Tag Archives: ECHL

CANTLON’S CORNER: HOCKEY SEASON IS ALMOST UPON US

gerry-150x130BY: Gerard Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CTTraining camps have opened across North America and that means there are still some last minute signings and movement as the 2016-2017 season prepares to get underway.

ON THE MOVE

Right-wing on last season’s Hartford Wolf Pack roster, Shawn O’Donnell, has signed a one-year deal with the Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL). O’Donnell, who made the Wolf Pack as a walk-on three years ago, was a healthy scratch for more than half last season. He will be in the Milwaukee Admiral’s training camp.

Luke Adam, now a six-year pro, is at the Calgary Flames’ training camp on a PTO try-out deal. Matt Lindblad has retired. Lindblad had a back injury and the surgery to repair it caused him to miss most of this past season. He cut short his comeback after just eight games. Lindblad is now a pro scout for the Boston Bruins after just three seasons of pro hockey.

17 players from last season’s Wolf Pack roster who played at least ten or more games (two others didn’t) have signed elsewhere for this season.

One-time Bridgeport Sound Tiger Ryan Strome has signed a two-year contract extension with the New York Islanders with a payout of $2 million this year and $3 million next year.

On September 16th, former New Haven Senator John Ferguson Jr. was named the GM for the Providence Bruins. Ferguson has handled those duties for two other AHL franchises in his career, the St. John’s Maple Leafs and Worcester Sharks. He also is the Director of Player Development for the parent Boston Bruins where he handles their pro and amateur scouting.

CRABB RETIRES

Former Wolf Pack Joey Crabb has hung up his skates. The native Alaskan becomes the 67th former player to make the move to the coaching ranks. He will be a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Alaska-Anchorage (WCHA) this coming season.

Crabb’s tenure could be a short one. The Alaska state legislature is facing a serious economic downturn in the nation’s 49th state. It’s Board of Regents will decide in November, as a part of their overall budget review, whether one or both of it’s state college varsity programs at Anchorage and its conference rival, the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, will get the axe.

He could become the school’s second full-time assistant coach as Josh Ciocco, the team’s assistant the last four years, left last week for a job at Brown University.

Crabb is the fifth ex-Hartford player this off-season to retire and move into coaching. The others are Chris McKelvie, who joins his twin brother Zach at Army (AHC), Jason LaBarbera, Calgary (WHL), Manny Malhotra, Vancouver (NHL) and Jeff Woywitka, Sherwood Park (AJHL).

MORE COLLEGE PLAYERS SIGN PRO DEALS

Another four college players have signed pro deals starting with University of Vermont grad Alexx Privitera who signed with the Manchester Monarchs,(ECHL). Dennis Kravchenko moves from UMASS-Amherst (HE) and signed with Calgary/Stockton (AHL). The Idaho Steelheads (ECHL) picked up Ryan Keller (Michigan State, Big 10) and Jarrett Fennell (Northeastern HE).

The signings of Privitera, Kravchenko, Keller and Fennell raises the number of players who have inked North American pro hockey deals after the collegiate regular season ended in March to 206.

Phil Esposito Jr. of East Haven and a former New Haven Knight (UHL) who stepped down as head coach of Danbury Titans (FHL), has signed to become the head coach of the expansion Watertown (NY) Wolves (FHL).

Former Wolf Pack/CT Whale Jared Nightingale signs for another year to be the captain of Toledo Walleye (ECHL). When he hangs up the blades, he likely to become an assistant coach somewhere.

Dean Yakura, who played in Danbury last season, has signed a one-year deal with Manchester (ECHL). Joining him in the Queen City is former Gunnery Prep player Craig Wyszomirski.

Drew MacKenzie (New Canaan/Taft Prep) has switched from Dornbirner EC (Austria-AEHL) to EC Kassel (Germany DEL-2) this year.

Pat Mullane (Wallingford/Avon Old Farms) moves from Assat Pori (Finland-FEL) to HC Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic-CEL) this year.

Tomas Kaberle, who played two games for the Wolf Pack in 2014-15, announced his retirement after playing last year in his native Czech Republic for HC Brno Comets. He will be living in Toronto where he will get involved in coaching somewhere down the line.

