CRAWFORD: WOLF PACK SIGN DEFENSEMAN SPIRO GOULAKOS

zi9pczimknh0qb5hWOLF PACK SIGN DEFENSEMAN SPIRO GOULAKOS

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Split Last Season between Rochester and ECHL Elmira 

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, September 30, 2016:  Hartford Wolf Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld announced today that the Wolf Pack has signed defenseman Spiro Goulakos to an AHL contract.

Goulakos, 26, split his rookie season last year between the Rochester Americans of the AHL and the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals.  In ten games with the Americans, the 6-2, 185-pounder had one goal and one assist for two points, four penalty minutes and a +2.  In ECHL action, Goulakos led Jackal defensemen, and finished fourth overall on the team, in assists and was second among team blueliners in points, with seven goals and 24 assists for 31 points in 54 games.  He also logged 103 penalty minutes, and his +12 rating was good for tops among team defensemen and third overall on the squad.

Prior to turning pro, the Montreal, Quebec-born Goulakos played four seasons at Colgate University (ECAC), amassing career totals of 22 goals and 49 assists for 71 points, plus 176 PIM.

captureThe Wolf Pack’s twentieth-anniversary 2016-17 season begins Friday, October 14 at the XL Center with the Wolf Pack’s home opener, a 7:15 PM contest vs. the St. John’s IceCaps.  Tickets for that game and all Wolf Pack 2016-17 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.

Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2016-17 AHL season can be found on-line at hartfordwolfpack.com.  To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.

RANGERS ASSIGN BRANDON HALVERSON AND JEFF MALCOLM TO HARTFORD

rp_new-york-r_thumb.gifNYR ASSIGN BRANDON HALVERSON & JEFF MALCOLM TO HFD

48 Players Remain in Training Camp

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, September 30, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has assigned Brandon Halverson and Jeff Malcolm to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL).

The Rangers have 48 players remaining in Training Camp. The roster breakdown is listed below:

Forwards (28): Chris Brown, Pavel Buchnevich, Jesper Fast, Steven Fogarty, Gabriel Fontaine, Nathan Gerbe, Tanner Glass, Michael Grabner, Ryan Gropp, Kevin Hayes, Marek Hrivik, Nicklas Jensen, Josh Jooris, Robin Kovacs, Chris Kreider, Maxim Lapierre, Oscar Lindberg, Philip McRae, J.T. Miller, Rick Nash, Cristoval Nieves, Brandon Pirri, Derek Stepan, Malte Stromwall, Adam Tambellini, Jimmy Vesey, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello

Defensemen (16): Calle Andersson, Mat Bodie, Adam Clendening, Sean Day, John Gilmour, Dan Girardi, Ryan Graves, Nick Holden, Tommy Hughes, Kevin Klein, Ryan McDonagh, Dylan McIlrath, Michael Paliotta, Brady Skjei, Marc Staal, Chris Summers

Goaltenders (4): Magnus Hellberg, Henrik Lundqvist, Antti Raanta, Mackenzie Skapski

CANTLON CORNER: PACK TRAINING CAMP OPENS

gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

Hartford, CT The New York Rangers have dispatched the first group of youngers all hopeful of playing for the  2016-17 Hartford Wolf Pack. The players arrived in the Connecticut capitol for the opening of training camp on Saturday at the XL Center.

Among the players sent to Hartford are Adam Chapie, Troy Donnay, Michael Joly, Ahti Oksanen Matt Carey, Spiro Goulakos, Reid Duke and Garrett Noonan.

Donnay is a second-year pro. He spent the 2015-16 season in the ECHL with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Donnay only played in the season finale in Hartford last season.

Carey (Quad City-ECHL/Iowa-AHL), Joly (Rimouski/Cape Breton-QMJHL) and Oksanen (Boston University-HE) were each off-season free agent signings to AHL contracts.

Goulakos (Elmira-ECHL/Rochester-AHL), Noonan (Cincinnati-ECHL/Milwaukee-AHL) and Duke (Brandon-WHL) are training camp invites and have been released as a procedural move from Professional Try-Outs (PTO) deals.

Chapie (UMASS-Lowell HE) was in Hartford at the end of last season but didn’t have the opportunity to play due to a foot injury.

Duke is still eligible as an overage player to return to junior hockey for a fifth year with the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Nick Betz was released from his Amateur Try-Out (ATO) contract and can look to find another AHL camp or ECHL camp.

Goalie Joseph Raaymakers (Sault Ste. Marie-OHL), Tim Gettinger (Sault Ste. Marie-OHL), Ty Ronning (Vancouver-WHL), and Sergey Zborovskiy (Regina-WHL) were returned to their junior teams whose regular season are already underway.

Gettinger, Ronning, and Zborovskiy are Ranger draft picks. Raaymakers was a Traverse City camp invitee.

