A roundup of information and links from around hockey of interest to fans in Central Indiana:
- The Indy Fuel announced the signing of forward Klarc Wilson, who had 60 points and 95 PIM in the WHL a year ago.
- Affiliation news: The Wheeling Nailers renewed their affiliation with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens and Montreal Canadiens share the affiliation in Wheeling. The Kalamazoo Wings picked up the Columbus Blue Jackets affiliation that had previously been in Evansville. The Blue Jackets and Vancouver Canucks will share the Kalamazoo affiliation (as will the AHL Chicago Wolves). The St. Louis Blues will no longer be affiliated with Kalamazoo. Meanwhile, Evansville is currently one of two unaffiliated ECHL teams (along with Alaska).
- A couple more former Ice players will be seen around the ECHL, as 2009 Clark Cup champion forward Sebastian Geoffrion signed with the Greenville Road Warriors. Also, Loren Barron is returning to the Evansville IceMen.
- Logan Brown, the 16-year-old son of former Ice coach Jeff Brown (and a former Junior Ice player), will play the 2014-15 season for the OHL Windsor Spitfires after his rights were traded by Niagara earlier this week. Logan will play for GM Warren Rychel – a former Indianapolis Ice player – in Windsor. He’ll also play against his father’s team often, as Jeff Brown will be coaching the Ottawa 67s.
- Not directly Ice related, but a family familiar to the Ice will have a familiar face on a frequent rival — Matt Krug, who has two brothers with Ice Clark Cup rings — Torey as a player in 2009 and Adam as an assistant coach in 2014 — signed with Fort Wayne. This is not the same Matt Krug who played for the Ice — that one currently plays for NCAA champion Union College.
- The Sioux City Musketeers — with former Ice players Adam Johnson and Sam Kurker — are representing the USHL in the Junior Club World Championships in Ufa, Russia. Kurker and Johnson had a goal and two assists each in a 5-1 win over Malmo (Sweden) that put the Musketeers in the semis. Kurker and Johnson both scored in a 6-1 win over Riga (Latvia). Johnson scored twice in a 7-2 tournament-opening win over Red Bull Salzburg (Austria).The Musketeers face Spartak Moscow in the semis.
Elsewhere in hockey
- Two Central Hockey League teams suspended operations within hours of each other last week — the Denver Cutthroats and the (Prescott) Arizona Sundogs. That leaves the CHL with seven teams. The Minor League Hockey Report, which covers the CHL extensively, has a good summation of the events and also had a Q&A with Allen coach Steve Martinson, which touched on some of the team and the league’s future.
- There has been much talk of an “AHL West Division” that could affect some western ECHL markets. Chris Roy of the Maine Hockey Journal says there’s nothing to it, at least for now, quoting the Portland Pirates COO as saying there’s no sale, no transfers of franchises having been brought to the league’s board of governors.
- THN’s Ken Campbell looks ahead to the 2016 draft, and sees a number of Americans potentially at the top. Among them: Max Jones, Logan Brown, Auston Matthews (who played for the USNTDP last year) and Jakob Chychrun.
- In the NHL: a handful of restricted free agents remain unsigned.
- The St. Louis Blues have a new look for the 2014-15 season, which resembles an old look — they’ve essentially ditched the Reebok Edge template for a more traditional look they sported before 2006.