Wheels on the Bus: Notes from around the AHL

It’s the dog days of summer and, as such, it’s going to be a difficult to pull together anything of great substance from around the league. Most of the major news — the Utica Comets official announcement, Texas Stars jersey unveiling, and Calder Cup Final — has already happened, but that doesn’t mean we can’t give it our best.

(From L to R) AHL grads Nick Leddy, Brandon Bollig, Andrew Shaw, and Bryan Bickell pose together during the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Parade. via @Bollig87

(From L to R) AHL grads Nick Leddy, Brandon Bollig, Andrew Shaw, and Bryan Bickell pose together during the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Parade. via @Bollig87

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The Graduate: Bruce Boudreau

The Graduate is an American Hockey Blog feature that highlights a notable AHL alumnus, their career, and what makes them so special to AHL lore. It also happens to be the title of a 1967 film starring Dustin Hoffman, which has been praised by the American Film Institute. These things are not related.

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For most modern hockey fans, the lasting image of Bruce “Gabby” Boudreau includes a smattering of barbecue sauce, but the Anaheim Ducks head coach is an American Hockey League icon.

Boudreau, primarily a centre throughout his playing days, began his professional career in the 1975-76 season as a member of the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the World Hockey Association. Boudreau played a mere 30 games with the Fighting Saints, managing three goals and six helpers. The next year, Boudreau would make his NHL debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but his inability to stick with the big club would lead to the beginning of an illustrious minor league career. Continue reading

Mission

Michael Latta

Forward Michael Latta of the Hershey Bears, the longest running franchise in the American Hockey League.

This is the American Hockey Blog, dedicated to coverage of the American Hockey League.

The manifestation of this blog is due in large part to the lack of coverage the AHL receives in the hockey blogging community. While there are moments, however brief, in which the AHL receives its due coverage, often times it’s a one-off. Sustained coverage is rare.

The AHL is an extremely interesting league and much more than just a feeder system for the NHL. There are players like Darren Haydar, Jason Krog, and Jimmy Roy — to name more recent examples — who have made careers in the AHL. It’s a league where, more often than not, the jerseys throughout the building aren’t those of the big league affiliates up-and-comers, but instead the hometown hero who has spent years skating with the next generation.

In the interest of full disclosure, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that this is going to be a new process for myself that may hit a few snags. The difficulty lies in uncovering and staying on top of stories in a league that doesn’t exactly have the breadth of media coverage which we hockey fans get with the NHL. However, we — both you, loyal reader, and I — will build this together and create the one-stop source for news, notes, and original coverage of the American Hockey League.

Welcome to the American Hockey Blog.