Tag Archives: news and notes

Midweek Update: Another Deadline

Think after the NHL Trade Deadline on March 1st no more moves could be made?

Well…not exactly.

The AHL has a trade deadline of their own, Wednesday at 3 PM, for final roster tweaks before the playoffs to be made.  After this time, the only new players that will most likely be added are via junior callup (like Pavel Zacha here last year, for example) or college amateur tryout (i.e. Nick Lappin last year).

The Devils were quite busy before the deadline:

Sunday: Karl Stollery was summoned back to New Jersey for an emergency recall (it does not count against the 4 max recalls the parent Devils get for the rest of the regular season) thanks to an injury to Damon Severson.  He did appear in the Devils’ 3-0 loss to the Blue Jackets at The Rock.

Monday: In a rare post deadline trade, Brandon Gormley was dealt to Ottawa for the ever popular future considerations.  Gormley was a victim of the defensive numbers game, only appearing in 35 games.  He will be spending the rest of the season in Binghamton.

Also, defenseman Jacob MacDonald, who has spent the last two months with Albany on a professional tryout from Toledo, received a 2 year AHL contract that will run through next season.  Since joining the team on January 6th, MacDonald has become one of the more consistent Devils on the blue line, with 11 points (4 goals, 7 assists) in 19 appearances.

Tuesday: Stollery and Kevin Rooney were both returned to Albany as New Jersey kicked off a three game road trip in Columbus.  In a whirlwind week for Rooney, he signed an entry level deal Monday, was recalled on Wednesday, made his NHL debut Thursday in Washington, played in front of over 50 friends and family Saturday in Boston, then got his first home game in on Sunday.

Meanwhile, around the North Division:

-Toronto picked up Rochester captain Cal O’Reilly on loan before the deadline Wednesday.

-Utica acquired forward Emerson Clark from Chicago on Wednesday for future considerations.

Three teams in the playoff race are in action this evening: Syracuse hosts St. John’s while Toronto visits Rochester.  I’ll tweet out the standings once both games are complete tonight, setting up for the weekend.

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Midweek Update: It’s March!

Welcome to March 1st everyone!

Today is a big day…it’s NHL Trade Deadline Day, and also, rosters need to be set for AHL postseason.  So to keep everyone up to speed, here is what New Jersey has done over the last couple of days:

Monday: Two transactions:

Blake Coleman was given his second recall of the season after Pavel Zacha was placed on IR.  He appeared in the Devils 4-3 OT loss to Montreal at The Rock.

Also, it was announced that Kevin Rooney, who has been with Albany all season on an AHL deal, was signed to a NHL entry level deal for the remainder of this season.  A well deserved reward for the rookie, who has been the only A-Devil to appear in every single game so far this season.

Wednesday:

-Rooney was recalled and is expected to make his NHL debut tomorrow night in Washington.

-Out of the three trades New Jersey made at the deadline, only one affected Albany: Reece Scarlett, who was the longest tenured current A-Devil, was dealt to Florida for forward Shane Harper.  In 39 games with the Thunderbirds, Harper has 19 points (7 G, 12 A).  He made his NHL debut with the Panthers on October 13th against New Jersey, and would appear in 14 games, scoring twice.  Local fans may remember Harper from the Adirondack Phantoms, where he spent three-plus seasons.

Also this afternoon: Coleman, Rooney, Joe Blandisi, Steve Santini, and Miles Wood were all papered to Albany then recalled to New Jersey, making them eligible to return to the AHL anytime through the rest of the regular season and the playoffs.  Seth Helgeson, who cleared waivers over the weekend, was officially reassigned with the addition of Dalton Prout from Columbus (for Kyle Quincey).

 

Now let’s take a look at what’s going on around the North Division:

-No changes for Utica despite the mumps hitting the Canucks hard.

-Binghamton lost defenseman Michael Kostka, who was dealt to Calgary as part of the Curtis Lazar-Jyrki Jokipakka deal.

-Rochester received former Union College defenseman Mat Bodie from the Rangers for forward Dan Catenacci on Tuesday.

