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(Page 15 of 16)
AHL Update

Peoria goalie Allen taking AHL shooters to school

Wednesday, 12.01.2010 / 4:43 PM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to

School has been in session for Jake Allen over the past two months, and for a guy who wound up missing high school graduation to attend his NHL draft day in 2008, he's got this education thing down pretty well.

Allen, a rookie goaltender with the AHL's Peoria Rivermen and promising top prospect of the St. Louis Blues, is learning the ropes as a professional with remarkable early returns.

The 20-year-old posted a 36-save shutout in his second outing of the season on Oct. 23, followed that up with three more whitewashes over his next six outings and currently sits with a league-high four shutouts through only nine appearances overall.

Named the Reebok/AHL Goaltender of the Month for November on Wednesday, he's 8-1-0 on the season and also leads AHL netminders in both goals-against average (1.27) and save percentage (.962).


Pacioretty happy to keep developing in Hamilton

Wednesday, 11.24.2010 / 1:38 PM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to

In a season already shaping up to be full of positive developments, Hamilton Bulldogs forward Max Pacioretty won't soon forget his 22nd birthday.

Pacioretty, a third-year left wing, entered the Bulldogs' Nov. 20 contest at the rival Toronto Marlies already averaging nearly a point per game on the AHL season, but broke out in a big way with three consecutive goals in regulation and another in the shootout, although the Bulldogs ultimately dropped a 4-3 decision.

It marked Pacioretty's first professional hat trick, and near as he could remember, the first one of his hockey career, period.

"It was a good feeling to finally score some goals, and even more special that it came on my birthday," he said. "It might have been the first hat trick in my life."


Colborne growing into professional game

Wednesday, 11.17.2010 / 9:58 AM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to

There was a time not too long ago when forward Joe Colborne stood as the Boston Bruins' unquestioned top prospect, and with very good reason.

Drafted with the 16th pick of the 2008 Entry Draft following an impressive two-year stint with the  Camrose Kodiaks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, Colborne continued to improve his game during two seasons at the University of Denver, including a 2009-10 campaign in which he led the Pioneers with 22 goals in 39 games.

Colborne concluded last season by playing six games with the AHL's Providence Bruins, his first taste of pro hockey.

Then, the second pick of the 2010 Draft fell into Boston's lap, and all of a sudden 18-year-old forward Tyler Seguin became the Bruins' new can't-miss prospect.


Adam's fast start has earned him two call-ups

Thursday, 11.11.2010 / 11:25 AM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to

"Obviously you've been able to see a level of talent that Luke has with his God-given assets, which are his size and strength. He's a hard-working kid that continues to work at his stickhandling, his shooting and the rest of his skill set. It makes it easy when success follows."
-- Portland coach Kevin Dineen

Only five weeks into his professional hockey career, Luke Adam hardly could be blamed if he needed a few moments to catch his breath.

The Portland Pirates rookie center and top Buffalo Sabres prospect has shot out of the starting blocks as one of the American Hockey League's top offensive threats, let alone one of its top rookies. He's already earned two NHL call-ups, and he's probably accrued enough air miles in the process to qualify for frequent-flier status.

But for a player who seemingly holds a future one-way ticket to the National Hockey League in his back pocket, Adam certainly won't begrudge the process involved in getting there.

Wings prospect Smith making adjustment to AHL

Wednesday, 11.03.2010 / 10:27 AM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to

Grand Rapids Griffins rookie defenseman Brendan Smith has figured for a while that he wanted to pursue a professional sports career.

For a time, though, the specific sport wasn't entirely clear.

The middle of three boys, Smith grew up in suburban Toronto, and he and his brothers split time pretty evenly between lacrosse and hockey. In fact, older brother Rory wound up sticking with lacrosse all the way through and currently is suiting up for the National Lacrosse League's Minnesota Storm.

"We were always big into lacrosse, even with my little brother," Brendan said. "For a time up until I was about 15 or 16, I was probably better at lacrosse than I was at hockey. That was always a route if hockey wasn't going to work out."


Schroeder starting to find his game in Manitoba

Wednesday, 10.27.2010 / 5:41 PM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to

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.

Providence the perfect spot for LaVallee-Smotherman

Thursday, 09.23.2010 / 9:00 AM / AHL Update

Lindsay Kramer - 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.


AHL adopts NHL rules on standings, head shots

Tuesday, 09.21.2010 / 4:53 PM / AHL Update

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."

Tordjman ready to cross rivalry lines

Thursday, 09.16.2010 / 9:00 AM / AHL Update

Lindsay Kramer - 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."


Rockford is just the right place for Poapst

Thursday, 09.09.2010 / 9:00 AM / AHL Update

Lindsay Kramer - 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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