Tag Archives: Stanley Cup

CANTLON’S CORNER: WOLF PACK OFF SEASON VOLUME 13

Wolf Pack Off Season Volume 13

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT Just when there seemed like there might be a lull for a bit in the heat of the summer, there comes LOTS of hockey news this week starting with the Hartford Wolf Pack rounding out the coaching staff. 

PACK NAME NEW ASSISTANT COACH

The Wolf Pack announced the hiring of Joe Mormina as the sixth assistant coach in team history.

Mormina comes to Hartford after coaching as an Assistant with Mercyhurst University Lakers (AHA) located in Erie, PA. Mormina was there for one season following his retirement as a player.

Standing 6’6, Mormina played 670 AHL games with six teams including Manchester, Albany, Adirondack, Syracuse, Rochester and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, where he was named Captain. He logged 31 career goals, 120 assists, 151 points, and 837 PM. Over an eleven-year professional career, he played one game in the NHL and that came with the Carolina Hurricanes. Continue reading

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH MIKA ZIBANEJAD

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH MIKA ZIBANEJAD

BY: The New York Rangers 

NEW YORK, July 25, 2017 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward Mika Zibanejad on a five-year contract with an average annual value of $5.35 million.

          Zibanejad, 24, skated in 56 games with the Rangers this past season, registering 14 goals and 23 assists for 37 points, along with a plus-nine rating and 16 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in several categories in 2016-17, including assists per game (0.41), points per game (0.66), and faceoff win percentage (52.0%; 494-for-950), and he tied his career-high in power play goals (four). Zibanejad registered at least one point in 28 of the 56 games he played during this past season, and the Rangers posted a 33-17-6 record when he was in the lineup in 2016-17. He ranked fifth on the Rangers in points per game and tied for sixth on the team in assists per game during the past season. Zibanejad recorded 15 points (five goals, ten assists) in 18 games against Metropolitan Division opponents in 2016-17. Zibanejad also registered nine points (three goals, six assists) in the final nine games of the regular season, as well as 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in his last 21 regular season contests.

          The 6-2, 215-pounder also skated in 12 games with the Rangers during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, registering two goals and seven assists for nine points, along with a plus-four rating. Zibanejad established playoff career-highs in several categories, including games played, goals, assists, points, and in plus/minus rating. He tied for the NHL lead in shorthanded assists (one), tied for second in the NHL in shorthanded points (one), and tied for third in the NHL in overtime goals (one) in the playoffs. He registered his first career overtime goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 5 of the First Round at Montreal on April 20, 2017.

          Zibanejad has skated in 337 career NHL games over parts of six seasons with the Rangers and Ottawa (2011-12 – 2016-17), registering 78 goals and 110 assists for 188 points, along with 80 penalty minutes. His points per game average has increased in every season over the course of his NHL career. Zibanejad established career-highs in games played (81), goals (21), assists (30), and points (51) during his final season with the Senators in 2015-16. He was also one of 11 NHL centers who logged at least 1,000 even strength minutes of ice time, 200 power play minutes of ice time, and 100 shorthanded minutes of ice time during the season. Zibanejad has skated in 28 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, tallying 17 points (four goals, 13 assists).

          The Huddinge, Sweden, native was originally selected by Ottawa in the first round, sixth overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

CANTLON’S CORNER: WHALER ALUMNI NIGHT AT YARD GOATS

CANTLON’S CORNER:

WHALER ALUMNI NIGHT AT YARD GOATS

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CTLast Saturday night, the baseball’s local entrant in the Eastern League, the Hartford Yard Goats, paid tribute to the Hartford Whalers by giving them a tribute night on their home field, Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

The Yard Goats brought in not only former Whalers but professional hockey players from Connecticut. It was a major success all the way around. Players, fans, and media members all enjoyed a well-handled event that was promoted by the team the entire week.

The Yard Goats did everything first class. There was a charity luncheon at noon. A pre-game autograph signing session, and a first pitch toss, as well as numerous videos, played throughout the park on the concourse TV screens, by the clubhouse and on the giant left field scoreboard. Of course, “Brass Bonanza” was played every time the Yard Goats scored.

One of the engineers of the event who put it together just over the past few months was former Whaler, Bob Crawford. He stayed and raised his kids in Connecticut after his playing days ended and he’s kept his pulse on hockey here. He was proud to be involved in any Whaler alumni event.                  (Bob Crawford)

“The Yard Goats have been professional about this since Day One. Having been around sports, from the playing and business side of things, this was a first-class event. We started a bit late, and we had to scramble around to get phone numbers, but once we asked guys if their schedule allowed for it, they were ready and willing to come.”

