It has been a busy summer for the Rochester Americans with a lot of great news and a couple of stories that have generated some bad press. Looking at the bigger picture it has been a positive summer. Here’s the start of “round up” type posts I’ll be doing once the season gets started. There’s always a lot of news but not always enough to make an individual post for. They’re also a great way for people to get caught up that may not read this site or the news all that often.
Here’s what has happened so far this summer:
** Training camp for the Amerks has not even been announced yet but the doesn’t mean some Amerks aren’t back on the ice already. The Rochester Americans Summer Hockey Camps are underway at ESL being led by Amerks assistant coach Jason Cipolla. It’s great to see so many kids sporting the Amerks logo playing hockey, a sign that the season is close.
** Matt Duffy is still an unsigned draft pick of the Florida Panthers. He was drafted in the fourth round and #104 overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. When his season ended with the University of Maine he played in nine games for the Amerks and scored two goals and four assists. It’s somewhat surprising the Panthers have not given him an entry level deal at this point.
** In case you’ve missed this summers free agent signings, the Amerks signed Chris Taylor to an AHL contract and the Florida Panthers signed Graham Mink, Jeff Taffe, Jamie Johnson, and Clay Wilson to two way deals.
** The goaltending situation looks like it will be Alexander Salak and Tyler Plante If that tandem does not produce results expect the Panthers and Amerks to shop for a new goalie earlier in the season than last year when they found Mike Brodeur. Chris Beckford-Tseu is still under contract for another season. Beckford-Tseu will be given the opportunity to show he has improved but no one is expecting him to be in Rochester.
** Ted Nolan was hired by Curt Styres to be the VP of Hockey Operations for the Rochester Americans. At this time I’m not sure how much of an impact Nolan had on the free agents signed during the off season but he has been making the rounds of sports talk radio stations all summer. The Rochester Americans have been in the news all summer because of Nolan. A winning team and big crowds at the War Memorial will make it all worthwhile for Styres.
** At this time the Panthers expect Evgeni Dadonov to be at training camp. The KHL disputes his contract. The Panthers say he does not have one with them. The KHL has threatened a law suit. Dadonov did not report to training camp in Russia. That’s it in a nutshell, you can read more details on Dadonov here, here, and here.
** One key roster spot that is yet to be filled is that of a ‘tough guy.’ As of right now the only player under contract who could fit that role would be James DeLory, he’s not the heavyweight though that fans of fighting would like to see. Riley Emmerson is currently an unrestricted free agent and Jack Birch has hinted to Kevin O that bringing him back is not out of the question.
** The AHL schedule is set to be released at 4pm on Thursday. I’ll be working at that time so if you want to see it right away keep an eye on Amerks.com or TheAHL.com. We already know the Amerks are only playing 13 teams but the days of games are what most will be looking for. Such as.. Prime weekend games late in the season? Amerks vs Portland at HSBC? Portland in Rochester? Day after Christmas?
** Speaking of the Portland Pirates, if you’re interested in them check out the Maine Hockey Journal.
** Don Stevens will be calling the Play by Play for the Major League Roller Hockey Pro Tour Championship game that is airing on Versus on August 29th at 3pm. (more info)
** Some changes have been made heading into the 2009/2010 AHL season such as new teams, new cities, affiliations, re-alignment, and rule changes. (more info)
** Fred Costello will not return as organist for the Amerks. It’s a shame the way the situation was handled but I think most people are over it already.
** I think it’s safe to say that The Moose will be returning as mascot for the Amerks. I had written about some rumors about him being eliminated and those can probably be put to rest. The Moose has been making appearances all summer and even if anyone had thought it would be a good idea has probably heard enough from the community that it better not ever happen.
** The following players that were here for the 2008/2009 season have signed with different teams and will NOT be returning: Stefan Meyer (Phoenix Coyotes/San Antonio Rampage), Tanner Glass (Vancouver Canucks/Manitoba Moose), Mike Brodeur (Ottawa Senators/Binghamton Senators), and Drew Larman (Boston Bruins/Providence Bruins). Supposedly Jacob Micflikier has/is signing with the Albany River Rats but I have not been able to confirm it.. David Shantz and Franklin MacDonald were not extended qualifying offers by the Panthers and are still unemployed as of writing this.