The Ranger roster stands at 50 and in their preseason opener beat the New York Islanders 5-3 Wednesday night at MSG. Goaltender Mackenzie Skapski acquitted himself well playing in the second half of the game in relief of Magnus Hellberg.

AHL NEWS

Early training camp cuts with CT ties. Chicago Wolves get Gus Young (Yale), Scooter Vaughan (Sound Tigers) and Wade Megan (Salisbury Prep).

Jeremy Langlois (Quinnipiac) goes to the Rockford IceHogs and fellow Bobcat alumni Zach Tolkinen signed with the Rapid City Rush (ECHL).

Goalies Alex Lyon (Yale) was assigned to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AHL) and Stephen Michalek (Glastonbury/Loomis Chaffe) goes to the Iowa Wild (AHL).

Former CT Whale defenseman Mike Vernace signs another one-year deal with the Brampton Beast (ECHL).

Former Quinnipiac standout and ex-Pack Brandon Wong split last season with the Indianapolis Fuel and the Tulsa Oilers in the ECHL and did a two-week summer Australian tour playing with the eventual Australian Goodall Cup champion, Newcastle North Stars. Wong now has a new winter hockey address in EV Ravensburg (Germany DEL-2).

Joining Wong on EV Ravensburg is Zach O’Brien, formerly of the Chicago Wolves.  O’Brien is the 84th AHL’er from last season to sign overseas.

Former UCONN Husky (AHC) Marcello Ranallo retires after playing three years with SG Cortina (Italy).

A MOMENT OF BACK PATTING FOR BEING RIGHT AGAIN!

Back in July, Cantlon’s Corner stated that the Ottawa Senators would purchase the Binghamton Senators and would be moving them to Belleville, Ontario for next season. Monday what we told you was happening was officially announced.

There is just one catch.

This “sale” has yet to be given the full approval as of yet by the AHL Board of Governors. The next BOG meeting is slated for the AHL All-Star game in Lehigh Valley, PA.  A conference call could, however, be scheduled to handle anything related to this matter. That information comes from AHL VP of Communications, Jason Chaimovitch.

Should this sale be approved, and there’s no reason to think it won’t, it would make 18 of the current 30 AHL teams, owned and operated by their parent NHL team. Given the hurdles that have to be crossed, a conditional approval, similar to the situation in Tucson, could be granted with the provision of certain benchmarks being met before full approval is granted.

Given the present exchange rate (as of Wednesday 9/28) at $1.32, the costs of doing business in the US is becoming prohibitive for Canadian-based NHL teams with regards to their minor league operations. Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver maintain US-based AHL teams, while Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg and now Ottawa do not.

Click HERE for a series of articles from the Belleville Intelligencer on the announcement by the Ottawa Senators and City of Belleville of the purchase.

The team will be called the Belleville Senators

The renovations to the Yardmen Arena is expected to be a $20.5 million (Canadian) project. Read about that HERE.

The arena is scheduled to open December 2017 with construction slated to begin in a little over two months. HERE

Great piece featuring a conversation with former New Haven Senators player Jake Grimes about the AHL going to Belleville. Grimes played for all of the Senators’ minor league affiliates in their early years during his brief three-year pro career before he retired to become a coach. Grimes played in New Haven followed by time in Charlottetown, PEI where New Haven was moved to after just one season in the Elm City and became the PEI Senators.

The following year, for half a season, in PEI Grimes was demoted and played for the Thunder Bay Senators in the then Colonial Hockey League (CoHL), the forerunner to the now defunct United Hockey League.

Grimes is currently an assistant coach with Peterborough Petes (OHL) but was an assistant with the departed Belleville Bulls (OHL) for six seasons.

More on Grimes HERE.

From the Binghamton perspective, one-time Wolf Pack GM, Tom Mitchell, states there will be AHL hockey in Binghamton after Ottawa leaves in 2017-18. Read that story HERE.

There appear to be two factual errors in the story.

One, the Rangers still have one more year to go on their lease at the XL Center and have the option to do so, but contractually must inform the CRDA of their intentions by December 31, 2016.

The lease in Bridgeport is in effect until 2020-21 and can only can change hands if any new entity abides by the terms of the lease WITHOUT ANY CHANGES. The Islanders new majority owners, Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin have publicly stated they WILL NOT relocate the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to the Nassau Coliseum when the renovations are completed there.

Our sources indicate affiliation and city switches are coming with several teams in play, but Binghampton could get the St. Louis Blues who may leave Chicago and the expansion NHL team in Las Vegas (to be named shortly) may be going to the Windy City.

TOSTI: SWAMP RABBITS RELEASE TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE

rp_Greenville-Swamp-Rabbits-300x225.pngSWAMP RABBITS RELEASE TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE

Camp dates and times announced as Greenville prepares for 2016-17 season

BY: Brian Tosti, Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Greenville, SC  The Greenville Swamp Rabbits, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, announced today the schedule for the team’s upcoming training camp.

