Category Archives: Hockey



*           *           *           *

Trade Acquisitions Klingberg, Summers Assigned by Rangers, Escobedo Released from PTO

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, March 3, 2015:  Hartford Wolf Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld today announced three Wolf Pack roster moves.

The parent New York Rangers have assigned forward Carl Klingberg and defenseman Chris Summers, both of whom were acquired just prior to Monday’s NHL trade deadline, to the Wolf Pack, and the Wolf Pack has released defenseman Sean Escobedo from his Professional Tryout (PTO) agreement.

Klingberg, 24, who has split the 2014-15 season between the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets and the St. John’s IceCaps of the AHL, was acquired by the Rangers Sunday from the Jets, in exchange for fellow forward Lee Stempniak. Klingberg has skated in 51 AHL games this season, registering 15 goals and 15 assists for 30 points, along with 41 penalty minutes. He led St. John’s in shots on goal (152), was tied for first on the team in goals, and ranked fourth in points. Klingberg also appeared in two games with the Jets this season. Continue reading


gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

The Hartford Wolf Pack benefited greatly from the moves the New York Ranger made at the trade deadline on Monday.

In the deal with the Arizona Coyotes, John Moore, Anthony Duclair as well as a first and second round pick, brought the team premiere offensive minded defenseman Keith Yandle to the Blueshirts, but also yielded Chris Summers, who was not an unknown commodity to the organization.

Summers is a big and strong defenseman. At 6’2 and 215 pounds, Summers skates well and is considered a top flight athlete. He was drafted in the first round, 29th overall, back in 2007 after ending a stellar four year career at the University of Michigan. During the combines several years ago, he was scouted by the Rangers and routinely was a finalist along with Chris Kreider and Ryan McDonagh. Now, the Rangers organization has all three. Continue reading


gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

Besides player movement, there are some much bigger moves coming in Bridgeport.

Cantlon’s Corner has learned from several sources Friday that the New York Islanders will relocate the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island when the parent club leaves for Brooklyn, and the Barclays Center following the conclusion of the 2014-2015 regular season. It was announced last June by Bruce Ratner, owner of Forest City Ratner whose company won the bid over MSG to renovate and then run the Nassau Coliseum stated that the Sound Tiger would move there, but it was expected to be after the renovations were done in 2017.

Since then the Islanders have been sold to Arthur Ledecky and Scott Malkin who at present are the minority owners. The two will assume the majority role in two years from Charles Wang. Add that to the AHL undergoing its most significant restructuring in its history with the announcement last month of the creation of a Pacific Division making the AHL a true coast-to-coast league.

Clearly the timetable and conditions have changed.

However, that will not end AHL hockey in Bridgeport.

As required, the only way for the existing team to exit the existing lease in Bridgeport is for the Islanders to find a new partner to assume that lease as-is. Well, they’ve done that. The New Jersey Devils will move their farm from Albany, N.Y. to the Webster Bank Arena and will be there at least for the remaining term if the lease which runs until 2021.

Harbor Yard Sports and Entertainment presently manages the Webster Bank Arena and their contract runs concurrently to 2021 as well.

It will end the Islanders 14-year long relationship with the City of Bridgeport that began with some controversy. The late Roy Boe purchased the AHL’s Beast of New Haven for $2 million, thirty days after the team folded. Boe’s group outbid Paragon Sports for the first lease at the building, then known as, “The Arena at Harbor Yard.” Boe’s offer was for an unheard of 20 years for $20 million. Paragon Sport’s offered 10 years and $11 million. This all came at the time that the New Haven Coliseum was about to be shutdown and was eventually demolished.

The ECHL had been slated to go into the new arena, which had not sold it’s naming rights yet to Webster Bank. Boe, along with the AHL, was able to swoop in and win the contract with the building operator at the time, Centerplate, which was primarily a food concession company.

The Islanders, who’s AHL affiliation was in Lowell, MA at the time, pulled their players out of the team and put them in Springfield after a dispute between then Islanders GM Mike Milbury and then Lowell coach Tom Rowe (now in San Antonio), who was unaware of the move.

