10/2/2012: Hockey Today

Plenty to catch you up on from the past couple days.  But first, I hope you had a chance to check out that Drew Palmisano story.  Big thanks to Bob Mills with the Orlando Solar Bears for helping to set that up, and for Drew to be kind enough to take a few minutes out of his day for me.

Also, I spoke to former Boston College and current San Francisco Bulls goalie Chris Venti today, and the NHL Alumni Association set me up with Mark LaForest for the first of what I hope are many features with former NHL players.  We had an incredible 45 minute conversation, and I absolutely cannot wait to share it with you.

Brandon Dubinsky joins an already-loaded ECHL roster in Alaska (Photo: Mike Ashmore)

— The ECHL’s Alaska Aces continue to stock up thanks to the lockout.  Columbus Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky has joined Scott Gomez, Joey Crabb and Nate Thompson on the Aces roster.  Dubinsky, who spent the entirety of his past five seasons with the New York Rangers before being included in the Rick Nash deal.  The 26-year-old Anchorage native has scored 81 goals and added 132 assists in 397 NHL games.

— Brad Smyth, who was set to start the season with the CHL-expansion Denver Cutthroats — as you read about in this original story —  is now going to attend AHL camp with the Lake Erie Monsters. 

“This is why we entered into our affiliation agreement with the Avalanche,” said Cutthroats Head Coach Derek Armstrong in a team statement. 

“It provides opportunities at the next level for our players…(Smyth) is a veteran returning to a level where he’s had a lot of success in the past and it gives him a chance to be a leader for some of the younger players up there.”

Smyth, who stated to me he had no interest in a return to the AHL, will be joined by Armstrong at the practices.  The latter will help coach.

— The Norfolk Admirals have signed Kenndal McArdle to a tryout agreement.  The Florida Panthers first round pick in 2005, the 25-year-old forward has played in just 42 NHL games, including nine last season with the Winnipeg Jets.  His best season came in 2010-11, when he tallied a career-high 26 points for the AHL’s Rochester Americans. 

— The reigning ECHL leading scorer and Rookie of the Year has earned an opportunity with an AHL team.  Dustin Gazley has been added to the camp roster of the Binghamton Senators.  Gazley racked up 85 points in 72 games last season.

— The ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears named former NHL star Ray Sheppard as a “special assistant” to head coach Drake Berehowsky.  Sheppard, who played for six different NHL teams over the course of 13 seasons, tallied 357 career goals, including a 50-goal season with the Detroit Red Wings in 1993-94.

“We are very excited to have Ray join our coaching staff,” said Berehowsky in a team press release. “His NHL experience will be invaluable for the development of our players.”

Former NHL’er Kevin Quick has signed a contract to play for the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays (Photo: Mike Ashmore)

— The ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays have signed former Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Kevin Quick to a contract.  The 24-year-old played in six games for the Lightning in 2008-09, registering one assist along the way.  But he’s been primarily in the AHL ever since, and ultimately dipped down to the ECHL last season, appearing in 34 games with the Florida Everblades. 

— The ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies, who just released their camp roster, have also got some NHL experience on their roster in the name of Riley Armstrong, who played two games for the San Jose Sharks in 2008-09.

— Former Michigan goaltender Shaun Hunwick, who dressed but not did not play for the Columbus Blue Jackets last season, is in camp with the AHL’s Abbortsford Heat.  He is expected to start the season with the ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers, however.

The USCHO preseason polls came out, and Boston College was on top with 35 out of a possible 50 first-place votes.  Check out the link for the full rundown.

— University of Nebraska Omaha has named Brent Gwidt as their captain for the 2012-13 season.  In addition, Matt White and John Faulkner will serve as alternates.

“All three players have experience as captains for our team last year, and they are natural choices by their fellow players to again lead our team,” said head coach Dean Blais in a team release. 

“We expect our captains to set good examples for their teammates both on the ice and off, and these three players have the ability to do that.”

— The CCHA released its preseason All-Conference teams today…straight from the release:

2012-13 CCHA Preseason All-Conference Teams

First Team
Position Name, Year, School 
F- T.J. Tynan, JR, Notre Dame 
F- Anders Lee, JR, Notre Dame 
F- Chase Balisy, JR, Western Michigan 
D- Dan DeKeyser, JR, Western Michigan 
D- Jon Merrill, JR, Michigan 
G- Frank Slubowski, SO, Western Michigan 

Second Team
Position Name, Year, School 

F- Austin Czarnik, JR, Miami 
F- Alex Guptill, SO, Michigan 
F- Cody Kunyk, JR, Alaska 
D- Lee Moffie, SR, Michigan 
D- Kyle Follmer, SR, Northern Michigan 
G- Will Yanakeff, JR, Michigan State 

Honorable Mention (next six highest point totals, regardless of position with first-team votes in parentheses): Scott Czarnowczan, JR, D, Ferris State, (2) 19; A.J. Treais, SR, F, Michigan, (1) 18; Kyle Bonis, SR, F, Ferris State, (1) 16; Kevin Kapalka, JR, G, Lake Superior, (2) 15; Andrew Hammond, SR, G, Bowling Green, (1) 15; Sam Calabrese, SR, D, Notre Dame (0) 12.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com


One Response to “10/2/2012: Hockey Today”

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