Category Archives: Hockey

O’DONNELL COMING BACK TO THE PACK

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BY: Gerry Cantlon, Special to Howlings

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

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

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

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

It turned out to be the right move.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2ND ANNUAL WOLF PACK TOWN HALL MEETING ANNOUNCED

hartford-wolf-pack-logo2-150x1331112nd Annual

Hartford Wolf Pack 

Town Hall Meeting

BY: The Hartford Wolf Pack

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

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

•         Wolf Pack Business Operations
•         XL Center renovations
•         Concessions

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

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

CLICK HERE TO RSVP

We look forward to seeing everyone there!

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

CANTLON: STANLEY CUP QUICK(LY) ARRIVES HAMDEN

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BY: Gerry Cantlon, Special to Howlings

HAMDEN, CT – The journey to being a champion has had it’s long twists and turns, but for the second time in three years Hamden’s Jonathan Quick has had the good fortune to hoist the Holy Grail of Hockey, the Stanley Cup.

This past Sunday afternoon, the precious prize of hockey made it’s way to the Louis Astorino Arena in Quick’s hometown of Hamden, Connecticut – where his rise in the sport of hockey began. The Cup was brought to the track area surrounding the football field and fans descended from the top of the seating area to get a picture taken with Quick and hockey’s silver chalice.

Stanley Cup“It’s special something special that doesn’t happen very often,” Quick said. “It was great that the kids got to check it out and get a picture with it. It will be something that they will remember for a long time and give them something to strive for and look forward to.” Quick offered a brief interview after the two hour event that was held on a bright and sunny afternoon.

The Cup was brought to this location as part of a charitable event to raise money for Quick’s childhood friend, Jason Pagni, who was a youth hockey coach killed in a motor vehicle accident. Pagni left behind a wife and two young daughters. The money that was raised was going to the college fund that’s been established for both children. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: OFF-SEASON ACTIVITY CONTINUES

gerry-300x260BY: Gerry Cantlon, Special to Howlings 

Preparations for big changes in the AHL after next season have already begun with the announcement of division realignment for the upcoming 2014-15 season.

For the Hartford Wolf Pack and Bridgeport Sound Tigers, things will remain the same. Both teams are parked in the Northeast Division along with the Albany Devils (New Jersey) and Springfield Falcons (Columbus). The only change that’s coming is that Adirondack is now an affiliate of the Calgary Flames. This leaves the Western conference, North Division, with three other Canadian affiliated teams Utica Comets (Vancouver), Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal) and Toronto Marlies (Maple Leafs) and Rochester Americans (Buffalo). Continue reading

AHL APPROVES RULE CHANGES – PREVIEW/TESTING FOR NHL?

ahl-logo1-150x150BY: Jason Chaimovitch – VP Communications, AHL

AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE BOARD OF GOVERNORS APPROVES RULES CHANGES FOR 2014-15

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League’s Board of Governors has concluded its 2014 Annual Meeting, held this week at Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Chaired by AHL President and CEO David Andrews, the four days of meetings, which concluded Thursday, saw the approval of the following rules changes to be implemented beginning in 2014-15:

Rule 85 (“Overtime”)

  • During the regular season, the sudden-death overtime period will be seven minutes (7:00) in length, preceded by a “dry scrape” of the entire ice surface.
  • Teams will change ends at the start of overtime.
  • Full playing strength will be 4-on-4 until the first whistle following three minutes of play (4:00 remaining), at which time full strength will be reduced to 3-on-3 for the duration of the overtime period.
  • If the game is still tied following overtime, a winner will be determined by a three-player shootout.

Rule 20.4 (“Major Penalties”)

  • An automatic game misconduct will be applied to any player who has been assessed two major penalties for fighting or three major penalties for any infraction in the same game.

Rule 9.6 (“Helmets”)

  • A player on the ice whose helmet comes off during play will be assessed a minor penalty unless he immediately (a) exits the playing surface or (b) puts the helmet back on with the chin strap properly fastened.

“With the full support of the league’s Competition Committee and Player Development Committee, the Board has approved these changes with the betterment of our game and the safety of our players in mind,” said Andrews.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the 13th year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2013-14.

AHL APPROVES DIVISION ALIGNMENT FOR ’14-15

ahl-logo1-150x150BY: Jason Chaimovitch, VP Communications, The AHL

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced that the league’s Board of Governors has approved the following division alignment for the 2014-15 AHL season (National Hockey League affiliates in parentheses):

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
Manchester Monarchs (Los Angeles)
Portland Pirates (Arizona)
Providence Bruins (Boston)
St. John’s IceCaps (Winnipeg)
Worcester Sharks (San Jose) Continue reading

CLARK RETURNS TO GREENVILLE

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

Emerson Clark Returns to Road Warriors for 2014-15 Season

Greenville, SC: Today the Greenville Road Warriors, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers, announced the team has signed forward Emerson Clark.

“Emerson is one of the toughest pound-for-pound players I have seen as a coach at this level,” head coach Dean Stork stated. “He fits our style of play and the identity of being a hard team to play against every single game. I am thrilled to bring back a passionate player like Emerson.”

Clark returns to the Road Warriors after skating in 25 games with Greenville last season. He was acquired on February 3rd from the Toledo Walleye. The 21 year old also played 25 games with the Walleye amassing 150 penalty minutes. Clarke notched seven penalty minutes in his first game as a Road Warrior on February 7th and amassed 81 PIMs during the remainder of the regular season for Greenville. The Whitby, Ontario native scored his first professional goal on February 23rd with the Road Warriors en route to a two-goal game. Clark tallied 12 points (5G, 7A) in his 25 games with the Road Warriors. He also added five points (2G, 3A) and 35 penalty minutes in 14 playoff games. Prior to his rookie season, the winger spent four full seasons in the Ontario Hockey League.

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!