Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Santorelli Watch

Northern Michigan junior forward Mike Santorelli finished tied for second in the nation in goals scored with North Dakota's Ryan Duncan. Ted Cook of Niagara was the goal scoring champion at 32 goals and the trio were the only to surpass the 30 goal mark this season.

Santorelli has yet to sign with the Nashville Predators or its AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals. A source who will remain nameless reported that Santorelli turned down the first offer from the organization.

Santorelli was unable to comment on the situation last week when I spoke with him concerning his future as a pro but he would talk about the possibility of returning and the advantage of staying in college.

“The season just finished on Saturday night so I don’t know where things are going yet. I can’t really comment on that,” Santorelli said about going pro. “College is a great place and it is another year to mature as a player to get bigger, stronger and quicker.”

Yay for insight! NMU head coach Walt Kyle had a little more to say and while during the season, he has been pretty open about Santorelli leaving, he did say last week that he believes Santorelli could return.

And if Santorelli does, the young, new-look Cats will survive through next season.

“When you recruit Mike four years ago, you recruited him to be here four years," Kyle said. "All our planning has been based on Mike being here four years. Mike is a scorer and we knew he’d be a scorer. If Mike is back, I think everything will be fine. We will be in real good shape if Mike is back.”

“Losing Santos will be a tough thing if we do but the truth is we’re here to bring these guys opportunities. It doesn’t always happen on our time frame.”

If and when a deal does get struck and Santorelli makes the jump, look for it to happen in June. Like Nathan Oystrick's deal with the Atlanta Thrashers, these type of deals take time.

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