Let’s get this out of the way: Mike Zbriger, acquired from Corpus Christi for Chris Greene on Thursday, plans to report.
That’s important news for nervous fans, given that the Thunder has obtained rights to players in the recent past who never ended up in Wichita. In fact, Zbriger sounds genuinely excited about playing for the Thunder.
“I like the idea of going over there and being a go-to guy and helping turn that train around,” he told me late this afternoon. “For me, it will be a nice, fresh start.”
· Thunder coach Brent Bilodeau said the future considerations portion of the trade will net Wichita another player from Corpus at the trade deadline on Feb. 9.
· Not surprisingly, Bilodeau said he isn’t sure what line Zbriger will play on. He said he will try him with various linemates and look for the right chemistry.
· Zbriger played with Thunder captain Brad Thompson in Bloomington of the UHL in 2006-07. Zbriger had 38 points in 44 games. Thompson had 30 points in 74 games.
· Zbriger played with Jordan Hack (now injured) in college at St. Lawrence University. Correction: Very poor work on my part here. Hack is not hurt. I got him confused with Luke Hunter. Apologies.
· Zbriger had an opening-night hat trick.
· The Thunder loses its most-consistent hitter in Greene. “We gave up a little bit of hitting to gain a little bit of offense,” Bilodeau said.
· Greene said he was “definitely surprised” to be traded. “But it’s part of the game,” he said. “It’s a business, so you go on with it with the right frame of mind.” Like every other player who gets traded from Wichita, Greene complimented the fans. He called the fan support “incredible,” and he said he will miss his teammates. “Wichita is a great city to play for,” he added. “And I’ll miss the great group of guys here. I’ll miss every single guy on the team.”
In other news, goaltender Tim Boron may return from injury this weekend. “I’m not saying it’s 100 percent, but it looks like he could,” Bilodeau said. “It depends on how he’s feeling.”
Pascal Bedard and Thompson are day to day. “I’ll find out more tomorrow and see how they’re feeling,” Bildoeau said.