Tag Archives: ConnecticutWhale

O’DONNELL COMING BACK TO THE PACK

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BY: Gerry Cantlon, Special to Howlings

The old adage about good things happening for those who wait and work hardest… well for the Hartford Wolf Pack‘s, Shawn O’Donnell, he’s proven it.

Howlings has learned that O’Donnell, a 24 year old rookie walk-on last season out of Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia of Canadian University hockey, will not be staying in a hotel all year and live on a thread of PTO deals, instead, he has been give a one year, one way AHL deal by the New York Rangers.

This leaves Ryan Bourque, Darroll Powe, Bretton Stamler, goalies David LeNeveu and Dov Grumet-Morris, defenseman Danny Syvret and right wing Kyle Beach as the only players left as restricted or unrestricted free agents who have not officially been signed for next season by either the Rangers or another NHL organization.

The tryout O’ Donnell received last fall from the Rangers came via some hard lobbying by Saint Mary’s head coach Trevor Steinburga, himself a former NHL first round draft pick, made to Director of Pro Scouting Gordie Clark and via a one-time pro-teammate of Steinburg’s, the Rangers’ pro scout, Daniel Dore. O’ Donnell had training camp offers from the Florida Panthers and Providence Bruins, but felt Hartford was his best opportunity.

It turned out to be the right move.

O’Donnell’s first AHL shift came against the Adirondack Phantoms and was quite adventurous, coming to the aid of, then teammate Brodie Dupont, who’d been nailed along the right wing boards by veteran AHL tough guy Zack FitzGerald. Fitzgerald got the better of the bout early, but O’Donnell finished it with a solid left hook.

O’Donnell hails from the new Canadian hotbed of top players – Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. The Pack’s toughest forward had three goals and ten points, plus 85 PIM in his maiden season. O’Donnell became a jack of all trades for Ken Gernander’s roster. He sat out early as a healthy scratch, worked on the PK and then some as a energy guy and became a good timely shot blocker.

“The year was good, but I was unhappy how it finished off for us. It was one of those cases where we just ran out of games. I felt like we were one of the better teams the last 10 to 25 games,” O’Donnell said speaking of the team’s 18-6-1-0 stretch run .

O’Donnell lived in a hotel all season after signing a series of PTO agreements including a fourth and final one he signed with just over a week left in the regular season.

“I have a lot of confidence in my skills and I have something to bring to the organization,” O’Donnell said at the end of the season. “I’m happy and grateful for the opportunity I got in Hartford. They gave me the chance to play and to succeed.”

“I really just tried to contribute and help out in any way I could,” O’Donnell continued. “This year I showed people what I could do and I can play here. I love that I can come back and play here. I like the team, I like Hartford.”

He will indeed get to do just that and his work ethic will hopefully be the norm in the locker room at the start of the season.

2ND ANNUAL WOLF PACK TOWN HALL MEETING ANNOUNCED

hartford-wolf-pack-logo2-150x1331112nd Annual

Hartford Wolf Pack 

Town Hall Meeting

BY: The Hartford Wolf Pack

You are invited to join the Wolf Pack front office for the 2014 Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, August 7th from 6:30-8pm!

The format will allow you the opportunity to discuss topics such as…

•         Wolf Pack Business Operations
•         XL Center renovations
•         Concessions

Where: Rentschler Field
When: Thursday, August 7 from 6:30-8:00 pm.
Parking: Complimentary

R.S.V.P.
There will be light refreshments served, so please RSVP by
Friday, August 1st with the number of attendees.

CLICK HERE TO RSVP

We look forward to seeing everyone there!

You may reserve your spot by calling 855-762-6451 or
email wolfpackservice@global-spectrum.com

CANTLON: STANLEY CUP QUICK(LY) ARRIVES HAMDEN

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BY: Gerry Cantlon, Special to Howlings

HAMDEN, CT – The journey to being a champion has had it’s long twists and turns, but for the second time in three years Hamden’s Jonathan Quick has had the good fortune to hoist the Holy Grail of Hockey, the Stanley Cup.

