Chirps from Center Ice

A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins

Prospects, Promos and Jerseys

Just catching up on a number of things here as we start the workweek….

The Penguins Prospects will be in London, Ontario this weekend participating a rookie tournament along with prospects from the Ottawa Senators, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Chicago Blackhawks. Details, with roster, here. Mike O’Brien will be heading up with the team and broadcasting the tournament.

Coal Street announced their third jersey today. Using baby blue on anything is an instant win. Their warmup jersey will be announced this Friday.

The Promotional Schedule was released also. It goes as follows:

– Magnetic Schedule on October 11.
— Car Magnet on November 15.
— Team Photo on November 22.
— License Plate on November 29.
— Nutcracker on December 6.
— Koozie on December 27.
— Team Card set on January 31.
— Penguins Poster on February 14.
— Bobblehead #1 on February 21.
— Bobblehead #2 on March 14.
— Garden Flag on March 21.
— Tux Bobblehead on April 4.
— Fan Appreciation Night on April 18.

Coal Street will also bring back the McDonald’s FANtastic Promotion back where you get a game ticket, a hat and a McDonald’s Value Meal. Season Ticket holders can pre-order now. The dates for these are, all Saturdays; October 11, December 6, January 31, February 21, March 21 and April 18.

Oh, before I go, an update to the AHL Previews. I would say that they are about halfway built. I have all of the capsules built, what’s left is the new additions for the Eastern Conference, the cases for and against each team and of course, linking all the Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and blog info into each capsule. The North Division will roll first, release date still to be determined, but most likely October 5 or 6.

We are getting closer………

2014-15 AHL Schedule Released

The date may be the middle of August and approaching the Labor Day weekend, but today was like Christmas morning for fans and teams in the American Hockey League as the playing schedule for the 2014-2015 season was released at 11 a.m. today.

You are coming here with questions on the schedule. I have them. Read on…

Question 1: Who are we playing first this season?

Answer: The Lehigh Valley Phantoms on October 11, at 7:05 at home, which is the Penguins home opener. The schedule ends in Allentown against Lehigh Valley on April 19.

Question 2: Home opener details, please.

Answer: I just gave them to you. See above.

Question 3: Please tell me Rockford, or any other Western Conference team is on the schedule this year!!

Answer: Sorry to disappoint you, but there are NO Western Conference teams on the schedule this season. Not even Rochester, Utica or Adirondack.

Question 4: How many games against the division this year? Breakdown please…

Answer: Hershey and Lehigh Valley twelve times, Binghamton and Norfolk eight times. Games are split home and away.

Question 5: Longest road trip and home stand, please and thank you.

Answer: Road: February 22 through March 8. Six games all in New England. — Home: Twice, four games in late December, including New Years Eve vs. the Bears and mid-February.

Question 6: How many three in threes?

Answer: Nine. A large amount. Six before we ring in 2015, including twice back to back in November and December.

Question 7: What’s the setup with Norfolk this season? Any game with Hershey the next day, which is always a Penguins loss?

Answer: They are all on their own, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 and Jan. 23 and 24. No game in Hershey the next day.

Question 8: Last year you had charts, let’s see ‘em again!

Coal Street built them already for me. Here is the Daily breakdown:

Home Road Total
Monday 0 0 0
Tuesday 2 1 3
Wednesday 6 3 9
Thursday 0 0 0
Friday 11 9 20
Saturday 13 15 28
Sunday 6 16 22

And the Monthly…

Home Road Total
October 4 6 10
November 7 5 12
December 8 4 12
January 5 7 12
February 5 4 9
March 4 8 12
April 5 4 9

-

Question 9: Any kids games?

Kids games are, by definition, games that start at 11 a.m., or any time in early afternoon. The Penguins will not be participating in any early afternoon or morning day games.

Question 10: Hey, where are they playing the All-Star Classic at this year?

Answer: The League has not announced a venue yet. It will be held January 25 and 26.

Question 11: Are the Penguins playing in any special venues this year?

Answer: Nope. All either at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza or at the opponents home venue.

Question 12: Tell me the theme that the Penguins are using this year. What about a promotional schedule or a PensFest?

Answer: Theme this season is, “United in Hockey” and Coal Street hasn’t said anything about a promotional schedule or a PensFest yet. I’d anticipate word on this within a few weeks, and we’ll blog about it all.

Question 13: Anything else I need to know?