The Swamp Rabbits 2016 camp begins Tuesday, October 4th, from the Pavilion Recreation Center in Taylors, SC. Starting on Tuesday, October 4th, the team will prepare for the upcoming season and a pair of preseason games on Friday, October 7th and Saturday, October, 8th in Duluth, GA.

Fans are invited to attend the on-ice sessions at the Pavilion as all practices during camp will be open to the public. A full listing of dates and practice times are listed below. The schedule is subject to change. Stay tuned for a full 2016 Swamp Rabbits training camp roster.

Tuesday, October 4  Practice – 9:00 a.m.
Wednesday, October 5 Practice – 9:00 a.m.
Thursday, October 6 Practice – 9:00 a.m.
Friday, October 7 Morning Practice – 9:00 a.m.
Pregame Skate – 10:00 a.m.
Preseason Game 1 vs. Norfolk (The Duluth Ice Forum) – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 8 No Skate
Preseason Game 2 vs. Atlanta (The Duluth Ice Forum) – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 9 Off Day
Monday, October 10 Practice – 9:00 a.m.
Tuesday, October 11 Practice – 9:00 a.m.
Wednesday, October 12 Practice – 9:00 a.m.

HOME OPENER | Friday, October 28 | 7:00 p.m.: The Swamp Rabbits open play at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Friday, October 28 against the Wichita Thunder. The first 1,000 fans in the building will receive a Swamp Rabbits carrot rally towel. $10 tickets are available for the night on SwampRabbits.com/opening-night. Join us for a pre-game Fan Fest on the Clemson Plaza beginning at 5:30 p.m. with inflatables, concessions, and live music.

Get Social: Follow the Swamp Rabbits all off-season long and get behind-the-scenes coverage like never before on the team’s official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

Ticket packages for the 2016-17 season are available and on sale now! Contact a Swamp Rabbits Account Executive at 864-674-PUCK (7825) for more information and to secure your seats today! Get the latest Swamp Rabbits gear by visiting the “Hop Shop” online at SwampRabbits.com/shop to browse the full collection of fan wear and novelties!

CRAWFORD: WOLF PACK ANNOUNCE TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE, ROSTER

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpgWOLF PACK ANNOUNCE TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE, ROSTER

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Camp Practices Start Saturday at XL Center

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, September 29, 2016:  Hartford Wolf Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld today announced the schedule for the Wolf Pack’s 2016 training camp and the opening camp roster.

The Wolf Pack’s training camp activity will begin this Friday, September 30 with on-ice testing at Champions Skating Center in Cromwell, CT, starting at 1:00 PM.  Practice sessions will commence this Saturday, October 1 at the XL Center, with ice times at 10:00 and 11:00 AM and off-ice workouts from 12:15 to 12:45 PM.  The team will follow that same schedule daily through Tuesday, October 4, prior to the Wolf Pack’s preseason opener Wednesday, October 5 at Trinity College’s Koeppel Community Sports Center vs. the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

The Wolf Pack’s full training camp schedule, which is subject to change, is as follows:

Date           Event                 Location                                       Time
Fri, 9/30       On-ice testing         Champions Skating Ctr, Cromwell 1:00 – 1:30 PM
Sat, 10/1        Practice                     XL Center                                                 10 – 10:45 AM
Practice                     XL Center                                                 11 – 11:45 AM
Off-ice workout     XL Center                                                  12:15-12:45 PM
Sun, 10/2      Practice                     XL Center                                                 10 – 10:45 AM
Practice                     XL Center                                                 11 – 11:45 AM
Off-ice workout     XL Center                                                 12:15-12:45 PM
Mon, 10/3    Practice                     XL Center                                                 10 – 10:45 AM
Practice                     XL Center                                                 11 – 11:45 AM
Off-ice workout     XL Center                                                 12:15-12:45 PM
Tue, 10/4      Practice                     XL Center                                                 10 – 10:45 AM
Practice                     XL Center                                                 11 – 11:45 AM
Off-ice workout      XL Center                                                 12:15-12:45 PM
Wed, 10/5    Game group practice               XL Center                              10 – 10:45 AM
Non-game group practice     XL Center                              11:00 AM
Non-game group workout    XL Center                              Post-practice

Game vs. Bridgeport               Trinity College                     7:00 PM

Thu, 10/6      Practice                    XL Center                                                   10:00 AM
Off-ice workout     XL Center                                                   Post-practice
Fri, 10/7        Practice                     XL Center                                                   10:00 AM
Off-ice workout     XL Center                                                   Post-practice
Sat, 10/8       Game group practice  Champions Skating Center          10 – 10:45 AM
Non-game group practice   XL Center                                11:45 AM
Non-game group workout  XL Center                                 Post-practice

Game at Springfield               MassMutual Center             7:00 PM

Sun, 10/9      Game vs. Albany           Champions Skating Center         1:00 PM

A roster of 23 players will begin camp with the Wolf Pack, 14 forwards, 8 defensemen and one goaltender:

