Archive for Kris Newbury

Yesterday the Rangers announced that they had recalled nine six players from the Connecticut Whale of the AHL. The Whale were eliminated from Calder Cup contention last week, and the nine six players called up will serve as the “taxi squad.” As per Andrew Gross, they will practice separately from the current roster.

The players called up include:

G – Cameron Talbot

D – Tim Erixon, Dylan McIlrath

F – J.T. Miller, Casey Wellman, Kris Newbury, Chad Kolarik, Marek Hrivik, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault

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Rangers Return Newbury To Whale

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The Rangers have returned forward Kris Newbury to the CT Whale of the AHL. Newbury’s second stint with the Rangers lasted one game, where he was on the ice for three Canadiens goals. Newbury finished the game with under seven minutes of ice time and a -3 rating. He looked incredibly lost against a much faster Montreal team.

Newbury’s return to CT means that one of Brandon Dubinsky or Ruslan Fedotenko will be ready to go tomorrow against Nashville.

Categories : Call Ups/Demotions
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Kris Newbury Called Up

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The Rangers have called up Kris Newbury from the CT Whale. The call up is likely a precautionary move to replace Ruslan Fedotenko in the lineup, who left last night’s game with back spasms.

Brandon Dubinsky is still a game time decision with his shoulder injury. If Dubi can play, then Newbury likely won’t  dress. If he can’t then expect to see Newbury slide into Fedotenko’s spot in the lineup.

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Newbury Suspended Four Games

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Press release from the AHL:

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League today announced the following suspensions:

Connecticut Whale center Kris Newbury has been suspended for four (4) games as a consequence of an illegal check to the head of an opponent in a game vs. Bridgeport on Nov. 18.

Newbury will miss Connecticut’s games Wednesday (Nov. 23) vs. Portland, Friday (Nov. 25) at Bridgeport, Saturday (Nov. 26) at Springfield and Nov. 29 vs. Hershey.

The Rangers don’t need another call up right now, but it is unlikely that Newbury will be called up until his suspension is over. Players have been moved around leagues and that has delayed suspensions, but I don’t expect that to be the case this time around.

Categories : AHL
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The New York Rangers have called up forward Andre Deveaux from the Connecticut Whale.  In nine games with the Whale this year, Deveaux has four goals, two assists, and 23 PIMs.  This move is likely in response to some lingering affects of the Zenon Konopka hit on Artem Anisimov, a hit in which Anisimov landed awkwardly –face first– against the glass. Anisimov was not skating in practice today.

I missed the part where Kris Newbury was sent back to the Whale. So calling up Deveaux and sending down Newbury are the moves for the day, which eliminates the point I made about Anisimov being out of practice. In six games with the Rangers, Newbury did not register a point, but had 24 PIMs and a +2 rating.

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Whale Watch: Hot Hagelin

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The CT Whale enter this weekend with a 1-1-2 record, similar to the Rangers but with two shootout losses on the books. For the first time this season the Whale will play a three-in-three days stretch over the weekend. This will be pretty new territory for some of the prospects on the team and without leading scorer and veteran leader Kris Newbury (tied for 2nd in the AHL in points) it will be interesting to see how the team reacts.

Up Next:

  • Friday: Manchester travel to the XL arena to take on the Whale with a 3-3 record after 6
  • Saturday: The Whale travel to Springfield to take on the Falcons who have a 3-2 record in 5
  • Sunday: Sunday sees the Whale entertain Springfield in the back end of a home and home.

Prospect Watch

Carl Hagelin has begun his campaign in impressive style. With 4 points in 4 games, an impressive +5 rating and a shorthanded goal to his name statistically speaking it couldn’t be much better for the young Swede. Hagelin has been displaying his impressive speed aplenty and will be needed to lead the offense this weekend with Newbury missing.

Chad Johnson has begun the year brilliantly and is pretty unfortunate to only have one win to his name thus far. With a 1-0-2 record the netminder still boasts a .939 save percentage and 1.85 goals against average. Bear in mind his sole victory was a 1-0 shootout win and Johnson hasn’t had much offensive support. If he gets that support the team can certainly rely on their goalie at the moment.

