AHL Today: St. John’s goes for seven, Albany and Springfield battle for Northeast Division

AHL Today is a roundup of the night that was, the day ahead, and anything you may have missed. Your quick look at what’s going on around the league.

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To Watch:

  • PROVIDENCE at ST. JOHN’S: The IceCaps host the Baby B’s in an attempt to win their seventh straight. The Bruins and ‘Caps, only separated by three points in the standings, are fighting for positioning in the Eastern Conference. Michael Hutchinson, formerly of the Bruins, hasn’t relinquished the goaltending duties since this run began, and posted a .932 SV% through January. Brenden Kichton is coming off Rookie of the Month honours, and looks to carry the hot hand into the game. Niklas Svedberg has started the last three games for Providence, but Malcolm Subban could see a spot start.
  • ALBANY at SPRINGFIELD: In a divisional battle, the Devils roll into Springfield to take on the Falcons. Albany walked away with a shutout win the last time the two met, but aside from the win/loss columns, the two teams are almost eerily evenly matched. Goals for? Springfield 136, Albany 139. Goals against? Springfield 119, Albany 120. Springfield comes in losing four of its last five in regulation, so Albany can gain some ground in the division if they take advantage of the sliding Falcons.

Last Night:

  • No games on the schedule.

Moves:

Abbotsford Heat
Joni Ortio (G) To: Calgary Flames
Ben Street (F) From: Calgary Flames
Thomas Heemskerk (G) From: Quad City Mallards
Chicago Wolves
Dmitrij Jaskin (F) To: St. Louis Blues
Hamilton Bulldogs
Christian Thomas (F) To: Montréal Canadiens
Norfolk Admirals
Chad Painchaud (F) From: South Carolina Stingrays
Sami Vatanen (D) From: Anaheim Ducks
Toronto Marlies
Gregg McKegg (F) From: Toronto Maple Leafs
Jerred Smithson (F) To: Toronto Maple Leafs
Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins
Nick D’Agostino (D) From: Wheeling Nailers
Harrison Ruopp (D) From: Wheeling Nailers
Worcester Sharks
J.P. Anderson (G) To: San Francisco Bulls

News & Notes:

  • AHL linesman Chris Woodworth is taking his craft global: working the lines in Sochi. [Democrat & Chronicle]
  • The Texas Stars posted an amazing time-lapse clip of the changeover in Cedar Park as they go from basketball court to ice surface. [Texas Stars]
  • An interesting opinion piece by Clare Austin at Puckology supporting Riku Helenius and positing that the situation may have been the result of some mismanagement. [Puckology]

AHL Today: Barons snap two-game skid, beat Marlies

AHL Today is a roundup of the night that was, the day ahead, and anything you may have missed. Your quick look at what’s going on around the league.

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To Watch:

  • BINGHAMTON at MANCHESTER: When the Senators head in to Manchester to play the Monarchs, they’re looking to pull themselves even closer to the top of the Eastern Conference. After a convincing 6-3 win over the Worcester Sharks their last time out, the Senators are hoping to continue their winning ways. The last time the two teams faced off this season, which came earlier this month, the Sens walked away with a 5-4 OT win, and Bingo’s Mike Hoffman lead all scorers with a goal and two assists.
  • TORONTO at SAN ANTONIO: In their past two games, the Rampage have knocked off the top two seeds in the West. Friday night, with a win over the visiting Toronto Marlies, the Rampage could complete the trifecta. The Marlies, leading the Western Conference’s North Division and sitting third in the conference, roll in to San Antonio following a travel day and ruminating on their 5-3 defeat to the Oklahoma City Barons. A late-November contest was the only match up between the two teams, and that game saw the Marlies double up the Rampage 4-2.

Last Night:

  • OKLAHOMA CITY 5, TORONTO 3: Brandon Kozun notched his first two points as a Marlie, both helpers, but they weren’t enough to bring the Marlies closer to the top seed in the West. After the Barons relinquished two two-goal leads — they lead 2-0, and 3-1 — Oklahoma City finally pulled away for good thanks to a Jack Combs tally with just over six minutes to go in the third. An Anton Lander empty-netter sealed the deal, as goaltender Richard Bachman and the Barons skated away with the ‘W’.

