Category Archives: CTWhale


gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

It was 20 years ago they came to play hockey just the same,
They have always come in style,
So let me introduce to you the Hartford Wolf Pack clan…

HARTFORD, CT  – Apologies to John, Paul, George, and Ringo for the literary thievery, but the Hartford Wolf Pack open their 20th AHL season at 7 pm tonight the XL Center against the Montreal Canadians top farm team, the St. John’s IceCaps.

This team is not the same team that took the ice for the Pack last season. 17 players who played ten or more games from last season’s roster have departed to various new hockey ports. On the other hand, they have added some interesting new pieces as well as some important veterans to help shape and guide the team for this coming season.

“It’s an exciting time of the year,” Head Coach Ken Gernander said. “The guys are chomping at the bit to get going. You can evaluate individuals, and you make the cuts, now you get to see how you stack up against the rest of the league.”

Gernander, who has spent all twenty seasons in Hartford, has watched the evolution of the team and athletes that have worn the team’s sweater.

“A lot of things have changed and for one, in the salary cap era you used to supplement teams with high-end free agents at the NHL level (and AHL), so the onus on development is so much more important now than it was back then. I know I sound ancient, but the kids are different today.” Gernander said. “The cell phones and internet didn’t exist when I started out, and you have to change with the times. It changes how you teach and instruct. I still have a little bit of old school mentality and reserve the right to revert to that sometimes.”

Having veteran leadership to pair with younger players is important to stitch together the mosaic of the team.

“We have several players returning who can fill that leadership role and that wasn’t the case every year, so that will be great to have some continuity to build off to start with,” The Pack’s winningest coach stated. “Those guys have a pretty good idea and can help carry the torch, and we have younger players we brought in, a couple of draft picks and acquisitions, that are young, promising guys. I think we have a real good look to complement. It is a real good mix.”

One of the major veterans Gernander mentioned will be its captain, Mat Bodie. The veteran defenseman got the C late last season after the Ryan Bourque trade. This season represents a new page for all of them, returning players especially.

“You want to make the new guys as comfortable as possible because it is an adjustment to the AHL whether you come from college, major junior, or Europe,” Bodie, entering his third season, said. “You have to try to help them learn the professional game and play the style the team is looking for.”

Clearly, one of the team’s biggest strengths is in between the pipes.

Magnus Hellberg, who will start the first game, and his understudy or goalie 1B, Mackenzie Skapski.

“Both guys are very strong competitors and will be battling for playing time. So we’re very comfortable whichever one is playing for us,” Bodie said. “It’s great for the defenseman when you have two great options like that. When they make those big saves, it’s felt throughout the lineup.”

Skapski wants to get off to a better start than last season. After getting his medical clearance to play, he struggled until the end of last season mostly with the Pack’s ECHL affiliates, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.  He was able to prepare more this off-season after last summer was spent more in recovery mode from his June 1, 2015, right hip labrum surgery.

“I’m ready for an exciting year,” Skapski said. “I’m hoping for good things individually and for the team. I felt like it was a good preseason in New York. It wasn’t good our not making the playoffs, but I used the time well. I spent a lot of time in Vancouver working on strength and mobility and worked with a good group of people, and I’m back where I want to be.”

Skapski was able to work on a few pieces of his game early.

“I skated earlier, about three times a week. I really hit the ice hard in July and August. I dedicated my time to my training concentrated on my three keys. Be at the top of my rectangle, (second) play in the blue paint and be calm and patient, and to see the passes and to be able to react. The third was stay square to the puck.”

Skapski certainly sounds like a good student of the Allaire School of Goaltending.

Gernander is trying to look at the whole situation when it comes to Skapski.

“Last year was a tough year, but at the end of the year he was back to the form he was the prior year, and that wasn’t yet one year removed from the surgery, and it was major surgery. He pushed himself hard and I know he was ahead of schedule in his rehab, and from a workload situation, was ahead of schedule. The body has to heal.

“There are all those things you can do to expedite things, but at some point, you have to let nature take its course. Because he put all that work and energy into (rehabbing)  and when it didn’t go the way he wanted it to go, it was hard emotionally, and everything he went through in Greenville last season, that didn’t transpire the way he wanted. It was very hard on him, but that did make him mentally that much stronger. He is a stronger player now physically and mentally for everything he put himself through.” Gernander said.

The Pack will have Marek Hrivik and Nicklas Jensen up front. The two had good chemistry once Jensen arrived mid-season in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks. It helped propel the Wolf Pack to a solid second half performance. They will lead a team that features many younger forwards making their pro debuts.

“We’re toying with a whole set of combinations for (Friday) night. Hrivik and Jensen had chemistry playing together last year. We’re trying combinations with several different looks. We’re not trying to forecast too much to other teams how we look,” Gernander said with a wry smile.

Cristoval “Boo” Nieves, who played some CT prep school hockey at Kent, leads a young crew of forwards. Ryan Gropp (2nd round draft pick), Michael Joly (free agent signee) and Robin Kovacs ( 3rd round pick) join Nieves up front.

“Look at our roster as it stands, we have twelve players. That’s a pretty good indicator.” Gernander said.

One of the additions is Tanner Glass. The veteran forward makes his second stint with the Wolf Pack after an 18 game stint last season. Glass is an important addition as the new season commences.

“We had good conversations here so far,” Gernander said. “He was a character guy here last year, and when he was recalled, he had some good hop in his step. From his point (of view), he had a good situation here last year, and from my standpoint, he did everything I asked of him and brought those intangibles (to the team). Everyone who comes here brings something different to the table and guys of a strong character don’t view it negatively and handle the adversity and work to make it not last. In his case, that speaks to his character and how he has handled it.”


The first-ever goal scored by Hartford twenty years ago was by P.J. Stock in Philadelphia. The first goal scored at home was by Pierre Sevigny.  Now, Sevigny’s son Mathieu, who was born in Hartford, is playing junior hockey with Drummondville (QMJHL).

