Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: Not AHL

NHL Trade Deadline and the AHL East Divison

With all the hype surrounding trade deadline day for the NHL, let’s cut to the chase and examine how it affects the AHL’s East Division.

Let’s get right to it…

button_pit200       /       WBS

Pittsburgh / Wilkes Barre

Marcel Goc from Florida and Lee Stempniak from Calgary for draft picks. So, the Wilkes-Barre roster and prospect pipeline stays intact. Chuck Kobasew, who cleared waivers yesterday, to Wilkes-Barre. Chris Conner can NOT be sent to Wilkes-Barre because he was not on waivers yesterday. So, ideally from a Wilkes-Barre perspective, it’s Conner for Kobasew. I’ll reserve judgement on whether this is good or bad after I see what Kobasew and do in the AHL.

Jonathan tweeted that Simon Despres and Brian Gibbons were on the Wilkes-Barre roster at 3 p.m. and thus eligible to return to the Penguins at some point.


button_wsh200      /      HER

Washington / Hershey

Bears end up netting Chris Brown from Phoenix / Portland in an NHL deal for Marty Erat and John Mitchell. Brown has put up solid numbers in Portland for the past two seasons. He’s 14-21-35 so far this year. Brown was also sent from Phoenix with Rostislav Klesla, but Klesla’s stay in Chocolatetown lasted less than 24 hours as he was sent to Buffalo with G Michal Neuvirth in the trade for G Jaroslav Halak.

Connor Carrick and Dmitry Orlov were eligible to be sent to Hershey, but were not and will remain with Washington for the duration.


button_ott200      /      BNG

Ottawa / Binghamton

Initial returns are that the winners of the NHL Trade deadline in the East Division are the Binghamton Senators, who get a depth defenseman in Patrick Mullen from the Utica Comets and Alex Grant (yes, THAT Alex Grant) from Norfolk / Anaheim for Andre Petersson. Grant makes a dangerous Binghamton power play even more dangerous. Ottawa also papered down Cody Ceci and Mike Hoffman, making that duo eligible for the AHL if the need arises.

In another minor move, Ottawa loaned Joe Corvo to the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. But Corvo, a Chicago area native, is hurt and isn’t expected to play the rest of the season. He also is making $900K this season.


button_tb200      /      SYR

Tampa Bay / Syracuse

Dana Tyrell and Matt Taormina to Columbus for Jonathan Marchessault and Dalton Smith. Syracuse looks like the big winner in this trade. Marchessault was Springfield’s leading scorer (14-27-41) Richard Panik was recalled earlier today, meaning his AHL days are done at least for this year and Vlad Namestnikov was sent to Syracuse. If there is one downside, the moves today leave the Crunch a bit thin on the blue line.

button_ana200      /      NOR

Anaheim / Norfolk

Anaheim traded away G Viktor Fasth to the Edmonton Oilers and got RW Andre Petersson from Ottawa for D Alex Grant. Petersson’s 17-23-40 automatically makes him Norfolk’s leading scorer.

Jonathan’s take on today’s proceedings is here.

In my view, Wilkes-Barre has the most work to do in the divsion, with seemingly everyone else bolstering up their rosters. The Kobasew add is nice and should help, but you just never know with how a player who has spent most of his time in the NHL will take a demotion back to the AHL. You go from airplanes and caviar to bus rides and 3 a.m. McDonald’s stops.

Time, always tells.

Surgery, Suspensions, Postponements, Oh My!

Big news day today. All the news broke as I was walking over to lunch and and my phone in my pocket. It always happens that way. Anyway, in order of relevance….

Jonathan Bombulie reports that Zach Sill underwent surgery today which will NOT end his season. Tremendous news for Sill’s sake first, the organization and fans.

Personnel moves on Coal Street today. D Barry Goers is back with the team on a new PTO while D Nick D’Agostino and D Harrison Ruopp were sent to Wheeling to play.

— Staying in Wheeling, Cody Sylvester was named ECHL Player of the Week. Chaz Johnson, signed by Wilkes-Barre to an AHL deal in the summertime, was given an 8 game suspension for his antics in this fight (start at the 1:30 mark) Saturday in Cincinnati vs. the Cyclones.

