Tag Archives: New York Islanders

WHILE RANGERS LOOK TO WIN 7TH STRAIGHT, ISLES LOOK SEE IT AS GAME 7

NEW YORK RANGERS at NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
Barclays Center – Brooklyn, NY
Rangers: 37-18-1 (75 pts)
Islanders: 25-20-10 (60 pts)

BY: The New York Rangers

TOMORROW’S GAME

The Rangers play their 57th game of the 2016-17 season tomorrow, Feb. 16, against the New York Islanders in a Metropolitan Division matchup at Barclays Center (7:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM). The Blueshirts enter the contest on a six-game winning streak, which is their longest winning streak of the season. In addition, New York has won nine of its last 11 contests (9-2-0). The Rangers have posted a 37-18-1 record this season. Continue reading

(SAT) LUNDQVIST WINS 400TH AS RANGERS COME FROM BEHIND TO WIN AT MSG

    Game Summary                              COL: C. Pickard (L)  NYR: H. Lundqvist (W)               Event Summary

        WINNING WAYS – The Rangers’ 36 wins in 2016-17 are tied for the third-most the team has earned through the first 55 games of one season in franchise history. The Blueshirts have earned at least 36 wins through the first 55 games of a season four times in franchise history (1972-73, 1993-94, 2011-12, 2016-17), and the only seasons in which the team earned more than 36 wins through the first 55 games were 1972-73 (38) and 2011-12 (37). The Rangers extended their winning streak to five games, which is tied for their longest winning streak of the season (the Blueshirts also posted a five-game winning streak from Oct. 30 – Nov. 6). In addition, New York has won eight of its last 10 games (8-2-0). The Rangers are one of two NHL teams that have earned 18 wins both at home and on the road this season (along with Minnesota) and are the only Eastern Conference team that has accomplished the feat thus far in 2016-17. Continue reading

HARRIS: WOLVES EDGE TITANS IN FHL ACTION

Wolves Edge Titans in 3-2 Win

BY: Jay Harris, Watertown Wolves

WATERTOWN, NY – The Watertown Wolves and Head Coach Phil Esposito faced the Danbury Titans at the Watertown Municipal Arena. The Wolves saw a lot of changes to their lineup over the last week. Jason Dolgy from the Cornwall Nationals was added to the roster in a trade for Stanislav Vlasov and the rights for Lou Dickenson. Marley Keca (also from the Cornwall Nationals), Joe Cangelosi, and Ryan Whitell also made their debuts in blue and white. Wolves fan favorites Jeremy Akeson (injury), Shane Halaas (injury), Brett Liscomb (injury), and Brad Townsend (loaned to Elmira) were all missing from the bench.

The Wolves were the first to light up the goals. Ryan Connolly and Nate O’Brien set up the scoring opportunity for Mark Petaccio. The Titans tied the game at 1 on their third power play when Nikolai Okhlobystin got one passed Watertown goalie Danila Allistratov. Danbury would earn two penalties simultaneously with just thirty seconds left in the first period. Matt Graham was charged with slashing while teammate Sean Maktaak earned a high-sticking penalty.

Petaccio scored his second goal of the night with assists from Jesse Facchini and new Wolf Jason Dolgy. Dolgy assisted Facchini with his first goal of the night to make it a 3-1 game for the Wolves. Danbury would make the score 3-2 with just 12 seconds left in the period on a goal from Taylor Bourne.

The scored would remain unchanged in the third period to give the Wolves a 3-2 victory. The Wolves received all 3 stars for the game. The first star went to Mark Petaccio with Jesse Facchini and Jason Dolgy receiving the second and third respectively.

Head Coach Phil Esposito had the following statement after the game:

“The guys that played tonight played hard and did what they’re supposed to do. We got a lead and were protecting the lead in the third period. Our goal tonight was to get the points and that’s what we did. We just gotta move forward from there and try and get better tomorrow.”

