Although the Connecticut Whale are opening the season without Marek Hrivik and Ryan Bourque (in addition to Dylan McIlrath and Cam Talbot), they are still able to dress a formidable set of 12 forwards in tonight’s opener against Bridgeport. Blueshirts United posted the lines from Wednesday’s practice, and they look strong:
Chris Kreider-Kris Newbury-Chad Kolarik
JT Miller-Kyle Jean-Andrew Yogan
Tommy Grant-Michael Haley-Christian Thomas
Brandon Segal-Kelsey Tessier-Shayne Wiebe
Those top three lines are very capable of putting pucks in the net, and doing so often. Yes, even Haley, who played to a 40 point per season average while in the AHL over the last two seasons. Remember, this team only gets stronger when Hrivik and Bourque are back in the lineup.
Game time is 7pm tonight, and will be live streamed at Blueshirts United.
Connecticut is trimming its roster in preparation for their season opener this Friday, and that included trimming the roster by 13 players. Four players will skate for the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL, while nine were cut and released from their training camp tryouts.
Assigned to Greenville (ECHL):
Defensemen (1): Steven Delisle
Forwards (3): Ryan Flanigan, Danny Hobbs, Jordie Johnston
Released from training camp tryouts:
Goaltenders (2): Bryan Hince, Kyle Rank
Defensemen (3): Kyle Haines, Colten Hayes, Brent Henley
Forwards (4): Andrew Courtney, Scott Tanski, Nicolas Tremblay, Francis Verreault-Paul
The moves leave 28 skaters in Connecticut, including three goalies:
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Sorry for the delay folks, but here’s the live stream of the Whale game currently underway:
Streaming live video by Ustream
With two preseason games down and one to go, Connecticut General Manager Jim Schoenfeld trimmed the Whale roster by 12 players. These 12 players will either be assigned to the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL, or given their outright release if they were not under contract:
Danny Hobbs, Brent Henley, Scott Tanski, Steven Delisle, Ryan Flanigan, Jordie Johnston, Kyle Haines, Andrew Coutney, Colten Hayes, Bryan Hince, and Kyle Rank.
As for the 24 remaining players in camp, they were re-joined by Kris Newbury, who had been injured for the first few days of camp. Per Blueshirts United (same link above), Newbury centered a line with Chris Kreider and Chad Kolarik. This line will likely be the top line for the Whale when the regular season begins.
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After wrapping up last night’s loss, we decided that it may be a good idea to create some game threads for the CT Whale games during the lockout. Our goal is to post some background info on the opponent, and hopefully some line combinations.
Opponent: Worcester Sharks
NHL Affiliate: San Jose Sharks
Notable NHLers: Tim Kennedy?
Top Prospects: Freddie Hamilton (2010, 5th), Travis Oleksuk (Undrafted), Matt Tennyson (Undrafted), Taylor Doherty (2009, 2nd), Harri Sateri (2008, 4th)
Line Combinations (projected based on lineup):
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Despite the 3-1 loss to Albany in Connecticut’s 2012-2013 preseason opener, there were many positives coming from the game. Per Jim Cerny, top prospect J.T. Miller was one player that stood out the most during the loss. Miller recorded the Whale’s lone goal and was a physical and dominating presence on the ice. Miller, playing on a line with Michael Haley and Chad Kolarik, was creative and showed that he belonged on the ice with the other AHL players.
Meanwhile, across the pond, Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fast continued their torrid starts. Lindberg added another assist to his totals in a 2-1 shootout loss, while Fast scored yet another goal in HV71’2 4-1 win. Lindberg remains in the top five in scoring, while Fast is tied for second in goals.
One other item worth noting is that Thomas Spelling has only dressed for one game for Rogle’s SEL squad. He has suited up every other game in the Swedish Juniors*, and he is not very happy about it. The link is in Danish, but the Google Chrome translator gave this little nugget:
“It is as if the coach doesn’t believe in me, and I never really get any feedback other than being told that “things are going in the right direction”. But he never really speaks to me, unless I come to him first”
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The Whale signings keep on coming. This time around, Connecticut has agreed to terms with undrafted forward Ryan Flanigan. Flanigan played four seasons with Merrimack College in Hockey East, finishing his college career with a line of 34-45-79 in 131 games.
Following the conclusion of his senior season, the 6’1″ 180 lb forward played four games with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL (Montreal Canadiens affiliate), where he scored a goal and an assist.
Despite the lockout, there is still some hockey to be played that affects the Rangers organization. The Rangers website has the preliminary roster for the Connecticut Whale this year:
Forwards: Ryan Bourque, Tommy Grant, Michael Haley, Marek Hrivik, Kyle Jean, Chad Kolarik, Chris Kreider, JT Miller, Kris Newbury, Brandon Segal, Christian Thomas, Jason Wilson, Andrew Yogan.
Defense: Sean Collins, Steven Delisle, Dylan McIlrath, Jyri Niemi, Blake Parlett, Logan Pyett, Mike Vernace.
Goalies: Jason Missiaen, Scott Stajcer, Cam Talbot.
There are also seven players not listed by the Rangers that are currently on the Whale roster:
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The Rangers will have the Greenville Road Warriors as their ECHL affiliate for at least one more season. The Greenville website posted that they have renewed their agreement with the Rangers for the 2012-2013 season, which will be their third season with the Rangers. The Rangers initially agreed to have the Greenville club as their ECHL affiliate when the Charlotte Checkers left to be the Carolina Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate.
Aaron Portzline, who did a fantastic job covering the Rick Nash trade, has an inside scoop that as many as eight owners might be willing to accept the NHLPA’s proposal as is. While this is not the unanimous approval that many are hoping for, it’s at least hope that the owners are divided. We don’t know the exact details of the NHLPA proposal, but we do know that it had some sort of revenue sharing system in place, and it kept the salary cap in place. My guess is that some of the lower-funded teams would readily accept more revenue sharing, as they are the ones that need the money to stay afloat.
The Connecticut Whale released their schedule this week as well. It would be really cool if MSG airs the Whale games if there’s an NHL lockout.
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There have been several reports that some variation of the package the Rangers sent to Columbus for Rick Nash on Monday was on the negotiating table for months before the deal was finally consummated. But Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, who is one of the more clued in reporters in the business, tweeted that defensive prospect Tim Erixon was in fact only added to the deal last week. Portzline added that there was “no question” that Shea Weber’s offer sheet with Philadelphia pushed the Rangers to sweeten their offer and include Erixon.
That nugget drew little attention in light of all the other subplots surrounding the blockbuster trade, but if Portzline’s report is correct, then that tells us even more about GM Glen Sather’s negotiating tactics over the last few months.
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