2005 Spring Round-up
The Big Boys
1. Kensington Valley Renegades - Still a solid team and should stay that way. Didn't lose a step in the spring, in fact may have gotten better. Will be a force in the fall.
2. Kensington Valley Rebels - Like the Renegades, a solid team, might have the best defense of all '96s and they added some scoring in the spring. The KV battles will be some good hockey in the fall
3. Victory Honda - The former Plymouth Barracudas team, are a good team. As fall goes on they will become stronger and will battle for the top spot. More team play will take this team higher.
4. Midtown Financial Flyers - The soon to be Compuware 96 team played a solid spring, losing by 1 goal in the '96 Rankings Showdown. With a solid AAA club behind it this team will stay with the top teams and widen the gap from the teams below them.
5. Detroit Trackers - Disappointing spring (in my opinion), but still a top 5 team. Will need to continue to work on the team game. If there is a weak point it's the goalie spot, but I see this team still going strong in the fall.
1. Lapeer Storm - Had a very good spring, picked up a few kids, some from other teams. If they add a few more they will be top 10 next season.
2. Orchard Lake Pirates - Good organized team, light spring. Will continue to be a challenging team to play.
3. Lakeland Hawks - Played a lighter spring than most, but came out solid. A good team for the fall.
4. Farmington Hills Fire - Had their off days, but when they were on they were a tough team to play. Had a few kids sit out in the spring, will be back and reloaded for fall.
5. Lansing Capital Centre Pride - Had a good spring season. Fall will show what they improved on.
Most Improved Teams
1. Toledo IceDiggers - Added some talent, a new coach, lost some of the younger players. Played a heavy spring schedule. Finished first in the regular season Ice Box spring league. Will be interesting to see what they can add. They surprised a few teams.
2. Little Caesars '97 - A 97 team that will focus on 96 teams. They can play with most and beat more than a few.
3. Michigan Devils - Added a few players for the spring, if they stay, they should be a much improved team heading into the fall. Lost in the finals of the Ice Box league championship.
4. Southgate Titans - Solid spring, will small improvments team will become stronger.
5. Hazel Park Otters - The new Michigan Jags team, they had a good spring. Now with an association behind them could become stronger.
6. Port Huron Flags - A new and improved team from what they had in the fall. Were respectable.
New Kids on the Block
1. Livonia Knights - Finished #7, looks to be a solid team as kids came back after playing the fall on other teams. Could be a strong team for the top 10 in the fall.
2. Mt. Clemens Wolves - Finished #9, a few of the kids played on the '95 team last fall.. they will be solid as they continue to grow and play as a team. A VERY high offensive team. Will score alot, but needs to work on the defense also.
3. Dearborn Roar - Finished #13, strong showing in the Ice Box league, finished 2nd in league play, then won it all in the playoffs. Will be a solid team in the fall.
4. Belle Tire (AAA) - Finished #14, played some tough teams, will take some time, but as a AAA team they should rise in the future.
5. Westland Rampage - Finished #19, played some strong teams very tough, another team where they had kids skating with a 95 team in the fall. Fall should be a good season for them.
Lost a step
1. Trenton Thunder - I heard from alot that this team might of burnt out towards the end of the season. Still a good team which deserves a much needed break. Played a tough spring schedule. They'll be back in the fall as a tough team to beat.
2. Monroe Ice Hawks - Added new players in the spring at all positions, but ended up with a few tough loses and a few games they should of won. Like all good teams I expect them to be back towards the top in the fall.
3. Blue Water Stars - Didn't have a great spring, but were good in most of their games. Like a lot of teams. Come fall they should be rested and ready to be a tough team again.
4. Detroit Wizards - Didn't win any games in the spring. Lost a few players, still have a solid goalie. Will need to add for the fall.
5. Allen Park Huskies - Had a surprising run in the '96 Spring Showdown, will need to work come fall. No reason this team won't be what it was last fall, a solid team to play.
6. Woodhaven Leafs - A disapointing spring. Will need more than a little help come fall.
1. Team Cleveland - Played local teams for spring... and had a split squad, will be back in the fall as a solid top 10 team.
2. Real Finacial - Also known as Southfield, this team stuck to practices and 1 tournament. Interesting to see how fall goes.
3. Flint Icelanders - Lost a few players to other teams, played it light in the spring.
4. Garden City Gold Wings - Didn't play a spring season. Team may not play in the fall.
Rest of the Best of the New
1. Crank's Hockey Club - New team, should get better with being together more.
2. Belle Tire (A) - Solid team, almost as good as the BT AAA team.
3. Great Lakes Panthers - Started spring off very good, finished well
4. Novi Ice Cats - Players that were on other teams came back to Novi for this team, will get better and be a solid team.
5. Columbus Capitals - Played as the Cardinals at the '96 Rankings Spring Showdown, will be solid and are interested in playing more Michigan teams in the fall.
More Newcomers Who Can Play
1. Bluewater Sharks - Canadian team that should be a solid middle of the pack team.
2. Midland Northstars - Depending on how tryouts for fall go, could be middle of the pack.
3. Troy Sting - Showed signs of life at times... other times didn't.
4. Wyandotte Warriors - Started off slow... but did show life. Needs improving and will get that after skating more together.
5. USA Eagles - Potential is there.
New Teams That Need Help
1. Motor City Steel
2. Jackson Generals
3. Plymouth Stingrays
4. Canton Crush
5. Livingston Lightning
6. Macomb Mavericks
Never Got Started
1. Motor City Mechanics
2. Chelsea Chiefs
3. St. Clair Shores Saints
4. Birmingham Rangers
5. Ann Arbor Wolves
6. Sylvania Panthers