That’s Jeff Petry scoring a goal against Michigan. Petry is the son of righty Dan Petry who was a pretty nice starter for the Detroit Tigers.
Did I ever tell you my favorite Tigers story? It was after their stunning 1984 WS victory, maybe 1986 or 1987.
Anyway, my wife and I are in Jasper and we walk into the hotel room and I grab a beer, flick on the TV and what the hell it’s WDIV with George Kell and Al Kaline doing a Tigers game. My wife is a good soul, so she throws me a look, rolls her eyes and I’m good to go for game watching. It’s in the early innings (from Chicago, I believe) and Jack Morris is “on” that day. This is pretty cool, folks. That was a nice team. Whitaker-Trammel, Chester Lemon, Daryl Evans, a very nice pitching staff. Kirk Gibson is probably the best athlete on the field and he’s in left.
In the middle innings, Kell and Kaline are drawling their way through things and it’s a lazy pace but a fun game to watch. There are probably 5 candidates for the Hall in the lineup for the Tigers.
The camera shows Jack Morris getting ready to throw the next pitch and then stepping off the mound as time is called.
There’s an extended silence (maybe 30 seconds) and then the crowd makes some noise. Something is happening but the camera holds on Jack Morris. No verbal, no information, just Jack Morris. George Kell and Al Kaline say nothing.
Jack Morris looks toward left field. For awhile. Finally, Al Kaline says “there’s a couple of people on the field……”
There’s more silence and then George Kell can be heard muttering but no actual words come out. The camera stays on Morris and he continues to look out toward left field.
Al Kaline, still calm in his delivery says “there’s a disturbance in left field, two young men are near to Kirk Gibson……”
And suddenly George Kell explodes: “ISN’T ANYBODY GOING TO HELP GIBBY FOR CHRISSAKES?” I damn near fell out of my chair.
- #6-D Jeff Petry: This is Dan’s son. He does not have first round pedigree but if they re-drafted that season one suspects Petry would go in the first 30 picks. Has a wide range of skills and keeps picking up awards and honors as he rolls through his amateur career. Guy Flaming feels he’s the best prospect in the system. I have him lower because of a few reports about high risk plays without the puck, his being a little shy of Chorney as a skater and the fact that he did not reach college hockey until 2 months before his 20th birthday. December rank: 10th.
- #7- LW Liam Reddox- The biggest surprise year over year among Oiler prospects. Based on how the coach used him in Springfield he seems to have a nice range of skills and could be a role player in the show soon. With the Oilers allowing Curtis Glencross to leave via UFA and the laundry list of injuries on LW at the major league level, Reddox is likely to spend more than 40 games in the show if all things stay the same through the summer at his position. December rank: 13th
- #8-LW Slava Trukhno: Struggled in the AHL, especially at EV. He had a 9-game streak where he went 7-5-12, +3 and that appeared to have taken place about the time Pouliot was recalled and Trukhno enjoyed more skilled linemates and increased powerplay time. Finished 64gp, 14-21-35 in Springfield. December rank: 8th.
- #9 D Cody Wild: Oilers signed Wild on the strength of his NCAA season for Providence (32gp, 4-18-22) and he arrived in time to play a little in Springfield (13gp, 1-2-3) which should give him a nice head start for next year. One of three recently drafted college defenders (Chorney, Petry, Wild) who have a nice combination of skills that are similar to each other. I have Chorney ranked first and Wild ranked last among these three, but there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of separation. December rank: 14th
- #10-G Devan Dubnyk: 33gp, 3.12 .904 in the AHL which don’t indicate future #1 starter. He moved up from the ECHL this year and had consistency problems. Looked terrific at times and overwhelmed at others and appears to need at least one more AHL season before he’s ready to push for NHL employment. His high ranking relative to performance is due mostly to my having very little knowledge about projecting goaltenders and his original draft number. December rank 9th.