Watertown is in fourth place in the Federal Hockey League standings. The Wolves are back in action Saturday, January 28th against the Berlin River Drivers. The puck will drop in the Watertown Municipal Arena at 7:30 pm.

CRAWFORD: WOLF PACK WEEKLY: January 23-29, 2017

WOLF PACK WEEKLY: January 23-29, 2017

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

The Wolf Pack (15-23-3-1, 34 pts., .405) played their third three-game weekend of the season this past week, and finished the set with a 5-2 win at Providence Sunday, after home losses to Toronto Friday and Rochester Saturday.  Boo Nieves scored twice in Friday’s game, but the Wolf Pack were hampered by four second-period goals against in a 7-4 defeat to the Marlies.  Hartford had a good start in Saturday’s contest, outshooting the Americans 14-6 in the first period and taking a 1-0 lead on a goal by Marek Hrivik, but Rochester would go on to get the next three scores.  The Wolf Pack were quick out of the gate Sunday against the P-Bruins as well, and this time made it hold up.  The Pack outscored the Bruins 3-0 in the first period, and a three-goal Hartford win was keyed by Chris Brown’s two goals and a goal and two assists each from Hrivik and Mat Bodie.  Continue reading

RANGERS ASSIGN PAVEL BUCHNEVICH TO HARTFORD

RANGERS ASSIGN PAVEL BUCHNEVICH TO HARTFORD

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, January 6, 2017 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has assigned Pavel Buchnevich to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Buchnevich, 21, has skated in 10 games with the Rangers this season, registering four goals and four assists for eight points, along with a plus-four rating and four penalty minutes. He tallied his first career NHL assist/point while making his NHL debut on Oct. 13 against the NY Islanders, and he recorded his first career NHL goal on Nov. 5 at Boston. Buchnevich posted a four-game goal/point streak from Nov. 5 – Nov. 12, recording six points (four goals, two assists) over the span.

CRAWFORD: WOLF PACK ANNOUNCE TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE, ROSTER

rp_hartfordwolfpacklogo_thumb1.jpgWOLF PACK ANNOUNCE TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE, ROSTER

*           *           *           *

Camp Practices Start Saturday at XL Center

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, September 29, 2016:  Hartford Wolf Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld today announced the schedule for the Wolf Pack’s 2016 training camp and the opening camp roster.

The Wolf Pack’s training camp activity will begin this Friday, September 30 with on-ice testing at Champions Skating Center in Cromwell, CT, starting at 1:00 PM.  Practice sessions will commence this Saturday, October 1 at the XL Center, with ice times at 10:00 and 11:00 AM and off-ice workouts from 12:15 to 12:45 PM.  The team will follow that same schedule daily through Tuesday, October 4, prior to the Wolf Pack’s preseason opener Wednesday, October 5 at Trinity College’s Koeppel Community Sports Center vs. the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

The Wolf Pack’s full training camp schedule, which is subject to change, is as follows:

Date           Event                 Location                                       Time
Fri, 9/30       On-ice testing         Champions Skating Ctr, Cromwell 1:00 – 1:30 PM
Sat, 10/1        Practice                     XL Center                                                 10 – 10:45 AM
Practice                     XL Center                                                 11 – 11:45 AM
Off-ice workout     XL Center                                                  12:15-12:45 PM
Sun, 10/2      Practice                     XL Center                                                 10 – 10:45 AM
Practice                     XL Center                                                 11 – 11:45 AM
Off-ice workout     XL Center                                                 12:15-12:45 PM
Mon, 10/3    Practice                     XL Center                                                 10 – 10:45 AM
Practice                     XL Center                                                 11 – 11:45 AM
Off-ice workout     XL Center                                                 12:15-12:45 PM
Tue, 10/4      Practice                     XL Center                                                 10 – 10:45 AM
Practice                     XL Center                                                 11 – 11:45 AM
Off-ice workout      XL Center                                                 12:15-12:45 PM
Wed, 10/5    Game group practice               XL Center                              10 – 10:45 AM
Non-game group practice     XL Center                              11:00 AM
Non-game group workout    XL Center                              Post-practice