For Crawford, this is just the beginning, not the end or a one-off event.

“We talked with guys just today at the luncheon, and we’re already ready for next year. Now we’ll have the time to incorporate more players, ideas, and events surrounding this. This was meant to start something and keep the Whaler name going in this community, which you can see from this turnout, but it’s to help charities we care about and promote hockey in Connecticut. This is a very good first step to use the good things to keep this in the community and expand it.”

When asked about his favorite memory of his time playing in Hartford, Crawford didn’t hesitate, “The games with the Bruins and Canadians were always big. Watching the team, the year I got here (1983) when they were coming off a season when they were the worst team in the NHL the year before. They would rebuild and progress to become one of the better teams in the conference, and I left just before they hit their peak. It was fun to see that transformation and the community support and pride then.”

His partner, the past twenty years in developing junior hockey in Connecticut, was also a big part of this day. Dan McCarthy, who, like Crawford, is a fellow Canadian, but who recently became a US citizen, was a former pro hockey player in New Haven and Springfield. He scored four goals in his five NHL games has been very active in hockey in the state was blown away by the event.

“I have been to a few events like this. The Yard Goats went above and beyond and ran this as it’s supposed to be first class. I am not a former Whaler player but did play some pro hockey and to be a part of this was a thrill to see some guys I grew up with and played against…It was an amazing day for me.”

McCarthy and his wife Lori, who worked in minor league baseball with the New Haven Ravens, are both enthusiastic supporters of minor league sports in Connecticut. McCarthy was particularly impressed with the work of the Yards Goats’ Dean Zappalorti, who serves as the Executive Director of Corporate Partnership.

“Dean and his entire staff are to be congratulated. They did well by us, the fans and the Hartford community. To keep the Whaler name and the community thriving, its great events like this, that will help things grow for everybody in this area.” Continue reading

KEVIN KLEIN ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT INCLUDING STATEMENT

KEVIN KLEIN ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

 BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, July 7, 2017 – New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein announced his retirement from the National Hockey League today, ending a career which included parts of 12 seasons in the league.

          Klein, 32, skated in 627 career NHL games with the Rangers and Nashville Predators (2005-06 – 2016-17), registering 38 goals and 116 assists for 154 points, along with a plus-22 rating and 185 penalty minutes. He made his NHL debut as a member of the Predators on December 3, 2005tenvs. Philadelphia, 10 days shy of his 21st birthday. Klein registered his first career NHL goal/point on January 26, 2007, at Chicago. Continue reading

RANGERS SIGN FAST TO THREE YEAR CONTRACT AT $1.85M AAV

Rangers Agree to Terms With Jesper Fast

By: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, July 5, 2017 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward Jesper Fast on a three-year contract with an average annual value of $1.85 million.

Fast, 25, skated in 68 games with the Rangers this past season, registering six goals and 15 assists for 21 points, along with a plus-six rating and 16 penalty minutes. He was named the winner of the Players’ Player Award in 2016-17, which is given annually to the Ranger who, as selected by his teammates, “best exemplifies what it means to be a team player.” Fast posted a plus/minus rating of even or better in 53 of the 68 games he played during this past season, including a plus-one rating or better in 20 contests. He ranked third among Rangers forwards in hits (99) and ranked fourth among Blueshirts forwards in blocked shots (44) in 2016-17. Fast skated in his 200th career NHL game on February 13, 2017, at Columbus.

The 6-0, 190-pounder also skated in 12 games with the Rangers during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, registering three goals and three assists for six points, along with a plus-four rating. Fast established playoff career-highs in several categories during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including plus/minus rating, shorthanded goals (one), shorthanded assists (one), and shorthanded points (two), and he also tied playoff career-highs in goals, assists, and points. He led the NHL in shorthanded points and tied for the NHL lead in shorthanded goals and shorthanded assists in the playoffs. Fast led the Rangers in shorthanded points, tied for the team lead in shorthanded goals and shorthanded assists, tied for third in plus/minus rating, tied for fourth in goals and points, ranked fifth in hits (33), and tied for sixth in assists in the playoffs. He also led the Rangers with five points (two goals, three assists) on the road in the playoffs.

