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A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins
Category Archives: The AHL
December 1, 2013Posted by on
Blog pal Scott from Norfolk sent me some audio of last night post game media scrum with Norfolk Admirals goaltender Brad Thiessen.
Boy, that feels weird. Putting another name that isn’t “Penguins” in front of Thiessen’s name.
Anyway, Scott was kind enough to send me the audio to use. So here it is, it’s about five minutes. If you like Van Halen and KT Tunstall, you are in for a treat too, as the Admirals had a post game skate last night after their 4-3 loss to the Providence Bruins and those artists were playing at the time loudly in the background.
Here’s the audio:
Just breaking down what was said here, Norfolk was not a target destination. It just happened to be right place at right time. Thiessen got back from Finland last Wednesday with no plan in place. Then, Viktor Fasth gets hurt in Anaheim and his phone rings. It’s Norfolk. They are interested. So he goes there, skates some this week, tells Norfolk Head Coach Trent Yawney he is ready to go and plays Saturday night.
Thiessen last played in a real game a month and a half ago.
He was glad to see a lot of shots by the Bruins (43 total) so it was good for him to get back into things and it did feel good playing after not playing in a while.
Asked about the role on the club, what with John Gibson seemingly as the #1 guy, Thiessen conceded that Gibson is the guy who is a young prospect that has a lot of talent. His job is someone who can help him along and teach him how it is to be a professional. When Thiessen’s services are called upon, he just wants to give the team a chance to win.
Finland was a tough experience for Thiessen and he is glad to be back in North America in the AHL playing with John Gibson and the Norfolk Admirals. He feels more comfortable on the smaller ice compared to the bigger ice in Finland.
You can read the game story that ran in the Virginian-Pilot here if you want to as well.
Thanks again to Scott for sending me the audio.
November 28, 2013Posted by on
When I blogged about a week ago about the release of Brad Thiessen from his Finnish obligations, I had a funny feeling the ex-Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguin net minder would be headed back over here to North America.
Specifically, the American Hockey League.
More specifically, somewhere in the East Division.
I was right.
One of the greatest goaltenders to ever come through Wilkes-Barre has signed with the Norfolk Admirals, a division rival. I said at the start of the year that the Admirals boasted the East Division’s best goaltending. This further cements my point as Norfolk gets a Grade A net minder to go with John Gibson, who has been very good for the Admirals this season.
Ironically enough, if Thiessen plays this weekend, he’ll face the Providence Bruins, who he did this to last postseason.
Wilkes-Barre hosts Norfolk December 27.
I’ll have the First Quarter Grades up on the blog here at 3 p.m. I had to take them down to make room for the Thiessen news.
November 26, 2013Posted by on
Tons of stuff to catch up on here Tuesday afternoon…
– Brian Gibbons is back. Re-assigned this morning.
– Up top, Beau Bennett is out 8-10 weeks with a broken wrist. Tanner Glass is out with a broken hand. That’s why the demotion of Gibbons is head scratching to me.
– Here’s some nice words from Pittsburgh on Andrew Ebbett. In that, you’ll also find that Paul Martin is out with a lower body injury.
So where does that leave Wilkes-Barre?
– Carter Rowney was recalled from Wheeling today.
– Peter Merth and Pierre Leblond practiced today, from the Tuesday Bombulie update.
Jonathan really has things covered in his offering today. He mentions that a forward could still go back up tomorrow as well as Simon Despres because of Paul Martin’s injury and that Despres uses his right frame of mind.*
Oh, and Matt D’Agostini is on waivers. If no one claims him, he could end up on the ice with the Penguins tomorrow in Glens Falls, NY.
Three other things before I wrap it up. Remember the big hit in Saturday’s game Tom Kuhnhackl took by J.C. Lipon of St. John’s? Lipon was suspended two games as a result by the AHL today….Zack Torquato was named ECHL Player of the Week for the Wheeling Nailers. Torquato is on an ECHL only deal, meaning he can sign with any AHL team. He was in Wilkes-Barre camp last season if I remember correctly…..There is a new ECHL team which will take the ice for the 2014-2015 season. They are the Indy Fuel. They’ll probably face Wheeling a few times next season.
Depending if there is a call up to Pittsburgh tomorrow and the time it happens, I might have a few words on it. If not, Gameday for tomorrow’s game in Glens Falls vs. the Phantoms will be up at 3 p.m.
* – alright, it’s a terrible joke. Left handed people use the right side of their brain. Righties use their left side. So you’ll hear the joke from left handed people that they are always “in the right frame of mind”… I’ll be here all week. Try the veal….
November 24, 2013Posted by on
Kinda knew when I saw the reports from Pittsburgh about Beau Bennett’s injury that at least one Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguin would get the call.
Turns out it was two.
Pittsburgh recalled Zach Sill and Andrew Ebbett Sunday evening. For Sill, the thinking is that the Pittsburgh brass didn’t get enough of a look at him last time he was up appearing in just one game. For Ebbett, Pittsburgh clearly sending a message that they want to evaluate what they have depth-wise as Jayson Megna could be argued as a more worthy call-up.
