Goodnight and Good Luck – James Hutchinson

It’s a rare day where I have to write one of these for the last guy who signed but late last night the Bison announced that James Hutchinson had left the Bison.


What have we lost?

Hutchinson is a good defender at EPL level. He has the pedigree and the talent and we did see glimpses of that in his short time with us. We’ve lost, what was at the time, a really good depth signing and to be fair I think there’s an argument that we should have kept him. He’s a good puck moving defenceman who provides offensive support on the back end.


Where has he gone?

James was announced earlier by Slough Jets as they look to add a different dimension to a somewhat mediocre campaign so far at The Hanger.


Who replaces him?

Nobody. With the return of Zach Sullivan from the GB under 20s trip to Ukraine and the presumptive return of Kurt Reynolds from injury, it seems to be a case of odd man out for James who moves on as a result.


Final words:

I found out about this at about 11:30pm last night as I was heading to bed. My initial reaction was “errr, ok” but I decided to do what I normally do with anything hockey related I find out late at night; sleep on it and see how I feel about it in the morning.

I can rectify myself to this decision; despite what people may think about the size of it, this team has a budget to keep to and to carry 6 British defencemen including 2 who won the playoffs last season and arguably one of the best defencemen in the EPL in Reynolds alongside someone of Hutchinson’s calibre is not a cheap thing to do. Hutchinson has earned his wage and his reputation, the EPL grand slam and let’s not forget he was lifting the EIHL title at the end of last season. He is good at what he does.

Some argue that he didn’t have the impact that was expected of him but did he ever really get past the settling in stage to really assess that? Some will say no but equally valid is the point that hockey has always been a game where you hit the ground running. 3 points in 5 games isn’t a bad return for a d-man though.

Whatever happens James Hutchinson put on a Bison jersey for 5 games, played his hardest and now both parties move on to different things. All the best Hutch, good luck at Slough.


PROGRAMMING NOTE: I’m in Cornwall for a week come Saturday so no coverage of the game on 22nd vs Flames or 26th vs Steeldogs as I won’t be there. I’ll be putting up my “State of hockey 2012” address at some stage after the Boxing Day.

Wherever you are, whoever you’re with and however you celebrate; have a very good Christmas and I’ll see you all soon. Let’s Go Bison!


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