Tag Archives: Greenville Road Warriors


gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack are set to begin their training camp formally on Sunday.

On tap for the first day will be physicals as well as the usual rigors of organizing what will be a changing lineup. Ken Gernander and his staff will cope with the Rangers pairing their lineup and sending several players to the capital city of Connecticut until opening night comes October 10th against the St. John’s IceCaps.

The Rangers made their first cuts yesterday.


Twelve players that The Rangers reassigned on Wednesday will report to training camp for the Hartford Wolf Pack:

Goalies Cedrick Desjardins and Mackenzie Skapski both listed as injured when the Rangers camp started last week.

Defenseman’s Calle Andersson, Kodie Curran, Troy Donnay, Samuel Noreau and Petr Zamorsky.

Forwards Chris McCarthy, Chad Nehring, Josh Nicholls, Michael St. Croix and veteran Nick Tarnasky

The Rangers reassigned six to their major junior teams in the US and Canada. Ryan Gropp heads to Seattle (WHL). Brandon Halverson to Sault Ste. Marie (OHL). Keegan Iverson moves to Portland (WHL). Ryan Mantha departs to Niagara (OHL) while Brad Morrison goes to Prince George (WHL), and Sergey Zborovskiy to Regina (WHL). Zborovskiy will develop under the tutelage of former Wolf Pack head coach, John Paddock.

The one player released from his tryout agreement, Jacob Smith, will be going back to the North Bay Battalion (OHL).

The Wolf Pack announced on Thursday that Czech-born forward Richard Nejezchleb signed an AHL contract. He was a fifth-round pick, 122nd overall, in the 2014 draft.

Nejezchleb started last year with the Wolf Pack after playing two games in Traverse City tournament, but suffered an injury and saw no action after the tournament and went back to Brandon (WHL). Nejezchleb got traded after two games to the Tri-City Americans, a dreadful team, where the young forward slumped from 32 to 20 goals and a minus-27. Nejezchleb has size at 6’2 and 210 lbs and has good wheels and earned his first pro contract.  Following the Rangers pre-season game loss in Boston last night, Nejezchleb was formally assigned to Hartford.

Joining Nejezchleb was Trevor Oleksuk, who signed as AHL free agent this summer after playing the last three years in Worcester.

The Rangers also released two other players from their training camp tryout contracts. Jayden Hart, who played his junior hockey with Prince Albert (WHL), will likely be seeking an AHL or ECHL deal somewhere. The enigmatic Kirill Kabanov, who played in Sweden last year, will too look at an AHL deal, but likely will return to Europe.

The Rangers on Friday announced they have sent five more players to the Wolf Pack. Those players include defensemen Brett Bellemore and Tommy Hughes, goaltender Jeff Malcolm, and forwards Adam Tambellini, a rookie, and fourth-year veteran center, Marek Hrivik.


The Rangers won their first game 6-3 over the New Jersey Devils. Brian Gibbons had a goal and two assists, and Jayson Megna had two goals both players signed as free agents in the offseason. Lindberg had a goal with Bourque assisting on it.

The Rangers lost in Philadelphia to the Flyers 5-3 on Wednesday with Oscar Lindberg making a strong bid to remain with the Rangers by contributing a goal and an assist in the 5-3 loss.

Meanwhile, last night, at the Boston Garden, Brady Skjei had a strong night chipping in a goal and an assist in their 4-3 shootout loss. The Rangers entered the third period with a 3-1 lead. Henrik Lundqvist was superb in his forty minutes of action before Malcolm relieved him to play the remainder of the game.

Ryan Bourque, another forward seeking a roster spot, had three shots on goal against the Flyers. Bourque demonstrated a strong two-way game, especially on a critical third-period defensive play. The son of Hall-of-Famer, Ray Bourque, used his outstanding speed to come back to pick up a wide open Bruin, Jimmy Hayes, on the doorstep and prevented a sure fire easy late regulation game-winner.

In the shootout, Bourque was nearly the hero as he snapped a hard wrist shot over the glove of goalie Jeremy Smith, but his shot clanged off the crossbar.

The Rangers play the Devils Saturday night in New Jersey in their next game.


Former Wolf Pack captain, Dane Byers, has become another AHL’er, who’s left for Europe. Byers signed with Ilves Tampere (Finland-FEL). Dany Heatley, the one-time high-flying NHL winger, who split last year between Norfolk and San Antonio, has signed with Nuremberg (Germany-DEL). Nick Sorkin of Hamilton will skate for VIK Vasteras HK (Sweden-Allsvenskan).

