A look into the world of the American Hockey League outside of just the normal game re-caps.
Could Albany, Glens Falls lose hockey teams?
League realignment plan could have an effect on fates of Flames, Devils
By Pete Dougherty | Times Union
California, here we come.
The American Hockey League hasn’t adopted the slogan yet, but it may soon fit.
The 79-year-old circuit, which develops players for the National Hockey League, is on the verge of creating a group of Golden State affiliates. The plan, which has been in the works for 21/2 years, may affect the future of the two Capital Region AHL franchises.
AHL president Dave Andrews, unavailable Monday for comment on this story, has said previously that owners of many NHL Western Conference teams want their affiliates closer to the parent city. According to sources, much of that movement could occur as early as next season.
That may mean the end, after one season, of the Glens Falls-based Adirondack Flames. The city’sCivic Center has a three-year contract with the Calgary Flames, who own the NHL franchise, but it is believed that the team has an out clause. Read More…
New coach ‘Torch’ lights up Iowa Wild
By Andrew Logue | The Des Moines Register
If you try to explain why Des Moines is not much of a hockey town, John Torchetti will shrug.
If you ask him why the Iowa Wild have started winning more often since he became coach, he’ll point to a handful of players filtering through the locker room at Wells Fargo Arena.
And if you pry into personal matters — does he have any family? — the 50-year-old native of Boston says: “I’ve got enough kids right here.”
You see, the man they call “Torch” is a hockey lifer, going wherever the ice takes him.
Before landing in Iowa, Torchetti was coaching a team in Moscow. His resume is dotted with NHL jobs, including brief stints as an interim coach for the Florida Panthers and Los Angeles Kings.
Through it all, he holds only one regret: Read More…
All-Star Classic to reach 100 million homes
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League has announced that the telecast of the 2015 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino will reach more than 100 million households on Sportsnet in Canada and on a comprehensive network of television partners in the United States.
Produced in high definition by Concom Inc., live broadcasts of the event from the historic Utica Memorial Auditorium in Utica, N.Y., will air Sunday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. ET for the AHL All-Star Skills Competition, and Monday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. ET for the AHL All-Star Game.
John Bartlett, play-by-play announcer for the Montreal Canadiens on Sportsnet, will handle play-by-play duties; Bob McGill, analyst for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Marlies on Leafs TV, will provide color commentary; and Brendan Burke, the radio voice of the Utica Comets, will be rinkside. Read More…
B-Sens’ Todd Bertuzzi believes he can help NHL team
By Matt Weinstein | Press & Sun Bulletin
The only hockey Todd Bertuzzi played during the past few months was in Detroit beer leagues, so Monday was a big change of pace for the 18-year National Hockey League veteran.
“I think I had eight-point game so the guys all said ‘OK, I think you need to move up a level.’ This is the next step,” Bertuzzi joked after his first practice with the Binghamton Senators at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. “Last time I was pulling beer caps out of my hockey bag so this is a little bit different.”
The B-Sens signed the soon-to-be 40-year-old on Friday, and Bertuzzi put in a lengthy workout along with his new teammates as the B-Sens work to end a season-high five-game losing streak. The two-time NHL all-star with 314 career goals has never played in the American Hockey League.
“I got a full week here of skating; we’re basically taking it day-by-day and we’ll make decisions as it goes on,” Bertuzzi said. “I’m no fool. I know I’m 40 years old and these are young kids and all that but I still feel like I’m motivated to play and do something.” Read More…
As the AHL heads to west coast, the schedule will shrink
By Kevin Oklobzija | Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
An official announcement on the American Hockey League’s new west-coast division/pod could come as soon as the All-Star break. It’s coming, and it will be sooner than later.
But besides seeing at least four NHL teams pulling up stakes from the east and relocating development operations closer to home, the AHL schedule could end up dramatically shorter.
Like 10 games shorter, to 66 total. That’s by no means official, but it has been bandied about. So, too, has 72 games.
AHL president Dave Andrews said in October that many NHL teams were pushing for a reduction in games played, and that some AHL owners also had suggested it. Few teams can sell mid-week games before Christmas. Read More…
Bulldogs Jarred Tinordi out indefinitely after brutal fight
The Hamilton Bulldogs have not set a date for the return of defenceman Jarred Tinordi after he was injured during a brutal fight with the Utica Comets’ Andrey Pedan Friday.
Tinordi suffered head and facial injuries during the second period of the American Hockey League game at FirstOntario Centre, according to the team.
“There’s no timetable for his return,” the team said in a release Saturday afternoon.
Sylvain Lefebvre, the Bulldogs’ head coach, told media after Friday’s game that Tinordi will need dental work. Read More & See Video…
Hockey’s changes squeeze McGrattan out
By Scott Cruickshank | Calgary Herald
The transformation, when it came, was a blur.
A whoosh even.
From the game everyone had watched for years to the current breakneck version.
Bob Hartley tries to offer perspective on the radical evolution he’s witnessed in the National Hockey League.
“Spring training will open pretty soon in Major League Baseball,” says the Calgary Flames coach. “If every pitcher shows up and they’re throwing 115, 120 mile-an-hour fastballs, it would change the game of baseball quite a bit.”
That is what’s happened to the NHL — a distinct upgrade in pace. Read More…
Syracuse Crunch weekly update: Will the winds of change blowing through the AHL affect the Crunch?
By Allokago | Raw Charge
American Hockey League westward expansion has been a sore topic among AHL fans for a good few years now. The idea of the AHL having teams on the west coast has been something occasionally tossed out among the fans and some media personalities, a topic that was filled with more guesswork and conjecture than actual facts. Fans would get all hot under their collars, argue about it for a day or two, and then the topic would float away again. It’d always come back, usually spurred on by people “in the know,” but little in terms of the concrete could really be said about it.
Then, about a month ago, the news that the Oklahoma City Barons were closing after the conclusion of the current AHL season rippled through the league. It soon became clear that the intention of the Edmonton Oilers, the NHL parent club of the Barons, is to move their farm team to Bakersfield, California. The Oilers purchased the Bakersfiled Condors of the ECHL last season, putting in place the beginning pieces needed to get their AHL club much closer to them.
Then, this past week, The Virginian Pilot published an article that cited two sources close to the Norfolk Admirals. Those sources fanned the flames of a report that came out earlier in this year’s AHL season, a report that stated that the Admirals were going to be sold to the Anaheim Ducks and then moved out to San Diego, California. The Ducks are the current NHL parent club of the Admirals. According to the article in the Pilot, Ken Young, who leads the Admirals’ ownership group, confirmed back in October that the team had been approached about making a sale but that no sale had been completed. However, those two new sources told the Pilot that the “sale of the American Hockey League team and a move of the franchise to San Diego is a near certainty.” Read More…
Pending Business Deal Threatens Flames’ Future in Glens Falls
By Matt Hunter | TWC News
GLENS FALLS, N.Y. — Throughout their 18 years in downtown Glens Falls, the owners of Davidson Brothers Brewing Company have always seen an uptick in business when the hometown team takes the ice at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
“The Civic Center and hockey puts a lot of bodies in this restaurant,” said co-owner Rick Davidson, who owns the brew pub and restaurant with his brother, John.
So far this season, the first in Glens Falls for the American Hockey League’s Adirondack Flames, Davidson said traffic has been especially busy.
“This team in particular, we have seen a very significant increase in the amount of business on hockey nights,” said Davidson, whose brewery is within a block of the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Davidson and other downtown merchants will be among the first to say the new team’s executive’s have been especially willing to work with and promote the city’s small businesses. Read More..