Tag Archives: Connecticut

DANBURY TITANS CEASE OPERATIONS IMMEDIATELY

Danbury Titans Cease Operations

BY: Tricia Coe – Danbury Titans

DANBURY, CT – The Danbury Titans regret to announce that the organization will be ceasing operations after two seasons, effective immediately.

The following statement is from owner Bruce Bennett:

“It is with a heavy heart that this decision had to be made. When I started the Titans franchise I wanted to set an example for everyone in our league to follow. Over the last two seasons, we have earned the respect and admiration of those from around the hockey world. I felt like this could be a long-term venture with a lot of success. Despite the fact we never won a championship, I was extremely proud of my players and their commitment not only on the ice but also off. I know the Titans have had a major impact on our community that will be missed.

Despite all of this, tough decisions had to be made. After reassessing the cost of workers’ compensation insurance in the State of Connecticut I decided this was not financially feasible for an organization like mine. Last season’s injury list was long. Because of this, I refuse to allow my staff and players on the ice without proper medical coverage. I have been working hard over the last few months to find a solution. Despite working up to the last possible second a solution could not be found. I do not feel comfortable jeopardizing the safety of my players and staff with improper or no insurance.

I want to thank all of the players, staff, and volunteers who have helped out the Titan organization over the last two seasons. I cannot express how much I appreciate the passion, dedication, and hard work that you poured into this team.

To our sponsors who supported us, we would not have existed without you. You believed in us and provided amazing opportunities for growth. I only hope that we were able to return the favor to you. Thank you for your support.

To our Booster Club and fans, I can’t thank you enough. The backbone of any sports franchise is their fan base. You were the most passionate and supportive in the league by far. I only wish I could have fulfilled our dream of bringing another championship to Danbury. The love and support you gave to my family and I during these past two years will never be forgotten.

In the near future, I will be appearing on i95 radio to further discuss some of the details of this decision. Thank you again to everyone for your support.”

Tickets holders and sponsors who put down deposits with the Titans will be contacted promptly regarding refunds. The Titans organization would like to thank everyone for their support.

CRDA RELEASES PICTURE OF COMPLETED XL CENTER FLOOR

Here’s your first look at the new floor in the XL Center after all the work to repair the ice. It now needs to cure for the next 30 days…

CANTLON’S CORNER: McCAMBRIDGE AND RANGERS FLESHING OUT ROSTER AND STAFF

CANTLON’S CORNER: McCambridge and Rangers Fleshing Out Roster and Staff

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT As the summer rolls on, the business of hockey continues to move along as well. For the Hartford Wolf Pack, this has been a very busy off-season.

The rebuild of the Pack began with the firing of Head Coach Ken Gernander, who was not only the team’s all-time winningest and tenured coach but who’d been the face of the franchise from his playing days as the team captain. Gernander was replaced by one of his assistants, Keith McCambridge. Chris Drury, the Trumbull native, and an ex-New York Ranger became the team’s newest GM replacing Jim Schoenfeld. The rebuilding effort on the ice has been in full swing as well.

One of the many pieces still being worked on is the hiring of a new assistant coach. That person has been selected, but they are not ready to announce it as of yet. McCambridge told Howlings, “Right now things (the contract) are being finalized, but we will make an announcement in a few weeks.”

When asked about the position the new coach played on the ice, McCambridge replied, “I can say it’s a defenseman. When I was coaching Manitoba or St. John’s, I handled the forwards there. While I played as a defenseman, we will have a person handling the defense this season.” This will keep the Wolf Pack streak of former defenseman as assistants intact joining the club of Mike Busniuk, Ulf

If the new coach is indeed a former defenseman, it keeps alive a streak for the Wolf Pack of former defenseman as an Assistant to the Head Coach.  THis person will join the club of Mike Busniuk, Ulf Samuelsson, JJ Daigneault, Jeff Beukeboom, and McCambridge.

The team’s Assistant GM and coach, the highly regarded Pat Boller, will return. Boller has been the driving force behind keeping the train running for a team that deals with a voluminous amount of administrative work. Boller also helps with the practice sessions as well.

McCambridge had a lot of input in an important signing for the team and a big asset to the forwards. The team signed center Dan DeSalvo, who played under McCambridge two years ago in Manitoba. In a 17 game recall, he logged 14 goals with 51 points in 55 games with Tulsa (ECHL).

