Category Archives: NHL



Defenseman Excited to See Growth in Season Two

BY: Savanna Arral, NWHL

Northford, CT — Shannon Doyle has signed a contract with the Connecticut Whale for the 2016-17 season, General Manager Lisa Giovanelli announced Thursday. Doyle and the Whale agreed to terms on a one-year, $14,000 contract.

“The Whale is happy to have Shannon return for another season,” said Giovanelli. “Her shot blocking ability is a huge asset in our defensive zone, and we will look for her to build on her experiences from last season and continue to be a steady presence on our blue line.”

Doyle scored 5 points (2g, 3a) as a defenseman with the Whale in the 2015-16 regular season. She added an assist in the Isobel Cup Playoffs. She became known at Boston University for blocking shots, ranking third in the nation with 106 blocks her senior year in 2014-15.

“I’m excited to be back with the Whale for this upcoming season because, although the first season was extremely historic and exhilarating, I am looking forward to seeing how much the league will grow in this second season,” said Doyle. “The Connecticut area was incredibly supportive in year one and being able to return to such an amazing community of both players and fans is thrilling.”

The restricted free agency began on April 1 and lasted until April 30. Free agency began May 1 and lasts until July 31. The 2016 NWHL Draft was on June 18.

About the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL)
The NWHL is the first professional women’s hockey league in North America to pay its players. The inaugural season began October 11, 2015, with the Founding Four: Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale and New York Riveters. The Boston Pride became the first team in NWHL history to raise the Isobel Cup on March 12, 2016.



New Arena Will Also Serve as Practice Facility for the Boston Bruins

BY: Savanna Arral, NWHL

Boston, MA — The National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) today announced that the Boston Pride will call Warrior Ice Arena (WIA) at Boston Landing Development their home for the 2016-17 season.

“The NWHL and the Boston Pride are very happy to join the new hockey community at Warrior Ice Arena,” said Pride General Manager Hayley Moore. “We’d like to thank NB Development Group for their help in bringing us into the fold for next season.”

“We are thrilled to welcome the Boston Pride, our second professional team to Warrior Ice Arena and our third to the overall Boston Landing Development,” says Jay Rourke, General Manager for Warrior Ice Arena.  “After their historic first season that culminated with a title win, it will be exciting for local and national fans to watch them in action at our Arena.”

Warrior Ice Arena is the first publicly accessible ice arena constructed in the city of Boston in the last 40 years. The building features six locker rooms, a 2,000 square foot event room, ground floor retail and restaurant space, and two full-service concession areas. The arena seats 660.

“The Warrior Ice Arena is pleased to welcome the Boston Pride of the National Women’s Hockey League, says Marissa Marwell at Rink Management, Inc., who manages rink operations.  “The Boston Pride are pioneers of professional women’s hockey, and we are excited to host this championship franchise.”

Boston Pride season tickets are now available for purchase at



Rangers’ third round pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft signs entry-level contract

NEW YORK, July 18, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with forward Robin Kovacs on an entry-level contract.

The 6-0, 186-pounder led Allsvenskan in shootout goals (eight) and game-deciding goals (four), tied for second in game-winning goals, ranked third in goals per game (0.48), and ranked fifth in goals and shooting percentage (17.1) in 2015-16. This past season, Kovacs helped AIK win the league championship in Allsvenskan. In addition, he played with Rögle BK in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), registering one assist in four contests.Kovacs, 19, skated in 44 games with AIK IF of Allsvenskan in Sweden this past season, registering 21 goals and 13 assists for 34 points, along with a plus-two rating and 54 penalty minutes. He was named the winner of Guldgallret, which is an award given annually to the top junior player (20 years old or younger) in Allsvenskan in 2015-16. Kovacs also led all players younger than 20 years old in Allsvenskan in goals and points this past season.

Kovacs has skated in 92 career games in Allsvenskan over the last two seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16), registering 38 goals and 24 assists for 62 points, along with 117 penalty minutes. He won the Guldgallret in each of the last two seasons, and he also led all players younger than 20 years old in Allsvenskan in goals and points in each season. In 17 playoff/round-robin games in Allsvenskan, Kovacs has recorded 11 points (three goals, eight assists).

The Stockholm, Sweden, native was selected by the Rangers in the third round, 62nd overall, of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.



