Tag Archives: Trade (sports)


CANTLON’S CORNER: Wolf Pack Ready for Big Weekend

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – The dust has settled from Monday’s trade deadline and this is the Hartford Wolf Pack that, for the remaining six weeks of the regular season, will need to have a big run in order to make the playoffs.

“We’ve been focused on that for some time, and now we see how the division is shaking out,” head coach Keith McCambridge said. “We have had our magnifying glass on our player’s development. It’s also important that we gather points and keep ourselves in the mix for the post-season.”

The Pack record is 26-25-4-3. They are just one point behind the fifth-place Bridgeport Sound Tigers and six behind the fourth place Charlotte Checkers as the weekend begins. Continue reading


Cantlon’s Corner: MID-WEEK REPORT

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – A  few pieces of hockey info to sort through as we head past the AHL All-Star game and rush headlong into the NHL trade deadline.


Next year the AHL will be a 31-team league. This will allow them to match team-for-team with the NHL. The addition will be the Colorado Eagles, presently playing the ECHL. They will be upgraded to become the top affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche.

The St. Louis Blues will then partner with the San Antonio Rampage, which is owned by the NBA San Antonio Spurs, as their farm team.

The divisional setups will be tweaked slightly. Colorado will move to the Pacific Division which will create an imbalance issue. The league tentatively approved of the move but has not given their final, formal Board of Governor’s seal of approval on it. There is also plans to move the Cleveland Monsters to the North Division next year. Continue reading


Wolf Pack Wrap Up Day

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – The XL Center arena was dark. The ice is gone. Almost no equipment remains in the locker room as the picture was that of a 2016-17  AHL season Hartford Wolf Pack clearly over. While it may be over for the players, for the off ice staff was still at work with their season-ending multiple tasks.

The only news of the day was that the New York Rangers will not be recalling as many players for the playoffs as there have in the past to be a part of the Black Aces squad. The Rangers are ready for a crucial Game 4 in their Best-of-Seven series with the Montreal Canadiens. The Rangers find themselves down two games to none. Magnus Hellberg, who was recalled earlier in the week was on the bench in the place on Antti Raanta. Hellberg may remain the only recall, but that remains undetermined.

“The list is truly not finalized as of yet. There are several contractual and other matters that need to be ironed out, but I can say there will be very few players going to New York,” Head Coach Ken Gernander said. Continue reading


BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

BRIDGEPORT, CT – The match Sunday afternoon between the Hartford Wolf Pack and Bridgeport Sound Tigers was a tale of two teams going in very opposite directions.

Bridgeport was opportunistic in their scoring and pulled away for a 5-2 victory Sunday afternoon at the Webster Bank Arena. On the weekend the Wolf Pack were outscored 18-5 and have given up the most goals in the AHL with 222.

“At the end of the day, its win and losses and we didn’t get our wins (this weekend),” Ken Gernander, a clearly irritated Pack head coach, said.

The Wolf Pack are dead last in the AHL with a record of 21-35-3-2 (47 points) and .392 winning percentage. The team was coming off two stinging losses and have now lost five in a row. They are 2-9 over their last 11 games and came to the Park City to play the Sound Tigers who remain in the thick of the playoff hunt.

On Thursday, this Wolf Pack squad was a buoyant group ready for the challenge of an AHL weekend three-games-in-three-days, but what they had aspired for never materialized.

“Not even close,” remarked Chris Summers. He didn’t mince his words, “Seems everything right now, our PK isn’t working, our powerplay isn’t working for us. Say what you want about puck bounces, we’re a beaten team after this weekend.”

Bridgeport’s record improves to 32-26-2-1 (77 points). The Sound Tigers are battling the Providence Bruins and Hershey Bears for the right to play the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – the AHL’s best team – or the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in the first round of the AHL Atlantic Division semifinals.

As has happened in the last two games, the second period was the undoing for the Wolf Pack.

The Sound Tigers scored on the powerplay as goalie Jaroslav Halak started the break-out by chipping the puck up to Josh Winquist, who carried the puck through center and into the Wolf Pack zone. Winquist got the shot off and starting netminder, Mackenzie Skapski made the initial save on, but Michael DelColle buried the rebound at 7:54.

“Winquist played really well for us,” Sound Tigers head coach Brent Thompson said. “He doesn’t get the credit sometimes that he deserves. He has some good vision and patience and on that play, he showed it.”

Gernander gave Halak his props.

“He is an NHL goalie. They’re not fooling anybody in that perspective. Our goalies are learning and developing. Maybe they should take note of what is transpiring up at the other end (of the ice). That’s an NHL goalie in a minor league situation and that’s how he plays. ‘Maybe, I can aspire to that as far as my play is concerned,’” Gernander stated.