Tonight’s opponent, the St. John’s IceCaps, for the second season in a row, are in their last season. This time, it’s the Canadians who will move their top farm team. Next season, the Habs will move their AHL affiliation to Laval, Quebec, a suburb of Montreal, to play in the Place Bell Centre. The team lost one goalie, Charlie Lindgren, to recall as a backup to former Wolf Pack, Al Montoya, who will start against the Buffalo Sabres as Carey Price (listed with the flu was a no go).

The team did, however, gain 6’6 forward Mike McCarron, who was one of the last cuts by Montreal. He played well for St. John’s last year before being recalled for the second half of the season.

Other players to watch for St. John’s include forwards, Nikita Scherbak, who battled injuries last year, Jacob De La Rose, and Charles Hudon.

Zachary Furcale will get the start in net. Furcale was a first round pick in 2012 and will be backed up by Bryan Pitton. The ex-Springfield Falcon is on recall from the Brampton Beast (ECHL).

The sale of the AHL Binghampton Senators to Ottawa Senators owner, Eugene Melnyk, and the team’s relocation to Belleville, Ontario for next season was approved the AHL Board of Governors.

Late player moves include former Quinnipiac standout goalie Michael Gartheig, reassigned to the Alaska Aces (ECHL) from the Utica Comets. By the way, there are no direct flights there.

Binghampton reassigned Ex-Pack Alex Krushelnyski to the Wichita Thunder (ECHL) from Binghamton.

Former CT Whale, Kris Newbury was cut by the Reading Royals (ECHL).


gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

Hartford, CT – The regular season roster took shape for the New York Rangers after they made their first series of roster cuts as the process of getting down to the mandated 23 players as required under the CBA agreement.

The Wolf Pack added both Marek Hrivik and Nicklas Jensen after they successfully cleared waivers. They will occupy two of their five veteran slots.
The third veteran to clear waivers was defenseman Chris Summers and his good friend, RW Chris Brown, will take the other two vets spots.

Joining the fold are defenseman Tommy Hughes, goaltender Mackenzie Skapski, and last year’s team captain, Mat Bodie who replaced Ryan Bourque after his trade to Hershey 36 hours after the deal.

On Friday, the Pack also received centerman, Cristoval “Boo” Nieves, who’s embarking on his first full pro season as well as goalie Magnus Hellberg.

After Wednesday’s 4-1 pre-season loss to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, head coach Ken Gernander had a post-game summit with GM Jim Schoenfeld. Gernander scurried from the locker room to the weight room to the team bus informing players where their next destinations were.

Heading to the ECHL and the Pack’s affiliate there, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, included UConn product, Trevor Gerling, who had a strong game and camp for the Wolf Pack. Joining Gerling are defenseman Troy Donnay, who technically was lent to Greenville, as was Donnay’s defensive partner in Wednesday’s game and who’s on an AHL deal, Spiro Goulakos.

On Friday, goalie Brandon Halverson was reassigned to Greenville while Jeff Malcolm was lent to the Swamp Rabbits.

The following players were sent to Greenville after being formerly released from their training camp contracts: Forwards, Brandon Alderson, Andrew Dommett, Allan McPherson, Angelo Miceli, Matt Plesa, Nick Plesa, Peter Plesa.  On Friday, forward Tommy Thompson was released and sent to Greenville.

Speaking of the Plesa brothers, it is the first time the Pack has had three brothers in training camp. There have been two on several occasions. Immediately coming to mind, the Pack had two with Parenteau, Byers, and the Gernander twins. All three of the Plesa boys played with SK Lejon (Sweden Division I) last year.

Also sent to Greenville were defensemen, Desmond Bergin, Joe Houk, and Matt Prapavessis. Goaltender P.J. Musico was sent down south as well.

RW Mike Pereira, a West Haven native who played his public school hockey at ND-WH and prep school at Avon Old Farms, was released and will join the Reading Royals (ECHL) training camp where he played most of the last season. Pereira’s older brother Joe is an assistant coach at UConn.

Expect more changes during the weekend and Monday. There is also the possibility of NHL waiver wire deals.

The Pack roster heading into the weekend looks like this;

Goaltenders (2): Magnus Hellberg, Mackenzie Skapski

Defense (10): Calle Andersson, Mat Bodie, Justin DaSilva, John Gilmour, Ryan Graves, Tommy Hughes, Garrett Noonan, Michael Paliotta, Sean Sullivan, Chris Summers

Forwards (15): Chris Brown, Matt Carey, Adam Chapie, Reid Duke, Steven Fogarty, Ryan Gropp, Marek Hrivik, Nicklas Jensen, Michael Joly, Robin Kovacs, Philip McRae, Cristoval Nieves, Ahti Oksanen, Malte Stromwall, Adam Tambellini


The Sound Tigers scored quickly in this game to cruise along to a 4-1 victory in what was essentially both team’s ECHL affiliate depth game at Koeppel Community Center rink at Trinity College.

The Sound Tigers offensive outburst began with Travis St. Denis and Kane Lafranchise scoring just 21 seconds apart, starting at the 14:58 mark. Ryan Obuchowski setup St. Denis up at 14:58. Lafranchise very quickly made it 2-0 at 15:19, taking a pass from ex-Pack, Andrew Rowe on the left wing side and snapping a shot past Malcolm, the Wolf Pack’s starting goaltender. Malcolm was seeing his first action since his regular ended prematurely last year with a freak injury in practice after a puck hit him in the throat area and required successful emergency surgery.

The Sound Tigers then took advantage of their first power play of the game, following Thompson heading to the sin bin for boarding at 16:05. Rowe, on a sharp-angle, got it past Malcolm from the right-wing side at 16:46, for a 3-0 Bridgeport advantage.“It wasn’t the start you ever want, in but I thought we recovered well and did play a lot better as the game progressed,” said head coach Ken Gernander.

“It wasn’t the start you ever want, but I thought we recovered well and did play a lot better as the game progressed,” Gernander said.

After being outshot 17-12 in the first period, the Wolf Pack had an 11-6 edge in that department in the second, but the Sound Tigers still managed to tally their fourth goal.

The Pack replaced Malcolm, who allowed three goals on 19 shots, with Halverson at 10:20 mark. Halverson surrendered Rowe’s second score of the game just 1:21 later. Rowe was positioned to Halverson’s left and was able to sneak the puck off of the rookie netminder’s (11 saves) left arm and just inside the goal post.

