Monday Catch Up & Lunch Links 6/16

Monday, June 16, 2014
Photo credit: @ItsJacki
With the off-season underway, I'll post a weekly update so to speak on every Monday to recap some important dates to remember, relevant Penguins organization moves and news, interesting stories or major developments in the hockey world and links to news you might've missed on Highland Park Hockey this past week.

Leading up to free agency, some players who played in the AHL this past season may look to head overseas. There has already been quite a few league-wide, most notably Bob McKenzie's report that Stephane Da Costa is likely headed to the KHL after the Ottawa Senators won't give him a one-way contract.

To stay tuned to the latest player movement surrounding the AHL Penguins free agents, follow our Twitter feed - @H_P_Hockey or the top left hand column of the website.
  • Dates to Remember
Friday, June 27th - Saturday, 28th: 2014 NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia
Monday, June 30th: Deadline to submit qualifying offers to restricted free-agents (RFA).
Tuesday, July 1st: The 2014 Free Agency period begins. All unrestricted free agents are free to sign with other teams.
  • The Stanley Cup Playoffs ended late Friday night in Los Angeles as the Kings defeated the New York Rangers in double overtime of Game Five, giving the Kings their second championship in the last three seasons.
  • The NHL may have wrapped things up for the year, but the AHL's Calder Cup Finals are in mid-swing. After a four-day layover between Games Three and Four, the St. John's IceCaps host the Texas Stars tonight at 6 p.m. EST trailing the Stars 2-1 in the best-of-seven championship round.
  • Speaking of the AHL, the talk about the league housing franchises out west is picking up and drawing a lot of attention. As many as five teams (Phoenix, Los Angelees, San Jose, Anaheim and Vancouver) could move their AHL franchises out west within the next few years.
  • There will be two new AHL teams in the 2014-15 season as the Philadelphia Flyers affiliate Adirondack Phantoms have re-located back to Pennsylvania in a newly built arena in downtown Allentown and will be the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The Calgary Flames have moved their team out of Abbotsford and into the recently vacated Glens Falls Civic Center and will play as the Adirondack Flames in 2014-15.
  • The Penguins have had a pretty eventful off-season in the first two weeks of June. If you were disconnected from the sports world at all the past week or so, perhaps on a nice summer vacation, here's what you missed:
6/5/14 - AHL Penguins re-sign forward Tom Kostopoulos to a one-year AHL contract. The team captain and true definition of what fans in Wilkes-Barre have come to know as Penguins hockey will be back for what is likely his final season.
6/6/14 - The Pittsburgh Penguins hire Jim Rutherford (GM), Jason Boterill (associate GM), Tom Fitzgerald (assistant GM) and Bill Guerin (assistant GM), while firing head coach Dan Bylsma. Do all the changes to the Penguins staff give defenseman Simon Despres a fresh start?
6/7/14 - With all the news filing in about Kostopoulos re-signing and the new management staff in Pittsburgh, I had to push back this post, grading the AHL Penguins 2014 Postseason, similar to the monthly prospect grade report posted each month of the season.
6/9/14 - Especially relevant today, now that the Pens are set to being interviewing candidates for the NHL head coaching position, is a look at AHL Penguins head coach John Hynes through the eyes of former Penguin Chad Kolarik, who says Hynes is "1000 percent" ready to be an NHL coach.
6/12/14 - In the first of a three-part series, a look at the in-house free agents for the Penguins at the forward position. It's going to be very interesting to see what the Penguins do up front, as new GM Jim Rutherford voiced his concerns about the secondary scoring from the bottom six and that it needs to get better. Will Brian Gibbons and Zach Sill be effective bottom six guys the Pens can re-sign relatively inexpensive?
Look for part two of three Tuesday afternoon on the in-house options for the Penguins at the defense/goalie positions. Part Three later this week will look at the options that affect the AHL Penguins.
6/13/14 - A fun Friday the 13th post on the 'lucky' seven players who have worn 'unlucky' number 13 in AHL Penguins history examining how Daniel Carcillo broke the WBS #13 curse and how Beau Bennett might've started it back up again.


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