Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: The AHL

Wydo You Stay A While?

Coal Street announced another signing today. Cody Wydo, who had a three game stint with the Penguins last Spring, signed an AHL deal Wednesday morning.

If you are thinking, “big whoop” think again. Wydo is essentially a point a game player at every level of hockey he has played at. He led the Wheeling Nailers in goals (30) and co-led the Penguins ECHL affiliate in points with 60.

Players like this don’t necessarily grow on trees. Smart of the Penguins to lock up Wydo for a season.

Elsewhere, one time Penguin and former captain Joey Mormina was named assistant coach to the Hartford Wolf Pack on Tuesday. We will be seeing Mormina’s towering frame in a suit and tie when the Wolf Pack come to visit the Penguins for the first time on October 21.

My puns are bad, but I don’t feel bad. Enjoy August!

Last Saturday in July

Couple things to clean out of the notebook here as August in nearly upon us.

— The Penguins signed Riley Bourbonnais to an AHL contract the other day. If he doesn’t stick with Wilkes-Barre then Wheeling has a good guy back in the fold for 2017-18.

— Pittsburgh rounded out its development cache by naming Scott Young director of player development, Jarrod Skalde player development coach, and Brendan Sullivan goaltending development coach. More from the official team press release here.

— Ex-Penguins assistant coach Jay Leach is going to be the top guy in Providence in the Fall.

— A nice feature piece on new car owner Casey DeSmith. DeSmith is an easy guy to pull for.

— Two new logos this week, one by the Belleville Senators and the other by the Binghamton Devils. Take a look:

I’d have something to add, but none of it is positive. Just remember that someone was paid money to come up with these logos.

Anyway, enjoy the nice weather.

2017-18 Preseason Schedule Announced

Strange times that we live in that we have had the full AHL schedule now for a few weeks and are just now getting a look at who the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins will be playing in preseason action.

Four games in five nights for the Penguins, who will play a pair of home and home games with the Hershey Bears and Binghamton Senators Devils.

Here’s the release. The schedule is as follows:

  • Wednesday, September 27 vs. Hershey at 7:05
  • Friday, September 29 vs. Binghamton at 7:05
  • Saturday, September 30 at Hershey at 7:00
  • Sunday, October 1 at Binghamton at 5:05

Something to look forward to if you are yearning for the sound of skates cutting into ice.

I Always Liked The Old Boss’ Signature

I’ve had the thought in the back of my mind ever since Jason Botterill was named as the new GM of the Buffalo Sabres on when he’d make a move and take a few players with him who were on the team he was in primary charge of last season here in Wilkes-Barre for a while now.

The day is here.

The Rochester Americans announced the signings of defenseman Barry Goers and forward Adam Krause to AHL deals Tuesday. Goers was always a capable defender who was always ready to lend a hand whenever there was an injury or recall to one of the other defensemen on the AHL squad. Krause is a dime a dozen skater who had some mild success last season (3-4-7 in 14 games) for the Penguins.

Neither will make that much of a splash around the AHL, but you may feel ripples when it’s December and the Penguins are down to their 8th or 9th depth defender up from Wheeling when the inevitable injuries or call-ups happen as they do every year.

Wait till I tell my cat Barry later. He’ll be less than enthused that his favorite player has moved on.

In a move announced about an hour later, Coal Street announced that they re-signed Jarrett Burton. Mike O’Brien mentioned on Twitter that with Carter Rowney and Josh Archibald most likely full time NHLers for the foreseeable future, Jarrett Burton’s expertise on the PK becomes all the more important.

2017-18 AHL Schedule Released

Weird that we aren’t even halfway through July and the AHL scheduled has been announced already. Last year, the schedule was released on August 22.

Anyway, let’s get right into it. We already know that the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins will be opening their 2017-18 campaign at home on Saturday, October 7, which was announced Monday afternoon. But now, the Penguins, in conjunction with the AHL, announced the full schedule Tuesday afternoon.

League release here. Penguins release here.

What I always do when these things come around year after year is a question and answer. So here goes…

1) Alright, so I know when the home opener is and against who, and we already know who the Penguins play and how many times, but refresh my memory again anyway please.

Okay sure. Here you go. 17 different opponents.

