playing above their projection as rookies, the grind and workload of 68 games in Junior is catching up to them.

It has been a few weeks for sure that I’ve noticed the boys playing in second gear. At the beginning of the season, you’d think they were doing lines of coke before and during the game. Please don’t send me hate mail, it’s an obvious joke, as I am just pointing out the relentless skating and work ethic.

No, I am not ragging on the kids or coaching staff, I am just making a simple observation.

Last night against Sudbury, the kids looked tired and only generated about 17 shots on goal. In respect to the 5-3 powerplay last night that could have tied up the game for us, they simply had many chances to score with some open ice, but for some reason wouldn’t shoot the puck. That could be related to mental fatigue in my opinion.

Moving forward, the Hounds still have a chance to overtake Saginaw for home ice advantage in the division, but I’m afraid first in the Western Conference is for all intents and purposes not going to happen; London needs just three points in its next 5 games to clinch the conference if we were in the running. Saginaw, on the other hand, has a bigger snowball than we do and could win the conference if they keep playing the way they have been since the trade deadline.

Saturday, the boys in Red and White play host to the Sarnia Sting before returning to action Sunday afternoon against the Windsor Spitfires.

Hound fans are hoping for Barrett’s speedy recovery from his undisclosed injury, and help these Dogs get out of the Doghouse.

Go Hounds Go,

Ernest Skinner

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Ernest Skinner
Ernest Skinner was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie and attended Humber College after high school. He has a passion for other cultures and has travelled throughout Mexico and many South American countries. He has written many articles over the years that deal with events happening here in Sault Ste. Marie and around the globe. Ernest has interviewed many rock and roll musicians including, Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy.Dio.Whitesnake, Quiet Riot), Brad Gillis (Night Ranger). Adrian Vandenberg (Vandenberg, Whitesnake, Moonkings), Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot), David Ellefson (Megadeth), Sass Jordan, Lee Aaron, John Corabi (Motley Crue/Dead Daisies), Geoff Tate (Queensryche) Richie Faulkner (Judas Priest), Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Foreigner) and many more. Reading about ancient civilizations, world politics, and mysteries of the unknown are also defining factors that are his general makeup. Outside of being serious, he has a bright sense of humour that was moulded from shows like Seinfeld & The Simpsons. Ernest is a freelance writer.


  1. I agree that the team is not so efficient without Barrett and they seem to have lost there zip. Against Sudbury they reminded me of Rocky against Clubber Lang in their first right. Distracted at best.
    I also have faith in this team and am sure that they will pick up their game soon. As far as reporting injuries the leadership could give us a better forecast on the return of injured players without giving particulars as to the actual injury.
    I look forward to the next few games.
    Good article.

  2. It is reminiscent of last year. They seem to run out of steam and perhaps get overconfident. The other teams in the league have been getting better and better as the season goes along. The hounds do not seem to realize that fact. Time to regroup guys or it will be a short season.

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