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Wolves vets return from NHL for home-opener weekend

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Sep 18, 2009 - 1:51 PM |
Sudbury Wolves forward Eric O'Dell will be returning from his NHL camp with the Atlanta Thrashers for the Wolves' home-opener Sept. 18. File Photo.

Sudbury Wolves forward Eric O'Dell will be returning from his NHL camp with the Atlanta Thrashers for the Wolves' home-opener Sept. 18. File Photo.

Sudbury Wolves forwards Eric O'Dell and Jared Staal have been returned to the Wolves by their respective NHL teams, and will be suiting up for the Wolves in their home-opener, Sept. 18, against the Erie Otters. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

O'Dell had an outstanding training camp in Atlanta and the Thrashers management was pleased with his progress, according to a press release. He will be contending for a spot on Team Canada's World Junior Team in the weeks ahead. On home ice, O'Dell will be counted upon to provide offensive production this year as he completes his third and final year of junior eligibility. O'Dell is expected to start the season centering John McFarland and Jared Staal.

Thunder Bay native Jared Staal has been returned to the Sudbury Wolves for his final year of junior hockey by the Phoenix Coyotes. With so much upheaval in Phoenix regarding the Coyotes, Phoenix has opted to send their youngest prospects back to junior hockey while the ownership issues and bankruptcy proceedings are worked-through with the ailing NHL franchise, the press release stated.

Coyotes’ GM Don Maloney has targeted Staal, 19, as a future Coyote and has assigned the 6-4 right-winger back to Sudbury for his final year of junior development.

Forward Marcus Foligno, 18, will also be returning to Sudbury this weekend from the Buffalo Sabres camp, and will play his first regular season game of the new season on Saturday when the Wolves host the Ottawa 67’s at 7 p.m.

While at the Buffalo Sabres camp, Foligno enjoyed his first taste of NHL action. The 6-4, 210 lbs centreman is serving a one-game suspension (from exhibition play) and will miss the Wolves’ home opener Friday night against Erie.

Forward John Kurtz (Toronto Maple Leafs) and goaltender Andrew Loverock (Columbus Bluejackets) remain as the two overage candidates who the Wolves are holding spots for this season. Kurtz was injured in the Leafs training camp last week and is listed as day-to-day. Loverock has been invited to try-out for the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League. Both players are expected to make their hockey career decisions sometime next week.

Tickets are on sale now for the home-opener games at the arena box office. Fans can also order tickets online by checking out the all-new Sudbury Wolves website at www.sudburywolves.com.

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