AHL Finally Adopts Video Replay, Hybrid Icing and Other 2012-2013 Changes

June 29, 2012 - By
AHL Finally Adopts Video Replay, Hybrid Icing and Other 2012-2013 Changes

There’s always some sort of change to the American Hockey League and with the conclusion of the Board of Governors meetings at Hilton Head Island, NC we’ve been presented with what those changes will be.  I also conducted the Let’s Go Amerks BOG meetings on Thursday at a pool and will announce possible changes to the site at a later date.

Video review and hybrid icing are probably two of the biggest changes (additions?) to the game that could be noticeable.  The hybrid icing will only be used until November 19th and then will be reviewed.  We are halfway through 2012 and it’s about time The AHL finally adopted video review.  The old excuse that it wasn’t cost effective was just absurd considering just about every other sport uses video review, there was no reason the 2nd best hockey league in the world couldn’t use it as well.

Hyrbrid icing also makes perfect sense as does a penalty for closing your hand on the puck to conceal it.  Read on for the official word from The AHL:

Changes from last year’s alignment include Abbotsford moving to the North Division, Grand Rapids moving to the Midwest Division [...]Read More

Grading the 2011-2012 Amerks Roster

June 27, 2012 - By
Grading the 2011-2012 Amerks Roster

It’s time to finally post our grades for the 2011-2012 Amerks roster and no, it’s not a mistake that it’s the end of June.  Once the season is over interest pretty much fades and so does traffic, even when new content is posted.  This is the time of year that there’s also renewed interest in talking about hockey again with the start of free agency and hockey fans from around the world trying to find information on players as they move around.

The grades are primarily put together by Eric Bourgeois and Peter Borrelli, two die hards who watch the game closely.  The first grade is from Eric, second is Pete.  Comments have names added after as well.

Joe Finley (A / B+)

  • That big physical D we’re needed for years.  Consistent.  Great team guy.  Willing to protect teammates. (Eric)
  • It was physically painful to me to watch him try to hold back from killing anyone that touched our goalie. Current over-officiating kills a guy like him. (Pete)

Marcus Foligno (A / A+)

  • After a medicore start, he turned into an NHL’er overnight.  One of the few who  didn’t look overmatched against Marlies.  Big and plays big! (Eric)
  • Would-be Team [...]Read More

Jay McKee Not Returning as an Amerks Assistant Coach

June 19, 2012 - By
Jay McKee Not Returning as an Amerks Assistant Coach

There’s just over two weeks until the start of free agency and the Buffalo Sabres will have a big task on their hands in rebuilding the Rochester Americans roster.  One of the many changes ahead was disclosed on Monday when it was announced that Jay McKee would not be brought back as an assistant coach.  It was the first year for McKee as a coach in professional hockey.

Kevin Oklobzija wrote the following:

In some ways, it’s surprising that the organization wouldn’t want McKee to continue to lend his expertise — 13 years of NHL experience surely translates into some sort of valuable knowledge. McKee was very hands-on when it came to teaching the defensemen during practice.

At the same time, assistant coach Chadd Cassidy primarily handled the defense during games, so perhaps their duties overlapped. Who knows, maybe there was even a difference in philosophies.

Somehow I tend to believe there just wasn’t the proper cohesiveness between the coaches that is necessary on a staff. Cassidy and Rolston have been together for six seasons (five with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program). McKee was brought in I think more by folks in Buffalo and not necessarily by Rolston. They tried [...]Read More

Hybrid Icing to The AHL in the 2012-2013 Season

May 31, 2012 - By
Hybrid Icing to The AHL in the 2012-2013 Season

We’re not into June yet but at least we’re starting to learn about changes expected for the 2012-2013 season that will start in just under five months.  The NHL GM’s have decided to skip implementing hybrid icing in the NHL and decided to implement it in the American Hockey League.  The change will need to be approved by The AHL but there’s no reason they won’t.

The change will help to add some more safety to the game and eliminate the fast rush to the puck which can cause one or both players to go crashing into the boards racing for the puck.

Details from Sportsnet:

As recently as the GM’s meetings in March, the league was prepared to begin the steps to adopt hybrid icing for the 2012-13 season. But after further consideration, the rule change – still yet to be precisely defined – will be implemented in the American Hockey League first.

“From my perspective it’s something that makes sense, but the group is a lot smarter than I am, so we’ll try it in American League and see how it looks there,” said Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke.

