Tag Archives: British Columbia Hockey League

CANTLON: WOLF PACK WRAP UP DAY

Wolf Pack Wrap Up Day

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – The XL Center arena was dark. The ice is gone. Almost no equipment remains in the locker room as the picture was that of a 2016-17  AHL season Hartford Wolf Pack clearly over. While it may be over for the players, for the off ice staff was still at work with their season-ending multiple tasks.

The only news of the day was that the New York Rangers will not be recalling as many players for the playoffs as there have in the past to be a part of the Black Aces squad. The Rangers are ready for a crucial Game 4 in their Best-of-Seven series with the Montreal Canadiens. The Rangers find themselves down two games to none. Magnus Hellberg, who was recalled earlier in the week was on the bench in the place on Antti Raanta. Hellberg may remain the only recall, but that remains undetermined.

“The list is truly not finalized as of yet. There are several contractual and other matters that need to be ironed out, but I can say there will be very few players going to New York,” Head Coach Ken Gernander said. Continue reading

TOSTI: SWAMP RABBITS ANNOUNCE PAIR OF SIGNINGS

CaptureSWAMP RABBITS ANNOUNCE PAIR OF SIGNINGS

Greenville signs rookies John Siemer and Chad Duchesne for the 2016-17 season

BY: Brian Tosti, 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 agreed to terms with rookie forward John Siemer and rookie defenseman Chad Duchesne for the 2016-17 season.

Siemer, 24, spent each of the last three seasons at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan. He recorded 43 points (16g, 27a) and 62 penalty minutes in 85 career games, including a career-best 18 points (7g, 11a) in 21 appearances as a freshman.

“John is a quick, skilled and versatile player who will help generate scoring chances from anywhere on the ice,” Head Coach Brian Gratz said. “He’s a puck possession type of player who will contribute as a playmaker and I’m excited to see how his talents and strengths will add to our team.”

Prior to his collegiate career, the Baldwin Park, California native played three seasons in the junior ranks between the North American Hockey League (NAHL), United States Hockey League (USHL) and British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). Siemer’s most successful season came in 2012-13 when he notched 69 points (25g, 44a) in 55 games with the Coquitlam Express (BCHL) and Penticton Vees (BCHL). The 5’9, 175-pound forward led Coquitlam in scoring that season despite playing just 37 games with the Express.

Duchesne, 21, joins the Swamp Rabbits from the Kingston Frontenacs in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). The 5-foot-11 defenseman totaled two seasons with Kingston boasting 32 points (7g, 25a) in 58 games from the blue line in 2015-16.  In his rookie season, Chad recorded 12 points (1g, 11a), adding to his career total.

“Chad is coming off a strong season last year in the OHL,” said Coach Gratz. “He is a good defender that can contribute offensively. He moves the puck well and does a good job of knowing when to step up into the play.”

Before his seasons in the OHL, the Inverary, Ontario native spent one year in the United States with the Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL). There he was the top scoring defenseman with 25 points (6g, 19a) in 51 games. He also played for the Kingston Voyageur in the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), garnering 29 points (10g, 19a) from 2011-2013.

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, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

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 SwampRabbits.com/shop to browse the full collection of fan wear and novelties!

CANLON’S CORNER: EX-PACK, DAVID LENEVEU BEGINS POST HOCKEY CAREER

LeNeveu

gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – For David LeNeveu having a place to call home was always an essential part of his life, even while living the life of a vagabond athlete in the hopscotch world of professional hockey for 14 seasons.

LeNeveu is the third ex-Hartford Wolf Pack goaltender that began this offseason to make inroads into a post-hockey playing life by finding a place in the business side of the equation while still keeping his glove hand and paddle working in coaching young goaltenders.

downloadLeNeveu is now the President and part of a six-man ownership group in the Nanaimo Clippers, a junior hockey team in Nanaimo, BC, just off the coast of Vancouver on Vancouver Island, a 15-20 minute ferry ride. “I said as I started my career, that I wanted a home in Canada to come back to in the summer to train and prepare for the season,” LeNeveu remarked. “I also thought that when the time came, that it would be the place you had to call your own and truly call it home, no matter how many other places you called “home” during the season.”