Belleville Senators – 2 (one home, one away)
Binghamton Devils – 6
Bridgeport Sound Tigers – 6
Charlotte Checkers – 4
Grand Rapids Griffins – 2
Hartford Wolf Pack – 6
Hershey Bears – 12
Laval Rocket – 2
Lehigh Valley Phantoms – 12
Milwaukee Admirals – 2
Providence Bruins – 6
Rockford IceHogs – 2
Rochester Americans – 2
Springfield Thunderbirds – 4
Syracuse Crunch – 4
Toronto Marlies – 2
Utica Comets – 2

2) Thanks, man. I see some new teams on that list there. When do we play these new teams?

– Belleville is in for their only trip to Wilkes-Barre on Saturday, January 6. The Penguins go up there on Friday, January 12.

– The new Binghamton Devils make their first trip to Wilkes-Barre on Friday, December 22. The Penguins head up there on Friday, November 17. The teams play four other times.

– Laval is in on Friday, October 20 and the Penguins head up to Quebec on Saturday, January 13.

– The Penguins open the season against the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday, October 7, then the Checkers come back in on Friday, December 8. The Penguins visit the Queen City on Tuesday March 13 and Wednesday, March 14.

3) It’s about time that the Penguins play some teams out West. Grand Rapids, Rockford and Milwaukee are the teams that the Penguins play this year. When do they play them?

The Penguins head Midwest trip on Friday, March 2 against the defending Calder Cup Champion Grand Rapids Griffins and then travel to Rockford to play the IceHogs on Saturday March 3 and then wrap up against the Milwaukee Admirals on Sunday, March 4. The Admirals come in first on December 1 followed by Rockford on Friday February 23 and then the Griffins come in on Saturday, March 10.

4) Longest road trip? Longest home stand?

Four games at home which happen three times and four road games which happen three times. So not too long on the road nor at home.

5) How many three in threes?

Eight. Down one from last year.

6) Got any charts back there?

Sure. Here they are, broken down into days and months.

Home Road Total
Monday 0 0 0
Tuesday 1 2 3
Wednesday 7 4 11
Thursday 0 0 0
Friday 11 14 25
Saturday 14 9 23
Sunday 5 9 14


Home Road Total
October 6 2 8
November 5 4 9
December 8 6 14
January 5 6 11
February 5 6 11
March 6 10 16
April 3 4 7


7) Any kids games?

Kids games are by definition any game that start in the morning. The Penguins don’t have any this year. All games start in the evening or in the afternoon.

8) Where is the All-Star game this year?

Hasn’t been announced yet. When it is, it will be played on Monday, January 29.

9) Are the Penguins playing in any special venues this year?


10) What’s the theme the Penguins are rolling with this season?

I don’t think they have one. At least it isn’t on the schedule download calendar you can print out.

11) Anything else I need to know?

Broadcaster Mike O’Brien dropped in some schedule nuggets….

So there you have it. More than enough time to memorize the schedule in time for October.

Schedule Tuesday; Two Signings

At 3 pm Monday, my Twitter feed filled up with AHL teams announcing their home opener date and opponent. In that announcement was mention that the full AHL schedule will be made available sometime Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Oh, October 7 the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins will open their 2017-18 campaign against the Charlotte Checkers. I’ve not seen where the Penguins are the visitors for any opponents home openers, for what it’s worth.

Two other noteworthy things happened since we last blogged.

Pittsburgh signed an undrafted kid by the name of Adam Johnson to a contract last week. Johnson attended the Penguins development camp and Mark Recchi called him one of the most impressive prospects at camp. He’s a University of Minnesota-Deluth product that was second on the team with 18 goals and tied for second with 37 points. IN 14-15 he was second in USHL scoring for Sioux City with 71 points.

The second signing occurred Monday morning. Remember Reid Gardiner? He is back, after starting the season last year with the Penguins, Gardiner went back to juniors and dominated again, putting up an average of 1.32 points per game. I said last year that he was a diamond in the rough type signing then, and by all accounts he can be the same again. He’s a natural born point producer.

Back Tuesday to breakdown the 2017-18 AHL schedule.

Penguins Call On Smith

Sort of an unexpected signing today and a big one made by the braintrust on Coal Street.

On Thursday, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins announced the signing of center Colin Smith to an AHL contract.

Smith is an automatic 40 point scorer in the American Hockey League and has scored 40 points in back to back seasons with San Antonio and Toronto in the AHL, an average of 42 points in his first four seasons.

Nathan Mallett saw Smith play the last two seasons and offered up this little piece of information on Smith, which he also offered up on the capsule on Smith when he helped out with my AHL Big Board….

…I had Smith ranked #44.

A big time signing made by the Penguins. And they may not be done.