FORMER WHALER PASSES AWAY

Our prayers and thoughts are extended to the family of one-time Hartford Whaler, Richie Dunn, who passed away suddenly at age 59 in the Buffalo area late this week.

Dunn played 76 games with the Whalers from 1983-1985 covering a season-and-a-half. He played a total of 483 NHL games mostly with the Buffalo Sabres and one season in Calgary with the Flames.

Dunn had a stellar AHL career with the Rochester Americans and is an inductee in the American’s Hall of Fame. He was named an AHL first-team All-Star twice and was on the second team once. He won a Calder Cup title with the Americans in 1986-’87 playing a majority of his 428 AHL games there. He won the best defenseman award (Eddie Shore Trophy) with the Binghamton Whalers in 1984-85 and played two seasons with the Hershey Bears.

A Boston-born player played Canadian junior hockey in the OHL in the mid-1970’s for Kingston and Windsor a rarity in that era as few Americans dared to head North and play there.

ANOTHER LEGEND PASSES AWAY

The sport of US hockey lost a legend, Walter Bush. He was a pioneer and it’s not an understatement to call him a true hockey lion. Bush was 86 and just three days shy of his 87th birthday.

His name is all over the US blueprint for the development of the game in the US from the gold medal winning Squaw Valley team in 1960 to the 1980 Miracle on Ice team. Bush worked hard to promote women’s hockey to become an Olympic sport in the mid-1990’s. Bush helped craft a US model for hockey development similar to what had been done in Canada. His efforts were instrumental in the growth of youth hockey and helped lead the junior national team in becoming a force and able to compete internationally. He helped start the Minnesota North Stars (nee Dallas Stars) and owned a portion of the AHL Kentucky Thoroughblades.

He served with US hockey and its antecedent the AHA  (American Hockey Association) since 1959 and served on the Olympic and IIHF boards as well.

TRAVERSE CITY TOURNEY WRAPUP

It was the Jimmy Vesey show in Michigan.

Vesey registered five goals and two assists for seven points in the tournament. Vesey led the tournament in goals (five) and shots on goal (20), and he tied for first among all skaters in the tournament in points (seven).

Vesey’s five goals were tied for the most any player has registered in one year during the Traverse City Tournament since 2007. Vesey’s seven points were tied for the most any Ranger has posted in one year in the Traverse City Tournament. He notched a point in each of the tournament’s four games. Also, he posted a multi-point game in each of the final three contests, including a multi-goal game in each of the final two contests.

Vesey recorded the game-winning goal in the Rangers’ 5-4 shootout win over the Dallas Stars on September 17, and he tallied the game-winning goal in the final minute of the Rangers 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on September 19.

It’s a safe bet that Vesey won’t be in the Pack’s opening night lineup against St. John’s.

Malte Stromwall tied for second on the Rangers in goals (two), points (three), and shots on goal (eight) in the tournament. Stromwall, who was signed by the Rangers as a free agent on April 17, 2016, registered two goals in the Rangers’ 5-4 win against the Stars on September 17.

Robin Kovacs, who was Stromwall’s linemate in Sweden last season, was tied for second on the Rangers in goals (two) and shots on goal (eight) in the tournament. The 19-year-old, who was selected by the Rangers in the third round (62nd overall) of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, tallied a goal in each of the Rangers first two games of the tournament.

Cristoval Nieves tied for second on the Rangers in assists (two) and points (three) in the Traverse City Tournament. Nieves, who served as the Rangers’ captain in the tournament, notched the game-tying goal with less than one minute remaining in regulation to help the Rangers defeat the Stars on September 17, and he tallied an assist on both of New York’s goals in the team’s 2-1 win against Minnesota on September 19.

John Gilmour led the Rangers – and tied for fifth among all skaters in the tournament – in assists (three), and he tied for second on the team in points (three). Gilmour, who was signed by the Rangers as a free agent on August 18, 2016, tied for second among all defensemen in the tournament in assists and points.

Sean Day tied for first among all defensemen in the tournament in goals (two) and tied for second among all defensemen in the tournament in points (three). The 18-year-old, who was selected by the Rangers in the third round (81st overall) of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, recorded two goals on September 20 against Columbus.