LeNeveu has been the goalie coach for the last two years with the Clippers and will continue that role despite the title and his other job responsibilities.

“You never lose the itch to get on the ice and I get to keep my hand in the game and pass along many of things I learned over the years,” LeNeveu said.

The British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) is not a gold mine of financial wealth, but it has a mandate and direction very different from the pro side of the ledger.

“You’re not making millions at the Junior A level, but you are building a major starting place for players to go collegiately and maybe the pros. It’s the same for the coaches, support staff, and sales staff. We want to see people get better, learn and grow, and to move on. In my opinion, it’s a very good place to start, whatever your goals are. Nanaimo is just a perfect fit for me.”

LeNeveu’s wife is from Nanaimo, and the two have three children, so with a family support system right there, it was an easy call for the Fernie, BC native.

“(Nanaimo) is a perfect spot for many reasons post-playing,” LeNeveu said. “I still love Fernie too, it’s where I grew up. Here, it’s a perfect blend. It’s a community of 80 to 90,000 here, and the short ferry ride to Vancouver gives you all the big city attractions you would want. The Clippers allows me to keep my stick in hockey as a coach in that sense, and to be able to maintain and grow my other business too. My kids know where their school will be every year and be with their friends. It’s a very good fit for me to start out this post-playing career.”

LeNeveu had two tours of duty in Hartford. Three years ago, he and Dov Grumet-Morris came in like the cavalry and carried the team on their shoulders (and goalie pads). The duo rescued them from what seemed a distinct possibility of the disaster of finishing dead last in the AHL. The team played .750 hockey the rest of the way with the solid pair of netminders between the pipes.

The opportunity for the second round with the Wolf Pack seemingly came out of left field. “I came off a good year, but there were no job openings. I was fortunate to go to South Carolina (Stingrays – ECHL). They that had a good coaching staff and a good team. It was a good place to start because I wanted to stay in North America. Then Providence (Bruins – AHL) needed somebody and that was the chance I was looking for.”

LeNeveu had a good game in the P-Bruins 1-0 loss. Then came a call from Hartford. They needed somebody, and LeNeveu was available. This set up the opportunity for him and Grumet-Morris to finally play together.

“Our paths crossed literally all over the world starting back in college with Cornell-Harvard games, in the minors, and even in Europe. We always respected each other,” LeNeveu said. “I am a player who wants a good relationship with the other goalie. I had a great one with (another ex-Pack goalie) Yann Danis in Oklahoma City. We came into not-the-best-of-situations. It was kind of weird, but we made it work.”

LeNeveu’s first day with the Pack was particularly trying. GM Jim Schoenfeld came into the locker room and lowered the boom on then last place Hartford team.

“It was a tough first day to be sure, but having been in hockey a bit, you weather those storms. It’s not the optimum first few days that anybody wanted,” LeNeveu said. He shook hands to say hello and then goodbye to ex-Pack Brodie Dupont in about an hour-and-a-half that day.

His first tour with the team certainly didn’t start out too well either. How he arrived with the team demonstrates the sometimes not too rosy and beautiful side of a pro athlete’s world.

LeNeveu was traded at the NHL trade deadline from San Antonio, then with the Phoenix (nee Arizona) Coyotes organization, to the New York Rangers just after the birth of their first child, so it was not the best of timing. The LeNeveu’s packed up all their possessions, and recognizing they would be hotel bound in Hartford for the remainder of the season, sent everything by ship transport.

“It was a very hectic period and we made the choice to ship our stuff by transport back to our home in BC. We heard varied horror stories others had in shipping by different means, but we chose this method. So we’re in Hartford and after the game they ask me to the coach’s office. I got a weird vibe from the start. It was game day and you usually don’t bother the goalies anyway, but this was different. Things go racing through your mind; your family has yet to arrive and they said immediately it’s not that. Then Patty (Boller, the team assistant GM and assistant coach) asks if you have a truck with a safe in the back. I say, ‘Yeah, it has my contracts and other important documents.’ ‘It’s gone, it’s all melted,’ and I went, ‘What are you talking about?'”