Goal (1):           P.J. Musico

Defense (8):      Desmond Bergin, Justin DaSilva, Troy Donnay, Spiro Goulakos, Joe Houk, Garrett Noonan, Matt Prapavessis, Sean Sullivan

Forwards (14):   Brandon Alderson, Adam Chapie, Andrew Dommett, Reid Duke, Trevor Gerling, Michael Joly, Allan McPherson, Angelo Miceli, Ahti Oksanen, Mike Pereira, Matt Plesa, Nick Plesa, Peter Plesa, Tommy Thompson

The Wolf Pack’s twentieth-anniversary 2016-17 season begins Friday, October 14 at the XL Center with the Wolf Pack’s home opener, a 7:15 PM contest vs. the St. John’s IceCaps.  Tickets for that game and all Wolf Pack 2016-17 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.

Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2016-17 AHL season can be found on-line at hartfordwolfpack.com.  To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.

CHAIMOVITCH: AHL ANNOUNCES NEW INDUCTEES INTO AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE HALL OF FAME

ahl-hhofAHL ANNOUNCES NEW INDUCTEES INTO AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE HALL OF FAME

BY: Jason Chaimovitch, AHL

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The American Hockey League today announced the four people selected for induction into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame as the Class of 2017.

Honored by the AHL Hall of Fame Selection Committee as the 12th group of enshrinees are Billy DeaBryan HelmerRob Murray and Doug Yingst.

“The history of the American Hockey League is defined by the standards of excellence set by those who have played, coached and worked here over the past eight decades,” said David Andrews, AHL President, and Chief Executive Officer. “The AHL Board of Governors is proud to unanimously endorse the Selection Committee’s recommendation for the induction of these four individuals into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame as the Class of 2017.”

The Class of 2017 will be honored as part of the festivities at the 2017 Capital BlueCross AHL All-Star Classic, hosted by the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The American Hockey League Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony is scheduled for January 30, 2017, in Allentown, Pa.

Formed in 2006 to recognize, honor and celebrate individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions in the American Hockey League, the AHL Hall of Fame is housed online at www.ahlhalloffame.com and is accessible to fans worldwide with the click of a mouse as part of the AHL Internet Network.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives and broadcasters of all 30 National Hockey League teams, as well as the NHL’s on-ice officials. By season’s end in 2015-16, more than 88 percent of all NHL players were American Hockey League graduates, including more than 200 former first- and second-round draft picks and more than 300 players who appeared in both leagues last season alone.

Click for complete release including career statistics

CLASS OF 2017

deaBilly Dea
Edmonton native Billy Dea spent more than half of his 19-year professional career in the American Hockey League, where his consistency, durability, and reliability made him one of the league’s all-time greats.

After seeing time in the National Hockey League with New York, Detroit, and Chicago, Dea made his AHL debut with the Buffalo Bisons on Oct. 8, 1958. Over the next eight seasons, Dea played in every single one of the Bisons’ contests, breaking Bill Needham’s league ironman record on Christmas night in 1965. Dea finally missed a game on Feb. 12, 1966, ending the streak at an amazing 548 straight (plus 48 more in the playoffs) – a mark that may never be broken.

A hard-working and popular winger, Dea had his most productive offensive season in 1960-61, when he set career bests with 35 goals and 74 points. He helped the Bisons return to the league finals in 1962, and was an important part of their Calder Cup championship team in 1963.

Dea spent nine seasons in Buffalo, eclipsing the 20-goal mark each year and reaching the 50-point plateau six times. He returned to the NHL with Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Detroit before finishing his playing career with the AHL’s Tidewater Wings in 1971-72.

helmerBryan Helmer
Unheralded and undrafted after four seasons of Junior “A” and Junior “B” hockey, Bryan Helmer went on to play more games and record more assists and points than any defenseman in the history of the American Hockey League.

A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Helmer made his pro debut with the Albany River Rats in 1993 and played five seasons in Albany, helping the club to a Calder Cup championship in 1995 and earning First Team AHL All-Star honors in 1997-98. Helmer later skated for the Worcester IceCats (1998-2000), the Manitoba Moose (2001-03) and the Springfield Falcons (2003-04) before joining the Grand Rapids Griffins, where he did not miss a single game during two seasons and was named a Second Team AHL All-Star in 2005-06.

Helmer then spent two years as captain of the San Antonio Rampage (2006-08) and then two seasons with the Hershey Bears (2008-10), where he captained the club to back-to-back Calder Cup championships. In 2009, Helmer was selected to wear the “C” for the Canadian team at the AHL All-Star Classic.

Helmer joined the Oklahoma City Barons in 2010, and on Feb. 18, 2011, became the seventh player in league history to reach 1,000 regular-season games. He was the recipient of the league’s Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award in 2010-11, as the player exemplifying sportsmanship, determination, and dedication to hockey.

