FUEHRING: SWAMP RABBITS ADD HOBEY BAKER FINALIST

Cn6InGFWYAAyqGK

SWAMP RABBITS ADD DYNAMIC OFFENSIVE THREAT

Greenville signs former Hobey Baker finalist Paul Zanette for the 2016-17 season

BY: Alan Fuehring, Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Greenville, SC – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, today announced the team has agreed to terms with forward Paul Zanette for the 2016-17 season.

“Paul is a dynamic player who will have a strong impact on our attack,” Head Coach Brian Gratz said. “He’s played more than 200 professional games and has served in leadership roles in the past, so his experience will definitely be a big positive for our team. He will be a key contributor in our effort to bring a Kelly Cup to Greenville.”

Zanette played each of the last four seasons in Europe, including 35 games with Sweden’s Edinburgh Capitals (EIHL) last season. He recorded 39 points (19g, 20a) and 48 penalty minutes in those contests while skating alongside forward Trevor Gerling, who signed with the Swamp Rabbits on June 27.

Towards the end of last season, the 28-year-old moved to Italy’s Asiago HC where he also played two seasons from 2012-14. He totaled 85 points (36g, 49a) and 68 penalty minutes in 80 combined games with Asiago HC, including three points (2g, 1a) in six games last season. In 2012-13, he notched 13 points (4g, 9a) in 13 playoff games, helping capture the Serie A Italian Championship.

“I’m looking forward to returning to the states and beginning this chapter of my career in Greenville,” Zanette said. “From what I’ve seen, the arena and city are among the best in the league and the organization really stuck out as the right fit for me. Now I just can’t wait to get started.”

A native of Nobleton, Ontario, Zanette began his professional career with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs near the end of the 2010-11 season and made 13 appearances with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs during the 2011-12 campaign. He also played 26 ECHL games with the Toledo Walleye in 2011-12 and collected 14 points (5g, 9a) and four penalty minutes. Also, Zanette notched 21 points (8g, 13a) and a plus-3 rating in 45 games with Italy’s Bolzano HC in 2014-15.

Before turning pro, the 6’1, 190-pound winger played four seasons at Niagara University from 2007-11. He produced 105 points (53g, 52a) in 128 career games with the Purple Eagles, including a career-best 29 goals, 26 assists, and 55 points in 35 games as a senior. Zanette was named the 2011 Atlantic Hockey Player of the Year and a finalist for the prestigious Hobey Baker Award that season.

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 and Twitter

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!

ARRAL: NWHL NEWS – SHANNON DOYLE SIGNS WITH CT WHALE

Doyle Credit Troy ParlaNWHL NEWS: SHANNON DOYLE SIGNS WITH CT WHALE

Defenseman Excited to See Growth in Season Two

BY: Savanna Arral, NWHL

Northford, CT — Shannon Doyle has signed a contract with the Connecticut Whale for the 2016-17 season, General Manager Lisa Giovanelli announced Thursday. Doyle and the Whale agreed to terms on a one-year, $14,000 contract.

“The Whale is happy to have Shannon return for another season,” said Giovanelli. “Her shot blocking ability is a huge asset in our defensive zone, and we will look for her to build on her experiences from last season and continue to be a steady presence on our blue line.”

Doyle scored 5 points (2g, 3a) as a defenseman with the Whale in the 2015-16 regular season. She added an assist in the Isobel Cup Playoffs. She became known at Boston University for blocking shots, ranking third in the nation with 106 blocks her senior year in 2014-15.

“I’m excited to be back with the Whale for this upcoming season because, although the first season was extremely historic and exhilarating, I am looking forward to seeing how much the league will grow in this second season,” said Doyle. “The Connecticut area was incredibly supportive in year one and being able to return to such an amazing community of both players and fans is thrilling.”

The restricted free agency began on April 1 and lasted until April 30. Free agency began May 1 and lasts until July 31. The 2016 NWHL Draft was on June 18.

About the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL)
The NWHL is the first professional women’s hockey league in North America to pay its players. The inaugural season began October 11, 2015, with the Founding Four: Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale and New York Riveters. The Boston Pride became the first team in NWHL history to raise the Isobel Cup on March 12, 2016.

ARRAL: NWHL NEWS – BOSTON PRIDE WILL MOVE TO WARRIOR ICE ARENA FOR SEASON TWO

NWHLNWHL NEWS: BOSTON PRIDE WILL MOVE TO WARRIOR ICE ARENA FOR SEASON TWO

New Arena Will Also Serve as Practice Facility for the Boston Bruins

BY: Savanna Arral, NWHL

Boston, MA — The National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) today announced that the Boston Pride will call Warrior Ice Arena (WIA) at Boston Landing Development their home for the 2016-17 season.