Game vs. Bridgeport               Trinity College                     7:00 PM

Thu, 10/6      Practice                    XL Center                                                   10:00 AM
Off-ice workout     XL Center                                                   Post-practice
Fri, 10/7        Practice                     XL Center                                                   10:00 AM
Off-ice workout     XL Center                                                   Post-practice
Sat, 10/8       Game group practice  Champions Skating Center          10 – 10:45 AM
Non-game group practice   XL Center                                11:45 AM
Non-game group workout  XL Center                                 Post-practice

Game at Springfield               MassMutual Center             7:00 PM

Sun, 10/9      Game vs. Albany           Champions Skating Center         1:00 PM

A roster of 23 players will begin camp with the Wolf Pack, 14 forwards, 8 defensemen and one goaltender:

Goal (1):           P.J. Musico

Defense (8):      Desmond Bergin, Justin DaSilva, Troy Donnay, Spiro Goulakos, Joe Houk, Garrett Noonan, Matt Prapavessis, Sean Sullivan

Forwards (14):   Brandon Alderson, Adam Chapie, Andrew Dommett, Reid Duke, Trevor Gerling, Michael Joly, Allan McPherson, Angelo Miceli, Ahti Oksanen, Mike Pereira, Matt Plesa, Nick Plesa, Peter Plesa, Tommy Thompson

The 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 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.

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)

RANGERS: GORTON ADDS PIRRI – FAN SPECULATION RISES WITH LOGJAM UP FRONT

Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT FORWARD BRANDON PIRRI

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, August 26, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent forward Brandon Pirri on a one-year contract worth $1.1 million.

Pirri, 25, split this past season between Florida and Anaheim, registering 14 goals and 15 assists for 29 points, along with 30 penalty minutes in 61 games. He established career-highs in several categories in 2015-16, including games played, assists, and points. Pirri recorded a goal on five of his six shootout attempts (83.3%) and registered two game-deciding goals during the past season. Among NHL skaters who tallied at least five shootout attempts in 2015-16, he tied for first in the league in shooting percentage in the shootout. Pirri posted two three-point games during the season – December 17, 2015, at New Jersey and March 24, 2016, in Toronto. In nine games with Anaheim, Pirri registered five points (three goals, two assists).

The 6-0, 183-pounder has skated in 166 career NHL games over parts of six seasons (2010-11 – 2015-16) with Chicago, Florida, and Anaheim, registering 49 goals and 31 assists for 80 points, along with a plus-nine rating and 52 penalty minutes. Among NHL players who have skated in at least 100 games over the last two seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16), Pirri is in a tie for 30th in goals per game (0.33). Over the last three seasons (2013-14 – 2015-16), Pirri is tied for 24th in the NHL (min. 300 shots on goal) in shooting percentage (14.0), and he posted a shooting percentage of 10.0 or better in each season over the span. Also, he has tallied at least 13 goals and 24 points in each of the last three seasons, and he recorded a career-high 22 goals in 49 games with Florida during the 2014-15 season. He tied for ninth in the NHL (min. five games played) in goals per game in 2014-15 (0.45). Also, Pirri has tallied a goal on 10 of his 17 career shootout attempts (58.8%) and has registered five game-deciding goals.

Pirri also played four seasons in the American Hockey League (AHL) from 2010-11 to 2013-14, registering 68 goals and 132 assists for 200 points in 238 games. He was selected to play in the AHL All-Star Game in two of his four seasons in the league (2011-12 and 2013-14), and he led the AHL with 75 points in 2012-13. Pirri posted a shooting percentage of 10.0 or better in each of his last three seasons in the AHL.

Chicago selected the Toronto, Ontario, native in the second round, 59th overall, of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

CANTLON’S CORNER: OFF-SEASON WEEK 17 SEES NEW YORK RANGERS PUT ON THEIR “VESEY” BEST

gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – We’re getting closer and closer to the return of hockey to Hartford, but the New York Rangers made their most important free agent signing this week.

