A look into the world of the American Hockey League outside of just the normal game re-caps.
Pirates to announce affiliation extension with Coyotes
By Chris Roy | Main Hockey Journal
PORTLAND – The Portland Pirates plan to hold a press conference on Wednesday at the Cumberland County Civic Center where they’ll announce a one-year extension on their affiliation agreement with the National Hockey League’s Phoenix Coyotes.
The Pirates affiliation agreement with the Coyotes expired last month, however, both sides were optimistic when the deal expired that a new agreement could be easily reached. The new one-year agreement will allow both sides greater flexibility as the American Hockey League works toward creating west coast option for western NHL teams.
“It’s a one-year agreement for next season,” said Pirates’ COO Brad Church. “Both parties agreed that in best interest with a potential west coast option that it gives both sides some freedom to explore all options available to them.”
Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose and Phoenix are all said to be lobbying the AHL in creating such a division. According to published reports, the AHL is finalizing a plan to implement a Pacific Division as early as the 2015-’16 season. Read More…
Hanover native may one day make NHL – as a coach
Andy Clark | thepost.on.ca
PORTLAND – What have Walkerton, Durham, Chesley, Elmwood and even Varney accomplished that Hanover has not yet? All of those nearby communities have had people born within their town limits progress to the National Hockey League.
Hanover native Ray Edwards might very well change all that – and has in fact already turned down at least one job offer!
Edwards has just finished his third season as head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes’ top farm team, the Portland Pirates. Previous to that he was head coach of the American Hockey League’s San Antonio Rampage for two seasons. He has gained an excellent reputation for player development, which inspired the Winnipeg Jets franchise to offer him an assistant coach position in the summer of 2011.
Edwards says turning down the NHL opportunity was, “a tough call.”
“Getting to the NHL would be great, but the timing wasn’t right,” he added. “Phoenix gave me my start and I wanted to remain loyal.” He notes that the Coyotes’ organization kept him as head coach while changing affiliates, and they reminded him that his player development role was an important part of their big league franchise. Edwards also felt that sticking with Portland was the right decision for his family at the time. Read More…
Pirates add GM duties to head coach Ray Edwards
After enduring the worst season in franchise history, Portland Pirates head coach Ray Edwards received a promotion.
Edwards will be the general manager as well as head coach of the American Hockey League team, which will return to the Cumberland County Civic Center after spending a season in Lewiston that resulted in league lows for both performance and attendance.
Brad Treliving, formerly assistant general manager of the Phoenix Coyotes, had held the Portland general manager position until being hired last month as GM of the NHL’s Calgary Flames. Read More…
Monarchs’ playoff schedule was about being a ‘fair partner’
Ian Clark | New Hampshire Union Leader
As it turns out, the Manchester Monarchs were not forced to play three games of the AHL playoffs in Virginia.
According to a representative from the AHL, as the higher seed, Manchester had the final say in the breakdown of the best-of-five first round Eastern Conference playoff series between the No. 1 Monarchs and No. 8 Norfolk.
The format was two games in one building and then three (if needed) in the other team’s rink. Norfolk’s Scope Arena was not available to open the series the weekend of April 25 and 26. The Monarchs could have chosen to force Norfolk to find another venue, but opted not to in the interest of being an accommodating league partner.
“Our preference was to start on the road,” said Monarchs president Darren Abbott. “Our scenario with (potential opponent) Hershey was to start on the road. That was the preference from a hockey standpoint and so that was what the plan was. Norfolk didn’t have the ice that first weekend so rather than force them to play in an alternate venue and in the interest of being a good league partner, we switched the series.” Read More…
Red Wings appear set up for success with Griffins, prospects playing well
TED KULFAN | THE DETROIT NEWS
Grand Rapids — The Red Wings are out of the playoffs, but their minor-league team isn’t. And that’s a good sign for the future of the franchise.
The Red Wings appear to have deep reserve of talented prospects, as the Grand Rapids Griffins look to defend the American Hockey League Calder Cup they won last season.
The Griffins took the first step toward another Calder Cup by defeating Abbotsford 5-3 Friday, winning the first-round series 3-1.
Grand Rapids, the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference, opens the second round Thursday against the top-seeded Texas Stars.
“Where we stand today and where we stood a year ago, the two teams aren’t dissimilar,” said Griffins coach Jeff Blashill, an NHL head coaching prospect in his own right. “Now it’s a matter of executing. We found a way to execute last year. Read More…
Griffith leads AHL’s Bruins to playoff win
By Ryan Pyette, The London Free Press
Seth Griffith scored twice in 98 seconds to help the Providence Bruins win the fifth and deciding game of their American Hockey League playoff series Saturday at Springfield.
The former London Knights sniper from Wallaceburg couldn’t help but feel like he exacted a small measure of revenge.
The Falcons are the Columbus Blue Jackets’ farm team and one of their prominent forwards is ex-Shawinigan centre Michael Chaput, who was the 2012 Memorial Cup MVP when his Cataractes beat the Knights in overtime in the final.
“It was one of the first things that ran through my mind,” Griffith said.
Now, he and the Baby Bruins are gearing up for a second-round Calder Cup matchup starting Friday against Pittsburgh’s farm team, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He will face off against his old London captain Scott Harrington and former Knights Reid McNeill and Tom Kostopoulos.
“Me and Harry are really close buddies and it’s going to be weird playing against them in a playoff series,” said Griffith, 21. “We went through that kind of battle for three, four years there in London. We have to put our friendship aside for a little bit. Read More…
AHL returns to Glens Falls
From The Times Union in Albany, NY
The American Hockey League‘s board of governors has approved the relocation of the Abbotsford Heat, owned by the National Hockey League‘s Calgary Flames, from British Columbia to Glens Falls beginning next season, the league announced Monday.
The Flames’ AHL franchise will play at Glens Falls Civic Center, which had been home to the Adirondack Phantoms the previous five seasons. The Phantoms used Glens Falls as a temporary home while an arena was built in Allentown, Pa., where they will be known as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms starting next season. Read More…