Fast has skated in 216 career NHL games over parts of four seasons (2013-14 – 2016-17), all with the Rangers, registering 22 goals and 43 assists for 65 points, along with a plus-nine rating and 44 penalty minutes. During the 2014-15 season, the Rangers won 13 consecutive games in which Fast played from December 8, 2014, vs. Pittsburgh to January 10, 2015, at San Jose, and he became the first Ranger to be on the winning side in 13 straight games in one season during the NHL’s modern era. He has received the Players’ Player Award in each of the last two seasons (2015-16 and 2016-17), and he is one of 11 Rangers in franchise history who have won the award in at least two consecutive seasons. Fast established career-highs in games played (79), goals (10), assists (20), points (30), and plus/minus rating (plus-nine) during the 2015-16 season, and he recorded all of his 30 points during the season at even strength. The Rangers have posted a 128-69-19 record when Fast has been in the lineup in his career (.637 points percentage).

The Nassjo, Sweden, native has also skated in 39 career NHL playoff games, all with the Rangers, registering six goals and eight assists for 14 points, along with a plus-three rating and two penalty minutes. Fast made his NHL playoff debut during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and he tallied one assist in three contests while helping the Rangers advance to the Stanley Cup Final. He established playoff career-highs in games played (19), goals (three), assists (three), and points (six) while helping the Blueshirts advance to the Eastern Conference Final during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Fast registered two goals in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final at Tampa Bay on May 20, 2015, and he became the first Rangers rookie to register two goals in a road playoff game since Mike Ridley during the Patrick Division Semifinals against Philadelphia in 1986.

Fast was selected by the Rangers in the sixth round, 157th overall, of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

CANTLON’S CORNER: WOLF PACK GET TWO NEW PIECES FOR 2017-18 SEASON

Wolf Pack Get Two New Pieces for 2017-18 Season

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – Christmas may come in December, but for NHL/AHL free agents signings made last week show that Santa is hard at work in this summer too.

The Hartford Wolf Pack got two critical pieces to the restructure of their team for the 2017-18 season. They did have to open their wallets though and both players have Connecticut connections.

Forward Paul Carey, who was with the Hershey Bears last year, was very strong down the stretch. The now former Bear signed a one-year deal at $650K-NHL/$350K-AHL. Carey finished with 24 goals and 55 points in 55 games. One of his best games came against the Pack in Hershey where he scored four goals. He should have had a fifth, but the referee and goal judge missed it. Carey is a big winger at 6’4 and has good speed and a hard snapshot. He will be a player the Pack hope can lead the charge to the net this coming season.

Carey attended Salisbury Prep for two years (2005-2007) before playing one year in the USHL and then four years at Boston College (HE). Continue reading

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT FORWARD DAVID DESHARNAIS

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT FORWARD DAVID DESHARNAIS

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, July 5, 2017 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free-agent forward David Desharnais.

Desharnais, 30, has skated in 453 career NHL games over parts of eight seasons with Montreal and Edmonton (2009-10 – 2016-17), registering 81 goals and 173 assists for 254 points, along with a plus-35 rating and 142 penalty minutes. He has tallied at least 10 goals in five of the last six seasons, and he has recorded 40 or more points in three different seasons in his career. In addition, Desharnais has averaged at least 0.50 points per game in five of his seven full seasons in the NHL. He has posted a 50.5% career faceoff win percentage (3,098-for-6,134), and he has won at least 600 faceoffs in three different seasons in his career. Desharnais has averaged 16:08 of ice time per game in his NHL career, and he has recorded 26 penalty minutes or fewer in each of his eight seasons in the league. He established career-highs in goals (16), assists (44), and points (60) with Montreal during the 2011-12 season.

The 5-7, 180-pounder has helped his team advance to the playoffs in five seasons in his career. Desharnais has skated in 51 career NHL playoff games, registering four goals and 13 assists for 17 points, along with a plus-seven rating and 14 penalty minutes. He established playoff career-highs in games played (17), goals (two), assists (six), points (eight), and plus/minus rating (plus-four) while helping the Canadiens advance to the Eastern Conference Final during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Two of Desharnais’ four career playoff goals have been game-winning goals.

Desharnais split this past season between Montreal and Edmonton. He skated in 49 games in 2016-17, recording six goals and eight assists for 14 points, along with a plus-four rating and 12 penalty minutes. Desharnais posted a 51.2% faceoff win percentage in 2016-17 (170-for-332), as well as a 51.1% faceoff win percentage on faceoffs taken in his defensive zone (45-for-88).

In addition, Desharnais skated in 13 games with Edmonton during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, registering one goal and three assists for four points, along with a plus-three rating. He was the only forward on the Oilers (min. two games played) to not be assessed a penalty during the playoffs. Desharnais tied a single-game playoff career-high with two points (one goal, one assist) and tallied his first career overtime goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 5 of the First Round vs. San Jose on April 20.

The Laurier-Station, Quebec, native was originally signed by Montreal as an undrafted free agent on November 5, 2008.

