Tag Archives: preseason

Narrowing It Down…

Happy Opening Day in the AHL!  10 teams are starting up the 2013-14 season this evening.  Meanwhile, the Devils still have to wait about 48 hours before they can finally get started.  Today the official opening roster was released, with 2 goaltenders, 7 defensemen, and 14 forwards:


1 Keith Kinkaid

31 Scott Wedgewood


2 Seth Helgeson

5 Jon Merrill

7 Brandon Burlon

24 Eric Gelinas

28 Dan Kelly

33 Corbin McPherson

34 Reece Scarlett


9 Joe Whitney

10 Rod Pelley

11 Kelly Zajac

12 Tim Sestito

14 Reid Boucher

15 Harri Pesonen

16 Chris McKelvie

17 Scott Timmins

18 Stefan Matteau

19 Mike Sislo

22 Cam Janssen

23 Darcy Zajac

25 David Wohlberg

26 Mike Hoeffel

A lot of jersey number changes compared to last year’s roster: Kinkaid switches from 35 to 1; Wedgewood from 1 to 31 (claiming Jeff Frazee’s old number); Helgeson from 39 to 2; Kelly Zajac from 17 to 11; Boucher from 20 to 14; Pesonen from 18 to 15; McKelvie from 37 to 16; Janssen from 14 to 22.

So how did we get to this point after the preseason schedule ended on Saturday night in Adirondack?  A quick recap of all the roster changes from this week:

-On Sunday, Kinkaid and Timmins were sent down.  Timmins had already cleared waivers and had been assigned to San Antonio before being acquired from Florida on Saturday.

-Monday, as a surprise to, well, no one, Janssen cleared waivers and was sent down.

-Forwards Alexandre Carrier, Artem Demkov, and Dmitry Goldenkov were all released.  Demkov and Carrier are off to Elmira (ECHL).

-Thursday forward Ben Thomson was released from his tryout, he will return to Kitchener of the OHL as an overage player.

-Finally Maxime Clermont, Riley Boychuk, Raman Hrabarenka, and Harry Young were sent to Elmira, where the Jackals are about to start their training camp (although when they released their camp roster earlier today they were not listed, but Clermont is listed on the roster on the Jackals website, although it could be last year’s list still there).

One familiar name missing from this list that could have been there? Alexander Urbom.  Wednesday New Jersey placed him on waivers to make room for Patrik Elias’s return from IR, but on Thursday the Capitals picked him up.

Unless anything else pops up, first pregame of the season comes down Sunday around noontime!

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Photo Gallery: Preseason 9/28/13

And of course, the first photos of the season too!  (Disclaimer: the glass in Adirondack is still horrible, I still think it hasn’t been replaced since 1979.  When the Civic Center opened.)

Riley Boychuk

Riley Boychuk

Scott Wedgewood

Scott Wedgewood

Jon Merrill

Jon Merrill

Seth Helgeson's ill-fated fight at center ice.

Seth Helgeson’s ill-fated fight at center ice.

Maxime Clermont

Maxime Clermont





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A Perfect Preseason

Welcome to the first weekly recap of the season!  A brief preseason schedule for the Devils, outside of one “secret” game at The Rock against the Flyers/Phantoms two weeks ago.  Two road matchups against two teams they will be seeing a lot of (and it doesn’t hurt that it’s Rangers/Flyers teams either).  And if the last two days are any indication, we may be in for a fun season this year.  But on that note, it’s still just preseason.

