Heading into his 13th season, Hershey Bears‘ goaltender Dany Sabourin(35) signs a one-year, two-way extension with Washington Capitals‘ organization for a third straight season.
Originally a Calgary Flames‘ 4th round pick in the 1998 draft (#108 overall), he has almost always consistently put together a winning season for whatever club he’s been with.
The 31-year old has played in 59 NHL games mostly with Pittsburgh Penguins over a few seasons and appeared in net with Vancouver Canucks and the Flames as well.
In the AHL he has 278 regular and postseason contests to his credit.
Whomever the Bears end up with to split time with him in the upcoming season, he is more than capable of shouldering the starting job or splitting the 76-game schedule with another netminder as he did in 2011/2012.
He has been recalled by the Caps but yet to tend for them in a game. Maybe that will change in 2012/2013.
Entering his 13th season, center Jason Williams(18) says goodbye to North American pro hockey and is looking at the next 2 years with Ambri-Piotta of Switzerland National League A.
He leaves having skated in 455 NHL regular season and 27 postseason games scoring 95 goals and 135 assists, most recently with Pittsburgh Penguins, who he signed a one-year, two-way deal with for 2011/2012.
The 5’11″ 185 lbs. forward had one of his best seasons in the AHL with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins scoring 13 goals and 29 assists in 59 games and added another 3 goals and 10 assists in 12 games.
The 32-year old when the 2012/2013 season starts has skated in Europe once before. During the lock out, he played the season in Finland.
Chances are he’ll do well playing this style and they are already very excited to have him join their team.
Undrafted Norfolk Admirals‘ rookie center Philip-Michael Devos(88) season couldn’t have had it much better with either of the two leagues he skated in 2011/2012.
Upon receiving his second recalled from the ECHL Florida Everblades on the day after Christmas, he never looked or went back down.
Signed in the offseason to a 2-year, two-way AHL contract with the Admirals, the 5’11″ 185 lbs. forward would have maybe suffered a bit of a pay cut playing in the lower league, but he would have been skating with a Kelly Cup Championship team.
In 22 ECHL games he scored 6 goals and 14 assists. Up in the A, he had 7 goals and 17 assists through 52 contests and has a goal and an assist in 8 Calder Cup appearances.
With four more in the W column, he will have earned himself a spot on a Calder Cup Championship team, so this once explosive scorers from juniors really had quite a first year playing pro.
Boston Bruins‘ 2nd round pick in the 2010 draft (#32 overall) right wing Jared Knight(87) finished up his junior career with a trip to the Mastercard Memorial Cup Finals with his team, OHL’s London Knights. He had a few chances to put the game into either the lead or win column but was unable to put it by a red-hot goalie.
He was signed to a 3-year entry level deal before the 2011/2012 season but was sent back to juniors for his fourth season out of training camp.
The 5’11″ 195 lbs. forward will be in Bruins’ Prospect and full training camps again before in all likelihood starting his pro slate with Providence. He appeared in the three games with them at the end of 2011 and picked up a pair of assists.
While not exactly the biggest guy out there, the 20-year old plays with a ton of spirit and determination that he’s bound to fight for a spot on the big club before too long.
The name Bourque will once again appear in Black & Gold.
Boston Bruins traded former 1st round pick, center Zach Hamill to Washington Capitals for left wing and son of Ray, Chris Bourque(17).
He has played 411 games through 6 seasons with Hershey Bears in the AHL throughout his 7-year pro career scoring 131 goals and an eye-popping 264 assists.
The 5’8″ 181 lbs. forward won three Calder Cups with the Bears, was playoff MVP in 2010 and lead the league in scoring this season with 93 points in 73 games.
He was a 2nd round pick in the 2004 draft (#33 overall) but has only skated in 33 NHL games scoring one goal with three helpers and most of those games ironically were played with Pittsburgh Penguins.
The 26-year old could definitely find a spot with the big club is he works for it but honestly the first time he steps onto either the Garden or even Dunkin’ Donuts Center ice in those colors, it’s going to be one strange but glorious sight.
Related posts: 12/1/11 and 10/9/11.
