I admit that I didn’t pay too much attention when the Manitoba Moose signed Marco Rosa back in July. Naturally, I’m a bit more curious now that I see his name on the Canucks’ training camp roster. In reading up on him, a couple of things stuck out: one, that he played some of his best hockey in the postseason; two, that he’s a good locker room guy.
Rosa was originally an 8th round draft pick in 2001 by the Dallas Stars. He played his entire NCAA hockey career for Merrimack College before bouncing around the ECHL and AHL. He played for the Houston Aeros, the Minnesota Wild’s minor-league affiliate, the last two seasons.
Rosa was especially prominent in last season’s Calder Cup semifinal series against the Moose. From the Winnipeg Free Press:
Houston Aeros centre Marco Rosa earned plenty of respect from the Manitoba Moose during their six-game AHL playoff series in May.
Now the 27-year-old centre from Scarborough, Ont., has earned a contract from the Moose.
Moose GM Craig Heisinger said Tuesday he’s signed Rosa, a free agent, to an AHL deal for the coming season.
“We’d always had him on our radar screen and identified him while he was playing in the ECHL,” Heisinger said Tuesday.
“In fact, he was a guy we didn’t get earlier because we had recommended him to someone else for the short term.
“But I’d by lying to you if I told you the playoff series this spring didn’t enhance our opinion of him. I thought he was Houston’s best player in the series.”
Rosa, who had 40 points for the Aeros in 69 regular-season games, had 10 more points in 20 playoff games. It was his first full-time season in the AHL.
Houston Aeros fans share this same sentiment and were quite upset when he left. From The 3rd Intermission:
I’d like to wish Marco luck with the Moose, except when he plays against the Aeros. He was always an easy guy for us to deal with in the locker room after games, and he seemed to be well-liked by his teammates. He also, it seemed to me, to be a good Constantine-type player in that he wasn’t the most gifted of players, but he always gave the maximum effort and did everything possible to make himself, and his teammates better.
This almost reminds me of a certain late-blooming, ball hockey-playing, ECHL grad, current Canuck.