9/26 at Hartford: 4-3 W (SO)

The Devils started the preseason in pretty good fashion with a road win over the team formerly known as the Connecticut Whale.  Scott Wedgewood drew the start and didn’t have much work to do, making 12 saves.  They found themselves in an early 1-0 hole on a Tyler Gjurich goal in the first.  After that, it became all Devils in the second, as they outshot the hosts by an astonishing 17-0 rate.  Reid Boucher would tie the game up at 1 just as the second got underway.  Just as the second was coming to an end, Darcy Zajac and newcomer Reece Scarlett scored just 1:04 apart for a 3-1 lead.  Hartford would come back in the third with a pair of power play goals to tie things at 3.  After an uneventful overtime, it was on to the shootout, an area that killed the Devils in 2012-13.  Boucher and camp tryout Artem Demkov scored in the first two rounds, while Wedgewood stopped 2 of 4.  In the fifth round, Hartford was kept off the scoreboard, but the other camp tryout, Dmitri Goldenkov, would score the game winner and give Albany the victory.  Demkov, Joe Whitney, and Seth Helgeson each had an assist.

9/28 at Adirondack: 3-2 W

In what has become an almost annual start to the year, the Devils traveled north to Glens Falls for the preseason finale against the Phantoms.  Also, it was my first chance to get a look at what I’ll be seeing on the ice for most of this season.  Harri Pesonen gave the Devils the first period lead, only to see Adirondack tie it up 2 minutes later on the first power play of the night.  Newcomer Ben Thomson broke the tie 6 minutes into the second (even though from my angle it appeared Eric Gelinas had the goal all the way; he was given the primary assist).  Then the penalty party started up…first the lone bout of the night, Seth Helgeson taking on (and not faring very well; someone missed Cam’s fighting seminar!) Doug Clarkson.  Yes, David’s younger brother.  And for those asking, I did not see the patented #ClarksonFall.  Then referee Graham Skilliter started handing out Albany power plays like candy…5 minors were called on the Phantoms in the last 9:55 of the period, including some extended 5 on 3 time.  It took till the last penalty on the board for the Devils to connect, as Pesonen scored his second of the game just 38 seconds into the 3rd for a 3-1 Devil lead.  Jason Akeson would draw the Phantoms to within one goal 6 minutes later.  Despite a late charge from Adirondack that included a penalty kill, the Devils held on for the win and capped off a brief perfect preseason tuneup.  Maxime Clermont drew the start and played very well, stopping 29 of 31 shots.  Brandon Burlon contributed two assists.


Yesterday morning, there was reason among the Devils contingent to celebrate, as Krys Barch and a 2015 7th round draft pick were dealt to Florida for forward Scott Timmins and a 2014 6th round pick.  Timmins has already cleared waivers with Florida, so it is most likely he will be joining Albany at some point this week.  He spent last season with San Antonio, putting up 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists) in 65 games.  He also played with Adam Henrique, Andrei Loktionov, and Harry Young on the 2010 Memorial Cup-winning Windsor Spitfires.  But, he’s probably most famous for something that happened off ice last season.

And per a tweet from Fire and Ice, Keith Kinkaid has been reassigned to Albany.  He had stayed on the roster after Martin Brodeur returned home after the passing of his father Denis on Thursday.

Looking Ahead:

Monday is the deadline for New Jersey to get the roster down to 23, and as of now there are three players left.  Albany too has a few decisions to make to get their roster set for the start of the AHL season.  Next Sunday, things get started for real in Hartford.

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Second Wave…

Just as I expected, earlier today New Jersey made its second round of training camp cuts.  A total of 9 players were reassigned, with 8 coming to Albany and 1 returning to juniors.  The roster now stands at 28, with a Monday deadline to reduce the roster to 23.  Most were expected, but there was one I was a little surprised to see at first.  The lone junior returnee is Damon Severson, on his way back to Kelowna (he had told me at the end of last season he had one more year left with the Rockets) of the WHL.   Coming back to Albany are Scott Wedgewood, Brandon Burlon, Eric Gelinas, Jon Merrill, Stefan Matteau, Rod Pelley, Tim Sestito, and Mike Sislo, fresh off doing this last night:

I’m expecting all will join the other group already in camp in time for tomorrow’s preseason opener in Hartford against the Wolfpack.  Pelley and Matteau are the only “new faces” so to speak of this group–Pelley is rejoining the organization after 2 seasons away, while Matteau…well, the 2012 first rounder has had quite the interesting last year or so, shall we say?

