Tag Archives: National Hockey League

CRAWFORD: WOLF PACK ANNOUNCE PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpgWOLF PACK ANNOUNCE PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE

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Includes Return of Friday-night $1 Hot Dog, $2 Beer Deal

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, September 21, 2016:  Spectra, operators of the XL Center and the Hartford Wolf Pack, today revealed the schedule of game-night promotions highlighting the Wolf Pack’s 2016-17 20th-anniversary AHL season.

Once again this year, Wolf Pack fans can take advantage of two special promotions throughout the season.  The Pack’s ever-popular Friday-night food and beverage discount is back, as at every Friday-night Pack home game, fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 beers through the start of the second period.  Also returning are the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket” Family Value Packs.  Those are available for all of the Pack’s Sunday and Wednesday home games, as well as the one Tuesday date, December 27, and include two tickets, two hot dogs and two soft drinks, all for only $40.  In a new wrinkle this season, at every Sunday Wolf Pack home game, the first 2,000 fans will receive a “hockey bingo” card.  The spaces on these cards contain possibilities that might happen in the game, and if they do, fans can fill in the spaces to win Wolf Pack bingo prizes.

In addition to those consistent features, the Wolf Pack will again be offering fans a bevy of single-night promotions and giveaways in 2016-17.  The first of those is at the Pack’s season opener Friday, October 14, a 7:15 PM contest at the XL Center vs. the St. John’s IceCaps.  The first 5,000 fans into that game will take home a Wolf Pack magnetic schedule, courtesy of CT-DOT.

Following is the full 2016-17 Wolf Pack promotional schedule:

Date/Opponent                                Faceoff    Promotion

Friday, October 14 vs. St. John’s               7:15         Opening Night (Magnetic                                                                                                                  schedule giveaway to the first                                                                                                          5,000 fans, presented by CT-                                                                                                           DOT)
Friday, October 28 vs. Lehigh Valley        7:15        The Wolf Pack put on their                                                                                                               “Howl-a-ween” celebration
Saturday, October 29 vs. Utica                   7:00       First 2,000 fans receive Wolf                                                                                                           Pack 20th-anniversary trading                                                                                                         card sets (set 1 of 4)                                                                                                                               presented by KOTA Solutions
Wednesday, Nov. 2 vs. Lehigh Valley     11:00      “Sonar’s Ed-u-skate” school-                                                                                                             day game
Friday, November 4 vs. Bridgeport          7:15       First 2,000 fans receive a                                                                                                                  Wolf Pack license plate cover,                                                                                                           sponsored by Aetna
Sunday, Nov. 13 vs. W-B/Scranton         5:00        Thanksgiving food drive
Wednesday, Nov. 16 vs. Springfield        7:00       Thanksgiving food drive                                                                                                                     continues
Sunday, November 20 vs. Providence   5:00        First 3,000 fans receive a Wolf                                                                                                       Pack ice scraper, courtesy of                                                                                                              Aer Lingus; plus Sonar’s B’day
Friday, November 25 vs. Albany              7:15          First 2,000 fans receive 20th–                                                                                                           anniversary trading cards (set 2                                                                                                       of 4) presented by KOTA                                                                                                                   solutions, plus the Wolf Pack’s                                                                                                         annual “Teddy Bear Toss”
Saturday, December 10 vs. Toronto          7:00     First 2,000 fans receive a 2017                                                                                                      Wolf Pack team calendar, plus                                                                                                         “Star Wars Night”
Tuesday, December 27 vs. Providence      7:00     First 2,000 fans receive a Wolf                                                                                                        Pack ski cap
Saturday, December 31 vs. Albany              5:00     First 2,000 fans receive 20th–                                                                                                           anniversary trading card set                                                                                                             (set 3 of 4) presented by KOTA                                                                                                        Solutions
Saturday, January 7 vs. Bridgeport            7:30      Wolf Pack “red-out”, as first                                                                                                              5,000 fans receive a red Wolf                                                                                                          Pack t-shirt presented by CT-                                                                                                            DOT
Friday, January 20 vs. Toronto                   7:15       First 2,000 fans receive a Wolf                                                                                                       Pack 20th-anniversary poster,                                                                                                          presented by Bud Light, and                                                                                                            “Hartford Hockey Heritage                                                                                                                Weekend” begins
Saturday, January 21 vs. Rochester          7:00       Hartford Hockey Heritage                                                                                                                  Weekend” continues
Saturday, January 28 vs. Providence       7:00      First 2,000 fans receive a Wolf                                                                                                       Pack 2016-17 trading card set,                                                                                                          and Wolf Pack wear special                                                                                                                “Stick it to Cancer” jerseys
Saturday, February 4 vs. Rochester          7:30       First 1,000 kids 14 or younger                                                                                                         receive a Wolf Pack youth                                                                                                                  jersey
Sunday, February 19 vs. Springfield         5:00      “Sonar Saves” pet adoption                                                                                                               night
Friday, February 24 vs. Hershey                7:15        First 2,000 fans receive 20th–                                                                                                          anniversary trading card set (set                                                                                                    4 of 4) presented by KOTA                                                                                                                 Solutions
Saturday, March 4 vs. Lehigh Valley        3:00       First 3,000 fans receive a Wolf                                                                                                        Pack bobblehead, plus “Military                                                                                                     Day”, as the Wolf Pack wearing                                                                                                       special military-themed jerseys Friday, March 24 vs. Providence               7:15         “Social Media Night”
Saturday, March 25 vs. Bridgeport          7:00        First 2,000 fans receive a Wolf                                                                                                        Pack drawstring backpack
Saturday, April 8 vs. W-B/Scranton        7:00        “Fan Appreciation Night”