-St. John’s lost forward Sven Andrighetto, who was dealt to Colorado for forward Andreas Martinsen.

-Syracuse ended up the big winners in the division thanks to a pair of deals:

In the Brian Boyle deal with Toronto, the Crunch picked up Marlies forward Byron Froese and his 22 goals.  In a sort of related move, former River Rat/A-Devil Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond was loaned to the Marlies.

Tampa Bay and Florida swapped AHL goaltenders: Adam Wilcox is off to Springfield, while former A-Devil Mike McKenna will join Syracuse.

-Toronto also picked up former A-Devil Mike Sislo in a loan deal with San Antonio, sending Colin Smith to the Rampage.

 

The NHL deadline may have passed, but the AHL has until March 8th at 3 PM to finish up any intraleague trades or loans.  So…there may be more to come, stay tuned.

 

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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.

NHL.com picks their top 5 Devil prospects.

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Offseason Notebook #8

This week in the Notebook:

-What had been rumored for several weeks became official on Monday, as Marc-Andre Gragnani became the second Devil to head overseas, signing on with Dinamo Minsk of the KHL.

-Also in the Moving On category: Brandon Burlon became the first signing for the Coyotes AHL affiliate in Tucson, signing a one year AHL contract.

With Burlon leaving for the desert, 11 players that finished the season in Albany have moved on to other teams, with 4 still in need of homes for the upcoming season.

-For the second straight preseason, New Jersey prospects will join the Bruins and Sabres in Buffalo for the Prospects Challenge, to be held September 16th-19th at the HarborCenter.  All three teams will play a round robin tournament, with two games for each team.  The Devils will take on Buffalo on Saturday, September 17th, then face the Bruins the following day.

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Offseason Notebook #7

It’s been awhile since we wrote in the notebook, but finally there’s news to be shared!

-Going back to about two weeks ago: Restricted free agent Reece Scarlett signed a 1 year, 2 way deal.  With Dan Kelly’s departure, and the futures of Brandon Burlon, Raman Hrabarenka, and Corbin McPherson unclear at this time, Scarlett steps in as the longest tenured Devil defenseman (unless Seth Helgeson doesn’t stick in New Jersey) at 3 seasons.  The 2011 6th rounder set career highs last season in games played (60) and points (26), and appeared in 10 postseason games.

-Today, another new name was added to the defense corps, as Brandon Gormley was signed to a 1 year, 2 way contract.  The 24 year old native of Prince Edward Island split last season between Colorado (1 assist in 26 games) and San Antonio (4 goals and 2 assists in 39 games).  A former first rounder (picked #13 by the Coyotes in 2010), he spent three seasons going cross country between the Coyotes and Portland, making his NHL debut in 2013-14.

-And finally, get your calendars out!  Five guaranteed home dates were released earlier today, all on Saturday: November 12th & 26th, January 28th, February 18th, and March 25th.  As for the rest of the schedule?  You’ll have to wait just a few more weeks for that.  (Thanks NBA.)

Coming up on Monday, the second Free Agent Tracker of the offseason will kick off the month of August!

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Developmental Camp Wrapup (and Other News)

Before we dive into the events of this week’s developmental camp in Newark, there are some updates:

-The last original Albany Devil has left the building.  On Monday, Dan Kelly signed a 1 year deal with San Jose.  He leaves as the all time franchise leader in games played (352) and plus/minus (+44).  So if you’re keeping score at home…that’s 9 players, not counting those who remain unsigned, that have left the organization since May.  That number may soon increase to 10, as Marc-Andre Gragnani is rumored to be heading back overseas to an unnamed KHL team.

-However, the only coach the A-Devils has ever known will remain just that for the next two seasons.  It was announced early Saturday afternoon that the reigning AHL Coach of the Year Rick Kowalsky will stay on, along with assistant Sergei Brylin.  Kowalsky is the third longest tenured coach in the league, behind Roy Sommer (Worcester/San Jose) and Ken Gernander (Hartford).