A little surprising to see Gelinas among the second round of cuts, he appeared in 3 of 5 games and registered a goal against the Rangers in the first game.  But it also came down to his contract status–he was eligible to be sent down without having to clear waivers.  The rest were all expected, with Keith Kinkaid sticking around as a third goalie in New Jersey for a few more days.  There are still 5 more players to be dealt with, but many of those still standing (Alexander Urbom, Jacob Josefson, Mattias Tedenby, Cam Janssen to name a few) would have to clear waivers before they can be sent down.  Come Monday it will be interesting to see the final roster decisions made and how it would affect things down here.

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Sunday Camp Updates…

Camp in Albany is officially underway!

It appears a few more players will be joining the group that started out yesterday as the week progresses:

-Harry Young, Rod Pelley, and Tim Sestito all cleared waivers on Saturday, but only Young was assigned to Albany. Sestito actually appeared in Saturday’s 3-0 New Jersey win over the Islanders in Brooklyn, on a line with Ryan Carter (later Stefan Matteau) and Cam Janssen. Both he and Pelley are expected to be assigned to Albany shortly.

-Along with the 15 sent down by New Jersey on Friday, there are four addtional skaters in camp, all forwards: Kelly Zajac, Alexandre Carrier, Artem Demkov, and Dmitri Goldenkov. Kelly, the third Zajac brother, returns for a second season after splitting time between Albany and Trenton last year. Carrier spent all of last season in Trenton, appearing in 47 games and posting 6 points (and 102 penalty minutes). Demkov is a Belarus native who split last season between Elmira (23 goals in 39 games) and Germany (1 assist in 12 games with Hamburg). Goldenkov played 8 games with Moscow Dynamo of the KHL last season, posting 1 assist.

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The First Round

Just as I had figured, after the second game of the preseason (a 5-3 Devil loss against the Islanders), New Jersey announced this morning their first round of training camp cuts. There were a couple of surprises as to who was sent to Albany and who is still with the big club. A total of 21 players, 15 to Albany, have been sent packing.

To Albany:

Maxime Clermont
Seth Helgeson
Raman Hrabarenka
Dan Kelly
Corbin McPherson
Reece Scarlett
Reid Boucher
Riley Boychuk
Mike Hoeffel
Chris McKelvie
Harri Pesonen
Ben Thomson
Joe Whitney
David Wohlberg
Darcy Zajac

Anthony Brodeur, Myles Bell, Graham Black, Remy Giftopoulos, Ben Johnson, and Ryan Kujawinski have all been returned to their respective junior teams.

Looking at the list, all but 3 players are familiar to the Capital Region:

Scarlett, a 20-year-old defenseman, is a 2011 draft selection who spent the last four seasons with Swift Current of the WHL.

Boychuk, a 22-year-old forward, was the player acquired from the Sabres in the Henrik Tallinder trade back in July. He spent last season with Fort Worth of the Central Hockey League.

Thomson, a 20-year-old forward, is a 2012 draft pick who played the last four seasons in Kitchener (OHL).

Pesonen, Zajac, and Boucher had a chance to suit up for New Jersey on Monday, with Boucher also appearing in Thursday’s loss to the Islanders.

As for who’s still with the big club? Not surprised to still see Eric Gelinas up, especially after his performance in the first two preseason games (scoring Monday and assisting on both goals last night). Brandon Burlon, Mike Sislo, Tim Sestito, Jon Merrill, and Damon Severson are just a few who are also still in New Jersey. Same with Harry Young (I’m scratching my head on that one).