Tickets for the Wolf Pack’s October 14th opening night and all Wolf Pack 2016-17 home games are on sale now at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at 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 hartfordwolfpack.com.  To speak with a representative about all of the Wolf Pack’s many attractive ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451

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NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT – 2016 TRAVERSE CITY TOURNAMENT RECAP

cutNEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT –
2016 TRAVERSE CITY TOURNAMENT RECAP

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – The New York Rangers posted a 2-1-1 record in the 2016 Traverse City Tournament. Through three round-robin games, the Blueshirts were one of two teams in the eight-team tournament that did not register a regulation loss (2-0-1 record in the first three contests). In addition, New York posted the second-best record in the Ted Lindsay Division during the round-robin portion of the tournament.

  • Jimmy Vesey registered five goals and two assists for seven points in the tournament.
    • Vesey led all skaters in 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.
    • Vesey notched a point in each of the four games of the tournament. In addition, 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 tallied the game-deciding goal in the Rangers’ 5-4 shootout win against the Dallas Stars on September 17, and he tallied the game-winning goal in the final minute of the Blueshirts’ 2-1 win against the Minnesota Wild on September 19.
  • 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 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 Blueshirts’ 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 Blueshirts 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.

Photo courtesy NHL.com

TOSTI: SWAMP RABBITS INK ROOKIE DESMOND BERGIN

new-player-desmond-bergin
SWAMP RABBITS INK ROOKIE DESMOND BERGIN

Rookie defenseman joins Greenville roster from Harvard University

BY: Brian Tosti, Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Greenville, SC The Greenville Swamp Rabbits, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, today announced that rookie defenseman Desmond Bergin has been signed for the 2016-17 season.

Bergin, 23, enters his first professional season following a career year at Harvard University. During his senior season, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound blue liner played in 34 games and tallied 10 points, the highest single-season total of his NCAA career. His plus-15 rating led the Crimson as they earned a bid into the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

“Desmond is a smooth skating, puck-moving defenseman,” said Head Coach Brian Gratz. “He is intelligent with the puck and a sound positional player. He has the ability to be a very good two-way defenseman.”

The Natick, MA native played all four years at the Ivy League school. In his career, he appeared in 117 games, scored 28 points (4g, 24a), and posted a plus-24 rating. He helped Harvard capture the ECAC Hockey Conference Tournament Championship in 2015 and two consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament during his junior and senior seasons.

“From everything I’ve heard, Greenville is an amazing city to live in and the Swamp Rabbits is a great organization to play for,” said Bergin. “I’m just excited to get there in a couple weeks and start the season.”

