Pirates’ Petrovek: “Very real possibility” Coyotes affiliation could be terminated

And the saga continues.

After it came out earlier this week that the Portland Pirates and CCCC were heading to court and that court documents were already being filed, it appears the stakes have gotten even higher for Brian Petrovek and his Portland Pirates.

The Portland Press Herald has seen an affidavit, signed by Petrovek, that states the “there is a very real possibility that the Coyotes could terminate our relationship with them.”

While the plan was for the Pirates to head back to the Cumberland County Civic Center in January when the $34 million renovation was complete, if this fight drags on, the Pirates may be finding permanent residency for the 2013-14 season in the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.

The comments by Petrovek — which one could have assumed were coming — lend more to the possibility that the Pirates could be on the move after this season. Without an affiliation agreement, and with the distraction of this arena battle, would anyone be willing to run with their farm in Portland?

With Glens Falls making it abundantly clear they’re looking for a team to fill the place of the Adirondack Phantoms when they move to Allentown, it could be a possible landing place for the Pirates should they move.

One thing remains a certainty, however; the fans in Portland want to see their team play, and they hope this gets sorted out sooner rather than later.


Coyotes add Rawlings, ink Hextall, Louis, McMillan

The Phoenix Coyotes have announced a two-year, two-way deal with defenceman Mark Louis, one-year, two-way deals with Brett Hextall and Brandon McMillan, and have inked goaltender Chris Rawlings to an AHL deal.

Louis, 26, signs a two-year extension just one season after the Coyotes gave him his first NHL deal. After playing his junior with the Brandon Wheat Kings and Red Deer Rebels of the WHL, Louis went undrafted, and subsequently landed in the CIS with St. Francis Xavier University. After his four years in Canadian college, Louis landed an AHL deal with Portland. Louis suited up for 23 games and posted four assists and 72 PIM with the Coyotes top affiliate, and was inked to a one-year deal.

Last season, Louis dressed for 61 regular season games, and put up 3 assists and 111 PIM. His two-year deal will likely see him in Portland for the next two seasons.

Hextall, 25, was a sixth-round pick of the Coyotes in 2008, and came to Portland in 2011-12 after three seasons in at the University of North Dakota. At UND, Hextall was part of back-to-back WCHA Championship teams (2009-10, 2010-11), and tallied 39 goals and 42 assists in 115 games.

The son of Philadelphia Flyers assistant GM Ron Hextall, Brett has spent two years with the Pirates, appearing in 141 games and registered 16 goals and 14 assists.

McMillan, a 23-year-old from Delta, BC., was a third round pick of the Anaheim Ducks in 2008, and first appeared with the Ducks in 2010-11. That season, McMillan suited up in 66 games with the Ducks in his rookie season and scored 12 goals and added 11 assists. However, since his rookie year, McMillan has only appeared in 31 NHL games and spent the majority of his time in the AHL.

Acquired from the Ducks in exchange for Matthew Lombardi, McMillan suited up for five games with the Pirates last season but failed to register a point.

Rawlings, a 24-year-old netminder, spent the previous four seasons with Northeastern University of the NCAA. In his final season with Northeastern, Rawlings posted a 3.22 GAA and .903 SV% in 26 appearances.

At the end of last season, Rawlings spent two games with the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads and posted a .60 GAA and .975 SV%.

(Cover image by Bridget Samuels)

Portland keeps Brodeur, pass on Feser

The Phoenix Coyotes have come to terms with Mathieu Brodeur on a one-year deal, and have lost Justin Feser to the CIS.

Brodeur, 23, was drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in the third round of the 2008 draft, and has since spent nearly his entire professional career with the AHL’s Portland Pirates. In his 117 career AHL games — Brodeur has never suited up in the NHL — Brodeur has posted five goals and 21 assists.

At 6’5″ and 192 lbs., Brodeur has a big frame and uses it well to defend. In the QMJHL, where Brodeur spent three seasons with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, Brodeur posted nine goals and 46 assists in 222 games.

Feser, 20, spent last season captaining the Tri-City Americans, posting 106 points (44-62) in 72 games. After signing an ATO with the Pirates after the Americans season came to an end, Feser appeared in six games and added two assists, but didn’t get a deal with the Pirates and is moving on to pursue a career in Canadian university where he’ll suit up with St. Francis Xavier University.

(Cover image by Bridget Samuels.)

Anderson back as Wolves bench boss

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Wolves are expected to announce the rehiring of John Anderson.

Anderson, who spent a decade with the Wolves from 1997-98 to 2007-08, won four championships over that time. While in the IHL, Anderson coached the Wolves to two Turner Cups, one in his first season behind the bench, and another two years later in 1999-00. In their final season in the IHL — before the league was absorbed by the AHL — the Wolves made another appearance in the Turner Cup finals, but lost in five games to the Orlando Solar Bears.

In the first season as an AHL team, Anderson coached the Wolves to a Calder Cup, and would patrol the bench for two more finals appearances, winning a second Calder Cup in 2007-08. After his second league title, Anderson was given a shot at coaching in the big leagues, where he took over as Atlanta Thrashers head coach. In two full 82 game seasons behind the Thrashers bench, Anderson coached the team to 70 wins, but failed to make the playoffs either season, and was subsequently let go.

He returned as an NHL assistant with the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2011-12 and ’12-’13 seasons, but has left his post with the Coyotes to pursue another run with the Wolves.

After just two playoff wins over the last two years, Anderson, who only missed the playoffs once while in Chicago and has never lost earlier than the second round while at the dance, looks to bring the Wolves back to their dominant glory. Once the talk of the town, the Wolves will now look to get back in the winner circle and enjoy some of the glory that the other team in Chicago has seen in recent years.


Miele back with Coyotes for 2013-14

Andy Miele, the 2010-11 Hobey Baker Award winner, has signed an extension with the Coyotes that will keep him in the organization for at least one more year.

A former CCHA champion, first team all-star, and player of the year, Miele has been primarily suited up for the Coyotes top affiliate in Portland. The team’s alternate captain last season, the 25-year-old center has played 142 games with the club, scoring 36 goals and adding 74 assists over that span.

While only 5’8″, the small centerman benefits from being an outstanding playmaker and, though he hasn’t been able to translate that to a long stay in the NHL yet, Miele is being given time to develop and could make his way to the NHL if given another year or two.

By signing in Phoenix, the Pirates will get their 2011-12 team MVP back in the lineup. Voted the most popular player in 2012-13, Miele is a fan favourite in Portland, and his consistent offense is important in Portland.