After starting last season by registering 13 points in 12 games with Tulsa, DeSalvo came up to the Moose and popped in 18 goals and 40 points in 66 games. He’s a natural center and fills in the required boxes for offensive skills, faceoff ability, and will help the powerplay. These are all areas the Wolf Pack desperately lacked last season.

“(DeSalvo has) very good quickness and vision. He came up when I was there and did well. He really worked in Manitoba last year to get into the lineup and played a lot of first line minutes. He generates offense.”

Veteran AHL writer Pat Williams of the NHL.com and Around the A.com while covering Manitoba thinks he’s a quality signing. “He did very well two years ago on a bad Moose team and he really improved even more last year and utilizes his wingers and will give you some offensive pop.”

Few are returning from last year’s roster. The very few people that are coming back are mostly entering the last year of their respective deals. Those who were unrestricted free agents (UFA’s) or were on one-year deals were not invited back.

Among the departed are Chris Summers, who’s off to the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins. Marek Hrivik left for the Stockton Heat. Magnus Hellberg left the country for China-KHL. Philip McRae left for Finland-FEL while Taylor Beck is heading to Russia-KHL. The team’s biggest loss is Nicklas Jensen who has officially signed with Jokerit Helsinki (Finland-FEL).

“(Beck’s loss) is tough. We had given him a qualifying offer, but he and his agent felt playing over there was s better option. Jenner played very well for us. He was an obvious offensive force and it’s big hole in our lineup to be filled.”

The latest signee is Westport native, and Choate grad, defenseman, Mike Paliotta, signed with the Toronto Marlies.

Matt Carey, who earned the right to a comeback with his strong second half of last season, will not be back, nor will Tommy Hughes. The one player still on the Pack brass’ radar is goalie Jeff Malcolm. He’s been an in dispensable insurance policy since his arrival from Yale four years ago. With a second year pro on the roster (Brandon Halverson and rookie Chris Nell), they have only two goalies now and need to shore that area up.

“I really can’t comment on Jeff’s status at this time.”

Translation code: We’re talking, but no deal is done.

There are two new pieces to the puzzle that have been added with the signings of Paul Carey (no relation to Matt Carey) and Cole Schneider. McCambridge is pleased with both additions.

“We still have Ranger camp, so before we can pick a team,” McCambridge said. “Carey we saw a lot of last year with Hershey. He’s a really good 200-foot player. He has a good shot and goes to the net and was net front on the power play. He brings a lot of upside.”

Schneider, a UConn alumnus, will play on the wing.

“Clearly, he has offensive upside with some good speed, and shot, from off the wing. We think if he is here, he would provide clear help scoring up front and like Carey had power play time in Rochester.”

One thing really pleasing to McCambridge is the early release of the AHL schedule. The planning for the six-month regular season now has given them the breathing room they lacked with the late August release over the last several years.

“Going into the summer, you always had to wait until August and there was a real crunch time to organize things. This gives some real freedom to coordinate all the various pieces, especially with travel both here and on the road for practice time. Dealing with the logistics of travel, regarding hotels, we have to balance all these things and personal needs, so I’m really pleased the schedule is out early.”

He was a bit disappointed in the playoff structure. The league will remain the top four teams from each division as opposed to the Top 8 in each conference from two years ago.

“I really think that (Top 8) format was better. I thought it made for a better balance, but we have got to work with what we have.”

The pieces of the 2017-18 season are fitting into place for what management hopes will be a long run into next summer.

CANTLON’S CORNER: WOLF PACK OFF SEASON VOLUME 10

Cantlon’s Corner:

Wolf Pack Off Season Volume 10

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CTAnother week of hockey activity and the Hartford Wolf Pack are right in the middle of it.

CONGRATS

The American Hockey League honored the Hartford Wolf Pack for its 2016-17 Team Business Services, with an award for excellence in community service among Eastern Conference teams. The award was announced Wednesday evening at a gala reception during the AHL Board of Governors’ Annual Meeting at Hilton Head, SC.

“We are extremely proud of our staff’s and players’ dedication to giving back to the Hartford-area community, and that it has been celebrated with this tremendous AHL honor,” Chris Lawrence, General Manager of the XL Center and the head of Wolf Pack Business Operations for Spectra said in a press release.

“With the amount of time and effort the entire league puts into the service aspect of our business, it’s a credit to everyone involved with the team to be recognized. We look forward to continuing to make a positive impact in the Capital region.”

