Beyond The Benches

Eventful Week For Rapid City Rush

It’s no secret that the last two weeks have been a hectic time in the Central Hockey League. We have seen a few teams forced to prematurely cut their seasons short resulting in a brand new scheduling and playoff format. All these sudden events have led to a flurry of activity and transaction.

While teams scramble in attempting to add the best available players to their roster, there is one team in particular capturing the headlines over the last week. The Rapid City Rush have spent the majority of their offseason focusing on re-signing several players from last year’s roster. However, once it was announced that the Denver Cutthroats and Arizona Sundogs would not be returning, it took Rapid City no time to join the fray in scooping up the talent suddenly made available.

On Thursday, Rapid City announced the signing of three players formerly of the now defunct Denver Cutthroats franchise in forwards Daniel Barczuk and J.P. Chabot, as well as defenseman Steve Kaunisto. All of these players served important roles on a Denver franchise that reached the Presidents’ Cup finals last year. The Rush didn’t stop there as they were able to sign former Arizona Sundogs forward Johan Ryd.

Aside from acquiring some new talent to bolster their roster, the Rapid City Rush also found a way to bring a familiar face back to their franchise. Earlier in the week, the Rush announced the return of former assistant coach and former player Mark DeSantis. When the Rush joined the Central Hockey league, DeSantis served as their inaugural captain before retiring and becoming a part of the coaching staff for the following three seasons before seeking head coaching positions.

Rapid City is looking for another President’s Cup and the moves made over the past week could be ones that push them over the top in seeking glory.


Staff writer: Michael Memmolo is a passionate hockey fan who loves to share thoughts & opinions regarding everything having to do with the sport; especially when it has to do with the Boston Bruins. Mike lives in Chelsea, Massachusetts, with his fiance Julie and their dog Graham.  He can be reached on Twitter @btownpucks.

(Photo Credit: Rapid City Rush via Twitter)