“The team received a call from the shipping company that their ship had caught on fire and we had lost everything. Many things were irreplaceable to each of us; pictures of our first child’s sonogram (before CD-Rom days), hockey stuff I had collected over the years. Everything-all-gone! For an athlete, when you live a bit of a gypsy life, it’s very different than people realize. We get hit with just as many problems as anybody else.”

After playing his junior hockey in Nanaimo, LeNeveu learned that the adjustment to being a professional player is embryonic with several stages.

“When you first start out it’s easier, but not easy. You’re single or have a fiancé or girlfriend. It’s a new adventure going to so many different, unique situations, but when you have kids, it all changes and decisions multiply themselves. Where do you live? Rent a space during the season? Renting furniture? Kids, if they’re school age, where to get them in school? Bringing their toys and your possessions? Insurance? Passports? There’s a tremendous litany of things, and despite it all, I wouldn’t trade any of it. Hockey has given me so much exposure, friendships, and opportunities.”

Like the Pack’s all-time leader in wins, Jason LaBarbera, LeNeveu is a student of and fan of, Benoit Allaire. LeNeveu hopes to impart some of those many hours of work he spent with Allaire on to another generation of netminders.

“Benny was excellent. He truly simplified the game for me. Goalies by nature over think things and I was in that category. Benny really helped develop my game with positioning. When you watch Henrik Lundqvist perform as he does, it’s the work (Benny) puts you through. He broke down video in such a unique way and kept things simple. He demanded hard work and attention to detail, but he also was stressing positioning and that season paid off for me because of working with him. He was there to pat you on the back and there to push you to succeed.”

LeNeveu’s last stint for the Rangers/Hartford came in a backup goalie role during the Rangers Stanley Cup. When Cam Talbot was injured, LeNeveu was on the bench in overtime in Game 1 when Lundqvist was knocked down and seemingly hurt. LeNeveu shared a little secret.

imgres“I had a clear view. I knew Hank wasn’t badly hurt,” LeNeveu said he thought the NBC cameras were trained right on him as fans wondered would he could be going into an overtime game no less, after not playing a game in nearly five weeks. “I had to look concerned, you stand up get your glove and stick, but if I had to I was ready. This is the chance every goalie and hockey player wants – to compete for the Stanley Cup.”

It sounds like David LeNeveu has found a little piece of heaven in BC to start his post-playing career.

RANGERS: BLUESHIRTS HIRE BEUKEBOOM AS ASSISTANT COACH

Beukeboom

RANGERS NAME JEFF BEUKEBOOM ASSISTANT COACH

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, July 1, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has named Jeff Beukeboom as Assistant Coach.

Beukeboom, 51, joins the Rangers coaching staff after serving as an Assistant Coach with the Blueshirts’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack, for the past four seasons (2012-13 – 2015-16). During Beukeboom’s tenure with Hartford, several current Rangers developed under his guidance, including defensemen Brady Skjei and Dylan McIlrath. While Beukeboom was a member of Hartford’s coaching staff, the team advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2014-15 season.

In addition to his coaching experience with the Wolf Pack, Beukeboom served as an Assistant Coach with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for three seasons (2009-10 – 2011-12) and with the Barrie Colts of the OHL for one season (2008-09). He also served as an Assistant Coach for one season with the Toronto Roadrunners of the AHL in 2003-04.

Over the course of 13 NHL seasons, Beukeboom skated in 804 career games, registering 30 goals and 129 assists for 159 points, along with a plus-114 rating and 1,890 penalty minutes. The Edmonton Oilers selected Beukeboom in the first round, 19th overall, of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. Beukeboom skated in 284 games over parts of six seasons with the Oilers and was a member of three Stanley Cup championship teams (1986-87, 1987-88, and 1989-90).

The Ajax, Ontario, native was acquired by the Rangers from Edmonton on November 12, 1991, to complete the transaction that sent Mark Messier from the Oilers to the Blueshirts. Beukeboom skated in 520 games over parts of eight seasons with the Rangers, registering 18 goals and 72 assists for 90 points, along with a plus-63 rating and 1,157 penalty minutes. During his tenure with the Rangers, Beukeboom won his fourth Stanley Cup in 1993-94. He established a career-high with eight goals during the 1993-94 season, and he registered six assists and a plus-17 rating during the 1994 Playoffs. Beukeboom ranks second on the Rangers’ all-time list in regular season penalty minutes (1,157) and playoff penalty minutes (147).

