Category Archives: New York Rangers


rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpg       VERSUS      Wilkes Barre

Hartford Wolf Pack 3, Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

Allentown, PA, October 3, 2015 – Marek Hrivik had a goal and two assists, and Petr Zamorsky added a goal and an assist, to power the Hartford Wolf Pack to a 3-1 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Saturday night in AHL preseason action at the PPL Center.

Richard Nejezchleb chipped in two assists to the win, and Jeff Malcolm stopped 26 out of 27 shots in the Hartford net.  Taylor Leier scored the only Phantom goal.

“Our guys showed some pretty good, skilled plays,” Wolf Pack coach Ken Gernander said.  “I thought their goalie made a couple of bell-ringer saves, we had some good chances.  They countered a few times, it got a little bit scrambly in our end, but we’ll work that out.” Continue reading


gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, HOWLINGS

HARTFORD, CT – The New York Rangers made their final cuts and in the process rewarded two ex-Wolf Pack players along the way.

The Rangers assigned forward Jayson Megna and NHL veteran defenseman Raphael Diaz to Hartford. Those moves ensure that defenseman Dylan McIlrath and center Oscar Lindberg have made the opening night roster to start the 2015-16 season.

McIlrath, a 2010 first round pick, tenth overall, was a big part of the Wolf Pack’s successful run to the Eastern Conference Finals last spring with a strong physical presence.

Lindberg had 28 goals and 56 points in 75 games in the regular season and 16 points in 15 playoff games. Lindberg was originally drafted by the Arizona Coyotes and was obtained by the Blueshirts in a trade for Ethan Werek.

Ironically, Werek signed Friday with the Florida Everblades (ECHL) and will be in their camp next week.

Megna heads back to the AHL after playing most of last year with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. His stat sheet shows 26 goals in 63 games in the American League and twelve NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was was signed in the off-season to a one-year, one-way NHL deal at $600K. His younger brother Jaycob was assigned to the San Diego Gulls yesterday by the Anaheim Ducks.

The right-handed shooting Diaz has dual Swiss/Spain citizenship. He is a three-year NHL veteran who played eleven games with the Rangers in 2013-14 and broke into the league with the Montreal Canadiens. Diaz is on a one-way $700K deal.

Both players cleared waivers at noon on Saturday and were sent to Hartford.

Diaz, who has 201 NHL games, is expected to report despite rumors that he might return to play in his native Switzerland with HC Lugano in the NLA league. The NLA regular season just got underway.

Two years ago, Matt Lombardi was a last cut by the Rangers and was assigned to Hartford, but he never reported. Instead, Lombardi chose to play in Switzerland instead. Lombardi is presently playing for HC Geneva-Servette under for former New Haven Nighthawk, Chris McSorley, who has been the team’s long-time head coach.

Claims off the NHL waiver wire and trades are still a possibility. The Rangers have 49 NHL contracts with 50 being the max allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement and are very close to the top end of the salary cap. They would likely want to shave off a couple of contracts to create space in both concerns.

The Wolf Pack are in Allentown, PA Saturday night to play the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Jeff Malcolm will be starting in goal and they will conclude their abbreviated pre-season schedule at 3pm Sunday afternoon in Cromwell, CT at Champions Skating Center for a game with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Magnus Hellberg will get the start against the Pack’s intra-state rivals.


Defenseman Luke Curadi from Cheshire who played at ND-WH in high school and with the Junior Wolf Pack cut by the Wolf Pack Friday. Curadi is headed to Glen Falls, NY to report to the ECHL camp of the expansion Adirondack Thunder, the Calgary Flames Double AA affiliate.

Matt Harlow, son of former New Haven Nighthawk Scott Harlow, has signed with the Evansville IceMen (ECHL).

Goaltender Nick Niedart, who played with the Danbury Whalers in the FHL, will be in camp with the Elmira Jackals (ECHL).


gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – The paring down for the Hartford Wolf Pack has begun.

Less than 12 hours after playing their first game the Wolf Pack have made their first cuts from training camp.

The team’s press release listed the 12 cuts:

Reassigned by the New York Rangers from the Wolf Pack to Greenville (ECHL):

Defensemen (2):    Troy Donnay, Samuel Noreau

Released from training camp tryouts and joining Greenville (ECHL):

Forwards (4):         Domenic Alberga, Scott Fleming, Brad McGowan, Paul Rodrigues

Defensemen (3):    Tyler Elbrecht, Sean Escobedo, Davis Vandane

Goaltenders (1):     Alex Vazzano

Released from training camp tryouts:

Forwards (2):         Luke Curadi, Stefano Momesso

“Some who we cut showed some strides, but those we kept showed enough to warrant a further look and stay,” Head Coach Ken Gernander said. “We have a handful of guys who are on the edge of maybe making this team or the AHL, but we have two more games of evaluation to go.”

