Friday Headlines!

Before the weekend begins…let’s catch up on the news of the week!

-Add another rookie to the Thunder ranks, as forward Shane Eisenman was signed on Tuesday.  The native of Massachusetts will begin his professional career after spending 4 years at New Hampshire.  Eisenman appeared in 28 games in his senior season with the Wildcats, picking up 5 goals and 5 assists.  In 120 career collegiate games, he scored 16 goals and assisted on 33 others.  Eisenman is a former Ottawa draft pick, being selected in the 4th round of the 2014 NHL Draft by the Senators while playing for Dubuque of the USHL.

-Forward Brian Ward, who has spent the last two seasons with the Thunder, was rewarded on Thursday with an AHL contract, signing with Binghamton.  He lead all Adirondack skaters with 30 goals last season, finishing third on the team with 53 points in 59 games, followed by another 9 points in 17 postseason appearances.  He also had two separate AHL PTOs: one game with Utica, then two games with Providence, where he picked up an assist.  Ward is no stranger to the AHL Devils–he appeared in 8 games with the Albany Devils in 2016-17, picking up one assist.  Since Adirondack extended Ward a qualifying offer during the offseason, his ECHL rights will stay in Glens Falls.

-Now for some promotions to look forward to in the 2018 portion of the Thunder schedule…

Three specialty jerseys: Military Appreciation on October 27th, with a postgame auction; Hockey Fights Type 1 Diabetes Night on November 24th, which will be warmup jerseys available via silent auction; and Marvel Black Panther on December 15th, available by raffle.

December 15th will also be the annual Teddy Bear Toss.

The annual New Year’s Eve home game is also on tap, with a special 2 for $20.19 ticket special.

December 8th features a coat drive, with all donors receiving a ticket to a game in early January, and a post game skate with the team.

Finally, in case you missed my other works recently:

-Over at Raw Charge, I previewed the AHL’s North Division and used my schedule breakdown skills on OrlandoTwice.

-And in my 2018-19 season debut for Inside AHL Hockey ($), a summary of what has happened in Binghamton this summer.





Offseason Notebook #9

Getting you caught up on the news of the week:

-The last of the restricted free agents came to terms, as Reid Boucher agreed to a new 1 year, 2 way contract on Wednesday.

-Adding another name to the Moving On category…fill in defenseman Joe Faust, who spent the last two seasons as mostly an extra, signed an ECHL deal with the Idaho Steelheads.  Updating the list…that’s 12 players who have left (that’s more than half a normal lineup!), and three that still need a home for the new season.

-On Thursday, the NBA released their full schedule for 2016-17.  And why is this significant?  With two teams (Lake Erie…I mean Cleveland…and San Antonio) sharing their building with an NBA franchise, this is the last hurdle to cross before the 2016-17 AHL schedule is ready to go.  The last two seasons it took till nearly the end of August for a schedule to drop, if there’s any indication.

And finally a few links:

All About the Jersey gives an early roster preview. picks their top 5 Devil prospects.

One More Day…

Happy AHL Opening Day! (About time.)

Before Albany takes the ice up north tomorrow night to start the 2014-15 season, a few notes from the week to get everyone caught up:

-On Tuesday, New Jersey cut its final roster down to 23 by reassigning Cam Janssen, Steve Bernier, and Peter Harrold to Albany, after all three cleared waivers on Monday.  This will be the second tour of duty for both Bernier and Harrold, who both skated for the A-Devils during the 2011-12 season.  Janssen will be skating in Albany for the third season in a row after splitting the last two seasons between both Albany and New Jersey.

-Albany released Renat Mamashev, Alexandre Carrier, and Tom Hartnett from their professional tryout deals.  The current roster now stands at 28 players (17 F, 8 D, 3 G), which I expect to be reduced once an ECHL affiliate is found.

In league news:

-On Tuesday the AHL announced that Utica would be the host for the 2015 AHL All Star Classic, to be held January 25th (Skills Competition) and 26th (Hall of Fame, All-Star Game).  With Utica being a less than 90 minute drive for me, I am hoping to actually go to my first All Star events this year.  Well, ticket purchase and weather permitting, of course.

-And yesterday in Glens Falls, the newest AHL mascot, Scorch, was introduced to the world.  I’m still shaking my head over this one.

-Our friends over at Chirps from Center Ice have a full league preview, broken down by division.

Look for the Week 1 Primer (as mentioned earlier, I will only be doing pregamers once a week this season) early tomorrow afternoon.


Tuesday Linkroll

A few news items to pass along as we wait for Friday evening to get here:

-Per the AHL transactions, Joe Faust was released from his amateur tryout on Monday.  He joined the team on April 8th but never appeared in a game, only warming up before Saturday’s finale against the Falcons.

-But, in much happier news, Graham Black was signed to an entry level contract.  He appeared in two games for Albany since arriving as an amateur tryout on April 8th, going scoreless.

-Now for some required reading/listening:

A Devils preview from The Hockey Writers.  Also from THW…a trip down River Rats memory lane.

My blogging counterpart in St. John’s, Rinkside Report, has their preview.

And check out this week’s episode of Talking Red, not just because I make my annual guest segment.

-My official preview (well, more of a stat pack than anything) will be out Friday at 12 noon.


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.

Stories from the Camp Ice…

Finally it’s October! So stop asking…till next spring, anyway.

We are 4 days into training camp in New Jersey, and from what I’ve seen it sounds like business as usual as the team is preparing for its 3 game preseason schedule this week. First game arrives tomorrow afternoon in Voorhees, NJ against Adirondack (and I have no idea how I’ll be able to keep track of it other than if anyone on either side tweets it), followed by a trip to Connecticut on Wednesday to take on the Whale. Then finally they travel to Binghamton on Saturday to play the Senators (also my season tweeting debut). Looking for info on how this year’s team will shake out? Here’s a few sites to follow:

-For individual player interviews, the A-Devs YouTube page has you covered, as they have done at least 3 player interviews daily, along with a daily chat with coach Kowalsky.

-For blog stories, Fire and Ice and the Star Ledger has daily coverage from Newark. Bonus coverage from Day 1 courtesy of 5 For Writing can be found here (just scroll down).

-For tweets, follow @AlbanyDevilsPR and @TGfireandice for the daily practice groups and maybe a few photos mixed in.

12 days to go till opening night…and 5 days till I can finally see some hockey!