Tag Archives: United States

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

CANTLON’S CORNER: WOLF PACK OFF SEASON VOLUME 12

Wolf Pack Off Season Volume 12

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – Another busy off-season week.

OLYMPIC TEAMS

The first country to get started on the Olympics, sans NHL participation for the first time in the last five Olympiads, has begun.  Team Canada named its management and coaching staff and a preliminary roster.

The GM who will guide and put the pieces of the puzzle together, is former Hartford Whaler, Sean Burke. A pro scout with the Montreal Canadiens, Burke was named last Tuesday to begin the process of putting a team together in six months for the Pyeongchang, South Korean Games which will run from February 9-25.

The first roster that’s been released has a few familiar names. They will have two squads with few different players on each to play in the Sochi Tournament on August 6-9 and the Tournament Victor Puchkov from August 14-17.

For the Sochi tourney, ex-Pack, Daniel Paille, will be playing and for the Puchkov tourney with ex-Pack and ex Bridgeport Sound Tiger, Taylor Beck. In both games, ex-Sound Tigers’ goalie Kevin Poulin will dress for the Canada. Continue reading

TOSTI: CARTER SANDLAK JOINS SWAMP RABBITS ROSTER

Carter Sandlak Joins Swamp Rabbits Roster

Greenville adds fourth-year forward with more than 50 games of AHL experienceBY: 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, have come to terms with forward, Carter Sandlak for the 2017-18 season. The winger brings AHL experience to the roster, logging 54 games with the Charlotte Checkers in his first two professional seasons.

Sandlak, 24, spent last season with the Toledo Walleye suiting up for 41 games with the regular season champs. The 6-foot-2, 205 pound forward netted five goals and added two assists for the Walleye, but missed nearly two months of the season due to injury. Sandlak has battled the Swamp Rabbits six times during his career, including one contest last year.

“Carter has great hockey sense and is a tough, hard-nosed player who also brings experience at the next level,” said Head Coach Brian Gratz. “Over the last two seasons, we have seen him play with Toledo and Florida and felt he would be a good addition to our team. We’re excited to welcome him to Greenville and have him contribute to our team achieving its goals, while we help him reach his.”

During his first two pro seasons, Sandlak played his games within the Carolina Hurricanes system. The London, Ontario native netted two goals and grabbed three helpers in the AHL with the Checkers and was a mainstay in Charlotte as a rookie. In 29 ECHL games with the Florida Everblades from 2014 to 2016, Sandlak earned 15 points (5G, 10A). He also set a career best with the Everblades, collecting three points (1G, 2A) against the Wheeling Nailers in a 5-2 comeback win. In total, Sandlak has played 70 ECHL games, earning 22 points (10G, 12A) and logging 78 PIMS.

“Last year, the season didn’t go the way I wanted it to, but I think that adversity made me grow as a player and as a person,” said Sandlak “I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Swamp Rabbits organization. (Greenville) is a great place to play and the staff is great, so it was a no brainer for me.”

Before turning pro, Sandlak spent five seasons in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He played a majority of his career with the Belleville Bulls but also held roster spots with the Guelph Storm and Plymouth Whalers. Sandlak ended his OHL tenure with 272 games, 122 points (59G, 63A), and 375 PIMS.

Carter also comes from a hockey family as his father, Jim Sandlak, played more than 500 NHL contests with the Vancouver Canucks and Hartford Whalers. Sandlak becomes the eighth skater signed by the Swamp Rabbits this offseason (Nick Betz, Ricky DeRosa, Sean Flanagan, Chad Duchesne, Austin McKay, Joe Houk, and Evan Jasper).

The Swamp Rabbits open the season against the Wheeling Nailers on Oct. 13, 2017. The puck will drop for the Swamp Rabbits’ Opening Weekend at 7 p.m. EST at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

Hockey Demo Days: Join the Greenville Swamp Rabbits for their Hockey Demo Day. Head to Dicks Sporting Goods on Woodruff Road on Sunday, July 30 from noon to 4 p.m. for an afternoon of fun! There will be free hockey instruction in the Dew Street Hockey Zone, corn hole, music, food, giveaways and much more. Call Charlie with the Swamp Rabbits at (864) 250-4937 for more information.

Get Social: Follow the Swamp Rabbits and get behind-the-scenes coverage like never before on the team’s official Facebook and Twitter pages. Download the Swamp Rabbits app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for up to date information right in the palm of your hand.

Contact a Swamp Rabbits Account Executive at 864-674-PUCK (7825) for information on 2017-18 season tickets 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: WOLF PACK SIGN FORWARD ERIC SELLECK

WOLF PACK SIGN FORWARD ERIC SELLECK

*           *           *           *

Eighth-year Pro has Played 438 Career AHL Games

BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, July 28, 2017:  Hartford Wolf Pack general manager Chris Drury announced today that the Wolf Pack has signed forward Eric Selleck to an AHL contract.

