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.

Tyler McNeely heads to Germany

The second division DEL team Starbulls Rosenheim have announced they’ve come to terms with Tyler McNeely.

McNeely, 26, split last season between the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays and the AHL. In 31 games in the AHL — four with Providence, 27 with Lake Erie — McNeely potted one goal and eight assists, scoring another 44 points (13-31) while in the ‘E’.

The former Northeastern University captain came to the AHL after finishing his four year tenure in the NCAA. McNeely’s career high AHL totals came in 2011-12 while a member of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. That season, McNeely tallied nine goals and 12 assists in 66 games.


Haydar leaves AHL for Germany

After 11 seasons in the AHL, Darren Haydar has signed a one-year deal with EHC Munchen of the DEL.

Haydar, who captained the Chicago Wolves last season, leaves the AHL as 14th all-time in points. In 774 regular season games, Haydar has registered 292 goals to go along with 496 assists — he’s 10th all-time in assists — putting him at over a point-per-game in the AHL, territory shared with some of the greatest players in AHL history.

Maybe the most notable offensive season of Haydar’s career came in 2006-07, when the 5-foot-9 forward put up an amazing 122 points in 73 games. That season, Haydar set career highs in both goals and assists with 41 and 81 respectively. He followed his regular season performance up with another 24 points (10-14) in 15 playoff games, but his Chicago Wolves fell short of a Calder Cup.

However, the following year, Haydar helped the Wolves to a Calder Cup Championship. With 27 points (12-15) in 24 playoff games, the Milton, Ont. native lead the way for the Wolves. The 2007-08 championship was the second of his career — he had won his first in 2003-04 during his sophomore season with the Milwaukee Admirals — and signalled the end of Haydar’s most productive years of his career, but he would continue to be nearly a point per game player.

The laundry list of honours heaped upon Haydar reads like those of a future AHL Hall of Famer: Two time Calder Cup Champion, 06-07 Sollenberger Trophy (Most Points), Les Cunningham Award (MVP), and First Team All-Star, 02-03 Red Garrett Award (Rookie of the Year), 11-12 AHL All-Star.

While there will be those that argue Haydar’s talent — in 23 NHL games he scored one goal and tallied seven assists — the fact of the matter is that he maintained steady production and stayed in the AHL while having veteran status for several seasons. He was a bonafide AHL star, something the league doesn’t have in droves, and, at 33 years old, it may be unlikely he comes back.

Haydar will join recently departed AHL forward Jon DiSalvatore in Munchen. During his career, Haydar suited up with the Wolves, Lake Erie Monsters, Grand Rapids Griffins, and Milwaukee Admirals.

Lalonde leaves IceHogs, heads to DEL

After spending the last three seasons with the Rockford IceHogs, Shawn Lalonde has decided to ply his trade elsewhere.

Lalonde, a third round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2008, was expected to be able to eventually crack the roster in the Windy City, but it never quite came to fruition. The 23-year-old from Ottawa, Ont. instead spent the last three full years — sans a single game with the Blackhawks — with their minor league affiliate in Rockford.

In his three seasons, Lalonde suited up for 207 games in the ‘A’, and talled 13 goals and 57 assists.

Lalonde’s contract, a one-year deal with Eisbaren Berlin of the DEL, will see the defenceman join former AHLers Matt Foy and Casey Borer in Germany.



Jordan Hendry signs in DEL

According to a Straubing Tigers release, the team has inked defenceman Jordan Hendry to a one-year deal that will see the 29-year-old spend next season in Germany.

Hendry, who spent last season with the Anaheim Ducks organization, played 62 games in the AHL last year with the Norfolk Admirals. While with the Ads, Hendry had two goals and nine assists in 62 games. While it may seem like ancient history at this point, Hendry was a member of the 2009-10 Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup team, and played fifteen games in the playoffs during that run.

Unable to get back to the NHL for any extended period of time since then — Hendry has only played 39 NHL games since 2009-10 –Hendry spent a year in Lugano of the NLA in 2011-12 before coming back to North America for a shot with the Ducks.

The Nokomis, Sask., native did suit up for two games with the Ducks this season, but was not re-signed by the team. In 277 AHL games, Hendry has put up 13 goals, 39 assists, and added 273 PIM.

(Cover photo courtesy Bridget Samuels)