Monday Afternoon's Lunch Links 8/13

Monday, August 13, 2012
Paul Thompson was one of the AHL guys at prospect camp
As mid-August approaches, the dog days of summer seem to come to an end - especially for AHL teams, writers and diehard hockey fans.

The league decided against releasing a schedule matrix and plans to release the schedule of the AHL's 2012-13 season this week. That will most likely be the next major update! I also get to plan out my road trips to attempt to keep Highland Park Hockey covering live AHL Penguins hockey as much as possible.

For those who are curious about who the Penguins might play, take a look at who they played last season here (or scroll down the page!). I don't expect many changes as to who the WBS Penguins will play as much as maybe the amount of times they will play out of division opponents.

Now to catch everyone up as to where the Penguins stand currently:
  • The WBS Penguins signed forwards Cody Chupp, Denver Manderson and Scott Zurevinski to AHL-only contracts.* Chupp split time between the AHL and ECHL with the Wheeling Nailers last season, while Manderson was an ECHL mainstay. Zurevinski played eight games at the end of the AHL regular season with the St. John's IceCaps. Had this on the blog's Twitter feed upon official announcement.
  • Former NHL Penguins forward Richard Park has signed a two-year deal overseas with HC Ambri Piotta of the NLA, a league in Switzerland. Some thought Park might sneak into the AHL last season but that did not happen.
To end, a look at the current WBS Penguins roster.
Goalies (3): Patrick Killeen, Brad Thiessen and Jeff Zatkoff

Goalies are pretty set. Killeen should be in Wheeling (ECHL) to start the season.

Defensemen (11): Robert Bortuzzo, Simon Despres, Brian Dumoulin, Alex Grant, Phillip, Reid McNeill, Joey Mormina, Joe Morrow, Dylan Reese, Philip Samuelsson, Carl Sneep, and Brian Strait

The blue line will be interesting. Robert Bortuzzo, Brian Strait, Dylan Reese and Simon Despres will battle for a spot with Pittsburgh, but the Penguins can't be satisfied with a Deryk Engelland-Ben Lovejoy third pairing. Despres does not need to clear waivers so you would think he will be sent to the AHL. Moves can be made to clear space for Despres. Bortuzzo, Strait and Reese would need to clear waivers to play in the AHL with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Forwards (19): Beau Bennett, Cody Chupp, Phillipe Dupuis, Benn Ferriero, Brian Gibbons, Riley Holzapfel, Tom Kuhnhackl, Steve MacIntyre, Denver Manderson, Adam Payerl, Warren Peters, Nick Petersen, Zach Sill, Trevor Smith, Paul Thompson, Dominik Uher, Keven Veilleux, Scott Zurevinski 

Pittsburgh seems set at forward, with only the status of RFA forward Eric Tangradi uncertain. Phillipe Dupuis (not Pascal), Ferreriero, Peters, and Smith can challenge for a spot in the NHL, and all of those guys would need to clear waivers to play in the AHL.


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