Yes, even more bizarre than the Kyle Okposo saga...
Seems as if Denver forward Brock Trotter has up and disappeared. He's gone. Vanished. No one will say where he is.
(NOTE: I'm not stupid enough to think that people literally don't know where he is. But no one is telling us. It's as if he no longer exists, even though he's on Denver's roster as of this writing.)
Updated reporting here and here.
This is strange for a few reasons...
1. If Trotter quit the team over playing time, why? He was on the power play, and he was getting regular ice time on DU's top line.
2. Did Trotter decide that Division I hockey wasn't good for his development? Rumors are out there that he's trying to hook on in the WHL with the team in Kelowna. This brings to mind the Canadian juniors/American college debate, which is something I'll probably cover in detail some day that is not today. Plus, I'm biased toward college hockey, so it's unfair for me to rip the Canadian system.
But did I miss something? Wasn't Trotter getting better at Denver? There are plenty of hot prospects who have flamed out trying to play college hockey, but I'd never name Brock Trotter as one of them. He looked like he belonged in the game, and he has stepped up this year to become DU's leading scorer. Why leave?
3. No one knows where the hell he is. As I said earlier, if they do know, they're not saying.
Speculation on a case like this can range all the way from "he flunked out of school" to "he got in legal trouble" to "he got sick of college" to "he got sick of his coaches" to "Garth Snow started talking to him". At this point, it would be impossible to eliminate any of those from consideration.
It's simply bizarre. When Okposo left Minnesota, it was an odd story that caused a lot of debate in the hockey world. But at no point did anyone not know what was going on. There are enough questions in this story to fill up a presidential debate.
Good luck to Brock, whatever he's going to do. And good luck to Denver. Without Trotter around, there's a chance that they'll need some luck (especially if Mannino keeps playing as up-and-down as he's been).
UPDATE @ 8:30pm CT...Trotter has signed a contract with the NHL's Montreal Canadiens, and he will play for their AHL affiliate in Hamilton, Ontario. Methinks Trotter ran into a problem with Denver, and he was facing some sort of disciplinary action. Pure speculation on my part, but I find it hard to believe that a free agent would just up and leave for the pros on his own accord. No matter what, this is further evidence that the system needs to be fixed. The NHL shouldn't be allowed to raid the college game in the middle of the season. Good luck, kid. And good luck, Denver. Yes, I know I already said that. Merits repeating.