The Rangers kick off training camp this weekend here is the training camp roster.

*Portions of a Rangers press release was used in this segment 

 

CANTLON’S CORNER: XL CENTER ICE IS SET DOWN

xl-center-ice-completedBY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – What goes well with red and blue? Hockey ice of course.

14 die hard Hartford Wolf Pack fans took advantage of the opportunity to take part in the Annual Hartford Wolf Pack, “Paint The Lines” day at the XL Center. The fans got to paint the lines on the first fresh sheet of ice kicking off the 2016-17 season, the team’s 20th in the Connecticut capital.

Irene Leitao, of Enfield. is a season ticket holder and who occasionally sings the National Anthem at Wolf Pack games, was among those given the honor to paint a blue line. “It’s fun to be a part of starting another season and it feels nice that you’re helping out,” She said. “It was also fun to see people you see at the games and goof around with them and interact with the Wolf Pack staff and of course, our lovable Sonar! I’m a real hockey fan and have been rooting for the team since Day One.”

The process of making the ice and the painting the lines that these fans took part in, is a short slice of what goes on in creating the final product that the players will use on opening night.

dr-ice-2“We usually go from 8am-6pm to get this done correctly,” Wayne Knight who has spent 36 years making ice at the XL Center (nee Hartford Civic Center Coliseum) said.  “Today, we had a few hiccups, so we’ll be here into the evening, but it will  get done to perfection.”

Knight, whose nom de guerre is, “The Ice Doctor,” tends to the ice like it was his patient. His tools of the trade and preparation are not simply getting a bucket of paint at Lowe’s and  to start brushing.

“We have to use ten people,”Knight said. “It is very coordinated. We put a layer of ice over the concrete first, then we paint that white. Then we put a second layer of ice on top of the white. Then do the blue lines, then the secondary lines like the faceoff circle and hash marks, which must be done to the specifications. You can’t be off by an inch. Then the goal lines and then the center red line. We have sponsorship and team logos to do for the Wolf Pack and UConn last. It’s intricate work.”

To get the ice set up and the silky, creamy white color requires eight, 44-pound boxes (362 pounds) that must be placed on and over the first and second layer of ice which is placed over the concrete foundation. That’s all before the first brushes are even started to color in the blue lines.

The blue line paint (or the red line paint as well) isn’t some shelf store paint it is specially designed by a Canadian company called, “Jet Ice Limited” and it costs the team between $120 to $140 apiece.

The faceoff circle and the hash marks require three gallons of red paint. A pane of plexiglass is used to accurately set the marks to AHL league specifications.

Then the top layer of ice is made over the finished work of ice Picassos and sometimes it takes several cracks at it to get the perfection they seek.ice-painting-begins

painters-2 painters-3 painters sonar-interview-2 sonar-interviews-self sonar-with-fans

ON THE MOVE

Wolf Pack training camp is scheduled to start on Saturday, October 1st.

The Traverse City tournament began Friday and head coach Ken Gernander and his staff of new assistant coach Keith McCambridge and assistant coach and assistant GM Pat Boller will get their first look at the new young crop of Ranger prospects and free agents in the right team round robin tournament. It is the Rangers 10th season participating in the tournament in the Michigan Upper Penisula region –UP to the natives.

It will be available on streaming on Fox Sports Go and www.detroitredwings.com

Tyler Brown who played all last year with the Wolf Pack with four goals and nine assists signed an ECHL deal with Greenville.

Five Wolf Pack players still unsigned from last year’s squad include Luke Adam, Shawn O’Donnell, Chris McCarthy, Matt Lindblad and Brian Gibbons. You can scratch off two of those from that list.

The Philadelphia Flyers announced their training camp roster and McCarthy, a Pennsylvania native, was on it. He will wear jersey number 74 and will likely get an AHL/ECHL deal to play either for Lehigh Valley or Reading (ECHL).

The other is the lethargic Brian Gibbons who signed a PTO tryout contract with the New Jersey Devils.

Former Wolf Pack goalie Cedrick Desjardins is scheduled to go to training camp this weekend with Jonquiere Marquis (LNAH),but is waiting on a European deal for the 2016-17 season.