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT FORWARD COLE SCHNEIDER

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT FORWARD COLE SCHNEIDER

BY: The New York Rangers 

NEW YORK, July 1, 2017 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free-agent forward Cole Schneider.

          Schneider, 26, skated in 71 games with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League (AHL) this past season, registering 24 goals and 39 assists for 63 points, along with a plus-nine rating and 45 penalty minutes. He established AHL career-highs in assists, points, and power play goals (nine) in 2016-17. Schneider tied for sixth in the AHL in points during the past season. In addition, he led Rochester in assists, points, plus/minus rating, and shots on goal (176), tied for the team lead in game-winning goals (four) and ranked second in goals and power play goals in 2016-17. Schneider also participated in the 2017 AHL All-Star Challenge, and he recorded one goal while representing the North Division All-Stars.

          The 6-1, 200-pounder also skated in four NHL games with Buffalo during the past season, registering one assist and posting a plus-two rating. Schneider tallied his first career NHL assist/point and posted a plus-one rating while making his 2016-17 NHL season debut on November 9, 2016, vs. Ottawa. He also posted a plus-one rating on November 19, 2016, vs. Pittsburgh.

          Schneider has skated in 353 career AHL games over parts of six seasons (2011-12 – 2016-17), registering 111 goals and 157 assists for 268 points, along with a plus-24 rating and 171 penalty minutes. He has recorded at least 20 goals and 50 points in each of his last four seasons in the AHL (2013-14 – 2016-17), and he established an AHL career-high in goals (29) with Binghamton during the 2014-15 season. Schneider has also played in seven career AHL playoff games, recording two assists in those contests.

          Schneider has played in six career NHL games over parts of two seasons (2015-16 and 2016-17), both with Buffalo, tallying one assist and posting a plus-two rating. He made his NHL debut with the Sabres on April 8, 2016, vs. Columbus. Schneider has recorded at least two shots on goal in four of his six career games in the NHL.

          Prior to beginning his professional career, Schneider played two seasons of collegiate hockey at the University of Connecticut (2010-11 and 2011-12). He skated in 75 career collegiate games, registering 36 goals and 42 assists for 78 points, along with a plus-six rating and 65 penalty minutes. Schneider was named to the Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA) First All-Star Team in 2011-12, as he recorded 45 points (23 goals, 22 assists) in 38 contests. He was also named to the AHA All-Rookie Team in 2010-11, as he tallied 33 points (13 goals, 20 assists) in 37 games. Schneider led UConn in points in each of his two collegiate seasons.

The Williamsville, New York, native was originally signed by Ottawa as an undrafted free agent on March 14, 2012.

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT DEFENSEMAN KEVIN SHATTENKIRK

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT DEFENSEMAN KEVIN SHATTENKIRK

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, July 1, 2017 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

Shattenkirk, 28, has skated in 490 career NHL games over seven seasons with Colorado, St. Louis, and Washington (2010-11 – 2016-17), registering 68 goals and 230 assists for 298 points, along with a plus-17 rating and 304 penalty minutes. Shattenkirk has recorded at least 30 assists and 40 points in six of his seven NHL seasons, and the only season in which he didn’t reach those plateaus was 2012-13, which was a 48-game season. Shattenkirk is one of 14 defensemen in NHL history who have registered 30 or more assists and 40 or more points in at least six of their first seven seasons. Also, since Shattenkirk began his NHL career in 2010-11, he is one of four NHL defensemen who has tallied at least 30 assists and 40 points in six different seasons (along with Erik Karlsson, Duncan Keith, and Keith Yandle). Since the start of the 2011-12 season, Shattenkirk ranks second among NHL defensemen in power play points (131). He ranks third among NHL defensemen in power play goals (32) and power play assists (99); he is the only defenseman who ranks third or higher in all three categories over the span. Shattenkirk was selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game during the 2014-15 season.

The 6-0, 200-pounder has helped his team reach the playoffs in six of his seven NHL seasons, including each of the last six seasons. In 60 career NHL playoff games, Shattenkirk has registered five goals and 29 assists for 34 points, along with 41 penalty minutes. He established playoff career-highs in games played (20), goals (two), assists (nine), and points (11) during the 2015-16 season while helping the Blues advance to the Western Conference Final. Since the start of the 2014 Playoffs, Shattenkirk has tallied 30 points (four goals, 26 assists) in 45 playoff contests; he is tied for second among NHL defensemen in assists and is tied for fifth among NHL defensemen in points over the span. Among NHL defensemen who have skated in at least 30 playoff games since the start of the 2014 Playoffs, Shattenkirk ranks first in assists per game (0.58) and is in a tie for third in points per game (0.67).

