BY: 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.