Also still in camp? Cam Janssen. In honor of that, it’s time for the first Cam Janssen Obligatory Fight of the Week of the season! From Monday’s game with the Rangers at The Rock:

The Albany group is scheduled to have their first practice tomorrow afternoon. They actually had a “secret” game against the Phantoms on Thursday at the Prudential Center, with the Flyers prospects coming away with a 4-2 win. Fire and Ice and The Post Star have the recaps.

New Jersey has four preseason games left, starting tomorrow night in Brooklyn against the Islanders. Then it’s back to back road games on Monday and Tuesday in Montreal and Philadelphia. My guess is more cuts would come by Wednesday at the latest, with Albany’s short preseason schedule starting up on Thursday night in Hartford.

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Off To Camp…

That time of year has finally arrived.

This morning rookies/AHL players arrived at training camp in New Jersey, with the NHL veterans soon to follow later this week. One week from now there will be real game action again for the first time since late April, as the Devils play their first preseason game against the Rangers. Earlier today the team released this year’s training camp roster:


Anthony Brodeur
Martin Brodeur
Maxime Clermont*
Keith Kinkaid*
Cory Schneider
Scott Wedgewood*


Brandon Burlon*
Mark Fayne
Eric Gelinas*
Andy Greene
Peter Harrold
Seth Helgeson*
Raman Hrabarenka*
Dan Kelly*
Adam Larsson*
Corbin McPherson*
Jon Merrill*
Bryce Salvador
Reece Scarlett
Damon Severson*
Alexander Urbom*
Anton Volchenkov
Harry Young*
Marek Zidlicky


Krys Barch
Myles Bell
Steve Bernier
Graham Black
Reid Boucher*
Riley Boychuk
Ryan Carter
Ryane Clowe
Patrik Elias
Remy Giftopoulos
Stephen Gionta*
Adam Henrique*
Mike Hoeffel*
Jaromir Jagr
Cam Janssen*
Ben Johnson
Jacob Josefson*
Ryan Kujawinski
Andrei Loktionov*
Stefan Matteau
Chris McKelvie*
Rostislav Olesz
Rod Pelley
Harri Pesonen*
Michael Ryder
Tim Sestito*
Mike Sislo*
Mattias Tedenby*
Ben Thomson
Joe Whitney*
David Wohlberg*
Darcy Zajac*
Travis Zajac
Dainius Zubrus

*-appeared in at least one game for Albany in 2012-13

A numerical list can be found here.

A few observations:

-Looks like Corbin McPherson and Chris McKelvie are back in the fold for this season. I’m going to assume they were given AHL contracts, even though nothing official has been released. That puts the number of players from last year’s team still without a home down to 4.

-There is one unfamiliar name on the list, and it’s probably one of the more awesome hockey names I’ve seen: Remy Giftopoulos. He split last season between Ottawa and Windsor in the OHL, where in 71 games he put up 25 goals and 23 assists. He is expected to return to Windsor, only in camp to be evaluated by the Devils brass.

A few articles from today’s first day:

From Fire & Ice: an interview with Mattias Tedenby and Rod Pelley.

From The Star Ledger: more Pelley and an appearance from Cam Janssen.

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Old Stuff and a New Look…

Now that we’re getting close to the start of training camp (once I get the list of participants I’ll have something up), time to start prepping for season 4!

As you can see, a slight makeover on the blog, as I have discovered WordPress’s editing tools. Okay, just changed the background color, not a big thing. But the team links at the top of the page have also been updated for this season’s opponents (to be edited as the season goes on).

I’m also working on how I’ll be covering things as the season progresses, as far as posts, Tweets, etc. Once I make the final decisions I may have something up on that before the season begins in exactly 4 weeks (!!).

Anyway, there is some old news to catch up on:

-Announced by Hartford just before Labor Day weekend, the Devils will be traveling to the XL Center on September 26th to take on the Wolfpack. There has been no formal announcement of a full preseason schedule, but it’s most likely that local fans will not be getting any home games before October.

