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(Page 15 of 16)
AHL Update

Colborne growing into professional game

Wednesday, 11.17.2010 / 9:58 AM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to NHL.com

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.

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

Thursday, 11.11.2010 / 11:25 AM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to NHL.com

"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.
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Wings prospect Smith making adjustment to AHL

Wednesday, 11.03.2010 / 10:27 AM / AHL Update

A.J. Atchue - Special to NHL.com

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."

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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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Quote of the Day

It was the look in his eyes. Hockey is the most important thing in his life. He wants to be a hockey player, and nothing's going to stop him from being a hockey player.

— Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin on forward Alex Galchenyuk's potential