The Wolf Pack short-circuited Sound Tiger goaltender Eamon McAdam’s (30 saves) shutout bid just 31 seconds into the third period. Goulakos took a short snap shot from the left point, off of a pass from Donnay, but Gerling got the tip-in from in front to put turn the red light on for the Wolf Pack.

Gerling’s play in the game camp brought a smile to Gernander’s face.

“He has done very well and made a really nice play there getting himself in a good position to make the tip. He’s a good kid who is a good grinding two-way player and has done well here in a short amount of time.”

The game was a Connecticut college reunion and ex-Wolf Pack player get together.

The Wolf Pack had Malcolm (Yale) and Gerling (UConn) and the aforementioned Connecticut natives in Pereira and Mike Paliotta (Westport/Choate).

Connecticut collegiate hockey alums for Bridgeport included Shaun Pauly (UConn), Travis St. Denis (Quinnipiac), Ryan Obuchowski (Yale), Eric Hartzell (Quinnipiac) and the Jones twins, Connor and Kellen (Quinnipiac). The Jones twins grandfather Terry played for the EHL New Haven Blades.

Bridgeport also had Kevin Morris (Salisbury Prep), the son of ex-Nighthawk Mark Morris. The senior Morris coached in the AHL and is currently back in the college ranks running the bench at St. Lawrence (ECACHL). Also on the Bridgeport bench were ex-Pack players defenseman’s Samuel Noreau and Nick Petrecki.

The Wolf Pack continue the pre-season in Springfield Saturday night against the brand new Springfield Thunderbirds (Florida affiliate) at the Mass Mutual Center at 7pm and conclude the pre-season in Cromwell Sunday afternoon at Champions Skating Center at 1pm.


UConn’s third season of high-level Division I play as a member of Hockey East begins at home for the first time in a pair of non-conference games on Friday and Saturday against the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers at the XL Center. Friday’s game is at 7:05 and Saturday in a college football game time is slated for 4:05pm (WTIC-AM 1080 with Husky hockey voice Rich Coppola) .

The Huskies return with their two top snipers in Max Letunov, now a property of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, and Tage Thompson, a St. Louis Blues draftee. They will be seeking to get their season off to a strong start before the conference portion of their schedule commences.

The Chargers, from the WCHA conference, are no pushovers. They are 2-0 after sweeping nationally-ranked Ferris State last week 2-1 and 4-3.

The Huskies opened last season in Alabama against UA-H and Letunov recorded his first collegiate hat trick in his first game, a 5-2 win.

You may recall that UA-H’s top current alumni is ex-Pack and ex-New York Ranger goalie Cam Talbot, who’s now with the Edmonton Oilers.

UConn had one exhibition game last weekend in their only on campus appearance at the Freitas Arena, a 4-3 loss to Atlantic Canada conference defending champion, the St. Francis University X-Men. Kristoff Kontos, son of former New Haven Nighthawk and NY Ranger, Chris Kontos, scored twice in the win.

Thompson, Spencer Naas and freshmen Justin Howell (St. Paul, MN) scored the Huskies goals. Naas tied the game at one converting the loose biscuit as Johnny Austin’s point shot had been blocked in front.

St. Francis then scored three straight goals to take a 4-1 lead including two from Kontos and the game-winner from Michael Clarke.

UConn scored two in the third period off the sticks of Howell and Thompson to make it close. UConn tallied the two goals after killing off an early five-minute major incurred by freshmen Matt Newpower. Senior goalie Rob Nichols got the start in net, and Rangers’ draftee and freshmen, Adam Huska, worked the second period. Tanner Creel and Steve Thulin split the third-period goaltending for the Huskies.


Wethersfield native Colin McDonald was sent to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Allentown) by the Flyers. His father Gerry played with the Whalers and the Nighthawks.

Sent to the Binghamton Senators were a pair of ex-Wolf Pack, Chad Nehring, and Mike Kostka.

New ex-Pack, Jayson Megna, was assigned to the Utica Comets and earlier in the week his brother Jaycob was assigned to the San Diego Gulls. Calle Andersson’s younger brother, Rasmus, was assigned to the Stockton Thunder where he joined another new ex-Pack, Luke Adam.

Ivan Nikolishin, son of a former Whaler, Andrei Nikolishin, is in the Rockford Ice Hog’s camp.

Ex-Pack pair Nick Tarnasky and Stu Bickel were sent to San Diego.

Ex-Sound Tigers that were assigned from to the AHL include Joe Whitney (San Antonio Rampage), Marc-Andre Cliché (Toronto Marlies), three to the Texas Stars, Brandon DeFazio, Dustin Stevenson, and Matt Mangene.

Former CT Whale, Shane McColgan, goes from St. Thomas University (AUAA) and was in camp with the Ontario Reign (AHL). Ex-Sound Tiger, Guy Lebouef, is in the Rochester Americans’ camp. Ex-Sound Tiger, Justin Florek, is in the Milwaukee Admiral’s camp along with ex-Pack, Shawn O’Donnell.

Brian Gibbons, who impressed nobody in his stay in Hartford, was assigned to Albany by the parent New Jersey Devils.

Former CT Whale and Wolf Pack, Kris Newbury, signed a deal with Reading (ECHL).

The Sound Tigers sent to their ECHL affiliate, the Missouri Mavericks, Shaun Pauly (UConn) and Noreau. Hartzell was sent to the Ft. Wayne Komets (ECHL) who he signed with in the off-season. His fellow goaltender with the legendary Komets franchise will be UConn (AHC) goalie, Garret Bartus.

Former Sound Tigers goalies were sent to the ECHL. Parker Milner was cut by the Hershey Bears and sent to the South Carolina Stingrays while C.J. Motte is heading to the Iowa to joining the Quad City Mallards.

Nathan Lutz, a former New Haven Knight, will play Canadian Senior League hockey with the Rosetown Red Wings in the Chinook Senior Hockey League (CSHL).

Ex-Pack, Thomas Pock, switches Austrian teams going from EC Klagenfurter to EC Graz.

