Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: Wheeling Enforcements

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.

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.

You Can’t Trademark That

Remember the Brian Gibbons Breakaway of the Game™?

He’s back.

With Pittsburgh knocked out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the news was made official today that Brian Gibbons has been assigned to Wilkes-Barre. Gibbons should be available this weekend to play, from Jonathan’s Thursday update.

Zach Trotman for Providence is day-to-day with an injury. He was injured in Game 3, this news coming from Bruins beat writer Mark Divver.

Also, as soon as Derrick Pouliot is officially assigned and gets here and is acclimated to the Wilkes-Barre system, the Penguins will be at or near the best they’ve been all year. Could you remember a Penguins team more potent than this one? Think about it. No major injuries and we are running at full strength with both Pittsburgh and Wheeling out of the playoffs.

Speaking of Wheeling, Jonathan said that Tom Kuhnhackl, Peter Merth and Dustin Stevenson are on the way up as part of the Black Aces. There could be other guys, such as Cody Sylvester and Christian Minella are also eligible. Denver Manderson was hurt in the Nailers series with Greenville, so his status is doubtful to come here.

Oh, I started looking at last night’s numbers of who was on ice / off ice for the charts and Anton Zlobin is no longer perfect. He was on the ice for two of the Providence goals scored. On Simon Despres’ first goal, there were four forwards on the ice. (Zach Sill, Chuck Kobasew, Harry Zolnierczyk and Conor Sheary) I don’t think that’s right, but that’s what the scoresheet says. I’ll have a chart refresh this weekend, probably Sunday.

Game 4 goes tomorrow from Providence. The Gameday setup hits the blog at 3 p.m.

Let’s Go Pens!

Wednesday Notebook

A bunch of stuff to get to. Here we go…

Goaltender Tomas Vokoun was assigned to Wilkes-Barre today on a conditioning assignment.

In a reactionary move, G Eric Hartzell was sent to Wheeling to get games in. Also in that release is the recall of Cody Sylvester.

Scott Wilson has signed his ATO.

Two other teams are in playoffs. Reservations made for the St. John’s IceCaps and the Abbotsford Heat.

Kris Letang is back.

Andrew Ebbett is back too.

Jonathan had an update on the days news, with quotes from Vokoun. Coal Street put together an audio package that you can listen to here.

Some footnotes: The Ebbett re-assignment puts the Pens one over the veteran limit again. In case you were wondering, having Tomas Vokoun in town on conditioning does not affect the veteran limit because goaltenders are exempt from this rule…Cody Sylvester had his appendix removed a few days ago and was called up to get looked at medically here.

The AHL started rolling out its end of year awards. Schedule here. The All-Rookie Team was announced today. None of the Penguins were on it. But that game me an idea nevertheless. My own Chirps from Center Ice End of the Year Awards. We can do the standard Rookie of the Year, Best Forward, Best Defenseman, Best Goalie and MVP and any other category that comes to me within the final two weeks of the season. The good people at WordPress who host my blog allow me to use polls, so I am going to put it to you, the reader to decide who wins. Look for that in the coming weeks.

Next blog update will probably be the Friday afternoon setup for the game in Syracuse.


AHL Trade Deadline Wrapup

The AHL trade deadline came and went today. For the East Division, one team made a move.

Hershey acquired Kris Newbury from Adirondack in exchange for Derek Whitmore. For Whitmore, he’ll finally get to play as he’s been a scratch for the Bears. For Newbury, a chance to win with a contender. Newbury was second on the Phantoms in scoring.

Acquiring Newbury doesn’t solve the Bears veteran situation, either.

The Penguins, Senators, Admirals and Crunch went about their Wednesday and didn’t make any moves.

For Wilkes-Barre, they sent Tom Kuhnhackl and Harrison Ruopp back to Wheeling and retained G Eric Hartzell. Turns out that WBS had their goaltending coach in town and wanted Hartzell along with Jeff Deslauriers and Peter Mannino all on the ice for instruction.

One other piece of news, WBS signed Conor Sheary to an amateur tryout contract today. Sheary captained the UMass Minutemen and led them in points (9-19-28) this season. He’s signed to an AHL deal for next season, too.

So you are wondering what type of player the undrafted Sheary is. So am I. Thankfully, I didn’t have to look far:


I really don’t excited for kids coming out of junior or college because it’s a totally different game, playing with men. Take ex-Penguin Casey Pierro-Zabotel for example. He comes over from leading the Western Hockey League in points in 08-09 and joins the Penguins. He goes on to play 9 games, registering one assist. He was sent to the ECHL and has never been seen again.

Reasonable expectation for Sheary is maybe a game in late March or mid-April or after the Penguins have clinched a playoff spot.

Next update here will likely be the Gameday setup for the Friday home game vs. Hamilton.

Weekend Setup 2/13

Snowed in today? I was. If you weren’t consider yourself lucky.

Anyway, here’s a look at a couple of things to know as the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins head into a very important weekend against two divisional foes.

Four players sent to Wheeling. Denver Manderson and Carter Rowney were reassigned to Wheeling. The Penguins also released Zack Torquato and Barry Goers from their PTOs and they will return back to Wheeling also. Means to me that Jayson Megna and Brian Gibbons are good to go for the weekend. Gibbons, provided that he returns from St. John’s with all of this snow causing many travel delays pretty much everywhere in the Northeast.

The Penguins also announced a huge slate of events for the February 22 game against the Providence Bruins. Camouflage pucks, Brian Gibbons All-Star poster, Olympic themed jerseys and the Hall of Fame Inductions of Kevin Blaum, Dennis Bonvie and Alain Nasreddine.

In the immediate, however, the Penguins travel up to Binghamton Friday, Hershey Saturday then home against the Bears Sunday. The Penguins can be a first place team this weekend or they can be a team toiling with teams 6th on back in the Conference. Provided that Gibbons and Megna play this weekend and Spencer Machacek returns from his lower body injury, the Penguins should be fine. Although who knows, with the Penguins 29th in the AHL in power play in a 30 team League.

Regardless, a very important weekend for several teams in the East Division awaits.

Gameday for the Binghamton matchup with hit the blog Friday at 3. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am off to shovel more snow.

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!!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,366 other followers