AHL Read This: PHPA AHL Extend CBA, 1994 Pirates Celebrate, IceCaps Award, Realignment, Rules Changes

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

No Drama as PHPA, AHL Agree to Extend CBA for One Year


Texas Stars Captain, Maxime Fortunus talks about the ease of the new AHL CBA.
(Photo by: Steven Christy/Texas Stars)

Stephen Meserve | 100 Degree Hockey

If you were expecting drama and fireworks around the AHL collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations this summer, you are probably going to be disappointed. Then again, that lack of fireworks is a good thing for labor negotiations and keeping the top development league in the world up and running for another season.

“Our CBA was up this year, but the league had an option to renew it,” said Texas captain Maxime Fortunus, who has served as a PHPA player rep for five years. “This year was pretty easy for us. Both parties were pretty satisfied with the way the league is going. It made their life easier, and ours too, to just renew it.”

The current AHL CBA went from 2010-2014 with an option to extend for 2014-15. The Professional Hockey Players Association is the equivalent of the NHLPA in the negotiations and consists of players in the AHL, ECHL and CHL. Each CBA is negotiated with a specific league. For example, the ECHL CBA was just renegotiated last summer and extends until summer of 2018. Read More…


Pirates reunite to remember 1994 Calder Cup championship

Chris Roy | Maine Hockey Journal

PORTLAND – When the final horn sounded in Game 6 of the 1994 Calder Cup Final the Portland Pirates knew they accomplished something only one other team in the American Hockey League had previously accomplished.

Win the Calder Cup in their inaugural season.

At the time, only the 1977-‘78 Maine Mariners had won the Calder Cup in its’ first season of existence.

The ’93-’94 Pirates remains as the gold standard by which all future teams in Portland are measured. It’s not just because they won the only Calder Cup in franchise history, but rather because the players who played for that 1993-’94 team built something very special and irreplaceable. Winning a championship was no easy feat, but it was the bond and becoming a band of brothers over the course of an 80-game regular season that got them there. That bond only grew tighter during the playoffs and they were rewarded by being able to hoist the Calder Cup in front of a home crowd of 7,142 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Players from that ’94 Calder Cup Championship team will gather in Portland this weekend to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Pirates only championship. Players such as Kevin “Killer” Kaminski, Jeff Nelson, Olaf Kolzig, Kent Hulst, Todd Nelson, Darren McAusland & head coach Barry Trotz are just a few of the names that are expected to be in town this weekend.

However, none of it would have been possible without the foresight of the late Tom Ebright and his belief in Portland as a hockey market. Read More…


IceCaps named top organization in the AHL

Brendan McCarthy | The Telegram

The St. John’s IceCaps may have fallen a bit short in the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup final last month, but according to the AHL’s board of governors, were tops in just about everything else this season.

The league held its annual board meetings in Hilton Head Island, S.C. this week, where it announced the IceCaps as the winner of the President’s Award for overall organization excellence and both the Eastern Conference Community Relations and Fan Experience awards.

The President’s Award recognizes the IceCaps for ongoing leadership in overall business, success in areas such as fan experience, game presentation and social media, and selling out every game at Mile One Centre for a third consecutive season.

The IceCaps have had a sell-out for 133 consecutive games — regular-season and playoff — since being established here in 2011. Read More…


AHL Realignment Moves Iowa Wild To The West Division

Dustin Nelson | Gone Puck Wild

On Wednesday the American Hockey League announced a realignment for the 2014 season, which sees the Minnesota Wild’s AHL affiliate, the Iowa Wild, moving from the Midwest Division to the West Division. Part of the reason for realignment was the Calgary Flames’ AHL affiliate relocating from Abbotsford, B.C. to Glens Falls, NY and the Philadelphia Flyers’ AHL affiliate is relocating from Glens Falls, NY to Allentown, PA.

The Wild’s new division includes the Calder Cup-Champion Texas Stars (Dallas Stars affiliate), Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes affiliate), Oklahoma City Barons (Edmonton Oilers affiliate), and San Antonio Rampage (Florida Panthers affiliate). The Barons are the only team other than the Stars in the new division who made the 2014 playoffs.

This new division may mean a little more travel for the Baby Wild as the new rivals feature many southern teams instead of the old division foes that featured teams in Chicago, Grand Rapids, Rockford, Cleveland, and Milwaukee. Read More…

1 of 39 players interviews this season, Colton Sceviour of the Texas/Dallas Stars

1 of 39 players interviews this season, Colton Sceviour of the Texas/Dallas Stars

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Phantoms home opener set for Oct. 17

By Jeff Schuler, Of The Morning Call

The 100-day clock to the first Lehigh Valley Phantoms game at the PPL Center starts ticking on Wednesday.

The American Hockey League team announced Tuesday that the Phantoms will open their inaugural season on the home ice in downtown Allentown on Friday, Oct. 17, at 7:05 p.m.

The opponent was not revealed. The AHL is in the process of finalizing the 2014-15 preseason and regular-season schedule. Read More…


Frequent Fighters 7/11

Jonathan Bombulie | Penguins Insider

The new overtime format was the most interesting angle when the AHL announced rule changes yesterday, but one of the others caught my eye too. Now, a player will receive a game misconduct after his second fighting major of a game, rather than his third.

After crunching some numbers, it occurs to me that the league fixed something that wasn’t really broken.

In 1,200 regular-season games last year, you know how many AHL players received a game misconduct for fighting three times in a game? Two. Hartford’s Michael Kantor on Nov. 23 against Springfield and Portland’s Darian Dziurzynski against Manchester on April 12. Hardly an epidemic.

Now, there were 78 instances of players fighting more than once in a game and many of those second fights — not all, but many — would have been avoided if this rule had been in place. But even in this case, what are we talking about here as far as frequency goes? Basically two instances per team per season. Read more…


Herr hoping to boost interest in local hockey scene

Matt Herr won two national championships at the University of Michigan and played in the NHL for the Washington Capitals.

However, Herr, formerly of New Windsor, also views his time playing with the U.S. hockey team as one of his highlights. For Herr, there was no better feeling than representing his country.

He still feels the same today. Herr, the best hockey player the mid-Hudson ever produced, is enjoying his latest stint with the red, white and blue.

“To represent your community, to change 30 kids’ lives as a teacher or coach, is something,” said Herr, a regional coach with U.S. hockey who now lives in Saratoga Springs. “Now, to work with American hockey, to help try to change it, that’s something really special. It’s an important job. We are fighting preconceived notions, but I think hockey in this country is getting better and better.” Read More…


Syracuse Crunch owner, Utica Comets president win AHL awards; league introduces new rules

By Brent Axe | baxe@syracuse.com

Syracuse Crunch owner Howard Dolgon and Utica Comets President Robert Esche were both given awards from the American Hockey League on Thursday.

Dolgon has been selected as the winner of the league’s Thomas Ebright Award in recognition of career contributions to the AHL.

A release from the AHL stated:

“As the longest-tenured independent ownership in the league, Dolgon and the Crunch marked their 20th anniversary in 2013-14 and remain at the forefront of innovative marketing ideas and practices. Thanks to his bold creativity and tireless passion, Dolgon is highly regarded throughout the sports world and beyond as he continues to bring positive exposure to the Crunch organization, the Syracuse community and the American Hockey League.”

Esche, along with Rockford IceHogs executive director Gordon Kaye, have been selected as co-winners of the James C. Hendy Memorial Award, given to the outstanding executive in the American Hockey League for 2013-14. 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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