He started last year in Hartford rehabbing from off-season ACL knee surgery, but only played seven ECHL games with Manchester and Indianapolis not playing a minute of AHL action with a $275K deal.

Ryan Verbeek, the nephew of Hartford Whalers great, Pat Verbeek, who is the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Assistant GM and Director of Player Development, will play as overage junior with Chicoutimi (QMJHL) this season is a training camp invitee for Tampa Bay because of the shortened roster because of the World Cup hockey tournament.

Ex-Pack rearguard Ryan Glenn will have a new address this season. After splitting last season between HC Sparta Prague (Czech Republic-CEL) and JYP Jyvaskylan (Finland-FEL) he heads to HC Bolzano (Austria-AEHL).

Former Hotchkiss Prep goalie Jay Williams has graduated from Miami (OH) (NCHC) and signed with Orlando (ECHL). That makes 202 NCAA players who have signed a North American professional contract since the end of the collegiate regular season.

There are plans for a season-long honoring of Gordie “Mr. Hockey” Howe who passed away this summer. A pair of green number nine’s at center ice on either side of the Wolf Pack logo.

This being the Pack’s 20th season there are still unfinished special promotions and player appearances in the works.

Get a laugh out of this. The oldest student assistant coach in the nation is former Ranger and NHL’er Corey Millen, age 52.

Millen who attended the University of Minnesota didn’t complete his degree and was named student assistant coach for the Gophers staff last week. Millen played just 19 games for the Rangers from 1989-1991 before being traded to Los Angeles.

He also played for New Jersey, Calgary, and Dallas.

(All photos by Gerry Cantlon)

TOSTI: SWAMP RABBITS RELEASE PRESEASON SCHEDULE

capture
  SWAMP RABBITS PRESEASON SCHEDULE REVEALED

Pair of games in Georgia scheduled for October 7th and 8th

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, announced today the team will face off with the Norfolk Admirals and Atlanta Gladiators in a two-game exhibition road schedule prior to the 2016-17 season.

Preseason Schedule

Opponent Date Time Location
Norfolk Admirals October 7, 2016 7:00 p.m. Duluth Ice Forum
Atlanta Gladiators October 8, 2016 7:00 p.m. Duluth Ice Forum

The Swamp Rabbits open their weekend set from the Duluth Ice Forum in Duluth, Georgia on Friday, October 7th at 7 p.m. against the Admirals. The following night, the Swamp Rabbits take the ice again in Duluth to clash with the Atlanta Gladiators. The puck will drop between the I-85 rivals at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 8th.

Greenville opens the 2016-17 regular season on the road in Estero, Florida on October 14th versus the Florida Everblades at 7:30 p.m.

Opening night at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena is slated for Friday, October 28th at 7 p.m. against the Wichita Thunder. The first 1,000 fans at the Well will receive a Swamp Rabbits rally towel. Orange level tickets are discounted to just $10. Join us for a pre-game Fan Fest on the Clemson Plaza beginning at 5:30 p.m. with inflatables, concessions, and live music.

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!

CRAWFORD: ALRIGHTY THEN…PACK SIGN CAREY…MATT, NOT JIM

Carey-Action-Shot-Wild-6fc905b04aWOLF PACK SIGN FORWARD MATT CAREY

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St. Lawrence U. Product has Played 88 AHL Games in two Pro Seasons 

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, September 7, 2016:  Hartford Wolf Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld announced today that the Wolf Pack signed forward Matt Carey to an AHL contract.

A third-year pro and 6-1, 195-pound native of Hamilton, Ontario, Carey split last season between the Iowa Wild of the AHL and the ECHL’s Quad City Mallards.  In 21 games with the Wild, he contributed two goals and two assists for four points and served 14 minutes in penalties, and in 49 Mallard appearances Carey had a team-leading 25 goals, along with 22 assists for 47 points.  That was good for third among Quad City skaters in points, and Carey totaled 46 PIM and a +7 in ECHL action.

Carey, 24, spent the entire 2014-15 season in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs, notching ten goals and 11 assists for 21 points, along with 43 PIM, in 67 games.  He signed an NHL free-agent contract with the Chicago Blackhawks March 21, 2014, after one season at St. Lawrence University (ECAC), and suited up for two NHL contests with the Blackhawks in 2014-15 (one goal, two penalty minutes).

