locker room

May 26, 2011 |

By Amber Williams


Bucs say good bye to star forward


Dan DeSalvo leaves team, new recruits emerge


The Des Moines Buccaneers are sending another one of its greats off to bigger ice. Star forward Dan DeSalvo, who came to Des Moines from Rolling Meadows, Ill. and led the team with 42 points and finished tied for the lead in assists with a total of 28, recently accepted an offer with Bowling Green University (BGU) for the 2011-12 season.

" He was a good two-way center man. He led our team in scoring, so his offense was relied on heavily for our team. We used him in all situations," said Buccaneers coach Regg Simon. "Dan got a late offer and he felt it was a good opportunity for him. We wish him the best of luck."

BGU has been a popular choice among Buccaneers in the last three seasons. DeSalvo is the third Buc to ascend to BGU and the 14th member of last season's team to commit to a Division I program. The school has also recruited Connor Kucera, Dajon Mingo, Mike Fink and Andrew Krelove. The Falcons are members of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. They went 10-27-4 last season.

" DeSalvo's talent could have taken him to a top 10 or 15 program if he'd waited and stayed one more year in Des Moines," Simon said. "Instead he chose to go to one of the bottom tier teams in college hockey. It's a pretty down program right now," he said of the BGU Falcons. "He's a good get for them."

Either way, it's a good opportunity and DeSalvo's move is the nature of the sport, Simon said. At the arena level, players leave as quickly as they arrive, all eyeing that coveted professional career with the National Hockey League.

" Usually a player only stays for one to two years, then other guys step up replace him," Simon said. "There are always hungry guys coming up who want to fill that void for you."

In this case, that guy is Canadian Drake Caggiula, a 17-year-old "highly skilled center," who has potential to outshine DeSalvo's record, according to Simon. Caggiula was one of 16 new recruits drafted last week on May 16.

" We'll see," Simon said. "He's coming to trial camp. He's got top end skill. He might have been the most gifted offensive player taken in the draft."

Although there's no guarantee all 16 new recruits will make the club, Simon has high hopes for Caggiula to emerge as a new scoring leader for the team in the next season. The bulk of next season's team will be comprised of returning players, Simon said, but a few draftees will likely make the lineup as well.

It's sure to get sorted out at trial camp June 16-19, and Simon said he'll be looking to his fans for constructive feedback.
" It's a good chance for our fans to see the returning guys and the guys we just drafted," Simon said. "Our fans are very knowledgeable, and they usually have a pretty good eye. It's always fun to hear from them which guys they like and which guys they don't."


Locker Room note:


Former Iowa Barnstormer quarterback, and NFL MVP, Kurt Warner, is returning to Des Moines Friday May 27 to broadcast the Barnstormers' home game against the Utah Blaze to a nationwide audience on the NFL Network. He will give Color Commentary along with former Iowa Hawkeye Paul Burmeister, who will provide the play-by-play. Kick-off is set for 7:05 p.m. at Wellmark Field at Wells Fargo Arena. The game is key for both teams as they try to re-establish themselves as playoff contenders. CV


Caption: Dan DeSalvo led the Buccaneers with 42 points and 28 assists in the 2010-11 season.