VESEY SIGNS WITH THE RANGERS

The Rangers landed the top collegiate free agent in the nation.

The list of suitors for 23-year old, Jimmy Vesey’s services included the New York Islanders, the New Jersey Devils, the Boston Bruins, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Buffalo Sabres, the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Stanley Cup champion, Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago. Surprisingly, the Detroit Red Wings were not in the mix.

Reports stated that the Islanders captain, John Tavares, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, all reportedly personally contacted Vesey and made their pitch.

Capture

Vesey had 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists) in 33 games as a senior at Harvard University last season where he won the 2016 Hobey Baker Award, given to the top NCAA player.

Vesey had been a third-round pick (No. 66) of the Nashville Predators at the 2012 NHL Draft, and the Predators hoped to sign him after his season at Harvard ended in March, offering Vesey a spot among their top six forwards heading into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Nashville traded Vesey’s rights to the Buffalo Sabres for a third-round pick in the 2016 draft on June 20. The Sabres had exclusive negotiating rights with Vesey until Tuesday when he became an unrestricted free agent.

Vesey, considered to be an NHL-ready player, had had 144 points (80 goals, 64 assists) in 128 games in four seasons at Harvard. He also had three assists in nine games to help the United States win the bronze medal at the 2015 IIHF World Championship.

RANGERS SIGNING

The Rangers added their 18th defenseman to the organization’s depth chart when they signed, the 6-0, 190-pound, John Gilmour to a free agent deal out of Providence College. The deal is a two-year, two-way ($742,500K-NHL/$70K-AHL) deal. The Rangers now have 47 of the 50 contracted players they are allowed under the CBA. The team’s total salary stands at $70.5 million, and they have just about $2.5M cap space remaining.

Gilmour was a Calgary Flames seventh round draft pick in 2014, but the Flames, with an abundance of defenseman, chose not to offer him a contract, despite having a good shot, hits well and played on the Friars NCAA championship squad two years ago and completed all four seasons.

Gilmour, 23, skated in 34 games with Providence College this past season, where he registered nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points, along with a plus-three rating, his best numbers as a Friar along with 18 penalty minutes for the Hockey East school. Gilmour uses his stick well and ranks fifth among NCAA defensemen in power play points (16), and is tied for fifth among NCAA defensemen in power play assists (12), and tied for eighth among NCAA defensemen in goals and power play goals (four) during his senior season.
Also, Gilmour recorded 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) against Hockey East opponents in 2015-16, helping Providence post a 16-3-3 record in intra-conference games.

He skated in 141 career collegiate games over four seasons where he compiled 22 goals and 43 assists for 65 points, along with a plus-eight rating and 85 penalty minutes. In his four years, Providence posted a record of 81-42-18 in the games in which Gilmour played. He maintained a plus/minus rating of even or better in each of his four seasons with Providence.

*Contract numbers and cap numbers come from www.generalfanager.com

WOLF PACK AND AHL SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED

Finally, the summer soap opera of the AHL schedule release has ended as the league posted its 2016-17 season Monday afternoon.

The Wolf Pack open their 20th anniversary season at home on Saturday, October 14th against the St. John’s IceCaps for the second season in a row. This is the last season in the AHL for St. John’s as the Montreal Canadiens will move their farm team to Laval, Quebec next season where they will play at the brand new Place Bell Centre.

The Wolf Pack schedule features five dates in October with the team’s second game also against St. John’s. The IceCaps start their season with six road games while the Pack play just two.

The Pack’s traditional early season school day game is against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on November 2nd at 11:00am.

The Pack will play just 14 of the 30 AHL teams with 52 games in the Atlantic Division. Springfield and Providence will play the Pack the most with ten games apiece. The pack will face the other four teams, Hershey, Lehigh Valley, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Bridgeport eight times each.

