Archive for the ‘AHL’ Category

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The Avalanche are growing hockey in Colorado.

According to Mike Chambers of The Denver Post, the Avalanche will have their AHL squad in nearby Loveland, Colo. for the 2018-19 season.

The market is currently served by the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles, which will shift to the American Hockey League next season to partner with the Avalanche.

The Eagles play out of the Budweiser Events Center, about 50 miles north of Denver. Founded in 2003, the Eagles were previously part of the former Central Hockey League but transferred to the ECHL in 2011.

Their addition to the AHL will bring the league to 31 teams, matching the NHL after its expansion to Las Vegas.

An official announcement is expected in September.

The Avalanche are currently affiliated with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage, which will partner with the St. Louis Blues beginning in 2018-19, according to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Blues are without their own minor-league team this season, and will share the Chicago Wolves with the incoming Vegas Golden Knights.

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Craig Cunningham will have his No. 14 retired by the Tuscon Roadrunners prior to an Oct. 27 contest against the Iowa Wild this season, nearly one year after an on-ice emergency ended the former captain of the team’s playing days.

Cunningham appeared in 11 games with the Roadrunners last season. However, prior to a Nov. 19, 2016 contest against the Manitoba Moose, he suffered acute cardiac arrest and collapsed on the ice.

Cunningham was rushed to an area hospital where he was provided with life-saving care. He awoke from a coma nine days later when surgery was performed to amputate part of his foot as a result of the medical emergency.

Cunningham, 26, has since been named as a professional scout with the Arizona Coyotes, the parent club of the Roadrunners.

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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.”