The Sound Tigers went to the Calder Cup Finals their first year in, “The Park City,” and lost to the Chicago Wolves in five games. The team has never approached that level of success since.

For years, rumors have swirled around that the New York Rangers would move from Hartford to Bridgeport. There was some interest, but the lease and building’s operating debt, according to MSG sources, was the reason a marriage could never be made. Two years ago, Global Spectrum opted not to submit a bid for the new management contract after Centerplate chose not to renew due to the aforementioned issues.

There will be another AHL Eastern city move by the end of this year and several moves East and West after next season as the restructuring of the AHL continues.

Esteemed AHL beat writer Mike Fornabaio of the Connecticut Post, who has covered the team since its inception, also has a piece on the Sound Tigers situation. That piece can be read HERE.


bob-crawfordWOLF PACK WEEKLY: March 2-8, 2015

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

The Wolf Pack (30-18-5-3, 68 pts.) absorbed a pair of narrow defeats this past week, falling 4-2 in Manchester on Friday night and dropping a 3-2 overtime decision to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Saturday night at home.  The Pack led the Monarchs 2-1 going into the third period Friday, on goals by Steve Spinell and Tyler Brown, but Manchester came back with three tallies in the final frame to turn the tables.  The Wolf Pack trailed Saturday’s contest 1-0 and 2-1, but came back both times on goals by Chris Mueller. 


* = Division leaders are seeded 1, 2, and 3 in Conference standings.
Eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs: the three division winners will be seeded first through third in order of points, and the next five teams in order of points will be seeded fourth through eighth. Continue reading


greenville-road-warriors_thumb16      VERSUS      Wheeling Nailers


Greenville tops Wheeling 4-2 in rescheduled contest from Sunday

BY: Alan Fuehring, Greenville Road Warriors

Wheeling, WVThe Greenville Road Warriors (31-22-3), proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, scored four unanswered goals on Monday, led by Andrew Himelson’s second career two-goal performance, to beat the Wheeling Nailers 4-2 at WesBanco Arena.

The Road Warriors didn’t grab the lead until less than five minutes to play in the third period when Michael St. Croix scored the game-winner.

With the victory, Greenville separated itself from Elmira by three points for the final playoff spot in the East Division. In addition, the Road Warriors improved to 15-13-3 on the road this season and concluded the season-series 4-1-0 against Wheeling.

BOX SCORE Continue reading


new-york-rangers_thumb13-150x150      VERSUS      Nashville

Monday, Mar. 2, 2015, 7:00 p.m. ET
Madison Square GardenNew York, NY
Predators: 41-16-7 (89 pts)
Rangers: 39-17-6 (84 pts)

BY: The New York Rangers


  • POINT TAKEN – New York has earned at least one point in 11 of its last 12 contests (9-1-2), and has won nine of its last 11 games (9-1-1). The Rangers have recorded at least one point in 14 of their last 16 contests (12-2-2). The Blueshirts have won 32 of their last 44 games (32-10-2), including 30 of their last 41 games (30-9-2) and 28 of their last 37 contests (28-7-2). The Rangers have also earned at least one point in 44 of their last 58 games (38-14-6), including 37 of their last 48 games (33-11-4).

Continue reading


greenville-road-warriors_thumb16ESCOBEDO RETURNS TO ROAD WARRIORS

Defenseman played two games with AHL Hartford during his latest call-up

BY: Alan Fuehring, Greenville Rd Warriors 

Wheeling, WVThe Greenville Road Warriors, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, today announced defenseman Sean Escobedo has been returned from loan to Hartford. He is expected to play tonight against Wheeling.


In his first season with the Road Warriors, Escobedo has recorded 15 points (3g, 12a), 32 penalty minutes and ranks third on the team with a +16 rating in 44 contests. In addition, the 24-year old has produced six points (1g, 5a) in his last five ECHL games, including his first career three-point performance (1g, 2a) on February 14th against Evansville.  Continue reading