The other 24 games of their 76 games will be against the North Division who’ll likely make a difference because of the crossover playoff system. The team found out last season just how important those games were when they missed out on the playoffs by six points. They will play all of the teams four times each except Syracuse who they play just twice.

Twelve home games are on Fridays with a new starting time of 7:15 pm to accommodate for the traffic issues on I-91 and I-84.

The Pack home portion of the season concludes on Saturday, April 8th against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and the last four games of the season will be on the road in Bridgeport, Albany, Utica and will close out the season in Springfield on Saturday, April 15.

Find the Wolf Pack schedule HERE.

Find the complete AHL team-by-team schedule HERE

Note to the AHL-we all realize we have a bifurcated league now.

The AHL should release the Eastern conference schedule in July since there are no NBA building conflicts that they’re playing in and then release the Western conference schedule in August after Cleveland and San Antonio get their NBA schedules for their buildings.

Waiting like this is not good for the fans, horrendous for each team’s sales staff and doesn’t help with the league’s image.

PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE

The Wolf Pack will have a slate of three preseason games, of which two of them are home contests as they prepare for the 2016-17 season.

On Wednesday, October 5, the Wolf Pack host their in-state and divisional rivals, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The game takes place at Trinity College’s Koeppel Community Sports Center and starts at 7 pm. Donations will be accepted at the door instead of an admission charge. That money will benefit the Ryan Gordon / Hartford Wolf Pack Community Scholar’s Fund.

The fund memorializes young fan Ryan Gordon, who passed away in 2006 and asked that a portion of the monies set aside for his college education be donated to the Hartford Wolf Pack Community Foundation. Suggested donation is $5 per person.

The Koeppel Community Sports Center is located at 175 New Britain Ave. in Hartford.

The Wolf Pack’s lone road preseason outing will be a trip to the MassMutual Center in Springfield for their first meeting with the newly minted Springfield Thunderbirds who this year are the affiliates of the Florida Panthers. That game takes place on Saturday, October 8, at 7:00 pm.

The Pack concludes their preseason action with a home game on Sunday, October 9 at Champion’s Skating Center in Cromwell, CT, which is also their practice facility during the season. The game is a 1:00 pm battle with the Albany Devils, with a $5 admission charge benefitting Whalers Youth Hockey. Champions Skating Center is located at 6 Progress Drive in Cromwell Exit 21 off I-91.

HARTFORD WOLF PACK PRESEASON SCHEDULE

Date                 Opponent             Venue Faceoff
Wed. Oct. 5   BRIDGEPORT   KOEPPEL COMMUNITY SPORTS CENTER,                                                                           TRINITY COLLEGE 7:00 pm

Sat. Oct. 8       at Springfield     MassMutual Center 7:00 pm

Sun. Oct. 9     ALBANY               CHAMPION’S SKATING CENTER, CROMWELL,                                                                  CT 1:00 pm

*Portions of the Wolf Pack press releases were used in the previous three segments.

ON THE MOVE

Joining Gilmour and Jimmy Vesey on the list of NCAA players who’ve signed their first pro contracts is Thomas DiPauli from Notre Dame, who inked a deal with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

That makes 192 players to have signed a North American pro contract including 41 underclassmen since the college regular season and post-season ended.

Several ex-players are getting into the coaching, scouting and management side of hockey.

Congrats to J.F. Labbe, the Wolf Pack Calder Cup winning goalie and AHL Hall of Famer. Labbe is going to be coaching goaltending for two teams in two different leagues this season that is probably a first in hockey.

He is set to begin his third year with the QMJHL Sherbrooke Phoenix, but he was named late last week as the Anaheim Ducks developmental goalie coach and will be in San Diego two weeks a month during the season working with their prospects with the AHL Gulls.

Ex-Pack Mike Mottau is the new scout with the Chicago Blackhawks. Jim Sandlak, the ex-Whaler, switches as a scout from Vancouver to Anaheim while Jim Mill, a Hartford native and former AHL VP, switches scouting from Minnesota to New Jersey.

