A look into the world of the American Hockey League outside of just the normal game re-caps.
Matt Puempel on way to becoming special player for Binghamton Senators
After a season in which no Binghamton Senators player scored 20 goals, fans were brimming with excitement when Matt Puempel began his professional career this past fall.
A proven goal scorer in the Ontario Hockey League, Puempel was expected to bring some youthful energy and — more importantly — goals to the 2013-14 B-Sens. After about two months getting acclimated to the American Hockey League’s style of play, Puempel lived up to the hype by becoming the third B-Sens rookie to score 30 or more goals in a season.
Puempel is back in Ottawa this week with 33 other young organizational talents for the Senators’ annual development camp, and he’s focused on making a great impression as he fights for an open spot on the National Hockey League roster. While he’s expected to begin the season in Binghamton, Ottawa management has consistently stated that the best players will play no matter age, contract situation or any other factors. Read More…
Veteran goalie Rob Zepp returns from Europe to pursue NHL dream
By John Cudmore
The big-league dream is a tough one to slay.
You can count Rob Zepp among the hockey players who pursue the chance for an NHL job wherever the road leads.
In Zepp’s case, the past nine years have been spent stopping pucks while tending goal in Europe — Finland and Germany, to be precise — with a significant degree of success. It’s a pretty good gig for a young guy, but almost always, there is one eye tuned into what’s happening an ocean away.
Canada Day turned out to be more than a celebration of 147 years of nationhood for the Newmarket native, who now resides in Bradford with his wife and two children. Zepp, 32, marked the day by inking a one-year, two-way contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, for whose American Hockey League affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, he expects to play goal next season.
The odds may be long that he’ll ever stand in front of a net at the NHL level, but it is not impossible. Read More…
MacDonald brings experience to Bulldogs’ vacant net
By Ken Peters
A veteran of 13 professional seasons is expected to fill the gaping hole in the Hamilton Bulldogs net for the upcoming season.
And that suits Joey MacDonald just fine. The 34-year-old veteran with more than 400 National Hockey League and American Hockey League games notched in his blocker expects to be the main puck stopper in the Hammer when the Bulldog season begins. He signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Habs this week.
“I think that’s what we’ve talked about,” he said of the contract talks linking him to starting in Hamilton. “But in hockey a lot of stuff can happen. I’m going to go into camp and try and have a good camp and if I end up in Hamilton then great,” he said Thursday from his off-season Nova Scotia home.
Dustin Tokarski, who had the majority of Hamilton starts last season, is expected to battle for the Montreal Canadiens’ backup job with incumbent Peter Budaj in September and may not be back in Hamilton. Read More…
Flames prospect Sieloff continues comeback from staph infection
By Cam Tucker
Patrick Sieloff will take part in the Calgary Flames development camp next week, having had the vast majority of his 2013-14 season cut short by a staph infection.
Sieloff, a second-round pick of the Flames in 2012, joined the Abbotsford Heat in the American Hockey League last fall, becoming the youngest player on the roster at the time, according to the Abbotsford News.
But the 20-year-old defenceman, a former member of the U.S. world junior team, appeared in only two games for the Heat, before he was sidelined. Read More…
Detroit Red Wings’ Alexei Marchenko has chance to impress at development camp
By Helene St. James | Detroit Free Press Sports
The Red Wings are holding their annual development camp right now in Traverse City, a chance for up-and-comers to impress team management and coaches.
Among the invited are Alexey Marchenko, a guy who is high on the Wings’ depth chart for their defense prospects.
Marchenko, 22, was an American Hockey League All-Star this past season with the Grand Rapids Griffins, a high point that unfortunately segued shortly afterward into season-ending surgery following a high-ankle sprain.
The 2013-14 season was Marchenko’s first in North America, after he rose through the hockey ranks in his native Russia to join the Kontinental Hockey League’s CSKA Moscow, from part time in 2009 to full time in 2012-13. He made an appearance with the Wings in January, topping 13 minutes, drawing a penalty and finishing plus-2 in a 5-1 victory at Dallas. Read More…
Hockey: Archibald going to training camp with Penguins
Any boy who has ever laced up a pair of skates has probably dreamed about playing in the National Hockey League.
Josh Archibald hopes his dream begins to come true in September when he steps on the ice at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
The Brainerd High School graduate, who has been invited to training camp with the Pittsburgh Penguins, will be on the ice with superstars like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Archibald was drafted by the Penguins in the sixth round (174th overall) in 2011 and followed a stellar 3-year career at the University of Nebraska-Omaha by playing nine games last spring on an amateur tryout with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.
Archibald said Tuesday after working out at the Essentia Health Sports Center in Brainerd that he will be given a shot to make the Penguins’ roster but no promises have been made. Read More…