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(Page 16 of 17)
AHL Update

Schroeder starting to find his game in Manitoba

Wednesday, 10.27.2010 / 5:41 PM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to NHL.com

Like many young first-round draft picks before him, highly-touted Vancouver Canucks prospect Jordan Schroeder arrived for his first NHL training camp as a pro this fall with the eyes of fans and media trained squarely on him.

But after the forward turned in an admittedly less than stellar performance in a September prospects tournament and was ultimately assigned to the AHL's Manitoba Moose later that month, and after new Moose coach Claude Noel candidly described Schroeder's play as "average" -- a comment which then made the rounds in both Vancouver and Winnipeg -- you could be forgiven for thinking that as far as everyone's first impressions were concerned, it wasn't ideal.

The 20-year-old Schroeder, though, tried to take it all in stride.
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Providence the perfect spot for LaVallee-Smotherman

Thursday, 09.23.2010 / 9:00 AM / AHL Update

Lindsay Kramer - NHL.com Correspondent

Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman recently got his best scouting report of the summer, from a friend. The basic message was that LaVallee-Smotherman wasn't nearly as whacked out as he had been in recent off-seasons.

For LaVallee-Smotherman, that passes for great news these days.

LaVallee-Smotherman, a power forward, has signed an AHL deal with Providence. He claims to be approaching this season with a peace of mind that was hard to come by the last two seasons.

Two seasons ago, he was coming off a 2007-08 campaign that saw him score 20 goals and 42 points for the Chicago Wolves. He thought that production earned him serious consideration for a spot in Atlanta the next season, but when he didn't get it, he dropped to 18 goals in Chicago.

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AHL adopts NHL rules on standings, head shots

Tuesday, 09.21.2010 / 4:53 PM / AHL Update

NHL.com

The American Hockey League's Board of Governors on Tuesday approved several measures -- including two recently adopted by the NHL -- at its meeting in Springfield, Mass.

The board approved an amendment to the tiebreaking procedures for AHL standings. In case of a tie in points in the standings, the first tiebreaker shall be the team having won the greater number of games, excluding games won in shootouts. The NHL Board of Governors adopted the same rule last week.

The AHL Board also modified the rule book to reflect changes made by the NHL earlier this offseason. Most notable is the adoption of "Rule 48: Illegal Check to the Head," which provides for a major penalty and game misconduct for a "lateral or blindside hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact."
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Tordjman ready to cross rivalry lines

Thursday, 09.16.2010 / 9:00 AM / AHL Update

Lindsay Kramer - NHL.com Correspondent

Leaving San Antonio after four seasons in the Phoenix organization was a tough decision for goalie Josh Tordjman, though he eased the breakup by staying nearby.

Perhaps close enough to haunt his old friends.

Tordjman, 25, has signed a free-agent deal with Minnesota, whose AHL farm team, Houston, is the Rampage's biggest rival.

"To tell you the truth, I'm not sure what to expect," Tordjman said. "It's going to be great going back to San Antonio. We're going to go there to beat them, for sure. It's going to feel good to get an opportunity to compete against guys on the ice and afterward catch up on some friendships I made."

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Rockford is just the right place for Poapst

Thursday, 09.09.2010 / 9:00 AM / AHL Update

Lindsay Kramer - NHL.com Correspondent

Even as he faces the prospect of driving about 75 miles out of Chicago almost every day, new Rockford assistant coach Steve Poapst never considers himself to be truly leaving the city.

That trip, he estimates, should take him maybe 70 minutes, at most. That's nothing. Heck, sometimes the 16-mile drive from his suburban home into the heart of the Windy City takes him close to an hour.

"From looking at that point, the commute is a lot easier," Poapst said. "It's the same thing. Just less frustrating."

Chicago always will have its strings around Poapst's heart no matter how far he travels. It's the place where he got his true NHL start and now is the home base for his debut as an AHL coach.

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Lashoff working to impress new set of bosses

Wednesday, 09.01.2010 / 9:49 AM / AHL Update

Lindsay Kramer - NHL.com Correspondent

Matt Lashoff has become a much-wanted defenseman early in his hockey career. It's a development that both flatters and puzzles him.

Lashoff was traded for the second time in as many years last week, this time from the Tampa Bay to the Toronto organization. While that sort of movement is all part of the deal, it's a little surprising when it involves a player who was the No. 22 pick in the 2005 Entry Draft, one who has yet to reach his 24th birthday.

