We’re just a few weeks away from the opening of NHL training camps, which means there’s a few trickles of hockey news coming down the pike. ECHL teams are filing their rosters, NHL teams are hiring bloggers for their front offices and we’re in the offseason lull.
- Lots of roster news. The Fuel signed Brett Perlini and Kyle Follmer last week. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks signed goalie Michael Leighton to a two-way deal that will likely see him be a netminder in the AHL. That clears up the franchise’s (and, in turn, the Fuel’s) goaltending picture.
- ICYMI, IndyPuck had the chance to chat with Fuel coach Scott Hillman last week. Our conversation is here and here.
- The Idaho Steelheads renewed their affilation with the Dallas Stars.
- The ECHL has partnered with NeuLion for its video streaming for 2014-15. NeuLion produces, among other things, NHL GameCenter Live and BTN 2Go. The ECHL had used America One (formerly B2 Networks) as its streaming provider. More details will be coming shortly.
- It didn’t come as much of a surprise, but former Ice defenseman (and Rangers draft pick) Ryan Mantha has made it official. He has signed to play with the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs this week. Mantha had previously committed to play collediately at North Dakota.
- The Sioux City Musketeers are representing the USHL in the Junior Club World Championships. The USHL often sends a team to the late-summer tournament, and with the defending Clark Cup champion Ice currently dormant, it created the opening for Sioux City.
Other Indianapolis-related hockey links
- Former Indianapolis Ice coach Darryl Sutter had his day with the Stanley Cup this past week. And he also did an ice bucket challenge while with Stanley.
- Pretty cool THN story about how Army football (and hockey) player Pete Dawkins scored twice on Hall of Fame goaltender (and former Indianapolis Capital) Terry Sawchuk in practice.
- In case you’re interested — and I know you are, if you’re reading this. The NHL has released its preseason schedule, so you can watch your favorite team in action before the games start counting. It’s a great time to see how prospects fare against NHL competition, and possibly, see some campers who might be on ECHL rosters to start the year.
- There is some hockey being played. The United States took the bronze medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, which is a U18 tourney held in the Czech Republic. It’s one of the first major true international tournaments junior players compete in.
- More advanced stats. The Maple Leafs are hiring an analytics department. Alas, this means the demise of ExtraSkater.com.
- The Red Wings extended GM Ken Holland’s contract. What does that mean for the future of Mike Babcock (and by extension, former Ice coach Jeff Blashill)?
- A handful of Michigan State alumni who are playing professionally are convening in Lansing for Pro Camp, meaning hockey season is close. Among them, former Ice player Torey Krug.
- Charles Wang is selling the New York Islanders, gradually letting go of his majority stake over the next two years.
- Speaking of the Islanders, some sad news. It has been announced that Al Arbour, the coach for the Islanders’ four Stanley Cup titles in the 1980s, has been battling dementia. The Islanders dynasty brought up some memories for us.
- More NHL movement news. The talk of Seattle as a potential expansion market is heating up again.
- Seriously, just follow Sean McIndoe (Down Goes Brown) on Grantland. Do it. His posts are often funny and insightful, like this one from the past week on the wonderful 1980s.
- Our editor has some interest in international hockey, and this piqued the interest. Jim Paek, former Penguins defenseman and Korean-native, will coach the South Korean team in the 2018 Olympic Games. He’ll be assisted by another Korean native to have played in the NHL, Richard Park (and I can tell you the Asia League season is starting soon … anything to cure hockey withdrawal!)
Whew! That’s a lot for August.