4th year defenseman Kevin Quick(4) signed an AHL 2-way contract with Norfolk Admirals in the offseason after spending most of the first 3 seasons of his career with the team signed to an entry level deal with Tampa Bay Lightning.
He appeared in 6 NHL games in his rookie year registering an assist. The blue liner also skated 18 ECHL games in that season.
In 2011/2012, the 24-year old spent most of his time with Florida Everblades and eventually won the Kelly Cup with the team.
He did skate 14 games with the Admirals and now that the lower league has reached its’ conclusion, he will likely rejoin them for the Calder Cup Finals, where he can be used pretty effectively in case one of the players goes down with injury.
New Jersey Devils‘ center Adam Henrique(17) is a front-runner for the rookie of the year Calder Trophy but seeing as how it’s only based on regular season performance he still has some healthy competition for that nod.
In the postseason, he has now scored two absolutely phenomenally huge OT goals to advance his team into further rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
His most recent sending New York Rangers out onto the golf course for the summer and lifting the unlikely Devils into the Finals for the first time in 9 years, when they last won it in 2003. Last season they failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 1996.
Going into the final season of his entry level deal, his play in 2011/2012 screams multi-year extension and it’s highly doubtful he’ll be seeing an AHL arena again (like he did for a 3 game spell last October when he got off to a slow start) unless it’s on a short reconditioning stint or at the end of the 22-year old stud’s career.
Related posts: 10/24/11 and 8/27/11.
If 8th year veteran defenseman Derek Meech(7) had any luck this season, it most definitely would have been bad.
What was finally reported as a knee problem that sidelined him in late October after only a couple of games with Winnipeg Jets. He finally returned to finish up the season for 6 games with their AHL affiliate St. John’s IceCaps.
He signed a one-year two-way deal with Winnipeg after 7 seasons with Detroit Red Wings and Grand Rapid Griffins. The 5’11″ 196 lbs. blue liner was originally picked in the 7th round of the 2002 draft (#229 overall).
The 28-year old has played 126 NHL and 427 AHL regular and postseason games.
In 15 Calder Cup Playoff games, ending a pretty enchanted first season for the IceCaps, he had 4 goals and 5 assists to help them all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals before bowing out to the number team in the regular season, Norfolk Admirals.
We lay bets the Jets will re-sign the Winnipeg native soon for another season.
After spending his 1st year of pro hockey playing in France, undrafted defenseman signed with the ECHL Florida Everblades in 2010/2011 to start his North American rookie campaign.
He skated in all 72 games with the ‘Blades and 4 postseason contests as well, scoring 9 goals and 26 assists, while going a big +26 plus/minus.
With his debut season completed, he received a bit of an unexpected call-up to join Binghamton Senators for the 2011 AHL Atlantic Division series.
He played in 9 games through three more rounds leading up to the eventual Calder Cup win.
For the 2011/2012 season, he signed a one-year, two-way deal with the B-Sens and started the year by raising the championship banner to the rafters of Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
The 5’10″ 185 lbs. d-man split time between the two leagues, appearing in 38 AHL games and was eventually reassigned for the remainder of the season in late February to help the Everblades get into playoff position.
Well, two full seasons playing hockey in the top developmental leagues for the NHL and the 27-year old has captured both championships as Florida Everblades won their first ECHL Kelly Cup in the team’s 14-year existence by knocking off Las Vegas Wranglers in the Finals 4 games to 1.
23-year old goaltender Mike Murphy(31) leaves restricted free agency on the table with Carolina Hurricanes for what would have been his fourth year in the system and looks to Russia to play with Spartak Moscow in the KHL.
The news was initially heard via his @MichaelMurphy31 twitter.
He played 96 regular season games with their AHL affiliates Charlotte Checkers and Albany River Rats and put up respectable numbers but it was his work in the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs getting them into the Eastern Conference Finals that cemented his status as a true prospect.
He got his first NHL nod in net this season and despite not letting in a goal in a pair of appearances was saddled with the loss in one of the games because he was the goalie of record after the Hurricanes pulled him for the extra skater and let up an empty-netter but then surged back late with two goals of their own, still losing the game by one. Tough break there.
The 5’11″ 165 lbs. netminder will likely do well over there but we may not have seen the last of him in North American hockey.