The total number of AHL’ers from last season who have signed in Europe is now 73.

Another former Pack captain, Aaron Johnson, has been assigned to the Stockton Thunder by the Calgary Flames.

In the camp of the Springfield Falcons are ex-Pack Kale Kerbashian (already signed with Rapid City-ECHL) and defenseman Steve Delisle, who makes a second tour with the Falcons after signing with them in the off-season.

Former Salisbury Prep player, Kevin Quick, is in camp with the Rockford IceHogs, but signed with Indianapolis (ECHL) their Double AA affiliate in the summer.

Former Wolf Pack goalie Jason Missiaen has signed a deal with the Missouri Mavericks (ECHL).

Fairfield native and Avon Old Farms graduate, Quinn Smith, has signed his first professional contract with Idaho (ECHL).

Phil Osaer, a one-time Wolf Pack goalie, was named by USA Hockey as the Manager of their American Development Model for goaltending. Osaer was the Director of Hockey Operations at Michigan State (Big 10).

Former Trinity College assistant Peter Roundy takes on the same role just up the road with Holy Cross (AHA).

Former Wolf Pack, Zdenek Bahensky, signs with HC Slavia Prague (Czech Republic Division-2).

The now retired one-time Pack goalie, Vitali Yeremeyev, has started a new career as a goaltending coach in the Russian junior league MHL in Kazakhstan with Snezhnyk Barys Astana.

Former Ranger and New Haven Nighthawk, Raimo Helminen, was an assistant coach got sacked along with their head coach by Barys Astana (Kazakhstan-KHL) after a 1-4 start.

Last year’s Toronto Marlies captain Troy Bodie has retired to become a scout for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Congratulations are due to the following CT based players for making their USHL teams for the upcoming season that begins this weekend:

  • Mike O’ Leary Salisbury Prep (Dubuque)
  • Connor Sundquist Glastonbury and Austin Dittenhafer CT Jr. Wolf Pack (Sioux City)
  • Eric and Alex Esposito of West Haven and Loomis Chaffe prep (Youngstown)
  • Jack Badini, Old Greenwich (Lincoln)
  • Matt Foley, Yale University commit 2016-17 (Bloomington).


The tragic suicide of former NHL enforcer Todd Ewen last week has reignited the debate on fighting in hockey. Here is a very thoughtful and balanced piece by Lindsay Kramer of the Syracuse Post-Standard. Read about it HERE.



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Played two Games with Pack in 20-14-15 out of University of Calgary

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, September 9, 2015:  Hartford Wolf Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld announced today that the Wolf Pack has signed defenseman Kodie Curran to an American Hockey League contract.

Curran, a 6-2, 205-pound native of Calgary, Alta., joined the Wolf Pack last season at the conclusion of his career at the University of Calgary (Canada West University Athletic Association).  The 25-year-old Curran skated in two games with the Pack, registering one assist and a +1.  In University action with the Dinos, Curran led all CWUAA blueliners in points, goals and assists in 2014-15, with 8-16-24 in 23 games.  That performance earned him First-Team All-CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) West honors for a second straight season, as Curran led all U. Calgary skaters in assists, and finished second on the team in points and third in goals.  He also tied for fifth among all CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) defensemen in points.

Curran enjoyed another CIS West First-Team All-Star season in 2013-14, notching four goals and 21 assists for 25 points in 23 games with the Dinos.  Those numbers put him second among CWUAA defensemen in assists and third in points, and were good for eighth in point-scoring among CIS blueliners.

In 96 career games with U. Calgary over five seasons, Curran totaled 17 goals and 72 assists for 89 points, along with 115 penalty minutes.


The Wolf Pack open their 19th season of AHL play at the XL Center Saturday, October 10, hosting the St. John’s IceCaps in a 7:00 PM game. Tickets for opening night, and all 2015-16 Wolf Pack home games, go on sale Tuesday, September 15 at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.

To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.



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Was 7-4-0 in 11 AHL Games in 2014-15

 BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, September 1, 2015:  Hartford Wolf Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld announced today that the Wolf Pack has re-signed goaltender Jeff Malcolm.

Malcolm, a third-year pro out of Yale University, appeared in 11 games with the Wolf Pack in 2014-15, going 7-4-0 with a 3.18 goals-against average and an 89.9% save percentage.  That action included wins in each of his first five AHL decisions of the season, a streak that tied a team season high.  In 28 games with the Wolf Pack’s ECHL affiliate, the Greenville Road Warriors, the 6-2, 185-pound Malcolm logged a 17-10-1 record, with a 2.52 GAA, a 91.9% save percentage and one shutout.