A 6-3, 218-pound veteran of seven pro seasons, Selleck has played the last three years in the Arizona Coyotes organization.  The 29-year-old Spencerville, Ontario native spent 2016-17 with the Tucson Roadrunners of the AHL, skating in 46 games and notching five goals and four assists for nine points, plus a team-leading 103 penalty minutes.

Selleck played one NHL game with the parent Coyotes in 2015-16, up from the Springfield Falcons of the AHL, and registered one major penalty.  He also suited up for two NHL contests with the Florida Panthers in 2012-13, posting one assist, 17 PIM and a +2.  In 438 career AHL games with the Roadrunners, Falcons, Rochester Americans, San Antonio Rampage, Chicago Wolves and Portland Pirates, Selleck has amassed 44 goals and 63 assists for 107 points, along with 1,187 PIM.

Prior to turning pro, Selleck played two seasons of NCAA hockey at SUNY-Oswego (SUNYAC), totaling 34 goals and 46 assists for 80 points, plus 93 PIM.The Wolf Pack open their 2017-18 season Friday, October 6, with their home-ice opener vs. the Charlotte Checkers.  Faceoff is 7:15 PM.

Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2017-18 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, or click here to request more info.

CANLTON’S CORNER: WOLF PACK OFF SEASON VOLUME 11

CANLTON’S CORNER: Wolf Pack Off Season Volume 11

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT – NFL football camps are opening. In basketball, the free agent signing period is in full-swing while in the NHL, nothing seems to be slowing down as the summer moves along.

RANGERS SIGNING

Of the many problems that existed for the Hartford Wolf Pack last season, the most glaring concern was between the pipes as the goaltending was far beneath an acceptable level.

The theory was that with both Magnus Hellberg, returning off a solid season, and a healthy and seeming revitalized Mackenzie Skapski, who is now fully recovered from hip surgery, could be the foundation upon which the team could build as the team’s young members adjusted to life in pro hockey.

It’s pretty apparent, that never materialized.

Hellberg freely admitted at the end of the year that he was sub-par. He seemingly was always fighting the puck and had problems shoulder high to his glove side and getting beaten early in too many games. Skapski just never seemed to recover sinking deeper and deeper on the depth chart as the season progressed.

Skapski never seemed to recover and sunk deeper and deeper on the depth chart as the season progressed.

After such an impressive training camp in New York, Skapski had a terrible performance in an early season game in Providence. “The Buffalo Killer,” as Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault dubbed him in his rookie season after two wins against the Sabres, dropped to 0-4 and was getting beaten cleanly on long shots. He also was apprehensive in his decision making deciding to stay back in his net instead of getting to a loose puck that the Bruins Jake DeBrusk raced in to get before beating him to the top shelf. His performance earned him a return ticket to the ECHL and the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, where he remained except for a few emergency recalls. Skapski ended the year with his getting bombed in a 6-1 shellacking in his only playoff appearance. He did not even dress for the following game.

Hellberg has since signed in Beijing, China with the Kunlun Red Star, a KHL team there. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: WOLF PACK OFF SEASON VOLUME 9

CANTLON’S CORNER:

Wolf Pack Off Season Volume 9

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CTThe Stanley Cup winner has been decided. The expansion and entry drafts are completed and now comes the hard work for NHL and AHL executives to put together their rosters for the upcoming 2017-18 season.

PLAYER & COACHING MOVEMENT

Five ex-Pack are finding new destinations for next season. Kodie Curran switches countries in the North Atlantic going from Esbjerg (Denmark-DHL) to

Kodie Curran switches countries in the North Atlantic going from Esbjerg (Denmark-DHL) to Storhamer (Norway-NEL) next season.

Ex-CT Whale Scott Pitt leaves Braehead (Scotland-EIHL) heads for MsHK Zilina (Slovakia-SLEL).

Josh Nicholls goes from EHC Straubing (Germany-DEL) to HC Litvinov (Czech Republic-CEL)

Hannu Pikkarainen (maybe the best Wolf Pack player name of all time) goes from Iserlohn (Germany-DEL) to Jukurit (Finland-FEL). Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: PACK OFF-SEASON REPORT – WEEK THREE

CANTLON’S CORNER: PACK OFF-SEASON REPORT -WEEK THREE

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT  – While the lights may be out for hockey in Hartford, and after a big shake-up hit last week for the Wolf Pack, the off-season continues to move forward.

