Monthly Archives: August 2012

Pre Holiday Catchup

Nearing the homestretch of summer…and inching ever closer to a possible lockout. But there is finally actual news to pass on:

-A second preseason game has been announced. No, not with the Phantoms (still waiting…), but with the Connecticut Whale. On Wednesday, October 3rd, the Devils will travel to Champions Skating Center in Cromwell, CT, for a 7 PM tilt.

-From earlier this week: per The Express out of Quebec, New Jersey has invited defenseman Raman Hrabarenka to training camp on a tryout. He is a native of Belarus who has spent the last two seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, with Cape Breton and the last season and a half with Drummondville. In 2011-12, he appeared in 57 games with both Cape Breton and Drummondville, putting up 20 points and a -7 rating. He also represented Belarus in the World Juniors (5 games) and in the World Championships (7 games). He’s got size (checking in at 6’4″ and 237 pounds), and is quite young (he just turned 20 on August 24th). And in the small world department, one of his coaches in Drummondville? None other than Louis Robitaille.

-Check out the latest podcast at Talking Red…this week’s topic is what may happen to the younger Devils in case a lockout were to happen.

-And finally, the final offseason player tracker is coming on Saturday! Sadly, not many updates with it.

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More 2012-13 Schedule Revealed

After taking a couple of days to really look over the Devils schedule (and listen to everyone complain about the surprise 4 games in Atlantic City), I noticed a few more things that I didn’t post on Friday:

-Before I start, I should mention I received a letter from the Devils yesterday concerning the 4 Atlantic City games. They have given season ticket holders 3 options on how to make up the four lost home games: 4 extra free vouchers (on top of the 5 we already get with our ticket package); the dollar value can be taken off next year’s season package or towards the 2013 playoffs; or a refund for those 4 games. And despite the looming lockout situation, the free New Jersey ticket is still on the table (but we’ll have to wait and see what happens there). Considering nobody was even warned of this, it’s a good thing we have options on what to do.

-Albany’s opening night opponent? Manchester. Who is Manchester’s parent club? Los Angeles. Well played, AHL schedule makers. The only other matchup of Stanley Cup final farm teams is January 11th in New Hampshire, by the way.

-I remember a member of the Devils front office saying he wanted to get more 5 PM Saturday games at home. He got his wish, all right. Out of the 12 home Saturday games, only 3 start at 7 PM. There are 8 5 PM games and one 2 PM start. The 2 PM game is January 26th against Adirondack, followed by a matchup between two local college rivals, RPI and Union, at 7 PM.

-Breaking down the March 3 in 3 schedule…3 out of 4 weekends are entirely on the road, with one full home weekend. Back to back weekends will find the Devils in Syracuse on a Saturday, bussing all night to Connecticut, then playing Bridgeport in a Sunday afternoon tilt. At least they start out the trips closer to Syracuse, in Rochester one weekend and Binghamton the next. No Syracuse-Adirondack-Syracuse trip this year, thank goodness.

-Like last year, only one road Wednesday game: December 19th at Bridgeport. The single Tuesday and Thursday games are also away: Thursday December 27th in Springfield and Tuesday February 5th in Hartford.

-First Sunday game of the season doesn’t arrive till Thanksgiving weekend, the first matchup in Atlantic City against the Penguins. Smart move after scheduling home games during football season last year. That killed early attendance figures. First Sunday home game in Albany is January 6th against the Senators.

Now we wait for the rest of the preseason schedule to come out…and keep an eye on NHL negotiations. It’s entirely possible that in less than a month there could be a lockout. And the trickle down effect will be very interesting to watch.

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2012-13 Schedule Revealed

Finally, the day all of us has waited for since early June (or in my case, mid-April) has arrived. This afternoon the AHL released the entire 2012-13 schedule. Now comes the fun part of planning out my life for oh, the next 7-8 months. First, the full schedule:

OCTOBER

13-MANCHESTER, 5:05 PM
19-SYRACUSE, 7:00 PM
20-at Worcester, 7:00 PM
24-CONNECTICUT, 7:00 PM
26-ADIRONDACK, 7:00 PM
27-at Hershey, 7:00 PM

NOVEMBER

2-CONNECTICUT, 7:00 PM
3-at Adirondack, 7:00 PM
9-at Providence, 7:05 PM
10-ADIRONDACK, 7:00 PM
12-NORFOLK, 2:00 PM
16-at St. John’s, 6:00 PM
17-at St. John’s, 6:00 PM
23-at Rochester, 7:05 PM
24-SYRACUSE, 5:00 PM
25-WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON, 4:00 PM*
30-ST. JOHN’S, 7:00 PM

