Tag Archives: Manitoba Moose

Kent Huskins(29) Utica Comets

Kent Huskins

13-year veteran defenseman Kent Huskins(29) signed an AHL contract to join Utica Comets a month into the 2013/2014 season.

Possibly looking for a new NHL suitor after splitting less than 20 games the previous year with Detroit Red Wings then Philadelphia Flyers, it’s possible he saw a possible opening in the parent club to influence his decision to sign a minor league deal.

He appeared in 65 games with the expansion central New York club adding another 10 points to his league totals (473-33-101-134). He also owns a +33 rating.

The big 6’4″ 205 lbs. blue liner has also skated in 318 contests in the show putting up just 13 goals and 55 assists, but his stay-at-home style and strong defense of his own zone gives him a highly accountable +46 plus/minus.

It took him 5 years of trolling with farm teams before he received his first opportunity to play at the highest level but from there he spent six straight seasons on top.

Not bad for a player that was originally a Chicago Blackhawks‘ 6th round pick in the 1998 draft (#156 overall).

The almost 35-year old could either stay put or try his hand elsewhere but is probably happy earning a decent payday playing  pro hockey.

He won a Stanley Cup Championship in 2007 as a member of Anaheim Ducks.

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Nikita Kashirsky(5) Reading Royals

5th year undrafted Russian-born left wing Nikita Kashirsky(5) re-signs for another run with Reading Royals after being an integral part of the 2013 Kelly Cup Championship team.

In 41 ECHL games last season he struck for 17 goals and 27 assists with a +11 rating and didn’t stop there as he appeared in all 22 playoff contests connecting for another 5 tallies and 15 helpers with a +12 plus/minus. His 15 assists in the postseason were tied for the league lead.

Skating most of his pro career with a few different ECHL clubs, he’s managed to put up 161 points (66 + 95) in 191 games.

He received 3 AHL call-ups in his first two seasons with Springfield Falcons, Manitoba Moose and Hershey Bears but the 6′ 196 lbs. forward has been unable to score himself a permanent gig for a higher club despite his very able point production in AA hockey.

The 28-year old has maybe a bit surprisingly played almost all his hockey in North America except for one game in the KHL.

Nikita Kashirsky1

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Derek Nesbitt(16) WBS Penguins

8th year undrafted right wing Derek Nesbitt(16) is one of those players that has consistently worked hard for every break he’s ever received playing pro hockey.

He joined his ninth team, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to help them with their AHL Calder Cup playoffs push. He was traded from Peoria Rivermen, who was out of postseason contention.

The 6′ 185 lbs. forward started his career in the ECHL for a couple of seasons and won a Kelly Cup Championship in his sophomore campaign with Idaho Steelheads. He also put up 81 points in 66 games and another 6 goals and 12 assists in 22 playoff contests that breakout year.

It also set him up to move up to the higher league on a more permanent basis. In 211 ECHL games he has 86 goals and 154 assists.

He signed his only NHL deal with Phoenix Coyotes, a one-year two-way deal, a couple of seasons later.

He has spent most of his playing time in the AHL for the past 6 seasons, where he also has some pretty impressive numbers with 92 goals and 111 assists in 320 games.

The 31-year old is an unrestricted free agent pretty much like he’s always been, heading in 2013/2014 and is coming off his third straight 40+ point year and one where he tallied a career best 26 goals.

Derek Nesbitt

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Bryan Helmer(40) Springfield Falcons

20th year, undrafted veteran defenseman Bryan Helmer(40) signed a contract to play with Springfield Falcons very late in the game, maybe waiting to see how the NHL lockout would unravel before making his move.

He has played an absolutely head-popping 1104 AHL games through 19 seasons and counting. He needs 1200 to catch the number two guy, so he may finally retire at 40-years old as the bronze medalist in the category. He has gold in the Calder Cup Playoff games played though with 158 and three Championship rings to his credit; two in 2009 and 2010 as captain of Hershey Bears and back in 1995 with Albany River Rats, his second year pro.

The solid 6’1″ 209 lbs. d-man has always been thought of as a good two-way player that isn’t afraid to jump up into the offensive action. He does have a pretty impressive 129 goals and 434 assists.

He’s played 146 NHL games (mostly from 1998 – 2004) with four different teams and as recently as 2009 with Washington Capitals. He has a modest 8 goals and 18 assists.

He’s like the ultimate team guy no doubt and we’d love to see him back somewhere for his 21st pro season.

Bryan Helmer

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Dan Gendur(9) Orlando Solar Bears

5th year unrestricted right wing Dan Gendur(9) started the 2012/2013 season with an invite to participate in Springfield FalconsAHL training camp.

Originally a Vancouver Canucks‘ 7th round pick in the 2007 draft (#206 overall) he has some experience in the league with 20 games played but only a goal and an assist to show for it.

The 5’11” 190 lbs. forward spent most of the last two seasons in the Central Hockey League with the now extinct Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, where in 2011/2012 he posted 28 goals and 45 assists for 73 points in 62 regular season appearances, all career highs and good enough for top ten scoring in the league.

He was originally signed to a three-year entry level deal that expired as an unrestricted free agent with Nashville Predators in 2011 after being involved in a minor league deal.


The 25-year inked a deal with Evansville IceMen in the offseason to join the team for their inaugural season in the ECHL, moving up from the CHL to the better AA league, where he had played during his first two pro campaigns. In 14 games he tallied 4 goals and 3 assists.

