A look into the world of the American Hockey League outside of just the normal game re-caps.
Springfield Falcons owner on report of affiliation shift to Arizona: ‘There is nothing to report’
The owner of the Springfield Falcons dismissed a report linking his franchise to a multi-team switch of National Hockey League affiliations involving their minor league partners.
“There is nothing to report. We currently have another year (on the Falcons’ deal) with Columbus,” Charlie Pompea said Thursday after an unconfirmed report from Rochester, N.Y., that the Arizona Coyotes would supply the Falcons with players for the 2015-16 season.
Officials from the Columbus Blue Jackets, who are Springfield’s NHL affiliate, have not commented on the report of Rob Sanderson, a broadcaster for the American Hockey League’s Rochester Americans.
Sanderson’s report has received media play in Phoenix, where the Coyotes are located, but that franchise has not commented, either. AHL sources say no deal has been struck and the report is premature at best, at least as regards the Falcons. Read More…
Habs exec says ‘who knows’ when asked how long AHL affiliate will be in St. John’s
Is it possible the American Hockey League affiliate for the Montreal Canadiens could be in St. John’s for more than two seasons?
“Who knows,” says an executive with the renowned NHL franchise.
In an interview Thursday with the St. John’s Morning Show, Kevin Gilmore said it could be longer, depending on the speed of construction of a new 10,000-seat hockey arena in Laval, a city north of Montreal.
“The building in Laval is just starting construction. We don’t know what the timing will look like over the next two to three years,” said Gilmore, executive vice-president and chief operating officer with the Canadiens.
He said the club also has some homework to do before determining whether Laval is a suitable marketplace for the AHL team. Read More…
Trickle-Down Effect Doesn’t Bother Wolf Pack’s Jeff Malcolm
Paul Doyle | Hartford Courant
HATFORD — When word spread from New York this week, Jeff Malcolm couldn’t help but think of the ramifications.
Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers‘ elite goaltender, is ready to return from an injury that has sidelined him since Jan. 31. When Lundqvist assumes his spot as the No. 1 goalie on Broadway, Cam Talbot steps back to his reserve role and 20-year-old rookie Mackenzie Skapski will likely be bounced to the American Hockey League.
So where will that leave Malcolm, the former Yale goalie who was promoted to Hartford from the Rangers’ ECHL affiliate in Greenville?
As he practiced at the XL Center this week, Malcolm wasn’t thinking that far ahead.
“I try not to [think about it], but obviously the word is getting around and people are talking,” Malcolm said. “You’re going to look at those things, but you can’t let it affect your day-to-day work habits. It’s out of your control and the only thing you can control is your game on the ice.” Read More…
Penguins defensemen match up with franchise’s best
By Jonathan Bombulie | The Citizen’s Voice
In the 2004 Calder Cup playoffs, Rob Scuderi, Brooks Orpik and Ryan Whitney played together on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins blue line. They’ve gone on to play 1,959 NHL games and counting.
For a 10-game stretch early in the 2007-08 season, Kris Letang, Alex Goligoski and Ben Lovejoy were in the lineup at the same time. They’re all active in the NHL, having racked up 583 points between them.
Alain Nasreddine was on both those teams, so he knows a trio of good young defensemen when he sees one. And he sees one in Derrick Pouliot, Brian Dumoulin and Scott Harrington, who are all among the top four prospects in the Penguins organization as ranked by the recently released Hockey News Future Watch issue.
“We know we have three NHL-caliber defensemen,” Nasreddine said. “We’ve been lucky enough to have them for most of the year.”
Pouliot, Dumoulin and Harrington practiced together Thursday morning at the Toyota SportsPlex, but their AHL days are numbered. Pouliot could be called up for good at any second and Dumoulin will almost certainly start next year in the NHL. Read More…
In turnstile blowout, Hershey Bears headed for ninth straight AHL attendance title
With the 2014-15 season heading into the home stretch, the Hershey Bears are engaged in a tight battle for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
It is already a forgone conclusion that they will win a ninth straight AHL attendance title.
In a turnstile blowout, Hershey leads the AHL in attendance at 319,168 (9,672). Second-place Lake Erie (8,213) is averaging 1,459 fewer fans.
This season’s average is up a tick from 2013-14, when Hershey averaged 9,664 during a non-playoff campaign.
In light of the conference race, the current average figures to be driven higher in the final five home games, which include two showdowns with conference leader Manchester.
“We continue to have an outstanding fan base,” Bears President-GM Doug Yingst said. “Obviously, I think it’s the way the team is playing. The way the team is coached, I think, you see the effort for 60 minutes. I think there’s been a lot of excitement in the community. Read More…