DECEMBER

1-at Adirondack, 7:00 PM
8-BRIDGEPORT, 5:00 PM
9-at Connecticut, 3:00 PM
12-WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON, 7:00 PM
14-at Connecticut, 7:00 PM
15-PROVIDENCE, 7:00 PM
19-at Bridgeport, 7:00 PM
21-at Norfolk, 7:30 PM
22-at Norfolk, 7:15 PM
27-at Springfield, 7:00 PM
28-BINGHAMTON, 7:00 PM
29-at Hershey, 7:00 PM

JANUARY

5-SPRINGFIELD, 5:00 PM
6-BINGHAMTON, 4:00 PM
11-at Manchester, 7:00 PM
12-WORCESTER, 5:00 PM
13-BRIDGEPORT, 4:00 PM*
18-at Adirondack, 7:00 PM
19-at Springfield, 7:00 PM
20-ADIRONDACK, 4:00 PM*
23-SPRINGFIELD, 7:00 PM
25-at Adirondack, 7:00 PM
26-ADIRONDACK, 2:00 PM

FEBRUARY

1-at Providence, 7:00 PM
2-at Portland, 7:00 PM
5-at Connecticut, 7:00 PM
8-at Springfield, 7:00 PM
9-at Syracuse, 7:30 PM
10-at Binghamton, 5:05 PM
13-SYRACUSE, 7:00 PM
15-at Adirondack, 7:00 PM
17-BINGHAMTON, 3:00 PM
18-SYRACUSE, 2:00 PM
23-at Binghamton, 7:05 PM
24-HERSHEY, 4:00 PM*

MARCH

1-at Syracuse, 7:30 PM
2-at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:00 PM
3-at Adirondack, 3:00 PM
8-BRIDGEPORT, 7:00 PM
9-SPRINGFIELD, 5:00 PM
10-ADIRONDACK, 3:00 PM
15-at Rochester, 7:05 PM
16-at Syracuse, 7:30 PM
17-at Bridgeport, 3:00 PM
22-at Binghamton, 7:05 PM
23-at Syracuse, 7:30 PM
24-at Bridgeport, 3:00 PM
27-ST. JOHN’S, 7:00 PM
29-HERSHEY, 7:00 PM
30-PORTLAND, 7:00 PM

APRIL

5-PROVIDENCE, 7:00 PM
6-at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:05 PM
7-ROCHESTER, 4:00 PM
12-at Binghamton, 7:05 PM
13-BINGHAMTON, 5:00 PM
14-ROCHESTER, 3:00 PM
19-CONNECTICUT, 7:00 PM
20-NORFOLK, 5:00 PM
21-ADIRONDACK, 3:00 PM

(Home games in CAPS)
*at Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City

Now a look inside the numbers:

-One complaint I had last year was less games within the division than outside. This year it’s better: 30 games against the Northeast Division, 28 games against the East, 14 games against the Atlantic. Only 4 games outside the conference, all against one opponent: Rochester.

-Not surprisingly, most games against Adirondack, a whopping 12 matchups (oh yay). Binghamton and Syracuse follow with 8 games, Connecticut, Bridgeport, and Springfield (all divisional) with 6, Hershey, Providence, Norfolk, St. John’s (new to the lineup…yay!), Rochester, WB/Scranton with 4, and Manchester, Worcester and Portland (back after a 1 year absence from the schedule) with 2. No Hamilton and Toronto this year…and of course no Charlotte (sorry River Rat loyalists).

-You may notice 4 home games back in Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, just like back in 2010-11. I had no idea that this was planned for this season. As a full season ticket holder, I’m kind of hoping this will be addressed as the season gets closer. Naturally, there’s already a whole bunch of complaints. But since they’re all Sunday afternoon games (which has never been a big sell here anyway, especially during football season), there is a chance I may go to one of them. We shall see.

-March looks to be the toughest month, with 3-in-3s practically every weekend. But on the bright side, the furthest they would travel is Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the beginning of the month.

-2 6 game road trips during the 2nd half of the year (Feb. 1-10 and March 15-24) are the longest road stretches, while the longest homestand closes out the schedule (April 13-21).

-Breakdown by day: Sunday 15 games; Monday 2 games; Tuesday 1 game; Wednesday 6 games; Thursday 1 game; Friday 24 games; Saturday 27 games.