AHL CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS

The conference finals are set. On the West Coast, the San Jose Barracuda will faceoff against the Grand Rapids Griffins. On the East Coast, the Providence Bruins will meet the Syracuse Crunch. Each series will play a 2-3-2 format.

Grand Rapids advanced after beating the Milwaukee Admirals in five games. The Griffins feature ex-Wolf Pack players Dylan McIlrath and Matt Ford.

San Jose disposed of San Diego in five games as well.

Despite being down three games to two to the Hershey Bears, Providence rallied and on Wednesday on the back of three goals in the second period, advanced to their first conference finals appearance since 2009.

The Bears led Providence after surviving a three-game set in Providence of trap hockey. While not pretty to watch, the Bears were held to just 44 shots over three games, but still managed to win two of them. The Bruins, after falling behind 2-0 in Game 6, came roaring back with the last four goals and forced the decisive seventh game Continue reading

CRAWFORD: WOLF PACK ANNOUNCE SIX PREMIER 2017-18 HOME DATES

WOLF PACK ANNOUNCE SIX PREMIER 2017-18 HOME DATES

*           *           *           *

Guaranteed Dates Include Opening Night October 6

 BY: Bob Crawford, Hartford Wolf Pack

HARTFORD, May 10, 2017:  Spectra, operators of the XL Center and Hartford Wolf Pack, today announced six prime home game dates for the Wolf Pack’s 2017-18 AHL season.

The Wolf Pack’s 2017-18 home opener is set for Friday, October 6, and in addition to that, the AHL has guaranteed the Wolf Pack five Saturday-night dates.  Following is the full list of the guaranteed dates:

Friday, October 6

Saturday, November 4

Saturday, December 23

Saturday, January 27

Saturday, February 3

Saturday, March 31

Bookings are already available for Wolf Pack fan experience packages on these six-game dates.  Among those opportunities is the singing of the National Anthem or “God Bless America”, and the chance for amateur teams to play games on the XL Center ice.  Further information is available by contacting the Wolf Pack ticket sales office at (855) 762-6451.

The Wolf Pack’s entire 2017-18 game schedule, including opponents and start times for these six prime dates, will be announced as soon as the AHL schedule is fully finalized.

Season ticket information for the Wolf Pack’s 2017-18 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, or click here to request more info.

CANTLON’S CORNER: FUTURE LOOKING BRIGHT FOR LETTIERI

CANTLON’S CORNER: FUTURE LOOKING BRIGHT FOR LETTIERI

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

HARTFORD, CT Hockey and sports have always been a huge part of Vinni Lettieri’s life.

Lettieri took the first steps towards becoming a professional athlete when he signed an Amateur Try-Out (ATO) deal to play for the Hartford Wolf Pack for the last nine games of the regular season after the elimination of his college team, the Minnesota Golden Gophers, in the NCAA Regionals.

Lettieri played on several different combinations in Hartford including an extended stay with winger Chris Brown.

“It’s a great experience coming here to start to get a taste of pro hockey,” Lettieri said. “I have gone to several player development camps (two with the Rangers and one with Nashville), but this is my first real action. A guy like Brownie is a big body and gets the puck out of the corner. He has been helpful to remember the full cycle in the offensive zone. Sometimes coming out of college you get to a half cycle. There’s always something to learn.”

Shooting the puck has been his main strength. While he did not get that first pro goal, he did show a knack and fearlessness about putting the puck on net. Continue reading

TOSTI: GAME 4: SWAMP RABBITS LOOK TO RESPOND ON THE ROAD

GAME 4: SWAMP Rabbits Look to Respond on the Road

Greenville’s 2-1 series lead on the line in North Charleston tonight as the puck drops for Game 4 of the South Division Semifinal

BY: Brian Tosti, Greenville Swamp Rabbits

DATE TIME OPPONENT FOLLOW
Tues, Apr. 18 7:05 p.m. (EDT) Game 4: at South Carolina Stingrays ListenWatchTwitter

RABBIT TALES

The Greenville Swamp Rabbits, proud ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, are back in action tonight for Game 4 of the South Division Semifinal in North Charleston, SC. After Greenville took a 2-0 advantage in the series, South Carolina responded on home ice to earn a 6-0 win last night. Parker Milner earned a shutout in the game and Rob Flick led the scoring charge with two goals. After last night’s contest, the teams are even with 10 goals each in the series. Greenville and South Carolina will see each other for the 18th time this season and the tenth time in the Low Country. The Swamp Rabbits completed the regular season with a 3-4-1-0 record in North Charleston and 5-7-1-1 overall mark against their intra-state rival. Greenville has only lost back-to-back playoff games seven times in franchise history and is 9-6-1 following a postseason loss. Continue reading