Prior to his freshman year at Harvard, Bergin skated in the United States Hockey League (USHL) with the Tri-City Storm and Dubuque Fighting Saints. He attended St. Sebastian’s School in Massachusetts, playing three seasons and totaling over 53 points (13g, 40a).

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!

 

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)

CANTLON’S CORNER: IN DEFENSE OF THE HEAVYWEIGHTS

gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

Hartford, CTThe recent new AHL Rule 46 announced in July at the conclusion of the AHL Board Governors meeting regarding fighting reads as follows:

Rule 46 (“Fighting”)/Rule 23 (“Game Misconducts”) 

  • Players who enter into a fight prior to, at, or immediately following the drop of the puck for a faceoff will be assessed an automatic game misconduct in addition to other penalties assessed.
  • During the regular season, any player who incurs his 10th fighting major shall be suspended automatically for one (1) game. For each subsequent fighting major up to 13, the player shall also be suspended automatically for one (1) game.
  • During the regular season, any player who incurs his 14th fighting major shall be suspended automatically for two (2) games. For each subsequent fighting major, the player shall also be suspended automatically for two (2) games.
  • In any instance where the opposing player was assessed an instigator penalty, the fighting major shall not count towards the player’s total for this rule.

I rise in defense of the heavyweight.

This another assault on the character of the heavyweights and the continued micromanaging and over regulation of hockey in general. The rules addition is both unnecessary and unwarranted intrusion into the sport adding another layer of bureaucracy that allows officials who are often game-fully challenged as it is- to yet again get to play a further role in the game than is needed.

Did anyone hear an outcry to change and add this amendment to the fighting rules last year? Coaches? Players? The fans? No, just another bureaucratic fiat issued and the AHL is told just to put it in.

Primarily, it is the fear of a concussion lawsuit such as the judgement the NFL had of over $3.5 Billion that scares the bejesus out of the NHL. So the NHL now practices its version of defensive medicine because of a still yet unproven theory that connects CTE disease to fighting or concussions in general. Far more understanding and real science needs to find out what causes CTE. I believe there are far more complex medical and biological issues at play in that development.

Just my humble opinion.

Fighters are an important part of the game. They have served a very useful role in protecting smaller players and keeping fellow players in check from cheap shot artists who are indeed causing the reckless endangerment of players. Over the past several years, the PC police keep making it harder.

Again, this will allow those types of player’s free reign to do as they will because of the heavyweights, the player’s protectors if you will, will be circumspect about when, if and how to drop the mitts. You can’t depend on disciplinary sanctions, which were all negotiated in CBA contracts at the NHL and AHL level, to truly have a deterrent effect. It’s has been lawyered down and diluted to the point of having little to no effect.

The Raffi Torres suspension, for example, is the only significant exception to attempt to seek to have a corrective action taken on a players conduct.

Elbows directed at the head, to hits from behind, and stick activity, especially behind the play like spearing, high sticking, and butt-ending, are real issues in the game to correct – not fighting.

The majority of suspensions and injuries came from one of the aforementioned categories. At the same time, concussion-related injuries are down, and that’s good. We still have too many infractions of the above categories going on in the game. The real injury issue are those head shots that are unwarranted and reckless. Having a real deterrent on the ice offering immediate justice doled out by your peers should be in the game not excised from the game.

There was no call for this rule. This rule is a dictate from somewhere in the NHL offices which now more or less control the AHL. Almost any semblance of what the game once was has left the building. From the fighting to the overtime gimmicks to many other aspects of how the play of the game is now unrecognizable from its past to its present.

Can you imagine the recently passed, “Mr. Hockey,” Gordie Howe, playing under some of these rules? Not a chance.

Hockey fighters, by and large, are great people. They’re strong community assets, particularly to charities. They are beloved by their teammates who respect their contribution to the team game. They are an enormous presence in the locker room for every team.

Fighting is a PART of hockey, not the whole game.

Remember the old, tired argument that people won’t watch hockey because of fighting? With fighting down significantly in the last five to ten years, where are the national ratings for the NHL on NBCSN?

Television ratings in the States are uneven at best. Why? Because the NHL is a market driven, ad revenue based league and a gate receipts generated league. They have no US national TV deal. However, there is a national TV deal in Canada. However, with the value of the falling Canadian dollar now an issue, it has made the deal less lucrative than the original figure. The demographics are shifting where hockey is played and is popular in the United States as the sport is no longer weather specific.