Former Sound Tiger, Jake Newton, who had signed with Idaho (ECHL) got a European deal and will play with HK Hradec Kralove (Czech Republic-CEL).


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.


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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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 



NWHLNWHL NEWS: Jessica Koizumi Announces Retirement

Whale Adds Practice Player and Calls Up Orlando

BY: Savanna Arral, NWHL

Brooklyn, N.Y.—  Today Jessica Koizumi of the Connecticut Whale announced her retirement from professional hockey and has accepted a full-time coaching position at The Ohio State University.

“This was the hardest career decision I have had to make — to retire from playing professionally in the NWHL in what I thought would be my last season,” Koizumi wrote in a letter announcing her retirement. “Being a part of the first paid professional league in North America (NWHL) last season is something I didn’t believe would happen in my lifetime. I hope the league sustains for generations to come because it was a dream come true… I am looking forward to the next chapter of giving back to the game from a different vantage point.”

Koizumi was captain of the Whale and scored the first goal in NWHL history.

Elena Orlando (F/D) will fill in on the full-time roster with a one-year, $12,000 contract. Orlando was signed by the Whale as a practice player this past offseason after playing for the New York Riveters last season. She registered one assist and 17 penalty minutes for the Riveters in the 2015-16 season.

Juana Baribeau (F) has also been signed by the Whale as a practice player. Baribeau is from Amos, Quebec and scored 52 goals and had 56 assists during her 150 game college career at Clarkson.

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.



Marissa Gedman and Lindsay Berman Return to NWHL For Season Two

BY: Savanna Arral, NWHL

Boston, MAThe Boston Pride have signed their practice players for the 2016-17 season, General Manager Hayley Moore announced Tuesday. Kathryn Tomaselli (F), Lindsay Berman (F/D), Maggie Taverna (D), Marissa Gedman (D), Michaela Levine (F), and Natalie Robinson (G) have agreed to practice player contracts.

Lindsay Berman (NWHL)

<> at Prudential Center Practice Facility on March 12, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey.

<> at Prudential Center Practice Facility on March 12, 2016, in Newark, New Jersey.

“We are very lucky to be adding an incredibly talented and well-rounded group of practice players to our Boston core,” said Moore. “These players add different areas of experience and skills to our team, and will be truly instrumental to our success this season.”

Gedman and Berman return to the NWHL after playing in the inaugural season. Gedman collected 6 assists in 18 regular season games with the Pride, as well as two assists in the Isobel Cup Playoffs. Berman notched one assist in three regular season games with the Connecticut Whale.

Levine finished her senior season at Williams this year as her team’s leading scorer with 55 points (30g, 25a) in 96 games. Tomaselli, another 2016 graduate, led her team with 50 points (31g, 19a) in 135 games with Union College.

Taverna was a defenseman for Boston College from 2005-2009, where she scored 67 points (15g, 52a) in 141 games. Goaltender Robinson, an Ontario native, played at the University of Maine from 2012-2016.

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.



Signings Include Inaugural Season Riveters Players Celeste Brown and Elena Orlando

BY: Savanna Arral, NWHL

Celeste Brown (NWHL)Northford, CTThe Connecticut Whale has signed their practice players for the 2016-17 season, General Manager Lisa Giovanelli announced Wednesday. Anya Battaglino (F/D), Laura Brennan (G), Celeste Brown (F), Shannon Doyle (D), Elena Orlando (D), and Jackie Raines (F) have agreed to practice player contracts.

“The Whale is very confident in the abilities of this group of players and firmly believe they will have no problems stepping into the lineup when called upon,” said Giovanelli. “As witnessed last season, the practice players play a huge role in the success of an NWHL team, and we expect this group to make huge contributions in our quest for the Isobel Cup.”

Shannon Doyle (NWHL)Returning to the Whale is inaugural season defenseman Shannon Doyle, who scored 5 points (2g, 3a) in 18 games. Anya Battaglino is also returning to Connecticut as a practice player after playing in 8 games with the team last season.

“I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to continue to chase my dream,” said Battaglino. “Being a player that works hard day in and day out to see my team and the league improve is so important to me. I look forward to getting back on the ice and fighting to make my teammates better and to get called into a game.”

Elena Orlando (NWHL)Joining the Whale are Celeste Brown and Elena Orlando, who both played for the New York Riveters in 2015-16. Brown scored 4 assists in 18 games with New York. Orlando collected 1 assist in 17 games in the inaugural season.

New to Connecticut is forward Jackie Raines, who finished her collegiate career at Yale in 2015. In 101 games with the Bulldogs, Raines scored 66 points (37g, 29a), averaging over a point per game.

Goaltender Laura Brennan played in 32 games with Minnesota State between 2003-06 before moving to Quinnipiac for the 2006-07 season. Over her career, she collected a .886 SV%, 3.48 GAA, and a 10-39-7 record. Brennan attended Buffalo Free Agent Camp this summer.

The restricted free agency period began on April 1 and lasted until April 30. Free agency began May 1 and ended 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.


gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – We’re getting closer and closer to the return of hockey to Hartford, but the New York Rangers made their most important free agent signing this week.


The Rangers landed the top collegiate free agent in the nation.

The list of suitors for 23-year old, Jimmy Vesey’s services included the New York Islanders, the New Jersey Devils, the Boston Bruins, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Buffalo Sabres, the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Stanley Cup champion, Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago. Surprisingly, the Detroit Red Wings were not in the mix.

Reports stated that the Islanders captain, John Tavares, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, all reportedly personally contacted Vesey and made their pitch.


Vesey had 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists) in 33 games as a senior at Harvard University last season where he won the 2016 Hobey Baker Award, given to the top NCAA player.

Vesey had been a third-round pick (No. 66) of the Nashville Predators at the 2012 NHL Draft, and the Predators hoped to sign him after his season at Harvard ended in March, offering Vesey a spot among their top six forwards heading into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Nashville traded Vesey’s rights to the Buffalo Sabres for a third-round pick in the 2016 draft on June 20. The Sabres had exclusive negotiating rights with Vesey until Tuesday when he became an unrestricted free agent.

