New GM; Same Griffin in the Crown, Other Stuff
June 15, 2017
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First off, congratulations to the Grand Rapids Griffins for winning the Calder Cup for the second time in five years against the Syracuse Crunch who, for the second time in five years, have been runner up to Griffins. Both teams, when you think about it, have flown under the radar for the past five seasons and really can be considered powerhouse AHL franchises.
Speaking of a powerhouse franchise, the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup for the second time in as many seasons, first team to go back to back since most of you were in diapers or had more hair. A large group of names who were molded on Coal Street helped Pittsburgh to its second Stanley Cup and fifth as a franchise. It’s easy to get caught up at the fact Wilkes-Barre doesn’t have a Calder Cup yet but the main purpose of an AHL franchise is to develop for the next level. Pittsburgh is good at it. Wilkes-Barre benefits from it in most ways and its day will come.
Maybe that day will come in the Bill Guerin Era. Guerin was announced as the new General Manager of the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins and will be joined by Jason Karmanos as Assistant GM. Mark Recchi will serve as the Player Development director. So all names that are already familiar with the way things are run on Coal Street.
Tom had some quotes from the new AHL Penguins GM today…
Marc-Andre Fleury waived his no-trade clause and is penciled in as the new
Las Vegas Golden Knights starting goaltender. That obviously will have a trickle down effect to Wilkes-Barre. Here’s what I think, Matt Murray is the #1 goaltender for Pittsburgh, who signs a veteran backup while Tristan Jarry gets the lion share of starts on Coal Street with a veteran AHL goaltender backing him up. Sean Maguire gets another year in the ECHL getting all the starts down there with a capable ECHL backup there. That’s the perfect scenario, in my opinion. Does it happen? Anyone’s guess. If not, there is a backup plan in place….
If you would like more information on how Vegas affects all of this, Derrick Graffius put this well thought out piece together which you should read.
I am going to start cobbling together the AHL Free Agent Big Board likely this weekend. I am crowdsourcing it again and have contributions from Hershey and San Antonio done already. If you would like a team, just let me know via some form of social media and we will work out the logistics. That is probably going to the be the next blog piece to come, provided there isn’t some form of big news worthy of a blog post. Look for it the last week of June.