Yet there was Lashoff a few days ago, after getting news of the swap, turning to his younger brother Brian and commenting that this wasn't the way he saw things unfolding after the Bruins drafted him.

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2010-11 American Hockey League schedule released

Wednesday, 08.25.2010 / 4:25 PM / AHL Update

NHL.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The American Hockey League today released the complete schedule of regular-season games for the 2010-11 season, as the league celebrates its 75th year of operation. The season, comprising 1,200 games, begins on Fri., Oct. 8 and concludes on Sun., Apr. 10. Each of the league's 30 clubs will play 80 games, 40 at home and 40 on the road.

The AHL's 75th anniversary celebration begins with a special set of home-and-home series featuring the league's six senior-most cities. The Providence Bruins will take on the Springfield Falcons (Oct. 8 and 9), the Lake Erie Monsters will square off against the Syracuse Crunch (Oct. 8 and 9) and the Hershey Bears will face the Rochester Americans (Oct. 10 and 16) while wearing throwback uniforms that will hark back to the earliest days of the American Hockey League. Providence, Springfield, Cleveland and Syracuse were among the league's charter cities in 1936, with Hershey coming aboard in 1938 and Rochester hitting the ice in 1956.
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Move south should be a good one for Desjardins

Thursday, 08.19.2010 / 9:00 AM / AHL Update

Lindsay Kramer - NHL.com Correspondent

After he was traded from the Montreal organization to Tampa Bay earlier this week, the phone of goalie Cedrick Desjardins was overloaded with messages from well-wishers.

The outpouring of support and curiosity caught him off-guard.

"I was surprised. For a guy who plays in the AHL, so many people called. I have a lot of friends," he said. "Also, there's nothing really going on (news-wise). So that's probably it."

Desjardins drastically undersells himself. When one of the AHL's best goalies gets a new address at this point in the summer, it tends to grab attention.

Playing for Hamilton last season Desjardins, 24, led the AHL in goals-against average (2.00), ranked second in shutouts (six), tied for fourth in wins (29) and was tied for sixth in save percentage (.919). The effort earned him a spot on the league's second all-star team.
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Kleinendorst happy to serve

Wednesday, 08.11.2010 / 10:32 AM / AHL Update

Lindsay Kramer - NHL.com Correspondent

"I think he's got the whole background. I think we wanted a guy that can teach. These kids are all prospects, but they have a lot to learn. We needed more of a teacher and a communicator. He's a student of the game."
-- Ottawa Senators assistant GM Tim Murray on Kurt Kleinendorst

Kurt Kleinendorst took a couple out-of-the-loop vacation weeks this summer.

He figures that's when Binghamton Senators coach Don Nachbaur must have resigned. He came to that deduction because when Ottawa Senators Assistant General Manager Tim Murray called him to discuss whether he'd be interested in coaching Binghamton, Kleinendorst had no idea what he was talking about.

"I'm not going to lie to you. I didn't know they had an opening," Kleinendorst said. "I didn't know that Don had left."

The Senators were keeping a lot closer tabs on Kleinendorst than he was on their organizational chart. Ottawa's cold-call to him indicated it was well along the way to considering him a strong candidate for the Binghamton job. After Kleinendorst absorbed the notion that there was a "Help Wanted" sign hanging in the window and said he'd love to get a crack at the position, the Senators brought him in as their AHL coach last week.
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Hynes jumps into pro coaching ranks with baby Pens

Thursday, 08.05.2010 / 10:29 AM / AHL Update

Lindsay Kramer - NHL.com Correspondent

John Hynes attended a 15-year anniversary reunion of his 1995 Boston University national championship team last weekend.

It was a crew that had piled up some impressive credentials since then, including Chris Drury, Jay Pandolfo and Mike Grier. Hynes had a new tidbit of his own to throw into the mix -- just hours before he had been named new head coach of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Not that he'd bring that up, or anything.

"A couple of the guys knew. I didn't go broadcasting it," Hynes said after returning from his celebration. "It was more about catching up with the guys. The good thing is everyone is doing well."

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Quote of the Day

When somebody goes out and is there to score goals, but is also there to make some big hits, fight, do all of those things, and he has a great mustache, it was great to see him get that hit and get everybody going.

— Colin Wilson on teammate Eric Nystrom, who scored a goal in Predators' win vs. Kings
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