The Wolf Pack’s community outreach program, under the leadership of Manager of Community Relations, Frank Berrian, has continued to grow numerous signature elements. The Wolf Pack’s “Read to the Rink” reading program, sponsored by ProHealth Physicians’ Healthy Me, involved several dozen area schools. The “Hockey in the Streets” effort once again brought the fun and healthy exercise of street hockey to the youngsters of Camp Courant throughout the summer.

The Wolf Pack’s annual “Bowl-a-Thon” in support of Special Olympics Connecticut raised over $13,000, and the team staff’s efforts at, “Holiday Light Fantasia” in December helped generate nearly $7,000 for the Channel 3 Kids Camp. Also, the Wolf Pack players as well as the team’s iconic mascot, Sonar, combined to make nearly 200 community appearances during the 2016-17 season. Those appearances ranged from school and hospital visits to youth hockey events, holiday toy deliveries, and all manner of community parades and celebrations.

The hard-charging, and ever present Sonar, who seems to work 480 days a year, was the biggest reason that award was presented. He is at various school functions during the regular season and the off-season as well. Sonar appears all throughout the greater Hartford community. Most recently, Sonar was at the Enfield Fourth of July celebrations this past weekend and does some great charity work too.

PLAYER AND COACHING MOVEMENT

The Pack has officially lost their leading scorer from last season, Nicklas Jensen.

In a team press release, Jokerit Helsinki’s (Finland-KHL) GM and former New York Ranger and NHL great Jari Kurri announced that the Danish forward agreed to a two-year deal with next season being an option year.

The 24-year-old forward led Hartford with 32 goals (second best in the AHL) and 55 points. Jensen came to the Wolf Pack in a deal trade with the Vancouver Canucks for Emerson Etem on January 8, 2016. In his brief tenure with the Pack, the one-time first-round selection by Vancouver in 2011, played very well offensively. Jensen is a swift skater with a very powerful shot and a quick release. He was the Pack’s lone AHL All-Star representative last season. Jensen earned one, seven-game recall by the Rangers last season.

His rights along with former Rangers prospect and CT Whale Tim Erixon were acquired in an April 20th KHL trade with Salavat Yulaev. Expect an announcement on Erixon’s signing in the coming weeks.

The AHL to Euro list gained five and lost one.

The latest was winger Mark Olver, the younger brother of ex-Pack, Darin Olver. He played with Tucson/Bakersfield last season joining the Condors at the trade deadline. Olver heads to his brother’s former team, Eisbaren Berlin (Germany-DEL). That move was announced by the Polar Bears GM and former New Haven Nighthawk, Stephane Richer. The two brothers will play against each other this season when they play ERC Ingolstadt.

Ex-Pack, Chad Nehring has left Binghamton (nee Belleville) and signed with Fischtown (Germany-DEL). Patrick Mullen, who split last year between Dynamo Riga (Latvia-KHL) and then left to sign with Rochester, goes to Linkopings HC (Sweden-SHL). William Wrenn of Toronto signed with HC Bolzano (Italy-AEHL) and Evan Mosey of Rockford signed with Nottingham (England-EIHL).

Ex-Springfield Thunderbirds goalie Reto Berra, who, two months ago had signed in his native Switzerland with HC Fribourg-Gotteron (NLA) just after the season ended, executed his NHL exit clause to sign just a one-year, one-way deal for $700K with Anaheim/San Diego (AHL). Last season in Springfield, Berra made $1.5 million on a one-way deal. His Swiss contract will remain the same (minus the one year term) should he sign for next season.

A player signing can execute the clause in their contract by July 31st (just before Euro training camp opens) without penalty.

That makes 50 players who have signed in Europe and 26 of 30 AHL teams that have lost at least one player.

Adam Johnson, of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, was the 34th underclassmen from college hockey to sign a pro deal. He goes to Pittsburgh.

Johnson is 23-years-old and is classified as an academic junior. The numbers may be skewed, but that’s the world of college hockey today.

Cal Peterson, the goalie from Notre Dame, has also left. Peterson signed a three-year entry-level deal with Los Angeles paying $925K/$70K AHL. The Kings will have to compensate the Buffalo Sabres who originally drafted him with a 2018 draft pick.

Kyle Mackenzie and Josh Monk, both of Providence College, signed with the expansion Worcester (ECHL) team. Rhett Holland of Michigan State who played three games with Idaho (ECHL) after the college season ended has signed with HC Dynamo Pardubice (Czech Republic-CEL). He is the third Spartan to sign overseas.

