Archive for the ‘AHL’ Category

Russ Brandon, who served as the president of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres, resigned from his position with both teams, Terry and Kim Pegula announced Tuesday. Brandon also resigned as Pegula Sports and Entertainment president.

Brandon’s exit reportedly follows an internal investigation into his workplace behavior and allegations of personal misconduct, two sources told Tim Graham of the Buffalo News.

Kim Pegula will immediately take over as president of the Bills, Sabres, and Pegula Sports and Entertainment.

“We have a tremendous amount of confidence in the strong leadership teams we have built within each of those entities over the last several years,” Terry and Kim Pegula wrote in a statement. “We are excited about the direction of our teams, especially after this past weekend’s NFL draft and NHL lottery results. Our focus remains on building championship teams on and off the field for our fans and community.”

Brandon told Graham he’d been thinking about moving on from the organization for “some time.”

“My goal when the Pegulas purchased the franchise was to reach 20 years with the Bills … which I achieved this past November,” Brandon said. “Given where we are from a timing standpoint, particularly with the conclusion of the NFL draft, now seems like the time to make that transition.”

Brandon joined the Bills in 1997 and was named president in 2013. He was appointed Sabres president in July 2015 after the Pegulas dismissed Ted Black.

The executive also served as president of the AHL’s Rochester Americans and the Buffalo Bandits lacrosse franchise.

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Josh Ho-Sang doesn’t understand why he was demoted.

The 22-year-old, who has appeared in 43 games with the New York Islanders over the past two campaigns, is mystified as to why he has been left to mire in the minors.

“I love those guys, I want to make that clear,” Ho-Sang told Arthur Staple of The Athletic. “I know they’re working hard. But I got sent down for defense and what are they in goals against in the NHL? I only played (22) games up there this year. I don’t think it’s my fault. They really painted it like it was my fault at the beginning of the year and I didn’t like that.”

After beginning the season with the Islanders, Ho-Sang played just six games before he was assigned to the minors. He then returned in November, this time for a one-month stretch before his future was once against cast in doubt. Ho-Sang has not played an NHL game since Dec. 14.

As part of his assignment to the minors, Ho-Sang was instructed to further develop his game away from the puck.

“I do have things I need to work on down here, my game is far from perfect. It can constantly improve. But I do think a lot of the stuff was unwarranted, especially in terms of the rope that other people were given,” he continued. “I understand I have a history and that might be a factor. I don’t know. But it’s frustrating to me.

“Look, if you’re going to send me down because of defense, it’d be nice to see other people be held accountable. That’s all.”

As Ho-Sang alluded, it’s not the first time he has caused a stir in the organization. In 2015, he was cut on the first day of training camp after arriving late. Ho-Sang was dismissed, but not before he was made to run the stairs of Nassau Coliseum for three hours before he was delivered the bad news.

“Enough with the bull—-. It’s time to grow up,” Islanders general manager Garth Snow said at the time.

It may have been the first sign that Snow’s patience with the talented but frustrating prospect was growing thin. After all, it was only a year earlier that Snow staunchly defended his selection of Ho-Sang, drafted with the 28th pick in 2014, when he said he “probably has the most talent of anyone in that entire draft” and that he’d have little trouble fitting into the Islanders organization because “they s— on me too.”

After keeping pace with the Tampa Bay Lightning for much of the season as the league’s most offensively dynamic club, the Islanders went off the rails in the second half, as their wealth of offensive talents could no longer make up for the team’s back-end deficiencies. Would a Ho-Sang recall have helped the team’s fortunes?

Ho-Sang, for one, thinks so.

“I feel like I’ve played games of substance and I’ve done well. More importantly, the team’s done well with me there,” he said. “If you’re going to tell me that I’m bad defensively, I do this, I do that, but you win more than you lose with me in the lineup.”

With the New York Islanders bitten by the injury bug, a promising young forward remains in the minors with something left to prove in the eyes of the organization.

That would be Joshua Ho-Sang, who sits in Bridgeport despite some holes in the NHL lineup, the biggest of which was created by an injury to Josh Bailey.

But Ho-Sang was recently a healthy scratch in the AHL, and Islanders’ head coach Doug Weight believes it would be sending the wrong message to immediately promote the highly-skilled forward to the team’s top line.

“It’s a crying shame (Ho-Sang’s) not playing with John Tavares when Bails goes down,” Weight said, per Arthur Staple of Newsday. “We had six guys out. It was a perfect opportunity. And Josh should be upset with himself.

“Whether our view of the world is wrong is something we can argue later. But the fact is, we need to be able to look at how some guys are laying it on the line (in Bridgeport) and he’s a healthy scratch. So, to go from that to the first lineup here, where is he learning from that? That’s a big, big part of this.”

Ho-Sang has appeared in 19 games for Bridgeport this season, scoring four goals and nine assists. In four games since being benched, he’s recorded one assist.

Josh Ho-Sang‘s AHL head coach didn’t mince words about the New York Islanders prospect’s maturity level, but acknowledged the effort has been there recently.

“He’s a baby,” Bridgeport Sound Tigers bench boss Brent Thompson told Greg Joyce of the New York Post, before praising the young forward’s commitment.

“He’s a baby, he’s immature and he’s got a lot of growing to do. I’m excited. The upside of him is outstanding. He worked hard (Wednesday in practice), he’s been working really hard. We all make mistakes, we all have bad games. It’s how do we respond from those and what do we learn from them? Every piece of this season for Josh, with us, is a development piece. It’s just going to be a longer process with some people.”

Ho-Sang was a healthy scratch Wednesday for the first time this AHL season, not counting a game he missed in December that would’ve been his fifth in five days.

“I don’t think anybody can break my confidence, but it’s definitely put in a place where it’s not very good,” he said after practice Wednesday. “There’s certain things I can do on the ice to remind myself of what I am and who I am. But it’s just tough when you have people getting on you and sometimes when everyone’s talking to you about the negative, you may look at yourself negatively.”

Ho-Sang showed some promise with the Islanders at the beginning of the season, collecting 12 points in 22 games, but has been sent down to the AHL multiple times since.

The winger, who turns 22 later this month, has 12 points in 15 contests with Bridgeport.

The New York Islanders sent former first-round pick Joshua Ho-Sang down to the AHL on Wednesday, the team announced.

Unlike his previous demotion, in which Ho-Sang was returned to the OHL because he slept in and was late for training camp, it appears his alarm clock went off Wednesday morning, as he was a participant in the Islanders’ morning skate, according to Brian Compton of NHL.com.

In six games with the Isles this season, Ho-Sang has zero goals, four assists, and six shots on goal while averaging 13:28 minutes of ice time per game.

He’ll return to Bridgeport, where he played 50 games a season ago, recording 10 goals and 36 points.

New York used the 28th overall pick on Ho-Sang in the 2014 NHL Draft, but he has played in just 27 NHL games thus far, picking up 14 points.

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The Vegas Golden Knights claimed goaltender Malcolm Subban off waivers from the Boston Bruins on Tuesday.

Selected 24th overall in 2012, Subban appeared in only two games with the Bruins, recording a save percentage of .727 in 62 minutes of play. He’s posted a .918 save percentage in 127 AHL appearances and put in a strong showing at training camp, but was beat out by Anton Khudobin for the right to serve as backup to Tuukka Rask.

The Golden Knights have Marc-Andre Fleury and Calvin Pickard penned in as the top options in net, meaning Subban will likely begin the season with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves.

Subban is entering the final season of a two-year deal that carries a $650,000 cap hit.

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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.