But found himself to be involved in another trade that dished him and a teammate to another first season team, Orlando Solar Bears, where he currently resides and has posted 6 goals and 3 assists in 10 contests.

The winger put up 5 of those points (4 goals and an assist) in one game (12/28).

Dan Gendur



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Ryan Parent(3) Norfolk Admirals

6th year, former 1st round draft pick of Nashville Predators in 2005 (#18 overall) defenseman Ryan Parent(3) has over 100 games of NHL experience but none since a couple of seasons ago, 4 games with Vancouver Canucks despite signing a two-year one-way contract with the team.

He spent all of 2011/2012 that he was healthy enough to play for with their new AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves but only managed to be 22 of a 76-game season.

Ironically he finished the season with a goal and 5 assists, which would have put him on pace for career highs on the scoresheet.

He also have a goal and 6 assists in the NHL.

As an unrestricted free agent approaching 2012/2013, he signed a pto with Norfolk Admirals a couple of weeks into the season.

The 6’2″ 205 lbs. d-man has one assist in 6 games but is a -5 plus/minus.

Admirals must like having the 25-year old on their team though, because they inked him to an spc. Still, it looks to be a smart move on their part.



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Cody Hodgson(19) Rochester Americans

3rd year Vancouver Canucks‘ 1st round pick in the 2009 draft (#10 overall) center Cody Hodgson(19) is back in the AHL after his first successful full season in the NHL that ended with Buffalo Sabres after a late season trade sent him eastward.

In 83 totals regular season games he picked up 19 goals and another 22 assists between the two squads.

The 6′ 185 lbs. gritty forward would have almost assuredly continued to pick up the pace in the big league this year had they not hit the roadblock called a lockout.

Everyone seems to agree though that some more playing time in the AHL (his first since being a Manitoba Moose rookie standout ) with the Sabres‘ affiliate Rochester Americans will continue to help his game reach that next level and becoming a consistent 20-goal scorer is where he looks to be headed.

Unfortunately he was recently derailed for at least a few weeks with a broken hand suffered in the third week of the season. In 9 games he’s been quick to notch a goal and 9 assists.

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Jamie Tardif(9) Providence Bruins

6th year right wing Jamie Tardif(9) got the 2nd campaign of his tw0-way deal with Boston Bruins off to a productive start in AHL preseason. He scored the first two goals, including the game-winner for Providence en route to a 4-1 win.

The 27-year old has appeared in 376 AHL regular season games posting 93 goals and 91 assists.

Originally a Calgary Flames‘ 4th round pick in the 2003 draft (#112 overall), he never signed with the team despite showing some impressive scoring skills in juniors.

The 6’ 207 lbs. forward started his pro career modestly, signing an ECHL deal with Toledo Storm but managed to skate for 3 different AHL teams in his rookie year on call-up.

From there, one of his suitors, Grand Rapid Griffins saw enough promise to sign him up for his full sophomore season.

Doing well in his first full run in the AHL, Detroit Red Wings offered him a 2-year entry level deal and he stuck with the Griffins for what amounted to 4 + years.

Although he has yet to appear in an NHL game, he possesses the ability to light the lamp and plays a gritty game, so there’s a small window he still has the ability to crawl through. We’ll see if changing to number 9 from his long-standing 25 will give his game a psychological boost.

The pic is right after he flipped the puck up and in for his goal.


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Dan Sexton(23) Anaheim Ducks

4th year undrafted Anaheim Ducks‘ right wing Dan Sexton(23) failed to crack the NHL lineup in 2011/2012 but in his rookie and sophomore seasons he played a combined  88 games scoring 19 goals and adding 32 assists for 51 points.

Last season for their AHL affiliate Syracuse Crunch he put up 13 goals and 30 assists in 71 contests.

He also seems to underperform in the minors. At 5’10” 170 lbs. he can almost easily be tough to spot on the ice when he’s out there. He does dig but is more of the type of player that finds those open spaces in the offensive zone to score or feed the helper.

It’s almost surprising the only major injury he’s suffered thus far has been a surgically repaired nose from taking a slap shot to the face.

The 2nd year of his two-way deal he signed before last season is a one-way contract paid out at the league minimum. Not bad on the negotiation but will he find his path back to the show?

Still, good for a guy that started his pro career in the ECHL with Bakersfield Condors and eventually made it to Anaheim within that same season.  In fact, he was sent back to Bakersfield once to keep him closer by for recall.

I’m sure he’ll look back when it’s all done on that rookie year where he played 72 games in three leagues scoring 27 goals and 30 assists.

Next year he could skate in his fourth minor league city (Norfolk Admirals) despite being signed by the same parent club.




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Raymond Sawada(27) St. John’s IceCaps

5th year right wing Raymond Sawada(27) signs an AHL contract to join St. John’s IceCaps for the 2012/2013. He was reassigned from Texas Stars to the team near the end of last year appearing in 17 regular season and 15 Calder Cup games.

Originally a 2nd round pick of Dallas Stars in the 2004 draft (#52 overall), he has skated in 11 NHL games over three seasons with one goal to his credit. He scored it on his birthday.

In the AHL, the power forward has played in 289 regular and postseason contests for 45 goals and 80 assists, which are somewhat surprisingly low scoring totals for the 6’2″ 205 lbs. high draft pick.

At 27-years old, he’s seemingly still waiting for his breakout campaign but has to be running low on time in North American pro hockey to prove his abilities.


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