New Look Cyclones Begin
Kelly Cup Title Defense

By Brian Compton
NHL.com Staff Writer

Four months after winning their first Kelly Cup championship, the Cincinnati Cyclones are back to work.

Because of all the success the Cyclones enjoyed under coach Chuck Weber in 2007-08, only 7 players are returning in the quest for a repeat. David Desharnais, the league’s Most Valuable Player last season, has earned a well-deserved promotion to the American Hockey League.

Clearly, the Cyclones have their work cut out for them if they plan on even coming close to the 71 wins they recorded last campaign between the regular season and the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Cincinnati will play the first two games of its season on the road, beginning tonight in Wheeling.

“It’s coming along,” Weber told NHL.com. “It’s definitely a work in progress. We’re excited to finally get going here. It was nice to have the short summer, but we’re looking forward to getting going on the road in Wheeling.”

It certainly will be an opportunity for Weber to gauge what he has this time around. With several key players from last season’s championship squad out of the picture, Weber will find out if his new, young players will be as hungry as the ones he had in 2007-08. He’ll also find out if it’s even possible to replace the 106 points Desharnais put up last season.

“I don’t think there’s going to be one person that can pick up that offense,” Weber said. “I think you’ve got to spread that out amongst your group. I think we have some pretty talented forwards. It’s going to come down to all of them meshing together for us to have similar success. It’s going to be tough to repeat 71 wins like we did last year, between the regular season and the playoffs. But we’re looking forward to getting off to a good start.”

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