Aside from Hagelin, of all the (young) prospects on the Whale only Tomas Kundratek has a point to claim as his own. With one assist in 4 games the young blueliner is off to a relatively muted start and only has 2 shots through 4 games.

Ryan Bourque has already missed a game with illness/injury and in 3 games is scoreless and -2 thus far. Again noting Newbury’s absence, Bourque should have more ice time if he’s in the line-up.

Avery Factor

The circus comes to town this weekend and it will be interesting for several reasons; will Avery be a positive factor or a major distraction? Will he even be able to suit up this weekend (indications are that he will). If Avery plays he should be a difference maker at this level and could be an interesting addition to Hagelin’s line or, if Bourque moves to center on his line. Hopefully the Avery ‘addition’ to Connecticut won’t be the only storyline of their weekend.

Categories : AHL, Prospects
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Following the New York Rangers 4-2 loss against the New York Islanders last night, the Blueshirts made two roster moves that are likely to shake things up among the fanbase and with the team. Mats Zuccarello was sent to the CT Whale, and Kris Newbury was called up to the NHL. Zuccarello had seen less than ten minutes of ice time in each of the first three games, and did not seem to impress the coaching staff (thus not earning more time).  Meanwhile, Newbury has been the Whale’s best player through their first few games, and has certainly earned a call up.

Zuccarello’s waiver status gave him a short leash, so it is not surprising that he was sent down so quickly. Having played three games this season, Zuccarello had just 15 games remaining before he would have to clear waivers. Newbury will need to clear re-entry waivers before joining the Rangers, per article 50.9 of the CBA, whereby any player requiring regular waivers needs to clear re-entry waivers. If my understanding of that clause is unclear, then I believe he still needs to clear because he makes more than $95,000 in the AHL ($250,000), again per article 50.9 of the CBA. 

Newbury does not need re-entry waivers, as he did not spend 40 games on an NHL roster last season.

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Thoughts On A Mixed Start for the Whale

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The start of the hockey season also meant the start of the regular season for the Rangers affiliate, the CT Whale. The first pair of games produced a 1-1 record as the team lost 6-3 to Adirondack, after which the Whale rebounded with a 1-0 shootout win over Wilkes-Barre. Several players with Rangers hopes stood out over the first weekend’s play, and not all for the right reasons. Here’s a quick look at some of the notables;

The Good

  • Chad Johnson made the very most of his first start. After the Whale lost their first game it was Johnson who was charged with holding the fort and he did so in spectacular style. Making 41 saves to earn the 1-0 shutout/shootout win Johnson immediately has a leg up on his competition. Given his uncertain status over the summer Johnson’s performance couldn’t have been better timed.
  • Kris Newbury. Is he a ‘tweener’? Is he a career AHL’er? Newbury has a lot of NHL experience and at times has proved useful to the Rangers too. However he has never had the offensive impact in the big league like he has in the AHL. An opening night hat-trick last Saturday was followed up by being one of the more active Whaler players in the 1-0 win on Sunday. A great start to the year for Newbury and he offered a reminder to the Rangers brass what he can do.
  • Carl Hagelin. Over the first two games he may have been scoreless but a +1, to go with 6 shots and being a constant presence offensively, Hagelin has made a solid start. If he keeps the shot count up he’ll put up the numbers too.

The Bad

  • Cam Talbot will have wished for a better start than to concede 5 goals on 23 shots in his first start of what figured to be a timeshare in CT, especially given his solid preseason. With Johnson following that up with his 41 save shutout Talbot couldn’t have wished for a worse start personally.
  • Ryan Bourque and John Mitchell will be expected to be key players for the Whale, especially if both want to force promotion to the Rangers this year. Bourque started -2 with just a pair of shots to his name while Mitchell is already a -3 for the year despite notching an assist. Both players will look for better luck this weekend.

 The Ugly

  • Wade Redden’s season opener couldn’t have gone worse; the veteran blueliner came off the ice a -4 and has already taken two penalties this season to boot. A key (the key?) part of the Whale blueline while he remains Rangers property, Redden will need to be better if this team intends on making noise this season.