“I think the sense was that the [...]Read More

Former Amerks Enforcer Sean McMorrow to be Sentenced for Drug Trafficking

May 29, 2012 - By
Former Amerks Enforcer Sean McMorrow to be Sentenced for Drug Trafficking

Former Rochester Americans enforcer Sean McMorrow plead guilty back in September to “one count of “conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 50 kilograms (about 110 pounds) or more of marijuana” and is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday for sentencing.  The final punishment can range from jail time to a fine to simple probation.  One thing that will happen is that he’ll be deported from the United States and not allowed to return.

The D&C write this article talking about the dual lives of McMorrow:

To his Rochester Americans teammates, Sean McMorrow was the guy who never complained, the guy whose job it was to fight his own on-ice battles — and sometimes everyone else’s.

To the children who attended area schools, who played at community recreation centers, read at public libraries and got well at local hospitals, he was a pro athlete with a big smile and an even bigger heart.

But to the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office, McMorrow was a drug smuggler and drug trafficker, a guy who toted marijuana and money tainted with the smell of pot to and/or from his offseason home in Toronto.

“He had two different [...]Read More

Sabres Signed Nathan Lieuwen to Entry Level Contract

May 9, 2012 - By
Sabres Signed Nathan Lieuwen to Entry Level Contract

A few days late but up for anyone who missed it and archive purpose.  As of right now, the Sabres have Nathan Lieuwen and Connor Knapp under contract for the minor leagues.  David Leggio and Drew MacIntyre are unrestricted free agents.

You can always click on roster at the top of the site to get a list of players currently under contract.  This isn’t speculation of who may or may not return, it’s players signed.  http://www.letsgoamerks.com/roster/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 5, 2012

SABRES SIGN GOALTENDER LIEUWEN TO ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACT

(Rochester, NY)… Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier today announced that the team has signed goaltender Nathan Lieuwen to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Lieuwen (6’5”, 189 lbs., 8/8/91) finished the 2011-12 season ranked third among all Western Hockey League goaltenders with a 2.50 goals against average and ranked fifth with a .914 save percentage. In his second season as the starting goaltender for the Kootenay Ice, Lieuwen went 27-20-6-2 with three shutouts.

In parts of five WHL seasons with Kootenay, Lieuwen posted a regular season record of 85-59-8-7. He backstopped the Ice to a Memorial Cup Championship in 2010-11, earning WHL Playoff MVP honors after going 16-2-1 with a 2.24 [...]Read More

The Morning After: Fan Support Returned but A Let Down of a Season

April 24, 2012 - By
The Morning After: Fan Support Returned but A Let Down of a Season

Battled. Potential. Disappointed. Those are three words to describe the 2011/2012 Rochester Americans season and in the end what was dubbed “Sabres University” was a big let down. It was a fun season at times but it was far from a great season.

It was a miracle the team found a way to make it into the playoffs (thanks for the most part to the overtime point) but no one should accept that and be happy.  If the team would have missed the playoffs the easy excuse would be that all of the call ups and injuries throughout the season had a major impact but they found a way in and they were dominated by the Toronto Marlies, a team with more talent and depth.

There were a few positives to the season.  The Buffalo Sabres buying the Rochester Americans brought back long term stability to the franchise.  The previous ownership group was never in a position where they were ready to move the team or end the team but they had an uphill battle and they did the right thing selling to the Sabres.  The new ownership also recognized the need to rebuild the fan base which they quickly [...]Read More

That was It. Marlies Dominate and Sweep the Amerks. Season Over.

April 24, 2012 - By
That was It. Marlies Dominate and Sweep the Amerks. Season Over.

It’s time to be honest for a moment and simply say that game stunk.  The Toronto Marlies swept the Rochester Americans in three games to advance to the second round of the playoffs.  The series was a dominating performance by the Marlies that just completely exposed the faults of the Rochester Americans roster, especially in game three.  The Marlies scored three goals and shut the Amerks out, the first game out of 13 played that was decided by more than one goal.

The Amerks had heart and gave it there all but the Marlies had more talent and it showed.

(Photo by David Sturm, view more here)

The highlight of the game was the crowd of 7,118 at the War Memorial, the largest crowd for a first round playoff game in Rochester since April 13, 1990.  It’s unfortunate the Marlies took control of the game early and took the crowd out of the game.

Philippe Dupuis scored the game winning goal at 3:59 of the first period with a wrist shot over the left shoulder of Leggio.

