The North Shore Knights/St. Clair Shores Fighting Saints franchise was one of the all-time worst in the 10-season history of the FPHL.
They combined to win 20 games over two seasons, and were most famous for icing a team that, especially during their second season, was made up of a mix of pros and junior players from the owners’ GMHL teams.
We bring them up because today the Danbury Hat Tricks announced that a pair of games that were scheduled to be played in Battle Creek later this month, are now being moved to Danbury. Moving home games, or just flat selling them off was another fun thing the franchise did, mainly in North Shore, thus why they only played 44 games their final season.
This has led to us in the BLH chat calling Battle Creek, North Shore 2.0, but as one of us quickly pointed out: Yeah, but North Shore/St. Clair Shores had a LOT of talent on those teams.
So we decided to see just how much, and picked a roster of 18 players who all suited up for the franchise, and either went on to bigger, better careers, or had one before.
Just how good is this team? Umm, pretty damn good, and features a number of players that could be called stars in the FPHL and beyond this season. So here is the all-time North Shore/St. Clair Shores roster. Players are presented in the order we found them, and not necessarily in lines or pairings of any sort.
North Shore: 55pts across parts of 2016-17
Since: 84pts in 78 games with Port Huron
NS/SCS: 58pts in 52 games across two seasons
Since: 72 points in 53 games
NS/SCS: 41pts in 36 games
Since: 59pts in 66 games
NS/SCS: 26pts in 27 games across two seasons
Since: 76pts in 109 games
NS/SCS: 1pt in 3 games
Before/After: LONG career before including stops in ECHL, SPHL, UHL, CHL, WHA2
NS/SCS: 27pts in 39 games
Since: 34pts in 49 with Mentor, 8 games in LNAH
NS/SCS: 14pts in 17 games
Since: 94pts in 80 games, +72
NS/SCS: 29pts in 31 games
Since: 70pts in 91 games
SCS/NS: 1pt in 2 games
Since: 30pts in 57 games, 106 PIM
This is a pretty dang good group, with Zulanycz, Contratto, and Panacek all being legit first-line stars on their respective teams since playing for North Shore/St. Clair Shores.
After that we get some really solid players in guys like Kasek, a veteran in Affinati, and good secondary scoring from Kilgore, Colten, Juliano.
We needed a 9th forward for three lines, and Clouston has played D lately, but was listed as a forward for his time with North Shore/St.Clair Shores, so we give him the last forward spot for his versatility.
SCS/NS: 18pts in 24 games
Since: 100 SPHL games, 67 ECHL games, 61 points
SCS/NS: 14pts in 35 games
Since: Traded mid-season, 2018-19 FPHL Defenseman of the Year
SCS/NS: 7pts 178 PIMs in 59 games
Since: 43pts, 300 PIMs in 83 games
SCS/NS: 2pts in 7 games
Since: 14pts in 35 games with Mentor, 48 PIM
SCS/NS: 5pts in 12 games
Since: 21pts in 63 games, 23 PIM
SCS/NS: 5pts in 9 games
Before and After: 35pts in 111 games, before NS had 54pt season, and 70pt season in EPHL
NS/SCS: 3pts in 12 games
Since: 71 pts in 102 games, 2017-18 Defenseman of the Year
Those top three defensemen are amazing. We have a player who is still active in the ECHL, the reigning FPHL Defenseman of the Year, and the guy who might win it this year. And then REALLY solid player sin McKinnon and Powell, then our veteran leader in Henning. We had our doubts coming into this experiment how good the defense might be, turns out it’s REALLY good.
EDIT: We mis-read Colten’s position in researching this, and he himself reached out to us to say he played defense and won the top honor in 2017-18, so he has been moved to defense.
And with Colten now joining the defense, we have seven D and have to figure out which one might slide to 10th forward, which shouldn’t be too much of a problem in the FPHL.
SCS/NS: 5 games, 7.38 GAA, .797 Sv%
Since: 14-1, Approximately 2.00 GAA, .915 Sv%
SCS/NS: 14 games, 2-10, 5.58 GAA, .871 Sc%
Since: 2018-19 Goalie of the Year, sign in Czech League
The reigning goalie of the year in the Fed, and a guy who with some defense in front of him has proven to be a very capable backup goalie in the Fed. Not a bad duo to have at all if this team was real.
I’m not going to lie, this team is REALLY good. As in, if this team took the ice this season, I think they would easily be one of the four best teams in the league. There’s crazy talent up and down the lineup, depth, leaders, good goalies. It has everything you could want in a team.
So what has all of this taught us? That even the worst teams that sell off or move home games, can have a lot of good players, who just happen to be in a bad situation that isn’t really their fault. That certainly seems to be the case in Battle Creek this year, especially in net. And who knows, maybe a couple years from now we can do this same experiment with Battle Creek.