If there’s one thing post-season hockey is known for more than playoff beards, it’s the marathon games. Already in the NHL, we’ve seen a triple-overtime contest courtesy of the Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks, but that game was ended one minute into the third extra frame. Wednesday night, the Manchester Monarchs and Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins topped that in the AHL’s Calder Cup playoffs.
In Game 1 of the second-round tilt between the Monarchs, the Los Angeles Kings’ farm club, and the Penguins, the affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the two sides played to a 3-3 draw through regulation with Wilkes-Barre winger Connor Sheary scoring the final goal of regulation before the midway-mark of the third period. For the next two periods of extra hockey, no one would find the back of the net, with Penguins netminder Matt Murray and Monarchs goaltender Jean-Francois Berube turning aside 38 combined shots through the first and second overtimes.
Then, 4:13 into the third overtime, Manchester’s Zach O’Brien took a pass from David Van der Gulik and found net with his first post-season tally to send the few remaining hometown fans home happy: Read more
Andrew Hammond is a 27-year-old goaltender who has never been, and likely will never be, this close to grabbing the brass ring. He’s coming off a mind-boggling season in which he led the Ottawa Senators charge to the playoffs. And in doing so, helped make the franchise millions of dollars in playoff revenues with three playoff home dates it otherwise would have never seen.
If Hammond were not a goaltender, he’d probably be able to walk into GM Bryan Murray’s office and demand a five-year deal worth a lot of money. The Senators would, of course, acquiesce because you can’t turn away an asset that has exhibited that kind of potential. If Hammond had scored 25 goals for the Senators instead of going 20-1-2 with a .941 save percentage, he’d likely do exactly that. And if Murray were unwilling to pay it, Hammond would easily find another team that would. Read more
The final matchups in major junior have been set: Quebec takes on Rimouski in the Quebec League; Brandon will duke it out with Kelowna in the West and Erie gets Oshawa in the OHL. Whatever the results, it’s going to be a power-packed Memorial Cup. Meanwhile, the USHL draft is taking place, with Minnesota high school standout Ryan Poehling going first to Lincoln in Phase One (for 1999 birthdays) and some interesting pickups elsewhere in Phase Two (older players). Let’s take a whirl around the prospect planet to see what’s up.
In his first season of professional hockey, Detroit Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha scored 15 goals and 33 points with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins, and that’s after suffering a broken leg in training camp and missing nearly two months. As great as Mantha’s season may seem, however, Detroit senior vice president Jim Devellano isn’t happy with what he’s seen.
“Very, very, very disappointing,” Devellano told Fox Sports’ Keith Gave. “And I say that with a lot of sadness. Coming out of junior, we had such high hopes for him.” Read more
Wherever center Dylan Larkin ends up next season, some folks in Michigan are going to be happy – specifically which folks is still up in the air.
The Manitoba Moose, the AHL team responsible for the NHL’s return to Winnipeg, are heading back to the MTS Centre.
In a press conference Monday afternoon, True North Sports and Entertainment, the group that owns the Winnipeg Jets, announced the return of the Moose, including the unveiling of the updated logo, jerseys and ticket and pricing packages for the club that will begin play this upcoming AHL season.
“The opportunity to bring the American League team home, back to Winnipeg, is certainly something that I’m very proud to be a part of,” said Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff. “I want to thank our ownership group, True North Sports and Entertainment, for the vision to be able to allow us to get to this point.” Read more
While most of the talk surrounding coaching changes in the NHL this summer will revolve around current Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock and his potential landing spot, another candidate for the position of big league bench boss has emerged: the Ottawa Senators’ AHL coach, Luke Richardson.
According to the Ottawa Citizen’s Ken Warren, Richardson’s deal in Binghamton, where Ottawa’s farm club is located, is up now that the 2014-15 campaign is over and he’ll be listening to whatever offers come his way. In the past couple of off-seasons, Richardson’s name had been mentioned when it came to coaching vacancies throughout the league and, with a number of openings available this summer, it’s possible he finally finds his way onto an NHL bench this summer. Read more
Once again, Team USA has won the world under-18s thanks to a roster made up almost entirely of NTDP kids. Though one interesting takeaway from the tourney was goaltending. The Americans went with underager Evan Sarthou of WHL Tri-City, while Canada had a tandem of underagers in Moose Jaw’s Zach Sawchenko and Saginaw’s Evan Cormier. Sure, 2015 looks like a thin goalie draft, but this was a pretty interesting trend. With that point behind us, let’s look at some of the other prospects making noise in the hockey world right now.