Danbury Trashers hoping to pick up where they left off10/12/05 - United Hockey League (UHL) Danbury Trashers
As one of the most successful expansion teams in pro sports history last year, the Danbury Trashers amassed 95 points in the regular season, finished second in its division and reached the UHL Semifinals.
It wasn't enough.
"It was all right," said 19 year old Trashers president A.J. Galante. "I wouldn't say it was a disappointment, but a little bit of a letdown. We're really going at it this year."
Danbury's heavy turnover reflects the Trashers' attempt to refine their team, starting with UHL veteran and former Quebec Nordiques tough guy Paul Gillis replacing Todd Stirling as head coach. Stirling was offered the general managers position, but declined.
Among those gone from last year's inaugural team are a few players who figured to be around for a while - forwards Brent Gretzky, Mike Bayrack, Bruce Richardson and goaltender Scott Stirling, who signed with Rochester of the AHL.
Leading the newcomers are a pair of Massachusetts forwards in David Hymovitz and Jaime Thompson.
Hymovitz, a Randolph native who starred at Boston College in the mid 90's, played for Richmond of the UHL last season and put up a 32 goal, 100 point season. Thompson, a Maine alumnus from Framingham, spent the better part of four years with the Worcester Ice Cats in the AHL before jumping to the UHL two years ago. He's scored at a point-per-game pace in the UHL.
Two things the Trashers plan to carry over from last season are their marketed "bad boys" image and home ice advantage. Danbury led the UHL with 2,776 penalty minutes, 302 more than the closest team.
The Trashers combined their muscle with a raucous atmosphere inside the league's smallest rink, the Danbury Ice Arena. The Trashers' average attendance of 2,428 played out to 80 percent capacity and, like their team, the fans are tough. The Trashers had the third best home record and the "Danbury Flu," where opposing players came up with so-called injuries and illnesses to duck out of a game at Danbury, became a malady around the league.
"We'd beat you on the scoreboard and beat you up and the fans are on you," Galante said. New England Hockey Journal