Beukeboom joins Head Coach Alain Vigneault, Associate Coach Scott Arniel, Assistant Coach Darryl Williams, and Assistant Coach & Goaltending Coach Benoit Allaire on the Rangers coaching staff.

Photo Courtesy NY RANGERS

RANGERS: NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT: JAN. 11 – JAN. 17

Prospect Report

NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT: JAN. 11 – JAN. 17

BY: The New York Rangers

Three Stars of the week

  1. Brad Morrison, C, Prince George Cougars (WHL) – Morrison registered his first career WHL hat trick and recorded the game-winning goal on Jan. 16 at Vancouver. The Rangers’ fourth round pick (113th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft has notched 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in the last 22 games, including 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in the last 15 games. Morrison ranks third on Prince George in goals (17) and points (37), and is tied for fourth in assists (20) this season.
  2. Ryan Gropp, LW, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) – Gropp registered five points (three goals, two assists) in four games this past week. He tallied three points (two goals, one assist), including the game-winning goal, on Jan. 15 vs. Regina. The Rangers’ second round pick (41st overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft has recorded a point in 18 of the last 29 games, tallying 31 points (16 goals, 15 assists) over the span. Gropp leads Seattle in goals (21), ranks fourth in points (40), and is tied for fourth in assists (19) this season.
  3. Daniel Bernhardt, RW, London Knights (OHL) – Bernhardt registered three assists and posted a plus-two rating during his first three games with London. The Rangers’ fourth round pick (119th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft made his OHL debut on Jan. 13 at Guelph. In his second career OHL game on Jan. 15 vs. Saginaw, Bernhardt recorded three assists in a span of 3:31 and posted a plus-three rating.

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WEEKLY WARRIOR

Andy-Zilch2BY: Andy Zilch, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors

Recap of Last Week

The Road Warriors began the longest road trip of the season last weekend in North Charleston against the South Carolina Stingrays. A three-game set began on Friday night against the South Division rival. The Road Warriors began the weekend with a great first period of play. Greenville took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission but ended up losing the game 3-2 in regulation. Saturday told a similar story with another regulation loss, only this time a shutout, by a score of 2-0. The Road Warriors battled hard in the series finale coming back from a two goal deficit to force overtime and shootouts. The Road Warriors would lose in shootouts and fall by a score of 3-2.  Continue reading

3 RANGERS PROSPECTS SELECTED FOR USA HOCKEY

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, August 7, 2012: – New York Rangers prospects JT Miller, Brady Skjei and Steven Fogarty have been selected for Team USA’s final 34-man roster for its 2012 National Junior Evaluation Camp.  They will now take part in a series of international games this week against Sweden and Finland in Lake Placid, to compete for a spot on the U.S. National Junior Team at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

Miller is one of three remaining players who represented the U.S. at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.  He registered two goals and four points in six games for Team USA at the elite tournament.  Skjei and Fogarty are both looking to compete in their first World Junior Championship. Continue reading

REINFORCING THE BLUELINE

Greenville Road WarriorsBY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors

The Greenville Road Warriors announced today that they have signed defensemen Sean Perkins.

Perkins, 25, a fifth year pro, began his season with Vimmerby HC of Sweden’s Division 1 and recorded four assists in 10 games. Perkins was a member of the 2007-08 Kelly Cup Champion Cincinnati Cyclones and had three assists in four playoff games. The 5-9, 190-pounder from Commerce, Michigan played 156 professional games between Europe and North America over his first four seasons. He was most productive in 2008-09 with 15 points (7G, 8A) in 28 games between Edinburgh of the Elite Ice Hockey League and Cincinnati of the ECHL.

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GRANT TURNS IN AMATEUR STATUS

New York RApparently two helpers in your first game can turn some heads. While Connecticut Whale Ken Gernander spoke of being impressed with Tommy Grant in his first game this past weekend, senior brass must have been even moreso as the Rangers have signed Grant to an entry level contract.

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