A couple of things to touch on before free agency begins Friday and the bedrock of a teams success starts building towards the Fall…
First, I am pinning the AHL Big Board to the top of the site so that it stays front and center for about a month and a handy reference tool to any that want to use it as free agency wears on. The changeover will be made tonight. You won’t notice anything other than the Big Board will be on the top of the site for the first month or so. Just scroll down to see the newer content.
Wilkes-Barre made a second signing this week, a kid by the name of Christian Hilbrich. A giant 6’7 forward that captained the Cornell Big Red last season. 27 goals and 21 assists in 111 collegiate games.
Pittsburgh, fresh off of winning a Stanley Cup about two weeks ago, opened their NHL Prospect Camp. The Skating on the Susquehanna blog, the team run WBS Penguins blog, has all the good stuff on local kids trying looking to make an impact, especially one from Kingston and more on Hilbrich’s signing.
Bookmark that blog and read it often.
Mattias Plachta went back to his German team, Adler Mannheim, and got a four year deal.
There was a goofy rumor about the Penguins breaking up with Wilkes-Barre and moving their affiliation to Hershey. Not only is that a nonsensical rumor this late in the season, it’s also an asinine thing to even assume. Wilkes-Barre will be playing as the AHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins until at least 2019. The Pittsburgh Penguins just won the Stanley Cup with a group of players developed in Wilkes-Barre. They got their coach from Wilkes-Barre too. Washington places their prospects in the oldest, most historic and decorated team in the American Hockey League which has led the 30 team league in attendance for years. The idea that Pittsburgh would want to uproot their affiliate, itself a shining star of its own right with the longest playoff record in the AHL, premier facilities and a passionate fanbase and place it someplace else, is nonsense. That Washington would even consider it is nonsense itself. You may not get along with the Bears fan sitting next to you at the game on Friday or that Penguins fan that is loud and obnoxious at the Bears game but trust me, it’s good for one another. This rivalry that we have is not only good for Hershey and Wilkes-Barre but Washington and Pittsburgh, playing competitive hockey in hostile environments 12 tines a year. It’s also good for the AHL, two healthy, passionate fanbases drive revenue and all that other stuff that makes this whole developmental thing successful.
240 words on a bunch of nonsense. Anything for clicks these days, I assume. File this one under the rarely used, “Just Rambling” blog category.
#57 is off of the Big Board, as Zach Sill has re-signed with the Washington Capitals.
The fun starts noon Friday. I will have a blog Friday night recapping the days events and how they affect the Penguins, Bears, Phantoms, Wolf Pack, Sound Tigers, Bruins and Thunderbirds. This weekend I am going to New York City, so I will do my best to update the Big Board and blog about any additions to any of the teams in the AHL’s Atlantic Division as time allows. Probably in the evening hours. Just keep it locked here this weekend.
Oh, and out the door, I don’t know if you heard the news but Scott Stuccio announced this week that effective this past Monday his services with Hershey Entertainment and Resorts (the corporate name of the group that runs the Bears) has been eliminated. Suffice to say, this news was shocking. Scott is a top notch broadcaster and better individual. Rest assured that he will not be unemployed for very long. Some other team will snatch him up sooner rather than later.
Back tomorrow with a recap of Free Agency Day 1.