Category Archives: Hartford Wolf Pack

NEW SIGNINGS IN GREENVILLE

greenville-road-warriors211Road Warriors Return Hynes and Sparks; Sign Johnston

BY: Andy Zilch, Greenville Road Warriors

Greenville, SC: Today the Greenville Road Warriors, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers, announced the signings of forwards Brandon Hynes, Lindsay Sparks and defenseman Jacob Johnston.

“Brandon and Lindsay add lethal speed on the wing that will create odd-man rushes for our offense,” Coach Dean Stork commented. “Even though Jacob is a defenseman, he has a great two-way game, vision and breakout passes to help our team on the offense.”

Hynes returns to the Road Warriors after completing last season at St. Francis Xavier University. The 21-year-old skated in 20 games with the Road Warriors, compiling 14 points (7G, 7A) before returning to Canada to attend college in early December. While with the Road Warriors, he posted a five-game point streak, scored two game winning goals, and was named runner-up for ECHL Player of the Week. Hynes, a native of Norris Point, Newfoundland, played in 14 games with St. Francis Xavier University, scoring 16 points (6G, 10A).

“It’s a treat and a privilege to be given such an opportunity to come back to Greenville,” said Hynes. “I am excited to play with the core of players the Road Warriors have and I’m looking to continue to improve as a teammate and a professional player.”

Sparks, 23, split last season between the Road Warriors and the South Carolina Stingrays. He began the year with South Carolina, scoring 13 points (5G, 8A) in 28 games. The University of Michigan product was claimed off waivers by Greenville where he would make 15 appearances and tally eight points (2G, 6A). Sparks was born in Oakville, Ontario.

“It’s important we build off what the team did last year which adds to the excitement of returning,” Sparks continued. “I hope to continue to build my game to help the Road Warriors reach a championship.”

Johnston, 26, completed his rookie season with the Evansville IceMen last year and was acquired by the Road Warriors on June 16th. Johnston was second among IceMen defenseman with five goals and also added 15 assists while competing in 51 games. He is a native of Sudbury, Ontario and is a product of Dalhousie University.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the Road Warriors family,” Johnston added. “It’s a great organization, town and community and I’m anxious to start the season and build off my rookie year.”

The current Road Warriors training camp roster consists of 11 players:

Scott Arnold, Matt Bruneteau, Michael Catenacci, Emerson Clark, Andrew Himelson, Brandon Hynes, Jacob Johnston, Chad Nehring, Shawn Skelly, Lindsay Sparks, and Justin Vaive

Season tickets for the Greenville Road Warriors’ 2014-15 season are available now and start as low as $170! Call a Road Warriors Account Executive at 864-674-PUCK or visit greenvilleroadwarriors.com to secure your Road Warriors season tickets today!

XL CENTER RENOVATION: PART TWO

hartford-wolf-pack-logo2-150x133111XL Center Chapter 40 – Celebrating 40 Years of the Hartford Civic Center

BY: Global Spectrum

Global Spectrum, operators of the XL Center, in partnership with Powerstation Events, have released the second weekly video blog that documents the current state of the XL Center renovation project. The CRDA’s Robert Saint, Director of Construction Services, outlines the progress that has been made since last week in regards to the framing of the fan bar, concourse, nodes, and locker rooms.

A portion of the concourse has been extended from the aisles to improve the ADA accessible seating areas, allowing for a better fan experience. The new premium 8 and 16-person loges have been framed and should be completed within the week; these lower level semi-private boxes are now available to rent on an annual basis.

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

VAIVE COMING BACK TO GRENVILLE

greenville-road-warriors211BY: Andy Zilch, Greenville Road Warriors

Greenville, SC: Today the Greenville Road Warriors, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers, announced the signing of forward Justin Vaive.

“I am thrilled to be adding Justin to the roster again this year. He is the type of player that can not only score but also brings a physical presence on the ice,” Coach Dean Stork said. “His ability to crash the net and fight for loose pucks makes him a tremendous offensive threat.”

Vaive (vie-vuh) only skated in 13 regular season games as a Road Warrior last season while splitting the year with the Hartford Wolf Pack. In his brief stint with Greenville, the power forward posted ten goals, eight assists and 20 penalty minutes. Vaive also played in 13 postseason games with Road Warriors, scoring six goals and five assists. The Buffalo, New York native dressed in 27 games with Hartford tallying one goal and four assists. He was selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the fourth round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Season tickets for the Greenville Road Warriors’ 2014-15 season are available now and start as low as $170! Call a Road Warriors Account Executive at (864) 674-PUCK or visit GreenvilleRoadWarriors.com to secure your Road Warriors season tickets today!

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.)