That makes 154 Division I players have signed North American pro deals since the end of the college season (regular & postseason). Add in 20 from Division 3, and another 31 who completed or left school (Division I and III) and signed in Europe. The NCHC conference lost the most underclassmen at nine.

Schools who lost the most players were Minnesota-Duluth, Michigan Tech and Western Michigan University with six each. Boston College, Minnesota and Bowling Green lost five and Boston University saw four leave. They all were pure freshmen.

Ex-Pack and Thunderbird Dylan McIlrath, of the Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins, signed a one-year two-way deal with Detroit at $675K-NHL/$275K-AHL.

Former Sound Tiger and Avon Old Farms player goalie Parker Milner signs a one-year AHL deal with Hershey. He spent a portion of last season with Hershey and had a strong playoff run helping the South Carolina Stingrays to the ECHL Kelly Cup final before they were beaten by the Colorado Eagles.

Goalie Steve Michalek (Glastonbury/Loomis Chaffe) signs a one-year deal with Minnesota ($715K-NHL/$70K-AHL). He spent last year with the Iowa Wild playing 30 games with a record of 13-14-1-1 and a 2.63 GAA

Brody Sutter has left the Springfield Thunderbirds to sign with Manitoba.

Ex-Pack defenseman Matt Gilroy switches KHL teams leaving Spartak Moscow (Russia) to join Jokerit Helsinki (Finland). Vladimir Denisov goes from Traktor Chelyabinsk (Russia-KHL) to Dynamo Minsk (Belarus-KHL).

Jared Eng, formerly of Sacred Heart University (AHA) and who left after two years completed school and playing hockey in Canada at Simon Fraser University (BICHL). He leaves Bjorbo IF (Sweden Division-2) to play for KRS Heilongjiang (China-VHL) next year.

Peter Quenneville, the former QU Bobcat, goes from Aalborg Pirates (Denmark-DHL) to HC Dynamo Pardubice (Czech Republic-CEL) next season.

Ex-Pack Travis Oleksuk re-signs with HC Bolzano (Italy-AEHL).

John Dunbar, an ex-QU Bobcat, split last year with HC Mulhouse (France Division-1) and Norfolk (ECHL) signs with the Guildford Flames (England-EIHL) who were promoted to the top league starting this fall.

Former Springfield Falcon, Scott Barney, switches teams in the Asia League Ice Hockey (ALIH) going from the Beijing-based China Dragon, that’s leaving the league, to join Anyang Halla in South Korea.

Former New Haven Nighthawk Mark Morrison makes it to the NHL as an assistant coach with Anaheim after six years as an AHL assistant (four years in St. John’s two in Winnipeg with the Manitoba Moose). His resume includes stops all over the hockey map including the two farthest points in Canada. The first was Victoria (WHL) where he was the head coach/GM for five years and the aforementioned, St. John’s (AHL).

He also was a player/coach for ten years with the Scottish based Fife Flyers then playing in the British National League (BNL).

Some other coaching changes include former Beast of New Haven forward Herberts Vasiljves, who just retired from playing a few months ago, was named as the assistant coach for his native Latvia U-18 National Junior team.

Former Sound Tiger Jeff Hutchins was named the head coach for the British U-18 National Junior team. He will continue as assistant coach and Director of Player Development for the Fife Flyers (Scotland-EIHL).

Congrats to former AHL player, Jordan Smith. He lost his sight in one eye ten years ago which ended his pro career after just two seasons in Portland. It was his injury that ushered in the mandatory half visor rule. Smith was hired as an associate head coach with Sudbury Wolves (OHL). He was the head coach for Sault Ste. Marie (NOJHL) last season.

AHL SCHEDULE

Hallelujah! An early AHL schedule!

As promised, the AHL released the 2017-18 schedule. The release came a month earlier than usual to the delight of the sales staff of all 30 teams and their fans.

The Wolf Pack will open the regular season on October 6th at the XL Center against the Charlotte Checkers, the top affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes. It’s the earliest opening for the Wolf Pack in some time and the first time Charlotte is back in Hartford since the 2010-11 season. The teams met four times that year going 2-2 each winning their home games. Charlotte now plays at the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte having left last year from the Time Warner Cable Arena, the home of the NBA Charlotte Hornets.

