A look into the world of the American Hockey League outside of just the normal game re-caps.
Glens Falls tried to recruit four other AHL teams before Calgary
GLENS FALLS — The American Hockey League affiliate of the Calgary Flames, which is relocating to Glens Falls, is one of five AHL teams city officials attempted to recruit, said Glens Falls Mayor John “Jack” Diamond.
The mayor said after attempts to recruit four other teams were unfruitful, the chances of recruiting an AHL team for the upcoming season looked doubtful.
But one evening in March, Mike Holditch, senior vice president and general manager of the Flames, called Diamond on his cellphone.
“I was pulling into my (home) driveway and it was Mike Holditch,” Diamond said in an interview at City Hall on Tuesday. “I was pleasantly surprised.”
Springfield Falcons fans, don’t let “Old Codger” attitude cloud the future
Were it not for one loss too many, the Springfield Falcons would still be playing hockey.
They would be competing in the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs, chasing an American Hockey League title that has been celebrated seven times in the city, but not since 1991 and never in the 20-year history of the Falcons.
The season is over, but the business of hockey rocks around the clock – and the calendar. The team is selling 2014-15 season ticket packages and flex plans, and hoping a second straight Northeast Division title enthuses the public.
Several obstacles stand in their way. The city and region face economic challenges, and fans face the challenge of finding free time for a team that needs to attract fans for 38 home games – not counting playoffs. Read More…
No word on new team’s conference, division
The Abbotsford Heat are moving almost as far as physically possible within the American Hockey League. It seems a safe assumption the new team won’t be playing in the same division.
It could be playing in the same conference, however.
There is no official word on how the conferences and/or divisions may change. That is typically decided at the Annual Meeting in July.
If the new team moves to the Eastern Conference, where the Adirondack Phantoms played, either a team needs to shift to the Western Conference or the conferences will be uneven – the precedent has been set in the NHL.
There probably isn’t a team willing to shift to the Western Conference as it would make travel more difficult for all of them. Read More…
Amerks learn plenty despite early exit
Kevin Oklobzija, ROC
The Calder Cup playoffs have once again come and gone for the Rochester Americans.
They’ll be going home while three more rounds of competition still must be played before the Cup is hoisted.
In sports, teams are judged by success: wins and losses, championship banners and champagne showers.
Feel free to maybe spray some carbonated generic spring water if you’d like, but that would be about the extent of any toast.
The Amerks lost more than they won (37 victories and 39 losses, although they did earn a point in 11 of the defeats by reaching overtime) and were ousted from the playoffs in the first round for the third consecutive spring. Read More…
Media Day Notes: Line Matching, Goalie Rotations and More
100 Degree Hockey.com | Stephen Meserve
With the second round quickly approaching, the Austin media headed out to the Cedar Park Center to talk to the team after practice on Monday. Here are a few notes on the coming series. A larger preview will accompany the Game 1 game day preview.
First of all, Monday’s forward lines in practice:
Line matching vs. rolling four lines
A lot has been made this year about Texas’s ability to roll four lines against anyone. The Stars intend to continue their strategy of rolling all four lines, as opposed to looking for specific matchups in this series. It’s worked for them all year.
Coach Doug Lidster expanded, “If you do a lot of line matching, it tends to slow the game down. It also tends to send a message to the players that they can’t play against [certain] guys. We want to dictate the play. Let’s have the attitude of let’s be the hunter and not the hunted.” Read More…
Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill on Texas Stars: ‘Two teams that mirror each other’
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A year ago, the Grand Rapids Griffins avoided top-seeded Texas in the Calder Cup playoffs en route to the title.
Not so this time.
The Griffins, the No. 4 seed, will open the Western Conference semifinals Thursday in Austin against the Stars, the No. 1 seed in the conference with a league-best 106 points during the regular season.
It matches the top seed the past two seasons against the defending league champions in a battle between the high-scoring offense of the Stars against the stingy defense of the Griffins.
“Texas plays a lot more similar to us in that they take a lot of time and space away and are very aggressive,” Griffins coach Jeff Blashill said. “Wherein last series our break outs coming out of our end were executed one way, in this series we’re going to have to put a high emphasis on it because they’re going to put a lot of pressure on us. If we have to spend a lot of time in our end, it’ll be trouble for us.” Read More…
Admirals look for quick strike as Round 2 starts tonight
By Jim Hodges Virginian-Pilot correspondent
NORFOLK – In the minutes after sunrise Monday, as he was about to board a hastily arranged charter for St.John’s, Newfoundland, Trent Yawney’s glass was half full.
“I think it’s good,” he said of the Norfolk Admirals starting the second round of the AHL Eastern Conference semifinals tonight, only four days after finishing off top-seeded Manchester in the first round.
“You don’t want to wait too long to play, and if you’re going to win (the series), you’ve got to win at the other guys’ rink – at least one game,” Yawney said. “Besides, I think too much is made of stuff like” short preparation time.
Translation: After playing one of its best games of the season, beating Manchester 3-2 on Friday, Norfolk would like to strike fast in far eastern Canada. Read More…