-It looks like it could be the last season of AHL hockey in Newfoundland, with Monday’s announcement that the IceCaps will move to Laval, QC beginning in 2017-18.  After switching affiliations from Winnipeg to Montreal before last season, it was only supposed to be a temporary stay while a new arena was built in Laval, similar to what Philadelphia did with Adirondack while the PPL Center in Allentown was being constructed.

Now a few highlights from camp in New Jersey:

Interviews with Joe Blandisi, Nick Lappin and Josh Jacobs:

If you scroll down the New Jersey Facebook page…I highly recommend the Facebook Live Q & A with Blake Coleman.

Day 2 on Wednesday saw a 3-on-3 round robin tournament with the prospects divided into four teams, aptly named Team Stevens, Team Daneyko, Team Niedermayer, and Team Brodeur, after the four retired NJ numbers.  In the end, it was Team Stevens, lead by Jacobs and Blake Coleman, winning the tourney on a shootout goal by 2016 first rounder Michael McLeod.  After the tourney, everyone split up around the city of Newark for various community activities…some stayed behind to conduct a youth clinic, while others delivered bottled water to elementary schools or visited local hospitals.

Other team bonding activities? A cooking/nutrition class, a trip to the go cart track, and Yankees-Red Sox at the Stadium on Friday night.

Saturday afternoon came the Red-White Scrimmage.  After a scoreless first half, both teams turned on the offensive jets in the second.  Team White would hang on for a 4-3 victory, followed by a very long shootout for all participants just after.  I had the opportunity to make the trip down…

Blake Coleman representing Team White

Blake Coleman representing Team White

Ken Appleby

Ken Appleby

Full team photo...during pregame warmup.

Full team photo…during pregame warmup.

One of the purposes of this trip for me was to check out some of the current A-Devils (Coleman, Lappin, et al), but also to get an idea of who may be coming up over the next couple of seasons.  Who did I find the most impressive?  The SuperBuddies themselves, McLeod and Nathan Bastian.

For more photos from Saturday’s scrimmage, check out my full album on Flickr.

Now that camp is over…no more on ice action until training camp in September.  But there’s still comings and goings, and the schedule release (likely at least another month away) to look forward to the rest of the summer.

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Offseason Notebook #6

The latest from the Notebook:

-The Captain is back!  Rod Pelley will be back for a fourth season as the leader of the A-Devs, signing a 1 year AHL deal.  He appeared in 65 games last season, picking up 8 goals and 5 assists.  During his three seasons wearing the C (just the third in Albany’s franchise history), he has only missed a total of 19 games, and the Devils have a combined record of 123-71-18-16, along with their only two playoff appearances.  With Pelley’s signing, there are only seven unrestricted free agent Devils remaining who need a home for 2016-17.

-Mark your calendars for 99 days from now…or October 15th.  Albany’s home opener!

-On Thursday, the American Hockey League announced at their Board of Governors meeting this year’s division/playoff alignment and a few rules changes:

The only divisions seeing any changes are in the Atlantic and Pacific, leaving the conferences unbalanced…14 Eastern teams, 16 Western teams.  Gone from the Atlantic is Portland (due to the move to Springfield), leaving that division with seven teams.  Tucson (via the previous Springfield franchise) will join the Pacific, and just like last season, all but the California Five and Tucson will play 76 games, while the remaining 6 play 68.  (Again, I ask…WHY? Oh…I mean, yay, more fun with math and percentages.)  The playoff format is slightly different this year, as just the top 4 teams in each division–no crossovers–will make the postseason.  First round is best of 5, with best of 7 for the remaining three rounds.

-As for the other rules changes?

From October-Christmas break, home teams will wear light colored jerseys.  After that, dark colors.  Okay.

No more dry scrape before teams start overtime.  Goodbye #dryscrape hashtag, one of my favorites to use.

So you want to fight in an AHL game?  Well, that could cost you:

If you drop the gloves with an opponent right after a faceoff, you’re done for the day…automatic game misconduct.

During the course of the regular season, get 10 fighting majors?  You’re suspended for one game.  Get fighting majors 11, 12, and 13?  Another game each.  14 majors?  That’s two games you miss.  Continue to get fighting majors after that?  Another two games each.

Last rule change involves icing…if you’re the offending team, no time out can be taken.

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