With the news tonight that Evan Mosey is leaving Nottingham Panthers to take up a roster spot in the AHL next season, Jono Bullard says look beyond the disappointment and focus on the positives for the club and the league as a whole.
Remember when Panthers signed Evan Mosey back in May 2014? The reaction from the Panthers fan base was hardly what could be described as overwhelming, with many predicting that he would be cut from the roster without even having seen him play. Of course that season he proved many people wrong with his skill and speed, earning a second year in Nottingham. Converting from defence to forward, Mosey had his breakout year winning the player of the season and scoring the overtime winner in the Challenge Cup Final. This earned him a new two-year with the Panthers, but it seems he is now moving on for a shot at the NHL and quite frankly who can blame him?
We are now looking at a player who leaves the Panthers to take up an opportunity in the American Hockey League. This means in just three seasons Mosey has gone from the Dutch Eredivisie to one step below the NHL via the EIHL, a quite astonishing rise.
Evan’s father Graham has been a huge supporter of his son’s hockey career, making several trips over to the UK from his home in Illinois during Evan’s time at the Panthers. He is of course extremely proud of Evan’s achievement and said to me earlier this evening “I just want his story of passion and love of the game to be shared along with guys like Mike Perillo who saw something in him eight years ago along with a few others along the way.
In the end, Evan plays the game he loves and worked through adversity to get where he is along with this amazing opportunity.” He went on to say “Let’s not forget a little luck and presence of his Horsforth born Grandad looking down since he peacefully left us on 27th January. What a run the lad has had since that day. Coincidence? He will always be Evan’s #1 supporter.”
While it is an incredible opportunity that has to be taken on, Mosey’s departure will be a huge blow to the Panthers. Over the past two years he has become an integral part of the squad and since converting from defence to the forward lines he has become a genuine top line goal threat. His blistering turn of speed is incredible, the likes of which I haven’t seen in a Panthers shirt since Brent Bobyck way back in the late 1990’s. He will leave very big skates to fill. I have no doubt that some Panthers fans will be annoyed and feel he should have stayed at the club but to those people I ask them this. Would you turn down a similar opportunity? Of course you wouldn’t.
This should also be something that Corey Neilson and the Panthers organisation should be extremely proud of. They have taken a chance on a player and given him a shop window which will now see him have a shot at the NHL. That cannot be underestimated so Neilson and the Panthers deserve a huge amount of credit. It should also give a lot of credibility to the Elite League as well in my opinion.
So I guess the question now is will we see Evan Mosey icing in the NHL some time soon? Who knows, but he’s got a chance, and the Panthers have given him that. We should be very proud.
Of course the bad news didn’t stop there. It was also announced tonight that British forward Matthew Myers will be staying in Wales to be nearer to his family. While this is another huge blow for Panthers it has to be remembered that family will always comes first. I want to wish Matthew all the very best for the future.
You can follow Jono on Twitter @JonoBullard