After two seasons with the Barons, Helmer completed his 20-year professional playing career back in Springfield, retiring in 2013 in third place all-time with 1,117 regular-season games played, and first among AHL defensemen with 435 assists and 564 points. Helmer also played more postseason games (159) than anyone in AHL history – including seven trips to the conference finals and his three Calder Cups – and he finished with a cumulative plus/minus rating of +188, finishing at +15 or better eight times.

murrayRob Murray 
Respected by both teammates and opponents for his leadership and hard-nosed play, Rob Murray spent 15 seasons as a forward in the American Hockey League.

A third-round draft pick by the Washington Capitals in 1985, Murray made his AHL debut with the Baltimore Skipjacks in 1988-89, racking up 34 points and finishing second on the team with 235 penalty minutes. He joined the Winnipeg Jets organization in 1991 and spent most of the next nine seasons with their AHL affiliates, first in Moncton – where he helped the Hawks reach the Calder Cup Finals in 1994 after scoring 25 goals in the regular season – and then in Springfield, where he quickly became a fan favorite and the face of the city’s new Falcons franchise.

After finishing the 1999-2000 season in Hamilton, Murray signed with the Philadelphia Flyers and began 2000-01 as captain of the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms before returning the Falcons later that year. He then spent one season with the Saint John Flames before finishing his career with a third stint in Springfield in 2002-03, becoming the sixth player ever to reach 1,000 regular-season games in the AHL and eventually helping the club to the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Murray reached double digits in goals eight times and triple digits in penalty minutes 12 times during his playing career, and currently ranks second in AHL history with 2,940 PIM and seventh with 1,018 games played. The Toronto native wore the “C” for four different AHL franchises, as well as for the Canadian team at the 1997 AHL All-Star Classic.

Murray transitioned immediately into coaching and spent eight seasons behind the bench with the AHL’s Providence Bruins, winning a Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy (regular-season champions) as an assistant in 2007-08 and reaching the conference finals in his first year as head coach in 2008-09.

yingstDoug Yingst 
The successor to a Hockey Hall of Famer, Doug Yingst made a name for himself during a storied 34-year career as an executive with the Hershey Bears.

Hired as the Bears’ sales and promotions director in 1982, Yingst won the AHL’s Ken McKenzie Award for outstanding promotion of his club in 1987-88 as the Bears captured the Calder Cup. He was promoted to assistant general manager under the legendary Frank Mathers in 1988, and in 1990 added the role of director of hockey operations.

Yingst was named GM in 1996, and in his first season in that position the Bears won a Calder Cup championship. He later established an affiliation with the Washington Capitals in 2005 that began the greatest five-year run by any team in league history, with three more Calder Cup titles, four Finals appearances and a record 60-win season in 2009-10.

Yingst oversaw the groundbreaking for Giant Center, which opened in 2002 as one of the premier facilities in the AHL, and guided the Bears to 10 consecutive seasons of league-leading attendance from 2006-16. He was instrumental in bringing two AHL All-Star Classics to Hershey (1996, 2011), and also orchestrated the first-ever outdoor game in the region at Hersheypark Stadium in 2013.

A long-time member of the AHL’s Board of Governors and chairman of several league committees, Yingst was honored with the James C. Hendy Award as the league’s outstanding executive in both 2000 and 2006 and was the recipient of the Thomas Ebright Award for his career contributions in 2008.

Yingst retired in 2016 after one more trip to the Calder Cup Finals, the eighth of his career. His four championships as general manager are tied for the most of anyone in league history.

RANGERS REDUCE TRAINING CAMP ROSTER

rp_new-york-r_thumb.gifRANGERS REDUCE TRAINING CAMP ROSTER

50 Players Remain in Training Camp

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, September 27, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has reduced its Training Camp roster by 13 players.

Adam Chapie, Troy Donnay, Michael Joly, and Ahti Oksanen have been assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL). Matt Carey, Spiro Goulakos, and Garrett Noonan were released from their Professional Tryouts, while Nick Betz, Reid Duke, and Joseph Raaymakers were released from their Amateur Tryouts. In addition, Tim Gettinger, Ty Ronning, and Sergey Zborovskiy were returned to their respective junior clubs.

Carey, Chapie, Donnay, Duke, Goulakos, Joly, Noonan, and Oksanen will all report to the Wolf Pack’s Training Camp.

