I don't know if you guys care, but the AHL has agreed to a framework for moving a whole bunch of teams West, possibly by 2015. The feeling seems to be that Manchester is definitely gone. Possibly Worcester, Adirondack, and Utica as well. Those 4 teams are owned by their NHL parent. We're likely to see 6 or 7 new Western teams. Of course, affiliations move location all the time, so any one of those buildings could be occupied by a relocated Eastern affiliate afterwards. Major shakeup coming in the AHL.
I'm just happy, because it means Charlotte will likely be in the Eastern Conference and I'll get to see the Rangers affiliate, wherever it happens to be by then.
It looks like a number of cities are going to swap with ECHL teams. i.e. Kings swapping out Manchester for Ontario; Anahein swapping out Norfolk for Salt Lake etc.
What's the projected roster looking like for the Wolf Pack next season?
A. LEFT WINGS
The left wings look really good. Bourque proved himself capable of playing on the first line in the LW and Hrivik is definitely a top-6 LW in the AHL. McCarthy was terrific in college and generally those who get over a point per game in college (and have decent size) can play quality AHL hockey. Yogan is the team's 4th LW. He was sent down to the ECHL towards the end of the season, but he was decent in the AHL for most of the year. Good size, solid speed, decent shot. He'll take a step forward next season and will be a very good AHLer.
B. RIGHT WINGS
Another strong position. Haggerty or Fast will be in Hartford, though one is likely to make the Rangers. Kristo is also a good AHL right winger and this being his second year, hopefully he'll take a significant step forward. Kantor was a good 4th line spark plug player last season and hopefully can do more this year. Najezchleb is likely to make the team and Nicholls too will make a bid.
Position of weakness. We only have Lindberg and St. Croix, who was in the ECHL last season, and though I hope he can prove himself in the AHL next season, it is not a given. They need to bring in someone like Newbury to run the offense. They will also need to bring in a few depth AHLers on a non-NHL contract. Maybe Kyle Jean will accept an AHL deal. They'd need to get a couple of players like him.
Lots of youth, not much on experience. Allen or McIlrath will remain with the team, though one of them will make the Rangers. One of Donnay or Noreau is likely to make the AHL with the other going back to the ECHL. Bodie will play in Hartford and so will likely Zamorsky. Hughes will return as a top-4 AHLer. This squad will need the help of a veteran defenseman with NHL experience. Maybe Aaron Johnson will return.
Mackenzie Skapski will be given a chance to make the team, but there is a desperate need to bring in someone like Dov Grumet-Morris or David LeNeveu. This team will again collapse without goaltending.
AHL teams need twice as much depth as NHL because NHL teams do not send their players up whem someone in another league needs help. Every time the Rangers recall someone from Hartford, a hole opens up, so Ranger injuries effect Hartford depth, plus the Pack get their own injuries.
This team will need to some players like Brandon Segal and Tommy Grant on the wing plus a few lesser players who are borderline AHL/ECHL. The center spot is rough so at a minimum, they would need to sign a star AHL center (like Newbury) and another solid AHL center (like Tessier) plus a couple of borderline AHL/ECHL centers. I would actually sign 3 quality AHL centers, at least one on a two-way NHL deal. This way if St. Croix screws up or Lindberg gets recalled, the team can still function.
Katie Strang @KatieStrangESPN 7m
Today is deadline for teams to submit qualifying offers. Only players the Rangers did NOT QO: Falk, Jean, Stajcer, Wilson, Beach.
SO Missiaen, Bourque, Kristo get QO's
Kristo and Bourque were obvious calls seeing as they were key AHL players who are still young enough to have NHL potential.
But why Missiaen? Outside of a hot streak in March 2013, he's proven himself utterly incapable of playing in the AHL as a high level. He's also 24. How much progress is he expected to make? He should've gotten an AHL deal and then he would have a year to prove he deserves more than that.
Missiaen is immobile. He was just a pylon when we first signed him, got better over time, but if he had to play in the NHL right now, he'd get lit up for double digit goals per game.
Andersson and Zamorsky have contracts in Europe (Switzerland, Finland) with NHL 'out clauses'
but as they did with Fast for a year, NYR may 'loan' either back to Europe,
rather than have them start in North America this year.
Zamorsky, being 2 years older, may be more likely to stay here,
but i wont be surprised if both go back to Europe for another year.
(...Or if Skjei goes back to the U, and Donnay goes back to Jr and Connor McDavid)
does make it hard to project HWP D with so many variables
I had the impression that Andersson had signed with the Rangers--would make preseason appearances here and then probably play for Zug in Switzerland and that Zamorsky would play in Europe this year as well.