Sadly, this is the last regular season blog of 2017-18. By this time next week, lockers will be cleaned out, boxes will be packed, and we’ll officially be in the offseason.

You may enjoy golf and having weekends to yourself, and that’s fine, but as I’ll remind you (while I do enjoy golf and weekends), it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want. And the season is much better than golf.

Now for the blog…

Last night was a potential glimpse into the future of the Condors. I thought the line of Gust-Marody-Vesel was dynamic, created energy, and most importantly, made smart skilled plays. That said, only Marody has a contract for next season as Vesel has not been signed and Gust is on a one-year AHL deal.

To make a case for the two without contracts currently, Vesel has goals in two straight and probably should have 4-5 goals in nine games based off the opportunities he has generated. Gust has 12 goals as a rookie and in my opinion, would take a step forward next year.

On Marody, it’s one game, but he was definitely impactful. He just got done leading Michigan to the national semi-finals, signs a contract, and then comes to Bakersfield to meet everyone and play. I’ll be interested to see how he follows that up tonight and Saturday. Hopefully, the game we saw last night is something he can be consistent with nightly.

There were 12 rookies in the lineup last night and it looks like that will be the case again tonight in San Jose (7 p.m. Fox Sports 970). Eight players have scored their first professional goals this season for the Condors and two rookies are in double digits in goals (Gust, Gambardella).

Ty Rattie was in town to pack his stuff up and head out for the offseason. He had some bumps and bruises from the end of the Oilers season, which is the reason he’s not playing this week. We’ll have video with him next week during exit interview week, but he expressed his interest in coming back to the Oilers organization and Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli echoed the same sentiments during his press conference yesterday.

Saturday’s season finale will be great. Not only are we giving away a car, hundreds of jerseys, merchandise, food, etc. but four-time Stanley Cup Champion and Hockey Hall of Fame member Paul Coffey will meet with fans. Condors365 Members get in at 5:30 p.m. to meet him exclusively from 5:30 – 6 p.m. and then from 6:15 – 6:45 p.m. I’ll host a “Coffey Talk” with the legendary d-man for the general public. Looking forward to it.

Many have asked about which players are under contract for next season, who is a free agent, who may be back etc. I’ll have more on contract statuses in next week’s “exit interview” blog.

Filled out my Stanley Cup Playoffs bracket this week. I’ll reveal the AHL one next week. In the NHL, I like Washington over Winnipeg. The Caps always have pressure on them, because they have the greatest goal-scorer of my generation and haven’t won. That said, even though they won their division this year, it feels like they’re being looked over.

Finally, I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said, but I can’t imagine what the families and friends of those involved in the Humboldt bus crash are going through. It’s not a “hockey world” thing. It’s a human being thing. It’s a tragedy and makes you appreciate every day you have on this place.

Until next time Condorstown…

Ryan Holt completes his 7th season in Condorstown this week. There is no chance Washington wins it all this year now. Follow him on Twitter @CondorsHolty for more nonsense or shoot him an e-mail to RHolt@BakersfieldCondors.com with questions, comments, or blog ideas.