Category Archives: Connecticut Whale

XL CENTER RENOVATION UPDATE

mitch-headshot-10-13t-150x126BY: Mitch Beck, Publisher, Howlings

You can keep up with all of the latest on the $35M in renovation that is going on at the XL Center by going to XL Center: Chapter 40. Some samples of what’s going on from the site are below…

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KREIDER SIGNS: TWO-DOWN-TWO-TO-GO

Chris KreiderBY: The New York Rangers

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the team has agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward Chris Kreider.

Kreider, 23, skated in 66 games with the Rangers this past season, registering 17 goals and 20 assists for 37 points, along with 72 penalty minutes and a plus-14 rating. He tied for second among NHL rookies in power play goals (six), ranked fifth in goals, tied for fifth in power play points (12), and finished sixth in points. Kreider led the Rangers in plus/minus rating and shooting percentage (12.5%), ranked third on the team in power play goals and tied for fifth in goals. He established a single-game career-high with three assists and posted a plus-two rating on November 2 vs. Carolina. He tallied his first career hat trick, established a single-game career-high with a plus-three rating, and tied a single-game career-high with six shots on goal on November 30 vs. Vancouver.

In the 2014 Playoffs, the 6-3, 226-pounder recorded five goals and eight assists for 13 points, along with 14 penalty minutes in 15 games. Kreider established playoff career-highs in assists, points, power play goals (three), power play assists (two), power play points (five), and average ice time (16:48), and tied playoff career-highs in goals, shots on goal (29), and shooting percentage (17.2%). He led the team in power play goals and shooting percentage, tied for third in assists, and tied for fourth in goals, points, and power play points in the playoffs. After returning to the lineup for Game 4 of the Metropolitan Division Finals vs. Pittsburgh on May 7, Kreider ranked second on the team in points and tied for second in goals and assists. He established single-game playoff career-highs with three assists, four points, and six shots on goal in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Montreal on May 27, and became the first Ranger to record three points in one period of a playoff game since Jaromir Jagr in 2007.

Kreider has skated in 89 career NHL games, registering 19 goals and 21 assists for 40 points, along with 78 penalty minutes and a plus-13 rating. He skated in his first career NHL regular season game on January 19, 2013 at Boston and tallied his first career NHL regular season point with a goal on February 5, 2013 at New Jersey. Kreider has also skated in 41 career NHL playoff games, recording 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points, along with 20 penalty minutes. Kreider made his NHL debut in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Ottawa on April 16, 2012. During the 2012 Playoffs, he established an NHL record by recording five goals and seven points before skating in a regular season game.

Internationally, the Boxford, Massachusetts native has represented Team USA in numerous tournaments, including the World Junior Championship and the World Championship. During the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship, he tied for the team lead with six goals in seven games to help Team USA win the gold medal.

Kreider was originally selected by the Rangers in the first round, 19th overall, of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

(Editor’s Note: Several sources indicate that the former Wolf Pack forward accepted a $4.95 million deal, $2.35 million next season and $2.6 million in 2015-16. The deal comes just minutes before his arbitration hearing would have begun. Often those hearings create long term hostility between the two parties so it’s a great thing to avoid that. Glen Sather calls these, “Bridge deals.” His feeling is a player gets a small one after their entry level deal and then the payday comes after that when they’ve proven themselves.)

HOBBITT SEQUEL TO OPEN IN NY: TITLE, “RETURN OF THE ZUCCARELLO”

ny-ranger-logo-150x145RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH MATS ZUCCARELLO

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, July 22, 2014 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the team has agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward Mats Zuccarello.

Zuccarello, 26, registered 19 goals and 40 assists for 59 points, along with 32 penalty minutes and a plus-11 rating in 77 games with the Rangers this past season. He established career-highs in games played, goals, assists, points, plus/minus rating, power play goals (four), power play assists (13), power play points (17), game-winning goals (four), average ice time (17:08), and shots on goal (170). Zuccarello led the team in points, tied for the team lead in assists, tied for second in power play assists, ranked third in goals, tied for third in plus/minus rating and game-winning goals, ranked fourth in power play points, and finished fifth in shots on goal. Zuccarello’s 59 points were the most a Norwegian-born player has recorded in one season in NHL history. After missing the Rangers’ contest on October 24 at Philadelphia, he tallied a point in 42 of his final 70 games. Zuccarello skated in his 100th career NHL contest on December 15 vs. Calgary. He registered a career-high, six-game point streak on two occasions – from January 26 at New Jersey to February 7 at Pittsburgh (two goals, six assists), and from March 30 at Edmonton to April 10 vs. Buffalo (four goals, five assists).

At the conclusion of the regular season, Zuccarello was named the recipient of the 2013-14 Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award. The award, which is voted on by the fans, has been given annually since the conclusion of the 1987-88 season to the player who “goes above and beyond the call of duty.” The Oslo, Norway native became the third European-born player to receive the award, joining Jan Erixon (1987-88, 1990-91) and Henrik Lundqvist (2005-06).