Moves:

Abbotsford Heat
Blair Jones (F) From: Calgary Flames
Trevor Gillies (F) From: Orlando Solar Bears
Adirondack Phantoms
Chris VandeVelde (F) From: Philadelphia Flyers
Charlotte Checkers
Cam Ward (G) From: Carolina Hurricanes
Aaron Palushaj (F) From: Carolina Hurricanes
Hamilton Bulldogs
Christian Thomas (F) To: Montréal Canadiens
Portland Pirates
Jesse Mychan (F) To: Colorado Eagles
Texas Stars
Pat Nagle (G) To: Idaho Steelheads
Russ Sinkewich (D) To: Toledo Walleye
Dustin Jeffrey (F) To: Dallas Stars
Syracuse Crunch
Riku Helenius (G) From: Florida Everblades
Maxime Parent (F) From: Florida Everblades
Utica Comets
Frank Corrado (D) To: Vancouver Canucks

News & Notes:

  • A nice story by Wayne Fish on longtime AHL official Scott Adams, who is calling it a career after 20 years calling games in the ‘A’. Adams, on his passion for hockey: “When I’m skating, I feel like a little kid. When I saw the little kids skating on the rink next to the Winter Classic (in Michigan), I was almost crying.’’ [The Intelligencer]
  • Sean Shapiro on Jamie Oleksiak, who could one day be a superpower on the Dallas Stars’ blueline, but for now, he’s working out of a tough time with the help from a Stanley Cup champion. [The Statesman]
  • The Hershey Bears and Adirondack Phantoms are going to be busy this weekend, playing a weekend pair that starts with a 7 p.m. EST game tonight in Glens Falls and ends with a game starting at 1 p.m. in Philadelphia on Saturday.

Andrews: “Can’t lose franchises as solid as St. John’s”

It’s still not a done deal, and a Thunder Bay news outlet’s poll showed citizens who voted are against a new event centre, but should the Winnipeg Jets move their affiliate west, the American Hockey League will do whatever they need to keep a team in Newfoundland’s capital.

In an interview with TimesUnion.com sports reporter Pete Dougherty, AHL President Dave Andrews said the league would be looking for a solution should the IceCaps move on.

“That’s another one of those markets that there’s a tremendous amount of interest,” Andrews told Dougherty in the interview posted today.

“That Thunder Bay story is preliminary to say the least,” Andrews added. “There’s no biulding there, and the financing of the building is not yet in place. So the intent (of the Jets) is to move the team into a more approximate location like Thunder Bay.”

The potential move to Thunder Bay from St. John’s is a situation where the AHL and its teams are beholden to the desires of the clubs in the NHL, something Andrews briefly touched on in his talk with Dougherty.

“We certainly need to support the desire on part of the NHL clubs to have their AHL affiliates closer,” said Andrews.

However, he added that the AHL can’t afford to “lose franchises that are as solid as St. John’s”, speaking at length about the incredible fan support the team has had since the return of the AHL to the Rock.

Andrews also answered some questions about Glens Falls, where the city will be losing Adirondack Phantoms as they move on to Lehigh Valley.

“We definitely got one more year out of the Phantoms up there than we expected,” said Andrews, adding that the league and Glens Falls mayor Jack Diamond have a search for a new team well under way.

“We think there are perhaps a couple of options,” Andrews told Dougherty. “I would give it some reasonable prospect of success.” Andrews added that it’s “not out of the realm of possibilty” that there will be a team in Glens Falls as soon as next season.

The full interview is below.

Dave Andrews one-on-one with TimesUnion.com’s Pete Dougherty

Adirondack celebrates 25 years and pushes for more

The Adirondack Phantoms unveiled a logo to commemorate the 25th season of the Adirondack region hosting the American Hockey League, but a cloud of uncertainty hung overhead.

Adirondack 25

The Phantoms will wear a jersey with this commemorative crest on Nov. 23 to celebrate 25 years of hockey in Adirondack.

At the end of this year, the Phantoms will be leaving Glens Falls, N.Y., for Allentown, P.A., a move that brings them closer to their parent club in Philadelphia. The move from Glens Falls to Allentown doesn’t come as much of a shock — for 14 years the Flyers kept their affiliate in the same city before the team left for Adirondack — but it does signal an unceremonious end to the quarter century of AHL hockey in the region. However, during a press conference today to unveil the celebratory logo, the mayor of Glens Falls,  Jack Diamond, made a point of saying the wheels were in motion for a team to return as soon as the 2014-15 season.

Diamond said the city jumped at the opportunity to bring the Phantoms to Glens Falls in 2009 — he said they “immediately reached out” upon hearing the team could be on the move — and it appears he’s prepared to do that if any AHL team becomes available.