In his one year of ECAC action with the Skating Saints of St. Lawrence, 2013-14, Carey earned league All-Rookie honors, scoring 18 goals and adding 19 assists for 37 points in 38 games.  Those totals ranked him tied for the team goals lead and second on the team in points, and Carey finished second among ECAC freshmen in both points and goals.

CaptureThe Wolf Pack’s twentieth-anniversary 2016-17 season begins Friday, October 14 at the XL Center with the Wolf Pack’s home opener, a 7:15 PM contest vs. the St. John’s IceCaps.  Tickets for that game and all Wolf Pack 2016-17 home games will go on sale Tuesday, September 13 at 12:00 noon, at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.

Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2016-17 AHL season can be found on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com.  To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.

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!

TOSTI: SWAMP RABBITS ANNOUNCE 2016-17 PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE

rp_Greenville-Swamp-Rabbits-300x225.pngSWAMP RABBITS ANNOUNCE 2016-17 PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE

Variety of themes, promotions, and events offers something fun for everyone

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, are excited to announce their promotional calendar for the 2016-17 season at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. In addition to the many great giveaways and weekly promotions, this season’s calendar features all-new theme nights like Country Night on January 7 and a Mascot Birthday Party on November 12.

“The Greenville community continues to give the Swamp Rabbits tremendous support and that inspires us to come up with bigger and better ways to make sure our fans get the entertainment value and experience they deserve,” Chief Marketing Officer Megan Dotson said. “With new giveaways, memorable theme nights and great deals, the Swamp Rabbits offer fun and affordable entertainment for the whole family.”

The promotional schedule kicks off with a Swamp Rabbits’ carrot rally towel giveaway on Friday, Oct. 28 as Greenville battles the Wichita Thunder on Opening Night.

Other giveaways will include a mascot bobblehead to celebrate the mascot’s birthday on Nov. 12, and an all new blanket giveaway on Sunday, Jan. 15. Swamp Rabbits youth jerseys will be handed out on Wednesday, Dec. 28, while fans on March 10 will receive a free Swamp Rabbits t-shirt.

Weekly Promotions Set to Return:

Bon Secours St. Francis Family Fun Packs will be available at every Friday and Sunday home game. A great value and  fan favorite, families can take advantage of four (4) orange level tickets, four (4) hot dogs, four (4) fountain drinks, four (4) bags of chips and Swamp Rabbits souvenirs – A $100 value for just $60!

Post-Game Skate: At the conclusion of select Sunday home games, all fans are invited to stick around and participate in an open skate with the players and receive free autographs on the SANDLAPPER Securities Rink. The Swamp Rabbits will also sport their popular New York Rangers-style jerseys during each Sunday contest.

Thirsty Thursdays: During each of the Thursday night home games this season; $5 upper bowl tickets will be available at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena box office and online through the team website. In addition, domestic draft beers, fountain drinks, pretzels and hot dogs are all just $2 during Hockey Happy Hour from 6-8 p.m.!

Promotional Headliners:

Opening Night: The Swamp Rabbits kick off the home portion of their seventh season in the Upstate on Friday, Oct. 28 at 7:00 p.m. In celebration, fans will receive a Swamp Rabbits carrot rally towel and orange-level tickets will be discounted to just $10! The night will kick off with a pre-game Fan Fest on the Clemson plaza beginning at 5:30 p.m. that will feature inflatables, concessions, and live music.

Teddy Bear Toss Presented by Bon Secours St. Francis: On Friday, December 2, the Swamp Rabbits will once again encourage all fans to bring a stuffed animal to toss onto the ice after Greenville’s first goal. All of the stuffed animals will be collected and donated to Toys for Tots. The Swamp Rabbits also invite local elementary and middle school choirs to perform holiday favorites throughout the evening with our Sing for Santa program.

Country Night: The Swamp Rabbits are excited to introduce Country Night on Saturday, January 7. The night will begin with a 5 p.m. puck drop against the South Carolina Stingrays. Following the game, fans are invited to stay for a FREE one-hour post-game concert from a platinum recording artist who has had multiple songs on the Billboard Country Airplay Chart! This is a night you won’t want to miss!

