Worcester Sharks exited the 2011/2012 season with the most fighting majors of any team in the AHL, engaging in 120 dust-ups.
Rookie forward Curt Gogol(13) was involved in 19 of those.
Weighing in a 6′ 185 lbs. he most definitely needed a couple more arms, a few more inches and some extra poundage in his match-up against brutal Springfield Falcons‘ 6’6″ 235 lbs. enforcer Tim Spencer(33).
The two will get more opportunities to dance in the upcoming season as both are returning to their respective clubs for 2012/2013.
Pittsburgh Penguins‘ 4th round pick in the 2007 draft (#114 overall) defenseman Alex Grant(20) re-signs his qualifying offer to return for another season in the team’s prospect system.
He had an amazing 2011/2012 setting career highs in games played, goals, assists, points and penalty minutes (61-10-27-37-73) with their AHL affiliate WBS Penguins after a disastrous 2nd year, when he shattered his wrist and suffered whiplash in a rookie tournament leading up to training camp pretty much shelving the entire campaign.
The blue liner has sizable presence standing at 6’3″ 190 lbs. and could definitely add some bulk to his frame, making him tougher to play against.
At 23-years old, he looks to be developing pretty much on schedule. He started his pro career in the ECHL with Wheeling Nailers and has played in 71 games in double A, including 17 on their way to the Kelly Cup Eastern Conference Finals.
The name on the back of the jersey is one Boston Bruins‘ fans have learned to hate over the last couple of seasons, as his brother PK is always in the crosshairs of the black & gold, while wearing his Canadiens‘ bleu blanc rouge.
Well, this is 18-year old goaltender, Malcolm Subban(81), the spoked B’s 1st round pick in the 2012 draft (#24 overall).
He’s played a couple of seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with Belleville Bulls. His 2011/2012 season was pretty impressive. The 6′ 178 lbs. netminder played in a career high 39 games with a record of 25-14 and a 2.50 GAA and .923 SV%.
He looks to have the same competitiveness as his brother has but maybe is a little more grounded. That could just be related to the position on ice he plays. Projected to make the majors; could very well be a key selection.
Tampa Bay Lightning 6th round pick in the 2009 draft (#192 overall) goalie Jaroslav Janus(30) hopefully heads to the home country Slovakia to continue his pro hockey career development as he’s signed a tryout agreement with HC Slovan Bratislava.
The 3rd full year goaltender’s entry level deal was up and he was a restricted free agent going into 2012/2013. With no room in the minors and he’s yet to make an NHL appearance, this was thought to be the best idea in the quest to keep getting him playing time.
The 6’1″ 189 lbs. backstop had a career year with the Calder Cup Champion Norfolk Admirals last season. In 34 games he posted a 23-8 record with a 2.36 GAA and .914 SV%.
Unless he gets comfortable playing closer to his birthplace, it’s likely that if the Lightning just have too many goalies in their system, someone else will come a knocking for the 22-year old.
After a few seasons tending net for other teams, undrafted, 7th year goaltender Scott Munroe(43) returns to the Phantoms‘ fold signing a one-year AHL contract with Adirondack.
His first three seasons were in the Philadelphia Flyers‘ system before he tested other waters with Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik of the KHL and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2011/2012.
Other than his rookie campaign, he has always put up winning records in North American play with respectable GAA and SV% numbers.
He’s only appeared in one NHL contest throughout his pro career.
The 6’2″ 210 lbs. 30-year old goalie’s high point has to be getting the win in the record breaking longest game in AHL Calder Cup Playoff history, a 5OT marathon in the 2008 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals round.
2nd year defenseman Corey Fienhage(5) re-signs with Rochester Americans for 2012/2013, while still under the guidance of the parent club Buffalo Sabres.
He was a 3rd round pick in the 2008 draft (#88 overall) but has only been signed to standard AHL contracts. He also was reassigned to Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL for a good chunk of his first season, where he has managed a bit better success on the scoresheet so far.
In 32 games last season he had 5 goals and 8 assists while going a -4 plus/minus.
In the AHL he’s a +2 with 4 assists in 20 games.
At 6’2 215 lbs. he plays like a big defenseman out there but at only 22-years old it could be said he’s still growing into his pro game.
Originally a Toronto Maple Leafs‘ 6th round pick in the 2006 draft (#166 overall), center Tyler Ruegsegger(7) was suppose to figure in the team’s future plans based on his stats leading up to his selection and then later with his excellent play in the last year of his college career.
Somewhere along the line though something happened because he didn’t sign to start his rookie season until late October of 2010; and that was with Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL.
From there he gets traded to Alaska Aces, but in the final month of his first year the then 23-year old gets his first AHL called-up by Abbotsford Heat. scoring 1 goal and 4 assists in 12 games. He was returned to the Aces just in time to help them win the 2011 Kelly Cup.
In a surprising move for his second campaign, the 6′ 195 lbs. forward re-signed with the Aces to continue with the team for 2011/2012. Once again, he was recalled: first by Bridgeport Sound Tigers, then the Heat for a second run.
If he wasn’t accidentally clocked in the face by a one-timer in practice, it’s speculated that he could have played his first Calder Cup Playoff games or participated in another playoff run with the Aces.
For the upcoming 2012/2013 season, the now 25-year old re-signs for his third go with Alaska.
In 105 ECHL games he has 29 shots on goal into the net and assisted on another 25. Will this be his breakout year?
Facing unrestricted free agency status, 6th year left wing Brodie Dupont(9) jumps ship after one dismal season with Milwaukee Admirals to skate with HC Valpellice Bulldogs of Italy pro hockey for 2012/2013.
The 6’2″ 210 lbs. forward was originally a New York Rangers 3rd round pick in the 2005 draft (#66 overall) but skated only one NHL contest with the team. He appeared in 297 AHL games with their affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale scoring 58 goals and 90 assists before being traded as an rfa to Nashville Predators at the start of 2011 free agency.
The 25-year old is a big man on ice but seems to lack the aggressive follow through punch that would make him a more effective power forward. Maybe the time overseas will help his overall game.
9th year grisly veteran center Cam Paddock(11) started last season with Manchester Monarchs after signing a one-year, two-way contract with Los Angeles Kings right before the 2011/2012 season started.
He appeared in 39 AHL games scoring 2 goals and 3 assists and then seemingly disappeared. The 29-year resurfaced, without much of an explanation from the parent club other than they terminated his contract, back in Germany (where he skated in ’10/’11) with Ausburg Panthers for the remainder of the year.
The one-time 5th round pick of Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2002 draft (#137 overall) switches up countries for the new season, joining Frederikshavn White Hawks in the Danish hockey league AL-Bank Ligaen.
The 6’2″ 192 lbs. forward has nasty written all over his game and has played in 16 NHL games, all with St. Louis Blues, registering a goal and a pair of assists to his credit.
It’s likely he’ll ride out his pro career overseas at this point.
3rd year, undrafted center Ben Holmstrom(23) quietly signed a 1-year contract extension to stay in Philadelphia Flyers‘ system for 2012/2013. He was entering his first year of restricted free agency. There’s zero news of the signing on the team website.
He’s appeared in 7 NHL games over his first two seasons but has yet to strike on the scoresheet.
Last season the 6’1″ 190 lbs. forward wore the “C” for their AHL affiliate Adirondack Phantoms and put up career bests in assists (26), points (41) and penalty minutes (134). These marks were set in 12 less games than he skated in his rookie campaign.
It’s definitely time for the 25-year old to start putting up even better numbers in the team’s prospect system and maybe even chip in some if he can continue the streak of call-ups.