AHL Read This: Kolarik On John Hynes, Oilers Poor Use of Prospects, Kostopoulos re-signs

A look into the world of the American Hockey League outside of just the normal game re-caps.

Hynes is “1000% Ready” to Become an NHL Coach

Kolarik On John Hynes

Chad Kolarik On John Hynes – “He’s hard on guys, but he knows how to get his players to buy into his systems”
(Photo: Sweetest Hockey on Earth Blog)

Highland Park Hockey | Tony Androckitis

Whether or not John Hynes’ scheduled interview for the Pittsburgh Penguins coaching vacancy, first reported by the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review’s Rob Rossi, is one of formality or he is on newly-hired GM Jim Rutherford’s “short list” of head coaching candidates, a former player under Hynes certainly believes he’s NHL-ready.

“Hynes does not get the credit he deserves,” said forward Chad Kolarik, a member of the 2012-13 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins who is now playing overseas with Linkoping of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL).

Kolarik came to the AHL Penguins in a mid-season trade during the 2012-13 season and while he was a 30-goal scorer in the regular season, he certainly didn’t receive any star treatment from Hynes.

“He’s hard on guys, but he knows how to get his players to buy into his systems,” Kolarik said of Hynes. Read More…

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Edmonton Oilers must stop rushing their prospects, but show no signs yet of doing so

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The Edmonton Oilers have been a bad team for a long time, and like many bad teams they have responded in part by turning toward their prospects for help.

That may be making matters worse.

It’s difficult to show with numbers the ideal development route for prospects. That’s because better players tend to make the jump to the NHL earlier than worse players, so the players who graduate at a younger age tend to have better careers than those who do at a later age.

However, it’s generally accepted by some of the NHL’s best managers that it’s important to allow individuals to work out the kinks at a lower level before moving them into major-league competition.

From the book Behind the Moves, here’s Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland:

I spent nine years in the American Hockey League, and what impacted [me] there as I got into my third, fourth, fifth year of pro, was that I was a veteran American league player who was kept around to provide leadership and to be a good player to help the team win. Hartford would bring all these kids in – and the organizations that I was with in Detroit and Hartford, they were struggling organizations. The minute a young kid would play well for six weeks, he’d get [called] up and [provide] a little bit of spark [to the parent club,] and then six weeks later they would [be sent back] down and they were just beaten up. The league was too tough. They couldn’t make a difference. It took you another few weeks, few months to get those players back to where they [had been] confidence-wise and playing-wise. So from a player-development standpoint – a personal-development standpoint – [I learned that] people are ready when they’re ready and [I learned about] the importance of building a foundation.

Read More…

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Crowning achievement

By Robin Short | The Telegram

Jason King reached the American Hockey League’s conference finals three times during a very tidy, if not underrated, professional hockey career, coming up short of a Calder Cup final appearance each time.

He’s hoping the fourth time’s a charm, even if it means winning as a coach rather than player.

King is the St. John’s IceCaps’ eye in the sky, a coach on the ice in practice but perched in the press box during games after he was forced to bid goodbye to an 11-year pro career last summer because of lingering concussion issues.

The Corner Brook native is hoping to become only the sixth Newfoundlander to win the AHL championship, joining Brian Gibbons of St. John’s (1970-71 Springfield Kings), Don Howse of Grand Falls (1975-76 and 1976-77 Nova Scotia Voyageurs), Jason Morgan of C.B.S. (2000-01 Saint John Flames), John Slaney of St. John’s (2004-05 Philadelphia Phantoms) and Colin Greening of St. John’s (2010-11 Binghamton Senators).

“For sure, you always want an opportunity to win as a player,” King said Monday, on the eve of Game 2 of the IceCaps-Texas Stars final, which saw the home team grab a 1-0 lead Sunday night with a 6-3 win. Read More…

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WBS Pens’ Hynes to interview with Pittsburgh next week for head coach job

Combined media reports

John Hynes will interview for the Penguins’ coaching vacancy next week, general manager Jim Rutherford confirmed Monday The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

Hynes, 39, has spent the past five seasons with AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, including the last four as head coach. The AHL Penguins reached the Calder Cup semifinal round each of the past two postseasons.

Last week, when Hynes conducted exit interviews with his players at the Toyota Sportsplex, he was asked if he wasn’t interested in an NHL head coaching job this summer.

“Yes, it’s definitely of interest,” Hynes told The Times Leader last week. “Anyone that’s in the American Hockey League, you want to be able to get to the next level. It all depends on the right opportunity, but that’s the path anyone in the American Hockey League wants to do, is to try to get to the National Hockey League.”

Rutherford was hired last Friday as the 10th general manager for the Penguins, and he immediately fired Dan Bylsma as head coach. Read More…

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Goaltender LeNeveu among 39 AHL graduates in Stanley Cup finals

By Garry Brown | Special to The Republican

In June of 2002, the Phoenix Coyotes drafted Cornell University goaltender David LeNeveu in the second round.

Twelve seasons later, you’ll find him as one of 39 American Hockey League graduates involved in the Stanley Cup Final.

The New York Rangers grabbed LeNeveu from their Hartford Wolf Pack roster when Cam Talbot – another former AHL player – went down with an injury. That makes “Lennie” the backup to star Henrik Lundqvist.

LeNeveu has played 330 AHL games, including two tours with the Springfield Falcons. In the 2010-11 season, he had defenseman John Moore among his teammates. Now, they’re together with the Rangers.

The Broadway Blueshirts have 20 AHL graduates on their playoff roster. That’s if you include right winger Jesper Fast, who played one game for the Connecticut Whale in 2013.

The Los Angeles Kings have 19 grads, ranging from center Trevor Lewis, who played 182 games for the Manchester Monarchs, to defenseman Matt Greene, who played one for the Falcons of 2008. Read More…

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Kostopoulos re-signs with WBS Penguins

From the AHL.com

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have re-signed Tom Kostopoulos to an American Hockey League contract for the 2014-15 season. 

Kostopoulos, 35, will return for his seventh season with the Penguins organization after leading the team this past season in goals (22) and points (47). He also ranked third on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with 25 assists in 71 games.  Read More…

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Bob Howard

About Bob Howard

Owner/Host of the Power Play Post Show for 10 + years. Credentialed media member in Binghamton with the B-Sens. I have also done color commentary on the B-Sens & Manchester Monarchs radio broadcasts.

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