Next Up:

The baby Rangers face a pair of familiar foes this weekend. First up is a trip to Albany to face the Baby Devils on Friday night while Saturday night sees the Whale entertain Bridgeport as the baby Islanders come to town. Both games are divisional match-ups in the Northeast division as the Whale will seek to make it three losses in a row for the Devils. The Whale will look to bypass the Sound Tigers (who have the same record as the Whale) over the weekend too. Two wins would make it a solid start to the year for the Whale (especially given last year’s start) and would be especially impressive given the high amount of new talent being incorporated into the line-up.

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Earlier this week, we ran the first part of our most recent Q&A with Brian Ring of the CT Whale who has kindly taken time out to discuss a whole array of things with us such as the Whale, Rangers’ prospects and his candidates for breakout performers in the future. Today we have the second part of the Q&A.

Today’s final part looks at the Whale’s potential season, more prospects, the goaltending carousel and MVP candidates for the 2011/12 season. Happy reading…

  • What achievement would be considered a good season for the Whale in 2011-12?

Brian: The benchmark of this franchise has always been to make the playoffs, as the Wolf Pack/Whale have made the playoffs in 13 of 14 seasons in their history. But I think that may be setting the bar low this season, as the upside given the talent and skill on this year’s team should be more than enough to set their sights on making a deep run into the postseason and going for the Calder Cup.

  • Chad Kolarik is another relatively young forward that played well for the Whale. What can Rangers fans expect from Kolarik and does he have a chance at cracking the NHL this season?

Brian: Kolarik is a highly-skilled player with a great sniping and playmaking ability. He had a bit of a nagging injury last year which kept him from being completely healthy but he still managed nearly a point a game during his time in a Whale uniform (17-14-31) in 36 games (he also played 13 games for Springfield). I would say he certainly has a chance of spending some time in New York this season, battling it out with guys like Kris Newbury, John Mitchell and Dale Weise, among others, for potential call-ups.

  • A relatively unknown name to most fans is that of Kale Kerbashian. Can you provide fans a brief ‘scouting report’ on the young winger and where is he expected to begin the new season?

Brian: Kale really broke out last season with a pretty big junior year for Sarnia, totalling 37-51-88 in 68 games for the Sting. I haven’t seen enough of him to really make a solid judgement, but I did watch him a bit at the Rangers’ development camp and he seemed to be one of the more confident players on the ice and had no problem rushing the puck and making plays. All evidence points to Kale being a rugged guy who is not afraid to get physical on the ice, and the team was impressed enough to lock him up to an AHL deal this year.

  • Is it fair to suggest that the Whale’s biggest question marks are in net and how do you see the goaltending position playing out heading in to the year?

Brian: I think it will be one of the more intriguing aspects of the preseason and the Whale training camp to see how Chad Johnson, Cam Talbot and Jason Missiaen will compete and battle each other for spots on the team. Throw Scott Stajcer into the mix and things get even more interesting. Johnson is certainly someone that has had success at the AHL level and has spent time with the Rangers, and Talbot has as well. If I had to venture a guess, I think Johnson and Talbot will be splitting time with the Whale, and I’m willing to bet that goaltending ends up more of a strength than people think, especially considering the team’s corps of defensemen.

  • How is the organisation able to balance the almost conflicting priorities of prospect development and competitiveness in the American Hockey League?

Brian: I think the biggest thing is that the Rangers have continued to draft and acquire high-end talent that allows the Whale to both develop players and win hockey games with those player’s abilities at the same time. Even when the Rangers make a trade for a player that is likely to play in Hartford, such as a Kris Newbury or a John Mitchell, those are players that are able to step right into an NHL line up but are also excellent AHL players. That, combined with the solid drafting the Rangers have done for some time now, has led to good organizational depth and this lessens the need to compromise either player development or competitiveness. Development is certainly the first priority for most AHL clubs, however winning is always a nice side effect of generating top-tier talent.