Non-Profit Night: Non-profit organizations are invited to join us on Friday, January 20 for Non-Profit Night! It’s a great way to raise both money and awareness for great causes, while also cheering on the Swamp Rabbits against the Atlanta Gladiators at 7 p.m.

Scout Night/Outdoors Night: The Swamp Rabbits are bringing back the annual Scout Night on Saturday, February 11. All scout groups are welcomed and are encouraged to bring friends and family to enjoy this with discounted tickets. Register your scout group at SwampRabbits.com/Scout-Night. In addition, fans will receive a one-of-a-kind Swamp Rabbits folding lawn chair!

Craft Beer Night is on tap for Friday, March 31. Indulge in distinctive craft beer from local and regional breweries in the Upstate. Fans 21 years old and over, can enjoy a pre-game event with beer tastings, live entertainment, food pairings and a Swamp Rabbits souvenir from the event.

Fan Appreciation Night Presented by The Hilton Greenville: On Friday, April 7, the Swamp Rabbits will wrap up the regular season by recognizing and celebrating YOU, the BEST fans in the ECHL. The team will say thank you with $10 orange level tickets and dozens of prize giveaways throughout the game! The night will kick off with a pre-game Fan Fest on the Clemson plaza beginning at 5:30 p.m. that will feature inflatables, concessions, and live music.

The full 2016-17 promotional schedule is listed below. All dates, themes, promotions, and quantities of the giveaways are subject to change.

Friday, Oct. 28: Opening Night / Carrot Rally Towel Giveaway

Sunday, Oct. 30: Halloween Game/ Trick-Or-Treating on the Concourse / Post-Game Skate

Thursday, Nov. 3: Education Day (10:30 a.m. Start Time)

Friday, Nov. 4: 90’s Night

Saturday, Nov. 12: Mascot Birthday / Mascot Bobblehead Giveaway

Friday, Dec. 2: Teddy Bear Toss / Sing for Santa Presented by Bon Secours St. Francis

Sunday, Dec. 4: High School Recognition Night / Post-Game Skate

Tuesday, Dec. 6: Service Industry Night

Thursday, Dec. 8: International Business Night Presented by Elliot Davis / Thirsty Thursday

Thursday, Dec. 15: Thirsty Thursday

Friday, Dec. 16: Grrrowl Night / Specialty Jersey

Wednesday, Dec. 28: Youth Jersey Giveaway

Saturday, Jan. 7: Country Night / Post-Game Concert

Sunday, Jan. 8: Post Game Skate

Friday, Jan. 13: Star Wars Night

Saturday, Jan. 14: Video Game Night / Specialty Jersey

Sunday, Jan. 15: Teacher Appreciation Day / Blanket Giveaway / Post Game Skate

Friday, Jan. 20: Non-Profit Night

Friday, Feb. 10: Stick it to Cancer Presented by Bon Secours St. Francis / Specialty Jersey

Saturday, Feb. 11: Scout Night / Outdoors Night / Lawn Chair Giveaway

Thursday, Feb. 16: Business Power Play Night / Thirsty Thursday

Saturday, Feb. 18: Pucks and Paws

Sunday, Feb. 19: Scholar Book Club Night / Post-Game Skate

Friday, March 10: Heroes Night / T-Shirt Giveaway

Thursday, March 16: CDS Night / Thirsty Thursday / Specialty Warmup Jersey

Friday, March 17: Celebrate Greenville / Specialty Jersey

Friday, March 24: Faith and Family Night

Saturday, March 25: Bike Night presented by Iron Horse Motorcycle Lawyers

Friday, March 31: Craft Beer Night

Sunday, April 2: Post Game Skate

Friday, April 7: Fan Appreciation Night Presented by The Hilton Greenville

Get social: Follow the Swamp Rabbits all season long and interact with other fans on the Official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

Group tickets are available now for any of our games and start as low as $10 per ticket! Call an Account Executive today at 864-674-PUCK to secure your seats! The Swamp Rabbits open the home portion of the 2016-17 season on Friday, October 28 with a 7:00 p.m. puck drop against the Wichita Thunder.

