Chirps from Center Ice

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

Midwest Division Preview

Regular AHL

Back again on Day One for in the Fifth Annual Chirps from Center Ice AHL Previews. If you missed the North Division Preview which posted at midnight, you can click here or at anytime use the handy drop down menu at the top of the blog.

It’s onto the Midwest Division. Like the North, the Penguins don’t play anyone in this division either.

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The Midwest Division lost the Iowa Wild to the West Division and gained the Lake Erie Monsters from the North Division.

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NHL Affiliation: St. Louis Blues

Record: 45-21-5-5 (100 pts., 1st place Midwest Division)

Playoffs: 2 seed — Lost in four games to the Toronto Marlies in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Head Coach: John Anderson

Arena: Allstate Arena

ECHL Affiliation: Kalamazoo Wings

Offseason Moves: Mathieu Brodeur, Benn Ferriero, Rob Bordson

The case for: You should expect the Wolves to be contenders again.

The case against: It seems that there is just something about this team that’s missing.

Media Coverage: Chicago Sun-Times

Fan Blog: None — or I haven’t found it yet.

Twitter: @Chicago_Wolves / Chicago Wolves Live

Facebook: /chicagowolveshockey

Instagram: chicagowolveshockey

Broadcaster: Jason Shaver

vs. WBS: Do not play.

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NHL Affiliation: Detroit Red Wings

Record: 46-23-2-5 (99 pts., 2nd place Midwest Division)

Playoffs: 4 seed — Lost in six games to the Texas Stars in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Head Coach: Jeff Blashill

Arena: Van Andel Arena

ECHL Affiliation: Toledo Walleye

Offseason Moves: Andy Miele, Kevin Porter

The case for: Griffs will probably be battling with Chicago for the Midwest Division all season.

The case against: Was last years loss to the eventual champion Stars a bump in the road or a changing of the guard?

Media Coverage: Pete Wallner for MLive

Fan Blog: None — or I haven’t found it yet.

Twitter: @griffinshockey / Griffins Game Day

Facebook: /grgriffins

Instagram: griffinshockey

Broadcaster: Bob Kaser

vs. WBS: Do not play.

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NHL Affiliation: Colorado Avalanche

Record: 32-33-1-10 (75 pts., 4th place North Division)

Playoffs: Did not qualify.

Head Coach: Dean Chynoweth

Arena: Quicken Loans Arena

ECHL Affiliation: Fort Wayne Komets

Offseason Moves: Zach Redmond, Ben Street

The case for: If Lake Erie can put it all together, they can surprise and contend. Perhaps the new scenery of a division change is what the doctor ordered.

The case against: It’s not hard to name eight playoff contending teams. Is Lake Erie on your list?

Media Coverage: The Plain Dealer

Fan Blog: None — or I haven’t found it yet.

Twitter: @monstershockey

Facebook: /monstershockey

Instagram: monstershockey

Broadcaster: Doug Plagens

vs. WBS: Do not play.

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NHL Affiliation: Nashville Predators

Record: 39-24-6-7 (91 pts., 3rd place Midwest Division)

Playoffs: 6 seed — Lost in three games to the Toronto Marlies in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

Head Coach: Dean Evason

Arena: BMO Harris Bradley Center

ECHL Affiliation: Cincinnati Cyclones

Offseason Moves: Triston Grant, Rob Madore

The case for: The thing about Milwaukee is that they are a solid team.

The case against: The thing about Milwaukee is that they aren’t a contending team.

Media Coverage: Dave Boehler for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal

Fan Blog: Admirals Roundtable

Twitter: @mkeadmirals

Facebook: /mkeadmirals

Instagram: mkeadmirals

Broadcaster: Aaron Sims

vs. WBS: Do not play.

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NHL Affiliation: Chicago Blackhawks

Record: 35-32-5-4 (79 pts., 4th place Midwest Division)

Playoffs: Did not qualify.

Head Coach: Ted Dent

Arena: BMO Harris Bank Center

ECHL Affiliation: Indy Fuel

Offseason Moves: Zach Miskovic, Ryan Schnell, Pierre-Cedric Labrie, T.J. Brennan

The case for: So close, but so far for Rockford these past two seasons. Playoff contenders to the final month but missed out in the final moments. Do they put it together this season and make it?

The case against: If I am betting on teams that miss playoffs at the start of the season, first window I run to is Rockford’s.

Media Coverage: Rockford Register Star

Fan Blog: None — or I haven’t found it yet.

Twitter: @goicehogs

Facebook: /RockfordIceHogs

Instagram: rockfordicehogs

Broadcaster: Mike Peck

vs. WBS: Do not play.

We will be back Tuesday at noon to wrap up the Western Conference with the West Division.

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