-As for possible road trips for me? I’m already eyeballing a few days. With the only Norfolk swing around Christmas this year, I can safely say no trip to the beach for me. But the annual Wilkes-Barre trip looks like a go, along with the usual stops in Adirondack, Springfield, Binghamton and Syracuse. Also possibly Worcester and maybe my first trip to Hartford since the ’06-’07 season.

-The All Star festivities will be in Providence on January 27th and 28th. I may finally be able to attend this year!

Now we sit back and wait for the rest of the summer to go by…just under 2 months to go…

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A Little Help…

I’m interrupting a blah Tuesday night for something that just may be of interest…

A few days ago I received a message via Twitter from Kyle Hagel, a forward for the Hamilton Bulldogs who just happens to be involved in developing a mobile app for both players and fans. The goal is to have the app available for download before the season begins. It’s similar to going on the Internet Hockey Database, but with more than just the usual stats (or as Kyle describes it, a “juiced up hockeyDB on your phone”). As of now, you can track any NHL, AHL, ECHL, or Central League player, with possibly a few European leagues to be added. One interactive feature is the “pound” button, in which a fan can give a player they track a virtual tap, or “pound,” on the shin pads for a good game, birthday wish, etc. The player then has the option to “pound back” via a push notification, and can even add a personal message.

A few examples of what the app will look like (courtesy of Kyle):

Individual Player Profile

Tracking List

Tracking Page

He also has a feedback survey available, I encourage everyone to take a few minutes and fill it out. You can access it at http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22GFWC2R7R9.

I kind of see this as an app with a little something for everyone, whether you’re a stats geek or one of those fans who like to get to know the player behind the uniform or mask. It’s definitely something I would download and utilize during the year.

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The Butler Did Do It.

(sorry, I had to go there.)

Finally some news comes in as we get ever closer to fall (but not close enough for me…go away humidity!), as earlier today a story running rampant on my Twitter feed just became official a couple of hours ago. New Jersey has signed forward Bobby Butler to a 1 year, 2 way deal. He spent the last two seasons with Ottawa, putting up 16 points (6 G, 10 A) in 56 games before being bought out on July 27th. He was a key member of Binghamton’s 2010-11 Calder Cup Championship squad, scoring 27 points (13 G, 14 A) in 23 playoff games, and putting up another 22 goals in 47 regular season AHL games. He also scored 10 goals in 36 games with Ottawa. Before signing with Ottawa in March 2010, he spent four years at the University of New Hampshire, where he put up some steady offensive numbers, including a breakout senior season with 29 goals in 39 games. He will be reunited in Devils camp with former Wildcats Mike Sislo and Phil DeSimone. He does have a shot at cracking the lineup in New Jersey, but if he were to come to Albany…this could be a big boost for the offense.

And now from the In Case You Missed It Department:

-We do know at least one Albany preseason game date: the Devils will travel to Binghamton on Saturday, October 6th to take on the Senators. Still waiting for the obligatory Phantom slugfest in Glens Falls to be announced.

-While I was stuck at work Tuesday night, the AHL put on a #AskTheAHL Twitter chat with fans. The biggest piece of news to come out of that? The 2012-13 schedule is due to be out within the next two weeks. And no schedule matrices (translation: list of opponents) will be released before then. There’s one extra breakdown of the schedule I’ll have to figure out.

-Earlier this week, Tom from In Lou We Trust took a look at how Albany’s offense may look this season with the loss of several key players.

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2012 Player Tracker (updated 8/1)

One month into free agency, here’s the updated list. Not many changes…

Signed for 2012-13:

Keith Kinkaid
Mattias Tedenby
Brandon Burlon
Mike Hoeffel
Eric Gelinas
Alexander Urbom
Mike Sislo
Dan Kelly
David Wohlberg
Maxime Clermont
Harry Young
J.S. Berube
Chad Wiseman
Steve Zalewski
Jeff Frazee
Matt Anderson
Kelly Zajac
Harri Pesonen
Stephen Gionta
Peter Harrold
Jay Leach
Tim Sestito
Alexandre Carrier
Matt Corrente
Phil DeSimone

Unrestricted Free Agents:

Brad Mills
Joe Whitney
Darcy Zajac
Mike Banwell
Bryan Haczyk
Myles Stoesz
Kory Nagy

Moving On:

Nathan Perkovich (signed in Austria 5/11)
Timo Pielmeier (signed in Germany 6/1)
Vladimir Zharkov(signed in Russia 7/2)
Matt Taormina (signed with Tampa Bay 7/6)

Sources: CapGeek, Elite Prospects

As always, if I missed anyone leave a note in the comments and I will update as necessary.

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