The 2014-2015 season has been lost when really, it should have been won.
But there is 2015-2016 to look forward to and the Soo Greyhounds do have plenty of potential in place.
The team that should be playing for the 2014-2015 Ontario Hockey League championship is instead planning ahead for 2015-2016 after being upset in the Western Conference finals by the Erie Otters.
Yes, those Erie Otters, damn them.
To be sure, the Hounds can be good again in 2015-2016 despite having lost defencemen Anthony DeAngelo, Darnell Nurse and Connor Boland and forwards Sergey Tolchinsky, Bryan Moore, Jean Dupuy, Nick Ritchie and Justin Bailey to graduation.
That’s because the Hounds can return talent aplenty in 2015-2016 — talent aplenty that does not even include four potential overagers in forwards Michael Bunting and Gabe Guertler and defencemen Tyler Hore and Tyler Ganly.
As for the returnees, the veteran cast includes centres Jared McCann and Hayden Verbeek, wingers Blake Speers, Zach Senyshyn, Tim Gettinger and Keigan Goetz, defenceman Colton White, Gustav Bouramman and Medric Mercier and goalies Brandon Halverson and Joseph Raaymakers.
Not a bad lot.
Not bad at all.
Now, about Halverson.
Okay, maybe he did not play his best in the playoff stunner to Erie but he was not the reason the Hounds lost to the Otters.
Looking at the six-game series and what was seen in person at the Essar Centre and via television in Erie, the Otters won because they out-chanced the Soo and when the outcome was on the line, they out-skated and out-performed the Hounds.
At any rate, that was then, it’s off-season now — and 2015-2016 lies ahead.
And it’s a 2015-2016 season that holds promise of more good to come for the Hounds.