The Rangers have 50 players remaining in Training Camp. The roster breakdown is listed below:

Forwards (28): Chris Brown, Pavel Buchnevich, Jesper Fast, Steven Fogarty, Gabriel Fontaine, Nathan Gerbe, Tanner Glass, Michael Grabner, Ryan Gropp, Kevin Hayes, Marek Hrivik, Nicklas Jensen, Josh Jooris, Robin Kovacs, Chris Kreider, Maxim Lapierre, Oscar Lindberg, Philip McRae, J.T. Miller, Rick Nash, Cristoval Nieves, Brandon Pirri, Derek Stepan, Malte Stromwall, Adam Tambellini, Jimmy Vesey, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello

Defensemen (16): Calle Andersson, Mat Bodie, Adam Clendening, Sean Day, John Gilmour, Dan Girardi, Ryan Graves, Nick Holden, Tommy Hughes, Kevin Klein, Ryan McDonagh, Dylan McIlrath, Michael Paliotta, Brady Skjei, Marc Staal, Chris Summers

Goaltenders (6): Brandon Halverson, Magnus Hellberg, Henrik Lundqvist, Jeff Malcolm, Antti Raanta, Mackenzie Skapski

CANTLON’S CORNER: HOCKEY SEASON IS ALMOST UPON US

gerry-150x130BY: Gerard Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CTTraining camps have opened across North America and that means there are still some last minute signings and movement as the 2016-2017 season prepares to get underway.

ON THE MOVE

Right-wing on last season’s Hartford Wolf Pack roster, Shawn O’Donnell, has signed a one-year deal with the Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL). O’Donnell, who made the Wolf Pack as a walk-on three years ago, was a healthy scratch for more than half last season. He will be in the Milwaukee Admiral’s training camp.

Luke Adam, now a six-year pro, is at the Calgary Flames’ training camp on a PTO try-out deal. Matt Lindblad has retired. Lindblad had a back injury and the surgery to repair it caused him to miss most of this past season. He cut short his comeback after just eight games. Lindblad is now a pro scout for the Boston Bruins after just three seasons of pro hockey.

17 players from last season’s Wolf Pack roster who played at least ten or more games (two others didn’t) have signed elsewhere for this season.

One-time Bridgeport Sound Tiger Ryan Strome has signed a two-year contract extension with the New York Islanders with a payout of $2 million this year and $3 million next year.

On September 16th, former New Haven Senator John Ferguson Jr. was named the GM for the Providence Bruins. Ferguson has handled those duties for two other AHL franchises in his career, the St. John’s Maple Leafs and Worcester Sharks. He also is the Director of Player Development for the parent Boston Bruins where he handles their pro and amateur scouting.

CRABB RETIRES

Former Wolf Pack Joey Crabb has hung up his skates. The native Alaskan becomes the 67th former player to make the move to the coaching ranks. He will be a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Alaska-Anchorage (WCHA) this coming season.

Crabb’s tenure could be a short one. The Alaska state legislature is facing a serious economic downturn in the nation’s 49th state. It’s Board of Regents will decide in November, as a part of their overall budget review, whether one or both of it’s state college varsity programs at Anchorage and its conference rival, the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, will get the axe.

He could become the school’s second full-time assistant coach as Josh Ciocco, the team’s assistant the last four years, left last week for a job at Brown University.

Crabb is the fifth ex-Hartford player this off-season to retire and move into coaching. The others are Chris McKelvie, who joins his twin brother Zach at Army (AHC), Jason LaBarbera, Calgary (WHL), Manny Malhotra, Vancouver (NHL) and Jeff Woywitka, Sherwood Park (AJHL).

MORE COLLEGE PLAYERS SIGN PRO DEALS

Another four college players have signed pro deals starting with University of Vermont grad Alexx Privitera who signed with the Manchester Monarchs,(ECHL). Dennis Kravchenko moves from UMASS-Amherst (HE) and signed with Calgary/Stockton (AHL). The Idaho Steelheads (ECHL) picked up Ryan Keller (Michigan State, Big 10) and Jarrett Fennell (Northeastern HE).

The signings of Privitera, Kravchenko, Keller and Fennell raises the number of players who have inked North American pro hockey deals after the collegiate regular season ended in March to 206.

Phil Esposito Jr. of East Haven and a former New Haven Knight (UHL) who stepped down as head coach of Danbury Titans (FHL), has signed to become the head coach of the expansion Watertown (NY) Wolves (FHL).

Former Wolf Pack/CT Whale Jared Nightingale signs for another year to be the captain of Toledo Walleye (ECHL). When he hangs up the blades, he likely to become an assistant coach somewhere.

Dean Yakura, who played in Danbury last season, has signed a one-year deal with Manchester (ECHL). Joining him in the Queen City is former Gunnery Prep player Craig Wyszomirski.

Drew MacKenzie (New Canaan/Taft Prep) has switched from Dornbirner EC (Austria-AEHL) to EC Kassel (Germany DEL-2) this year.

Pat Mullane (Wallingford/Avon Old Farms) moves from Assat Pori (Finland-FEL) to HC Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic-CEL) this year.

Tomas Kaberle, who played two games for the Wolf Pack in 2014-15, announced his retirement after playing last year in his native Czech Republic for HC Brno Comets. He will be living in Toronto where he will get involved in coaching somewhere down the line.

FORMER WHALER PASSES AWAY

Our prayers and thoughts are extended to the family of one-time Hartford Whaler, Richie Dunn, who passed away suddenly at age 59 in the Buffalo area late this week.

