Archive for the ‘AHL’ Category

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Craig Cunningham is sticking with the Arizona Coyotes.

The club has signed the former player to a two-year contract to serve as a pro scout, as well as to assist in player development with the Coyotes’ prospects.

“Craig was a smart, hard-working player with an incredible passion for the game,” said general manager John Chayka. “We’re confident that he will bring those same qualities to the Coyotes in his new role and that he will be an invaluable asset to our organization. We look forward to Craig helping us in several areas and are excited that he is staying with the club.”

Cunningham’s playing career was cut short as a result of a cardiac emergency prior to a Tucson Roadrunners (AHL) game on Nov. 19, 2016. Part of his left leg was subsequently amputated in order to ensure a full recovery.

“I’m very excited to begin the next chapter of my life with the Coyotes,” said Cunningham. “I’m very grateful to John Chayka, (coach) Dave Tippett, the Coyotes and Roadrunners organizations, and all of the great fans across Arizona for the incredible support I’ve received over the past year. I’m looking forward to helping the Coyotes and I can’t wait to get started in my new role.”

Cunningham appeared in 63 NHL games as a member of the Coyotes and Boston Bruins.

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The Vegas Golden Knights are one step closer to looking like a real NHL franchise, announcing Tuesday a multi-year affiliation with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves.

The St. Louis Blues had been previously affiliated with the Wolves. Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said in a statement later Tuesday that St. Louis would not renew its primary agreement with Chicago beyond this season, but would “associate with the Vegas Golden Knights and supply players to the Golden Knights’ AHL affiliate next season.”

The bulk of Vegas’ front-office work will take place between now and the June 21 expansion draft.

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Sin City wants its kids to play in the Windy City.

The Vegas Golden Knights, the NHL’s newest expansion team that will begin play next season, are in discussion with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves to partner as its minor-league affiliate, Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

The Wolves are currently the farm team of the St. Louis Blues, though Golden Knights owner Bill Foley has previously expressed that Vegas will look to share a minor-league affiliate before purchasing its own.

The Golden Knights hope to have their own AHL club in the west in the future, with possible homes including Reno, Nev., Salt Lake City, Utah, and Fresno, Calif.

Foley has previously stated that he hopes to have the Golden Knights’ affiliate finalized in January.

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Joshua Ho-Sang‘s tenure in the New York Islanders organization took another controversial turn Friday night.

The AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers made him a healthy scratch for their game against the Syracuse Crunch, and his head coach shed some light on the decision one day prior.

“Josh is working hard. He’s continuing to work on his game, work on his habits,” Sound Tigers head coach Brent Thompson told Michael Fornabaio of the Connecticut Post on Thursday.

“For me, eliminating the swinging, even in practice, little habits. … Maybe he’ll have to watch a game from up top, learning.”

The “swinging” Thompson is referring to is a way of describing when a player doesn’t skate in straight lines with a ‘stop-and-start’ style.

Ho-Sang was banished from Islanders training camp and sent back to the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs last fall after sleeping in and showing up late on the first day.

“Enough with the bullshit, it’s time to grow up,” Islanders general manager Garth Snow said at the time.

Ho-Sang showed up on time one year later, and he was off to a decent start in the AHL with six points in 10 games before Friday’s benching.

The Islanders selected him 28th overall in 2014.

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Bill Foley had barely completed the purchase of his first hockey team before he began searching for his second.

Foley, owner of the NHL’s expansion franchise in Las Vegas, is expected to move quickly on a minor-league affiliate, though it’s not yet known if he’s looking to buy or partner with another club.

There are currently 30 AHL clubs, meaning one team would need to double up once Las Vegas brings the NHL to 31 teams.

“It’s like building another team from scratch, only cheaper,” Murray Craven, the team’s senior vice-president, told Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We’re still trying to figure out what we want to do. The choices (for expansion) aren’t that numerous.”

Should Las Vegas look to purchase its own AHL franchise, Foley has previously expressed interest in placing a minor-league club in Reno, Nev., Fresno, Calif., or Salt Lake City, Utah.

The AHL has seen a western shift in recent years, with the NHL’s western conference clubs moving their minor-league teams to the likes of San Diego, Calif. and Tucson, Ariz., among other locales. Foley’s AHL club would likely compete in the same division.

While it’s unknown where the club will call home, Craven was quick to rule out placing the team in the same city as its parent club, Las Vegas, stating, “I think we’d be better served having our affiliate elsewhere.”

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The Binghamton Senators are heading north.

The Ottawa Senators announced Monday that the club will move its American Hockey League affiliate in Binghamton, N.Y., to Belleville, Ontario. The team will be known as the Belleville Senators and begin play in 2017-18.

Senators owner Eugene Melynk acquired ownership of the AHL franchise as part of the deal.

“Hockey is back in Belleville. The people of Belleville are a deeply passionate and proud hockey community,” Melnyk said in a statement. “This community has truly earned the return of hockey and I am committed to making the Belleville Senators an integral part of the city.”

The team will play out of the Yardmen Arena, the former home of the OHL’s Belleville Bulls, which relocated to Hamilton in 2015. As part of the agreement, the arena will undergo an $18.5-million modernization.

With the relocation, the Senators’ top minor-league affiliate will be closer to its parent club, and the team will avoid any delays that came with the club being located south of the border.

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The Montreal Canadiens are honoring a legend with the naming of their AHL affiliate.The fans acted as nickname-choosers in this case, and after an extensive voting process, the minor-league affiliate will be known as Club de hockey Rocket de Laval, or, in English, the Laval Rocket.

The team is set to begin playing at Place Bell in nearby Laval, Quebec in 2017-18.

“From the opening day of the contest it was clear that the ROCKET entry would be a heavy favorite among some 850 different names submitted,” said Place Bell president Vincent Lucier. “At the completion of phase I it was the most popular choice. In fact, throughout phases II and III, it earned more votes than all other names combined.

“The message was loud and clear from fans looking for a meaningful identity for their team while paying tribute to Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard as one of the Canadiens’ most legendary figures.”

Richard, of course, was a member of eight Stanley Cup-winning rosters in Montreal, and won the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP in 1947.

A logo and color scheme will be unveiled in the coming months.