FUEHRING: SWAMP RABBITS INK FORWARD ANGELO MICELI

New-Player-Angelo-Miceli

SWAMP RABBITS INK FORWARD ANGELO MICELI

Second-year pro played 29 games in the AHL 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 agreed to terms with forward Angelo Miceli for the 2016-17 season.

“Angelo is a dynamic centerman. He is very strong in the face-off circle and another potent offensive threat,” said Head Coach Brian Gratz. “He is coming off of a productive rookie season splitting time between the AHL and ECHL. His playmaking ability and high pace of play will add to our offensive depth. We are excited to have him on board.”

A second-year pro, Miceli spent his rookie campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization between the Brampton Beast and AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps. In 26 games with Brampton, he notched 20 points (7g, 13a) and six penalty minutes. In addition, the 22-year-old made his professional debut with St. John’s on Oct. 10, 2015, and went on to record four points (3g, 1a) in 29 AHL games.

“I’m really excited to get started in Greenville. I’ve heard great things about the organization, the city, and the fans,” Miceli explained. “I’m really looking forward to coming in and contributing.”

A Montreal native, Miceli was better than a point-per-game during four seasons in the QMJHL prior to turning pro. In 255 games with the Victoriaville Tigres, he produced 279 points (118g, 161a) and a +12 rating including a career-best 81 points (36g, 45) in 2012-13.

The 5’9, 176-pound center was initially selected by Victoriaville in the third round (#46 overall) of the 2010 QMJHL Entry Draft and served as an alternate captain during the 2014-15 season.

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!

FUEHRING: SWAMP RABBITS AGREE TO TERMS WITH ALDERSON

AldersonSWAMP RABBITS AGREE TO TERMS WITH ALDERSON

Fourth-year forward notched 27 points in 41 games with Reading 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 agreed to terms with forward Brandon Alderson for the 2016-17 season.

“Brandon is a big body and he can skate very well,” Head Coach Brian Gratz said. “With his speed and offensive ability, he will provide us with another offensive threat who can be effective at both ends of the ice.”

Alderson, 24, spent each of the last three seasons in the Philadelphia Flyers organization, splitting time between their ECHL and American Hockey League affiliates. Last season, Alderson notched a career-high 27 points (11g, 26a) in 41 regular-season games with the Reading Royals and added 12 points (8g, 4a) in 14 playoff contests. He also recorded one assist and six penalty minutes in 18 games with the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

“I’m very excited to join Greenville, I’ve heard nothing but good things from friends that have been former players there,” said Alderson. “From the city to the facilities, to the fans, it was all really positive and I’m excited to be a part of  that kind of environment. I look forward to contributing to the Swamp Rabbits on the ice as well as in the community and can’t wait to get started.”

A native of Oakville, Ontario, Alderson has registered 31 points (17g, 14a) in 133 career AHL games between Lehigh Valley and the Adirondack Phantoms, and another 42 points (18g, 24a) in 76 ECHL contests.

Prior to turning pro, the 6’4, 203-pound forward played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with the Sarnia Sting and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He logged 157 points (69g, 88a) in 267 games including a career-best 28 goals, 36 assists, and 64 points during his final season in 2012-13.

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!

CHAIMOVITCH: 2016-17 AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE SCHEDULE RELEASED

ahl-logo_thumb2016-17 AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE SCHEDULE RELEASED

81st season gets underway Friday, Oct. 14 

BY: Jason Chaimovitch, AHL

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League today released the complete schedule of regular-season games for the 2016-17 season, the league’s 81st year of operation. The season, comprising 1,116 games, begins on Fri., Oct. 14 and concludes on Sat., Apr. 15.

Teams will play 76 games each (38 at home, 38 on the road) with the exception of Pacific Division members Bakersfield, Ontario, San Diego, San Jose, Stockton and Tucson; those six teams will play 68 games each (34 home, 34 road).

2016-17 team-by-team schedules (PDF)
2016-17 day-by-day schedules (PDF)
2016-17 LeagueStat schedules

Some highlights of the 2016-17 schedule:

•    The 2016-17 regular season opens with eight games on Oct. 14, including the debut of the Tucson Roadrunners as they open their inaugural season in San Diego. The top affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes, the Roadrunners begin their home schedule on Oct. 28 when Stockton visits the Tucson Convention Center Arena.