“The NWHL and the Boston Pride are very happy to join the new hockey community at Warrior Ice Arena,” said Pride General Manager Hayley Moore. “We’d like to thank NB Development Group for their help in bringing us into the fold for next season.”

“We are thrilled to welcome the Boston Pride, our second professional team to Warrior Ice Arena and our third to the overall Boston Landing Development,” says Jay Rourke, General Manager for Warrior Ice Arena.  “After their historic first season that culminated with a title win, it will be exciting for local and national fans to watch them in action at our Arena.”

Warrior Ice Arena is the first publicly accessible ice arena constructed in the city of Boston in the last 40 years. The building features six locker rooms, a 2,000 square foot event room, ground floor retail and restaurant space, and two full-service concession areas. The arena seats 660.

“The Warrior Ice Arena is pleased to welcome the Boston Pride of the National Women’s Hockey League, says Marissa Marwell at Rink Management, Inc., who manages rink operations.  “The Boston Pride are pioneers of professional women’s hockey, and we are excited to host this championship franchise.”

Boston Pride season tickets are now available for purchase at nwhl.zone/tickets.

ARRAL: NWHL – LAUREN SLEBODNICK SIGNS WITH BOSTON PRIDE

Slebodnick Credit Troy ParlaNWHL: LAUREN SLEBODNICK SIGNS WITH BOSTON PRIDE

Goaltender Played in Four Games With Pride in 2015-16

BY: Savanna Arral, NWHL

Boston, MA — Lauren Slebodnick has signed a contract with the Boston Pride for the 2016-17 season, General Manager Hayley Moore announced Tuesday. Slebodnick and the Pride agreed to terms on a one-year, $10,000 contract.

“Lauren was a huge part of our team on and off the ice last season,” said Moore. “She was sidelined with an injury but has worked very hard to come back stronger than ever. We are very happy to have her join the Pride on the ice for a second season.”

Slebodnick played in 4 games for the Pride in the 2015-16 season, posting a .883 SV%, 2.25 GAA, and a 1-2-0 record. The Manchester, NH native is the winningest goaltender in Cornell women’s hockey history.

“It was an honor to be a member of the Pride last season,” said Slebodnick. “The relentless intensity and work ethic of every player is a testament to the team’s commitment to excellence. I am excited to return to the Pride and to continue playing alongside the most dedicated hockey players in the world.”

The restricted free agency began on April 1 and lasted until April 30. Free agency began May 1 and lasts until July 31. The 2016 NWHL Draft was on June 18.

About the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL)
The NWHL is the first professional women’s hockey league in North America to pay its players. The inaugural season began October 11, 2015, with the Founding Four: Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale and New York Riveters. The Boston Pride became the first team in NWHL history to raise the Isobel Cup on March 12, 2016.

HOELER: DANBURY TITANS AND COACH PHIL ESPOSITO PART WAYS

PhilTitans and Head Coach Mutually Part Ways

BY: Chris Hoeler, Danbury Titans

Danbury, CT – The Danbury Titans and Head Coach Phil Esposito announced today that they have mutually agreed to part ways.

Esposito has been coaching in Danbury since 2010-11 when he was an assistant with the Danbury Whalers. The following season he took over as head coach and had an immediate impact bringing the Whalers to the finals. The following season he led the Whalers back to the finals and won Danbury’s first professional hockey championship.

With the Danbury Titans, his success carried over as the team finished first in the league for the regular season and made it to the finals before losing to the Port Huron Prowlers. In his time in Danbury, Coach Esposito finished with 161 regular season wins. The other factor of Coach Esposito was the effect he had on player development. Countless players were called up to the ECHL during his time as head coach, including to the AHL.

“I want to thank Bruce Bennett for giving me the opportunity to coach this team and to all of the staff who helped make this organization as professional as possible. I have been wrestling with what to do for awhile but feel that pursuing some other opportunities is what I need to do now. This was one of the most difficult decisions I have made in my hockey career but I have no doubt that Bruce and the Titans organization will be successful this coming season.”, said Esposito.

“Today was a tough day”, continued Esposito. “I have put a lot of time and effort into professional hockey in Danbury and can’t thank the fans and community enough for their support over the years. Danbury really is a great place to be for any hockey player. “

The Titans will work on finding a replacement head coach for the team.

RANGERS: ROBIN KOVACS SIGNED BY BLUESHIRTS

CIhK0TgWcAA0IiWRANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FORWARD ROBIN KOVACS

Rangers’ third round pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft signs entry-level contract

NEW YORK, July 18, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with forward Robin Kovacs on an entry-level contract.

