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07-18-2012, 11:18 PM
  #1
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Rochester Americans / Minors Thread '12-'13 Ed.

At the moment, a rough depth chart seems to look something like this:

Centers -
Kevin Porter*
Phil Varone
Zemgus Girgensons*
Kevin Sundher
Nick Tarnasky
Rick Schofield

RW -
Mark Mancari
Corey Tropp*
Jacob Lagace
Brian Flynn
Max Legault
Shawn Szydlowski
Jonathan Parker

LW -
Luke Adam*
Evan Rankin
Frederick Roy
Riley Boychuk

D -
Joe Finley
Brayden McNabb*
Mark Pysyk
TJ Brennan
Jerome Gauthier-Leduc
Nick Crawford
Matt MacKenzie
Alex Biega (Signed)
Drew Schiestel (Signed)

G -
Dave Leggio
Nathan Lieuwen
Connor Knapp

The players marked with an * have a shot at being in Buffalo (if there is a season). Players not on the list at this point include:

Maxime Legault W
Travis Turnbull C
Corey Fienhage D (in dev camp again)
Alex Biega D (RFA, tendered)
Drew Schiestel D (RFA, tendered)

Also potential Amerks, depending on camp could include:

Marcus Foligno LW
Matt Ellis F
Cody McCormick F
Adam Pardy D


On offense, the addition of Mancari and probably Porter look like they will replace Szczechura and Whitmore, perhaps even improve on what they got last year. After that, it's going to be the usual amounts of hope and uncertainty. Varone and Rankin were surprisingly effective, can they do it again (and stay healthy)? What roles will Adam, Foligno, Tropp play? Can any of the menagerie of retreads, cast-offs and such break through to contributing -- the likes of Roy, Parker, Szydlowski, Flynn, Lagace and Boychuk? Will the high-end rookies -- Girgensons, Leduc, or Sundher -- make any impact at the AHL level? Who replaces Legault and Turnbull's forechecking/crash line mentality?

Personally, another AHL-level scoring forward would be sweet to both take the pressure off the kids and still win some games.

On the blueline, things are again real young. Finley and Brennan are not waiver exempt, but is someone going to take run at either right now to keep them on their NHL roster? McNabb is going to be in the mix for the Sabres, but they already have 8 guys under contract who played in the NHL last year. Pardy seems like the odd-man out right off the bat, though a terrific camp might shake things up. Consider him the new Morrisonn, making big dollars riding the bus. They plug in two high-profile rookies in Pysyk and Leduc on the right side -- how will they fare? Crawford is the forgotten man, can he bounce back production-wise closer to his rookie season? MacKenzie has the tools, will he have the chance to show them or will he be dispatched to the Coast again?

In net, it's Leggio returning to take the #1 role after MacIntrye floundered. Yet another question is who wins the backup job and who goes to the Coast and gets possible starters minutes between Knapp and Lieuwen. Both are big men, with differing styles, who might be helped more by playing more. The backup winner may not actually wind up being the better goalie in the long run. That said, they're both works in progress.

The blueline and crease are crowded. Lots and lots of questions all over the ice and also behind the bench: Can Rolston coach a competent powerplay? Do they have enough depth to not ride 2 lines most nights? Can he keep the youth from hitting the wall early if at all?

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Last edited by Chainshot: 08-04-2012 at 09:36 PM. Reason: Added Biega, Legault and Schiestel
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Old
07-18-2012, 11:58 PM
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I'm interested in the ECHL situation, specifically where Sabres ECHL prospects will land. There's been chatter out of Maine, via our old MHJ friends, that Phoenix has entered into a sole affiliation between Potland and Gwinnett.

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07-19-2012, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by mechaphil View Post
I'm interested in the ECHL situation, specifically where Sabres ECHL prospects will land. There's been chatter out of Maine, via our old MHJ friends, that Phoenix has entered into a sole affiliation between Potland and Gwinnett.
Is Elmira available? It seems logical.

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07-19-2012, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by GrigsAndGirgs View Post
Is Elmira available? It seems logical.
The only teams with openings that I see (via the ECHL website) are the Fort Wayne Komets and South Carolina (they play in Charleston) Stingrays (Alaska, Bakersfield, and Las Vegas are independent).

Elmira could be a possibility, though, since they lost one of their two parent when Anaheim and Tampa Bay swapped AHL affiliates (the Lightning will retain their ECHL affiliation with the Florida EverBlades). Their other affiliate (unfortunately) is Ottawa.

Also worth noting that Anaheim, Boston, Colorado, the Islanders, St. Louis and Toronto are without ECHL affiliates.


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07-19-2012, 01:54 AM
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Yes available. Dual affiliations. In all honesty I don't even know if we have an agreement with Ottawa again. The past few years it has been one year agreements re-done every summer. I think they have left some of this years up just incase. Anahiem was taken down because they and Syracuse split up and we were only together because of Cuse.