Vesey, considered to be an NHL-ready player, had had 144 points (80 goals, 64 assists) in 128 games in four seasons at Harvard. He also had three assists in nine games to help the United States win the bronze medal at the 2015 IIHF World Championship.


The Rangers added their 18th defenseman to the organization’s depth chart when they signed, the 6-0, 190-pound, John Gilmour to a free agent deal out of Providence College. The deal is a two-year, two-way ($742,500K-NHL/$70K-AHL) deal. The Rangers now have 47 of the 50 contracted players they are allowed under the CBA. The team’s total salary stands at $70.5 million, and they have just about $2.5M cap space remaining.

Gilmour was a Calgary Flames seventh round draft pick in 2014, but the Flames, with an abundance of defenseman, chose not to offer him a contract, despite having a good shot, hits well and played on the Friars NCAA championship squad two years ago and completed all four seasons.

Gilmour, 23, skated in 34 games with Providence College this past season, where he registered nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points, along with a plus-three rating, his best numbers as a Friar along with 18 penalty minutes for the Hockey East school. Gilmour uses his stick well and ranks fifth among NCAA defensemen in power play points (16), and is tied for fifth among NCAA defensemen in power play assists (12), and tied for eighth among NCAA defensemen in goals and power play goals (four) during his senior season.
Also, Gilmour recorded 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) against Hockey East opponents in 2015-16, helping Providence post a 16-3-3 record in intra-conference games.

He skated in 141 career collegiate games over four seasons where he compiled 22 goals and 43 assists for 65 points, along with a plus-eight rating and 85 penalty minutes. In his four years, Providence posted a record of 81-42-18 in the games in which Gilmour played. He maintained a plus/minus rating of even or better in each of his four seasons with Providence.

*Contract numbers and cap numbers come from


Finally, the summer soap opera of the AHL schedule release has ended as the league posted its 2016-17 season Monday afternoon.

The Wolf Pack open their 20th anniversary season at home on Saturday, October 14th against the St. John’s IceCaps for the second season in a row. This is the last season in the AHL for St. John’s as the Montreal Canadiens will move their farm team to Laval, Quebec next season where they will play at the brand new Place Bell Centre.

The Wolf Pack schedule features five dates in October with the team’s second game also against St. John’s. The IceCaps start their season with six road games while the Pack play just two.

The Pack’s traditional early season school day game is against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on November 2nd at 11:00am.

The Pack will play just 14 of the 30 AHL teams with 52 games in the Atlantic Division. Springfield and Providence will play the Pack the most with ten games apiece. The pack will face the other four teams, Hershey, Lehigh Valley, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Bridgeport eight times each.

The other 24 games of their 76 games will be against the North Division who’ll likely make a difference because of the crossover playoff system. The team found out last season just how important those games were when they missed out on the playoffs by six points. They will play all of the teams four times each except Syracuse who they play just twice.

Twelve home games are on Fridays with a new starting time of 7:15 pm to accommodate for the traffic issues on I-91 and I-84.

The Pack home portion of the season concludes on Saturday, April 8th against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and the last four games of the season will be on the road in Bridgeport, Albany, Utica and will close out the season in Springfield on Saturday, April 15.

Find the Wolf Pack schedule HERE.

Find the complete AHL team-by-team schedule HERE

Note to the AHL-we all realize we have a bifurcated league now.

The AHL should release the Eastern conference schedule in July since there are no NBA building conflicts that they’re playing in and then release the Western conference schedule in August after Cleveland and San Antonio get their NBA schedules for their buildings.

Waiting like this is not good for the fans, horrendous for each team’s sales staff and doesn’t help with the league’s image.


The Wolf Pack will have a slate of three preseason games, of which two of them are home contests as they prepare for the 2016-17 season.

On Wednesday, October 5, the Wolf Pack host their in-state and divisional rivals, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The game takes place at Trinity College’s Koeppel Community Sports Center and starts at 7 pm. Donations will be accepted at the door instead of an admission charge. That money will benefit the Ryan Gordon / Hartford Wolf Pack Community Scholar’s Fund.

The fund memorializes young fan Ryan Gordon, who passed away in 2006 and asked that a portion of the monies set aside for his college education be donated to the Hartford Wolf Pack Community Foundation. Suggested donation is $5 per person.

The Koeppel Community Sports Center is located at 175 New Britain Ave. in Hartford.

The Wolf Pack’s lone road preseason outing will be a trip to the MassMutual Center in Springfield for their first meeting with the newly minted Springfield Thunderbirds who this year are the affiliates of the Florida Panthers. That game takes place on Saturday, October 8, at 7:00 pm.

The Pack concludes their preseason action with a home game on Sunday, October 9 at Champion’s Skating Center in Cromwell, CT, which is also their practice facility during the season. The game is a 1:00 pm battle with the Albany Devils, with a $5 admission charge benefitting Whalers Youth Hockey. Champions Skating Center is located at 6 Progress Drive in Cromwell Exit 21 off I-91.


Date                 Opponent             Venue Faceoff
Wed. Oct. 5   BRIDGEPORT   KOEPPEL COMMUNITY SPORTS CENTER,                                                                           TRINITY COLLEGE 7:00 pm

Sat. Oct. 8       at Springfield     MassMutual Center 7:00 pm

Sun. Oct. 9     ALBANY               CHAMPION’S SKATING CENTER, CROMWELL,                                                                  CT 1:00 pm

*Portions of the Wolf Pack press releases were used in the previous three segments.


Joining Gilmour and Jimmy Vesey on the list of NCAA players who’ve signed their first pro contracts is Thomas DiPauli from Notre Dame, who inked a deal with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

That makes 192 players to have signed a North American pro contract including 41 underclassmen since the college regular season and post-season ended.

Several ex-players are getting into the coaching, scouting and management side of hockey.

Congrats to J.F. Labbe, the Wolf Pack Calder Cup winning goalie and AHL Hall of Famer. Labbe is going to be coaching goaltending for two teams in two different leagues this season that is probably a first in hockey.

He is set to begin his third year with the QMJHL Sherbrooke Phoenix, but he was named late last week as the Anaheim Ducks developmental goalie coach and will be in San Diego two weeks a month during the season working with their prospects with the AHL Gulls.