This past Sunday afternoon, the precious prize of hockey made it’s way to the Louis Astorino Arena in Quick’s hometown of Hamden, Connecticut – where his rise in the sport of hockey began. The Cup was brought to the track area surrounding the football field and fans descended from the top of the seating area to get a picture taken with Quick and hockey’s silver chalice.

Stanley Cup“It’s special something special that doesn’t happen very often,” Quick said. “It was great that the kids got to check it out and get a picture with it. It will be something that they will remember for a long time and give them something to strive for and look forward to.” Quick offered a brief interview after the two hour event that was held on a bright and sunny afternoon.

The Cup was brought to this location as part of a charitable event to raise money for Quick’s childhood friend, Jason Pagni, who was a youth hockey coach killed in a motor vehicle accident. Pagni left behind a wife and two young daughters. The money that was raised was going to the college fund that’s been established for both children. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: OFF-SEASON ACTIVITY CONTINUES

gerry-300x260BY: Gerry Cantlon, Special to Howlings 

Preparations for big changes in the AHL after next season have already begun with the announcement of division realignment for the upcoming 2014-15 season.

For the Hartford Wolf Pack and Bridgeport Sound Tigers, things will remain the same. Both teams are parked in the Northeast Division along with the Albany Devils (New Jersey) and Springfield Falcons (Columbus). The only change that’s coming is that Adirondack is now an affiliate of the Calgary Flames. This leaves the Western conference, North Division, with three other Canadian affiliated teams Utica Comets (Vancouver), Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal) and Toronto Marlies (Maple Leafs) and Rochester Americans (Buffalo). Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: THE DAY AFTER JULY MADNESS – THE WOLF PACK VERSION

GerryBY: Gerry Cantlon, Special to Howlings

WOLF PACK ROSTER 2014-15

The remaking of the Hartford Wolf Pack for this coming fall began in earnest with Tuesday’s NHL Signing Day.

The most immediate need for the Pack was in net as the team signed five year AHL veteran Cedric “The Entertainer” Desjardins of Edmundston, New Brunswick.

Desjardins spent last season in Syracuse, the top farm team of the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he posted a record of 9-18-4 in 35 games. For his career, Desjardins has a record of 104-80-18 over 219 AHL games. He was recalled for one game to the NHL for Tampa Bay. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: WHAT’S GOING ON IN HOCKEY

gerry-cantlon1-150x15011BY: Gerry Cantlon, Special to Howlings

STANLEY CUP

The New York Rangers are seeking four more wins to add to their season total. If they get them, they would garner their first Stanley Cup in 20 years, since the magical team that ended the 54 year long drought on the backs of Mark Messier and Brian Leetch.

This Rangers crew has a lot of Wolf Pack DNA flowing through its veins. Two players in particular have stories that tell a lot about their development into playing vital roles on the team come from the defensive side of the ledger. Those Rangers are Ryan McDonaghMarc Staal and Dan Girardi. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: POST SEASON NEWS CONTINUES

gerry-cantlon1-150x15011BY: Gerry Cantlon, Special to Howlings

AHL SEMI-FINALS UNDERWAY

The Texas Stars who finished with the AHL’s best regular season record take on the playoff unbeaten Toronto Marlies in a 2-3-2 format in the Western conference final that started Friday night in Austin, Texas. Toronto remained unbeaten with a 5-1 win with Game 2 coming up on Monday.

AHL regular seasons coring champion Travis Morin has 10 points in the post season and Brendan Ranford nephew of former NHL’er Bill Ranford has seven goals for the Stars.

The Marlies have a red hot Jerry D’ Amigo with four goals and 12 points. One time Sound Tiger and Springfield Falcon, Trevor Smith, leading the way offensively for the 7-0 Marlies. Smith had an assist Friday night. Continue reading