Shattenkirk split this past season between St. Louis and Washington, registering 13 goals and 43 assists for 56 points, along with 47 penalty minutes in 80 games. He established career-highs in assists, points, power play goals (eight), and power play points (27) in 2016-17. Shattenkirk was one of four NHL defensemen who registered at least ten goals and 40 assists this past season, along with Brent Burns, Victor Hedman, and Erik Karlsson. Shattenkirk ranked fourth among NHL defensemen in points, tied for fifth among NHL defensemen in assists, tied for sixth among NHL defensemen in primary assists (21), and tied for ninth among NHL defensemen in goals this past season. Shattenkirk tied for eighth in the NHL in power play points in 2016-17. He also tied for second among NHL defensemen in power play goals and power play points and tied for fifth among NHL defensemen in power play assists (19) this past season.

Shattenkirk skated in 13 playoff games with Washington during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, registering one goal and five assists for six points, along with six penalty minutes. He tied for third among NHL defensemen in power play assists (three) and ranked fourth among NHL defensemen in power play points (four) in the playoffs. Shattenkirk also tied for second on the Capitals in power-play assists and power play points, and he tied for fifth on the team in assists in the playoffs. Also, he led Washington defensemen in assists, points, power play assists, and power play points during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Shattenkirk registered his first career NHL playoff overtime goal, as well as his first career NHL playoff game-winning goal, in Game 3 of the Second Round at Pittsburgh on May 1.

Internationally, the New Rochelle, New York, native has represented the United States in several tournaments. Most recently, Shattenkirk registered three assists and posted a plus-three rating in six games while representing the United States at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and he tied for first among team defensemen in assists and points in the tournament. He led all defensemen with eight assists, tied for first among all defensemen with nine points, and was selected as one of the Best Three Players on his Team while representing the United States at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship. Shattenkirk also helped the United States earn a silver medal while serving as the team’s captain at the 2007 IIHF World U18 Championship, and he was named the Best Defenseman of the tournament.

Before beginning his professional career, Shattenkirk played three seasons of collegiate hockey at Boston University (2007-08 – 2009-10). He registered 78 points (18 goals, 60 assists), along with a plus-31 rating and 116 penalty minutes in 121 career collegiate games. Also, Shattenkirk helped Boston University win the National Championship in 2008-09.

The Colorado Avalanche selected Shattenkirk in the first round, 14th overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

RANGERS RESIGN BRENDAN SMITH REPORTEDLY 4 YEARS / $4.25M

RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH BRENDAN SMITH

BY: The New York Rangers 

NEW YORK, June 29, 2017 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Brendan Smith on a new contract.

          Smith, 28, split this past season between the Rangers and Detroit Red Wings, registering three goals and six assists for nine points, along with a plus-one rating and 63 penalty minutes in 51 games. He established a career-high in average ice time in 2016-17 (19:14). Smith played 18 games with the Rangers after he was acquired from Detroit on February 28, 2017, registering one goal and three assists for four points, along with a plus-two rating and 29 penalty minutes. He averaged 20:09 of ice time per game with the Blueshirts during the past season, logging at least 20:00 of ice time in 11 of 18 regular season games with the Rangers, and he ranked second on the team in average even strength ice time in 2016-17 (18:20).

The 6-2, 211-pounder also skated in 12 games with the Rangers during the 2017 Playoffs, registering four assists, along with a plus-eight rating and 20 penalty minutes. Smith established playoff career-highs in assists, plus/minus rating, and average ice time (19:41) in the playoffs this year. In addition, he tied for 10th in the NHL – and tied for fifth among NHL defensemen – in plus/minus rating in the playoffs. Smith led the Rangers in plus/minus rating, ranked second in penalty minutes, tied for third in assists, and ranked fifth in average ice time and blocked shots (14) in the playoffs. He also ranked second among Rangers defensemen in assists and tied for third among Rangers defensemen in points (four) in the playoffs.

Smith has skated in 309 career NHL games over parts of six seasons (2011-12 – 2016-17) with the Rangers and Detroit, registering 16 goals and 55 assists for 71 points, along with a plus-two rating and 310 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in goals (five), assists (14), and points (19) with Detroit during the 2013-14 season. Smith has recorded at least 60 blocked shots in three of the last four seasons, and he established a career-high in hits with 94 during the 2015-16 season with the Red Wings. He has helped his team make the playoffs in each of his five full seasons in the NHL, and he has registered 10 points (two goals, eight assists), along with a plus-nine rating and 44 penalty minutes in 39 career NHL playoff contests.

The Mimico, Ontario, native was originally selected by Detroit in the first round (27th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Photo Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)