— Staying in the ECHL, the San Francisco Bulls are no more, ceasing operations immediately thereby ending their season early. The Bulls were an affiliate of the San Jose Sharks organization. Worcester was their AHL club.

— Back in the AHL, tonight’s Norfolk / Charlotte game was postponed because of snow. The game will be rescheduled for March 4.

— Three players were added to the AHL All-Star Classic in Newfoundland. None of them were Penguins. You can check out who here.

Gameday for tomorrows game with Syracuse will be up up at 3 p.m.

Let’s Go Pens!!

Thursday Notebook 1/23

Just a couple of things rolling around the hopper…

Steve Oleksy is back with Hershey, having cleared waivers Tuesday. So too is G Philipp Grubauer. The Capitals recalled D Nate Schmidt in what was probably a swap for him and Oleksy. The Penguins play Hershey this Sunday.

– Something which hit me out of left field, but the St. John’s IceCaps could be no more in a few years as parent Winnipeg is looking to place an AHL team in Thunder Bay, Ontario to be “closer” to their prospects. The arena in Thunder Bay hasn’t been built yet, so everything is premature. I was more shocked at a) the very thought of moving a team out of St. John’s. Mile One Centre has sold out every game since the IceCaps were born; b) how quickly things escalated with the Jets having a word on it then the IceCaps and c) the announcement coming weeks before the AHL puts on its showcase event in the AHL All-Star Classic.

It also got me to thinking how well we, as Wilkes-Barre fans, have it as Wilkes-Barre fans. If your single biggest gripe is the parking lot at the Mohegan Sun Arena not being 100% paved or not being able to hear Mike O’Brien call a Penguins game over the air on 102.3 because of a football game, then you, me, us have it pretty damn good. Count your blessings.

– Ex-WBS Penguin Dustin Jeffrey was placed on and cleared waivers these past 24 hours. Remember that Pittsburgh put Jeffrey on waivers a few weeks ago he was claimed by the Dallas Stars. Pittsburgh could have hypothetically claimed Jeffrey back and assigned him to Wilkes-Barre.

– The Penguins did re-assign Zach Sill to Wilkes-Barre Thursday morning. Pittsburgh did activate Andrew Ebbett from injured reserve.

The Sill re-assignment came Thursday morning, then Jeffrey went unclaimed at noon, and then the announcement that Ebbett was re-activated off of injured reserve at around 2 p.m. That timeline made sense because either Jeffrey was getting claimed or someone was coming off of reserve. You never see Pittsburgh skate not carry an extra forward at anytime.

Here’s a story from Nailers beat writer Shawn Rine which provides an in-depth look at the Peter Mannino saga.

Penguins will get to Norfolk Thursday afternoon for a pair of weekend games against the Admirals. Friday’s game begins at 7:30, so the Gameday setup for that will hit the blog Friday at 3:30.

Mish Mash Too Cold to Take a Bath

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….

Puppies! Kittens! Rainbows!

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…

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?



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.

Pierre Gets His Deal

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?

Where Are They Now?

Very minute news cycle now that the AHL Schedule and the Penguins Promo Schedule are out and teams are about a week or so away from Rookie Tournaments and two to three weeks away from the start of training camp. Business will start picking up soon. Here’s a few things that are floating out there…

– Chris Collins finds work with the Bakersfield Condors in the ECHL. I thought that there was still some AHL tread on Collins’ tires, but looking at this made the logic of him signing an ECHL only deal make more sense. The 2013 Offseason Moves List has been updated accordingly.

– Ex-WBS D Carl Sneep signed with the Idaho Steelheads, also of the ECHL, Tuesday. This news comes as more of a shock to me, because it would appear that Sneep’s NHL ship has sailed by this signing.

Reports that the AHL All-Star Classic may be in St. John’s are building and with a new format due to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Stay tuned.

If you haven’t noticed yet, the blog now features schedule widgets for Wilkes-Barre, Pittsburgh and Wheeling on the left hand side of the page. Now you never have to be on the blog and wonder when the next game is for all three levels of Penguins hockey.

Will likely have the Season Ticket Price comparison for center ice seats in all 30 AHL Arenas early part of next week. Until then, enjoy this weather.


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