Former Crunch Lindstrom inks one-year deal with Blues

By Jared Clinton (@JPDClinton)

After a two-year absence, Joakim Lindstrom is heading back to North America.

The St. Louis Blues announced earlier today that the now-30-year-old Lindstrom, a second round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2002, has signed a one-year deal with the team.

Lindstrom made his American Hockey League debut in 2004-05, the NHL’s lost season. The shifty winger potted four goals to go along with four assists in his 13 games with the Crunch in ’04-’05, and would stay with the Blue Jackets organization for three seasons before signing a deal with the Phoenix Coyotes.

An impact player at the AHL level — nearly a point per game with 73 goals and 109 assists in 200 AHL games — Lindstrom was an AHL All-Star in 2007-08, the year before he signed his deal with the Coyotes. Following a difficult season in which he bounced between the NHL and AHL, Lindstrom left North America, signing a one-year deal with the KHL’s Nizhny Novgorod.

Lindstrom returned to the NHL for 16 games in 2011-12, appearing in 16 games for the Colorado Avalanche. However, a clause in Lindstrom’s contract allowed for the forward to be released and return to Sweden.

In his last AHL stint, Lindstrom tallied 23 points (8-15) in 24 games.


Report: Mastumoto making the move to Germany

By Jared Clinton (@JPDClinton)

American Hockey League veteran Jon Mastumoto has, according to a report from player agency group Markovic & Binder, signed a contract with a team in the German DEL.

Drafted by the Flyers in the third round of the 2006 NHL entry draft, Mastumoto hasn’t been able to translate his game to the NHL. With his contract expiring, now seems as well-timed as this move could have been for the 27-year-old Ottawa native.

A tremendous college player, Matsumoto registered over a point-per-game while playing for the NCAA’s Bowling Green, and was able to carry his play over to the AHL. In 486 regular season AHL games, Matsumoto has racked up 145 goals and 179 assists for 324 points.

After spending three seasons in the Philadelphia system, the centreman signed a deal with the Hurricanes and spent the better part of his two years in Charlotte with the Checkers. Following his stint in Carolina, Matsumoto jumped around, spending time in San Antonio, Worcester, AHL Chicago, before playing out last season back in San Antonio.

In 29 games in 2013-14, Matsumoto tallied six goals and four assists.

UPDATE: The Schwenningen Wild Wings have announced the signing of Matsumoto. Terms of the deal have not been released.

From the Wild Wings release — and roughly translated — the team will bring him in to fill a top-six role.


Davies leaves AHL’s Wolves for DEL

Chicago Wolves forward Michael Davies has signed a one-year deal with the DEL’s Dusseldorf EG, which will see him suit up in the top German league next season.

In the 2013-14 campaign with the Wolves, the 27-year-old winger registered 13 goals and 31 points in 46 games, adding another four points (1-3) in nine playoff contests. While it was his best AHL campaign to date, Davies was playing on American League deals, unlikely to make the move on to the NHL.

A native of Chesterfield, Mo., Davies came to the AHL by way of the University of Wisconsin, where he spent four seasons, racking up 123 points in 155 regular season games. During his tenure with the Wolves, Davies won back-to-back Dan Snyder Man Of The Year awards as recognition for his commitment to the community.

Per a Dusseldorf release, Davies was recommended to the team, and coach Christophe Kreutzer, by Travis Turnbull, a former University of Michigan forward who grew up with Davies in Chesterfield.

While Davies’ deal in Dusseldorf is — or seems to be — just for 2014-15, it’s not hard to believe he could spend more than a couple seasons in Europe.

AHL Today: Bears back in win column, Crunch’s Dolgon “confident” in new home

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.


To Watch:

  • No games on the schedule.

Last Night:

  • HERSHEY 3, NORFOLK 1The Bears, just one day after having their six-game winning streak snapped, got back in the win column. With a 3-1 win over the Admirals, the Bears moved within a point of the St. John’s IceCaps and Albany Devils who sit in sixth and seventh place in the Eastern Conference respectively. The win also gets the Bears some ground on the Ads — currently in fifth place — as the league heads into the All-Star break.


Worcester Sharks
Matt Tennyson (D) To: San Jose Sharks
Grand Rapids Griffins
Cory Emmerton (F) From: Detroit Red Wings
Syracuse Crunch
Jordan Henry (D) To: Florida Everblades
Utica Comets
Guillaume Lépine (D) From: Evansville Icemen

News & Notes:

  • 19-year-old Jared Doyon wanted to get behind the mic for his hometown Hartford Wolfpack as the public address announcer. He’s getting that chance Tuesday, when the Wolfpack take on the visiting Adirondack Phantoms. [Record-Journal]
  • Mark Cundari, the newest Chicago Wolves defenceman, is already feeling at home on his new club’s blue line thanks to familiarity with a lot of the team. [Howlin’ Wolves]
  • The Syracuse Crunch are looking to get out of the War Memorial, and owner Howard Dolgon said he was confident that the Crunch could be getting a new venue. []

AHL Today: Amerks win streak to five, Hoffman pots four

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.


