A look into the world of the American Hockey League outside of just the normal game re-caps.
Pirates to have new NHL affiliate
By Chris Roy | Maine Hockey Journal
PORTLAND – The Portland Pirates will have a new NHL affiliate next season.
It is expected the Pirates will announce this week that they’ve signed an affiliation agreement with a new National Hockey League team for next season, ending a four-year relationship with the Arizona Coyotes.
Leading candidates to replace the Coyotes currently are the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals.
Brad Church, Pirates’ Chief Operating Officer, has acknowledged that he has held talks with several NHL clubs, but declined to comment on the specifics of those talks. He did say they were promising, and an announcement was imminent.
The Coyotes moved their affiliation to Portland in 2011, leaving San Antonio, Texas after six seasons. The Coyotes cited lower travel cost and better development for their prospects as a primary reason for the move.
Former Coyotes’ Assistant GM Brad Treliving, now General Manager of the Calgary Flames, said that San Antonio spent over 90 nights in hotels over the course the season. That is compared to Portland, who averages 18 nights in a hotel over the same period. Read More…
When this season ends in San Antonio the Panthers will shift their AHL affiliate to Portland, according to team source. #flapanthers
— Harvey Fialkov (@hfialkov) March 15, 2015
Rush job is not what Hellebuyck needs
By Robin Short | The Telegram
He’s been great for IceCaps, but still isn’t NHL-ready
Lost in Saturday night’s stinker at Mile One Centre, a game that saw the St. John’s IceCaps slip further away from a playoff spot in the American Hockey League, was the fact Peter Budaj played pretty well.
Budaj and JC Lipon, who scored the only St. John’s goal in a 4-1 loss to the Manchester Monarchs, the second time in three games the IceCaps lost by that count to the AHL’s best team.
The Monarchs skated into Mile One and took two of three games from the IceCaps, who fell to 29-27-6-2 and are five points out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference, the divide between playoff and non-playoff clubs. Read More…
LETTER: Jets appear to be saying good-bye to Thunder Bay
By Ray Smith | TB News Watch.com
To the editor:
The Winnipeg Jets announced last week that they were moving their American Hockey League franchise back to Winnipeg from St. John’s.
Both the Jets and the American Hockey League team will play out of the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. True North owns both teams as well as the MTC Centre.
As for the viability of having both an NHL team and an American Hockey League team in the same city, GM Ken Cheveldayoff said he believes Winnipeg can support two professional hockey teams for the long term.
He also stated they we’re going to dig in and try and make this a home that lasts for along time for their American Hockey League team. Cheveldayoff went on to say they are investing in infrastructure renewals and renovations to both the Ice Plex and the MTS Centre to accomodate both teams and help the AHL team have a future in Winnipeg. He added they are pretty excited about this in a news conference last week. When asked about moving to Thunder Bay he stated their focus was on the American League team being a viable option in Winnipeg for many years to come and they are pretty excited about this.
True North, is part of a consortium that signed a letter of intent with the City of Thunder Bay. Read More…
The incredible, improbable success of Senators G Andrew Hammond
By Adam Gretz | CBS Sports
When the 2014-15 regular season comes to a close, the Ottawa Senators will still probably fall short of the Eastern Conference playoffs. But thanks almost entirely to the recent play of a previously unknown goalie, Andrew Hammond, they have managed to at least make things a little bit more interesting down the stretch and have kept their playoff hopes alive after they seemed to be completely gone just a little more than a month ago.
On Sunday, Hammond continued his unbelievable play when he stopped 27 out of 28 Philadelphia Flyers shots through overtime, and then all three shootout attempts, in a 2-1 shootout win to improve his record to 10-0-1 on the season. Since he made his first start back on Feb. 18, Ottawa has earned 23 out of a possible 26 points in the standings and failed to earn at least a point in only one game — one of the two games that Hammond did not start over that stretch.
When it all began, Ottawa was 10 points out of a playoff spot and still behind Florida and Philadelphia among non-playoff teams. Since then they have jumped over the Panthers and Flyers and gained five points on the Bruins. On one hand, that shows how difficult it is to make up points this late in the season and why they are still likely to fall short (winning almost every game over a month only got them five points closer!). Read More…
NHL general managers discuss diving, protecting goalies
BOCA RATON, FLA. — NHL general managers opened three days of meetings without action on two key items on the agenda — goalie interference and the possibility of three-on-three play in overtime.
Instead, discussions Monday centered on diving and embellishment, and protecting goaltenders in the crease. The NHL is debating whether it should tell referees which players are frequent offenders.
“One of the key questions before they departed the room was, ‘Do you want us informing the referees of who we think the individuals are who embellish more often than others?'” said Colin Campbell, the NHL executive vice president. “And for the most part, we had most of the managers agree. … It’s the hardest call on the ice for an official — embellishment.” Read More…