The Sound Tigers expanded their lead from 2-0 to 3-0 just 54 seconds later.

Veteran Bracken Kearns outmuscled the Pack’s John Gilmour and banged in his 13th goal of the season off of a rebound of Kane Lafranchise shot.

“Seems to be the theme for the weekend,” Summers said. “For whatever chances we had, our chances in the first period, we didn’t capitalize on them and they turn around and score a couple of quick ones on us we thought we could have had. A true character team fights through that. I don’t think we’re playing as an entire team.”

The quick pace of opponents scoring can’t be overlooked.

“It takes away any chance of momentum. If you have five ‘Grade A’ chances before you, you have to be able to rebound. The ability to bounce back from a goal, whether we thought it was a good goal or not, is not there right now,” Summers said. “You make any excuses you want, but the fact is we’re not playing very good hockey right now and that was very evident this weekend. We’re not in sync and playing as five-man units.”

Summers is one of the few players in the plus category on the roster at plus-4.

The Pack spoiled the Bridgeport shutout bid when they finally got some net-front presence which had been in complete absence up to that point.

Marek Hrivik scored just his third goal and point in his last 12 games when he banged in the rebound of Westport-native Mike Paliotta’s drive from the right point at 14:40. It was just the third shot of the period for the Pack. They’d finish the period with just five.

The Sound Tigers made it a 4-1 game in the last seconds of the second period.

Dan Catenacci was whistled for a late penalty. The Pack lost the draw and former Quinnipiac Bobcat, Devon Toews, who was at the right point, was able to send a diagonal cross-ice pass to wide open, ex-Pack, Andrew Rowe, who snapped the shot past Skapski for his ninth goal with 1.7 seconds left, just four seconds into the powerplay.

“It all goes back to winning one-on-one battles and decision making. It all sounds cliché, but that’s the difference and enough of this played out in-game and that was the end result,” Gernander said.

The first was period was fairly evenly played, but yet Bridgeport exited the period up 1-0.

The Sound Tiger goal came late on the power play.

After missing the first shot, Jon Landry took a short pass at the right point and Catenacci tried to block the shot but instead deflected the puck just enough to sail past Skapski at 18:53. It was Landry’s fourth of the season.

The Sound Tigers came out to and peppered the Wolf Pack with shots on goal. Skapski made stops on former UCONN player Brant Harris, who was making his Sound Tiger debut, just 36 seconds into the game. Kane Lafranchise was on the left wing and Ross Johnston was off to the right and both forced Skapski to make key stops.

Johnston was an early presence using his 6’5 frame to deliver a thundering hit on Tommy Hughes in the right wing corner that left him momentarily dazed.

The Pack tried some effective counter-attack led by Nicklas Jensen at 12:41 as he cut to the middle of the ice, but was stopped by Halak.

The Pack had their first power play nullified because of a “Too-Many-Men” on the ice penalty. Penalties like that, while on a power play no less, are indicative of how this season has gone for Hartford. 

“Our margin-of-error is rather slim,” Gernander said. “We need to convert when we have the opportunities. He (Halak) made good saves early.”


Gernander made two surprise scratches. Center Adam Tambellini (lower body is day-to-day) and defenseman Garrett Noonan (healthy). Boo Nieves (upper body is also day-to-day).

Pack lines were:



The Bridgeport power play is 19th in the league at 16.4%. The Wolf Pack have slipped back to 12th at 17.8%.

The Pack is 2-21-0-1 when trailing after two periods this season.

On the PK the Pack is 28th in the AHL at 78.6% and the Sound Tigers are 22nd at 80.5%.

Paliotta missed 19 games before returning to the lineup last night in Springfield. Boo Nieves has missed 18 games to date.

UCONN alumni, Brant Harris, was fourth in the ECHL in scoring with the Florida Everblades. He had a strong game and was credited with just one shot, but had four or five quality looks.

Thompson’s hockey empire continues to grow. The ex-Wolf Pack defenseman and current Bridgeport head coach saw his eldest son Tage Thompson sign a three-year, entry-level deal, with the St. Louis Blues. He leaves UCONN after two years. He made his AHL debut in Chicago last night.

The youngest Thompson, Tyce, after Salisbury Prep was eliminated from the prep school playoffs by Dexter Academy in a 4-2 loss in the Elite 8 NEPSAC Division, has gone to play for Dubuque (USHL) in concluding their Jr. A season.

Greenwich native and Brunswick prep grad, John Hayden of Yale has signed a three-year, entry-level deal, with the Chicago Blackhawks who drafted him in the 3rd round 74th overall.



Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 6, Hartford Wolf Pack 3

BY Chris Kohler, Hartford Wolf Pack

Hartford, CT, March 5, 2017 – A three-goal second period for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins was too much for the Hartford Wolf Pack to overcome, as they fell 6-3 to the Penguins Sunday at the XL Center.

Nicklas Jensen had two goals for Hartford, and Matt Carey scored his fourth goal in the last four games.  David Warsofsky and Jean-Sebastien Dea, though, had two goals and an assist each for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

The Penguins were awarded the first power play of the game 1:32 in, as Ryan Graves was whistled for interference. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton took advantage of the penalty when Kevin Porter fired from the left-wing side and beat Wolf Pack starting goaltender Brandon Halverson through a screen, to make the score 1-0. Continue reading



BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT Being a captain for the Hartford Wolf Pack is becoming a hazardous position to hold in one’s career.

For the second time in a year, the Wolf Pack’s team captain has been traded at the NHL trade deadline.

Last year, Ryan Bourque was sent to the Hershey Bears. This year Mat Bodie heads to the Buffalo Sabres where he will report to their AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans.

But these two moves are not alone in captains being moved by the New York Rangers. It’s actually the third time in the team’s history. The first captain moved was Dane Byers back on November 12, 2009. Byers was sent from Hartford to Springfield (then the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets). Byers actually played his first game with the then Springfield Falcons at the XL Center. Continue reading


gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – The Hartford Wolf Pack begin a new chapter in their team’s history as they will be minus captain Ryan Bourque as the Pack play the first of just two games they will play this week. Both are against their in-state rival and the team directly ahead of them in the standings, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

It needs little emphasis with twenty games remaining, that these are two critical games for the New York Rangers‘ AHL affiliates. Those two key games begin tonight in Bridgeport at the Webster Bank Arena with five points separating the two teams.

“We’re at a point in the season where we control our own destiny and in terms of scheduling, every two points is huge from here on in.” Head Coach Ken Gernander stated. Continue reading



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Trade Acquisitions Klingberg, Summers Assigned by Rangers, Escobedo Released from PTO

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, March 3, 2015:  Hartford Wolf Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld today announced three Wolf Pack roster moves.

The parent New York Rangers have assigned forward Carl Klingberg and defenseman Chris Summers, both of whom were acquired just prior to Monday’s NHL trade deadline, to the Wolf Pack, and the Wolf Pack has released defenseman Sean Escobedo from his Professional Tryout (PTO) agreement.

Klingberg, 24, who has split the 2014-15 season between the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets and the St. John’s IceCaps of the AHL, was acquired by the Rangers Sunday from the Jets, in exchange for fellow forward Lee Stempniak. Klingberg has skated in 51 AHL games this season, registering 15 goals and 15 assists for 30 points, along with 41 penalty minutes. He led St. John’s in shots on goal (152), was tied for first on the team in goals, and ranked fourth in points. Klingberg also appeared in two games with the Jets this season. Continue reading



BY: Adam Gavriel, Special to Howlings

Last week Howlings looked into breaking down some possible forwards (HERE) the New York Rangers might consider targeting to acquire at the March 2nd trading deadline. Now, a look at who could be on the radar for the blueline.

Many believe another area the New York Rangers should target for improving is a 3LD. Matt Hunwick and John Moore have been underwhelming in that position, but the reality is that if they are going to get a trip down, “Hero’s Canyon” in late Spring, it’s a position that will need to be upgraded relatively cheaply given the lack of cap space and lack of trading depth.

As the deadline approaches, some names have emerged and are being bandied about as potential trade targets for the league. Some of those names include: Andrej Sekera (Carolina), Jake Gardiner (Toronto), Jeff Petry (Edmonton), and Marc Methot (Ottawa). Continue reading



BY: The New York Rangers

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Marc Staal on a contract extension.

“Marc has been one of the cornerstones of our team since he arrived in New York,” Sather said. “His commitment and perseverance to the Rangers, and the game of hockey, has been an inspiration for everyone in the organization, and he has become a role model for young players and veterans alike. We are excited that he will continue to provide that leadership in a Rangers uniform.”

Staal, 28, ranks second among all Rangers in games played (503), is tied for second among Rangers defensemen in goals (29), and ranks third among Rangers defensemen in assists (90) and points (119) since he joined the team in 2007-08. He is one of 12 defensemen who have skated in at least 500 career regular season games with the Blueshirts in franchise history. During his tenure with the Rangers, Staal represented the team at the 2011 NHL All-Star Game, received the John Halligan Good Guy Award for cooperation with the media in 2013-14, and won the Lars-Erik Sjoberg Award as the best rookie in Training Camp in 2007. Staal was also the team’s nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded to the player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey,” in 2013.

Continue reading