Ex-Pack Mike Mottau is the new scout with the Chicago Blackhawks. Jim Sandlak, the ex-Whaler, switches as a scout from Vancouver to Anaheim while Jim Mill, a Hartford native and former AHL VP, switches scouting from Minnesota to New Jersey.

Nolan Pratt, the former Beast of New Haven and Hartford Whaler, is the new assistant coach in Colorado. With Patrick Roy’s sudden exit, the Avalanche need a head coach. Pratt was a part of Lake Erie’s (nee Cleveland) Calder Cup winning squad.

Another Beast of New Haven alumni, Ryan Johnson, was promoted to Assistant Director of Player Development with Vancouver.

Former Whalers who were assistant coaches in Boston have new gigs. Doug Houda with Detroit and Doug Jarvis in Vancouver.

Former Pack goalie David LeNeveu is using his Ivy League education well as President and part of an ownership group that includes former NHL goalie Kelly Hrudey of the Nanaimo Clippers (BCHL).  The British Columbia Hockey League is one of the 10 Junior A leagues in Canada that US Division I colleges recruit heavily from.

LeNeveu and Dov-Grumet Morris helped rescue the Wolf Pack three seasons ago from finishing dead last and were probably the smartest goaltending duo in AHL history with a combined IQ of something like 5,000!

Jeff Woywitka, the former CT Whale defenseman, and a Ranger was named assistant coach for the Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL)-Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Ex-Sound Tigers are starting out in the Junior B league level in Canada. Jean

Jean Bourbeau was named assistant coach with the Columbia Valley Rockets (KIJHL)-Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. The head coach and GM of the team are the one-time former Sound Tiger goalie star, Wade Dubliewicz.

Ruffian extraordinaire with Bridgeport Pascal Morency was named assistant coach with the Fernie Ghostriders (KIJHL).

Former Ranger and Nighthawk from the 1980’s, Raimo Heminen, has landed as an assistant coach with Jokert Helsinki (Finland-KHL). Last season Heminen was fired a month into the season along with the entire staff at Barys Astana (Kazakhstan-KHL) and then lasted just two months with Dynamo Riga (Latvia-KHL).

Alex Westlund, the former Wolf Pack, and Yale University goalie becomes the goalie coach with Medvescak Zagreb (Croatia-KHL). Last season he had the same position with Augusburger (Germany-DEL).

Jim Setters, a one-time Nighthawk, becomes the new head coach for the Lithuania National U-20 Team that competes in the IIHF Division II level in Group A with fellow Baltic state country Estonia, Croatia, the Netherlands, and Romania. He has been the head coach of Germany’s U-20 and U-20 teams over the past 20 years.

Next year’s AHL team in Laval, Quebec that will be the Canadiens top farm team has narrowed the team nicknames from twenty to three finalists. The names that fans will a have a choice to select are Patriotes, Rapids, and Rocket.

Ex-Pack Conor Allen, who played with three teams last season starting in Milwaukee as an assistant captain, before being traded to Binghamton, had a very rough year.  At the trade deadline, Allen found himself with the Iowa Wild – the worst team in the AHL last season. He has signed a one-year deal with Grand Rapids who along with San Antonio have made some of the most moves in the off-season and should have a stronger team this coming season.

AHL switches Jamie Devane goes from Milwaukee to Stockton. Tom McCollum goes from Grand Rapids to Ontario, and San Antonio looks to be an early Calder Cup threat after getting Avon native and Westminster Prep grad, Ben Smith. He leaves Toronto to go to the Rampage. Last season Smith played for both San Jose teams (NHL/AHL), the Sharks and the Barracuda. Both Toronto teams (NHL/AHL) Maple Leafs and Marlies.

Former UCONN player Jason Sims, son of ex-Whaler and Nighthawk Al Sims, signed with Cincinnati (ECHL) for next season. Last year, he played with Evansville (ECHL) and got a last weekend of the season recall to San Jose (AHL). Father Al has coached the first San Jose Sharks team.

Wolf Pack defenseman Calle Andersson’s younger brother, Rasmus, has signed to a three-year, two-way deal with Calgary. They originally drafted him in the second-round, 53rd overall in 2015. He will be in Stockton next season after playing at Barrie (OHL) the last two years. The younger Andersson like Calle is a right-handed shooting defenseman.

Their father Peter, a former Rangers’ player in the 1980’s, has a new coaching gig with Malmo IF in the Swedish Hockey League (AHL) after getting fired last year with HC Lugano (Switzerland-LNA).

Ex-CT Whale Lee Baldwin goes from ESV Kaufburen (Germany DEL-2) to Braehead (Scotland-EIHL).

Quinnipiac sophomore Brayden Scherbinin heads back to Canada to play university hockey with the University of Calgary Dinosaurs (CWUAA) the defenseman had just five assists in two years and played sparingly.

The next batch of NCAA college hockey Frozen Four and regional bids have been accepted last week for the tournament years running from 2019-2022. The first cuts and finalists will be announced on October 28th, and then the finalists to host the hockey regionals and the Frozen Four tournament will be announced by the NCAA on December 7th.

Hartford would be a great location central highway arteries, with plenty of hotels and restaurants in the area. They’d be terrific for a regional, but without a new XL Center, a bid can’t be made.


gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT –  There’s always speculation on a team that didn’t make the playoffs in who’s coming back and who isn’t. The Hartford Wolf Pack have, as most AHL teams do, had some turnover. One player who’s future was an unknown had that question answered this past week.


Last season’s best insurance policy in the Pack net, Jeff Malcolm, has been resigned by the Rangers to an AHL deal for the 2016-17 season.

The question for Malcolm though is, “Will he be in Hartford or Greenville?

Looking at the goalie depth chart with Magnus Hellberg (making $100K-AHL last season), Mackenzie Skapski in the final year of his entry-level deal ($65K-AHL) and rookie Brandon Halverson (starting the first year of a three entry level contract) Greenville seems more likely for Malcolm.

We thought that last season too, but he spent significant time in Hartford early in the year because both Mackenzie Skapski (right hip labrum)i and Cedrick Desjardins (torn right ACL) were coming major surgeries in the off season.