Blueshirts also acquire a second round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft;

New York trades Derick Brassard and a seventh round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft to Ottawa

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, July 18, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has acquired forward Mika Zibanejad and a second round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Derick Brassard and a seventh round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

Zibanejad, 23, skated in 81 games with Ottawa this past season, registering 21 goals and 30 assists for 51 points, along with 18 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in several categories in 2015-16, including games played, goals, assists, points, game-winning goals (seven), and faceoff win percentage (50.5; 659-for-1,306). Zibanejad has tallied a goal on 13 of his 28 career NHL shootout attempts (46.4%), and he has recorded five game-deciding goals in the shootout. Zibanejad’s five game-deciding goals in the shootout are the second-most a Senator has tallied since 2005-06, as he passed Daniel Alfredsson for sole possession of second place during this past season.

Zibanejad led the Senators in game-winning goals, faceoff wins, and faceoffs taken, ranked third in shorthanded goals (two), tied for third in games played, tied for fourth in assists, and ranked fifth in points and power play points (11) in 2015-16. He tied for fifth in the NHL in shootout goals (four; 4-for-9) and game-deciding goals (two) in the shootout this past season. Zibanejad ranked third among Ottawa forwards in shorthanded ice time per game in 2015-16 (1:25). He tallied 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 24 contests against Metropolitan Division opponents this past season. Zibanejad recorded 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) in the final 38 games of the season, and he ranked second on Ottawa in goals over the span.

The 6-2, 222-pounder has skated in 281 career NHL games over parts of five seasons (2011-12 – 2015-16), all with Ottawa, registering 64 goals and 87 assists for 151 points, along with 64 penalty minutes. Over Zibanejad’s first five seasons, 52 of his 87 career assists have been primary assists. Zibanejad tallied at least 20 goals and 40 points in each of the last two seasons. He was one of only three Senators who recorded 20 or more goals in both 2014-15 and 2015-16. In addition, Zibanejad’s goals, assists, and points totals have increased in every season during his career. Over the last two seasons, Zibanejad has tallied 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) against Metropolitan Division teams.

Zibanejad helped Ottawa reach the playoffs in two seasons during his tenure with the team (2012-13 and 2014-15). In 16 career NHL playoff games, Zibanejad has registered two goals and six assists for eight points. He tied for the team lead with four points (one goal, three assists) in six contests during the 2015 Playoffs.

Internationally, the Stockholm, Sweden, native has represented his country in several tournaments. Zibanejad registered five points (four goals, one assist) and posted a plus-three rating in six games while helping Sweden earn a gold medal at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship. In addition, he tallied the game-winning goal in overtime of the Gold Medal Game against Russia. Zibanejad also recorded eight points (four goals, four assists) and posted a plus-eight rating in six games while helping Sweden earn a silver medal at the 2011 IIHF U18 World Championship.

Zibanejad was selected by Ottawa in the first round, sixth overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Brassard skated in 254 games with the Rangers over parts of four seasons, registering 69 goals and 105 assists for 174 points.



BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, July 15, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with restricted free agent defenseman Dylan McIlrath on a new contract.

McIlrath, 24, skated in 34 games with the Rangers this past season, registering two goals and two assists for four points, along with a plus-seven rating and 64 penalty minutes. He tied for 13th among NHL rookies – and tied for fifth among NHL rookie defensemen – in plus/minus rating in 2015-16, as he posted a plus/minus rating of even or better in 29 of 34 games in which he played. Among NHL rookies who played at least 15 games this past season, McIlrath tied for fourth – and led all defensemen – in hits per game (2.7; 93 hits in 34 contests). He also ranked second on the Rangers – and led team defensemen – in hits per game in 2015-16.

The 6-5, 236-pounder registered his first career NHL assist/point on December 11, 2015, at Edmonton, and he recorded his first career NHL goal on December 15, 2015, vs. Edmonton. McIlrath became the first Ranger rookie defenseman to tally a goal since Ryan McDonagh on April 9, 2011. McIlrath posted a plus-one rating while making his NHL playoff debut in Game 2 of the First Round at Pittsburgh on April 16, 2016.

McIlrath has skated in 37 career NHL games with the Rangers over parts of three seasons (2013-14 – 2015-16), registering two goals and two assists for four points, along with a plus-six rating and 80 penalty minutes. He made his NHL debut with the Blueshirts on December 12, 2013, vs. Columbus.

The Winnipeg, Manitoba, native was selected by the Rangers in the first round, 10th overall, of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.


