Sunday, November 30, 2008

Choosing the highway, by Bryan Esner

On Friday, the Gwinnett Gladiators traded Bryan Esner to the Augusta Lynx for Travis Fuller. I attended Augusta's home game on Saturday, and sometime in the second period realized I hadn't seen Esner on the ice. I asked coach John Marks about him afterward. Knowing that Esner almost didn't report to Gwinnett when he was traded there from Phoenix, I suspected I already knew where he was.

Where's Esner?

He's not coming. He's going home. Because of the shaky ground we're on. Is the team gonna be there or not be there? 'I'm gonna go home, think about it. I'm not sure if I want to continue to play or not.' And we need a center, we need a guy who's got a little pizazz and get up and go. He was my leading point-getter last year in Pensacola. He competes like heck. Jeff's had him on the wing and he's not a winger. He's been unhappy there.

Had Esner asked for a trade out of Gwinett?

Yes he had. His agent called me and I said 'OK, I'll call Jeff (Pyle).' He didn't want to play on the wing. He's not built for the wing. He's a little guy who's built for open ice. I asked Jeff what he needed and he said he needed a left winger. I said 'who do you want?' Because we hadn't been scoring. He said Fuller, and I said fine. Travis may go there and do very well. But he only had two goals [for us].

What's Fuller like?

He's a good kid. He got a taste of the American League I think last year. He wears his heart on his sleeve, works pretty good. I think he's been squeezing the stick like a lot of other guys.
I suspect this is why we saw Brad Schell on Esner's wing last Friday night. That it wasn't to just change things up.

Esner has been suspended by Augusta, but they still hold his rights. The Tampa Bay Lightning told the St. Pete Times that Augusta has found the money it needs to keep going, but it's unconfirmed by the Lynx yet. Given that the Lightning/Lynx relationship is new, and lots of miscommunication can happen in that situation, it's best to wait for confirmation.

Lightning GM Brian Lawton said Sunday the Lynx did get the cash infusion needed, though that could not be confirmed.

1 comment:

Werewolverine said...

What a mess. I loved him in Gwinnett...he was really beginning to turn it on...but that quixotic little diva has betrayed the faith of two coaches who have developed far more significant talents than his own.

We sent Craig Kowalski off to the desert for this?