The Florida Panthers and Rochester Americans made headlines on Friday and proved that they’re not joking around about being competitive when they announced that Graham Mink has signed a two year contract. Mink is the strong veteran forward who can score that has been promised to fans.
In early April when Curt Styres and Jacques Martin sat down at a press conference to announce changes for the upcoming season it was met with a lot of wait and see attitudes by fans and for good reason. We were being promised four top six forwards, a veteran defensemen, and a ‘tough guy.’ The question remaind, would Curt Styres really open up the teams bank account to make things happen?
The past nine days has proved that he will. When Curt Styres says he is going to do something that means he is. Graham Mink, Clay Wilson, and Jeff Taffe are all quality players being brought into the organization.
Mink spent last season with the Hershey Bears and helped them win the Calder Cup. The second to last place team in The AHL last season was able to get a player who just won the Calder Cup. That’s further proof that the Amerks are more committed to winning than ever.
In 68 regular season games during the 2008/2009 season Mink scored 32 goals and assisted on 27 others. During the playoffs in 22 games he registered seven goals and eight assists.
The Hershey Bears also won the Calder Cup in 2005/2006 with the help of Mink that year when he scored 21 goals and had 19 assists in 43 games.
Here’s an excellent quote from Graham Mink courtesy of Kevin O’s blog on the D&C:
“Everyone wants to win at the NHL level but not every team approaches it the same way with their American League team,” Mink said. “Some teams want to develop and win and some teams want to win and develop. You can tell Rochester has made an effort to win.”
Graham Mink also spent two seasons with the Worcester Sharks (06/07 – 07/08) where he played in 132 games scoring 55 goals and 63 assists.
Game On!! Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell a stranger that the Rochester Americans are determined to win! I don’t think it’s fair to say that they did not want to win the past couple of seasons, but things just did not work out. The summer of 2008 saw a lot of billboards around town and some general excitement, this time it’s for real.