Tuesday's Talk 10/25

Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Tanner Glass finds himself back in the AHL in 2016-17. Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
A new weekly feature this season to generate discussion during the week.

Written by: Tony Androckitis, Twitter/Facebook

Editor's Note: Each week, the plan is to have this weekly feature available for more discussion during the week. While Phantoms/Flyers related questions will be a center of focus, any AHL-related questions are welcome and will be answered here each week.

To submit your questions for next week's edition of Tuesday's Talk, you can simply leave your question in the comments section of this or any article on the website. You can also ask your questions via FaceBook or Twitter (links are in the byline of this article).

AHL teams are starting to get back into the regular routine, and while there is still plenty of chemistry yet to be formed among lines and defense pairings it won't be too long before the kinks are worked out and the top minor league to the NHL is back in full-swing - developing prospects and readying them for the next step.

Training camps this season were interesting in the fact that several long-time NHL players didn't make the cut, thus being waived and reassigned to the AHL. This week's topic takes a look at how hockey is evolving to a young man's game and the amount of experienced NHL guys are skating in the minors this fall.

Of course, your questions are answered after the jump!

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Tuesday's Topic - NHL Veterans On AHL Rosters

As the NHL becomes a young man's league, several longtime NHL players are finding themselves on waivers and reassigned to the AHL.

Last year, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms saw Andrew MacDonald and Sam Gagner join their team. The Hershey Bears signed forward Scott Gomez.

This year, there are plenty of big name players currently in the AHL. Here's a quick list of a few of them:

Bridgeport: Stephen Gionta (270 NHL games) and Steve Bernier (630 NHL games)
Grand Rapids: Daniel Cleary (938 NHL games)
Hartford: Tanner Glass (500 NHL games)
Ontario: Rob Scuderi (783 NHL games)
Toronto: Brooks Laich (764 NHL games)
Tucson: Zbynek Michalek (781 NHL games)

This trend will not only continue down the road, but could increase to the point where every team's 'veteran core' has a guy like those above who have a ton of experience at hockey's highest level. It will certainly be interesting to see the effect it has on future AHL rosters.

Your Questions Answered!

Q: How has Sam Morin looked? What match ups is he seeing? - via @michaelkinky on Twitter
Morin is definitely playing with confidence early in the season. The progression from the beginning of last season to the end of his rookie year was definitely a noticeable upward trend. So far, it looks like it has carried over into the first three games of this year. He was paired with Will O'Neill in the first two games, but was with Reece Willcox last Saturday. 
Q: Do you think one of the AHL goalies will be ready for next year? - via @AlexisBrodeur on Twitter
Anthony Stolarz definitely needs a chance to prove himself at the NHL level before the end of the season before I say he's ready for the NHL. He's been dominant at the AHL level (beginning of last season in Lehigh Valley) and has improved his consistency. 
Alex Lyon made his pro debut and looked okay despite allowing five goals on 34 shots, but it's way too early to speculate after just one regular season game about his NHL future just yet. 
Q: How would you grade the play of the young D-men so far (Morin, Hagg, Sanheim)? - via @nate52025 on Twitter
Too early to hand out grades (I do monthly prospect reports with grades), but here's a quick assessment on those three:
Morin - Playing confident hockey, looking like he carried over progression he made last year. 
Hagg - Paired with Sanheim, he's looking to be a more responsible two-way player this season. The pairing had a rough weekend, so Hagg will be looking for a strong start to this season.
Sanheim - Going through the typical ups and downs that first year players do. Looked really good in season opener and had his fair share of troubles last weekend.
Q: How is Mark Alt's recovery going, and who on D is likely to sit once he's healthy? - via @kyrish7nd on Twitter
There hasn't been any update on Alt since the Flyers said he'll be out indefinitely, which isn't a good sign that his return will be anytime soon. I had heard from a team source that it's a separated shoulder for Alt, which could mean he'll be out of the lineup for a few months if not more if the injury requires surgery.


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