NEW YORK, July 15, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free-agent forward Josh Jooris.

Jooris, 26, skated in 59 games with the Calgary Flames this past season, registering four goals and nine assists for 13 points, along with 39 penalty minutes. He tied for the team lead in shorthanded assists (two) and tied for fifth on Calgary in shorthanded points (two) in 2015-16. The Flames posted a 9-2-1 record in contests which Jooris tallied at least one point this past season, and he posted a plus/minus rating of even or better in 45 of the 59 games in which he played during the season. He skated in his 100th career NHL game on February 23, 2016, at Los Angeles.

The 6-1, 187-pounder has skated in 119 career NHL games over two seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16), both with Calgary, registering 16 goals and 21 assists for 37 points, along with 55 penalty minutes. Over his first two NHL seasons, Jooris has been on the ice for only 14 power play goals against in 158:44 of ice time while shorthanded. He tallied 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists) in 60 games during his rookie season in the NHL in 2014-15, and he tied for third on Calgary in game-winning goals (four) during the season. Jooris registered his first career NHL goal/point while making his NHL debut on October 17, 2014, at Columbus. Also, Jooris skated in nine contests with the Flames during the 2015 Playoffs, registering four penalty minutes.

Jooris has also skated in 75 career American Hockey League (AHL) games over parts of two seasons (2013-14 and 2014-15), registering 11 goals and 16 assists for 27 points, along with 67 penalty minutes. He recorded his first professional goal, assist, and point as part of a two-point effort while making his professional debut with the Abbotsford Heat on October 4, 2013, at Lake Erie.

The Burlington, Ontario, native was signed by Calgary as an undrafted free agent on July 30, 2013.


NEW YORK, July 15, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with restricted free agent defenseman Tommy Hughes on a new contract.

Hughes, 24, skated in 59 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) this past season, registering two goals and seven assists for nine points, along with 48 penalty minutes. He tied AHL career-highs in goals, assists, and points in 2015-16. Hughes tallied a shorthanded goal and recorded two shots on goal on October 18, 2015, vs. Syracuse. Also, he registered a “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” on February 5, 2016, at Portland, recording a goal, an assist, and a fight in the contest.

The 6-2, 225-pounder has skated in 173 career AHL games over three seasons (2013-14 – 2015-16), all with the Wolf Pack, registering five goals and 20 assists for 25 points, along with 109 penalty minutes. Hughes made his AHL debut on October 5, 2013, vs. Norfolk, and he recorded his first career AHL goal, assist, and point on October 12, 2013, at Adirondack. Also, he recorded three points (one goal, two assists) in 15 contests during the 2015 Playoffs while helping Hartford advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Hughes tallied the series-winning goal in overtime in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Providence on May 1, 2015.

The London, Ontario, native was signed by the Rangers as an undrafted free agent on April 1, 2013.


rp_Greenville-Swamp-Rabbits-300x225.pngSWAMP RABBITS RE-UP WITH DOMMETT FOR 2016-17

Second-year forward recorded eight  points and seven fighting majors last season


BY: Alan Fuehring, Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Greenville, SC – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, today announced the team has re-signed forward Andrew Dommett for the 2016-17 season.

Dommett, 25, began his professional career with the Swamp Rabbits last season and notched eight points (4g, 4a) and 51 penalty minutes in 38 games. He scored his first pro goal on Jan. 3 at Manchester and racked up seven fighting majors over the course of the season – tied for second-most on the club.

“As we saw last season, Andrew is a hard-nosed, hard-working forward who gives it his all during every shift,” Head Coach Brian Gratz said. “He has offensive upside and is a guy whom we are looking to have a breakout year this season. His teammates love him because of his team-first approach and willingness to do anything for them.”

Prior to turning pro, Dommett played four seasons of college hockey at Lake Superior State University from 2011-15. In 128 appearances, the Major, Saskatchewan native produced 17 points (9g, 8a) and 61 penalty minutes for the Lakers. He spent two seasons alongside Swamp Rabbits forward Matt Johnson who was re-signed on June 24.

“I’m beyond excited to continue my career with such a great team, city and fan base,” Dommett said. “The organization knows how to treat players the right way, from the coaches to the front office, and I’m looking forward to getting back there. It was a simple decision to return.”

The 5’11, 192-pound forward also played four seasons with the Kindersley Klippers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League from 2007-11.