In the 2014 Playoffs, the 5-7, 179-pounder registered five goals and eight assists for 13 points, along with 20 penalty minutes and a plus-seven rating in 25 games. He established playoff career-highs in games played, goals, assists, points, plus/minus rating, average ice time (17:40), hits (54), blocked shots (28), and shots on goal (54), and tied playoff career-highs in power play assists (three) and power play points (three). He tied for second on the team – and tied for eighth in the NHL – in plus/minus rating, tied for third on the team in assists, tied for fourth on the team in goals and points, ranked fifth on the team in shots on goal and hits, and tied for second among NHL forwards in blocked shots in the playoffs. He established single-game playoff career-highs with three assists and three points in Game 5 of the Metropolitan Division Finals at Pittsburgh on May 9.

Zuccarello has skated in 144 career NHL games, all with the Blueshirts, registering 30 goals and 63 assists for 93 points, along with 50 penalty minutes and a plus-24 rating. He has tallied nine goals on 19 shootout attempts (47.4%), including four game-deciding goals. In 2010-11, Zuccarello tied for the team lead, and tied for fourth among NHL rookies, with nine power play assists. He has tallied six goals and 14 assists for 20 points, along with 26 penalty minutes and a plus-five rating in 38 career NHL playoff games.

Internationally, Zuccarello has represented Norway in numerous tournaments, including most recently at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He skated in three games during the Olympics, leading all forwards on the team in average ice time (22:25).

Zuccarello signed with the Rangers as a free agent on March 28, 2013. He originally signed with the team as an undrafted free agent on May 26, 2010.

LOMBARDI SIGNS WITH RANGERS

ny-ranger-logo-150x145RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT FORWARD MATTHEW LOMBARDI

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, July 16, 2014 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent forward Matthew Lombardi.

Lombardi, 32, skated in 46 games with Genève-Servette of National League A (NLA) in Switzerland this past season, registering 20 goals and 30 assists for 50 points, along with 54 penalty minutes and a plus-16 rating. He led the NLA in assists and points, while tying for sixth in the league – and leading Genève-Servette – in goals. In the playoffs, Lombardi registered nine points (three goals, six assists) in 12 games. He tied for fifth in the NLA in assists and tied for seventh in the league in points in the playoffs, while ranking second on the team in each category. Lombardi also tallied four goals and four assists for eight points, along with a plus-five rating in three games while helping Genève-Servette win the Spengler Cup. Lombardi was named to the Spengler Cup All-Star Team, as he led all skaters in the tournament in points, tied for the tournament lead in goals and assists, and tied for second in plus/minus rating.

In 536 career NHL games over parts of nine seasons with Calgary, Phoenix, Nashville, Toronto, and Anaheim, the 5-11, 195-pounder has registered 101 goals and 161 assists for 262 points, along with 293 penalty minutes and a plus-six rating. Lombardi recorded eight points (four goals, four assists) in 28 games with Phoenix and Anaheim during the 2012-13 season. He has reached the 40-point plateau three times in his career, and has tallied at least 14 goals in five of seven seasons in which he has played at least 55 games. Lombardi has also tallied three goals and 13 assists in 40 career NHL playoff games. He recorded one goal and five assists for six points in 13 playoff games in his rookie year while helping Calgary advance to the 2004 Stanley Cup Final.

Internationally, the Montreal, Quebec native has represented Canada in numerous tournaments. Lombardi registered two goals and two assists for four points, and ranked second among tournament skaters with a plus-nine rating in nine games to help Team Canada win a silver medal at the 2009 IIHF World Championship. He also tallied six goals and six assists for 12 points, and posted a plus-four rating in nine games to help Team Canada win a gold medal at the 2007 IIHF World Championship. Lombardi tied for third among all skaters in goals and tied for fourth among all skaters in points in the tournament.

Lombardi was originally selected by Edmonton in the seventh round, 215th overall, of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. Upon re-entering the Draft, he was selected by Calgary in the third round, 90th overall, of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

CT’S NHL PLAYERS COME HOME FOR BIG ASSIST VI

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BY: Mitch Beck, Howlings

The Big Assist is an exhibition hockey game with NHL, AHL, Elite European League players and current and former Division I/III college players, hosted by Ryan Shannon of the Zurich Lions and Stanley Cup winner with the Anaheim Ducks. 100% of the proceeds are donated to the Obie Harrington-Howes Foundation.