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Post Holiday Catchup…

Back at home after spending the 4th of July holiday up north in Lake George. A couple of news items to pass on, for those that may have missed it:

-Tuesday afternoon the Phantoms announced that they will be hosting the Devils on Saturday, September 28th in a preseason tilt. After a one year break, local fans will have the chance to see Albany before the regular season begins (last year you had to travel west to Binghamton, the only game outside of a training camp facility, to see the Devils). Ticket info will be available later in the summer.

-Wednesday night The Saratogian (in conjunction with The Citizens Voice out of Wilkes-Barre) compiled a list of the top 300 AHL free agents available. I will likely be keeping tabs more on this list than the NHL. Jeff Frazee is the highest ranking Devil at #68 incase you were wondering.

-Interestingly enough, New Jersey did sign #17 on the AHL list, winger Rostislav Olesz, to a 1 year contract. Considering it’s for $1 million, sounds like a one way deal. He saw limited time with both Chicago and Rockford last season, and ended up being bought out by the Blackhawks.

-And finally, the first Free Agent Tracker is ready to go and will be out at noon tomorrow.

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Preseason Recap

We are now 6 days away from the official start of the 2012-13 season. Last night the Devils finished up their preseason schedule, and it wasn’t a bad showing. They went 3-1 against two divisional rivals and a familiar East Division foe. For those that missed it, here’s a little review of how they fared:

10/1 vs. Adirondack (at Voorhees, NJ): W 5-3

Traveling to the Phantoms/Flyers training facility in Voorhees, NJ, the Devils got the week off to a good start with a win over their rivals to the north (or, in this case, south. Well in the state of New Jersey anyway). Mike Sislo and David Wohlberg each scored twice, while newcomer Raman Hrabarenka added the fifth goal. Brandon Burlon and Harri Pesonen each contributed two assists. Keith Kinkaid and rookie Scott Wedgewood each shared time in net, combining for 45 saves.

10/2 vs. Connecticut (at Cromwell, CT): W 3-1

The strong play moved on the following night to Cromwell, CT, with a victory over the Whale. Burlon, Pesonen and Darcy Zajac all scored, Hrabarenka contributed two more assists, and Jeff Frazee and Maxime Clermont combined for 18 saves.

10/5 vs. Adirondack (at Newark, NJ): 2-1 W

In a closed to the public scrimmage Friday afternoon (the only time you’ll ever see a Devil-Phantom matchup that quiet), the Devils won their third straight and their second win over the Phantoms in a 4 day span. Both goals were scored shorthanded, courtesy of camp invitee Scott Parse and Jacob Josefson. Parse and Adam Larsson also contributed one assist apiece. Kinkaid and Wedgewood split time in net, combining for 25 saves.

10/6 at Binghamton: 6-3 L

To finish off the preseason slate, the Devils traveled to Binghamton to take on the Senators. Frazee drew the start and played 40 minutes, stopping 24 of 28 Senator shots. Kinkaid took over in the third and played solid, making 14 saves on 15 shots. The Devils fell behind 2-0 after 1 period on goals by Derek Grant and Corey Cowick. After allowing an early power play marker to fall into a 3-0 hole, former Senator Bobby Butler notched his first goal of the preseason (on the man advantage) to bring the Devils to within 3-1. The Senators responded with another power play goal to regain a 3 goal advantage, but Mattias Tedenby scored even strength to reduce the deficit again to two. Binghamton went back up by 3 on an Andre Petersson goal early in the third, but Mike Sislo answered late with his team leading 4th goal for another two goal deficit. But that’s as close as they would get, as Mark Stone scored an empty netter to seal a 6-3 win.

A few links to pass on related to the week:

Fire and Ice has the full preseason scoring list here, along with the news that Raman Hrabarenka has officially signed an AHL deal after a strong camp showing.

In Lou We Trust is counting down the top 25 prospects under 25 (so far updated to #21).

Stay tuned…next entry a photo gallery from my first in person game of the season in Binghamton…

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