LEWISTON Connor Anthoine’s decision whether to play for the Lewiston Maineiacs or to return to his junior team in Vermont is forthcoming, but the Lewiston Maineiacs aren’t pushing him, and there is no official timetable set for the announcement.

What Maineiacs’ GM Roger Shannon did say Saturday, though, is that, should he decide to continue with a full tryout and forego some or all of his NCAA eligibility, there is likely a spot on the team for him.

“We had a really good conversation with him,” Shannon said. “He’s a really good kid, and he and his family are good people, and what it really comes down to is, it’s their decision, and you can’t ever force a good decision on somebody. That one has to be made on their own.”

Shannon said after the Maineiacs’ preseason game Saturday that, as expected, the biggest talking point has been education. Anthoine has verbally committed to the University of Vermont, though there is no official scholarship offer on the table, per NCAA rules.

“We’re really comfortable that he’s more than good enough to play here,” Shannon said. “Education is a big thing for them. I stressed upon them the significance of how good an education program the Quebec Major Junior League has. As a matter of fact, it’s as good as it gets, and Mr. Just (Maineiacs’ majority owner Mark Just) makes sure that every single one of his players is taken care of.”

Shannon, also the GM of the University of New Brunswick hockey team in Fredericton then quipped, “I’m not going to lie to you, I think, if he doesn’t turn pro, he’d look awfully good in the red and black of UNB.”

Trade winds are blowing

Shannon also confirmed Saturday night that the Maineiacs are on the verge of completing a trade.

“I’m 99.9 percent sure that everything should be all set with it,” Shannon said. “The work’s done and everyone has agreed, but I’m not sure that the league is open on a Saturday night to process it.”

Shannon did confirm that the trade would involve a player arriving in Lewiston, but would not involve a player leaving.

“We’re really hoping the paperwork goes through and we can have him in the lineup (Sunday),” Shannon said.

Impressive start

Andrey Makarov has been on U.S. soil for less than 72 hours, and he’s already making plenty of friends where it matters the most in the locker room.

After a solid intrasquad performance Friday and a no-goals, 16-save outing against Victoriaville off the bench Saturday, Makarov’s teammates are taking notice.

“He’s really good, I’m really impressed,” returning forward Stefan Fournier said. “I can’t talk to him, and tell him that I think he’s good, because he won’t understand me yet … but he seems to be on top of his business.”

Early milestone

The Maineiacs announced during the game Saturday, where the announced attendance was 873, that the team has sold its one-thousandth season ticket package for the season.


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