Playing Some Organizational Catchup

From the “incase you didn’t already dig it up somewhere” department, the Devils did a combined press release of all the depth signings made since, well, the beginning of free agency. I already picked up a majority of these names as they popped up, but there were three new names on the list of 12 that came out earlier today. To recap, these were the signings announced that I already reported: G Maxime Clermont, D Peter Harrold, and F’s Matt Anderson, Brad Mills, Nathan Perkovich, Tim Sestito, Stephane Veilleux, Chad Wiseman, and Steve Zalewski.

The three new names on the list are all forwards: Bryan Haczyk, Myles Stoesz, and Joe Whitney. Haczyk, a Jersey native, comes to the Devils from Niagara University, where he posted 28 goals in 35 games during his senior season last year. He also played in 3 games for Trenton at the end of the season, posting 1 assist. Stoesz split last season between Albany and Trenton, notching 4 points and 195 penalty minutes in 44 games between both stops. Whitney just finished his college career at Boston College, posting 31 points in 39 games during his senior year. He also made a 1 game appearance in Portland, posting 1 assist.

A couple of other links to pass on, first is the Top 20 Prospects in the system, via Jared at Hockey’s Future.

And something that may interest the old River Rat fans during New Jersey’s first go-round in Albany, during the good old days: The Times Union blog posted a “Where Are They Now?” post on the 1994-95 Calder Cup champs.


2011-2012 Schedule Revealed

Finally, after months of anticipation, the AHL has finally released the 2011-12 schedule. Now the fun of planning and figuring out road trips, home games, and life for the next 7 months can begin. Without further ado, here is Albany’s schedule for this season:

OCTOBER (7 H, 3 A)

15–at Worcester
23–at Providence
28–at Binghamton


12–at Syracuse
19–at Hershey
25–at Rochester
26–at Adirondack
27–at Springfield


3–at Bridgeport
9–at Rochester
10–at Toronto
19–at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
26–at Binghamton
27–at Connecticut
31–at Adirondack

JANUARY (4 H, 5 A)

6–at Norfolk
7–at Norfolk
20–at Adirondack
21–at Springfield
27–at Binghamton


3–at Connecticut
4–at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
10–at Hamilton
11–at Syracuse
12–at Providence
20–at Bridgeport
24–at Syracuse
25–at Manchester
26–at Bridgeport

MARCH (8 H, 7 A)

9–at Syracuse
10–at Adirondack
11–at Syracuse
16–at Binghamton
17–at Hershey
23–at Norfolk
24–at Norfolk

APRIL (4 H, 2 A)

4–at Worcester
6–at Adirondack

Breakdown by day:

Sunday 13 (8 H/5 A), Monday 4 (1 H/3 A), Tuesday 1 A, Wednesday 8 (7 H/1 A), Friday 23 (10 H/13 A), Saturday 27 (12 H/15 A)

My observations:

-Very heavy home schedule to start out and a 4 game homestand to finish. Don’t mind that at all.

-Whose idea was it for the team to jump up and down the Northway/Thruway in early March? Syracuse on a Friday night, then north to Adirondack on Saturday night, then all the way back to Syracuse for a late afternoon Sunday game.

-There are a couple of weekday day games to point out: March 28th is an 11:30 AM start, sounds like a school day program. And also January 16th is a 2 PM start time. Presidents Day in Bridgeport is a 1 PM start.

-I’ll still be doing my annual trip to Wilkes-Barre, looks like February 4th weather permitting. And a lot of trips to Bingo and Syracuse may be on the calendar as well. I may even go to Providence for the first time in 5 years, they have a couple of Sunday afternoon matchups.

-One Wednesday road game. Wow.

-12 3 in 3s, including the last weekend. And I noticed a couple of all roadies mixed in.

-Longest homestand: October 29th- November 11th, 5 games. 5 games is also the longest road trip, from February 3rd-12th.

Now that we have a schedule in hand…now it’s time to really look forward to October. Only 52 days to go!

Rainy Day Reading

A few updates to post on this rainy Monday evening:

-Catching up from the weekend, another signing to report: a 1 year, 2 way contract for defenseman Peter Harrold, coming over from the Kings. I would think he is a depth signing for here, filling in where Maxim Noreau would have if he didn’t leave for Europe. He posted 4 points in limited action for Los Angeles last season. One more fun fact: he is a former Boston College teammate of captain Stephen Gionta.

In Lou We Trust gives you a potential look at Albany’s and New Jersey’s rosters come Opening Night.

