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.