Dunn played 76 games with the Whalers from 1983-1985 covering a season-and-a-half. He played a total of 483 NHL games mostly with the Buffalo Sabres and one season in Calgary with the Flames.

Dunn had a stellar AHL career with the Rochester Americans and is an inductee in the American’s Hall of Fame. He was named an AHL first-team All-Star twice and was on the second team once. He won a Calder Cup title with the Americans in 1986-’87 playing a majority of his 428 AHL games there. He won the best defenseman award (Eddie Shore Trophy) with the Binghamton Whalers in 1984-85 and played two seasons with the Hershey Bears.

A Boston-born player played Canadian junior hockey in the OHL in the mid-1970’s for Kingston and Windsor a rarity in that era as few Americans dared to head North and play there.

ANOTHER LEGEND PASSES AWAY

The sport of US hockey lost a legend, Walter Bush. He was a pioneer and it’s not an understatement to call him a true hockey lion. Bush was 86 and just three days shy of his 87th birthday.

His name is all over the US blueprint for the development of the game in the US from the gold medal winning Squaw Valley team in 1960 to the 1980 Miracle on Ice team. Bush worked hard to promote women’s hockey to become an Olympic sport in the mid-1990’s. Bush helped craft a US model for hockey development similar to what had been done in Canada. His efforts were instrumental in the growth of youth hockey and helped lead the junior national team in becoming a force and able to compete internationally. He helped start the Minnesota North Stars (nee Dallas Stars) and owned a portion of the AHL Kentucky Thoroughblades.

He served with US hockey and its antecedent the AHA  (American Hockey Association) since 1959 and served on the Olympic and IIHF boards as well.

TRAVERSE CITY TOURNEY WRAPUP

It was the Jimmy Vesey show in Michigan.

Vesey registered five goals and two assists for seven points in the tournament. Vesey led the tournament in goals (five) and shots on goal (20), and he tied for first among all skaters in the tournament in points (seven).

Vesey’s five goals were tied for the most any player has registered in one year during the Traverse City Tournament since 2007. Vesey’s seven points were tied for the most any Ranger has posted in one year in the Traverse City Tournament. He notched a point in each of the tournament’s four games. Also, he posted a multi-point game in each of the final three contests, including a multi-goal game in each of the final two contests.

Vesey recorded the game-winning goal in the Rangers’ 5-4 shootout win over the Dallas Stars on September 17, and he tallied the game-winning goal in the final minute of the Rangers 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on September 19.

It’s a safe bet that Vesey won’t be in the Pack’s opening night lineup against St. John’s.

Malte Stromwall tied for second on the Rangers in goals (two), points (three), and shots on goal (eight) in the tournament. Stromwall, who was signed by the Rangers as a free agent on April 17, 2016, registered two goals in the Rangers’ 5-4 win against the Stars on September 17.

Robin Kovacs, who was Stromwall’s linemate in Sweden last season, was tied for second on the Rangers in goals (two) and shots on goal (eight) in the tournament. The 19-year-old, who was selected by the Rangers in the third round (62nd overall) of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, tallied a goal in each of the Rangers first two games of the tournament.

Cristoval Nieves tied for second on the Rangers in assists (two) and points (three) in the Traverse City Tournament. Nieves, who served as the Rangers’ captain in the tournament, notched the game-tying goal with less than one minute remaining in regulation to help the Rangers defeat the Stars on September 17, and he tallied an assist on both of New York’s goals in the team’s 2-1 win against Minnesota on September 19.

John Gilmour led the Rangers – and tied for fifth among all skaters in the tournament – in assists (three), and he tied for second on the team in points (three). Gilmour, who was signed by the Rangers as a free agent on August 18, 2016, tied for second among all defensemen in the tournament in assists and points.

Sean Day tied for first among all defensemen in the tournament in goals (two) and tied for second among all defensemen in the tournament in points (three). The 18-year-old, who was selected by the Rangers in the third round (81st overall) of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, recorded two goals on September 20 against Columbus.

The Rangers kick off training camp this weekend here is the training camp roster.

*Portions of a Rangers press release was used in this segment 

 

CRAWFORD: WOLF PACK ANNOUNCE PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpgWOLF PACK ANNOUNCE PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE

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Includes Return of Friday-night $1 Hot Dog, $2 Beer Deal

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, September 21, 2016:  Spectra, operators of the XL Center and the Hartford Wolf Pack, today revealed the schedule of game-night promotions highlighting the Wolf Pack’s 2016-17 20th-anniversary AHL season.

Once again this year, Wolf Pack fans can take advantage of two special promotions throughout the season.  The Pack’s ever-popular Friday-night food and beverage discount is back, as at every Friday-night Pack home game, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period.  Also returning are the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket” Family Value Packs.  Those are available for all of the Pack’s Sunday and Wednesday home games, as well as the one Tuesday date, December 27, and include two tickets, two hot dogs and two soft drinks, all for only $40.  In a new wrinkle this season, at every Sunday Wolf Pack home game, the first 2,000 fans will receive a “hockey bingo” card.  The spaces on these cards contain possibilities that might happen in the game, and if they do, fans can fill in the spaces to win Wolf Pack bingo prizes.