Since originally signing with the Wolf Pack July 17, 2013, Malcolm has played in 17 total AHL games, posting an 8-7-0 slate, a 3.07 GAA and an 89.6% save percentage.  In 55 career ECHL outings with the Road Warriors, the 26-year-old Lethbridge, Alta. native is 30-19-4, with a 2.70 GAA, a 91.6% save percentage and one shutout.

Malcolm capped off his four-year Yale career in 2012-13 by backstopping the Elis to the first-ever “Frozen Four” title in school history.  Malcolm was 20-6-2 in 30 appearances for the Elis in 2012-13, with a 2.24 goals-against average, a 91.9% save percentage and three shutouts.  Those numbers represented the second highest single-season win total, the third-best save percentage and fourth-lowest GAA in Yale Men’s Hockey history.  Malcolm also finished second among ECAC goaltenders in wins and tied for third in shutouts.

In his four years at Yale, Malcolm appeared in 67 games, amassing a record of 36-21-4 with a 2.60 GAA, a 90.7% save percentage and six shutouts.  Those stats rank him third all-time in school annals in wins and fourth in GAA and save percentage.Capture

The Wolf Pack open their 19th season of AHL play at the XL Center Saturday, October 10, hosting the St. John’s IceCaps in a 7:00 PM game.  Tickets for opening night, and all 2015-16 Wolf Pack home games, go on sale Tuesday, September 15 at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.

To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.


22-year old posted career high in points and led Greenville with

217 penalty minutes last season

BY: Alan Fuehring, Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Greenville, S.C.The Greenville Swamp Rabbits, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, today announced the club has re-signed forward Emerson Clark for the 2015-16 season. The 22-year old has led Greenville with more than 200 penalty minutes in each of the last two seasons.

“We’re thrilled to have Emerson back for another season in Greenville,” Head Coach Brian Gratz said. “He’s one of the toughest pound-for-pound players in this league and he fits our identity of being a hard team to play against every night.”

Clark returns to the Swamp Rabbits after posting career highs in goals (16), assists (9) and points (25) during the 2014-15 season. He added a team-best 15 bouts and 217 penalty minutes in 62 games.

A native of Whitby, Ontario, Clark debuted with Toledo during the 2013-14 campaign and registered four assists and 150 penalty minutes in 25 games. He was traded to Greenville on February 3, 2014 and notched 12 points (5g, 7a), 81 penalty minutes and a +6 rating in 25 regular-season contests.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time in Greenville and can’t wait to get back,” Clark said. “The fans have treated me so well and there is no better place to live. I can’t wait to see everyone and get the season started.”

Prior to turning pro, Clark skated four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Oshawa Generals and Windsor Spitfires. He recorded 44 points (26g, 18a) and 496 penalty minutes in 210 career games.

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

Ticket plans for the inaugural season of the Swamp Rabbits’ era are available now and start as low as $81! Call an Account Executive today at 864-674-PUCK to secure your seats! The Swamp Rabbits open the home portion of the 2015-16 season on Friday, October 23 with a 7:00 p.m. puck drop against the South Carolina Stingrays.


Greenville Swamp RabbitsGreenville Road Warriors Rebrand to Swamp Rabbits

Team to build stronger ties with the Greenville community

BY: Alan Fuehring, Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Greenville, S.C. – The Greenville Road Warriors are excited to announce that they will now be known as the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.

The Road Warriors came to Greenville in 2010 and were purchased by current owner, Fred Festa, chairman & CEO of W.R. Grace and Co., in 2012. Since their arrival, the team has been embraced by the Greenville community, making the rebranding a logical transition for the team. After signing a new five-year lease with the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in March 2015, the timing was ideal to strengthen the team’s ties to Greenville and the surrounding communities. The Swamp Rabbits represent a piece of Greenville history that not only pays homage to the legacy of the historic train line, but also provides a brand that better appeals to fans of all ages.

First known as the Carolina, Knoxville and Western line, and later becoming the Greenville and Northern railroad, the intent of the railroad was to connect Greenville with the rich coal fields of Tennessee, providing the Carolinas with a direct line over the mountains and access to cheaper coal. The railroad received its nickname, the “Swamp Rabbit” by locals who would use the freight train as a means of transportation to picnic in northern Greenville County. Completion of the rail line proved to be more of a financial commitment than expected, leaving the project at a halt near the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Today you can find this railroad marker located beside the “Swamp Rabbit” Pedestrian Bridge, which crosses over the Reedy River just off of South Main Street.