•    The newly renamed Cleveland Monsters celebrate their 2016 Calder Cup championship on Oct. 14 when they drop the puck at Quicken Loans Arena against Rockford.

•    Also on Oct. 14, the Hershey Bears begin their 79th AHL season with a visit to the Rochester Americans – who are kicking off their 61st season – in a meeting between the AHL’s two longest-standing franchises. It will be the 451st regular-season matchup between the clubs all-time.

•    The Springfield Thunderbirds hit the ice for the first time on Oct. 15 at Lehigh Valley. The team’s home debut at the MassMutual Center is set for Oct. 22 vs. St. John’s.

•    The Milwaukee Admirals play their first game in their new home, the historic UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, on Oct. 29 against Iowa.

•    The 2017 Capital BlueCross AHL All-Star Classic will take place Sun., Jan. 29 and Mon., Jan. 30, at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pa., home of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

•    There are nine days this season on which all 30 AHL teams are in action: Sat., Nov. 12; Sat., Nov. 26; Sat., Dec. 3; Sat., Jan. 7; Fri., Jan. 13; Sat., Jan. 28; Fri., Mar. 17; Sat., Mar. 18; and Fri., Apr. 14.

The 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs will feature the top four teams in each of the AHL’s four divisions as ranked by points percentage (points earned divided by points available).

The American Hockey League was officially born in 1936 when the Canadian-American Hockey League and the International Hockey League merged to form the International-American Hockey League (the “International” would be dropped from the league’s name in 1940). The AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams; more than 88 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers. In 2015-16, over 7.1 million fans attended AHL regular-season and playoff games across North America, the highest total attendance in league history.

The entire 2016-17 AHL regular season schedule is available for viewing at theahl.com

FUEHRING: SWAMP RABBITS ANNOUNCE NEW MASCOT AND HAYWOOD MALL PLAY AREA SPONSORSHIP

Greenville Swamp RabbitsSWAMP RABBITS ANNOUNCE NEW MASCOT AND HAYWOOD MALL PLAY AREA SPONSORSHIP

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, are excited to welcome Stomper to the Swamp Rabbits family.

On Saturday, August 20, the Swamp Rabbits announced the name and identity of the new mascot in the Children’s Play Area at the Haywood Mall in Greenville, SC.

After receiving over 300 initial name ideas from fans, the front office staff narrowed down the votes to the top five submissions. Fans were given until August 19 to submit their vote for Stomper, Hopper, Buster, Rascal or Bogs.

Stomper, the submission that received the majority of the votes, officially became the name of the Swamp Rabbits mascot. Stomper will reside at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena but can be expected to make many appearances around the Greater Greenville community.

If you would like for Stomper to visit your event, business or school, please contact Charlie Hall, Fan Development Coordinator, at CHall@swamprabbits.com.

The Swamp Rabbits are also excited to announce their new affiliation with Haywood Mall. The Swamp Rabbits will be the title sponsor for the Children’s Play Area. “This provides a great venue for families to do something different in the mall and also offers an opportunity for kids to be active,” said Swamp Rabbits Chief Marketing Officer, Megan Dotson. “We are passionate about children living healthy lifestyles and learning about staying active – all while having fun with their families!”

Haywood Mall, the preeminent shopping center in South Carolina, serves the six-county, upstate region. “The Swamp Rabbits are an important part of our local community, and we are honored to have their name associated with our family play area,” said Haywood Mall Director of Marketing, Sarah Brocker. “The Swamp Rabbits are committed to enhancing our community and educating children about healthy lifestyle choices, so what better way to showcase it than with this play area? We look forward to their continued support.”

Get social: Follow the Swamp Rabbits all season long and interact with other fans on the Official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Ticket plans are available now and start as low as $126! Call an Account Executive today at 864-674-PUCK to secure your seats! The Swamp Rabbits open the home portion of the 2016-17 season on Friday, October 28 with a 7:00 p.m. puck drop against the Wichita Thunder.