In the first of a home and home series, Taffe drilled Aeros goalie Josh Harding and knocked him out of action until later in the year.
I remember asking Harding a few weeks after it happened if he was going to have a hard time playing the Grizzlies with Taffe on the ice, and to my surprise he actually kind of said yes.
I know Taffe got a lot of crap on the then-popular Instigator Alley message board for "running" the Aeros young and up and coming goalie at the time. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't … but one thing is for sure: Taffe is a good AHL player.
He's tortured the Aeros as a member of the Grizzles, the Rampage, the WBS Penguins and the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Earlier this summer, Taffe signed a two year, two-way deal worth $1 million ($500,000 per year) with the Florida Panthers. I think that means that his AHL days will be spent in Rochester.
But he was almost a member of the Wild organization. During a sit down chat I had with Jim Mill earlier this summer, I was told that Taffe was one of the guys he wanted to help build depth. Taffe played for Fletch and he would be good in this system. But he did not sign with the Wild because they were not willing to convert the contract to a one-day deal in Year 2. I think the Wild are smart for not signing him for that reason, but he would have been great for the Aeros power play.
Other pre camp notables –
The Aeros are inviting Jimmy Kilpatrick back to camp. He is the infamous "ghost Aero" from last year. He got called up on a road trip, got hurt and then was on the roster for about three more weeks without every playing a game at Toyota Center. I think this story is still amusing to Royal John to this day … Other players he said would be invited to camp are Ryan Gunderson, Matt Fornataro and goaltender Brett Jaeger … Kilpatrick Gunderson and Jaeger all put up very decent numbers in AA hockey (ECHL/CHL last year). Fornataro, however, put up very good numbers (10 goals, 15 assists in 51 games) with the Worcester Sharks. I would expect him to make the team or be among the very first to be called up when the Aeros need bodies.