To Watch:

  • TORONTO at OKLAHOMA CITY: These two teams don’t play very often — they’ve only faced off six times in the last five years — so there’s not a long history here. However, of note, Will Acton will be facing off against his former team for the first time since leaving the Marlies to head to the Barons this past summer. Oklahoma is coming into the game having lost back-to-back games in regulation, and are hoping to avoid a slide that would put them ever further back in the West. Already near the basement, the Barons are on the verge of losing their season if they can’t right the shit. A loss to the Marlies would not help their cause.

Last Night:

  • ROCHESTER 4, CHICAGO 1: The Wolves struck just fifteen seconds into the game, but they wouldn’t pot another. After Adam Cracknell’s opening salvo, the Amerks held steadfast and came back in waves potting four unanswered. Goals for Rochester came from Kevin Porter, Brayden McNabb, Colton Gillies, Alex Hutchings. Johan Larsson contributed with a pair of helpers, and the Amerks have pushed their streak to five.
  • SAN ANTONIO 4, TEXAS 2: There are dominating, three-period shot-barrage type wins, and then there are what you could call goalie wins. For San Antonio, you could call the victory over Texas a goalie win, as Michael Houser stopped 44 of 46 shots sent his way. Jed Ortmeyer had two tallies for the Rampage, including the game-winner which came in the first frame. In the loss, Stars goaltender Josh Robinson allowed four goals on just 18 shots.
  • BINGHAMTON 6, WORCESTER 3: The Mike Hoffman show rolled into Worcester as the Binghamton forward potted his 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd goals of the year. A five point night for Hoffman — he added an assist, just for good measure — helped the Sens handily defeat Worcester. Forward Scott Fleming made his debut for the Sharks after getting the call to the ‘A’ from the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets.

(Moves, news, and notes after the jump.)

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Wolves’ Meyers to be inducted to Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame

In 1994, just two years after the Chicago Blackhawks had made a run to the Stanley Cup Final, Chicago was hockey mad. That’s when Buddy Meyers, Don Levin, and former Blackhawk forward Grant Mulvey were given the rights to an International Hockey League franchise.

Now, 20 years after the Wolves took the ice for the first time, co-founder and vice chairman Meyers will be inducted into the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame.

Meyers will take his place in the Builders category.

In his 20 years with the Wolves, the franchise has won two Turner Cups as IHL champions, three IHL conference championships, three AHL conference championships, and won the Calder Cup 2001-02 and 2007-08.


Wolves deal Locke to Abbotsford, get Cundari on loan

After spending last season split between Finland’s SM-Liiga and Germany’s DEL, Corey Locke is moving on to his fourth team in two seasons after a deal sent him from the Chicago Wolves to the Abbotsford Heat. In exchange, the Wolves were loaned Mark Cundari from the Calgary Flames.

Locke, a veteran of over 600 games in the AHL, had previously spent time in Binghamton, Hartford, Houston, and Hamilton. One of the more prolific career AHLers, Locke has been at nearly a point-per-game clip in the minor leagues. With 178 goals and 368 assists, the Heat are getting a prolific playmaker who can improve their already stellar offence.

EliteProspects describes Locke as a skilled offensive threat and a nice addition to any team’s PP, but knocks his skating ability, adding he’s weak on the dot.

Cundari, a 23-year-old defenceman from Toronto, signed with the St. Louis Blues as a free agent after finishing his junior career with the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires. With just over 200 games in the A, Cundari has established himself as a contributor on the PP, able to quarterback his team with the extra man. In 32 games this season, Cundari has tallied ten points (4-6).

The loan agreement allows Calgary to retain the rights to Cundari should they wish to bring him to the big club. However, it seems unlikely that Cundari will see the NHL this season and should spend the remainder of the year with the Wolves.

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

Vandermeer leaves AHL for NLA

After over a decade in North America, Jim Vandermeer is heading to Switzerland to suit up with Kloten of the Swiss NLA.

Vandermeer, who made his name in the NHL with his size and rough style of play, came to the pros with the Philadelphia Flyers. An undrafted free agent, Vandermeer is probably best remembered for his 2005-06 season, post lockout, with the Chicago Blackhawks. As an alternate captain with the ‘Hawks, Vandermeer tallied 24 points (6-18) on a mediocre Blackhawks squad.

Vandermeer also went on to take on alternate captain duties with the Edmonton Oilers in 2011-12, but only spent one more season in the NHL with the Sharks after his one-year stint with the Oilers.

After spending last season with the Wolves, Vandermeer joins former AHLer Martin Gerber in Kloten.


Stuart back in North America with Canucks

After spending a season with the DEL’s Iserlohn Roosters, Colin Stuart has signed a one-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks.

Stuart, 31, has plenty of AHL experience and he will bring that to the Utica Comets when he suits up for them next season. Since being drafted in the fifth round of the 2001 draft by the Atlanta Thrashers, Stuart has spent nearly his entire pro career in the ‘A’, suiting up with the Chicago Wolves, Abbotsford Heat, Portland Pirates, and Rochester Americans.

In his nine AHL seasons, Stuart has played in 531 games, tallying 105 goals and 119 assists. The 6-foot-2, Rochester, Minn. native came to the AHL after spending four seasons at the NCAA’s Colorado College, where he put up 38 goals and 39 assists.

A member of the 2007-08 Chicago Wolves, Stuart contributed six points (3-3) on that run.

His contract with the Canucks is a one-year, two-way deal.