Tag Archives: Dov Grumet-Morris

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

CANTLON’S CORNER: LOTS OF NEWS FROM HOCKEY

gerryBY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

I think it’s fair to say that I complain about as much as anybody else does about the late timing by the AHL in releasing it’s schedule. Well on Wednesday, it was FINALLY released.

The Hartford Wolf Pack open their 18th season and their 76 game regular season schedule on the road on a Sunday afternoon in upstate New York starting at 5pm. Their opponent, the newest member of the Northeast Division, the top affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Syracuse Crunch.

The home opener features the Portland Pirates, the top farm club of the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday October 17. The Hershey Bears come in the following day for a Sunday matinee at 3pm. Continue reading

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.

MISSIAEN BACK TO HARTFORD

Jason-Missiaen-Greenville1BY: Mitch Beck, Editor, Howlings

According to the NHL transaction wire, and in a bit of a surprising move, the New York Rangers have resigned restricted free agent goaltender, Jason Missiaen to a one year, two way deal.

According to capgeek.com, the deal is for $715K should Missiaen make it to the NHL level and will pay the 6’8 24 year old from Chatham, Ontario $67,500 at the AHL.

The deal is surprising in that Missiaen struggled mightily while in Hartford with the Pack last season, especially at the beginning of the season. When the Rangers sent he and Jeff Malcolm to the ECHL, they brought in Dov Grumet-Morris, the team’s MVP and then David LeNeveu to replace them.

Missiaen found his game while in Greenville and played very well for the Road Warriors. Missiaen led the team into the playoffs and through the first couple of rounds but was injured in the Roadies run to the conference finals where they were knocked out of Kelly Cup contention.

It is unclear if Missiaen will stay in Hartford and understudy Cedric Desjardins or head back to Greenville to lead the Roadies. Obviously that will be determined at training camp.

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

HAWK’S EYE: “WE JUST RAN OUT OF SEASON”

Action Shot - Bench Celebrationbob-crawford3-150x139BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

It is difficult to find many positives in a hockey season that does not yield a playoff berth, but the Hartford Wolf Pack’s finish to their 2013-14 campaign was so impressive that it left the entire team feeling that much had been accomplished.

The Wolf Pack, who finished nine points out of a playoff spot in the AHL’s Eastern Conference with a record of 37-32-1-6 for 81 points, won nine out of their last ten regular-season games and went 18-6-1-0 in the last 25 games of the season, a points percentage of .740 and the second-best record in the conference over that time.  That surge is a point of considerable pride for head coach Ken Gernander. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: WRAPPING UP THE PACK SEASON

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

HARTFORD, CT – As the last of fans filed out of the XL Center last Saturday, the Hartford Wolf Pack began the process of season ending exit interviews as players headed to the far reaches of the globe.

One thing is for certain, the 2014-2015 edition of the New York Rangers’ AHL affiliates will look quite different than the team out on the ice to close the season. The off-season business is a process in of itself, with AHL deals likely to get done early for some, while others may come after the July 1st deadline. Regardless of when they get done, there are lots of decisions for the Rangers’ organization that will need to be made.

Take the situation the franchise has in goal. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: KEN GERNANDER’S SUMMARY – UPDATES ON TEAM MOVES

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

HARTFORD, CT – The strong stretch run of the Hartford Wolf Pack to end the 2013-2014 season doesn’t make it any easier to swallow for Head Coach Ken Gernander. His focus is that they still missed the playoffs.

“It’s tough. We wanted to make the post season and we didn’t do that,” Gernander said. “That being said, I thought a lot of guys should be commended for what they did. You can start with the goalies, the veterans and clearly the goalies made a big difference when they came in.”

Clearly the team that played over .700 hockey down the stretch and won nine of their last ten games and posting four shutouts as part of an 18-6-1-0 mark over the last 25 games, took the sting out of what could have been a monumental disastrous season after having cratered at the bottom of the AHL for two months. Continue reading

WOLF PACK WEEKLY: April 21-27, 2014

bob-crawford3-150x139BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

The Wolf Pack (37-32-1-6, 81 pts.) finished their season this past week with two more wins, stretching a home-ice win streak to five straight games. The Pack handed the Northeast Division-champion Springfield Falcons a 2-1 defeat on Friday night, with David LeNeveu making 37 saves, and then the Wolf Pack brought down the curtain on their 17th season of AHL play with a 2-0 shutout of Bridgeport Saturday night at the XL CenterDov Grumet-Morris stopped 23 shots in that win, his first shutout of the season and the Wolf Pack’s fourth in the last ten games, after the team went the first 66 games of the year without one.  The Pack finished nine games out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but won nine of their last ten games of the season, and went 18-6-1 in the last 25. Continue reading

CANTLON: PACK END SEASON ON HIGH NOTE – LOTS OF VIDEO

hartford-wolf-pack-logo2-150x133111         VERSUS       bridgeport2-300x273-150x136

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Special to Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – A stingy defense  combined with the reliable, solid goaltending of Dov Grumet-Morris lifted the Hartford Wolf Pack to shutout the visiting Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 2-0, before 5,272 fans in the regular season finale for both teams at the XL Center Saturday night.

Grumet-Morris, acquired from the Florida Panthers organization on December 13th, was the easy choice for the game’s First Star and was also voted by his teammates as the Team MVP. Continue reading