Get Social: Follow the Swamp Rabbits all off-season long and get behind-the-scenes coverage like never before on the team’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Ticket packages for the 2016-17 season are available and on sale now! Contact a Swamp Rabbits Account Executive at 864-674-PUCK (7825) for more information and to secure your seats today! Get the latest Swamp Rabbits gear by visiting the “Hop Shop” online at to browse the full collection of fan wear and novelties!


XL CenterBY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – On Tuesday morning (7/12) comes a critical component to maintaining the life of the current XL Center as well as any future new arena that might be built when a vote is taken by the State Bond Commission.

The total request by the CRDA is for $4.75 million. That money is being allocated to replace the arena flooring and piping ($2.5 million), replace the building’s service elevator ($450,000), several security upgrades ($500,000) and for the Morgan Street garage replacement and upgrade of garage elevators ($1.3 million).

In normal economic times, this would be an easy approval, but these are not easy economic times. However, CRDA Executive Director Mike Freimuth remains cautiously optimistic for a positive result heading into Tuesday’s bond hearing that starts at 10:30am.

“I’m not counting my chickens before they hatch,” Freimuth said with a smile. “We have reasonable confidence that the request will pass, and be granted. When and if it does, I will have a big smile, quietly leave and run down the hallway before anybody changes their mind,” Freimuth said with a laugh.

Freimuth’s clearly looking for a tension distraction knowing that the state’s very dire economic situation has the legislature seeking to claw back every bonded dollar out. They’re doing that there because the state’s credit rating has slipped making it more expensive to bond not to mention the difficulty they had to get this request on the agenda.

The money would come from the original $30 million dollar bond approval of which $16 million has already been allocated to purchase the Church Street garage. If approved, that would leave $10 million. In addition to the aforementioned repairs, there would also be brand new sideboards and plexiglass installed as part of this project that is tentatively slated for the spring/summer 2017.

The legislature is trying to limit expenses wherever it can. The systems are well past their expiration date.

“We have to make the effort to keep (the building) going. We have maybe two or five or seven years left. We bought ourselves some time, but not a lot of it and sooner rather than later, there are decisions we are going to have to make.”

The AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack are entering their 20th season in the state capitol, and for UConn hockey, it’s not just some minor cosmetic features, but a critical piece. Simply put, the ice surface and its operating systems have reached their shelf life.

“It is very important to our hockey tenants that we get this done. Clearly, the systems are antiquated and have been in need of an overhaul for some time. If this system is not operational, we’re on the hook for this. There are considerable consequences if (system failure) were ever to happen. We have contractual obligations to both (teams). That’s why we need to address it now, and why we put the request in. I hope our presentation of our need will be approved by the (bond) commission,” Freimuth said.

The other factor in the mosaic that the CRDA are seeking is to create a working system as a component of this being a city building. However, it’s financed solely through the state which, in the ultimate equation, can help the city with the XL Center at the end of the day.

“I understand people wondering what could the city contribute is a fair question. As we know right now, (the city) has their own problems and quite frankly how many tigers can (Mayor Luke Bronin) fight in one day? I get the connection, but its pretty damn obvious why. (The mayor) understands the situation on the XL and we have steady communication between us.”

The saga that the Dunkin Donuts baseball park continues to make a laughing stock out of the City of Hartford. For the nomadic Hartford Yard Goats, this decision can have a “spill-over” effect and Freimuth thinks the incomplete park would be a disastrous outcome.

“That just can’t happen. While it is a city project and the XL is a state project that wouldn’t benefit anybody. You have to have an environment conducive for business in general. While we wanted the site originally, that’s all water under the bridge at this point. The park being completed is essential to all the efforts going on in the city of Hartford including the XL Center.”

Regarding the negotiations to purchase the atrium are concerned, there is a significant gap in the numbers of the two sides, but talks are still are proceeding.

“The good thing is that we have the operational control of the atrium, so some basic things can go on as opposed to arguing who handles this doorknob or closet or which elevator is ours. The hard part is that everything does flow together and for the future we would like to own it (outright). I don’t have much to tell other than we’re far apart on the numbers still, but we’re working on it,” Freimuth said while exhibiting a bit of exasperation by the subject matter.

A split vote or a modified proposal presents a whole other array of challenges for the CRDA.

“It would be tough to say that we have no elevators and finding parts for them is not possible, they’re essential. We have a 40-plus-year-old building we’re holding together to keep it operational, but we can’t do this way forever.”

Tuesday’s vote has a lot riding on it.