Monday's Catch Up & Links 5/18

Monday, May 18, 2015
The AHL announced today that Syracuse will host the 2016 All-Star Classic January 31st - February 1st.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Plenty of hockey related news on a busy Monday in mid-May, so perfect timing to bring back Monday's Weekly Catch Up & Links this week. The plan is to have this weekly Monday post throughout the duration of the summer.

In the American Hockey League, the final four is almost set as Grand Rapids Griffins eliminated the Rockford IceHogs in five games to advance to the Western Conference Finals. The Utica Comets could join the Griffins in the third round with a win tonight at home in Game Six against the Oklahoma City Barons. A win by the Barons would force a winner-take-all Game Seven on Wednesday night.

The Eastern Conference Final is already set, with the top seeded Manchester Monarchs taking on the Hartford WolfPack for the rights to represent the Eastern Conference in the 2015 Calder Cup Finals.

The AHL announced earlier this afternoon that the Syracuse Crunch will be hosting the 2016 AHL All-Star Classic in the league's 80th anniversary season, with the Skills Competition Sunday January 31st followed by the AHL All-Star Game on Monday February 1st. Here's the league's press release.

As for a content schedule of what to expect here online in the next few weeks, I have come up with a loose calendar of sorts for what you'll be able to read here:
  • I'm going donate a week of content space online for each of the AHL teams I covered this season, starting with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins next week (May 25th - 31st) and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms the following week (June 1st - 7th).
  • I'll have end of the year progress reports with a look at each prospect in the organization with a synopsis of their season, some insights on their development and what to expect in 2015-16. I'll also have a deeper look at the rosters of each team at the AHL level, who is under what kind of contract, the impending free agents and some simple explanations of words you will see all summer long (i.e. restricted versus unrestricted free agents, etc.)
After the jump, some extra reading you might have missed over the past week with the weekly links.

Weekly Links

With the AHL Penguins out-lasting the NHL Penguins, several beat writers from Pittsburgh were in Wilkes-Barre during the AHL Pens' Calder Cup playoff run.

Jason Mackey, staff writer for Trib Total Media, had this feature on rookie goaltender Matt Murray and a well-written piece on the story of Conor Sheary and his chances of earning his first NHL contract this summer.

Josh Yohe, who covers the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers for DK On Pittsburgh Sports, wrote this feature on W-B/Scranton Penguins fan-favorite Bobby Farnham.

From Chris Roy of the Maine Hockey Journal, the Arizona Coyotes have cleaned house in the American Hockey League in the preparation of their affiliation move from Portland to Springfield, Massachusetts next season.

The Hershey Bears have re-signed defenseman Erik Burgdorfer and forward Dustin Gazley to AHL contracts for the 2015-16 season. Burgdorfer, a rookie defenseman this past season, tallied his first career AHL goal against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on January 3rd. In his first full AHL season after spending the better part of the previous three seasons in the ECHL, Gazley had a breakout year with a career-high 38 points (18G-20A) in 72 regular season games with the Bears this season.

The new California AHL teams are expected to play 68 games in the 2015-16 season while the rest of the league will play 76 like the league did in 2014-15 per this report on MLive from Pete Wallner - taking a look specifically at the Grand Rapids Griffins' expected travel increases next season.

If you missed it, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms released their six guaranteed home dates for the 2015-16 season, including opening night on Saturday, October 10th. The other five dates, all on Saturdays, are as follows: October 24th, November 14th, November 28th, December 12th and January 16th.

My latest stories on varying AHL-related topics for Hockey's Future:

Henrik Samuelsson of the Portland Pirates

Robert Hagg of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms

AHL Eastern Conference Playoff Update


Post a Comment