Malcolm spent a better part of the second half as Magnus Hellberg’s backup when Skapski had troubles in net and was dispatched to Greenville was highly respected by his teammates and coaching staff on how he handled the backup role. Malcolm won some significant games including a critical 3-0 shutout in Springfield on March 20th in the Pack’s valiant, but unsuccessful bid to make the Calder Cup playoffs.

Malcolm’s season was ended prematurely in the waning weeks of the regular season suffering a fractured larynx in practice taking a shot similar to Providence Malcolm Subban injury and was rushed to a local surgeon for successful emergency surgery,

Malcolm, is entering amazingly his fourth pro season in 2016-17, and his first three seasons have all been in the Wolf Pack/New York Ranger organization. Last season, he played a career-high 14 AHL games with the Wolf Pack and tied his AHL career best in wins with seven, going 7-5-0 in AHL action. The 6-2, 185-pound Malcolm also established personal AHL bests of a 2.41 goals-against average and a 91.2% save percentage, and registered his first two career AHL shutouts.

Malcolm also appeared in nine ECHL games with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits recording a record of 5-2-2 with a 3.40 GAA and an 89.4% save percentage. Malcolm also played in the ECHL All-Star game.

Originally signed by the Wolf Pack on July 17, 2013, Malcolm has seen action in 31 career AHL games, posting a 15-12-0 record, a 2.78 GAA and a 90.3% save percentage. In 64 total ECHL outings with Greenville, Malcolm is 35-21-6, with a 2.79 GAA, a 91.3% save percentage and one shutout.

Malcolm capped off his four-year Yale career in 2012-13 by backstopping the Bulldogs to their first-ever NCAA “Frozen Four” title in school history. Malcolm was 20-6-2 in 30 appearances for Yale in 2012-13, with a 2.24 goals-against average, a 91.9% save percentage and three shutouts. Those numbers represented the second-highest single-season win total, the third-best save percentage and fourth-lowest GAA in Yale Men’s Hockey history. Malcolm also finished second among ECACHL goaltenders in wins and tied for third in shutouts.

In his four years at Yale, Malcolm appeared in 67 games, amassing a record of 36-21-4 with a 2.60 GAA, a 90.7% save percentage and six shutouts. Those stats rank him fourth all-time in school history in wins, GAA and save percentage.


Former Wolf Pack Alex Krushelnyski, son of former New York Ranger, Mike Krushelnyski, signs an AHL deal with Binghamton.

Former Wolf Pack forward Andrew Rowe, who played for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers where he added seven goals and eight points in eleven games before an injury prematurely ended his season, has signed a one-year AHL deal with them for the upcoming season. The Sound Tigers also signed Finnish goalie Christopher Gibson for a one-year, two-way deal.

Eric O’Dell, who split the year with Rochester and Binghamton, signs with HK Sochi (Russia-KHL). Joining him in AHL’ers heading to Europe include Greg Rallo of Texas who goes to Iserlohn (Germany-DEL) and Drew Shore Stockton to EHC Kloten (Switzerland-LNA). Clark Seymour of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to HC Bolzano (Italy-AEHL).

The AHL to Euro list now stands at 70.

Ex-Pack defenseman Vladimir Denisov re-signs with Traktor Chelyabinsk (Russia-KHL).

Former Sound Tigers goalie in 2005-06, Frederic Cloutier, goes from Kookoo (Finland Division-1) to Asiago AS (Italy-AlpsHL).

Ex-Pack and Sound Tiger, Mark Lee, split last year between Italy (SHC Fassa) and Denmark (SonderjyskE) signs with ETC Crimmitschau (Germany DEL-2).

Ex-CT Whale, Shayne Wiebe, leaves EHC Olten (Switzerland-LNB) for HC Val Pusteria (Italy-AlpsHL).

Former Quinnipiac Bobcat and Sound Tiger, Mike Dalhuisen, goes from Esbjerg(Denmark) to Torpedo Kamenogorsk (Russia-VHL).

Former Salisbury Prep player Kevin Quick goes from Nottingham (England-EIHL) to Beijing to play for the China Dragon in the ALIH (Asia League Ice Hockey) team.

Several new assistant coaches were named in the AHL this week. Ex-Sound Tiger Jay Leach and Trent Whitfield join Kevin Dean’s staff in Providence. Leach comes over from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Whitfield from Calgary (WHL). Leach was a captain with Providence and when he played at Providence College. Whitfield was also a P-Bruins captain and AHL All-Star selection finished his playing career in Portland wearing the “C” as well.

Chris Taylor from Rochester and JD Forrest (EC Salzburg-2 in Austria) become a part of Clark Donatelli’s staff in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Jason King was named an assistant with Utica moving over from St. John’s where he spent the last three years, two of them as an assistant coach and the final year as the Director of Hockey Operations.

The defending Calder Cup champion Lake Erie Monsters will enter their tenth year this upcoming season and drop the Lake Erie name and become the Cleveland Monsters. After the poor run both on and off the ice as the Cleveland Barons they adopted the Lake Erie prefix and have become one of the best franchises in the AHL. They join a city of champions along with fellow tenant at Q, the NBA champion, Cleveland Cavaliers.

AHL switches have seen Albany lose two defensemen, Brandon Burlon, who signs with Tucson and Dan Kelly signs with San Jose.

Mike Angelidis, Syracuse’s captain the last four years and who had some memorable battles against the Wolf Pack, heads West and signs an AHL deal with Stockton.

Former Yale defenseman Gus Young goes from San Jose (AHL) to Chicago (AHL).

Going from Stockton, after spending half the year in Adirondack (ECHL) and Charlotte, is forward Mitch Heard.

American International College (AIC) who play in the Atlantic Hockey Conference (AHC) in Springfield is leaving the West Springfield Olympia Arena and will make the MassMutual Center their new home starting this fall along with the AHL Springfield Thunderbirds.

AHL teams will be wearing their white uniforms at home until Christmas break and then switch to the darker uniforms after the holidays. The Wolf Pack will also be unveiling new jerseys to mark their 20th anniversary season.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has unveiled a new look as their parent team of the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins and they will adopt the Penguins look from their Stanley Cup winning era in 1991 and 1992.