We have seen as recently as last year, players like Brian McGrattan (San Diego), Paul Bissonnette (Ontario), our old pal Stu Bickel (also in San Diego and who led the AHL last year with 210 PM), and recently retired players Matt Carkner, as well as, one-time Pack and NY Ranger, Colton Orr, and Nick Tarnasky of the Wolf Pack last year, all exiled to the AHL. They were sent packing as if they didn’t matter anymore. Shame on the NHL and shame on NHLPLA and PHPA for participating in this job-killing maneuver by the Lords of the Boards. The union is there to represent the players and maintain their job security not participate in their elimination or evisceration.

McGrattan, as other heavyweights have the last few years, signed in Europe with the Nottingham Panthers (England-EIHL). Tarnasky signed in San Diego, taking his slot. Bissonnette and Bickel re-signed for AHL deals with their respective teams they played with last year.

The fact is players want to fight in the game. In a survey done several years ago, 98% responded yes – Case closed, right?

No, as we found out this summer in college hockey when the coaches voted overwhelmingly to keep the OT rules as they are in the NCAA. I think that decision came with some guidance from the NHL which has sought to institute the same carnival concepts from pro hockey OT into the collegiate game. The majority vote was ignored and shown no respect. Thankfully, in that case, the coaches have prevailed—for now.

Fans stand up and cheer at a fight. Nobody is booing it. That’s a fact that many namby-pamby writers in particular and now some hockey executives many who have little understanding of the game, though some do, and benefitted in the fighting era and its history are suddenly recoiled by it. They seek to institute their social engineering theories to curb violence.

Truthful fact, violence is part of the human condition. How we maintain it, is a key to the maintenance of balance. A hockey fight is an expression of violence, but do you want to see real violence? Visit Chicago on a weekend or Hartford, Orlando, Syria, Dallas, Paris, Nice or Brussels. That, my friends, is real violence. A hockey fight or line brawl is not even in the neighborhood.

What happens when countries disarm in the name of peace? They will usually find their way into an inevitable war.

Hockey fighters have been important part of the fabric of our great game. From the good guys, and even the bad guys, they have been a part of our great sport. They have produced some great stories and incredible moments along with the exciting goal scoring and terrific defensive plays the game provides.

Paul Stewart, current head of officiating in the ECACHL college conference over the years regaled to many us writers of some of the characters he fought and played with in his days in the NAHL, WHA, AHL and eventually the NHL, all before becoming an NHL referee where he did 1,000 games.

From the inspiration for the Slap Shot character, Oggie Oglethorpe, he told of how he and teammate Bill Goldthorpe suckered him at the team Christmas party in Binghamton (NAHL) to see who would be the team heavyweight. His first pro fight was in Hartford with Jack “Killer” Carlson then of the New England Whalers (WHA) and Stewart with the Cincinnati Stingers. The referee, Bill Friday, told them, “Boys, that’s the best fight I’ve seen in 20 years.” Stewart also scored his first pro goal in Hartford against Louis Levassaeur.

Stewart’s NHL debut with the Quebec Nordiques was in his hometown at the Boston Garden. He battled Terry O’ Reilly that night. Stewart told him during the warm-ups, “You’re not the only Irishmen in the building O’Reilly. He fought Stan Jonathan and Al Secord in one night. Stewart’s verbal battle with all-time Bruins great goalie Gerry Cheevers is simply laugh-out-loud funny. “Cheesey! I know where your horses are. I’ll burn the barn down!”

One of my all-time favorites, Frank “Seldom” Beaton, played with the New Haven Nighthawks for two-and-a-half seasons in the late 1970’s. When he was in the WHA playing for Birmingham in a game in Cincinnati (where he had played the year before) had cops seeking him out on an assault arrest charge. He’d apparently punched out a gas attendant who spilled gas on his Corvette. He was carried out under their noses in the player’s stick bags to the team bus to avoid them.

You’re laughingI know you are. And you should because these are funny stories. It’s a part of life and the game that has many of these vignettes.

The attempt to sanitize our sport by the PC police must stop now. Fans and I know there are a lot of you who agree with me. Let’s hear your voices before the faceless bureaucrats destroy a part of the hockey spirit. They have done enough damage already in other areas.

