Thursday, May 27, 2010


(Taken from Coquitlam Now)

There'll be no free agent windfall to take to the bank, but Anmore's Danny Merth will get a say in where he plays.

The forward became a free agent Monday when the B.C. Hockey League board of governors voted to suspend the Williams Lake Timberwolves for the 2010-11 season due to financial reasons.

The league also decided to make all the club's players free agents and not hold a dispersal draft.

"I found out when one of the owners, Richard Kohlen, called me Monday to say that it looked like the team would be suspended," the 19-year-old Merth said. "He said they couldn't work out a deal to sell the team, the owners couldn't agree and the league was running out of time."

It means Merth can look for a situation that benefits him and help him attract a possible scholarship.

"I'm just going to look for a place where I can play -- I'd like to play close to home, if I could."

The Coquitlam Express' Darcy Rota said the team is looking at Merth, and a couple of other T-wolves, for the upcoming season.

"We're talking about some of the players, it's something Jon (Calvano, Coquitlam head coach and director of hockey operations) and I are discussing," Rota, the club's president and general manager, said. "We talked about (Merth), we like Danny and the Merth family is a great family."

He played for the Express in 2008-09 as an affiliate player. He also cheered on the club when older brother Peter anchored the blueline for two years in Coquitlam and one season in Burnaby.

The younger brother said the past year in Williams Lake started well, but money troubles and on-ice struggles began to take a toll at Christmas.

"The first half of the season was good, we weren't expected to do too much, with so many rookies. Around Christmas I guess the owners began having problems, they started to trade our veterans and things kind of fell apart from there."

As a rookie with the last place T-wolves, the six-foot-one Merth tallied 10 goals and 18 assists in 49 games.

League commissioner John Grisdale said the governors had little choice when it came to freezing the franchise.

"The options under our bylaws are quite clear and they were a team that were not in good standing financially."

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