Dec 18, 2012, 10:00 PM EDT
Reign coach Jason Christie told the San Bernardino and Inland Empire Sun that Setoguchi left the team (and missed practice) for personal reasons. Setoguchi reportedly said he’s open to playing for Ontario again, although it won’t happen for at least 45 days.
The Minnesota Wild winger has been productive for the Reign, scoring four goals and 13 points with a +7 rating in 10 games.
His short-term team was playing well, too. Ontario currently leads the ECHL’s Pacific Division with an 18-6-1 record, including a 7-2-1 mark in the last 10 contests.
Considering that 45-day window and other factors, it wouldn’t be surprising if Setoguchi has played his last game in the ECHL.
Even so, the lockout’s been a solid coup for the ECHL overall. Theo Peckham, Scott Gomez, BJ Crombeen, Kyle Clifford, Ryan O’Byrne, Mike Stuart and Ryan Reaves are among the NHL players who spent at least a portion of time there.
Mike Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune clarifies the suspension…
Setoguchi, who turns 26 New Year’s Day, says it’s as simple as he decided not to play during the holidays and there was no incident that caused a suspension. He says it was announced as a suspension so this way the Reign doesn’t have to pay him but retains his rights in case he decides to come back if the NHL season is canceled.
“It’s not like I got suspended for doing something,” Setoguchi said. “[The coach] wants to keep me on the roster, but this way no one else can pick me up.”
So there you have it.
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