The cuts of Curadi and Vazzano eliminate the two local ties with the team in camp. Curadi is a Cheshire native who played his public school hockey with ND-West Haven and junior hockey with the Hartford Junior Wolf Pack. He is presently working on an ECHL deal that could be announced as soon as Saturday.

Vazzano, who grew up in Trumbull, played his collegiate hockey at Sacred Heart University (AHA) and prep hockey at Gunnery (Washington, CT). He will go to Greenville on a separate deal he signed with the Swamp Rabbits earlier this summer.

The Wolf Pack will have Jeff Malcolm in net tomorrow when the team travels to Allentown, PA to challenge the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. On Sunday afternoon, they return to play at Champions Skating Center in Cromwell. In that game, Magnus Hellberg will get the call to stand guard between the pipes.

The whole line of Adam Tambellini, Michael Kantor and Richard Nejezchleb, who got quality minutes int the 3-2 overtime win Thursday night against Bridgeport all made the first round of cuts.

“I was pleased with Kantor’s play after being off an extended period of time and the effort he gave,” Gernander said. “Nejezchleb and Tambellini displayed some of the one-on-one skills they have and like any first-year guys they’re learning.”

Tambellini made a quality play first breaking up the play in their own zone and got the puck and started the breakout and then got a quality pass from Nejezchleb at the end of the play.

“’Can’t have any offense without the puck right?”

Defenseman Kodie Curran out of the University of Calgary made the first cut as well. “He does a very good with those short outlet passes. That’s something sometimes younger, less experienced defenseman might not make.”

Coming in at 25 has both advantages and disadvantages.

“He is older and you can make of it what you will, but he also has little experience outside of a game and the half he played with us last year at this level. Just like everybody else he has had to get acclimated to things here and the pace.” Gernander stated.

Final cuts won’t be made till likely Monday and the Rangers make their final roster moves in preparation for the start of the NHL regular season next week.


The New York Rangers have made their two final roster cuts are down to 23 players. Jayson Megna and Raphael Diaz have been placed on waivers. Megna will most certainly head to Hartford when he clears waivers at noon on Saturday. Diaz will need to clear waivers as well, but at the time of this publication, it is not as clear what the Rangers intend to do with him.

Diaz has a $700K one-way deal for this season. He might head to Hartford or he could try to find a European team (his native Switzerland has been bandied about) with an import slot open and could absorb the deal?

The Rangers still have 49 contracts as they enter the new season and will likely seek to try to reduce that number by two in some way for flexibility.


Binghamton – Mike Kostka (Wolf Pack)

Milwaukee – Steve Moses (Wolf Pack)

San Diego – Chris Mueller (Wolf Pack).

Anaheim – Antoine Laganiere (Yale University) was released

Springfield – Corey Potter (Wolf Pack) and Philip and Henrik Samuelsson (former Whaler/Wolf Pack coach Ulf Samuelsson’s sons)

Two former Sound Tigers Mark Louis (Idaho) and Joey Diamond (Manchester) have signed ECHL contracts.

New Canaan native and Taft prep grad, Jack Downing, is in Lake Erie’s camp but signed with Cincinnati (ECHL) in the summer.

Alex Vazzano’s older brother John has been hired as the assistant coach for video by the Sound Tigers.


rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpgWOLF PACK MAKE ROSTER MOVES

*           *           *           *

Twelve Players Reassigned or Released

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, October 2, 2015:  Hartford Wolf Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld today announced the following changes to the Wolf Pack’s training camp roster:

Reassigned by the New York Rangers from the Wolf Pack to Greenville (ECHL):

Defensemen (2):    Troy Donnay, Samuel Noreau

Released from training camp tryouts and joining Greenville (ECHL):

Forwards (4):         Domenic Alberga, Scott Fleming, Brad McGowan, Paul Rodrigues

Defensemen (3):    Tyler Elbrecht, Sean Escobedo, Davis Vandane

Goaltenders (1):     Alex Vazzano

Released from training camp tryouts:

Forwards (2):         Luke Curadi, Stefano Momesso

With those moves, the Wolf Pack training camp roster now stands at 29 players:

Goal (3):           Magnus Hellberg, Jeff Malcolm, Josh Robinson

Defense (10):    Calle Andersson, Brett Bellemore, Mat Bodie, Kodie Curran, Justin DaSilva, Ryan Graves, Tommy Hughes, Brady Skjei, Chris Summers, Petr Zamorsky

Forwards (16):   Luke Adam, Ryan Bourque, Tyler Brown, Jack Combs, Brian Gibbons, Marek Hrivik, Michael Kantor, Alex Krushelnyski, Chris McCarthy, Chad Nehring, Richard Nejezchleb, Josh Nicholls, Shawn O’Donnell, Travis Oleksuk, Michael St. Croix, Adam Tambellini

The Wolf Pack continue their preseason slate tomorrow, Saturday, October 3, when they travel to Allentown, PA to visit the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.  Faceoff is 5:00.  The Pack’s only home preseason game is this Sunday, October 4 at Champions Skating Center in Cromwell, CT, as Hartford and Bridgeport rematch at 3:00.  A $5 per person admission charge will benefit Whalers Youth Hockey.

The Wolf Pack open their 19th regular season of AHL play at the XL Center Saturday, October 10, hosting the St. John’s IceCaps in a 7:00 PM game.  Tickets for opening night, and all 2015-16 Wolf Pack home games, are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at and by phone at (877) 522-8499.

To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.


mitch1BY: Mitch Beck, Howlings

Several of the New York beat reporters are stating that former Hartford Wolf Pack, defenseman and former first round draft pick, Dylan McIlrath and centerman Oscar Lindberg have made the New York Rangers  roster to start the season.

According to the reporters Jayson Megna and Raphael Diaz have been put on waivers. Should they clear by noon tomorrow, it’s likely they will be reassigned to Hartford. Tanner Glass left the Rangers practice limping after line drills. It is still entirely possible that Glass could be waived as well. If he gets put on waivers, it’s HIGHLY unlikely, given Glass’ age and contract that anyone would pick him up and he’d play in Hartford.

Also bein reported, and it was pretty apparent based upon his play during the preseason, that defenseman Brady Skjei also made a tremendous impression on the Rangers brass. It’s a safe bet that at some point this season he will receive a call-up. NY Post columnist Larry Brooks compared Skjei’s first training camp to the one had by Ryan McDonagh. Last season Howlings stated several times the two defensemen played very similarly and predicted that Skjei would start the season in Hartford, as McDonagh did and that by mid-season, also like McDonagh, he would go up to New York and not be back.

Not to be pumping our own tires too much, but we also told you that Oscar Lindberg was ready to play in the NHL and that he would be an impact player in the Big Apple.

Congratulations to McIlrath and Lindberg.

It’s almost time to get this season underway!


rp_hartfordwolfpackpuck_thumb.jpg      VERSUS      Bridgeport Sound Tigers

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

BRIDGEPORT, CT – Kodie Curran scored off a three-on-none break giving the Hartford Wolf Pack a 3-2 win in overtime over the host Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Wonderland of Ice Thursday night.

The winning play came during the three-on-three formatted overtime at 5:49.

Michael St. Croix led the breakout off the right wing boards. St. Croix advanced on former Avon Old Farms product, Parker Milner, after exchanging passes with Curran. Milner went for St. Croix’s deke and then fed Curran who was open and buried the shot into the open net.

“It was my first game in over five months and it doesn’t get any easier than that,” Curran said. “It was all St. Croix. He made a great play with three-on-three. There is a lot of open ice out there. He made the goalie bite on the move and I had an open net,” Continue reading


rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpg       VERSUS      Bridgeport

Hartford Wolf Pack 3, Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2 (OT)

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

Bridgeport, CT, October 1, 2015 – Kodie Curran’s goal at 3:49 of 3-on-3 overtime gave the Hartford Wolf Pack a 3-2 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Thursday night at Wonderland of Ice, in the AHL preseason opener for both teams.

The winning goal resulted from a three-on-none Wolf Pack break after Bridgeport failed to get the puck deep in the offensive zone.  Curran and Michael St. Croix exchanged the puck across the middle, with St. Croix setting Curran up with an empty net behind Sound Tiger goaltender Parker Milner (20 saves).

St. Croix had tied the game for the Wolf Pack at 9:15 of the third period, burying the puck past Milner from in front of the net after a centering pass by Scott Fleming from the left-wing corner. Continue reading