Not only did they realign but also changed the playoff format. Now it's the top 8 teams that make the playoffs. Know our division was strong last year so this will help. Wounder if we will still play 10-12 games against each team as we have in the past.
Signings will slow down after this week. Pretty much they will try to get there draft picks and RFA's under contract.
Just wanted to say that I'm a Caps fan, recently relocated to San Antonio. I will be out supporting the Rampage this season, and I hope to get to 10-15 games.
I've always had a soft spot for the Panthers (except when the Caps play them!), and I will be attending and supporting the Rampage enthusiastically.
Please stop in and let us know how how the Rampage are doing throughout the season, it would be much appreciated! I am hoping we get a healthy dialogue going with the fans in SA this year, as opposed to our sub-par relationship with Rochester the past few years.
With all of the promising prospects we have in the system, I'm just as interested in our new affiliate as I am in the Cats almost. Our future will be coming through SA because no one is a shoe-in on the Panthers anymore. All the kids will have to earn a spot now, which is a good thing.
I will be following the Caps too this year with Vokoun on the team. You guys got one hell of a goalie. Although I'll be rooting for Theodore when we face you guys!
I will do my best to get up to date on Panthers prospects/Rampage players.
I've never been to an AHL game (I've been to many (mostly Caps) NHL games). I spent 3 years in SoCal as a Long Beach Ice Dogs fan (ECHL). I really enjoyed the ECHL, despite the relative lack of skill. I am hoping for an entertaining product here in SA. In the ECHL, you didn't really have to worry too much about prospect development, which was nice (Jaroslav Halak not withstanding), and winning was the primary objective. I am hoping that putting a quality team on the ice is very important for the Rampage.
And KaylaJ, I guess we can agree on this.............Go Rampage!
If anyone sees someone around the AT&T Center with a Long Beach Ice Dogs jersey, it can only be me!!
The one problem I'm seeing right now to improve the Rampage is that we're almost at the contract limit (48 currently) and if Gudbranson is signed that means we're down to just 1 contract available. Usually teams like to keep one or 2 free in case of trades so unless there's a guy out there that will sign an AHL-only deal, I think that lineup is gonna be it for San Antonio. That is unless we make a deal or 2 to move players out.
Panthers fans...feel free to educate me. I'm still trying to learn the team and prospects.
I left a comment on the blog but just wanted to say well done on most of it.
As I said in my comment, dont be surprised with how many good prospects do come thru San Antonio with Tallon & Santos in charge. They want these kids to learn the pro game before they make the NHL and that means San Antonio is going to be vital for the future of the franchise. Guys like Bjugstad, Shore, Petrovic, Knight, Pacan, etc will probably all come thru San Antonio I bet in the next 2-3 yrs. Doesnt totally help for next season but I think we should all be looking long term at this point.
interesting tidbit from above post that i hadn't thought of:
After Phoenix signed on with Portland, Phoenix GM Don Maloney made mention of his long standing desire to have his prospects playing in New England where travel is minimal and practice time can be optimized.
Great job as always Nate... With this line-up as is, what do our playoff chances look like? I'm not looking for a Calder Cup final birth here... I just want SOME playoff hockey.
Cats fans feel free to weigh in on this as well
The goaltending is great and the defense will be solid. That will be your bread and butter. Also Weber is a good coach I think. The Esposito-McArdle trade was made I think to get some more scoring for your second line. A lot of good defensive and tough forwards. The Kennedy-Cullen-Repik line should be a very respected line in the league. For your sake, hope that Repik doesn't make the Panthers and clears waivers when he gets sent down. I think the offense should be about middle of the road, maybe better. D and G will be your strong points like I said. But if a couple of Wilson, Luciani, Jenks, and Hazen surprise, which they have the potential to, then you guys will be a really strong team. I think the East is tougher anyway so I like San Antonio's chances for a playoff spot.
As Coolburn said though, in 12-13 you guys will be getting an incredible influx of talent from the junior and college ranks. Nick Bjugstad, Drew Shore, Corban Knight, Quinton Howden, John McFarland, Alex Petrovic, and David Pacan should all in San Antonio that year. If I was a Rampage fan I'd be giddily looking forward to 12-13 like a kid on Christmas Eve.
Scratch Duco and McArdle off your roster and add Esposito and Seabrook.
Luckily I really only have to learn about Seabrook. I knew of Esposito before he was drafted and being a Pens fan knew of him after. When Chicago came into town a few years ago I made sure to go to not only see Chelios, but Esposito. He's gonna be quite a long shot to turn things around and stay healthy, but I'll be rooting for him.
It will be interesting to see how he looks now though. He obviously lost some speed because of the injuries, but I wonder what his consistent is now.