Category Archives: CTWhale

PACK’S SONAR MAKES LOTS OF FRIENDS IN MONROE

mitch-headshot-10-13t-150x1261BY: Mitch Beck, Publisher, Howlings

The Hartford Wolf Pack’s lovable mascot, Sonar, came to Monroe, Connecticut on Friday afternoon to visit Camp Teepee.

Founded in 1950, the Lakewood-Trumbull YMCA, which runs Camp Teepee, provides a full range of fitness, activity, sports, child care and camp programs throughout the summer for children ages 5-15 in Monroe CT. Camp Teepee is both licensed by the State of Connecticut and accredited by the American Camping Association.  The camp grounds sit on 47 acres of land and includes three pools, tennis courts, a pond, hiking trails, a field, several program pavilions.

This was not the first time Sonar has made a visit to Monroe over the years. In fact Sonar has been there several times at the request of Don Casey, Jr, a professional educator at Stepney Elementary School and a Camp Tepee Unit Leader.

Casey is a HUGE New York Rangers and Hartford Wolf Pack fan. As a part of Camp Teepee’s, annual “Favorite Team Jersey and Cap Day,” Casey invited Sonar to come and share the lunch hour with the kids. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: THE WIDE WORLD OF (HOCKEY) SPORTS

gerryBY: Gerry Cantlon, Special to Howlings

Some news from around the hockey world.

The role of concussions in sports and hockey in particular, have been a major topic the past five years. Work on designing a new, more protective helmet has been ongoing. In a fine piece, well worth the read, in the New York Times, current developments that are ongoing for manufacturers and the medical community to achieve success are examined.

As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to escalate, the sport of hockey has been affected there and may well spill over to the US.

As August comes upon us, usually the only quiet month in hockey, here’s a look at news and notes with a Connecticut angle. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: CT BOY – ROB MALLOY

GerryBY: Gerry Cantlon, Special to Howlings

The season after winning a championship is always tough.

No different for the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) defending Goodall Cup champion Sydney Ice Dogs.

Cheshire, Connecticut native Rob Malloy, 27 is in his fourth season -third as Sydney’s captain – became the kings of hockey in the southern hemisphere last September. Malloy has seen the high and lows.

Malloy Picture #1This season Malloy was there as the Ice Bears get off to a rocky 1-5 start and endured the sudden departure of head coach Ron Kuprowsky, who was the only coach Malloy has known since coming to play in Australia.

On April 14th, Kuprowsky, a Canadian native from Edmonton, and his two assistants Colin Downie and Brad Andrlon, left just two games into the regular season.

“We didn’t see it coming at all. It really wasn’t the way we wanted to start our season, especially after winning the championship. It left a pretty salty taste in our mouths for a while, but we moved forward.

I don’t want to go into any details regarding the departure. I’ll just say there were a few disagreements with management and leave it at that,” Malloy said in an interview conducted via e-mail.

The team briefly went with a trio of interim coaches, including the recently retired Ice Dogs defenseman Anthony Wilson, the brother of second leading scorer David Dunwoodie-Dion and Mark Page. On May 8th, they finally settling upon hiring 13-year Australian coaching veteran, Andrew Petrie.

“He has been an awesome addition. He’s perfect for the situation and he’s earned the respect from the team. We have a great relationship which helps things as well.”

Malloy Picture #2The Ice Dogs presently are in second place in the eight team circuit with a record of 11-8-1-1 (wins, losses, overtime wins, overtime losses) overcoming the early season blues to trail the Melbourne Mustangs by just two points for the top spot. The Mustangs have 38 points after this past weekend’s action.

Melbourne won its lone game, 6-3, over Newcastle and the ice Dogs cooled off a hot Perth Thunder team 5-3 in their lone weekend contest.

The two teams don’t meet until the last game of the regular season in Sydney. The game will be played at the Ice Dogs home rink, the Liverpool Catholic Club Sports Complex. Continue reading

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.