- On Wednesday, the Washington Galaxy activated LW Charlie Brooks from the disabled list. Brooks missed the last two and a half weeks with a lower-body injury. Due to his absence, Brooks missed last Friday’s game against Dakota, which recently acquired his younger brother Tanner. It would have been the first time the brothers faced each other in a professional game. To make room for Brooks on the roster, Washington demoted F Roman Bandikoff to their CHL affiliate in Baltimore. With the rebuilding Galaxy looking to provide playing time for their young players, the 36-year-old Bandikoff (5 assists and -3 rating in 24 games) was deemed expendable.
- On Saturday, the Hamilton Pistols sent down D Russ Klemmer to their CHL affiliate in Oshawa, and promoted RW Michael Jennings from Oshawa. The Pistols found themselves down a forward when RW Claude Lafayette suffered a lower-body injury on Thursday. Although Lafayette is not expected to miss much time, but the injury left Hamilton without a spare forward and forced C Henry Constantine to play out of position on the wing. Jennings was with the Pistols at the beginning of the season, but was sent down at the trade deadline. He put up 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists) in 21 games for Hamilton.
- Also on Saturday, the Kansas City Smoke demoted C Owen Griffin to their farm team in Omaha, and called up C Edz Zalmanis from Omaha. This transaction reverses a move made just after the All-Star break. In 13 games with the Smoke, the 22-year-old Griffin recorded one assist while putting up a -11 rating. Zalmanis, meanwhile, lit up the minors, notching 16 points (4 goals, 12 assists) in 15 games.
- Also on Saturday, the Galaxy demoted D Murphy “Mutt” Metheny to their affiliate in Baltimore, and promoted D Ambroz Melicar from Baltimore. As Washington continues to offer more opportunities to their young players, the 23-year-old Melicar was an obvious candidate for a call-up. He was one of the top-scoring defensemen in the CHL, with 42 points (11 goals, 31 assists) in 47 games. The 29-year-old Metheny, the only SHL player to hail from Arkansas, appeared in only 9 games with DC, failing to record a point.
This week’s interview is with Seattle Sailors D Murphy “Mutt” Metheny.
SHL Digest: We’re here today with one of the SHL’s more colorful characters, Murphy “Mutt” Metheny. Thanks for speaking to us today, Murphy.
Murphy “Mutt” Metheny: Nobody’s called me “Murphy” since I was in diapers. Call me Mutt.
SHLD: Okay, Mutt. Where did you pick up that nickname?
MMM: Well, my mama says it’s because when I wanted something, I was like a dog with a bone, and I wouldn’t stop ’til I got it. My daddy says it’s ’cause I was a real ugly baby. They’re probably both right.
SHLD: Where are you from, Mutt?
MMM: I’m from Pickle Thicket, Arkansas.
SHLD: Pickle Thicket?
MMM: Yessir. When I say that, everybody thinks I made it up. But it’s a real place. About a half hour from Little Rock. Not that you’d find it on a map; it’s a little flyspeck of a place.
SHLD: Pretty small, huh?
MMM: There were about 300 people there when I was a kid, and it’s probably gone downhill since then. There’s one stoplight, one gas station, three churches, and a half-dozen bars. If you aren’t a drinking man, you can go down to the creek and watch the moss grow. That’s about all there is for entertainment.
SHLD: You’re the only professional hockdey player ever to come out of Arkansas.
MMM: That’s right, but it’s also kind of a cheat. We moved to Minnesota when I was about six.
SHLD: That must have been a culture shock.
MMM: More for them than for me. Those Minnesotans didn’t know what to make of a big ol’ goofy kid who sounded like Forrest Gump. But eventually I found out about hockey. They made me a defenseman, probably ’cause they figured I was already dumb and ugly enough that a few concussions and missing teeth wouldn’t hurt me none.
SHLD: We’ve heard that you’re a collector. What do you collect?
MMM: Keychains. I’ve got over 10,000 of ’em.
SHLD: Wow! How did you get started collecting those?
MMM: Well, my daddy was a long-haul trucker, and he’d be away from home for weeks at a time. But every time he’d come home, he’d bring me keychains from all the places he’d been through. When I grew up, I picked up the same habit. Every time I’d pass through a new town, I’d get me a keychain or two.
SHLD: And from there, you built up to thousands?
MMM: Well, once word got around that I was a collector, people started sending ’em to me from all over. I’ve got keychains from every state, every Canadian province, and a bunch of foreign places too.
SHLD: Do you have them displayed at home?
MMM: I had to. My wife got sick of me filling up the garage with tubs and tubs of the things, so she told me I needed to do something with ’em or they were going straight in the trash next time I went on the road. So I had a friend who’s a woodcarver make me a big wooden map of the USA, and I stuck the keychains from each state up on the map.
SHLD: That sounds cool! Does your wife like it?
MMM: I dunno, I think she might wish I’d just left ’em in the tubs.
SHLD: Do you have a favorite keychain?
MMM: Yup. It’s a purple one from Miami, and it’s got a palm tree and a marlin and a sunset on it. My daddy brought it back from a long haul he took in the dead of winter. After that, every time I got cabin fever from the cold in Minnesota and I missed my daddy, I’d take that one out and imagine being out there on the beach with him. It kept me from going crazy, or crazier than I already was.
SHLD: So, your Sailors have had a tough run after a surprisingly good start. Do you think you can get it turned around?
MMM: Probably not. I mean, we suck, so I figure we’ll probably keep sucking.
SHLD: Fair enough. Thanks for one of the more interesting interviews we’ve ever had.
MMM: The pleasure’s mine. Send me more keychains!