By Mark Simon
Special to NHL.com
January 30, 2004
Those who come to play the Las Vegas Wranglers had better be ready for the glitz and glamour of the city as well. The Wranglers have gotten used to it. Their opponents have not.
Las Vegas opened the season with a 13-0-1 mark on its home ice at Orleans Arena and stands in third place in the Pacific Division with a 24-12-5 mark just past the midpoint of the ECHL season.
The Wranglers are a first-year franchise with a first-year GM/ head coach, former WCHL star Glen Gulutzan, who had spent the previous four seasons as a player and assistant coach with the Fresno Falcons, an affiliate of the Calgary Flames.
Las Vegas had enjoyed pro hockey during a previous stint in the IHL and the game returned with a flourish to the city this season.
“We’ve got a balance of toughness, skill and speed,” said the 32-year-old Gulutzan. “Our defenseman are older. Our younger guys are up front. It seems to be working well for us.”
The Wranglers have a couple players with NHL connections. Their backup goalie, Brent Krahn, was the ninth pick in the 2000 NHL Draft by the Flames. He is 6-5-1 with a 2.73 goals-against average behind No. 1 goalie Marc Magliarditi. On defense, the team is anchored by brothers, Jason and Mike McBain, both of whom played briefly at the top level (Jason played nine games with the Hartford Whalers, while Mike spent 64 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning). Jason signed to be closer to his family, which lives in Las Vegas, and Mike followed suit.