A few items of interest to local hockey fans …
- It’s always interesting to get others’ perspectives of our team. The Missouri Mavericks’ trip to Indy was a big deal for the Mavs, not just because it was the franchise’s first-ever ECHL game, but also because it was the team’s first game against Coach Scott Hillman’s team. Coach Hillman had been the lone coach in Mavs’ history, and is well-regarded in Missouri.
- The Quad City Mallards also began a “new era” last week, and gave a solid perspective on the former CHL teams joining the ECHL.
- The ECHL is settling in after absorbing seven CHL teams and expanding to 28. The goal, according to commissioner Brian McKenna in this Fort Wayne News-Sentinel report, is to get to 30 active franchises so each team can have an AHL/NHL affiliation, and is looking to reactivate two dormant western franchises in Reno and Las Vegas (this report from Estero, Florida also notes that there is one dormant former CHL franchise. Currently, the AHL has 30 teams.
- There has been talk of an AHL Pacific Division for some time. Finally, a sourced report that looks at the issue, from Norfolk, Va. A few notes: Anaheim apparently offered to buy the Norfolk Admirals (its AHL affiliate), and one western NHL GM is on record saying having an AHL Pacific Division would make things easier. Of interest to us, ECHL commissioner Brian McKenna says “we certainly have protection in our markets” and notes that ECHL teams have long-term leases with their arenas.
- The Clark Cup rings have been delivered to the 2013-14 champions.
— Dwyer Tschantz (@Washer_Dwyer) October 27, 2014
- Lots of alumni news this week. Former Ice goaltender Scott Darling became the team’s sixth former player (and first goaltender) to play in the NHL. Darling made 32 saves in a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators Sunday night. CSN Chicago also has coverage. CBS Sports’ Chris Peters takes a look at Darling’s long road to the NHL. THN asks “Who is Scott Darling?” Darling followed up his performance with another stellar one in a 1-0 loss to Anaheim on Tuesday. He stopped 24 shots and allowed only a breakaway goal. Darling joins Joel Rechlicz (NYI), John Carlson (WAS), Torey Krug (BOS), Cameron Schilling (WAS) & Paul Carey (COL) as NHL players from the Ice.
- Speaking of NHL players, the injury to Zdeno Chara is giving Torey Krug an expanded role with the Boston Bruins.
- Daniil Tarasov had his hand in a natural hat trick, assisting on three consecutive goals by the Worcester Sharks’ Freddie Hamilton.
- Brian Ferlin scored his first AHL goal with the Providence Bruins.
- College Hockey News has a feature on Penn State’s freshmen, including last year’s Ice leading scorer Scott Conway. Conway had two goals and two assists Sunday as Penn State beat Holy Cross 7-1.
- Sean Kuraly had the game-winner in Miami’s 2-1 win over St. Lawrence on Saturday.
- Happy Halloween. Once you see Torey Krug as Olaf from Frozen, you won’t be able to unsee it.
Other hockey notes
- Our friend, Racers superfan & WHA historian Tim Gassen is putting together a WHA Blu-Ray, and is running a kickstarter campaign to raise funds. Just a few days remain in the campaign. If the campaign succeeds, a $30 donation will get you a copy of the Blu-Ray, which will include a lot of Racers footage.
- Carmel native Zach Trotman was called up to the Boston Bruins this week to replace the injured Zdeno Chara.
- In an SPHL game, the Huntsville Havoc’s Justin Cseter suffered a scary injury when his thigh appeared to be cut by a skate blade. He was treated at a Peoria hospital, released and rode home with the team. The teams suspended their game that night.