There's been a lot of talk concerning which goalies would be made available for the future Las Vegas NHL team to choose from at next June's expansion draft, and although I have been one of those who spent a lot of ink and saliva on the subject - even going so far as to email the team to suggest GMs, coaches and perhaps myself as goalie scout - today I want to look forward to the next expansion... to Seattle.
They have yet to build an arena and no owner wants to take on a team, despite interest from nearby Portland and their own billionaire Paul Allen. But it got me thinking about Doug Bonner, a native of Tacoma, Washington who played his junior hockey just over a half an hour North, for the WHL Seattle Thunderbirds.
He was drafted in the sixth round (139th overall) in 1995 by the Toronto Maple Leafs, and spent five seasons in their organization, splitting his time at first between the ECHL and AHL, but mostly the former, and entirely so for the final two, with the now-defunct New Orleans Brass.
In 2000-01, he attempted to rise through the ranks of pro hockey by signing a free agent contract with the UHL's Missouri River Otters, but despite similar numbers, only appeared in 18 games to Benoit Thibert's 46.
He does appear in the ECHL's record books, albeit for a reason that has little to do with his skills: at one point, he had made the third-fewest saves in a playoff game in league history.
Here he is wearing the Thunderbirds' white (home) uniform, albeit with the front logo airbrushed out for copyright reasons, from Signature Rookies' 1995-96 Draft Day set (card #5 in the series, numbered 927/4500, signed on-card in blue sharpie):