Nolan Pratt, the former Beast of New Haven and Hartford Whaler, is the new assistant coach in Colorado. With Patrick Roy’s sudden exit, the Avalanche need a head coach. Pratt was a part of Lake Erie’s (nee Cleveland) Calder Cup winning squad.

Another Beast of New Haven alumni, Ryan Johnson, was promoted to Assistant Director of Player Development with Vancouver.

Former Whalers who were assistant coaches in Boston have new gigs. Doug Houda with Detroit and Doug Jarvis in Vancouver.

Former Pack goalie David LeNeveu is using his Ivy League education well as President and part of an ownership group that includes former NHL goalie Kelly Hrudey of the Nanaimo Clippers (BCHL).  The British Columbia Hockey League is one of the 10 Junior A leagues in Canada that US Division I colleges recruit heavily from.

LeNeveu and Dov-Grumet Morris helped rescue the Wolf Pack three seasons ago from finishing dead last and were probably the smartest goaltending duo in AHL history with a combined IQ of something like 5,000!

Jeff Woywitka, the former CT Whale defenseman, and a Ranger was named assistant coach for the Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL)-Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Ex-Sound Tigers are starting out in the Junior B league level in Canada. Jean

Jean Bourbeau was named assistant coach with the Columbia Valley Rockets (KIJHL)-Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. The head coach and GM of the team are the one-time former Sound Tiger goalie star, Wade Dubliewicz.

Ruffian extraordinaire with Bridgeport Pascal Morency was named assistant coach with the Fernie Ghostriders (KIJHL).

Former Ranger and Nighthawk from the 1980’s, Raimo Heminen, has landed as an assistant coach with Jokert Helsinki (Finland-KHL). Last season Heminen was fired a month into the season along with the entire staff at Barys Astana (Kazakhstan-KHL) and then lasted just two months with Dynamo Riga (Latvia-KHL).

Alex Westlund, the former Wolf Pack, and Yale University goalie becomes the goalie coach with Medvescak Zagreb (Croatia-KHL). Last season he had the same position with Augusburger (Germany-DEL).

Jim Setters, a one-time Nighthawk, becomes the new head coach for the Lithuania National U-20 Team that competes in the IIHF Division II level in Group A with fellow Baltic state country Estonia, Croatia, the Netherlands, and Romania. He has been the head coach of Germany’s U-20 and U-20 teams over the past 20 years.

Next year’s AHL team in Laval, Quebec that will be the Canadiens top farm team has narrowed the team nicknames from twenty to three finalists. The names that fans will a have a choice to select are Patriotes, Rapids, and Rocket.

Ex-Pack Conor Allen, who played with three teams last season starting in Milwaukee as an assistant captain, before being traded to Binghamton, had a very rough year.  At the trade deadline, Allen found himself with the Iowa Wild – the worst team in the AHL last season. He has signed a one-year deal with Grand Rapids who along with San Antonio have made some of the most moves in the off-season and should have a stronger team this coming season.

AHL switches Jamie Devane goes from Milwaukee to Stockton. Tom McCollum goes from Grand Rapids to Ontario, and San Antonio looks to be an early Calder Cup threat after getting Avon native and Westminster Prep grad, Ben Smith. He leaves Toronto to go to the Rampage. Last season Smith played for both San Jose teams (NHL/AHL), the Sharks and the Barracuda. Both Toronto teams (NHL/AHL) Maple Leafs and Marlies.

Former UCONN player Jason Sims, son of ex-Whaler and Nighthawk Al Sims, signed with Cincinnati (ECHL) for next season. Last year, he played with Evansville (ECHL) and got a last weekend of the season recall to San Jose (AHL). Father Al has coached the first San Jose Sharks team.