Because of division realignment, Charlotte was finally airlifted out of the Western Conference and put back into the East where they belonged in the first place. Charlotte will have a new head coach making his debut that night, former Hartford Whaler, Mike Vellucci.

The Pack will be the home opener the following week for the Springfield Thunderbirds on Saturday, October 14th.and will meet them the most times this season, twelve (six home and six away). Bridgeport and Providence will face the Pack the second most in 2017-18 at ten times (five home and five away), and Charlotte eight times (four home and four away).

Hershey, Lehigh Valley, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will duel with the Wolf Pack six times (three home and three away).

Sadly, just two meetings (one home and one away) with the Canadian-based teams in the East from the North Division. They will all visit in the first month of the regular season (Toronto on Friday, October 13, Belleville on Friday, October 20 and Laval on Sunday, November 12).

The Pack home starting times for all Friday night games will start at 7:15 pm. Non-Sunday games start at 7:00 pm. On December 23rd, March 3rd and March 24th start time is 3:00pm. On Saturday, November 4th  and January 27th the puck will drop at 7:30 pm. All Sunday home games are 5:00 pm starts except March 4th when the game will begin at 3:00 pm.

The second longest AHL home opener is Bridgeport. They won’t be at the Webster Bank Arena until October 21st against the Laval Rocket, which is the Canadiens top farm team after their relocation from St. John’s. Laval, a suburb of Montreal, will open their new building, The Place Bell Centre, against Belleville on October 6th.

The longest home opener is a tentative one. on November 1

On November 1st the Belleville Senators will play in a renovated Yardmen Arena, which is undergoing a massive $20 million dollar makeover, against the Syracuse Crunch.

The complete AHL schedule team by team is HERE

MACCABIAH GAMES

Every year in Israel as a celebration of Jewish athletes and their skill level. For The Maccabiah Games, this is the 20th anniversary year, and ice hockey is an official sport. The games are ongoing. They started on July 4th and will end on July 17th.  The games feature just over 40 sports. The country has three hockey arenas. There’s one in Metula near the Lebanon border, Eliat, Ma’alot and a now a fourth new arena in Jerusalem that is to be christened in these games.

The hockey features a junior level of play. There’s an open division covering ages 18-39 and a Masters division for players over 40.

The American Open roster features three CT connections.

Current UCONN junior Max Kalter is on the team with a fellow Husky, from UCONN’s club hockey team (ACHA Division 2) in Benjamin Pulley. Sacred Heart University Pioneers (AHA) backup goalie Samuel Bernard-Boymel is the third player. The team’s assistant coach is former Wesleyan University (Middletown) player Casey Fratkin.

The US Junior team roster features one player with CT ties, Ethan Gorelkin of Choate Rosemary Hall (Wallingford).

The Canada’s open team features a former Sound Tiger training camp invitee, Aaron Berisha. He eventually went back to Canadian college hockey and played for former Nighthawk Trevor Steinburg at St. Mary’s University in Halifax last year.

In the Masters Division, former New Haven Nighthawks from the mid-80’s Brian Wilks now 51 is playing for Canada.

 

CRDA PROVIDES PROGRESS PICTURES OF XL CENTER RENOVATION

CRDA PROVIDES PICTURES OF XL CENTER RENOVATION PROGRESS

BY: Mitch Beck, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT Last week, Gerry Cantlon gave Howlings readers an in-depth report (Find it HERE) on the latest happenings with the renovation work currently going on at the XL Center.

Gerry was just provided ten pictures by the CRDA detailing the progress on those repairs.

Here they are:

    

CRAWFORD: WOLF PACK EARNS AHL ACCOLADE FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE

WOLF PACK EARNS AHL ACCOLADE FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE

*           *           *           *

Recognized with League Team Business Service Award

BY: Bob Crawford Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, July 7, 2017:  The American Hockey League has honored the Hartford Wolf Pack with its 2016-17 Team Business Services award for excellence in community service among Eastern Conference teams.  The award was announced Wednesday evening at a gala reception during the AHL Board of Governors’ Annual Meeting at Hilton Head, SC.

“We are extremely proud of our staff’s and players’ dedication to giving back to the Hartford-area community, and that it has been celebrated with this tremendous AHL honor,” said Chris Lawrence, general manager of the XL Center and head of Wolf Pack business operations for Spectra.  “With the amount of time and effort the entire league puts into the service aspect of our business, it’s a credit to everyone involved with the team to be recognized.  We look forward to continuing to make a positive impact in the Capital region.”