I gladly stand to defend the heavyweights and scrappers of our game they deserve to be respected and appreciated not legislated, marginalized and ostracized from our great game.

(Publisher’s note: This editorial represents the sole opinion of our esteemed colleague, but does not express the opinion for all of the Howlings staff).

TOSTI: GREENVILLE WELCOMES BACK DASILVA

justin-dasilvaGREENVILLE WELCOMES BACK DASILVA
Swamp Rabbits defenseman Justin DaSilva back for a second 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, are excited to announce the signing of second-year defenseman Justin DaSilva for the 2016-17 season.

DaSilva, 26, returns to the Swamp Rabbits organization following his first season in the professional ranks. The blueliner totaled 21 points (3g, 18a) in 61 games for Greenville, tying him for third in scoring among Swamp Rabbits defensemen.

“Justin is coming off of a solid rookie season,” Head Coach Brian Gratz said. “He brings a strong physical presence and the ability to move the play up the ice. I look forward to seeing his continued growth development this year.”

As a rookie with the Swamp Rabbits, DaSilva was second on the team in plus/minus, going +5 on the season. His first goal came against the Swamp Rabbits’ South Division rival the Orlando Solar Bears on December 19. In that game, he posted a career-best three points (1g, 2a) en route to a 6-1 win. Justin joined the team toward the end of Greenville’s season in 2014-15 playing in four games, making his professional debut, and recording his first professional point.

“I enjoyed my time in Greenville last year,” DaSilva said. “The community, team, and organization were all very welcoming last year. I’m definitely excited to continue my time in Greenville and make a run for the playoffs and the Kelly Cup.”

Prior to signing with Greenville in 2015, DaSilva played for four years at Ohio State University. With the Buckeyes, the Cambridge, Ontario native produced 23 points (7g, 16a) including a season-high 10 points (4g, 6a) during his junior campaign. That season he also led the NCAA in blocked shots, averaging more than two per game.

DaSilva played two years in the British Colombian Hockey League (BCHL) with the Powell River Kings before heading to the collegiate ranks. In his second season, the 6-foot-6 skater led the River Kings from the blue line with 43 points (11g, 32a) in 54 games.

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!

2016 NHL PROSPECT TOURNAMENT TO STREAM ON FOX SPORTS GO AND DETROITREDWINGS.COM

rp_new-york-rangers_thumb1.png2016 NHL PROSPECT TOURNAMENT TO STREAM ON FOX SPORTS GO AND DETROITREDWINGS.COM

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings announced today that all games of the 2016 NHL Prospect Tournament will stream live on FOX Sports Go and DetroitRedWings.com.

Users in the United States can download the FOX Sports Go app and stream every game of the tournament for free, regardless of cable or satellite provider. All games will also be carried live on DetroitRedWings.com with no geographic restrictions.

All Red Wings games will feature the play-by-play commentary of Red Wings radio broadcaster Ken Kal.

The 2016 NHL Prospect Tournament begins on Friday, September 16 at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, Mich., and features top prospects from the Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues. Teams will play each team in their division in a round-robin format on Friday, Saturday and Monday before a crossover on Tuesday capped off with the first-place finishers in each division meeting in the championship game for the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup.

A complete tournament schedule is available here.

SMOLNYCKI: FHL ANNOUNCES EXPANSION TO ONTARIO

fhlFHL Formally Approves Expansion to Cornwall, Ontario for 2016-17 Season

BY: DAVID SMOLNYCKI, FHL

Syracuse, NY – The Federal Hockey League (FHL) has formally approved an expansion FHL Member Club to Cornwall, Ontario, Canada that will begin play during the 2016-17 season.

The new Cornwall expansion membership will play its home games at the Ed Lumley Arena at the Cornwall Civic Complex in Cornwall, a venue that was opened in 1976 and has a seating capacity of up to 5,000 fans for hockey.

The membership has been awarded to Mitch Gagne and Rodney Rivette of Cornwall, Rodney is a well-known musician and promoter of the City of Cornwall. One of the founders of Cornwall’s Winterfest Rod sits on many community committees within the City of Cornwall.