Depth wise here in Wilkes-Barre, it all depends on the health and wellness of Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond and Nick Drazenovic. If either one of those two can play Wednesday night on Glens Falls, then the Penguins won’t need to make another recall from Wheeling. Denver Manderson and Cody Sylvester were the healthy forward scratches Saturday night vs. St. John’s.
I suppose we find out early, as usually it’s custom to let the call-up get a practice in with the team before throwing them into a game situation.
Think that’s bad? The Syracuse Crunch have been demolished lately with recalls and injuries of their own. My blog pals at Chairman How’s Glorious Army have it all covered if you want to peek across the fence to see the state of affairs of a divisional rival.
If there’s a recall from the Wheel, I’ll have something to write about Monday. If not, check out my Week 8 AHL Power Rankings Monday afternoon at 4.
Let’s Go Pens!!
November 19, 2013Posted by on
I opted for this headline because the alternative one I had in mind, “Mannino, Farnham Suspended” seemed to grim to me.
But it’s true. Bobby Farnham was suspended one game by the AHL today and will miss tomorrows road game at Rochester for an illegal check to the head Friday in Syracuse. No penalty was called. In fact, Farnham played the game without being penalized.
But, a part of Rule 28.1 of the AHL Rulebook reads as follows…
If an investigation is requested by a Club, it must be initiated within
twenty-four (24) hours following the completion of the game in which
the incident occurred. In addition, teams are required to fill out a
request for supplemental discipline form along with a two hundred fifty
dollar ($250) deposit refundable if further action is taken by the
So it’s safe to assume that the Syracuse Crunch sent tape to the League Office in Springfield and asked them to review it.
EDIT: Yep, they did, as reported by Lindsay Kramer who covers the Syracuse Crunch.
The other news of the day was that the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins have suspended G Peter Mannino for apparently not reporting to the Wheeling Nailers. Jonathan Bombulie had more on this…
WBS Penguins have suspended G Peter Mannino after he failed to report to Wheeling Nailers.—
Jonathan Bombulie (@CVBombulie) November 19, 2013
From what I've been told, Mannino, 29, is considering his professional future. He can't sign anywhere else unless WBS releases him.—
Jonathan Bombulie (@CVBombulie) November 19, 2013
In between all of this, there was news that Brad Thiessen was released by HIFK in Finland. Normally, when this happens, the player wants to be released. It could mean that the player has another deal lined up in another league in another country, possibly North America.
Great! Thiessen is coming back to Wilkes-Barre, right?
I'm also told there is no connection between the Mannino situation and Brad Thiessen being released by HIFK Helsinki.—
Jonathan Bombulie (@CVBombulie) November 19, 2013
We’ll have to see what happens with Mannino and monitor where Thiessen ends up.
Barring anymore breaking news, the Gameday setup for tomorrow’s game in Rochester will be up at 3 p.m.
November 14, 2013Posted by on
Well, maybe it is.
Here’s a catch-you-up from the week that was….
– Steven Stamkos was hurt Monday playing in Boston. As a result, JT Brown and Dmitry Korobov were called up from Syracuse to help fill the void. Brown has always killed Wilkes-Barre in one way or another, so we will see what his absence does for the Crunch heading into the weekend and beyond.
– Ex-Penguin Keven Veilleux was loaned to the Elmira Jackals by the Portland Pirates. The Pirates’ ECHL affiliate is the Gwinnett Gladiators. This is an interesting move. The Jackals are in Wheeling tonight.
– Ex-Penguin goalie John Curry was named ECHL Goaltender of the Week. Curry plays for the Orlando Solar Bears.
– Certified Penguin Killer Tomas Kundratek was sidelined Sunday in Hershey with an ACL tear. He will need surgery and is obviously out. The Bears come to Wilkes-Barre Saturday night.
– Coupla moves on Coal Street today. First, they got Jayson Megna back from Pittsburgh and sent Harrison Ruopp to Wheeling. Megna’s return means Paul Thompson most likely is back to eating popcorn in the stands.
Finally, I will not be able to tweet the Syracuse game tomorrow. But the blog will still be covered. I’m putting together a list of those who will tweet the game and will run it here Friday night. I will be able to listen to and most likely watch the game on AHL Live on my iPhone and most likely will have a recap here afterwards as always.
Let’s Go Pens!
November 7, 2013Posted by on
Just a few things to touch on today…
Pittsburgh announced today that they have signed Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Lebond to an NHL deal. As a result, he was put on waivers today. We will know by noon Friday if he clears.
If you remember, we had the same situation with Tom Kostopoulos last year. He signed an AHL deal with Wilkes-Barre, Pittsburgh signed him to an NHL contract, waived him, and he was then claimed by the New Jersey Devils.
Jonathan had an update today on the Leblond news and a graph on the inequities of the Pens in shoot outs this season.
I talked Wilkes-Barre pucks with Jesse Marshall and Faceoff Factor this week.
Andy Chiodo signed a contract with the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors.
Speak of the devil, Albany is in tomorrow!* Gameday for that affair will be up at 3 p.m.
* – see what I did there?