In addition to those consistent features, the Wolf Pack will again be offering fans a bevy of single-night promotions and giveaways in 2016-17.  The first of those is at the Pack’s season opener Friday, October 14, a 7:15 PM contest at the XL Center vs. the St. John’s IceCaps.  The first 5,000 fans into that game will take home a Wolf Pack magnetic schedule, courtesy of CT-DOT.

Following is the full 2016-17 Wolf Pack promotional schedule:

Date/Opponent                                Faceoff    Promotion

Friday, October 14 vs. St. John’s               7:15         Opening Night (Magnetic                                                                                                                  schedule giveaway to the first                                                                                                          5,000 fans, presented by CT-                                                                                                           DOT)
Friday, October 28 vs. Lehigh Valley        7:15        The Wolf Pack put on their                                                                                                               “Howl-a-ween” celebration
Saturday, October 29 vs. Utica                   7:00       First 2,000 fans receive Wolf                                                                                                           Pack 20th-anniversary trading                                                                                                         card sets (set 1 of 4)                                                                                                                               presented by KOTA Solutions
Wednesday, Nov. 2 vs. Lehigh Valley     11:00      “Sonar’s Ed-u-skate” school-                                                                                                             day game
Friday, November 4 vs. Bridgeport          7:15       First 2,000 fans receive a                                                                                                                  Wolf Pack license plate cover,                                                                                                           sponsored by Aetna
Sunday, Nov. 13 vs. W-B/Scranton         5:00        Thanksgiving food drive
Wednesday, Nov. 16 vs. Springfield        7:00       Thanksgiving food drive                                                                                                                     continues
Sunday, November 20 vs. Providence   5:00        First 3,000 fans receive a Wolf                                                                                                       Pack ice scraper, courtesy of                                                                                                              Aer Lingus; plus Sonar’s B’day
Friday, November 25 vs. Albany              7:15          First 2,000 fans receive 20th–                                                                                                           anniversary trading cards (set 2                                                                                                       of 4) presented by KOTA                                                                                                                   solutions, plus the Wolf Pack’s                                                                                                         annual “Teddy Bear Toss”
Saturday, December 10 vs. Toronto          7:00     First 2,000 fans receive a 2017                                                                                                      Wolf Pack team calendar, plus                                                                                                         “Star Wars Night”
Tuesday, December 27 vs. Providence      7:00     First 2,000 fans receive a Wolf                                                                                                        Pack ski cap
Saturday, December 31 vs. Albany              5:00     First 2,000 fans receive 20th–                                                                                                           anniversary trading card set                                                                                                             (set 3 of 4) presented by KOTA                                                                                                        Solutions
Saturday, January 7 vs. Bridgeport            7:30      Wolf Pack “red-out”, as first                                                                                                              5,000 fans receive a red Wolf                                                                                                          Pack t-shirt presented by CT-                                                                                                            DOT
Friday, January 20 vs. Toronto                   7:15       First 2,000 fans receive a Wolf                                                                                                       Pack 20th-anniversary poster,                                                                                                          presented by Bud Light, and                                                                                                            “Hartford Hockey Heritage                                                                                                                Weekend” begins
Saturday, January 21 vs. Rochester          7:00       Hartford Hockey Heritage                                                                                                                  Weekend” continues
Saturday, January 28 vs. Providence       7:00      First 2,000 fans receive a Wolf                                                                                                       Pack 2016-17 trading card set,                                                                                                          and Wolf Pack wear special                                                                                                                “Stick it to Cancer” jerseys
Saturday, February 4 vs. Rochester          7:30       First 1,000 kids 14 or younger                                                                                                         receive a Wolf Pack youth                                                                                                                  jersey
Sunday, February 19 vs. Springfield         5:00      “Sonar Saves” pet adoption                                                                                                               night
Friday, February 24 vs. Hershey                7:15        First 2,000 fans receive 20th–                                                                                                          anniversary trading card set (set                                                                                                    4 of 4) presented by KOTA                                                                                                                 Solutions
Saturday, March 4 vs. Lehigh Valley        3:00       First 3,000 fans receive a Wolf                                                                                                        Pack bobblehead, plus “Military                                                                                                     Day”, as the Wolf Pack wearing                                                                                                       special military-themed jerseys Friday, March 24 vs. Providence               7:15         “Social Media Night”
Saturday, March 25 vs. Bridgeport          7:00        First 2,000 fans receive a Wolf                                                                                                        Pack drawstring backpack
Saturday, April 8 vs. W-B/Scranton        7:00        “Fan Appreciation Night”

Tickets for the Wolf Pack’s October 14th opening night and all Wolf Pack 2016-17 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.

Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2016-17 AHL season can be found on-line at hartfordwolfpack.com.  To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451

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