Report: Las Vegas’ AHL affiliate to be decided by late-December

Jared Clinton
Bill Foley (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Las Vegas franchise has been steadily introducing members of its front office, continues to push towards a name, logo and jersey design and is no doubt keeping its eye on players as they look to build for the 2017-18 campaign.

But one other important piece of business is in line to be taken care of by the time the calendar flips over to 2018, says senior vice president Murray Craven: the AHL affiliation for the NHL club.

According to SinBin’s Ken Boehlke, Craven said the expectation is the team will know where it will be placing it’s AHL affiliate — a team it appears Bill Foley is planning to own in addition to the NHL club — by December 2016.

“We’ll know by Christmas where we are going to be,” Craven told Boehlke. “It’s a process, it’s a little bit tricky. The AHL is such a good league now, probably the second best league in the world. It’s such a big part of what teams are now.” Read more

Avalanche name Jared Bednar coach after Calder Cup-winning AHL campaign

Jared Clinton
Jared Bednar (Mark Buckner/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Avalanche are hoping an AHL and ECHL title can cross over to NHL success as they’ve hired now-former Cleveland Monsters coach Jared Bednar to take over as bench boss in Colorado.

Bednar, 44, is coming off of a tremendously successful season in the AHL in which he coached the Monsters to a Calder Cup in just his second year behind the bench. During the post-season run with the Columbus Blue Jackets’ AHL affiliate, Bednar’s Monsters club lost just two games, with both defeats coming at the hands of the Grand Rapids Griffins in the second round. Cleveland, then known as Lake Erie, swept both the conference and Calder Cup finals.

“After profiling the type of coach I wanted for our team and going through an interview process with several good candidates, I believe that Jared Bednar is the best person to lead this team behind the bench,” said Avalanche GM Joe Sakic. “Jared’s track record of success as a head coach in the American Hockey League speaks for itself and he is considered to be one of the top up-and-coming coaches in our business.” Read more

Report: Sabres’ Alex Nylander could head to AHL thanks to loan loophole

Jared Clinton
Alex Nylander (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

After one 28-goal, 57-point campaign in the OHL, Buffalo Sabres first-round, eighth-overall draft pick Alex Nylander is reportedly set to leave the Mississauga Steelheads for the AHL’s Rochester Americans.

According to OHLInsiders, Nylander, 18, could be set to head to the Sabres’ farm club as soon as the 2016-17 campaign, which would means the young winger is making use of a loophole that would allow him to go from major junior to North America’s top minor league before the normal age of eligibility.

Typically, a player drafted out of major junior has to wait until their age 20 season to become a full-time AHLer. But Nylander is the rare case of a player who had spent the entirety of the past season on a loan. So, in that sense, he’s not a major junior player, but a European player that is eligible for the AHL whenever the Sabres see fit. And it appears they could see fit this season. Read more

Pittsburgh signs Thomas Di Pauli, still has a building advantage

Ryan Kennedy
Thomas Di Pauli (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed free agent center Thomas Di Pauli to a two-year entry-level contract, adding an asset to an organization that does not have a deep prospect pipeline right now. But here’s the thing: the Pens are staying in the NHL’s top echelon without a traditional building strategy and Di Pauli is part of that.

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Report: Two AHL coaches, two NHL assistants in running for Avalanche job

Jared Clinton
Travis Green (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic is under a time crunch when it comes to naming a new coach, especially with training camp less than a month away, and he has reportedly already assembled a list that has some interesting candidates.

Sakic has said that he would assemble his list of candidates quickly and start the process as soon as possible, and it appears he has stuck to his word in looking for a replacement for Patrick Roy, who shockingly resigned from the team on Aug. 11.

According to the Denver Post’s Mike Chambers, Sakic is looking at two AHL coaches — the Cleveland Monsters’ Jared Bednar and Utica Comets’ Travis Green — as well as Washington Capitals assistant Lane Lambert and New York Rangers assistant Scott Arniel as potential coaches with the “preliminary phase of the interview process” set to begin. Read more

Canadiens to move AHL club from St. John’s to Laval, fans will name team

Jared Clinton
IceCaps jersey featured

It has become increasingly common for NHL clubs to bring their AHL affiliate closer to home, and the Montreal Canadiens will be the most recent example of a parent club bringing their farm team to the same region.

The Canadiens announced Monday that the St. John’s IceCaps will relocate to Laval, Que., ahead of the 2017-18 season and play the campaign out of Place Bell, a state-of-the-art facility that is set to open ahead of the 2017 campaign.

“The relocation of our AHL affiliate in Laval will be beneficial in several ways, allowing for hockey management to follow the organization’s young prospects and provide players and coaching staff with a great environment, a state-of-the-art hockey venue and a new and enthusiastic fan base,” said Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin in a release. “Until the team relocates to Laval, the coaching staff under head coach Sylvain Lefebvre will continue their work of developing our young players and getting them prepared for the next level. I take this opportunity to thank all IceCaps fans for their loyal support, and I am convinced that Laval hockey fans will stand behind their new team.” Read more