Tag Archives: Ken Gernander

CANTLON’S CORNER: WOLF PACK PLAYERS COMING AND GOING

gerry-300x260BY: Gerry Cantlon, Special to Howlings

The comings and goings continue in the NHL as well as the AHL on Thursday, the third day of player movement under free agency.

The Wolf Pack will have a new captain for Head Coach Ken Gernander‘s team in 2014-2015. Last season’s captain, defenseman Aaron Johnson, has signed a one year deal with the Ottawa Senators which will likely see him lacing up his skates for the Binghamton Senators.

On the arrival front, Hartford has picked up some serious physicality on the left wing. Nick Tarnasky, who skated with the Hamilton Bulldogs last year and notched 13 goals and had 22 points in 77 games and 144 PIMs was signed by the Rangers. A Rocky Mountain House, Alberta native, Tarnasky has 369 AHL games with 60 goals, 111 points and 715 penalty minutes.

In AHL moves directly related to Connecticut, defenseman Jamie Sifers, a Stratford, CT native who played his public high school hockey at Fairfield Prep and a year at Taft of Watertown, has signed a one year deal with the Springfield Falcons.

Sifers, a speedy right handed shot was an AHL All-Star with Toronto several years ago and just finished his third year in Germany in the DEL League with Adler Mannheim. Sifers played his collegiate career with the University of Vermont where he was team captain his final three seasons.

Rugged ruffian, and ex-Wolf Pack, Trevor Gillies will be back in the East and playing with the Adirondack Flames. Gillies has 1,548 PM in 359 AHL games – an average per game of 4.31. Interestingly, Gillies will now have played in every AHL Northeast city in his career except Manchester.

In executive movement, one time Hartford Whalers’ assistant coach, Darcy Regier was hired by another former Whaler and a Ranger as well, Don Maloney. Regier was hired by the Arizona Coyotes  as Senior VP and assistant GM.

Here’s the official release on the Tarnasky signing…

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent forward Nick Tarnasky.

Tarnasky, 29, skated in 76 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League (AHL) this past season, registering 13 goals and nine assists for 22 points, along with 144 penalty minutes. He established a career-high and led Hamilton in games played. Tarnasky also led Hamilton in penalty minutes and tied for fifth on the team in goals and power play goals (four). He skated in his 300th career AHL game on October 26 at Utica, and tallied his 100th career AHL point with an assist on December 28 at Utica.

The 6-2, 230-pounder has skated in 245 career NHL games over parts of five seasons with Tampa Bay, Nashville, and Florida, registering 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points, along with 297 penalty minutes. Tarnasky made his NHL debut with the Lightning on October 20, 2005 at Atlanta, and tallied his first career NHL point with an assist on November 5, 2005 at Toronto. He skated in a career-high 80 games during the 2007-08 season, ranking fourth on Tampa Bay in hits (119) and tying for second among forwards on the team in blocked shots (45). Tarnasky has skated in six career NHL playoff games, all of which were with Tampa Bay during the 2007 Playoffs.

In 369 career AHL games, Tarnasky has recorded 60 goals and 51 assists for 111 points, along with 715 penalty minutes. During the 2012-13 season, he established AHL career-highs in goals (16) and points (26) with the Rochester Americans. Tarnasky also added one goal in three games with the Americans in the 2013 Playoffs.

The Rocky Mountain House, Alberta native was originally selected by Tampa Bay in the ninth round, 287th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

BECK: A PREMATURE POST SEASON ANALYSIS

mitch-headshot-10-13t-150x126BY: Mitch Beck, Editor of Howlings

So I was told that when I’m analytical and critical of the New York Rangers they do better.

Well, despite not being superstitious, I want to do my part to help them in their efforts to come back from their 3-0 games deficit with Game Four coming up on Wednesday night. SO, with the hopes of helping them keep this thing alive, and with the fact that should they lose and be eliminated, fans will be rightfully reading the better known analysts and experts, I thought I would do my part and jump the gun a bit and give you my take on who should stay and who should go when it’s all over.

Besides, is there anything that people who love the Rangers like to do more than argue this stuff…

One little side note to all the Hartford Wolf Pack/New York Rangers-bashers who use every excuse they can to undermine the GREAT success that the franchise has had on the ice in the Connecticut state capitol, of the 24 players on the Ranges playoff roster, NINE of them have played for the Wolf Pack. That’s 37.5% of that team comes from Hartford and they are playing for an NHL Championship. That is a TREMENDOUS accomplishment for Ken Gernander and the coaching staff in Hartford. 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

HAWK’S EYE: BIG MAC FOR THE PACK

McIlrath Action Shot 4

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

There will be no more Hartford Wolf Pack hockey until October, but a Wolf Pack presence is still very much a factor in the hockey world.  That is because a crew of ten Wolf Pack regulars from this season is still active, practicing as “black aces” for the parent New York Rangers.  That list includes goaltender David LeNeveu, forwards Ryan Bourque, Marek Hrivik, Danny Kristo, Oscar Lindberg and Darroll Powe, and defensemen Conor Allen, Tommy Hughes, Dylan McIlrath and Danny Syvret.

For those who might not know, the term “black ace” refers to a playoff extra, a “taxi squad” guy who is on hand for NHL playoff depth.  An NHL team’s black aces will only get a chance to play in a Stanley Cup playoff game if the big club gets hit by a run of injuries, but they practice throughout the postseason run in case they are needed.  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

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

CANTLON: LENEVEU STANDS ON HEAD IN PACK WIN

hartford-wolf-pack-logo2-150x133111      VERSUS      springfield-falcons1

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Special to Howlings

HARTFORD, CT –  Using a stellar 37 save performance by goaltender David LeNeveu to guide them, the Hartford Wolf Pack beat the Springfield Falcons 2-1 before 3,928 fans at the XL Center Friday night.

The Falcons threw everything in the last five minutes and LeNeveu was more than equal to the task.

With 3:09 left, the veteran netminder stopped Sean Collins, who had split the defense and was hooked with no call, but still managed to get off a shot. With 1:15 left, LeNeveu rejected Carter Camper and then ex-Wolf Pack (CT Whale), defenseman Tim Erixon twice. The first stop on Erixon was on a blast with 31 seconds left and then again with just 1.7 seconds remaining through a crowd of six players screening him, and incredibly managed to make a glove save. Continue reading