Oct. 9, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Junior forward Greg Wolfe (Canton, Mich.) has been named the captain of the Michigan State hockey team, with seniors Anthony Hayes (Canton Mich.), Matt Grassi (Burnaby, British Columbia) and Chris Forfar (Darien, Ill.) serving as alternate captains. Head Coach Tom Anastos made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon, prior to the team's practice.
"For any successful team, leadership is a critical component of success. Given that we have experienced such a significant turnover in the composition of our team from last season, we felt it was really important to allow our newcomers time to provide meaningful input, as well as our veterans. Their insight helps identify what players compose the core leadership group of this team," said Anastos. "We have completed a very deliberate process, including receiving extensive feedback from our players. We feel that our captains have the leadership qualities and represent the key criteria we believe is required to be a captain in our program."
Wolfe, a 5-10 winger, has a 13-24-37 scoring line over his first two seasons (69 games) at Michigan State. He scored 26 points and was fourth on the team in scoring as a sophomore in 2011-12, and put up 11 points his freshman season. A hard-working skater who leads by example, Wolfe has played in all situations for MSU, and played on a line with classmate Lee Reimer and Kevin Walrod in Monday night's exhibition game.
"Greg Wolfe represents all of the things that are important to Spartan Hockey," said Anastos. "It includes his commitment to academics, his community involvement, his ability to effectively relate to all of his teammates and his ability to inspire them. He's not an overly vocal leader, but when he talks, his teammates listen."
Hayes, a centerman, was an alternate captain as a junior and will serve in the same role as a senior. He and fellow alternate captain Chris Forfar skated on a grinding, physical line with Trevor Nill last season, and were linemates again in the exhibition game Monday, skating on the wings and centered by sophomore Brent Darnell.
Hayes, who had 11 points in his first two varsity seasons combined, had 11 points as a junior. He exhibited some offensive skill in Monday's exhibition game, scoring the fifth Spartan goal in a 6-1 victory over Windsor. Forfar brings 14 goals and 13 assists (27 career points, in 114 games played) into his final season. Both he and Hayes are strong physical players with an ability to contribute on the scoresheet.
Grassi, the lone defenseman, is a stay-at-home blueliner. He missed the second half of last season after suffering a concussion in the January series against Miami. He has appeared in 80 career games, and has two goals and 16 points. He is a career +8, with 79 penalty minutes.
"Anthony Hayes, Chris Forfar and Matt Grassi have all emerged as go-to leaders on this team," added the head coach. "They are among are hardest workers on our team, are seniors, have a wealth of experience and are very respected by their teammates."
The Spartans open the season this weekend at No. 1 Minnesota. Both games will air on Fox Sports North.