Wolf Pack defenseman Calle Andersson’s younger brother, Rasmus, has signed to a three-year, two-way deal with Calgary. They originally drafted him in the second-round, 53rd overall in 2015. He will be in Stockton next season after playing at Barrie (OHL) the last two years. The younger Andersson like Calle is a right-handed shooting defenseman.

Their father Peter, a former Rangers’ player in the 1980’s, has a new coaching gig with Malmo IF in the Swedish Hockey League (AHL) after getting fired last year with HC Lugano (Switzerland-LNA).

Ex-CT Whale Lee Baldwin goes from ESV Kaufburen (Germany DEL-2) to Braehead (Scotland-EIHL).

Quinnipiac sophomore Brayden Scherbinin heads back to Canada to play university hockey with the University of Calgary Dinosaurs (CWUAA) the defenseman had just five assists in two years and played sparingly.

The next batch of NCAA college hockey Frozen Four and regional bids have been accepted last week for the tournament years running from 2019-2022. The first cuts and finalists will be announced on October 28th, and then the finalists to host the hockey regionals and the Frozen Four tournament will be announced by the NCAA on December 7th.

Hartford would be a great location central highway arteries, with plenty of hotels and restaurants in the area. They’d be terrific for a regional, but without a new XL Center, a bid can’t be made.

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT FORWARD JIMMY VESEY

imgresRANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT FORWARD JIMMY VESEY

 BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, August 19, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free-agent forward Jimmy Vesey.

Vesey, 23,skated in 33 games with Harvard University this past season, registering 24 goals and 22 assists for 46 points,along with a plus-11 rating and six penalty minutes. He won the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in collegiate hockey in 2015-16, becoming the fourth player in Harvard’s history to win the award. Vesey ranked fourth in the NCAA in goals per game (0.73), tied for seventh in goals, and ranked eighth in points per game (1.39) in 2015-16.In addition,Vesey led Harvard in goals, points, and shots on goal (148), ranked second in power play goals (six) and game-winning goals (five) and tied for second in plus/minus rating this past season. He recorded a point in 24 of the 33 games in which he played in 2015·16,including a goal in 18 of those contests. Harvard posted a 17-6-1 record in games which Vesey  notched a point, including a 15-2-1record in contests which he registered a goal.

The 6-3, 203-pounder was also a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award during the 2014-15 season, as he established collegiate career-highs in games played (37), goals (32), assists (26), points (58), and plus/minus rating (plus-23). Vesey tied the NCAA in goals and goals per game (0.86), and he ranked third in the NCAA in points in 2014-15. He was selected to the NCAA (East) First All-American Team and was named the ECAC

Hockey Player of the Year. Vesey notched a point in 34 of the 37 contests in which he played during the season, and he tallied a goal in 26 of those 37 games. In addition, Vesey helped Harvard win the ECAC Championship in 2014-15, and he was named Most

Valuable Player of the ECAC Tournament.

Vesey skated in 128 career collegiate games over four seasons at Harvard (2012· 13 – 2015-16), registering 80 goals and 64 assists for 144 points, along with a plus-17 rating and 66 penalty minutes. Over his last two seasons at Harvard, Vesey recorded 104 points (56 goals, 48 assists) in 70 games, averaging 0.80 goals per game and 1.49 points per game over the span. Vesey ‘s 56 goals in 2014-15 and 2015-16 led all collegiate players over the two seasons. n addition,he tallied a point in 58 of 70 games over his final two seasons of collegiate hockey, including a goal in 44 of those 70 contests. Vesey ranks fifth on Harvard’s all-time goals list and is tied for 12th on Harvard’s all-time points list.

Internationally,the North Reading, Massachusetts, native has represented the United States at several tournaments. Vesey helped the United States earn a gold medal at the 2013 UHF World Junior Championship,as he tallied five points {one goal, four assists) in seven games while playing alongside current Ranger J.T. Miller.   In addition, he recorded three assists in nine games while helping the United States earn a bronze medal at the 2015 IIHF World Championship.

Vesey was selected by Nashville in the third round, 66th overall, of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.