We just got a new PR guy last week so things could be setup or something already that we just don’t know about. This season for us will be interesting. Long story short is this could be the last year, at least with this ownership group. I think the owner knows the team has to win for him to have a prayer. The team is usually good. We had the 2nd best regular season record last year. I know the fans would be jumping at the bit. There was a whacky rumor flying around this winter/spring before this foreclosure nonsense that the Sabres were coming to town and buying the team, etc.

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07-19-2012, 05:07 AM
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This looks like it's shaping up to be a pretty scrappy team to play against, but there's some legitimate concern about scoring punch. They'll need a guy like Sundher or Zemgus to really take to things on offense quickly. For their sake, Porter not making the Sabres would be huge.

Their defense is not only deep but potentially awesome. I could see Pysyk and The Duck adapting quickly. McNabb will, unless they move someone, likely start in Rochester. Really solid group there.

Zemgus and The Duck should be worth the price of admission alone. Exciting players in completely different ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrigsAndGirgs View Post
Is Elmira available? It seems logical.
I'd like to see this happen at some point, though it's not a big deal if it never does. I reckon it'd be a boost to the team's ticket sales if they ice Sabres/Rochester properties.

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07-19-2012, 05:34 AM
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This looks like it's shaping up to be a pretty scrappy team to play against, but there's some legitimate concern about scoring punch. They'll need a guy like Sundher or Zemgus to really take to things on offense quickly. For their sake, Porter not making the Sabres would be huge.

Their defense is not only deep but potentially awesome. I could see Pysyk and The Duck adapting quickly. McNabb will, unless they move someone, likely start in Rochester. Really solid group there.

Zemgus and The Duck should be worth the price of admission alone. Exciting players in completely different ways.



I'd like to see this happen at some point, though it's not a big deal if it never does. I reckon it'd be a boost to the team's ticket sales if they ice Sabres/Rochester properties.
Possible but Iím not sure to what extent. In 12 years only 1 year was the season average under 3,000 and that was like 6 years ago. This is in a 4,000 seat arena mind you. Of course theres always room to improve and sell more. There are more Ranger fans in this area(just like Giants fans)

As for the Americans team it looks like they might have struggles to score. They better hope that Defense is as good as you make it because goaltending looks like it could be somewhat of a struggle if Leggio doesnít play well.

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07-19-2012, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Rob Paxon View Post
This looks like it's shaping up to be a pretty scrappy team to play against, but there's some legitimate concern about scoring punch. .
What kills me is Rolston and Regier said before the free agency period that improving their talent and scoring over last season was a huge priority. Devine even said he felt bad for Rolston on most nights last season since he had so little talent on the powerplay.

So what do they do? They potentially construct a team with even less offense and talent. There is a legit reason why Amerks fans gripe, especially when the Sabres make a lot of grand statements but never seem to back them up. They need another top 6 winger, but it doesn't sound like it's coming.

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07-19-2012, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by sabrefan27 View Post
What kills me is Rolston and Regier said before the free agency period that improving their talent and scoring over last season was a huge priority. Devine even said he felt bad for Rolston on most nights last season since he had so little talent on the powerplay.

So what do they do? They potentially construct a team with even less offense and talent. There is a legit reason why Amerks fans gripe, especially when the Sabres make a lot of grand statements but never seem to back them up. They need another top 6 winger, but it doesn't sound like it's coming.
Hamel is still out there and he's a machine at this level, even if he's on into his mid-'30's. I'd rather they try for Zigomanis though -- shift him to LW if they think they have a glut at center until the inevitable injury/recall bug hits. Too much of the scoring is going to have to come from unprecidented sources (the rookies or the Szyds/Parker/Roy/Flynn group) to like their chances much.

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07-19-2012, 08:35 AM
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I'm not sure with Hamel, eventually he's going to give out. Rolston said they are still potentially interested in Stuart. I guess they want 3 third lines. I don't get the aversion to signing offensive talent.

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07-19-2012, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by sabrefan27 View Post
I'm not sure with Hamel, eventually he's going to give out. Rolston said they are still potentially interested in Stuart. I guess they want 3 third lines. I don't get the aversion to signing offensive talent.
I don't get the interest in Stuart, honestly. Is he really that good in the room because on the ice, it's pretty mundane stuff out there. Also, Adam-Porter-Mancari should be a pretty solid 1st line and Rankin-Varone-Tropp could be a decent 2nd line. The issue is when injuries and recalls hit.

Or worse, Tropp and Adam make the team out of camp, pushing offensive non-entities like Ellis and McCormick down to the Amerks for their 10 goals per year.