The 6-0, 186-pounder led Allsvenskan in shootout goals (eight) and game-deciding goals (four), tied for second in game-winning goals, ranked third in goals per game (0.48), and ranked fifth in goals and shooting percentage (17.1) in 2015-16. This past season, Kovacs helped AIK win the league championship in Allsvenskan. In addition, he played with Rögle BK in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), registering one assist in four contests.Kovacs, 19, skated in 44 games with AIK IF of Allsvenskan in Sweden this past season, registering 21 goals and 13 assists for 34 points, along with a plus-two rating and 54 penalty minutes. He was named the winner of Guldgallret, which is an award given annually to the top junior player (20 years old or younger) in Allsvenskan in 2015-16. Kovacs also led all players younger than 20 years old in Allsvenskan in goals and points this past season.

Kovacs has skated in 92 career games in Allsvenskan over the last two seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16), registering 38 goals and 24 assists for 62 points, along with 117 penalty minutes. He won the Guldgallret in each of the last two seasons, and he also led all players younger than 20 years old in Allsvenskan in goals and points in each season. In 17 playoff/round-robin games in Allsvenskan, Kovacs has recorded 11 points (three goals, eight assists).

The Stockholm, Sweden, native was selected by the Rangers in the third round, 62nd overall, of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

RANGERS: REBUILD BEGINS WITH TRADING BRASSARD FOR ZIBANEJAD

mika-nov19-blogRANGERS ACQUIRE FORWARD MIKA ZIBANEJAD

Blueshirts also acquire a second round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft;

New York trades Derick Brassard and a seventh round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft to Ottawa

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, July 18, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has acquired forward Mika Zibanejad and a second round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Derick Brassard and a seventh round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

Zibanejad, 23, skated in 81 games with Ottawa this past season, registering 21 goals and 30 assists for 51 points, along with 18 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in several categories in 2015-16, including games played, goals, assists, points, game-winning goals (seven), and faceoff win percentage (50.5; 659-for-1,306). Zibanejad has tallied a goal on 13 of his 28 career NHL shootout attempts (46.4%), and he has recorded five game-deciding goals in the shootout. Zibanejad’s five game-deciding goals in the shootout are the second-most a Senator has tallied since 2005-06, as he passed Daniel Alfredsson for sole possession of second place during this past season.

Zibanejad led the Senators in game-winning goals, faceoff wins, and faceoffs taken, ranked third in shorthanded goals (two), tied for third in games played, tied for fourth in assists, and ranked fifth in points and power play points (11) in 2015-16. He tied for fifth in the NHL in shootout goals (four; 4-for-9) and game-deciding goals (two) in the shootout this past season. Zibanejad ranked third among Ottawa forwards in shorthanded ice time per game in 2015-16 (1:25). He tallied 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 24 contests against Metropolitan Division opponents this past season. Zibanejad recorded 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) in the final 38 games of the season, and he ranked second on Ottawa in goals over the span.

The 6-2, 222-pounder has skated in 281 career NHL games over parts of five seasons (2011-12 – 2015-16), all with Ottawa, registering 64 goals and 87 assists for 151 points, along with 64 penalty minutes. Over Zibanejad’s first five seasons, 52 of his 87 career assists have been primary assists. Zibanejad tallied at least 20 goals and 40 points in each of the last two seasons. He was one of only three Senators who recorded 20 or more goals in both 2014-15 and 2015-16. In addition, Zibanejad’s goals, assists, and points totals have increased in every season during his career. Over the last two seasons, Zibanejad has tallied 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) against Metropolitan Division teams.

Zibanejad helped Ottawa reach the playoffs in two seasons during his tenure with the team (2012-13 and 2014-15). In 16 career NHL playoff games, Zibanejad has registered two goals and six assists for eight points. He tied for the team lead with four points (one goal, three assists) in six contests during the 2015 Playoffs.

Internationally, the Stockholm, Sweden, native has represented his country in several tournaments. Zibanejad registered five points (four goals, one assist) and posted a plus-three rating in six games while helping Sweden earn a gold medal at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship. In addition, he tallied the game-winning goal in overtime of the Gold Medal Game against Russia. Zibanejad also recorded eight points (four goals, four assists) and posted a plus-eight rating in six games while helping Sweden earn a silver medal at the 2011 IIHF U18 World Championship.

Zibanejad was selected by Ottawa in the first round, sixth overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Brassard skated in 254 games with the Rangers over parts of four seasons, registering 69 goals and 105 assists for 174 points.