-The hot topic on my Twitter feed today was an article from the Sports Business Journal ranking the top minor league sports markets. Not surprising, Hershey (well it’s Hershey/Harrisburg) came in at #1 out of 241 markets. Rounding out the top 10: San Bernardino County, CA; Providence/Pawtucket, RI; Reading, PA; Portland, ME; Syracuse; Charleston, SC; Modesto, CA; Idaho Falls, ID; and Spokane, WA. Albany came in at #140, while my current location of Troy actually finished #120. Full list can be found here.

-And finally…this week the AHL schedule should be out. I had been told by a couple people it would be out today, but still waiting…

All About The Goalies…

A couple of Devil-related goaltending stories to pass on:

-Yesterday New Jersey confirmed the signing of goaltender Maxime Clermont to an entry level contract. He was drafted by the Devils in the 6th round in 2010, and is coming off a good season with the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques. He went 28-10-5 with a 2.55 GAA in 48 games, then won an additional 11 games and posted a 2.22 GAA in an extended playoff run that saw the Olympiques fall to Saint John in the QMJHL finals. He has one year left of eligibility as an overage player in Gatineau (he will turn 20 on New Year’s Eve), so the team has the option of either returning him there or starting out in the ECHL, essentially being the 5th goalie on the Devils depth chart. Considering recent history with both Martin Brodeur and Jeff Frazee missing extended periods due to injury, we may very well see Clermont in an Albany uniform at some point this season.

-Goalie #4 on the depth chart, rookie Keith Kinkaid, answered a few fan questions on the Albany site’s mostly weekly social media feature.

And finally…per the AHL’s Twitter, looks like next week for a schedule release. With Opening Night in 8 weeks, I’m ready to start my planning…

Friday Afternoon Links…

A couple of articles I found in the online world over the past couple of days that may have some interest:

I had a chance to weigh in at Cardiac Cane about everyone’s favorite kind of fan, the puck bunny. You know, those girls that would rather flirt up a storm and throw themselves at players than actually give a crap about the game itself? I could do a whole blog post about how I was once thrown into that category thanks to people I used to sit with at River Rats games.

Now that we’re getting ever closer to the AHL schedule release (which I think would be another week or so, it’s usually mid-August), here’s the annual summary from the AHL site about how this all gets put together.

Shifting gears for a moment to baseball…where the Valleycats manager earned himself some national notoriety earlier this week. Witness what the Times Union calls “The Blowup of Stubby Clapp.” Got to love watching managers/coaches go berserk on umpires or referees, especially when the calls just go so terribly wrong.

And finally, since there’s no new minor league Devils news to share, how about some countdowns? Because really, who’s counting? 47 days to Devils-Rangers preseason game in Albany; 53 days to Albany’s preseason start in Connecticut; 57 days to the first Adirondack matchup (preseason of course); and 64 days to the home opener, with the opponent still to be determined.

2011 Player Tracker (as of 8/1/11)

Late last night, per Hockey’s Future and Elite Prospects, Maxim Noreau chose to sign with Ambri-Piotta, a team out of Switzerland, for next season. Basically that trade for David McIntyre was a complete waste of a transaction. But anyway, as promised, here is the updated player list after the first month of free agency:

Signed for 2011-12:

Jacob Josefson
Mattias Tedenby
Nick Palmieri
Mark Fayne
Alexander Urbom
Adam Henrique
Dan Kelly
Mike Hoeffel (EL)
Keith Kinkaid (EL)
Mike Sislo (EL)
Joe Sova (EL)
Harry Young
J.S. Berube
Kory Nagy
Stephen Gionta
Darcy Zajac
Brandon Burlon (EL)
Jay Leach
Matt Anderson
Tim Sestito
Chad Wiseman
Vladimir Zharkov
Matt Corrente
Jeff Frazee
Cam Janssen (signed from St. Louis 7/15)
Nathan Perkovich
Steven Zalewski
Brad Mills
Stephane Veilleux (signed from Switzerland 7/28)

Unrestricted free agents:

Rob Davison
Chris Murray

Moving on:
Louis Robitaille (retired 6/9)
David McIntyre (traded to Minnesota 6/16)
Jeff Lerg (signed in Italy 6/20)
Alex Vasyunov (signed in Russia 6/22)
Tyler Eckford (signed with Phoenix 7/4)
Mike McKenna (signed with Ottawa 7/8)
Pierre-Luc Leblond (traded to Calgary 7/14)
Olivier Magnan (signed in Russia 7/22)
Trevor Kell (signed in Italy 7/26)
Maxim Noreau (acquired from Minnesota 6/16; signed in Switzerland 7/31)