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Tailing the Komets

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August 30, 2006   - Sault This Week
graduate Dan McWhinney, the Sault Ste. Marie goalie who didn't start
playing the position until he was 16-years old, is taking advantage of
an opportunity to turn pro this season rather than attend New York's
Oswego University on an NCAA scholarship.
Since being scouted at a reality television show hockey camp earlier
this month, McWhinney received invites to attend eight minor pro hockey
camps in the fall and has settled on playing for the Fort Wayne Komets
after the United Hockey League team offered him a contract.
The 21-year old McWhinney recently took part in a reality hockey
television show series that will be aired beginning on Sept. 23.
"Making The Cut: Last Man Standing" was part of an invite camp process
that looked at 400 minor hockey players from across Canada.
McWhinney was then one of 38 finalists - including four goalies -
chosen to be part of the taping for the 22-episode series, which will
be aired on Global TV starting with the Sept. 23 episode.
Among those who took in "Making The Cut: Last Man Standing" was Mike
Keenan, general manager of the National Hockey League's Florida
At any rate, so impressive was McWhinney at the "Making The Cut" camp,
which was held in Vernon, B.C. - he received positive feedback from
Keenan and Panthers' director of hockey operations Jack Birch - that he
decided to turn pro rather than go the NCAA route with Oswego.
McWhinney then tendered the services of Dave Maciuk, a Chicago-based
player agent and Sault Ste. Marie native, who helped the young goalie
hook up with Fort Wayne.
McWhinney will report to Fort Wayne's camp on Oct. 2 and battle veteran
Kevin St. Pierre for playing time with the Komets, who are part of the
11-team UHL which features several Michigan franchises including ones
in Flint, Muskegon, Port Huron and Kalamazoo.
Going to Fort Wayne to play pro following his participation in "Making
The Cut" is the latest chapter in McWhinney's startling ascent as a
goalie. A forward as a minor hockey player in the Sault, McWhinney
started playing goal at age 16 when his high school hockey team at
White Pines needed a backup tender.
He then progressed to become the starting goalie at White Pines before
moving up to play Jr. B with Terrace Bay of the North of Superior
Hockey League and then two seasons of Jr. A with Stouffville of the
Ontario Provincial Hockey League. With Stouffville in '05-06, McWhinney
led his upstart team to the league finals, playing in 31 straight
playoff games.
"It's really unbelievable how all of this has worked out," said
McWhinney. "There's been a ton of little quirks for me this past year.
The hockey gods are on my side."
Posted in: Komets


Thu, 08/31/2006 - 8:03am

Oh, I'm going to wait for others to comment before I spout on this one.

Tony E
Thu, 08/31/2006 - 8:09am

I think this is fine. He isn't going to get any preferential treatment. This TV show isn't seen in the USA. If the kid can play, he can play. If he can't he won't stick. I think it is good that the Komets are willing to look outside the box to find talent.

Thu, 08/31/2006 - 8:32am

here is the big news

Thu, 08/31/2006 - 9:06am

So what is wrong with this Greg?

Thu, 08/31/2006 - 2:29pm

McWhinney pucked up a 2-minute roughing penalty once.

Thu, 08/31/2006 - 9:11pm

We're all about getting players from "Making the Cut"

Fri, 09/01/2006 - 5:02am

I was going to say that the K's have sunk so low as to be singing players who send in DVD's of themsevles because they can't get any interest in someone to sit behind St. Pierre. Then my wife did a little research and found that McWhinney might actually be a good sleeper.

Apparently, McWhinney was a late cut in 2004 from the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhouds which Tony will confirm is a decent Ontario Hockey League team (OHL, one of Canada's top junior leagues) that has produced the likes of Ron Francis. He had several offers to play Div one here in the states yet some technicallity kept him from it.

So in the end, I'm more optimistic now then I was when the article about McWhinney first came out.