AEG, the former operator of the XL Center, continues their restructuring of their worldwide hockey portfolio. Here in the states, they were replaced as the building operator of the Ontario Citizen Business Bank Arena. They had a ten-year run that’s started in October 2008 when the building opened at a cost of $150 million. SMG also runs the Ontario (CA) Convention Center and signed a five-year deal with a five-year option to start managing the facility. The deal became effective on July 1st.

AEG will still own and operate the AHL Ontario Reign. They did divest themselves of the ECHL Manchester Monarchs to the Boston-based PPI Sports LLC after 16 years. The Monarchs were in the AHL for 15 years winning their lone Calder Cup in 2015, their last year in the AHL. The organization flipped their franchises as part of the creation of the AHL Pacific Division. The ECHL Monarchs were the ECHL East Division champs last season.

The Kings will still be their ECHL affiliate next season, but are no longer under their umbrella. They could see a change in affiliation in a few years as part of the overall minor league restructuring that has been underway the last two years. The NHL/AHL/ECHL, 31/31/31 (eventually 32/32/32) model will marry the franchises and keep them closer to each other to reduce overall costs in travel and salary as part of the current NHL-CBA agreement.

AEG shut the doors of one of their two German DEL teams, the Hamburg Freezers in June, who drew over 9,000 per game.

One-time AHL Eddie Shore winner, Andy Delmore, goes from the University of Windsor (OUAA) to Toledo (ECHL) to be their assistant coach.

In a big collegiate move, Quinnipiac University (ECACHL) scored a transfer coup as Boston University’s (HE) Brandon Fortunato will become a Bobcat after sitting out the mandatory NCAA one-year transfer waiting period in 2017-18. He is still eligible to play junior hockey in the USHL since he doesn’t turn 21 until next June. The Fargo Force (USHL hold his rights 2014) still have his rights. He was originally drafted by Green Bay (USHL) in 2012 and the following year by Vityaz Podolsk in the KHL Draft.


The US squad at the Ivan Hlinka tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia captured silver despite losing 4-3 to the host Czech Republic. The US squad received a strong performance from Cayden Primeau in net with 33 saves. The trophy returned to the host country for the first time in nine years that Canada didn’t win.

The US team advanced to the semifinals beating the Czechs 4-2 on the strength of a Ryan Poehling hat trick. Primeau, the son of ex-Whaler Keith Primeau, made 24 saves.

Poehling played this year at Lakeville H.S. in Minnesota where the assistant coach is former Wolf Pack defenseman, Jake Taylor.

The American team knocked off the Russians 4-3 in overtime in the semi-finals overcoming three one-goal deficits. Primeau was named the game MVP with 38 saves.

The Wolf Pack’s current assistant coach and assistant GM, Pat Boller, is one of the team’s assistant coaches.

At the Five Nations Tournament, that’s being held in Frisco, Texas – where the temperature outside was 105-107 degrees with a heat index of 112 or better – made being in the ice arena the place to be.

The American squad won the tournament for the second season in a row . The team went undefeated (4-0-0) and beat Germany 9-2 while outshooting their opponents, 54-13. They outscored the opposition 31-6 over the four games.

The team features some familiar names of sons of ex-Whalers.

Christian Krygier, the son of Whalers/UCONN/Nighthawk fame, Todd Krygier, earned two assists in the final game and had five points over the four games all assists.

Jack Drury, the son of Ted Drury and nephew to the Rangers Director of Player Development, Chris Drury of Trumbull, scored his first goal of the tournament along with four assists.

The US U-17 squad beat Switzerland 6-2 in the first game.

Krygier earned two assists in the first game while Drury picked up an assist.

In their second game, the US crushed Slovakia 10-1 at the Dr. Pepper Arena with Drury providing three assists and Krygier adding a helper.

The American squad then beat the Czech Republic 6-1 in the third game. Drury picked up another assist.

Both Drury and Krygier will play US junior hockey in the fall. Krygier will play with Lincoln (USHL) while Drury with Waterloo (USHL).

The team GM is Ken Rausch (Danbury) who played high school hockey at Immaculate High.

The Czech team features defenseman Zack Malik, son of former Whalers, Rangers and Beast of New Haven defenseman, Marek Malik.

The Canadian team had ex-New Haven Senator Darren Rumble as one of their assistant coaches.


The soap opera that is the New York Islanders and the Nassau Coliseum got a bit more interesting last week.

The New York Post reported that secret talks are underway for the possible return to the Coliseum. A Chief Nassau county official neither confirmed or denied that on the possibilities. Read the latest saga HERE!



Season Two Begins With Opening Weekend in Buffalo, NY

BY: Savanna Arral, NWHL

New York, NYThe National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) today announced the full 2016-17 regular season schedule.

The second season of the NWHL begins on October 7th, 2016 with Opening Weekend in Buffalo, NY. Regular season play will pause for all All-Star Weekend, which will be held on February 11-12th, 2017. The regular season concludes on April 16th, 2017, prior to the second annual Isobel Cup Playoffs.

Details and tickets for team home openers were released last Friday.

The dates, times, and locations for all 2016-17 season games can be found in the attached document. Tickets for all games are available now on

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.


Prudential Center


Official Practice Rink of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils Hosted Isobel Cup Final in March 2016

BY: Savanna Arral, NWHL (All stories)

New York, NY — The National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) today announced that the New York Riveters will call the Barnabas Health Hockey House at Newark, NJ’s Prudential Center home for the 2016-17 season.

“We’re very excited to make the move to Newark for our second season,” said Riveters General Manager Chad Wiseman. “The Barnabas Health Hockey House staff have been very welcoming and we’re excited to continue to grow our fan base into New Jersey.”

“The National Women’s Hockey League has done an amazing job showcasing its talented athletes and providing inspirational stories to hockey fans everywhere,” said Hugh Weber, president of Prudential Center and the New Jersey Devils. “We are thrilled to welcome the Riveters to Newark and share a vision with the team and the league to grow the sport in our communities throughout New Jersey. Women’s hockey plays a critical role in the development of young athletes and we are excited to be an integral part of the movement.” Continue reading