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07-19-2012, 08:55 AM
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Or worse, Tropp and Adam make the team out of camp, pushing offensive non-entities like Ellis and McCormick down to the Amerks for their 10 goals per year.
Yuck, that would be a worst case scenario.

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07-19-2012, 09:13 AM
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On a somewhat positive note, I'm interested to see how the PP progresses with Mancari added, and JGL to QB the man-advantage. That'll take some pressure off Brennan and will free him up to unleash his big shot.

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07-19-2012, 09:21 AM
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On a somewhat positive note, I'm interested to see how the PP progresses with Mancari added, and JGL to QB the man-advantage. That'll take some pressure off Brennan and will free him up to unleash his big shot.
They'll have three big shooters then, send JGL likes to bomb the puck in as well. Mancari may get half-wall or front-of-net duty with the some combo of McNabb, Brennan, Leduc, and maybe Crawford on the points.

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07-19-2012, 09:22 AM
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Yuck, that would be a worst case scenario.
I do not think McCormick is safe and Tropp was on the Vanek-Hodgson line to end the season, basically the guy who made that line work. It's not outside the realm of possibility that Cody would clear too, due to his contract and the concussion issue.

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07-19-2012, 09:23 AM
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The only teams with openings that I see (via the ECHL website) are the Fort Wayne Komets and South Carolina (they play in Charleston) Stingrays (Alaska, Bakersfield, and Las Vegas are independent).

Elmira could be a possibility, though, since they lost one of their two parent when Anaheim and Tampa Bay swapped AHL affiliates (the Lightning will retain their ECHL affiliation with the Florida EverBlades). Their other affiliate (unfortunately) is Ottawa.

Also worth noting that Anaheim, Boston, Colorado, the Islanders, St. Louis and Toronto are without ECHL affiliates.
Ft Wayne would be freaking awesome! They are consistent winners, I'll say that.
I believe they are affiliated with the CBJ's though.

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07-19-2012, 09:58 AM
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They'll have three big shooters then, send JGL likes to bomb the puck in as well. Mancari may get half-wall or front-of-net duty with the some combo of McNabb, Brennan, Leduc, and maybe Crawford on the points.
I normally hate it, but an umbrella with JGL at the deep point and Brennan and Mancari at the two low-point positions makes a lot of sense.

I'd expect Pysyk to see some (2nd pairing?) PP action as well, no?

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07-19-2012, 10:13 AM
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I normally hate it, but an umbrella with JGL at the deep point and Brennan and Mancari at the two low-point positions makes a lot of sense.

I'd expect Pysyk to see some (2nd pairing?) PP action as well, no?
Probably. Right now, McNabb is the guy to operate as the primary high hub and be the distrubtor. They have a lot of shooters, but they could really use some more net presence (like Hamel or Alexandre Picard) on the first unit where they're not stuffing Mancari into the Vanek box. Foligno could do it, but he's going to be up with Buffalo in all likelihood. Tropp, Varone, and Rankin aren't built for it, even if they can dart to openings and work a bit of low 2-on-1.

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07-19-2012, 12:23 PM
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What's with Biega?

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07-19-2012, 01:04 PM
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What's with Biega?
Didn't sign his QO. They've got a lot of bodies on the blueline -- we're seeing what happens with years of drafting d-men.

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07-19-2012, 02:07 PM
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Ft Wayne would be freaking awesome! They are consistent winners, I'll say that.
I believe they are affiliated with the CBJ's though.
Ft. Wayne cares more about winning than Developing. Hence they have no interest for the AHL but have the arena size and market size and good enough attendance for it. Only joined the E cause their other options died out pretty much.

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07-19-2012, 05:46 PM
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Am I wrong? Is this the first offseason with us in complete control of the Amerks?

If it is, I would give them this offseason as a pass. Not only can they possibly not fix all the problems in one offseason, but there is concern to keep spots open in case of an NHL lockout. After this coming season maybe they will put more emphasis on a successful Amerks team as well a a top development stop for prospects.

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07-19-2012, 06:03 PM
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Pardon my ignorance, but who did Rochester lose that adding Porter, Mancari, Zemgus, Pysyk & JGL (not to mention potentially Tropp and McNabb who were with the Sabres most of the latter part of last season) is actually a decrease in talent?

I think there are definitely some questions, but at worst Porter should replace Chewie and Mancari should out-produce Whitmore (at least offensively). Add in the youngsters, and this years' roster should, at worst, be similar offensively with the potential to be much better, right?

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07-19-2012, 10:33 PM
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Didn't sign his QO. They've got a lot of bodies on the blueline -- we're seeing what happens with years of drafting d-men.
Are Biega and Schiestel now UFA?

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07-19-2012, 10:34 PM
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Are Biega and Schiestel now UFA?
No, they qualified them both so they're still RFA.

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