“We anticipate some movement [of teams in the league],” said Diamond. “We want to make sure we get out ahead of that. We are dedicated and committed to bringing the AHL back to Glens Falls.”

Peter Aust, the President and CEO at Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce, added that he could, “almost assure [another team will be coming].”

The logo, designed by Glens Falls native Jesse Tyree of black dog DESIGNS, celebrates the city, the game, and the “rich history” of Adirondack in the AHL. The Phantoms will wear jerseys with the logo on Nov. 23, and fans who have bought a special ticket package will receive a pint glass with the logo.

But at the end of the day, while the logo is a nice touch, you’d have to imagine the fans would give it up for another year of hockey.

Wolves unveil anniversary logo, Pens don new threads

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Chicago Wolves will both have some new designs this season.

The Wolves, entering their 20th season in the Windy City, have unveiled an anniversary logo that will be Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 12.31.49 PMfront and center at Allstate Arena. The logo (pictured) isn’t a far cry from the current mark, but features the Roman numeral for twenty.

No changes have been made to the colour scheme, either. The Wolves will continue using the maroon and beige in the logo, colours that have been featured in the team’s pallet almost since the team’s inception in 1994.

It won’t just be the Wolves who have something new to show off, as the Penguins unveiled a new jersey set for the upcoming season.

The three jerseys — a white road jersey, dark home jersey, and gold alternate — aren’t a far cry from what the Penguins have worn in past seasons, but the alternate stands out. Using the gold colour that’s been a part of the colour scheme for the past fifteen years, the Penguins are also debuting a 15th anniversary logo, much in the same vein as the Wolves celebratory logo.

You can take a look at the new Penguins threads below:

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 12.32.30 PM

Telegram: IceCaps to host the 2014 All-Star Classic

The St. John’s Telegram is reporting that an announcement is coming tomorrow from the AHL and the St. John’s IceCaps to confirm their earlier report that the AHL All-Star Classic will take place in Newfoundland’s capital.

The Classic, which took place in Providence, R.I., last season, will be hosted at the Mile One Centre, seemingly between Feb. 10-13, 2014 when there’s a scheduled break in the schedule.

According to the Telegram, the league had initially said that an All-Star Classic in St. John’s hinged on the participation of the NHL in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. A deal for the NHL and its players to take place in the Olympics was reached soon after the lockout concluded.

An interesting note, however, is that the AHL has kicked around ideas of sending a team of AHL All-Stars over to Europe to potentially face off against one of the German or Swiss elite league teams.

The West All-Stars have won the last two contests, with an 8-7 shootout win in Atlantic City in 2012, and a 7-6 victory last season at Providence’s Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

On The Bus: Devils host birthday bashes, Barons paint ice, and other news and notes

With the AHL season right around the corner, and rookie camp already underway, it’s time to get ready for another year of following the future stars of the National Hockey League in our favourite small towns. Below is a collection of links of some stories from around the AHL. If you have any tips, news, or notes you’d like to see, reach us at americanhockeyblog@gmail.com.

  • The Albany Devils have selected a couple season ticket holders to celebrate their birthdays with the team:
  • …and the Oklahoma City Barons are bringing a few fans along to help in the painting of the rink. [OKC Barons]
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins, and, in turn, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, are getting a look at some fresh blood between the pipes. [masslive.com]
  • Finally, the Adirondack Phantoms have given the following silhouette to try to pique your interest about the coming special logo unveiling on Monday:
    Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 5.56.45 PM

 

AHL, PCG team up to tackle sponsorships

The American Hockey League is adding a new team. The league and Property Consulting Group announced today a partnership that will see PCG work on bringing new sponsorship dollars to the league.

Listed on the PCG website as a “past project”, the two are back together as the AHL is, apparently, looking to increase the amount of sponsorship dollars coming into the league. PCG has some experience in the sports market above and beyond their partnership with the AHL, also teaming with the San Diego Padres and the Baseball Hall of Fame to lend both organizations a hand in teaming with new sponsors.

From the AHL’s release:

We’re thrilled to announce our partnership with PCG,” said Chris Nikolis, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for the AHL. “The entire league is looking forward to seeing the creative sponsorships that PCG is known for developing, helping us enhance not only our revenue growth but our fans’ experiences as well.

According to the release, PCG has partnerships with several major national brands, including, “EMC, Jack Daniels, Kia Motor Company, Lexus, Lowe’s, MillerCoors, Panasonic, TaylorMade-Adidas Golf Company and Waste Management.”

(Cover image courtesy theahl.com)