Goodnight and Good Luck – Cameron Wynn

With the 2015/16 fixtures recently released, the Bison say goodbye to two players who move on to different things. We start with the departure of former Bison junior, Cameron Wynn.

Wave bye bye to Wynn; Cameron Wynn will be stepping away from hockey. (c) 5 Hole Photography

Wave bye bye to Wynn; Cameron Wynn will be stepping away from hockey.
(c) 5 Hole Photography

What have we lost?

The Bison lose one of their depth forwards going into the season. Whilst having mainly been used as a third or fourth line forward since his promotion from the junior ranks, Wynn’s natural game meant that he had been well disposed to playing higher up the lines in the event of injury, suspension and the like.

Having started his EPL career as a small slither of a lad, Wynn had bulked up in recent seasons and was becoming more akin to the Bison’s naturally physical style of hockey and well as becoming harder to knock off the puck. The potential has been there for everything to click for Wynn and he become a top EPL forward, the GB call ups are testament to that, but it hadn’t quite clicked just yet. The Bison have lost one of their more promising home developed players.

Where has he gone?

As announced by the club, Cam has stepped away from hockey to focus on his studies at university. Hopefully he will find time to play competitively at some level below the demands of the EPL before stepping back up to the higher level.

Who replaces him?

The natural replacement, in terms of the role being filled, is Ralfs Circenis. Circenis will initially be used in a bottom 6 role with the chance to play up the lines should circumstances dictate. It’s something of a natural fit in that way in the sense that any points Circenis adds will be a bonus and encouraged rather than having the weight of being a primary scorer upon him.

Final thoughts

There are things in life bigger than hockey; strange to hear I know but very true. There are many things bigger in life than playing semi-professional hockey for expenses and beer money with one of them being a young man’s education. This decision by Cameron Wynn to put hockey to one side is a sad one given his potential but sensible and arguably admirable in many ways. He needs to look after his future.

Purely from a hockey perspective, this is something of a surprise. Unlike Melachrino (more on him tomorrow) the rumour mill mentioned two possible locations for Wynn; either a return to Basingstoke or a departure to Swindon. When Swindon announced the completion of their roster with the signing of Owen Griffiths from the Wightlink Raiders, it left many people assuming that Wynn would be back which has turned out not to be the case.

Wynn was still developing. You can make all the jokes about the lack of development in the development league that is the EPL but that’s what Wynn was doing. He started as a 17 year old, stick thin and in a face cage learning to play against men to being man and competing every night against experienced veterans and players his own age. He had a decent eye for goal, you could see that from the goals he scored. In some ways, he was a victim of the sort of learning process that players have to do when they step up a level; Wynn, something of a natural top 6 forward in the way he plays the game found himself crashing and banging away as a checking forward on the lower lines with limited ice time to show what he could do. However to earn the chances to play alongside the Longs and Greeners and Sheppards of the world meant earning his stripes doing the role that he’s not naturally suited to. We saw what would happen though if he got the chances to play more of his natural game. If you have the 2014 playoff dvds, go back and watch Wynn in that playoff semi-final against Guildford where he played like a player beyond his years. That’s the sort of player he was on the way to becoming but this break does understandably cut that short.

That’s life, that’s what all the people and songs say. The hope is that Cam will find a way to keep his hand in the game at a lower level until he is prepared to come back and dedicate the time to EPL level hockey and press on again. If he is waiting to complete his studies before coming back, he’ll be 21. He’ll have a long time left to play. If not, then he’ll always have that night and that first goal against the Swindon Wildcats to look back on.

Thanks for everything, Cam. Don’t be a stranger.

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