“After much thought and consideration, we determined that we wanted our new identity to honor a piece of Greenville’s history while also being relevant within the community today” said Fred Festa, owner of the Swamp Rabbits. “Several factors were taken into account when deciding on what that representation would be. Ultimately, we selected the Swamp Rabbits because the name holds dear to a variety of residents, businesses, popular recreational areas and the historic landmark, the Swamp Rabbit railroad, dating back the 1920s in Greenville.”

“To be able to embody a part of Greenville’s past and present via the team’s identity is an incredible feeling,” said Chris Lewis, general manager of the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. “We think the Swamp Rabbits will symbolize the competitive spirit of our players and the vibrancy of the community on the ice and off. We want our brand to best reflect what a night out at a hockey game is all about, which is fun and excitement for the entire community.”

On Friday, October 23rd at 7:00pm, the Swamp Rabbits will face off against the South Carolina Stingrays in the season’s first home game. Season ticket packages are on sale for the 2015-16 season and are available for purchase on the team’s website, Swamprabbits.com.

The Swamp Rabbits are members of the ECHL, the nation’s premier “AA” hockey league, and are affiliated with the NHL’s New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack. All home games are played at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena located at 650 N. Academy Street in downtown Greenville. For more information on the team, or to purchase tickets, visit Swamprabbits.com.



Former Johnstown, Toledo forward enters his first season as coach

BY: Alan Fuehring, Greenville Road Warriors 

Greenville, SC The Greenville Road Warriors, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, are excited to announce that former Johnstown Chiefs and Toledo Walleye forward Troy Schwab will join the organization as assistant coach for the 2015-16 season.

“Troy brings a lot of experience at this level that will greatly help relate to our players,” Head Coach Brian Gratz said. “He’s very educated with a high level of hockey intelligence and a strong desire to teach and learn the game beyond his playing career. He is also a keen offensive mind and a great leader. Fans are going to love him”

Schwab, 30, will enter his first season in a coaching position after completing a six-year playing career this past May. As a professional, he spent time in the Central Hockey League (CHL), DEL2 German league and ECHL, with more than 350 regular-season games to his credit.

“Troy will be a tremendous addition to our coaching staff,” General Manager Chris Lewis said. “He’s a student of the game and his ability to relate to other players will enhance our recruiting and development processes. I have no doubt his leadership will positively impact the team’s performance on the ice.”

A native of Kindersley, Saskatchewan, Schwab tallied an impressive 60 points (19g, 41a) in 70 regular-season games with Toledo last season, helping the club to 50 wins and the 2015 Brabham Cup title. He added 1.02 points-per-game (22 points) in 21 playoff contests and helped the Walleye reach the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals against South Carolina.

A former 5’7, 180-pound forward, Schwab spent three seasons in the CHL from 2010-2014 with Wichita and Denver, recording 1.25 points-per-game (232 points) over 186 combined contests. He boasted career-bests in goals (25), assists (71), points (96) and penalty minutes (81) during the 2013-14 campaign with Denver.

“I’m extremely excited to start my coaching career in Greenville,” Schwab said. “I’ve known Brian (Gratz) for about five years now and working with him is going to be a great fit.”

“Coaching is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Schwab continued. “I’m a motivator and an offensive mind, so I’m definitely going to push that side of the game.”

Schwab began his pro career on October 17, 2009 when he debuted with the Johnstown Chiefs, one year prior to the franchise’s relocation to Greenville. He made 67 appearances during his inaugural season and earned a team-best 35 assists, and was third on the club with 53 points.

Prior to turning pro, Schwab played four seasons at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan from 2005-2009. He served as an alternate captain during his sophomore campaign and was named team captain during his junior and senior seasons.

Follow: Keep up with the Road Warriors throughout the off-season and interact with other fans on the Official Road Warriors Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram pages.

Ticket plans for the Road Warriors’ sixth season in the Upstate are available now and start as low as $81! Call an Account Executive today at 864-674-PUCK or CLICK HERE to secure your seats! The Road Warriors open their home portion of the 2015-16 season on Friday, October 23rd with a 7:00 p.m. puck drop against the South Carolina Stingrays.


Dean Stork




Assistant Coach Brian Gratz will serve as Interim Director of Hockey Operations

 BY: Alan Fuehring, Greenville Road Warriors

Greenville, SC The Greenville Road Warriors, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, today announced the team and Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Dean Stork have mutually agreed to part ways.

“Dean has been a valuable member of the organization for the last five years, and Fred and I are grateful for his commitment, work ethic and devotion,” General Manger Chris Lewis said. “He is a good coach and has done many positive things for the organization and for the development of our players.”  Continue reading