Rodney also assisted with the day to day operations with the former Cornwall River Kings Hockey Club.

Mitch Gagne is the owner of Dangles And Dekes Hockey Inc. a successful hockey program provider in Cornwall. Mitch has also worked in one instance or another with every team that’s been in existent the last 22 years from the American Hockey League‘s Cornwall Aces to the most recent Cornwall River Kings of the LNAH. Mitch has held titles such as Equipment Manager to General Manager throughout those 22 years.

“We welcome the Cornwall, Ontario market as our only Canadian membership and are excited to branch out into the north,” said FHL Commissioner Don Kirnan. “Mitch and Rodney have already done a terrific job in the off-season including securing season ticket and corporate partnership commitments required to make this team successful.”

The Ed Lumley Arena has hosted elite hockey organizations including the QMJHL Cornwall Royals (1976 – 1981) and most recently the Cornwall RiverKings on the LNAH. The Arena also hosts many amateur hockey organizations including the Cornwall Colts, a tier II junior A hockey club.

A press conference has been scheduled for Saturday, September 17th at the Cornwall Civic Complex to announce the team’s ownership jerseys and logo.

A revised 2016-17 schedule will be released shortly.

For more information about the new Cornwall, Ontario membership, visit federalhockey.com/cornwall or contact us at info@federalhockey.com.

TOSTI: SWAMP RABBITS ADD TYLER BROWN TO ROSTER

brown-tylerSWAMP RABBITS ADD TYLER BROWN TO ROSTER

High caliber forward returns to Greenville for 2016-17 season

BY: Brian Tosti, Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Greenville, SC The Greenville Swamp Rabbits, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, announced today the team has signed forward Tyler Brown to a contract for the upcoming season.

Brown, 26, comes to the Swamp Rabbits after spending all of last season in the American Hockey League (AHL). The 6-foot-2, 195-pound winger has five years of AHL experience totaling over 280 games. Last season with the Hartford Wolf Pack, he tallied 13 points (4g, 9a) in 65 appearances.

“I am very excited to have Tyler back in Greenville,” said Head Coach Brian Gratz. “He is a solid veteran presence for our team and brings tremendous speed coupled with the ability to play in all situations.”

The native of Wasaga Beach, Ontario is familiar with the Greenville area. Brown was an alternate captain in Greenville during the 2014-15 season prior to a loan that sent him to the Wolf Pack midway through the season. Brown was productive during his time in Greenville, notching 18 points (12g, 6a) in 33 games. Brown put together four multi-point games while skating in Greenville, including a hat-trick versus the Florida Everblades.

“It’s a great feeling knowing I’m coming back to Greenville and I’m thankful for the opportunity,” Brown said. “The Swamp Rabbits organization cares a lot about the team and the community. To top it off it’s an amazing city itself. It made my decision that much easier to come back and can’t wait to get started.”

Before coming to the Rangers system, Brown spent three seasons with the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms. His top season came as a rookie in 2011-12, scoring 17 points (8g, 9a) in 71 games. His entire junior hockey career was spent with the Plymouth Whalers in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). In 220 career games, Brown produced 123 points (48g, 75a).

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: PACK FANS INVITED TO PAINT THE ICE

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpgWOLF PACK FANS TO HELP PAINT ICE LINES AT XL CENTER THIS TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

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BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, CT – For a fourth straight season, Wolf Pack fans have been invited to participate in the ice-painting process during the installation of the XL Center ice surface.  That opportunity will be offered this Tuesday, September 13 from 12 noon to 1:00 PM, in conjunction with Wolf Pack 2016-17 single-game tickets going on sale at 12 noon at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at HartfordWolfPack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.

The ice-making process on the XL Center floor begins this Tuesday, September 13, and the Wolf Pack and XL Center are welcoming all interested fans to visit the XL Center and help apply some of the special red and blue “Jet Ice” paint to the markings on the first layer of frozen water.

WHEN:           

This Tuesday, September 13, from 12 noon to 1:00 PM.

WHERE:

XL Center arena floor, downtown Hartford.

DETAILS:

Dozens of hockey enthusiasts, of all ages, will be taking paint brushes in hand, to leave their personal mark on the XL Center’s blue and red lines, creating an excellent photo opportunity.