Mike Zigomanis sent a pass to Jerry D’Amigo in the slot who scored off a one timer to put the Marlies up [...]Read More

This is it. Time for an Amerks Winning Streak

April 23, 2012 - By
This is it. Time for an Amerks Winning Streak

This is it.  That’s been a common theme throughout the 2011/2012 season for the Rochester Americans in needing to find ways to turn the season around and stay alive.  At times when they’ve seemed down and out they’ve found a way to rebound and win some games.  Can they find a way to go on a three game winning streak?  The odds are against them being down by two games in a best of five series but we should expect a decent hockey game Monday night at the War Memorial.

(Photo courtesy of Dave Sturm, you can see his entire album here)

As of Monday morning it looks like there’ll probably be a crowd of over 5,000 which is pretty impressive for a first round playoff series, a round that typically has some low attendance all around the league.  The crowds were small in the first round of the 2010 playoff series.  They were small in 2007 as well.  Even back in the lock out year the second home playoff game had 5,817 attend on a Friday.  It helps to have cheaper tickets this season and also being owned by the Buffalo Sabres means a push by the Sabres to [...]Read More

Amerks vs Marlies Game 2 Video Highlights

April 23, 2012 - By
Amerks vs Marlies Game 2 Video Highlights

There hasn’t been anything to say about the game two loss that hasn’t been said elsewhere.  If you watched the game you saw the same thing as everyone else. The Marlies were the better team for most of the game.  Rochester found a way to stay in the game like they have with just about all games all season but it wasn’t enough.

(Photo courtesy of Dave Sturm, you can see his entire album here)

The Marlies 4-3 win game them a 2-0 series lead in a best of five first round matchup.

David Leggio gives the Marlies the lead early in Game 2 as Jerry D’Amigo has the whole net to shoot at. Assist to Philippe Dupuis.

A boarding penalty by Philippe Dupuis leads to roughing minors assessed to Travis Turnbull, Colin Stuart, Nicolas Deschamps, and Jerry D’Amigo.

A terrible call on Marcus Foligno leads to a power play goal by Mike Zigomanis. Assists to Jake Gardiner and Joe Colborne.

Travis Turnbull is interviewed during the first intermission of Game 2 between the Rochester Amerks and the Toronto Marlies.

Marcus Foligno scores to get the Amerks on the board in Game 2. Assisted by [...]Read More

Amerks Comeback Not Enough, Marlies Win Game 1 (with 6 min Video)

April 20, 2012 - By
Amerks Comeback Not Enough, Marlies Win Game 1 (with 6 min Video)

The first game of the Amerks vs Marlies playoff series was predictable.  The Marlies were better but the Amerks found a way to battle back and make it a close game ending in a one goal loss.  That’s the same way the ten regular season games went between these two teams.  The first round of the playoffs is the best of five making game 2 on Saturday a must win for Rochester.

The Amerks are an average team facing a talented Toronto Marlies squad.  David Leggio was at the top of his game making 34 saves while Ben Scrivens at the other end had 20 saves.  It was only a one goal game but Rochester wasn’t able to generate a lot of offensive pressure and they were fortunate Leggio kept the score the way he did.

Down 3-1 in the third period Marcus Foligno scored a power play goal from the front of the net off a quick pass from Paul Szczechura down low.  The Marlies were watching Foligno all game and didn’t give him very much room to work but the moment he was open he scored.

Evan Rankin made a back handed pass along the boards to TJ [...]Read More

Amerks Start Quest for the Teams First Calder Cup Since 1996

April 19, 2012 - By
Amerks Start Quest for the Teams First Calder Cup Since 1996

The last time the Rochester Americans won the Calder Cup was on June 13, 1996 when they defeated the Portland Pirates in Game 7.  That season the team played their first home game on October 13, 1995.  This season the Amerks started the season at home on October 13, 2011.  During the 1995/1996 season there was a time when the team was in last place in the league.  There was also a time this season that the team came very close to being in last place before clinching a playoff spot on the last day of the season.  Do those comparions mean an instant Calder Cup championship?  Of course not but they’re fun comparisons to start the campaign tonight in Toronto against the Marlies for 15 more wins!

You can watch all of game 7 Calder Cup win here: http://bit.ly/rkniLy

The Amerks were last in the post season during the 2009/2010 season and even though the team was loaded with talent it wasn’t a close knit team and they lost in the first round to the Abbotsford Heat.  Prior to that the Amerks lost in the first round of the 2006/2007 playoff race to the Hamilton Bulldogs who had Carey [...]Read More