  • If you had to say one name today, who will be the CT Whale MVP at the end of the 2011-12 season and why?

Brian: Such a tough question because there are a lot of factors regarding who will be here to start the year, who will miss a lot of times with call-ups or injuries. I’m going to take Kris Newbury, who I’ll project to finish top ten in the AHL in points this year. I think there will be a lot of goals scored this season and he’ll have plenty of guys to dish the puck to.


A final big thanks to both Brian Ring and the CT Whale for participating with the Q&A. It’s always interesting to hear insight from Brian about the Whale and the Rangers prospects. Be sure to follow both Brian and the Whale on twitter at @brianring and @CTWhale. Make sure you check back throughout the season for updates on how the Whale (and the Rangers future) are getting on with their season and be sure to check out the Whale’s own website  too.

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The Rangers’ progression in recent years and the foundations for future successes have, in part, been built through prospect development and the presence of a good farm system. For a while now, Hockey’s Future have rated the Rangers’ prospect pipeline highly. A lot of that passes through the Connecticut Whale and the AHL.

Brian Ring, on behalf of the Whale – for the second time – has kindly agreed to answer some questions for us about the Whale and in particular some of the Rangers’ prospects expected to see ice time on the farm. Here’s part one of the latest Q&A series, focussing on a few of the young players that may (or may not) be with the Whale this season.

  • The CT Whale promise to be much changed this coming season. Which forward do you expect a breakout offensive season from?

Brian: Carl Hagelin. The team figures to have some offensive depth, and should Hagelin not make the Rangers this season it would seem that he’s set up to have a very nice year given his skill set.

  • Regarding Tommy Grant; following a solid college career Tommy had an equally solid yet brief stint last season with the Whale, leading to a professional contract. What can Rangers fans expect from Tommy?

Brian: With Tommy Grant, I think fans could expect a two-way player that isn’t afraid to get in the dirty areas of the ice. He has decent size and quite a bit of skill, and as you mentioned he spent four years in college for Alaska-Anchorage and will be more seasoned than some players in the AHL this season. I think he’s a good candidate to put up some real numbers this year.

  • Another player that had a brief cameo with the Whale last year was Andrew Yogan. Despite his trade within the OHL, do you expect Andrew to be a Whale player and if so, what impact over a full season can be reasonably expected?

Brian: I think it depends on if the Rangers end up taking Hagelin or Bourque with them out of camp, right now looking at a depth chart of potential forwards in Connecticut it doesn’t look like there will be room for Yogan. That is not a slight on Yogan, he is a very skilled and talented young player, but I think the extra year of over-age eligibility might hurt his chances of playing for the Whale this season. If he does end up here, he certainly didn’t look out of place with two goals in his first pro game, and he totalled three points total in just two games. I think he would fit in quite well here

  • What hopes to do the two organisations (NYR and CT) have for relative unknown (at least to most fans), Kelsey Tessier?

Brian: While not the biggest guy on the ice, Tessier raised some eyebrows with a pretty impressive rookie season (10-18-28 in 75 games). He is a smart player that sees the ice well and despite the fact he is smaller than most of the other players out there, he plays very hard and competes at a high level every night. Tessier can certainly be an asset in Connecticut as a third or fourth line energy player and could maybe even play the same role in New York one day.

  • Wade Redden aside (assuming he starts the year, still a member of the organisation); who will be counted on for leadership in Connecticut this coming season and why?

Brian: The team has been lucky to have a healthy locker room culture where everyone seems to do their part to push each other and be supportive. But returning alternate captains Jared Nightingale and Kris Newbury are both guys that will be respected leaders, Brendan Bell, should he be here has a ton of experience too. But again, I think everyone takes it upon themselves to be a leader and a motivator on the ice and in the room.


Once again, a big thank you to both Brian Ring and the CT Whale for participating with the Q&A. It’s always interesting to hear insight from ‘within the system’. Be sure to follow both Brian and the Whale on twitter at @brianring and @CTWhale. Be sure to check back later this week for the next part of the Q&A where we discuss even more prospects and the CT Whale’s upcoming season. 

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