Answer: The annual AHL Previews that I run on the blog will be out in about a month. I can ramp up production on this now that I have a schedule. Also, my weekly Power Rankings will be back with hopefully a new look and feel. I’m planning on updating and maintain my fancy chart that I played with in playoffs late last season. Also, I’m planning on some other improvements and have ideas on all that in the sandbox. Stay tuned!!!

Appointment Viewing

The wait is nearly over…

I’ll have the full breakdown of the Penguins who’s, when’s and where’s tomorrow here on the blog probably sometime after lunch.

Only other Penguins new related tidbit was the announcement that the Wheeling Nailers have extended their affiliation with the Penguins family.

See you tomorrow.

Dog Days

There hasn’t been anything to blog about of substance since Free Agency. Since, dribs and drabs of info worth a passing mention on Twitter but no where else. If you’ve been visiting daily looking for news and disappointed that I haven’t blogged since forever, don’t fret, you haven’t missed anything.

While we are here, last week Jonathan did a web exclusive Summer Series worth checking out if you haven’t already. A few decent topics touched on there worth debating at the ball game or over at the camp fire.

Denver Manderson signed with the Toronto Marlies. I updated the 2014 Offseason Moves List.

Hershey signed Tim Spencer Thursday. He was overseas last season and was last in the AHL with Springfield.

Lehigh Valley signed Darroll Powe this week. Powe, 42 on the Bombulie / Cignoli Big Board, adds to the already decent lineup the Phantoms have amassed this offseason.

EDIT: Cody Sylvester signed with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL today. The Offseason Moves List above has been updated.

The NBA schedule is done, so all that smoke you see coming from Springfield, Massachusetts is the AHL braintrust working hard on getting the schedule done for hockey this fall. It should be ready in two weeks, which puts us in the last week of August.

But for anything breaking between now and then, we will do our annual blog where we open up the present that is the AHL Schedule like a kid on Christmas at that time.

Enjoy your Summer!

Preseason Dates Announced

This afternoon, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins announced their preseason schedule. If you don’t want to link off to the press release, the dates and opponents are as follows:

— Wednesday October 1 vs. Utica at 7:05
— Saturday, October 4 vs. Hershey at 7:05
— Sunday, October 5 at Hershey at 5:05

Not much else out there. The Pens announced the re-signings of Barry Goers and Carter Rowney last week. That’s pretty much been it.

Fast Friday News

Just a couple things to touch on as we head into the weekend….

– Simon Despres signed his qualifying offer. It’s a two year deal. He’ll get a chance to shine in Pittsburgh under the new regime.

– Ex-Penguin Mark Recchi replaces Billy Guerin as Penguins Development Coach.

– Mike O’Brien is in Pittsburgh at Development Camp and checked in with this entry on development camp. He’s also got Part Two of the Summer Catch-Up Series with Nick Drazenovic.

I’ve updated the 2014 Offseason Moves List to reflect the Despres signing, the last of the Restricted Free Agents to sign.

That’s it. Now go out and enjoy the weekend!

Cleanup in Aisle Tuesday

Very minor things to catch up on since the last time we did this…

– Penguins Developmental Camp is underway from Pittsburgh. Link here with information as to who was invited. Names familiar to fans of the AHL club include Nick D’Agostino, Brian Dumoulin, Reid McNeill, Scott Harrington, Harrison Ruopp, Josh Archibald, Tom Kuhnhackl, Conor Sheary, Dominik Uher and Anton Zlobin to name a bunch. They all scrimmage on Saturday.

– The Norfolk Admirals have a new Head Coach. His name is Jarrod Skalde.

– Coal Street produced a summer podcast series. Their first installment was Mike O’Brien speaking with Conor Sheary. A good listen.

– No labor strife on the horizon for the AHL and their players union, as it appears as if the Collective Bargaining Agreement was extended for another year.

– Stephane Da Costa is taking is talents to Moscow of the KHL next season. Da Costa had been with Binghamton last season.

– Ex Penguin and current Calder Cup Champion player Toby Petersen was named Assistant Coach of the Springfield Falcons.

– Depth signings to announce. Alex Boak and Clark Seymour, both giant defenders which were around late last season during Wilkes-Barre’s run. I project they start the season in Wheeling next season and are the first call-up to fill a bottom six role on defense, should the need arise. Both Boak and Seymour are in Pittsburgh this week for Developmental Camp.

Bobby Farnham also re-signed. I’ve updated the 2014 Offseason Moves List to reflect the re-signing of Farnham, and the additions of Boak and Seymour.

That’s all for now.

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