The Wolf Pack’s community outreach program, under the leadership of Manager of Community Relations Frank Berrian, has continued to grow numerous signature elements.  The Wolf Pack “Read to the Rink” reading program, sponsored by ProHealth Physicians Healthy Me, involved several dozen area schools, and the “Hockey in the Streets” effort once again brought the fun and healthy exercise of street hockey to the youngsters of Camp Courant throughout the summer.

The Wolf Pack’s annual “Bowl-a-Thon” in support of Special Olympics Connecticut raised over $13,000, and the team staff’s efforts at “Holiday Light Fantasia” in December helped generate nearly $7,000 for the Channel 3 Kids Camp.  Also, Wolf Pack players and Sonar, the team’s iconic mascot, combined to make nearly 200 community appearances during the 2016-17 season, ranging from school and hospital visits to youth hockey events, holiday toy deliveries, and all manner of community parades and celebrations.

In addition, a number of Wolf Pack game-night initiatives contribute significantly to supporting important causes.  Those game-oriented elements include such favorites as Xfinity “Chuck-a-Puck”, “Aetna Amateur Hockey” and Jefferson Radiology’s “Stick it to Cancer” Night and “Guns & Hoses Night”.

Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2017-18 AHL season can be found on-line at hartfordwolfpack.com.  To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451, or click here to request more info.

CANTLON’S CORNER: WOLF PACK OFF SEASON VOLUME 9

CANTLON’S CORNER:

Wolf Pack Off Season Volume 9

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CTThe Stanley Cup winner has been decided. The expansion and entry drafts are completed and now comes the hard work for NHL and AHL executives to put together their rosters for the upcoming 2017-18 season.

PLAYER & COACHING MOVEMENT

Five ex-Pack are finding new destinations for next season. Kodie Curran switches countries in the North Atlantic going from Esbjerg (Denmark-DHL) to

Kodie Curran switches countries in the North Atlantic going from Esbjerg (Denmark-DHL) to Storhamer (Norway-NEL) next season.

Ex-CT Whale Scott Pitt leaves Braehead (Scotland-EIHL) heads for MsHK Zilina (Slovakia-SLEL).

Josh Nicholls goes from EHC Straubing (Germany-DEL) to HC Litvinov (Czech Republic-CEL)

Hannu Pikkarainen (maybe the best Wolf Pack player name of all time) goes from Iserlohn (Germany-DEL) to Jukurit (Finland-FEL). Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: 2017 NHL DRAFT RESULTS AND MORE

CANTLON’S CORNER: 2017 DRAFT RESULTS AND MORE

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – The first round of the NHL Draft went more or less according to the script.

There wasn’t much in the way of “cloak and dagger” or major surprises at Friday night’s two and half hour TV spectacle.

The New York Rangers did manage, for the first time since 2012, to have a first round pick. In fact, they didn’t just have one, but they had two selections to start the restocking process for a team in serious need of prospects. The team stocked up on centerman which seemed to be a shortage of over the past half dozen years or more.

The Blueshirts acquired the seventh overall choice in the draft from the Arizona Coyotes earlier in the day. They converted that pick into Lias Andersson from HV71 in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL). Andersson posted nine goals and 19 points in 42 games. The question with this 18-year-old is not about his skill or his compete level, but will he fill out his current 6’1 180-lb frame?

Just a reminder, Jaromir Jagr was 175-pounds in 1991 when the Pittsburgh Penguins selected him. He’s still playing if you didn’t know. Continue reading

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

CRAWFORD: WOLF PACK WEEKLY: April 17-23, 2017

WOLF PACK WEEKLY: April 17-23, 2017

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

The Wolf Pack (24-46-4-2, 54 pts., .355) finished their 20th-anniversary 2016-17 season with a 6-3 loss Wednesday night at Albany, a 5-4 defeat in Utica Friday night and a 5-1 setback Saturday night at Springfield.  Nicklas Jensen scored his 30th goal of the season in Wednesday’s game, and then netted his 31st and 32nd Friday night, to finish second in the AHL in goals, just one behind league leader Wade Megan of the Chicago WolvesTaylor Beck had a pair of assists in Friday night’s game, giving him a total of 19 goals and 47 assists for 66 points in 56 games on the year between the Wolf Pack and the Bakersfield Condors, good for a tie for third in the AHL in assists and a tie for fourth in points.  Continue reading