Day-to-day to Kevin Spinozzi

Danny Gélinas
The Voice of the East

Au jour le jour pour Kevin Spinozzi

CHRONIC / As I mentioned two weeks ago, I made stops in certain cities of the american League and the national hockey League, both in the alley at the back of my pilgrimage to my winter in Florida, to assess, at the request of a friend, the performance of players that may be of interest.

As well, I attended the match between the Griffins of Grand Rapids, club-school of the Detroit Red Wings, the Penguins Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, a training whose hopes, you guessed it, relate to the Pittsburgh Penguins. As to attend a hockey game in Wilkes-Barre, why not take the opportunity to go shake the hand of a boy with us who snaps for the local team ?

It has been almost a year to the day, I met the Granbyen Kevin Spinozzi, son of Frank Spinozzi, a hockey man well known in our region. The 21-year-old then tried to get a place in the sun in the american League to reach his ultimate dream, that of playing one day in the NHL. Let’s see where it is made a year later…

When I asked the question to know how his development, we feel that the no. 5 (it had the # 8 in 2017-2018) walking on eggshells.

Normal, you might say, as it prepares for the last stretch of a one-year contract with his training and he still has no indication that it could be extended with the organization of the Penguins. However, he had just been reminded of the Nailers from Wheeling of the League of the East Coast (East Coast Hockey League), with whom he had spent the major part of the season due to a glut of veterans on the blue line for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Several players have already shown signs of discouragement in the face of such a situation, thus seeing their career soon take off. Yet, as a good competitor and be intense as it is, the young Spinozzi refuses to be defeated. He decided to see things with a good eye.

“I’m focused on the present,” he said. I train hard and I am constantly trying to improve myself, so when you use my services, I am ready and, most importantly, I can help the team win. Personally, that is all that matters at this moment ! “

And he has a good reason, because they are many leaders who are looking for players who have already flirted with the victory.

But, he had some contacts with the leaders of the Penguins in regards to a potential extension of his contract ? “No, not yet, but it does not bothers me not, points out Kevin. Here, in Wilkes-Barre, I can’t complain. I am treated in a very professional way. Anyway, the next year, it is very far away ! There’s still plenty of hockey to play this year and I intend to prove to the organization that I am able to hold my end-to-end defense in the american League. We will see to the rest. “

The journalist assigned to cover the Penguins for the account of the everyday Citizen’s Voice (distributed in all of central Pennsylvania), the young Tyler Picotti, seemed to abound in the same direction. “Kevin is really a victim of the surplus of defenders who still has a contract with Pittsburgh, he said. I am convinced that he can play here easily. But when a club has players under contract, it is just normal play it before those that only have contracts with the american League. “

Even the sound of a bell when we’re talking with some scouts and professionals. There is even one who has advanced so far as to say that Spinozzi could be part of a top 5 if he was, for example, with the Rocket of Laval. “My work to me is to cover the Conference Is of the NHL, the Atlantic division and the North division of the american League and the East Coast, I can say that I’ve seen him play a few times, he started. Let us not forget that the kid was just 21 years old, he stands 6 feet 3 and weighs about 215 pounds. He plays pretty physical and before its recall in the american League, he had accumulated almost a point per game with Wheeling. These are elements which would militate in its favour. Here, we can see that the coach (Clark Donatelli) tries to make her place, but he has both hands tied due to the large number of contracts for this year and maybe even for the next year. In contrast, as a Quebecer, it is obvious that we could give a helping hand to Laval (club-school of the Canadian AHL). In my opinion, it would be readily able to be among their top five defenders, the
Rocket starved of young hopefuls to this position… “

Just for this position ? A little everywhere, let’s say, especially when you look at the standings of the AHL…

However, in doing so, Kevin Spinozzi behaves in the right way with an excellent attitude.

Who knows if someone will wake up finally in the Canadian and will give this young man the chance he deserves to be : to assert in him.

Au jour le jour pour Kevin Spinozzi

Dominic Turgeon



Several scouts were present at this match introduced in Wilkes-Barre, including the former players, Mark Howe (Red Wings) and Duane Sutter (Oilers). I was able to sit down and talk with Shawn Dineen, the son of the one who was kind of a “wise old man” for all the young scouts that we were, fire Bill Dineen, in addition to being the eldest brother of the ex-player Kevin Dineen. I also appreciated Mike Guentzel, the father of Jake Guentzel, valiant door-color of the Pittsburgh Penguins. After having been the chief instructor of the Gophers of the University of Minnesota for several seasons, Mike now works for the account of the Coyotes in Arizona. I was present at four matches during the trip, and I was able to understand at what point the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Julien BriseBois, could also be plugged in : there was a representative of his training in each of the matches ! When this was not Chris Yzerman, the brother of Steve, it was to be responsible for the recruitment professional, Jamie Pushor ! As for the Canadian, I never saw his scouts as a single game, the Wilkes-Barre and the latter — which I won’t name — seemed to be much more concerned to look for someone to listen to him tell his stories to look the part…


During this game, I’ve found that a player of the visiting team was a family name known to fans of hockey here. Dominic, the son of former Buffalo Pierre Turgeon, a choice of 3rd round of the Detroit Red Wings in 2014, holds the position of 2nd centre for Griffins. Much less talented and skilled than his father, it is, however, a player much more complete. So much so, that he did not hesitate to throw the gloves in front of the hard-to-cook Joseph Cramarossa of the Penguins. A fight of over a minute where he held head to a hockey player who had to concede two inches and thirty pounds, proving that he did not have cold eyes, and he is a team player !

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