Players from prior years’ games and invitees for this year include*:

  • Marty St. LouisNY Rangers
  • Ryan Shannon – Zurich Lions
  • Brad Richards – NY Rangers
  • Max Pacioretty – Montreal Canadiens
  • Torey Krug – Boston Bruins
  • James vanRiemsdyk – Maple Leafs
  • Kevin Shattenkirk – St. Louis Blues
  • Matt Moulson – Minnesota Wild
  • Jonathan Quick – LA Kings
  • Nathan Gerbe – Carolina Hurricanes
  • Ben Bishop – Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Chris Kreider – NY Rangers
  • Cam AtkinsonColumbus Blue Jackets
  • Matt Lashoff – Zurich Lions
  • Brian Lashoff – Grand Rapid Griffins
  • Jaime Sifers – Mannheim Eagles
  • Tom Atkinson – Boston College
  • Kevin Sullivan – Union College

The event takes place this coming Wednesday, July 23rd at 7 pm at the Terry Conners Rink in Stamford, CT as a fundraiser for The Obie Harrington-Howes Foundation.

The Obie Harrington-Howes Foundation makes financial assistance grants to individuals living with spinal cord injuries in the state of Connecticut. Obie was Ryan Shannon’s first hockey coach. Obie suffered a spinal cord injury while body-surfing in 1997. The Foundation was established in his name to help others with these
catastrophic injuries.

Tickets may be purchased on-line at OHHF.org or at the following retail locations:

Darien:

Barrett Bookstore, Bodytuning, Blueline Sports at the Darien Ice Rink.

Rowayton:

Fairfield County Bank

For more information and Sponsorship opportunities, please contact:
Pat Shannon – 203-249-5691 – pshannon@innov-llc.com
Candy Wheelock – 203-656-3051 – cwheelock@optonline.net

O’DONNELL COMING BACK TO THE PACK

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BY: Gerry Cantlon, Special to Howlings

The old adage about good things happening for those who wait and work hardest… well for the Hartford Wolf Pack‘s, Shawn O’Donnell, he’s proven it.

Howlings has learned that O’Donnell, a 24 year old rookie walk-on last season out of Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia of Canadian University hockey, will not be staying in a hotel all year and live on a thread of PTO deals, instead, he has been give a one year, one way AHL deal by the New York Rangers.

This leaves Ryan Bourque, Darroll Powe, Bretton Stamler, goalies David LeNeveu and Dov Grumet-Morris, defenseman Danny Syvret and right wing Kyle Beach as the only players left as restricted or unrestricted free agents who have not officially been signed for next season by either the Rangers or another NHL organization.

The tryout O’ Donnell received last fall from the Rangers came via some hard lobbying by Saint Mary’s head coach Trevor Steinburga, himself a former NHL first round draft pick, made to Director of Pro Scouting Gordie Clark and via a one-time pro-teammate of Steinburg’s, the Rangers’ pro scout, Daniel Dore. O’ Donnell had training camp offers from the Florida Panthers and Providence Bruins, but felt Hartford was his best opportunity.

It turned out to be the right move.

O’Donnell’s first AHL shift came against the Adirondack Phantoms and was quite adventurous, coming to the aid of, then teammate Brodie Dupont, who’d been nailed along the right wing boards by veteran AHL tough guy Zack FitzGerald. Fitzgerald got the better of the bout early, but O’Donnell finished it with a solid left hook.

O’Donnell hails from the new Canadian hotbed of top players – Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. The Pack’s toughest forward had three goals and ten points, plus 85 PIM in his maiden season. O’Donnell became a jack of all trades for Ken Gernander’s roster. He sat out early as a healthy scratch, worked on the PK and then some as a energy guy and became a good timely shot blocker.

“The year was good, but I was unhappy how it finished off for us. It was one of those cases where we just ran out of games. I felt like we were one of the better teams the last 10 to 25 games,” O’Donnell said speaking of the team’s 18-6-1-0 stretch run .

O’Donnell lived in a hotel all season after signing a series of PTO agreements including a fourth and final one he signed with just over a week left in the regular season.

“I have a lot of confidence in my skills and I have something to bring to the organization,” O’Donnell said at the end of the season. “I’m happy and grateful for the opportunity I got in Hartford. They gave me the chance to play and to succeed.”

“I really just tried to contribute and help out in any way I could,” O’Donnell continued. “This year I showed people what I could do and I can play here. I love that I can come back and play here. I like the team, I like Hartford.”

He will indeed get to do just that and his work ethic will hopefully be the norm in the locker room at the start of the season.

2ND ANNUAL WOLF PACK TOWN HALL MEETING ANNOUNCED

hartford-wolf-pack-logo2-150x1331112nd Annual

Hartford Wolf Pack 

Town Hall Meeting

BY: The Hartford Wolf Pack

You are invited to join the Wolf Pack front office for the 2014 Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, August 7th from 6:30-8pm!

The format will allow you the opportunity to discuss topics such as…

•         Wolf Pack Business Operations
•         XL Center renovations
•         Concessions

Where: Rentschler Field
When: Thursday, August 7 from 6:30-8:00 pm.
Parking: Complimentary

R.S.V.P.
There will be light refreshments served, so please RSVP by
Friday, August 1st with the number of attendees.

CLICK HERE TO RSVP

We look forward to seeing everyone there!

You may reserve your spot by calling 855-762-6451 or
email wolfpackservice@global-spectrum.com