A look into the world of the American Hockey League outside of just the normal game re-caps.
IceCaps had to be good to be lucky
By Brendan McCarthy | The Telegram
Things fell in place for Habs deal, but St. John’s had a lot to offer, too
It’s understandable, all this Habs hype.
After all, it’s THE Montreal Canadiens who will be bringing their American Hockey League team to St. John’s next season. Not the New Jersey Devils or New York Islanders or Ottawa Senators, Mind you, Danny Williams and Glenn Stanford and the St. John’s IceCaps would have gladly taken the Devils, Isles or Sens as a replacement NHL affiliate for the Winnipeg Jets, but if you had asked them to rate the 29 other NHL organizations in order of preference, you can be assured Les Habitants would have been Numéro Un.
Of course, there’s that term — it’s for just two years — as St. John’s gets ready for a temp job for the Habs, as caretaker for a franchise that should eventually end up in Laval, Que. But as fleeting as that might be seem, it’s the time the IceCaps secured in the deal that is the most important asset gained. Not the CH, not the tri-colours, not the Habs’ history or the Canadiens’ large local fanbase, as valuable or intoxicating (to some) as that all might be. Read More…
Hamilton Bulldogs sell AHL franchise, buy the OHL Belleville Bulls
The Hamilton Bulldogs have sold their AHL franchise to the Montreal Canadiens and will buy the OHL Belleville Bulls, the team said on Thursday.
Bulldogs owner Michael Andlauer announced at a media event Thursday afternoon that he’s selling the AHL franchise affiliation to the Canadiens at the end of the 2014-15 hockey season. Andlauer made the announcement at FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, home of the Bulldogs.
He’s purchased the Bulls, which will move to Hamilton and be renamed the Bulldogs for the start of the 2015-16 season.
Even though the team is a junior-league team, Andlauer stressed that “Hamilton Bulldog hockey will be around for many, many years to come.”
In the meantime, he said, there are three more home games in the season. Andlauer said he told the players Thursday morning, “We’re still family.” Read More…
Winnipeg hockey fans await return of AHL franchise with open arms
Winnipeg will soon be home to two professional hockey teams, and hockey fans at the MTS Iceplex Thursday night said they await the Jets farm team with open arms.
The Jets’ American Hockey League affiliate, currently known as the St. John’s IceCaps, will relocate from Newfoundland and Labrador to the Manitoba capital for the 2015-16 season.
It will mark the return of theAHL to Winnipeg, which had the Manitoba Moose until True North Sports and Entertainment purchased the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers in 2011, moved the franchise north and renamed it the Jets.
The Moose moved to St. John’s and were renamed the IceCaps. True North still owns the AHL team, which became the Jets’ farm team. Read More…
Bulldogs moving to St. John’s, IceCaps to Winnipeg in AHL shuffle
The Canadian Press
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets will move their American Hockey League affiliates and the Ontario Hockey League’s Belleville Bulls will play out of Hamilton next season.
The AHL Hamilton Bulldogs will go to St. John’s and be named the IceCaps, while the Jets will move their AHL club from St. John’s to Winnipeg. The Bulls, meanwhile, will move to Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre and be renamed the Bulldogs.
Also Thursday, owner Michael Andlauer sold the AHL Bulldogs to their parent club, the Canadiens, and purchased the Bulls. IceCaps CEO Danny Williams will lease the AHL club from the Canadiens for two years and bring them to the Mile One Centre in St. John’s.
“We could not be more thrilled to partner with the Montreal Canadiens and to welcome this legendary hockey organization to St. John’s,” Williams said in a statement. “We have proven within the league that St. John’s is a thriving hockey city, with an outstanding fan base and a great depth of corporate support.” Read More…
“If we build the Event Centre – We will land the AHL Franchise” Thunder Bay Mayor Hobbs
By James Murray | Net News Ledger
THUNDER BAY – What does the decision by the Winnipeg Jets to move their AHL (American Hockey League) franchise to Winnipeg mean for Thunder Bay and plans for the Event Centre?
Asked: The Winnipeg Jets are moving their AHL Franchise to Winnipeg. What impact can that have on the Thunder Bay Event Centre?
Here is how members of Thunder Bay City Council responded:
Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs says, “This is not a surprise. The Ice Caps working out of St. John’s was not a viable operation for the Winnipeg Jets. If we build the Event Center I firmly believe we will land the AHL franchise. Our talks with Mark Chipman, owner of the Jets have been productive” Read More…
Get ready for the St. John’s IceHabs
By Robin Short | The Telegram
Canadiens farm club will play out of Mile One for next two years
Let’s be honest: it wasn’t looking good for the St. John’s IceCaps’ gate next season, as the American Hockey League team prepared for its final season as the Winnipeg Jets’ farm club with nothing on the horizon for a replacement.
Duhatschek: Player-development key in AHL shift to California
By Eric Duhatschek | The Globe and Mail
Soon after Dave Andrews became president of the American Hockey League in 1994, he received a call from Tony Tavares, then president of the Anaheim Ducks. Tavares had a revolutionary concept that he wanted to pitch to Andrews – expand the AHL to California, on the grounds that NHL teams based in the Canadian and U.S. West needed their farm teams closer at hand.
For the better part of two decades, the idea percolated – mostly on the back burner until a year ago when it became what Andrews termed “the most important file on my desk.”
In January, after a 21-year gestation period, the plan finally came to fruition. Starting next year, five NHL teams – the Calgary Flames, the Edmonton Oilers, the San Jose Sharks, the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks – will shift their primary minor-league affiliates to California. Calgary will go into Stockton, Edmonton into Bakersfield, Anaheim into San Diego, Los Angeles into Ontario, while San Jose’s affiliate will play out of the same facility as the parent club. Read More…
Amerks’ Sundher tries to salvage frustrating season
By Kevin Oklobzija | Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
This has truly been the year from purgatory for Kevin Sundher.
But maybe Friday signaled the start of a potential turnaround. He scored the game’s first goal, though the Rochester Americans ended up losing 4-2 to the Hamilton Bulldogs at Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester Community War Memorial.
He at least felt a whole lot better about his game Friday than he did earlier in the season.
On opening night the third-year forward found himself out of a job. Instead of playing in the American Hockey League, he was skating in the ECHL.
Then when he was brought back up to the Amerks, he was primarily used in a third- or fourth-line role, getting few prime-time minutes. When he was in the lineup, that is. Read More…