CHL Update: Baltimore’s Tedesco Snaps After Loss, Prompting Drunken Escapade

The second half of the 2020 season hasn’t been kind to the Baltimore Blue Crabs.  Coming out of the All-Star break, Baltimore surged into a first-place tie in the highly competitive East.  Since then, though, the Crabs have slumped, losing 12 of their last 15 games.  The Crabs have fallen all the way to fifth place, and that fact seems to be wearing on everyone in the locker room.

Roland Tedesco

This week, coach Roland Tedesco seemed to buckle under the pressure, leading to a bizarre meltdown in the Inner Harbor in which he was charged with public intoxication.

On Wednesday, the Blue Crabs lost 6-3 against the Oshawa Drive.  It was a particularly back-breaking loss, as Oshawa scored four goals in the third period.  During his postgame press conference, Tedesco – who is typically fairly courteous with reporters – was curt and dismissive with his answers.  After about five minutes, the coach snapped, “I’m done talking, okay?” and bolted from the podium.  A few minutes later, he disappeared from the stadium.  Team officials looked around for Tedesco, but couldn’t find him.

Later that evening, the coach was spotted drinking at Pickles Pub, located a few blocks away from the Crabs’ home arena.  Tedesco reportedly sat at one end of the bar, drinking steadily and not talking to anyone.  One witness described Tedesco as “drinking with a purpose.”

Pickles Pub closed at 2 AM, and about 20 minutes later, Tedesco was spotted in the Inner Harbor, walking erratically and slurring his speech.  He was stopped by a police officer, who asked if he had been drinking.

“Have I been drinking?!  Of course I’ve been drinking!” barked Tedesco.  “You can’t coach this team and stay sober.  I’ve got a team that’s falling apart, playing in an arena that’s falling apart in a city that’s falling apart.  Seriously, it’s amazing I’ve held it together this long.  Next season, it’s heroin!”

The officer attempted to take Tedesco into custody, but the coach evaded capture, ran away, and dove into the harbor.  “Maybe I’ll get lucky and drown!” Tedesco shouted, before laughing maniacally.

The officer radioed for backup, and Tedesco was retrieved from the water and held over night on charges of public intoxication.  He was released the next morning on his own recognizance.

The next day, Tedesco apologized for his actions.  “This was real next-level moron behavior on my part,” the coach said.  “Yeah, I got frustrated with that game, and something just snapped inside of me after that.  I went down the street to have a couple, try to blow off steam.  But I just kept going.  If I’d just called an Uber and gone home, it would have been fine.  But instead, this happened.  There obviously wasn’t a lot of strategic thinking going on there.”

The coach traveled with the team to – ironically enough – Oshawa on Saturday, where they lost 2-1 in overtime.

Asked if he stood by the comments he made during the incident, Tedesco replied, “Hell no!  I don’t stand by anything I say when I’m in the bag.  If I did, I’d have gotten in a lot more fistfights, and I’d probably have been married a couple more times.”

Asked about the incident, Blue Crabs RW Sidney Archer said, “Hey, it’s not my business.  But it’s going to be interesting the next time he tries to fine a guy for staying out after curfew.”

CHL Update: Baltimore’s Humphrey Gives Opponent a Hand

Dean Humphrey’s SHL career has been a strange one, to say the least.  The blueliner’s excellent speed and decent passing ability made him a fringe prospect for a time, but his defensive struggles, awkward skating style, and unfortunate knack for bonehead mistakes kept him from seizing a starting job (although it did make him a folk hero in Seattle for a while).

Dean Humphrey

This season, Humphrey couldn’t find a major-league job at all; he wound up signing a minor-league pact with the Washington Galaxy and has spent the season playing for their CHL affiliate, the Baltimore Blue Crabs.  There, the 25-year-old defenseman has continued his typical career trajectory: flashes of promise marred by frustrating errors, a handful of assists, and no goals.

This week, Humphrey scored his first goal of the season; in fact, it’s the first goal of his entire SHL tenure.  Normally, this would be a cause for celebration.  But because this is Humphrey, this was nothing to cheer about.  The reason is that his tally occurred when he inadvertently flung the puck into his own net.

“It’s never easy to guess what you’re going to get with Dean,” said Blue Crabs coach Roland Tedesco.  “But this… this was something else again.”

The incident occurred early in the third period of Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Hogs.  In real time, it unfolded so quickly that it was hard to tell what had happened.  One moment, Humphrey and Hogs D Seth Dowd were chasing after a loose puck in the corner; the next moment, it was behind Crabs goalie Gennady Kulbakin in the net.

It was only after viewing it in slow-motion that the disaster became clear.  Dowd got to the puck first and flipped it toward the crease, only for it to get stuck in Humphrey’s glove.  Humphrey tried to fling the puck away, but it managed to find daylight between the goalie and the crossbar.  Since Dowd was the last Milwaukee player to touch the puck, he received credit for the goal.

“I know closing your hand around the puck is a penalty, so once I felt it in my hand I knew I had to get rid of it,” said Humphrey.  “I just wanted to throw it down in the other corner or flip it to [Kulbakin] so he could cover it, but it just… wound up in the net.”

As the clip replayed on the Jumbotron, the Crabs sarcastically saluted their teammate by thumping their sticks against the boards, while Humphrey tried to hide his face behind a towel.  “The guys already make fun of me a lot,” he admitted.  “And this isn’t really going to help with that.”

Given that Baltimore won the game 6-2 despite the friendly-fire goal, the Crabs’ general postgame reaction was bemusement.  “I’ve seen own goals before, sure,” said C Tucker Barnhill.  “Usually it’s because you’re defending and it takes a bad bounce off your stick, or deflects off your skate blade.  Throwing it into the next, that’s… something you don’t usually see.”

“I was kind of impressed with Humps’ aim there,” said D Stan Shakovich.  “Normally his shots are way off the mark, but this time he throws it and in it goes.  Maybe he should use his hands more often.”

Tedesco’s initially had a hard time seeing the humor in the situation.  “An incredibly dumb move by a dumb player,” the coach fumed in his post-game press conference.  “Humphrey’s got talent, but he’s throwing it away because he doesn’t have two brain cells to rub together.  If I have to watch that again, I’m going to puke.”

The next day, though, he had calmed down a bit.  “Slow-mo makes it look worse than it was, almost like he did it on purpose,” Tedesco said of the play.  “It was a split-second mistake, and that could happen to anybody.  Somehow, though, it feels like it could only happen to Humphrey.  He’s one of a kind, he really is.”